A Noise in the Kitchen

By Toni Kief



The​​ Noise in My Kitchen

Toni Kief



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.