The Night The Kids Cooked Dinner
The children in the rural town Lower Upper Dresher,
had joined the craze of cooking shows where cooks cooked under pressure.
They all sat glued three nights a week to television screens
and if they missed an episode, were prone to nasty scenes.
They’d taken up the challenge to improve their daily diet,
but grocery shopping with their mums was heading for a riot.
Their parents all seemed quite content to stick to same old styles;
they very rarely wandered down the continental aisles.
The kids had all decided that the cooking shows were right –
that food should be exciting and artistically ‘a sight’.
And things became hysterical the night Sam’s mum cooked pasta,
with sauce that came in bottles, as Sam’s mum said ‘it was faster’.
But Sam no longer wished to eat spaghetti bolognaise.
Instead he wanted new spring lamb infused with minted glaze.
He told his mum potatoes were no longer smooth and mashed;
they should be served unpeeled with lumps – potatoes now are smashed.
And Michael and Robina were appalled with KFC
that their Dad brought home as takeaway for Friday’s casual tea.
“It wouldn’t be,” they said perturbed, “too hard to buy a chop;
they sell them marinated down in Finley’s butcher shop.”
While down at Harrigan’s Hotel the chef was going blotto,
when Master Joe suggested cooking salmon roe risotto.
Chef Willy wasn’t too impressed – Joe questioning his grub.
“My chicken parmigiana is a staple in this pub.”
But Joe was fairly adamant and asked his mum to change
the chicken to a salmon (and it needs to be free-range).
His mum explained the menu was decided by Chef Willy
and to stop this fancy cooking rot – “the whole thing’s getting silly.”
So Joe and all the other kids decided they would score
their parents’ meals all out of ten – most getting three or four.
They figured that some comments would assist their folks to see,
no longer were they tolerating mediocrity.
The parents were appalled of course, when meals were given zeros,
while all those darn contestants on the show were hailed as heroes.
The children sensed their parents were all close to nearly breaking –
that they understood they needed to improve what that were making;
until a parent phoned around and called a secret meeting,
to try and sort the bedlam over what their kids were eating.
And Mary-Jane convinced them that she had a sure-fire winner.
“We’ll all give in,” she said quite calm, “just let the kids cook dinner.”
The parents at the table sat in silence for a while,
then one by one were nodding and a few began to smile.
They started to imagine they’d have time to read a book,
instead of being busy in the role of family cook.
And so that night the parents gave their kids the welcome news:
“You’re all the chefs tomorrow night – it’s up to you to choose.”
The kids all gave a mighty shout – “We’ll show you how it’s done,”
then raced towards their kitchens, looking forward to lots of fun.
The next day was a Saturday – they measured, mixed and stirred
at stove tops and the benches where much muttering was heard.
By six o’clock they’d finished and their meals had all been plated,
but each and every one of them was tired and not elated.
In Sam’s house, both the Willis’ were wondering what to do
with little Sammy’s cheeses that were mouldy, old and blue.
Insisting Sam should try it first, they waited while he ate
a cracker smeared with rancid cheese, some pate and a date.
But Sam’s young taste buds didn’t like his gourmet nibbly platter.
“I think,” he said, “I’d rather have a saveloy in batter.”
Sam’s parents kindly got their kid a sausage fried in oil,
both knowing that his craze for fancy food was off the boil.
While down the road, Robina had some doubts about her pudd –
it wasn’t looking like a trifle usually would.
She hadn’t missed a step at all – she’d done as they’d instructed.
But some desserts just don’t taste right when they are deconstructed.
Robina knew her trifle would be judged ‘not good enough,’
when served on several silly plates, in little piles of stuff.
Her Mum and Dad suggested that she plop it in a bowl –
that a tasty, messy, mixed-up pudd was trifle’s only goal.
And down at Harrigan’s Hotel young Joe was in a pickle,
as his salmon-roe risotto dish was proving rather fickle.
To stir a pan of fishy rice for nearly forty minutes,
was really rather boring and was giving Joe the irrits.
Eventually Chef Willy – who could stand the smell no more,
suggested Joe should help him make a dish he’d like for sure.
And that night all the customers said Joe’s meal was a charmer,
as Joe served up his special dish – Chef Willy’s parmigiana.
And Mary-Jane was lauded as the parent of the year –
their children viewed those cooking shows with something close to fear.
The kids were now content with being decent, simple cooks,
as cooking fancy food is not as easy as it looks.
- Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #20