Darren cooked once a week. Every other day his wife was allowed to make her stir-fries, salads and poached fish. On a Sunday he became King of the Kitchen. He roasted haunches of meat with potatoes. He made his family’s Yorkshire pudding. A recipe passed down from father to son. Legend has it that it ensured longevity.
No one was allowed to know the ingredients. No one ever saw the recipe.
Darren bought the ingredients himself, carrying them home in a star spangled bag each Sunday morning. He would lock himself in the kitchen, mix the batter by hand and produce the most fabulous well browned batter puddings on earth.
On Monday mornings the whole family were energised and alert. By the weekend they could barely leave their beds. Quite often Darren would have to wake them for Sunday lunch when it was ready.
One Sunday Darren came home without his starry bag. The special produce shop had closed down. His Yorkshire pudding became an improvisation. It did not rise. He hurled it out the back door, where it remained for years, petrified. He tried again but his strength began to flag. Darren collapsed in the kitchen. As the day wore on his breathing became more shallow until he breathed no more. His family never woke at all.
The secret of the Yorkshire pudding and its mysterious ingredients died with Darren, upon his kitchen floor.
Copyright April 2013