Nova Series: Dad’s Cooking Time
The Page family arrived at the train terminals to board a train. Barry (Nova’s father), Coco (Nova’s mother), Lola (Nova’s sister), and Nova rushed towards the train to be boarded. The family didn’t realize that Nova’s grandfather, Amio, noticed them on the platform and called their names, but to no success.
He boarded the same train from a far-door from the Page family.
Outside the window, the landscape kept on changing as the train ran at a flattering speed. While sitting closely next to each other and Lola crouched on Coco’s lap, Barry spoke, “Next time, don’t enroll for any classes without asking me.” Barry showed no interest in participating in the cooking class that Coco registered the family for. He preferred to spend his off by relaxing at home. While Nova enjoyed the view outside, Barry looked disturbed with the thought of spending the next couple of hours learning and cooking.
Coco replied, “Don’t stress yourself, dear. I have clearly understood your point.”
“Maybe you have understood, but it’s only useful if you implement it.” He raised his eye in accusation.
“You will not regret coming today. Today’s cook is an expert with a name in this industry. I have heard a lot about her and her cooking skills.” Now, Barry raised both his eyebrows showing disapproval.
From the next coach, Amio looked at his family and wondered where they were headed and what they were discussing about.
In half an hour, they reached the reception where they were greeted by a representative asking for their entry pass. Before Coco could offer the passes, Nova jumped and hung on the edge of the table, “Will you teach us cooking? Please, please, teach us.”
“Welcome. I hope you have your entry pass,” the representative asked. Coco found the card in her side pocket and produced it to her.
“I found you,” a voice from behind scared the shi** out of the couple. Amio was panting and said to the representative, “Nice to meet you.”
“Grandpa.” Nova jumped with excitement.
“What are you doing here, dad?” questioned Barry.
“Shouldn’t you be asking me ‘how I am’ first?”
“That was going to be my second question.”
“I saw you all at the railway station.”
“And you discreetly followed us?”
“What was the need of doing it?” Coco rephrased, “I mean you should have called us.”
“I did, and no one heard me.” He gave a big smile as to convey his innocence.
“I must intrude. Only dads are allowed to participate in this program,” said the representative.
“I am a dad,” explained Amio.
“Dad, I am the dad,” objected Barry. He moved to the counter and introduced himself, “I am Barry Page and this is my son Nova Page.”
“You are my son and I am your father,” claimed Amio.
“But this program is not for us, dad.”
“You should have told me about this program before.”
“It isn’t a big thing to be shared.”
“You disappoint me, son. I want to participate too, and it would be you who will get to learn with his son.” Amio made a sad face which was clearly a made-up.
“Why you want to learn cooking?” Coco questioned.
“I get so alone. Nova, tell your parent to take me along,” he gave the puppy-eye look.
“Please, mom. Grandpa can be my cooking partner.”
“Nova?” Coco looked at Barry for a solution and found none was available.
“Excuse me. I would like to tell you that senior Barry is also in your team.”
“Yuppie. Now we’ll cook.” Nova started dancing and so did the grandpa.
“Dad?” Barry spoke giving Amio his serious look, “Thank you for your support.”
Coco and Barry walked inside with Lola in the pram.
“Nova, you did a fabulous job,” winked Amio.
“Don’t forget to buy me Pixer cars,” replied Nova.
Sitting in the class on the lab tables with the chef hats, Nova, Barry, and Amio looked pleased at themselves. Coco smiled at them with Lola in her arms from the side chairs she had occupied with other women.
She wondered, “They look great in apron & chef hat, Barry can wear it often now.”
“The wait is over, let’s meet your cooking teacher, Mrs. Venica.” Everyone applauded when she stepped forward to address the class.
“I am pleased to have you all here. Today, together we will cook and celebrate the love for food. I hope you learn a lot today.” The class clapped hard and smiled even harder. Mrs. Venica was a beautiful young lady and the men in the class looked dazed from her beauty.
Coco thought, “It is going to be a rough night for Barry.”
“Dad, looks like we are going to have delicious food today.”
“Today, we are going to cook what the kids love — Potato Patty. Kindly come forward with your chairs.”
Barry and Amio took the same spot right in front of Mrs. Venice and started fighting to retain it. Mrs. Venice interrupted, “Please stay calm and settle down so that we can start.”
Nova commented, “Dad and grandpa are kids.”
Once everyone was settled and the board was rolled to its place behind Mrs. Venice, she started speaking about the ingredients.
“I am going to get bored. I should have not come.” Coco saw a gas stow installed in the table next to her and walked there to inspect. She dropped Lola on the table and started inspecting the stow with her hands. Lola crawled to the other end of the table over the basin and moved the faucet. While Coco was checking the compartments under the stove, Lola opened the faucet to let the water flow.
