CASSEROLE CONFESSION by Nikki Loftin
Thirty years later, I can still recall the frozen horror that filled the kitchen that Sunday. I know it was my mother who reached out for the Parmesan cheese and instead grabbed hold of the Comet cleanser. But who placed it there? Me? My sister? What well-meaning idiot set the Pyrex casserole dishes, steaming from the oven, so close to the sink?
It didn’t matter. My mother’s hand shook, and the blue-white powder that flew out of the wide perforations on the metal lid sifted down in an unholy, unclean swath across the top of our Sunday dinner.
The mingled smells of chicken tetrazzini and powdered bleach filled the room. Then, a fraught pause. The only sounds were masculine voices in the living room, the men who were watching television and waiting impatiently for their Sunday dinner. Even as a child, I was annoyed when the men didn’t help cook or clean. I wanted to be one of them, out there, lazing around, waiting to be waited on. Until that Sunday.
That afternoon, standing stock-still in the kitchen, three generations of women were transformed. A suburban mother, a doting grandmother, two impressionable daughters – changed forever. In that instant we became – the Borgias. Poisoners of men.
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ABOUT NIKKI LOFTIN
Nikki lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country, surrounded by dogs, chickens, and small boys. When she’s not whipping up secret casserole recipes of her own, she can be found working on children’s novels, short stories, poems, and essays. She studied Fiction Writing at the University of Texas at Austin (MA, ’98).
Nikki Loftin is the only woman living in a house full of males, but she has not poisoned any of them… yet. She offers her sincere apologies to her mother, Rae Dollard, who had no idea all those years ago that she was raising a writer. Thankfully, in addition to being an innovative cook, Rae has a wonderful sense of humor.
To contact Nikki Loftin go to: Nikki Loftin