Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Finally, knock on wood, a week where nothing went wrong. But rather, baking was done, writing was continued, I had an interview that looks like it might turn into a job offer and I had a couple of dog gigs. Now if this streak could just continue for a little while, I’d be thrilled. How have all of your weeks’ been?
This week’s question: A list question: Name three things you do well.
My answer: Three things that I do well are writing, baking, and organizing. That last one might seem a bit out of order with the first two but it’s something that I not only do well but actually enjoy. I have an organization system for everything, from my kitchen to my bedroom, from my books to my movies, from folders on my computer to folders in my file cabinet. Everything has its place and 95% of the time, you can find it in its’ place. That 5% is if I’m using the item in question. Then I may leave it out if I’m still using it. I’m good at writing and enjoy it, it’s one of my top passions; it’s the same with baking. I enjoy creating worlds and people who inhabit them, coming up with their journeys in their new worlds, experimenting with flavors and textures, seeing what goes well together and what doesn’t, seeing what others would enjoy.
What’s your answer?
This week’s baking and cooking:
This last week’s cooking was the last recipe of February, a few days late, Tex-Mex cream of turkey soup. It was delicious, despite the name. The next week’s will be the second recipe of March, Five-Minute Hula Hula Coleslaw. I’ll let you know how that goes, we’re putting it with my pulled pork and store-bought potato salad. I have a potato salad recipe but I knew I wouldn’t have time to make it so I picked up store-bought. Krogers potato salad is good as well.
This last week’s baking was the Root Beer Float Cupcakes. They don’t look quite like they should, as the frosting didn’t work out. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong, except that the recipe may be a bad one. Looking at the picture and the edits the cookbook author had made on the bottom of the page of substitution you could make to the recipe, I realized the picture isn’t even of the made-frosting, it’s of the store-bought cream cheese frosting you could use. So, they didn’t even use the recipe for the pictures… As such, when it didn’t work out, I ended up using some left-over chocolate frosting I had in the fridge from another recipe. But there wasn’t really enough of it for all of them so, they’re not quite as fluffy looking as they should be. When I finished the cupcakes, I wasn’t entirely sure I had enough sugar and flour for the cookies and cream cupcakes, so I’ll be making those this week with the peek-a-boo St. Patrick’s cake I’m baking for next Saturday. I know I’ll have enough flour and sugar now as this week was not only grocery shopping at Kroger’s but bulk-shopping at Sam’s as well and I got the flour and sugar there, $4 each for 12 and 10 lbs. each, which is way more flour and sugar for only a couple of dollars extra each. This way, even with as much baking as I do, I know I won’t need to buy it every other time I go to the grocery store. I’ll keep you updated as usual.
This week’s writing: As promised on Friday, this is the next piece of Cheryl’s Adventures.
She decided the only way to find out was to translate the papers.
Two weeks later, she stalked up to where her ‘friends’ could always be found between classes. She dropped the heavy manila envelope on the table between her and X, startling them all.
Kenny’s brown eyes furrowed in concern, “You alright, Cheryl?”
Izzy added, “Yeah, girl, you don’t look like you’ve slept lately.”
Cheryl ignored them, staring down X, “What the hell are you doing with this book.”
The twins, Izzy, Nica, Lori and Kenny were stunned, they’d never heard Cheryl curse. This was the girl who’d, when she’d stubbed her toe on the table just a few weeks before, exclaimed, ‘oh, for heaven’s sake!’
X blinked, blue eyes glinting with worry, “What book. I never said it was a book.”
Cheryl snapped, flipping open the folder, “Save it! These shadows on the photocopies tell me these are out of a book. What are you doing with a book like this!”
X reached for the folder only for Cheryl to close it and pull it back towards her, leaving her hand splayed on top of it.
“Not until I get my answers. Clearly you have an idea of what the book is about, or you wouldn’t be worried about the fact I know it’s a book. But you also don’t know the language, so you need my translations. Cough it up.”
X peered at the others who kept looking back and forth as if they were watching a tennis match.
“If you think I’m going anywhere alone with you after translating this, you’re crazier than I thought. They’re your friends, aren’t they? Tell all of us.”
Kenny spoke up, “Go ahead, man. Clearly you’re involved in something over your head.”
X huffed, “Fine. But still not here. This is not the place to talk about this. Meet me at my house after school.”
He left before any of them could ask any more questions.
Cheryl dropped her translations back in her messenger bag before turning to the others, “I don’t suppose I could get a ride? I don’t have a car, nor do I even know where he lives.”
Nica offered, “Sure, I’ll give you a ride. Meet Izzy, Lori and me in the parking lot after last class.”
Cheryl walked off to her next class, barely getting around the next corner before she heard her name being called. She turned to find Scott jogging up to her.
His sapphire blue eyes were worried, “Everything alright?”
Cheryl sighed, she’d found herself growing closest to Scott as despite appearances, he was the kinder twin, she could never get a firm read on Kenny or X, and the girls still scared her a little.
“I hope so. The language is one that died out years ago and yet, here it is again and what I’ve translated scares me. There’s no reason anyone should have this manuscript, much less an 18-year-old not even graduated high school.”
Scott peered around, “Well, for one, X isn’t 18. He’s 19, he was held back a year freshman year. Something about an incident where he was badly hurt and missed a lot of school.”
Cheryl’s chocolate brown eyes narrowed, “That might explain some. Do you know anything about the incident itself?”
Scott shook his head, “Nope, Kenny brought him into the group, just as he did with you. I only know of the incident cause Lori knows all of the gossip, what with her cousin being one of the popular kids.”
“Ya’ll have all kinds of connections, don’t ya’ll?”
Scott smirked faintly, “Yep.”
Just then, the school bell rang.
“I suppose I’ll see you at X’s after school?”
“You know it.”
Just as Scott turned and began to walk away, he turned briefly, grasping Cheryl’s arm lightly.
“By the way, you look good. You should definitely wear clothes like that more often.”
Before Cheryl could respond, he was gone, lost in the wave of students heading to their next period. She glanced down at her clothing, a simple pair of jeans, a light blue t-shirt, and sneakers.
She tilted her head in consideration before heading to her next class, she supposed it was different to her normal outfit of an A-line skirt, button up shirt (all in bland colors) and sturdy sandals. She was tired enough that morning, she’d just tossed on the first things she’d found in her closet.
That afternoon, it was easy enough to find the other girls gathered around Nica’s old convertible that she’d clearly fixed up as Cheryl had never seen that shade of red on any other car. Much less the flames streaking up both sides.
© Paula Crofoot
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