Chapter 27



Once in the kitchen Abby offered Nathan a seat at the table, put the bouquet of ranunculus and anemones in the sink, then went to the refrigerator.  Will figured he would make another start “So, Nath–,”

“That risotto does look like it’s getting dry,” Abby handed him a box of chicken stock, “here, add three tablespoons of this once every minute, no better be every forty-five seconds, and keep stirring, don’t stop stirring.”

“Uh, ok,” said Will.

“Oh, you have to keep the lid on the whole time,” scolded Abby.

“The lid, but how can I?”

“Like this,” Abby showed him how to leave just the side open to stir.

“Now don’t stop stirring,” said Abby.  “Got it,” said Will.

“Three tablespoons every forty-five seconds,” said Abby.  Will nodded his head.

This would keep him occupied for ten minutes.

Abby went back to the sink and winked at Nathan.  She would not let Will get the best of Nathan, though the price so far may be risotto soup.

“Nathan can you reach that yellow vase on top of the cupboard?” asked Abby.

“Sure,” said Nathan as he rose to help her.

“How was the drive over here?”

“It’s all going to turn to ice,” said Will.  “Keep stirring,” said Abby.

“It wasn’t so bad.  My Jeep’s four wheel drive made me feel pretty safe and I keep it under thirty miles an hour if the weather is at all questionable,” said Nathan.

Will so much wanted to comment yet he had to keep count to forty-five.  “What a complicated recipe,” he thought.

“Let’s see,” Abby scanned the kitchen and counted with her hands, tapping each finger on her thumb.  “Nathan can you help me with the bread?”

“No problem,” said Nathan.

Abby sliced the French loaf procured earlier that day from the IGA then Nathan spread the garlic butter she had prepared onto each piece, placing them on a sheet pan so they would be ready for the oven when the cake came out.  They talked about Nathan’s new apartment while he laid out the bread and Will listened.  The new development had just been built on the lake on the south edge of the village next to the small boat docks.  The development had three buildings each three floors high as well as a pool, game room, and gym.  The whole complex could be seen almost directly across the lake from the Bellen studio.  Will wanted so much to say something about this too.

“They’re an eyesore,” said Will.

“Will,” said Abby.

“Well they are.  Right there next to the village,” Will shook his head, “have to look at ’em.”

“They actually blend in nicely, and they are a lot better than that mill that used to be there when I was a kid,” said Abby.  She was right, the development was put in place of an abandoned lumber mill.

“That old mill was just a big rusted metal building with those ugly beltways leading to nowhere while the new buildings are designed to blend with new trees and boulders.  You have to admit that they landscaped the grounds beautifully,” said Abby.  “Keep stirring.”

“Hmm,” said Will.

“Ok, It’s time for the cake to come out,” said Abby.

Abby let Will step away from the stove then turned the heat off the risotto and the beans.  She removed the cake then put the bread in the oven.  She started to corral the men to the table so that she could begin bringing the food over.  Will took the opportunity to excuse Nathan and himself to wash their hands.

Five minutes later, the bread was out of the oven, the food was on the table, and the men had not returned.  Abby became suspicious.  She could not hear them talking.  She thought for a moment, “would Will do anything radical, of course not.”  She walked into the lake room and no one was there.  Out the side window she could see the studio lights were on.  “That could be ok,” she thought.  “He’s not going to put him in a kiln.  It’s just the standard tour.”

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