This was a piece I wrote during a five minute 'free write' at the Memoir writing group I attend each Saturday. The subject was 'A Memorable Meal'.
It’s Sunday lunchtime.
Mum has been going to night to school to learn “Cordon Bleu” cookery. Today we are having Chicken Veronique with Julienne Potato Cake; tarragon, butter, cream, grapes chicken and potato. A heart attack on a plate probably but the crisp Muscadet Dad picked up on his way back from Germany cuts through the grease and makes it feel… well… sophisticated.
For once my combative sister and (almost) communist brother are happy to talk of their studies, feign interest in Dad’s stories of the officer’s mess and don’t bait me about my latest beau. In return I don’t point out my sister’s spots (pink to match her dress) nor my brother’s bum-fluff covered chin.
We are all relaxed. Could it be we are even enjoying one another’s company?
Have we found an oasis of familial fondness?
So, let’s open another bottle of wine to go with the cheese. Dark, red, bloody, filled with iron and aggression, that will get the mettle up. I take mine through to the kitchen to help with the dishes while the gladiator, Christian and lion circle one another in the arena. Through the hatch between the rooms I hear the knives clink on plates, the soft glug of more wine pouring and await the battle.