I get things ready and I open about four cans of the chic-peas and Rayne’s looking in them as I wash them off in a strainer. It’s kind of cute really she looks so dubious of the whole thing. I grab a big soup pot and the food processor and in the pot I first add some chopped onion and oil and garlic and get that going. I chop some celery and carrots next and they go in and they need some time to cook down so I peel a couple of potatoes and dice them up and the chop up some bacon. Once the celery and carrots are mostly cooked the potatoes go in and I microwave the bacon on a plate in the microwave. I add the bacon fat to the pot seeing as there’s not that much of it from five slices and I reserve the crispy bacon…
Sigh…Rayne’s already into the bacon.
I swear I can hear my Mom’s voice in my head talking about Dad.
~If you need one pound of bacon for something you really, really should cook two. ~
I dig out more bacon and I cook the rest of the pound that’s there giving her the plate with the cooked crispy bits on it. I like the way that she gives me this sheepish grin and I guess all is forgiven as she gives me this really deep kiss flavored by the bacon on her lips.
“Okay…you’re forgiven. How about you play with the stuff we e-mailed from the taping we did at Ace’s?”
“Sure beautiful and I’ll just do that and watch you be awesome around the kitchen.”
Okay that has me kiss her again and I take my phone and plug it into the wall socket with the charger and I go through my songs I have on there until I get to *Because I’m Awesome* By the Dollyrots and I start listening to my play list from there dancing and singing along and rocking out a little bit in the kitchen.
Okay back to my soup.
I’m more or less making a sort of veggie soup not to be confused with vegetarian soup and I take the first can of chic-peas and buzz them into paste with the food processor then I open two cans of canned tomatoes and dump those into the pot and then add two can measures of water then stir it up and let if get back up to being really hot. You shouldn’t really boil soup, get it close maybe a little but really try to avoid a rolling boil. The paste goes in next along with a tablespoon of chili powder and a teaspoon of salt and ground cumin and lots of black pepper.
When it going good I add a cans worth of the un-mushed chic-peas and stir those in. The last stuff I’ll add is a tomato can full of rotini pasta and the bacon. I’d love to add some pastrami to it cut into ribbons but we don’t have any and I never thought to get any.
Next is my mom’s version of hummus. First thing is to mush up the chic-peas in the food processor both cans of them and then a table spoon of salt, and two table spoons of vinegar and three table spoons of honey. After that I add a cup of olive oil and let it buzz up there’s this whole sweet and sour thing going on now with it and salty and all that’s sort of left is to finish it. Mom never used garlic in her hummus and I don’t either that sort of makes a more sort of sour hummus to my tastes and I want to get this whole middle east thing going but a little different so in goes a teaspoon of cumin that’s a common spice there and once it’s blended it the last thing goes in. Mom’s special ingredient Skippy crunchy peanut butter and the sugar in the peanut butter fits in with that whole five flavors thing she used to talk about and the peanut marries a lot better with the chic-peas and the cumin. I know it calls for tahini but sesame can be pretty bitter sometimes.
I taste it myself and smile.
It’s pretty good and I know we have pita’s here in the freezer that I can make into chips. I take them out but I’ll let them defrost on their own.
Rayne looks over my shoulder as I’m transferring it into a bowl. “It looks like mud hon.”
She called me hon. Not honey but that whole relaxed and slipping together hon. I scoop a last bit on my finger and feed it to her and she has a surprised look. She doesn’t sex in up because she really doesn’t need to but I like the yay look of surprise on her face.
“Hey, that’s really good. I wasn’t a big hummus fan before this but this is a lot better than the stuff I’ve had before.”
“Thanks but it’s my Mom’s recipe. I’ll make one of her great dishes for it tomorrow.”
“It might last until tomorrow.”
“Hmm, I’ll have to set some aside but this over crispy fried lamb meatballs and a bit of sweet and hot red pepper jelly.”
“Sounds good but I’ve never had lamb before either.”
I look at her and she shrugs. “My family never really went for stuff you couldn’t get in the average grocery stores lamb was something rich kids ate.”
“Oh Rayne it’s not like that at all just go to some of the ethnic stores and it’s really good and cheap.”
“Oh no, my family is really white, not prejudiced white but really scared of new stuff Mexican and take out Chinese was as exotic as we got.”
“My Mom was one of those people that wanted to try anything and Dad well sometimes he’d, okay he still lets people pay him in stuff from their farms and gardens or off the back of the truck.”
“Makes sense actually, my dad knew a back of the truck guy and we got a lot of cereal from damaged boxes.”
I nod. “Me too, as long as the bags inside are sealed its fine.”
