As frequently happens, supper was an elegant coming-together of leftovers. Meatballs from the evening before, warmed over with some freshly-cooked spaghetti. I glanced in the freezer and saw an almost-empty bag of “Asian-style frozen vegetables”. I seized the bag with same sense of joyful victory that Jean-Christophe Novelli pounces on truffles, and tipped it gracefully around the meatballs. The bag was so old and depleted that mostly ancient white powdery ice poured out, but there were some tired, more or less unrecognizable veggies amongst the ice too. I poked them around in the warming meatball sauce. As the ice melted, I spied two baby corns, possibly my favourite veggie for these sorts of things. Two. One of them long and thick and wholesome, the other rather narrow, small, broken and generally pitiful.
I swear that almost without thinking, on instinct, you could say, I scooped up the bigger baby corn on my plate, covered it artfully with a helping of spaghetti, sauce and a meatball
The Princess moseyed up to the stove. Like most of the family and the rest of the world, she treats questions surrounding what is there to eat ultra-seriously: dinner time can make or break her day. She likes meatballs, she likes “Asian-style” veggies, she likes pasta. All was good in the world. But she was dissatisfied with her broken small pitiful lone baby corn.
-“Can I have another baby corn?”
-“There were only two baby corns left. One for me and one for you.” I smiled in what I hoped was not a wolfish manner, rather an aren’t-we-a-nice-cosy-best-friend-mommie-and-daughter-in-the-whole-wide-world. As proof of my sincerity, I showed her my plate, where the tip of of the my corn protruded from beneath a blanket of pasta. The Princess seemed satisfied that everything was fair and square, accepted her plate and went over to the dinner table. I remained standing by the counter, artfully turned my body so it blocked full view of my plate, and silently ate my huge baby corn.