This is a small bite from my first novel in the baker family saga, Evelyn’s Anxious Bench.
That night, with a body throbbing from the jolting ride and a soul sore from a sense of great loss, Evelyn sank to the ground and wondered who was going to cook their supper.
They had brought lunch baskets, from the cook, but had left the cook (that most necessary constituent) behind through some lack of understanding as to where one gets one’s meals. Perhaps Father didn’t know where his meals came from. Evelyn did know from whence came hers.
Lawrence did something with the animals and walked slowly back to the wagon. “We didn’t bring any servants,” he reminded Evelyn gently, “so the women will have to cook the evening meal.”
Evelyn looked at him as though he had lost his mind. “What women? “She asked. “We were never taught to cook. Someone should have thought of that before we left all the servants behind. I knew we would need them.”
As it turned out Evelyn’s sister Julie’s husband let some of the older boys take care of his stock while he went from wagon to wagon giving the incredulous women instructions on how to prepare a meal for their starving families.
As for Evelyn, she made a horrid meal of hard black beans, and flat bread that tasted like the dishrag smelled. “It’s not fit for anyone to eat,” she said “I did exactly as I was told and it just didn’t work. SOMEONE IS GOING TO HAVE TO TELL ME HOW TO DO IT RIGHT AND I SHALL HAVE TO START OVER,” she cried through her tears, forgetting all the lessons about not showing her emotions that she had ever learned.
Lawrence put his arm around her, and patting her back with a very tired hand, said in a tired voice, “No, we don’t have time for you to prepare another, even supposing that the other would be better. We will eat this one. Evelyn jerked away from his embrace and said sadly, “How can we eat this mess? She pointed to it as if it were a nest of vipers, and added, “It’s simply not possible.”