Fiction: The Recipe

First published May 2012


The director counted down and the lights came back on in studio 6.

‘And we’re back,’ said Cole Flint, celebrity chef. ‘Now before the break I was showing you how to make mini quiche Lorraines.’ He turned to camera two. ‘Quiche her, I hardly know her.’

The crowd laughed and a few applauded.

‘Right, so in this part of the show we’re moving into main courses and this one is a doozy. I don’t have a name for this meal and it’s a sort of family tradition that’s been passed down from father to son. So first you’re gonna need to make a green salad. So the usual. A couple of ripe toms, some lettuce, bit of carrot, cucumber, celery and then whip up a dressing with mustard, balsamic, salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice. Now once you’re got your dressing ready you’re gonna wanna leave that to one side and only put it on the salad a few seconds before serving.’ He held up a small bowl that he had mixed the dressing in then placed it to one side with a salad bowl.

‘So you’ve got your salad ready so now it’s time for the nitty gritty. First thing you’re gonna wanna do is get seven vials or seals like these ones.’ He pulled seven long glass cylinders out from under the counter he stood at. He placed them carefully in a stand in front of him. ‘You’re going to want to be careful with these because they each contain the Wrath of God. Now if you’re feeling a bit brave you can open the first vial and sprinkle a little of that Wrath into your dressing but be careful when you’re stirring it because if you stir too lightly it won’t mix properly and if you stir too hard then your first born son will give birth to a hundred two-headed serpents.’ He pointed to the vial furthest from the first. ‘Also as a rule don’t open the seventh seal as that will bring about seven years of war twixt Heaven and Hell.’

He pushed the stand holding the vials to one side of the counter. ‘Now for the next step you’re gonna wanna find a swan that is blind in one eye and cut its throat with the jaw bone of an ass. Collect that blood.’ He pulled a small plastic bottle from under the counter. It contained a thick black substance that was bubbling fiercely. ‘Your best bet with this stuff is to keep it in the fridge because if you leave it out in the kitchen and it’s a full moon it will make your house start crying tears of tar.’ He grabbed a bowl. ‘Now you take a normal mixing bowl and pour the swan blood into it.’ He uncapped the bottle and a sweet ethereal song emitted from the bottle mouth as the liquid thickly poured into the bowl. ‘Here’s a fun fact that song you’re hearing is actually a drowned sailor’s lament. It’s the song sailor’s sing apparently when they fall overboard.’ He cocked his head and listened for a bit. ‘Lovely. Right, you’ve got your seven seals waiting to go and your salad’s ready and you’ve got a bowl full of swan blood. Next the meat.’

He turned around and produced a large turkey, plucked and stuffed, on a platter. ‘So you need to get a very sharp knife because you need to cut out the turkey’s soul and slay its ghost all in one cut.’ He slashed once and the lights in the studio flickered. When they were solid again there was a small grey-brown cloud hovering over the bowl of blood.

‘Go on our website to learn the best method for soul stealing/spirit slaying stabbing tactics. So you need to pop this concoction in the freezer and because of its ingredients that will actually cook it. It seems like a simple recipe but it will feed a family of five comfortably. I served this to my family last week. On an unrelated note it was on that night that my wife filled a bath up with rocks and then shot herself in the neck. She’s making a full recovery right now.’ He turned and opened the freezer, taking out an identical bowl to the one sat on the counter. ‘Now here’s one we prepared earlier. Also if you make this dish you will not be able to use your freezer again as it will now have a broken heart and everything you freeze will taste like loss.’

He placed the dish on the table. It was the colour of darkness, ‘Another interesting thing about this dish is that if you look at it too long you will begin to forget what colours are and lose all memory of light and hope. And then just chuck your dressing on the salad and serve.’

The crowd applauded, ‘Okay we’re gonna take a break but after that its desserts time and I’ll teach you how to make a soufflé.’ He turned to camera two. ‘Soufflé her, I hardly know her.’

The crowd laughed and the director said, ‘we’re clear’ and the lights dimmed on studio 6.


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