We’re kind of smiling as I do separate the stuff. I’m serious Mom had five cases of these things once and we ate a lot of stuff with damaged cases of chic-peas. Her Hummus is also great on a chicken or ground pork burger with some bitter greens.
But it’s more than that. It’s us having stuff in common and me getting her to tell me about where she’s from…and her childhood.
“Mmm…yeah hon?” Her mouth full of a finger of hummus.
“Where are you from actually?”
“What was it like out there, I mean I keep hearing cold but not a lot else and the music scene’s supposed to be pretty good out there.”
“It is but nothing like Toronto or Vancouver.”
“So you ended up in Harpers Point because?”
“Summer, we were going to be an all girl band and the Wildcatter does a lot for girl bands and stuff and she’s from here.”
“Summer’s from here?”
That, okay that surprises me because I thought that I’d have at least heard of her and stuff with how talented summer unfortunately is. Actually it kind of makes me wonder why I had never heard of her until lately. I know I didn’t get out much but still. It sort of starts to click a bit though.
“So how old is she anyway.”
“She’ll be twenty one in January.”
“So, she was the older one then.”
“So Rayne just how old are you?”
“I’ll be eighteen in awhile.”
“Awhile? When’s your birthday?”
She looks at me and I look back and settle against the counter and hold her eyes with mine.
“Was that so hard?”
“Kind of, I don’t celebrate my birthday.”
“They used to be a big thing home and we’d do stuff and since they don’t want anything to do with me it just hurt too much to bother doing anything….you want to know anything else?”
She looked scared sort of again and a bit upset. I push off the counter and walk over to her and slip both arms around her waist. “Yeah I’d love to know everything but I also don’t want to push it.”
(Sniffle.) “S’okay it’s just Summer really wasn’t like this…”
“I’m not Summer.”
“I know…” (More and louder Sniffles.) “I hate that I keep bringing her up around you!”
I kiss her and pull her a little closer to me and smile at her. “Rayne…Rayne look at me it’s okay…she was a big part of your life and in you becoming the amazing girl that you are it’s okay to still be talking about her. You’re getting over a serious part of your life, it’s like having emotional PTSD from the relationship and you have to get it out.”
“But I hate being like this, and bringing her up all the time and…”
I kiss her and a long sweet deep one and I rock/sway/dance with her and do big inhales through my nose like long drawn out breathing and she starts after a moment to take the hint and breathe. I break the kiss and smile at her. “Summer was your first relationship; if that’s all you have as an experience then that’s your frame of reference.”
“You’re not sick of it?”
“Honestly a little, but the bitch really makes me look good so I’m cutting the situation some slack.”
She giggles and hugs me. “You said bitch.”
“Hey I swear.”
“No, not that much and saying effing don’t count Angel.”
“I swear…when it’s appropriate.”
“I’m just teasing actually it’s something I like about you a lot, I’m not really into the whole girls that have a potty mouth.”
I kiss her again. “Better?”
“Yeah it’s just that sometimes I get these moods.”
“I know, goes with the make-up.”
“Hey…” But she’s smiling again.
I giggle little and hug/pull her a little tighter. We kiss and kiss some more. “Better?”
“Yeah, much. You just seem to be able to do that. I’ve never been with anyone that can pull me out of my funks or stop me when I’m spiraling like that.”
“I’m your girlfriend Rayne it comes with the job description.”
“I…I just sometimes feel like a big needy sponge around people so I shut things down because I hate to feel like I’m draining the life out of them.”
“Yeah well it just so happens that I have a rare condition that leaves me with way too much love and I need to have someone that needs it so we’re perfect together then.”
She just sort of looks at me and stares and then there’s that shy girl really happy smile that’s just so absolutely awesome. I love it when she looks at me like that.
“You know that was so sweet it was corny right?”
“Hey, corny is good. Besides it’s the truth.”
“I know which it just why I can’t help but feel things with you that I’ve never felt with any other girl.”
I smile and do a little curtsey. “Aiming to please as always.”
We look at each other for a few more seconds before we hear the Brooks car pull in and the Mike’s? I look out the window. “Huh, looks like we might be feeding Mike too on occasion.”
“That’s cool, as much as I’m not into guys like as y’know I do kind of feel better having him around some of the time.”
“Yeah me too, maybe we can hit him up for some lessons too. He’s showing Brooklyn self defense and stuff and I heard he helps or used to help teach some of the YWCA classes.”
“That’s not a bad idea I might feel better actually knowing more than Leblanc-fu.”
“Older brother and then two older twin sisters and a little brother, you learned a few things.”
“So Leblanc’s your last name?”
“Yeah and Connors on my mom’s side hence the pale skin and big breasts from my Irish side.”