Coco stood and questioned, “Lola, what are you doing?” At that moment, Lola held her hand over the water flow to change its direction towards Coco. She covered her face against the pressure of water. Coco stopped her but couldn’t stop the damage.
“I am sorry.” She apologized to the lady who cleaned the floor.
“What are you both doing?” Barry questioned. Nova replied, “We can’t wait to have tasty food.” And Amio added, “You should not play with Lola with water.”
“Excuse me, I can take you to the room reserved for babies,” the cleaning lady said.
“Sure, as you say.”
“Thank you. Please come with me.” They left the room.
“Good that Coco took away Lola.”
Yeah! Now I can feel free and relaxed.” Barry smiled devilishly.
“Now we will chop the onions in small pieces. Dads please take the knifes and do the honors,” the teacher instructed.
“This is to be done by dad. So, dad, you do it.” Barry batted his eyes at Amio.
“You are a dad, so you do it.”
“But you are my dad and for you I will always be a kid.”
“I am a dad, but you too are a dad.”
“What are you talking, dad?”
“You are talking nonsense.”
“Wasn’t it you who said we’ll cook together?”
“Please keep quiet. You both need to work together.”
“Yes.” Both replied together.
“Please cook the food fast, I am starving here.”
Everyone started chopping and Amio called for help. “I don’t know how to cut it.”
“I will show you.”
Amio attempted to cut it and she held his hand, “Not like this. Hold it like this and turn your fingers inward.” Amio cut it right and Mrs. Venice showed her approval, “You learn fast, M. Page.”
Someone called her and she moved to the next table.
“Grandpa, you are a fast learner.”
Barry called the teacher again, and again, and again, but she didn’t respond. “Ask me I’ll help you,” Amio said.
“I would like it more if she explains.”
“Keep you hand on the onion and turn it inward,” Amio helped him do so and said, “You’ll learn fast, don’t worry.”
“I don’t like this,” he cried inside and started chopping the onion expertly.
“Dad, why are you crying?”
“It is a small thing, don’t cry now.”
“I am not crying. It is because of the onion, dad.” Barry was angry on himself and Amio.
“I will not cut it because my eyes will cry too.”
“Then why are you here, dad?”
The class was making potato rolls while they were still hot. “I can cook faster than you dad.”
“This is not easy as it seems to you.”
Nova took the hot potatoes in his hands and started rolling it. “You are doing great.” Barry was surprised to see and Amio was half-dozing.
“No worries. I’ll do it better now.” While trying to roll and ensuring it doesn’t fall off the hands, he pushed a vessel on the ground with a bang.
Amio was full-awake now and Barry apologized to everyone.
“Start from beginning, Barry. You need to do better,” Amio commented.
Nova said to the teacher who was stunned at her spot, “Give me a chance, I can cook really well.”
“Tell me one thing, what do you like the most?”
“Nova…” Barry started and Amio interrupted, “He is just a little kid. You do your work and let him enjoy.”
Amio offered a ready-made boiled potatoes bag saying, “I have made this for you. Taste and tell me if you like it.”
“I am sure it is perfect.” Mrs. Venice was feeling awkward by now.
“I don’t know why I said yes to this class.” Barry declared.
Cooking was done in the next 20 minutes and the food was ready for tasting.
Every family sat at the circular tables arranged for lunch and savoured their food.
“This really is very tasty,” Coco complimented.
“It is because we have made it with lot of efforts,” Amio proudly replied.
“You can make this dish at home from now,” Coco to Barry.
“Oh no.” Barry thought he brought the trouble to himself by himself.
“Look, me and Nova took a photo with the teacher.” Amio showed to all in his phone.
“Dad, looks like you really enjoyed coming to the class.”
“Totally, and tomorrow I am going to meet a popular chef in town.”
“Wow, grandpa.” Nova jumped on his chair dropping his spoon of potato. “Please take me along. I would love to come.”
“Really? You want to learn cooking with me?”
“No, grandpa. I’ll come to eat what you cook.” He finished his spoonful and grabbed another bite.
“Anyway, Nova has school tomorrow. Are you heading home after this, dad?” Coco enquired.
“No. I am coming home to stay with you for a few days. Is it fine?”
“Oh no.” reacted Coco and Barry.
“Yuppie! Can I take an off tomorrow now?”
“No way.” Reacted Coco and Barry.
End: Nova took an off from school and went to the chef with his grandpa. The chef ended up cooking all the food, and Amio and Nova enjoyed eating the delicacies.