It was hard to believe it was already Thanksgiving again. He was looking forward to it though. There was going to be some great football to watch on TV, and he could almost taste that delicious stuffed turkey Margot was making. Uh-oh! The stuffing!
He got up quickly from the sofa and headed into the kitchen where Margot was gathering the ingredients. Just in time! ‘No!’ he said firmly. ‘The sage, not the insect killer!’
‘Oh, right’ she answered. ‘Sorry, I was just wondering exactly how much bug killer it would take for someone to taste it. Guess I forgot what I was doing.’ She shook her head, a little annoyed with herself, and moved over to the spice rack. She smiled at her husband and got back to work. In a moment or two she was busily engrossed in mixing up the sage, the onion and the other ingredients that would go into the stuffing.
There, that was better. He went back into the living room and turned on the first game of the day. A few minutes later he heard the sound of the carving knife being sharpened. Jumping up again from the sofa, he rushed back into the kitchen where Margot was wielding the sharpest knife they had.
‘I can sharpen the knife, Sweetheart,’ he said hastily. ‘You’ve got enough to do.’ He reached out his hand for the knife.
‘You know,’ Margot mused, ‘This is a solid tool. And lots of people have them, too, so it’d be hard to trace one of these to one person. Wouldn’t take a lot of planning to use it, wipe it up and get rid of it. It’d be hard for the cops to catch you. Of course, you’d have to take precautions, but still…’
‘Honey, the knife?’ he urged. His words brought Margot back to the moment and she handed over the knife.
‘Thanks,’ she said. ‘I’ll get back to this now,’ she waved her hand at the turkey waiting to be stuffed. ‘Don’t miss your game.’
Somewhat reassured, he took her advice and once again went back to the sofa, swiping an apple from the bowl of fruit on the dining table as he did so. The game was a close one, with both teams doing well, so he was absorbed in it for quite a while. Halftime came and he decided to go get a beer. When he got to the kitchen this time, Margot was holding a pair of kitchen shears over the turkey. With one move she drove the pointed blade into it. With a satisfied smile she pulled the shears out. Then she took aim again.
‘Um, do you need to slice the skin like that?’ he asked.
‘No, not really. But I’ve proven that anyone can do some real damage with a pair of shears. Want to see?’
‘No, no thanks,’ he answered quickly. ‘Wouldn’t want to interrupt you while you’re getting the turkey in the oven.’
‘Right, of course. I do need to get it started.’
‘Here, let me,’ he offered. Being larger and stronger than Margot, he had much less trouble hefting the stuffed bird and putting it in the oven.
‘Thanks,’ she smiled. ‘I think halftime’s over now,’ she reminded him as she washed off the shears.
‘I think you’re right,’ he said as he took a beer and went back to the living room. He was getting concerned, but he knew Margot didn’t like it when he hovered in the kitchen while she worked.
When the game ended, he decided he’d better see how the meal was going. It was just safer that way. When he got to the kitchen, he saw that Margot had poured a glass of wine. Now she was holding a capsule over it, shaking the contents into the class.
‘What are you doing?’ he asked, not sure he wanted to know the answer.
‘Oh, this? Well, I was thinking that if you were going to put poison in a glass of wine, you’d want to make sure it was something that wouldn’t settle too quickly at the bottom of the glass. I mean, someone might notice, right? Especially if it’s white wine. Maybe red would be better.’ She moved mechanically towards the cupboard where they kept wine and reached for a bottle.
‘Hold on!’ he said, stopping her just before she picked up the bottle. ‘I think the Viognier we got will be great with the turkey. There’s no need to open that Beaujolais too.’
‘OK, if you say so,’ she said, closing the cupboard door. ‘Let me try the Viognier then and see if I’m right about white wines.’
‘No need,’ he said as quickly as he could. ‘Let’s not open it yet. It’s still too early.’
‘You’re probably right,’ she answered. She cleaned up the wine glass and put it away.
‘You know,’ he said. ‘You’ve been busy all day with this dinner. Why don’t you get back to your story for a bit? I’ll let you know when the turkey’s ready.’
‘That’d be great,’ Margot said.
He shook his head a little as she untied the apron she’d been wearing and washed her hands. Lesson learned, he thought. Crime writers should not prepare meals like this when they’re in the middle of writing a story!
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant. Now really – could I choose any other song??