A Fire and Brimstone Christmas

From the Story Arc: Green and Red: A Christmas Story

Previous Story in the Arc: Into the fire by Bestial Boy (Thursday, December 09, 2004)

Next Story in the Arc: Friendly Advice by Bestial Boy (Saturday, December 11, 2004)

(posted Friday, December 10, 2004)

Christmas in the US appeared to be vastly different than Christmas in Czechoslavacia. Here, she found out they have turkey, ham, and stuffing. At home? They have a Christmas carp.

In the US, they have mistletoe. At home, they have the Oplatki.

In the US, they have reindeers and Santa Claus. At home, they have the Bear Festival.

All so different than what she is used to. So she decides to do what any woman would do. Combine them both. Turkey and carp. Mistletoe and Oplatki. Santa and the bears.

So she braves a local store where she can buy whatever she is needing. She purchases a Nativity and a tree, lots of ornaments and tensil, a 20 pound turkey, and a 10 pound carp. She buys seasonings and foil, potatoes and cranberry sauce, bread and stuffing. She buys apples, pumpkin, and pecans for pies. She gets it all home and in her apartment when she realizes one small problem.

She has no idea how to make a turkey. No idea how to decorate an American Christmas tree. No idea where to put the mistletoe. And NO clue how to make a flacky piecrust that is, according to commercials for flour "melt in your mouth". How is a flaky crust to melt in your mouth? She spent hours trying to figure that one out.

So, she asked her neighbor, an woman of 76 years old, how to make a flaky piecrust that will "melt in your mouth", a turkey, stuffing and homemade rolls, pies galore, and everything else necessary for a traditional American Christmas. When the old woman could finally breath again from laughing, she tells Carpathia that it's a good thing that it's several days before Christmas because it's going to take a while to teach her how to make a traditional feast. So Car, decked out in black slacks, her hair and makeup done to perfection as she has seen on all the cooking shows, a red sweater and a large white apron that reads "Kiss the Cook" meets with her neighbor for, as Mrs. Murphey calls it, "Cooking 101". Car, trying to understand why it's called 101, is patient as she listens to the instructions given her.

After an afternoon of piemaking, Carpathia finds several things about flour.

1) It's combustable.

2) It's lighter than air.

3) It CLINGS to black.

4) it hates staying in the bowl and will always attempt to leave it whenever something is put into the bowl with it.

That evening as Mrs. Murphey left, wiping tears of laughter from her eyes, Car looks at her kitchen and sits down in the middle of the floor. A grand total of 2 pies sit on her counter and the majority of a 10 pound bag of flour lines her cabinets, floor, head, stove, and every other nook and cranny in her kitchen. The apple pie turned out horrible. Forgetting to add shortening, this white grease, to the makings of a piecrust, apparently, is a very bad thing. And not adding spice to the canned pumpkin for a pumpkin pie makes for a horrible tasting pie. Here! Have some of my delicious cardboard apple and pumpkin rind pies! Please!

Having promised Mrs. Murphey that she would go shopping for new pie makings tomorrow, she also promises she will not attempt anything on her own. So shamefaced, pulling herself off the floor, she heads for the bathroom to shower the dough from her hair and then back to her kitchen to take on the challenge of getting all the flour off the floor, cabinets, and out of every nook and cranny in the room.

She sighs as she mops up the last of the flour, stretching her back with a grimace because they don't make mops tall enough for her, and laughs with self irony, "Zach, Sie verbessern sind dankbar für alle, die ich für Sie tue!"

After tossing the pies in the trash, she shuts out the light and heads to bed for a well deserved rest!