It’s my great pleasure to welcome you to episode-1 of our new “interactive” story, The Three Ingredients Serial. Remember that you, the reader, are driving the story by sending three ingredients that I will include in the episodes.
When we did the Three Things Serial, the things you sent inspired the characters and the setting. I decided to keep one character from that story — Pip, the narrator. With this new sort of culinary mystery, who knows what Pip will get into? Only the “ingredients” can say.
Our first three ingredients were sent by Mary J. McCoy-Dressel, romance writer extraordinaire. The very first ingredient had me doing research — but that’s part of the fun. Would you know what to do with a geoduck? Here’s what I did with it.
Enjoy the ride, and bon appétit!
The Three Ingredients
A culinary mystery with “ingredients” sent from readers everywhere.
1: Geoduck, Cilantro, Red Wine
Several cars were already parked in front of Binghamton’s Bijou Theatre for the big local premiere. I spotted an empty parking space and hit the gas to pull my grandmother’s Model-T up to the curb. The car was old as could be, but Granny babied it like a child. It looked brand new, all the way to the brightly painted yellow spokes at the wheels. As I got out I made sure the sign she tied to the car door was straight. It read Granny Fanny’s Goodies.
My grandmother had become insistent that I mend my flapper ways and at least learn to cook. Pops wasn’t about to refuse her when she decided I should leave Florida and move up to Savannah, Georgia to live with her. “Until you become a passable cook,” my father said, and it had sounded like a prison sentence. However, Savannah was a bigger city than I realized, and “Jazz Age” business was flourishing. I secretly liked the town, but it wouldn’t do to let Granny or Pops know that just yet.
As I carefully stacked containers of fortune cookies I heard someone with a faintly British accent call my name. “Over here Pip!” Alastair Wong called and waved cheerfully.
The Wongs immigrated to the United States from England. Neither he nor his parents had ever been to China, though they dreamed of visiting and faithfully passed down family recipes, like the one for the enormous clams, the geoducks. Alastair had helped the filmmaker locate an ancient and huge one that had been used in the making of the movie. Though I couldn’t imagine how they made it look so gigantic, the things were certainly ugly enough to star in a monster movie.
Alastair’s family owned the local Chinese restaurant, simply called Wong’s. His slogan proclaimed “You’re always right with Wong’s.” I hoped he was right to invest in so much advertising for this movie. The chefs at the restaurant were so busy making geoduck dishes that he’d asked Granny to handle the fortune cookies. I chuckled to myself when I thought about the “fortunes” she wrote for them.
I helped Alastair and his mother arrange the fortune cookies and the geoduck items. It actually looked inviting the way they’d prepared it. But I still couldn’t make myself take a bite… Mrs. Wong giggled at the expression on my face. At least she wasn’t offended. Soon we had the food ready for the guests of the premiere of “Night of the Killer Clam.”
People gathered around the food tables as soon as we were ready. As they chose hors d’oeuvres they joked about eating the movie’s monster villain. Then they started opening their fortune cookies and reading the carefully printed messages inside.
“Neither a whistling woman nor a crowing hen ever come to a very good end.” (Be yourself.)
“Every dog should have a few fleas.” (No one is perfect.)
“You’ll be happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.” (Don’t worry about what’s happening.)
I blushed when Alastair Wong looked askance at me. All I could do was shrug helplessly. Granny Fanny insisted on writing what she thought of as proper fortunes, though they weren’t exactly … traditionally Chinese.
Mrs. Wong, Arabella, laughed out loud, startling me. She usually had a sweet girlish giggle. Alastair rolled his eyes heavenward. At least they had a sense of humor about it.
Arabella poured goblets of red wine for us and we toasted the movie and good food. We would miss most of the film’s premiere, but Mr. Binghamton gave all of us several free passes each, so knew I could come back.
Posters of swooning a woman in the embrace of a shocked but dashing man decorated the Bijou’s entrance. A little girl looked quietly at a poster of the monster clam. Then she suddenly shrieked, pulled away from the woman who held her hand, and ran. “Flannery! Come back! Wait,” the woman called and ran after the child.
