Suzie pulled out the restaurant bowl – a stainless steal bowl nearly two feet wide from rim to rim. She didn’t even bother to get the recipe from the file. She had dumped a box of Raisin Bran into the bowl, poured in a quart of buttermilk, and pulled out her 5-Cup measuring cup before she realized Drew was in the room.He leaned against the doorjamb leading to the hall, his arms crossed over his broad chest.
“A penny for your thoughts.”
Suzie turned away with a shrug. She didn’t want to share her thoughts right now, especially with Drew. If he realized what she was thinking, he’d be upset. She poured in the oil, then started cracking eggs. One hit the side of the bowl too hard and turned into a gloppy mess in her hand.
“Hey,” Drew said quietly, coming up on her side. He cleaned the egg off with a paper towel. “I’m here for you if you need anything.”
“I’m fine.” Her voice was strained, but she pretended it wasn’t. As soon as she could get her hand back, she mixed in all the wet ingredients.
“I feel bad about Ben. I know you had your reasons for sending him off to live with his father, but I can’t help but think he’d be better off here where I could keep an eye on him.”
Like when he ran into the house next door and shot at a pair of murderers and was too busy to notice that Ben had followed him? Ben had almost gotten kidnapped. Again. Suzie quirked an eyebrow, but refrained from comment. She couldn’t really dump the responsibility for Ben on Drew. As Ben’s mother, most of it rested in herself. Well maybe it was about time Ben’s father took some of the responsibility. She measured out most of the flour and dumped it into the mixing bowl, but didn’t mix it in right off.
She measured the salt, baking soda, and sugar into part of the flour, stirring it right into the measuring cup. It was lazy cooking, but she wasn’t about to dirty an extra bowl just to mix the dry ingredients, and this way the baking soda would be mixed in thoroughly enough.
“Remember, as soon as we crack the case and arrest these guys it’ll be safe for Ben to come home,” Drew said.
“That’s right. And Miranda and I can help.” Suzie’s heart filled with hope. She turned to Drew with a smile on her lips, prepared to dive right in. Helping solve the case and put these men away would give her something to work toward, as well as something to take her mind off of Ben’s every moment away from her.
“Well, I’m not so sure about that. I was thinking of taking Vin off the case, and he was trained for this kind of work. I don’t think it would be right to drag you or Miranda into it.”
Suzie glared at Drew, willing him to understand. He crossed his arms and looked stubborn. Sometimes he irritated her so much she wanted to lash out. Wouldn’t he be surprised to receive a spanking with a wooden spoon – a batter covered wooden spoon. Instead of embarrassing them both, the turned to the enormous mixing bowl.
Suzie pushed the wooden spoon around harder and faster, far more vigorously than necessary. If Miranda walked in now, she’d say something catty about the way Suzie liked to cook when she was upset. Suzie made herself stop.
“I’m not going to change my mind,” Drew said as if she’d argued.
“Yes you will,” she muttered. Even if he didn’t, she was going to take matters into her own hands. “I’ve never been able to sit on the sidelines when it came to something I cared about.”
She took a gallon sized jar from the shelf where she kept three or four of them. She liked the kind with the wider mouths, but had to be careful with them now that the friend who used to work for Porta Bella restaurant no longer kept her supplied with empties. She carefully transferred the mixture from the bowl to the jar, not bothering with a funnel. Then she put the jar in the refrigerator.
“Aren’t you going to cook that?”
“No. You are. You and Miranda and Vin, when it’s your turns to cook. It’s Six Week Muffin Mix. Just pour it into a muffin tin and stick it in the oven. I’ll put the instructions on the side of the jar later.
Drew nodded, looking entirely too serious for muffins. But then, it wasn’t really muffins they were talking about. It was their lives and how they should be lived.
Suzie’s House is fueled by your comments. Not only do your comments encourage me to continue, they often provide direction and inspiration. That’s right, this is an interactive story. If there is something in particular you would like to see, let me know and I’ll try to work it in.
Drop by Sunday for a copy of the recipe.