I had all sorts of ideas when I first saw this week’s “Wordle,” Number 49. None of those ideas included even one mention of this Wordle’s source – an article from Bon Apétit Magazine. Brenda had a hard time formulating this challenge, but she added that she hoped we would have an easy time of it. That might have been a jinx, Brenda! Although I have not been participating in “The Sunday Whirl” all that long, I have been a fan of Worldles for a long time, but quite frankly I have never had such a tough time coming up with an entry. That said, I did have a good time writing this one. When I finally decided the direction in which I would take this challenge, it sort of wrote itself (emphasis on the “sort of”). But I do believe that I could fill another lengthy post with all the false starts I made on this one. It’s possible you will wish I had opted out of this prompt altogether; however, herewith the effort I settled upon:
My Secret Recipe
It all began that bedeviled day
I purchased the most tender beef.
I had searched a while to find some Prime
(It took an inordinate amount of time)
When at last I found, with joy and relief,
The perfect tenderloin filét.
Before I began cooking, I set the table
In preparation for my elegant feast.
The candlelight sparkled in the crystal
Glowed in the silver, and my china from Bristol.
Each detail seen to – most important to least –
A perfection of which no one else would be able.
Then into the kitchen to practice my craft
With an alchemist’s skill and acumen.
It all started so well, (secret spices were sprinkled
On the meat) with great pride my eyes twinkled.
I knew all my guests would think me superhuman.
My chef-d’oeuvre began as though choreographed.
I chopped all the vegetables, started them roasting,
Marinated the beef in an herbed olive oil,
I rolled chocolate sponge cake around sweet whipped cream –
Everything looked like a French chef’s dream!
I was confident there was nothing could spoil
My party. That’s when I should have stopped boasting.
The next moment things began falling apart –
My dog and cat started to rough-house.
They ran through the dining room, shaking the floor –
So I got out my broom to sweep them out the door,
And in doing so failed to notice the mouse
That had caused the whole noisy ruckus to start.
When I saw the mouse, I went into high gear
And made it my business to dispose of it.
Everything else was chased out of my head
Except catching and ousting that wee quadruped –
And before anyone else knows of it!
My menu did not include baked mouse’s ear!
I thought luck was with me that fateful day
When I ushered the mouse out the door.
I smoothed out my apron, sure I’d saved face –
I had prevented disaster with such supple grace!
I felt surely that there would be nothing more
To ruin my elegant dîner gourmet!
But after I’d patted myself on the back
I heard an ominous clatter and splat
Then the sounds of happy tongues lapping
(Followed immediately by my last nerve snapping)
I discovered my dog and her partner my cat
Were making the expensive filét their snack.
They first licked up every drop of the juices
And were eyeing with gusto the big hunk of meat
My heart pounded wildly, my stomach was churning
Up acid, to confirm my ulcer’s returning.
My choice was either to fight or retreat
It’s truly amazing what panic induces!
Eight paws flew up and out of the room
It’s hard now to gauge just how far
But before they could mewl or let out a yelp
My survival instincts stepped up to help.
This moment will never appear in my memoir:
I decided the meat was still safe to consume.
That evening my dinner guests came and went
After dining, and none was the wiser.
Though they asked, I simply refused to reveal
The secret to the filét’s sumptuous appeal.
I would not admit to being a miser
And make waste of the money I’d spent.
The moral of this tale, if one can be found
Is be careful of self-aggrandizement
A dog and a cat and a mouse have the power
To bring down the loveliest culinary tower
With relish, and make a chastisement
Of conceit, and your kitchen a battleground!
I won’t tell you that this entire story is true. I will leave it up to you to distinguish fact from fiction. We all have our come-uppances in life. While at times I feel I have had more than my share, in all honesty, I have most likely had just enough. . .
(† A line from the book and the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” in reference to a very special barbecue.)