The music began inside the theatre and everyone cheered. I heard muffled dialogue, but I couldn’t make out the words. I started helping the Mrs. Wong and her son cleanup and gathered Granny’s empty cookie containers. Then I jumped when I heard loud screaming emanate from the Bijou.
“Wow! That must be some scary movie!” Alastair commented. Then a woman and a man ran from the theatre. The Wongs and I looked at one another, puzzled.
Something was clearly wrong. As I walked toward the entrance, I saw the door to the ticket booth was open. I noticed a flashlight and picked it up, as I hurried toward the commotion. Inside the theatre the screen showed what appeared to be a fifty feet tall clam, with a hundred feet long… Applesauce, I didn’t know what to call it! Something like an elephant’s trunk was slowly attacking a building.
I switched on the flashlight. A small group of people were clustered below the stage. When I drew near I noticed a trail of green bits on the floor. Between the people, I saw a pair of wingtips with the soles facing me. The green bits were all over the bottoms of those shoes — and the feet that wore them weren’t moving. I pushed my way into the circle. The man stretched out on the floor didn’t seem to be breathing. I took a mirror from my purse and held it under his nose. There was no fog from his breath. One of the people started calling for a doctor, but I was sure the man was already dead.
Soon a man with a medical bag, along with the theatre owner — Mr. Binghamton, and a policeman pushed me out of the way. I stooped down and touched my fingers to the little green bits the dead man had tracked on his shoes. I shone the light on it and sniffed. Cilantro.
The Three Ingredients Serial: Copyright © 2013
by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
No part of this book/text/blog may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
15 thoughts on “Three Ingredients Serial – 1: Geoduck, Cilantro, Red Wine”
Well, I am really late to the party by a few years. Oh my, never read this and now I have to backtrack, this was before I knew you. Thank you for giving us this wonderful trip back in time. Fantastic, now you will have to excuse me while I go back and read something new for me albeit a few years old. Geoduck wow, thats a tough one.
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As I say, there’s no such thing as late at Teagan’s Books! You’re welcome at any post, any time, Suzanne. 😀 I’ve never done a lot of midweek posts, so the little arrows at the bottom of the post should be helpful. Probably easier than using the “category” buttons on the sidebar.
I was looking at your real estate listings. They were not nearly as expensive as I expected; right in line (and less for some) with here. Anyhow they are lovely.
Have a good evening. Hugs!
Well, trying to catch up on your stories. You are off to a good start. I’m glad Pip is continuing on.
Thanks for coming by, RC. I’m glad to know Pip had a friend. 🙂
I agree with Mary–really love the menu board…very clever!
I thought the cat holding the menu was pretty adorable myself. 😉 But I can’t take credit for it — I bought the rights to it at Dreamstime.
PL I hope you are having a superb Saturday!
The magic begins again. Wonderful narrative Teagan, I’d have been stumped with Flannery.
Have a Wonderful Christmas
xxx Hugs Galore xxx
Thank you, David. I am very pleased that you enjoyed it. The truth is, I would likely have been scratching my head about “Flannery” too. However, I want to continue to mix in a little history with the “Three Ingredients,” since several people enjoyed that part of “Three Things.”
Well, goodness! This is terrific writing. After learning this is an aphrodisiac, I’ll be sure to try it when I write my next love scene. In reality, someone else will have to cook the darn thing. Disgusting in appearance! Eww. The story is fantastic. Glad to see Pip back. Oh, I love the menu board.
Thank you Mary!!!
And thanks re the menu board. I might have to try and find one with a dog too, just to be fair to readers with dogs. I did find one with both a cat and dog cooking.
I’m with you — somebody else would definitely have to prepare the geoduck! Double eww.
Oh, applesauce! You are off to a FANTASTIC start, Teagan. Seriously, this is great plotting and writing, and very atmospheric. I love the fortune cookies and think Pip will love her sentence in Savannah.
Oh PL — thank you so very much! 🙂
I realize that I let myself “sit in the driver’s seat” a bit by keeping Pip, and choosing the city. But I’m still letting the things — I mean INGREDIENTS — drive otherwise.
David sent the second set and I’m wondering what mischief the pottery and kitchen tools might cause! 🙂
Have a great weekend,