Posted in Miscellany, Novellas

Episode VI – Ramen soup for the soul

Ramen night   (Click here for the ramen dinner)

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It’s a frightfully cold night tonight; so cold that it will freeze your toes out if you forget to wear your socks or have holes in your shoes. Boreas. god of the North wind in collaboration with the White Witch are at their zenith to in this time of the year and orchestrate the symphony of arctic winter in Avonlea, where the little residents gather together at home to warm their bodies and jettison their sprites from frigid cold.

Of all kinds of soup that can provide both delicacy and warm to the body and the soul of the Avonlea residents, they have chosen Ramen unanimously because (1) you can cook it in 10 minutes by putting the ramen noodle in the boiling water with ready-made seasonings in it; (2) there is a variety of flavors you can choose, such as vegetable, beef, chicken, and shrimp; (3) you can mix it with lots of creative additions, such as dumplings, battered eggs, cheese, minced scallops, tempura, fried shrimps, or tofu to your liking; and (4) a package of instant ramen noodle is pleasingly inexpensive. Hence, it is nicknamed – somewhat endearingly- “a poor soul’s victual” in some Far Eastern countries, such as Korea and Japan.

So here the repast of ramen noodle soup for the family. Tom is especially good at cooking a delicious bowl of the noodle soup for his friend Fred and himself.  The night is still young and  cold, but their home is warm and cozy. It seems that “God is in his heaven, and all’s well with this world.”

Posted in Miscellany, Novellas

Episode V: Spaghetti Evening

A Spaghetti Dinner  (Click here, and it will take you to the House where you can read the dinner story with pictures of the characters.)

PROLOGUE

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Last thursday was a spaghetti evening at Mrs. Lompstrompf’s house, where Sally and Mathilda lodged. Sally was still recovering from a serious case of abscess on her neck due to her weak immune system for being anemic. The medication Dr. Humbug had prescribed to  her was Ajaxcillin/TMP 800/169 MG TB, which was to be taken twice per day. It’s an antibiotic, and Sally took 2 tablets a day religiously with her hands supplicant for a quick healing of the wound. The effect of the medication dovetailed with its name derived from Ajax the Great, a towering figure and great warrior of valor and strength fighting alongside Achilles and other famous Greeks against Trojans. One portant tablet would make Sally dizzy and her stomach feel light. No feeling of hunger would be shed over her. In a way, Sally thought this could be an opportunity to  lose some weight.

But Sally was prabably not meant to be thin because she could not resist the wonderful aroma of Mrs. Lompstromfp’s spaghetti. Mrs. Lompstrompf had receipts from her old Grandmother in Norway, the land of fjords and the Norse gods and goddesses, where her relatives were still thriving on their homemade dairy products.  Her spaghetti surpassed the most authentically Italian made one in flavor, texture, and contents filled with genuine affection for cooking and caring for whoever would taste her culinary blessing.

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So Sally gladly joined the dinner table with Mrs. Lompstrompf and partook in a convivial conversation. She talked about her Web log activities, how much she liked writing anything that came to her mind, such as poetry, novellas, and book reviews although the works published were not widely recognized. Upon hearing this from Sally, the good old Norwegian lady gently encouraged Sally’s somewhat downcast spirit by saying, “Sally, but your writings are all original, written bottomless from the bottom of your mind. And besides, you are writing in a language that is foreign to you when all these other people write in their own tongues. ast out literary, grammatical, and syntactical inhibition when you write. Be like Hercules whose confidence equals that of gods and goddess.”

With this inspiring word of advice and encouragement from the saintly lady, Sally suddenly felt a rush of appetite that had been quelled by the antibiotic agents, thus joyously enjoyed the delicious spaghetti. Anything coming from Mrs. Lompstrompf was opposite to deceit, flattery, and lie. She talked only truth like an oracle at Delphi. Surely, the spaghetti tasted better than ambrosia or nectar.

fa8e830c9e8170c16507cc49b7b0aeb7And what about Mathilda, another boarder? She was in her melancholic mood again, so she stayed in her room. It’s not that she felt uncomfortable with both of the ladies but that it was her nature to be solitary once in a while. She was by  the way a writer like Sally. Both Sally and Mathilda kept their traveler’s notebooks in which  they wrote their journals and drafted what they would post on their Web logs.

So it was a nice warm Thursday evening dinner. Sally’s spirit was emboldened by Mrs. Lompstompf’s truthful revelation, and her wound on the neck seemed to heal considerably. Sometimes, everyone needs good food for the mind and the body because as the ancient Greeks said, “Mens sana in corpore sano.” (A sound mind dwells in a healthy body.)

 

Posted in Miscellany, Novellas

Episode IV: Lunch at Rainbow Bakery

Lunch at Rainbow Bakery (Click here.)

73eea028ace6869003bb394a78d4e400It’s after a wintry weekend, and the boys of Avonlea met together at Rainbow Bakery for lunch. It’s their elbow room where they can sit down with a set of delicious food, always freshly cooked on premise by Mrs. Lompstrompf according to her old world recipes from her grandmother in Norway and enjoy their time there as long as they like. In terms of the food, Anika, Mrs. Lompstrompf’s only granddaughter who can speak both Norwegian and English thanks to her grandmother’s bilingual teaching since she was a toddler, always adds a great touch of many inventive flavors to the food. In fact, were it not for Anika’s delightful fusion of diverse flavors from all over the world, the little ones would not make Rainbow Bakery their yummy den.

There was also Sally at the bakery after a visit to her doctor’s office on Kingsbridge Avenue early this morning.  Sally had been suffering from an unfortunate case of abscess on her neck. It gathered and burst 5 days ago, which lessened the pain considerably. She thought that there would be no need to see a doctor for such because she could be healed of as time would go by, but her ma and pa told her to see to a medical provider’s help. So Sally, being always a good girl with full of humanity and great filial duties, hearkened to her parents’ advice and took a trip to the office by tram.  Sally endured the pain of treatment with ladylike dignity, got her prescription from the doctor, and decided to go to Rainbow Bakery to rest herself with the food prepared by her aunt Mathilda to brighten up her weary soul and weakened body. Now she felt much better and relieved, thanks much to the hearty food and the ever gentle kindness of  Mrs. Lompstrumpf (“Grandma” as Sally endearingly refers to and calls her) and vivacious Anika’s personality.  Grandma cheered up Sally with a mug of hot peppermint tea she made especially for the poor girl.

The lunch at Rainbow Bakery is always pleasant, and even a total stranger would feel included just by sitting there with a cup of coffee and a donut. There is no time limit for how long one can stay there regardless of the cost of food from the menu; you can buy just one croissant and sit there until you are bored with sitting. That’s why the little ones, Sally, and others regard the bakery as their elbow room.