By Toni Kief
The Noise in My Kitchen
It started two weeks ago; I bought Mastering the Art of French Cooking at the used bookstore for $3. In my innocence, I flipped through the pages and scanned a couple recipes. The book was beyond my palate, so I closed the cover and removed it to my collection. I am the kind of person who buys wine by the box and never used it for gravy. I pick and spit delicate truffles, with no regard for rarity or price; a mushroom is a mushroom. That evening I settled into my chair for television and an Aunt Jemima breakfast sandwich with a slice of reheated Red Baron pizza, microwaved for an impromptu feast.
Later in the night as I slept, there was a high-pitched trill emanating from the kitchen. I convinced myself it was a passing train although I don’t live near any tracks. I roll with a shiver and search for dreams. Hours later the pots began to rattle and tattle, the pans shifted and clanked. I had a sudden urge to braise beef bones into a clear broth and to eat fishes and snails gathered from seas far from home. I arose, and wrapped in false bravado I searched. Finding nothing, I went back to bed for a fretful toss and turn until dawn, blaming the dynamically processed dinner whose crusts and wrappers still occupied my trash.
Each night since, I search for slumber with a pounding heart and ears probing a tentative silence. Once I find sleep, there is a noise in my kitchen, followed with an enticing aroma I can’t identify. After a fortnight of fear and anticipation, I gave up my search, accepting I can never catch the hazy alchemist who prowls my kitchen.
At daybreak, the constant clanking stops, and I nap. When I finally struggle forth, I discover a sink full of dishes and a large metal spoon resting near the stove evidence of the nocturnal intrusions. Julia Child haunts my kitchen. She quietly judges me during the day and prowls at night. I accept responsibility for buying the book and dismissing her lessons. Out of desperation, I remove it from the shelf and return it to the kitchen counter where it belongs. I open to a page, dust off my ramekins and encounter herbed baked eggs with thyme infused baguettes.
Today I feast, tonight I rest.
About The Author
Toni Kief, a child of the 60s, Midwestern by birth, Northwestern by choice, Toni challenges the boundaries for women of a certain age. After a long career as an insurance adjuster, she fell into writing through a challenge from a friend. She has released her first book, Old Baggage, with two others in the grinder. Toni never dated Mick Jagger, but marched for civil rights, shared bread with icons of politics and art. She is spending her retirement, gathering stories prime for embellishment. Writing has taught her inspiration without perspiration is just a good idea. www.tonikief.com.