“Well then yay for the Irish.”
Rayne blushes and I smile and bat my lashes at her and right about then an air sniffing Kimmie comes in ahead of Brooklyn and Mike. “See, I told you she’s be cooking up something all lovely and yummy.”
Mike grins. “It does smell really good in here.”
I smile and go to stir the pot a bit before getting the bacon and the fresh bread and setting it on the table. “What you’re not getting fed at home?”
“A man cannot live on steak and pizza and French fries alone y’know.” He says.
“Since when?” Brooklyn asks.
“Since I’d like to actually live heart attack free before the age of like thirty.”
“Hey, I grew up on that stuff it’s not that bad.” She sort of actually pouts leaning into him.
“Yes but compare that diet to the food that Angel serves up.”
“Okay, I really like Angels cooking.”
I smile. “Well good, I’m glad that I’m appreciated.”
Kimmie’s got a mouthful. “Mmm…bacon is always appreciated.”
We all kind of laugh at that and then it’s this whole family kind of thing of getting out the bowls and getting the other stuff on the table I’m one of those people that soup, to really be a meal needs stuff to go with it and I have the bread and the bacon but I also set out some cider vinegar and some of the balsamic we have it’s just the cheep stuff but sometimes a little drip or two is good in soup or it is for me. There’s sour cream and I actually divide that and stir some sweetened coconut into one half with the some of the curry paste we have and the other half is plain.
“I should have made a salad.” I say looking at the table.
“It’s fine hon.” Rayne says looking too and hugging me.
“More than fine.” Mike says.
We actually sit around the table and we eat, we eat and we just talk about the stuff that we did today and surprising us all is Mike as he tells us about spending the day going over his recordings of stuff that’s going on at school. We had no clue that he actually somehow has recordings of stuff.
We don’t really ask how and I’m getting now that this is why I’m sort of Mike’s contact because I don’t need or rather can’t know how he’s gotten what he’s gotten before I pass my info along to the officer that I’m working with.
I’m the only one that really gets a lot of the context though of the stuff he’s saying. I know everyone even more than he is and I might actually be able to guess what this stuff all means.
“When you get time bring me those on disc Mike, there is some stuff there that we might be able to use.”
“My school, I know the people involved more than you do.”
“Okay, I’ll get on that.”
The rest of the time is actually talking about the fact that apparently Skummer has gotten an exclusive for the rest of the year gig doing every dance and even the prom. There’s no secret why. Adam did it, because according to Mike he’s starting his own label and recording company. Yeah the girls aren’t happy.
Brook’s tearing some bread apart angrily. “Great Adam and Summer joining forces it’s the Axis all over again.”
I’ve been thinking then shake my head.
“No, this is a good thing. The school has a dance every week and they’ll be doing proms and stuff so that’ll keep them busy with that. Plus the dances are almost every Friday or Saturday nights so that’ll free up gigs they’d be taking from us and we’ll get more clubs. Then Adam…he a control freak so they’ll be in the studio a lot too. We’ll pick up the slack and we don’t need all that. We’ll put our originals on I-tube and maybe some of the covers and we’ll still get paid through there. If anything Summer and Adam trying to play the other might keep them out of our hair for awhile.”
That cheers them up and I get hugs and stuff from Brook and Kimmie and after by Rayne with a long kiss. “I love the way you’re so calm about this.”
“There’s nothing we can do about what they’re doing so when they do stuff like this we got a whole other direction. We’re all over the net stuff and once we get our website up and things we can do stuff ourselves and not have some label tearing a hole through our profits or dictating how we do things, we don’t have to slave ourselves out to the trends.”
The girls do the dishes up and I make pita chips for later which is just pitas cut up like a pizza slice and I toss them in some olive oil and salt and pepper. Just ten minutes on a cookie sheet at about three hundred degrees F. take them out and just leave them they’ll harden up nicely.
Then Rayne and I head up and get changed. I freshen up and get into a faded ripped pair of jeans and sandals and I put on a mid drift revealing camisole top and go with sandal wedges and touch up my hair and make up and perfume.
Rayne’s in a tucked tight black tee shirt and a black mini skirt and her hair and make up and we get into the van and head off to Sudbury. I’m looking forward to it, I haven’t been there since I was a kid and this is still one of the first times I’ve ever been on a date but out cruising too.
And of course Mike and Brook and Kimmie are in the back of the van pleading to come with is with puppy dog faces and Mike offering to pay for the movie tickets.
It might have bee nice to just be us but stuff like this we wouldn’t be us if we all didn’t go. And it’s really just us and right and everything as Rayne pulls onto the 17 and we crank the stereo and start singing along to the tunes on the mixed CD all together.
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