Mona: Hildie, is that everything?
Hildie: Yes, I think so. And once again thanks for your help, you know it is not necessary.
Mona: Oh nonsense, you know I love to help you.
Hildie: ... and to you too Emma, I'm not sure how Barry and I will do this without your help.
Emma: As Mona said, it is nothing, you serve our children so we don't mind helping.
Barry: Yes thank you ladies.
Hildie and her husband, Barry, is responsible for preparing and serving the school lunches. It is quite a stressful job, as not only do they have to serve dishes that the children like , but Hatty Huckleberry, who is the school inspector, has very strict guidelines about the menu. While loading the items onto Jack Meadows' cart, Hildie thought back on her last couple of weeks.
It has been a long time coming, that Hildie felt what they served was not up to standard and the kids didn't enjoy it that much. Hildie wanted to try something new and delicious, but she was out of ideas.
Then one evening when she and her family was out for dinner at the Hamburger Restaurant, she bumped into Rosemary Bouquet and after talking for a while she asked for her help.
Hildie (apologetic): Oh Rosemary, I'm so sorry to ask this of you, but can you give me some inspiration for new and creative meals for the school lunches?
Rosemary: Hildie, I must confess, I admire you. I just told Stilton the other day, that I never want your job, serving school lunches to kids must be my worst nightmare.
Hildie (surprised): Really? But how come? You own and run a successful restaurant? Surely you will be great at it!
Rosemary: It is easy to serve adults, who know what they like and what they want, but kids are unpredictable, and you can never be sure if you would hit the right spot with them.
So after a long conversation, Rosemary told Hildie about this cookbook she inherited from her mother containing some wonderful kids recipes, which she will lend to Hildie. Hildie at first declined, telling Rosemary that she can't use the book as it is too special, but Rosemary insisted and Hildie spent many nights, studying the book, to compile a new and exciting menu.
Today will be the first day that Hildie and Barry will serve some of the new food. Hildie is quite anxious as Hatty isn't aware of these changes to the approved menu, but she and Barry agreed that they want to try it out on the kids first, before involving Hatty.
On arrival at the school the children were already queuing.
As luck would have it, one of Hildie's toughest customers, Isabella Hunter-Smyth, was at the front of the que. She never ate anything, maybe a breadroll and some juice. And to worsen the situation Hatty was there too (with her clipboard) to do her inspection.
Hildie: Good afternoon, Hector. Everything for you?
Hector: Yes please, I'm starving.
Hildie: There you go Hector, what about you Isabella? Or just a breadroll?
Isabella (eyeing her brother's food): I think I will try everything today too, that stew looks and smell delicious.
Hildie (astonished): Really? Great and of course you can try out everything, Isabella.
Hildie threw a quick glance at Barry, who was smiling from ear to ear. This is going well.
Next up was the senior class. They could be mean and Hildie has heard many of the names they have called some of the food, that were served in the past, and it wasn't charming. Hildie and Barry quickly served Douglas Furbanks and Radish Dappledawn, and then it was Tilly's turn.
Tilly: Hello Auntie Hildie, this dish looks delicious, what are these?Hildie: These are Omurice. It is a dish consisting of fried rice wrapped up in an omelette and topped with ketchup.
Grizabella: Really, I've never heard of it, but I will most certainly try it too.
Hildie sighed loudly with relief, Grizabella, though a sweet girl, was a real critic, as she loved food so much. This was truly going well.
Tilly and Grizabella dissapeared with their plates and next up were Ike and Mistoffeless, the original name callers.
Ike (smiling): Is omurice save to eat.
Barry: Yes Ike, you will love it, and if you don't you can call it whatever you like, and we will not blame you.
Mistoffeless: Well if it is good, I will ask Grizabella to make it, I am sure she will be able to.
Barry: I'm sure she would, it is not tricky, but for such a simple dish it is delicious.
And with that, the two rascals were off.
Just as Hildie and Barry, wanted to clear the table, Radish was back.
Radish: Is there second helpings? It was delicious, I'm not sure if I prefer the stew or the egg and rice thingy.
Hildie: It is omurice, Radish, and of course there are more.
Barry: Glad you liked it Radish, here have another breadroll too.
As Radish sped off to enjoy the food, Hatty and Hubert Alan came closer.
Hatty: That was a good serving, Hildie? Barry?
Barry: Yes it was, we are so happy when the kids love the dishes.
Hubert Alan: Thank you for your hard work, I appreciate it that you take such good care of the children's nutrional needs.
Hildie: It is our pleasure, and what you pay us to do.
Hatty: There is just one small problem, this are not the food you had on the approved menu.
Barry: You are right, Hatty, it is not.
Hatty: But that is prohibited, you know I must approve all menus.
Hubert Alan: Hatty, dear, I'm sure it is not that bad, for one the kids loved it so I'm sure you can make an oversight?
Hatty: Hubert Alan, if I ignore everything all the time, chaos will ensue. Care to explain Hildie?
Hildie: We are sorry, Hatty, it was a last minute change (Hildie crossed her fingers behind her back, as she told the white lie). And we do not intend to do it again.
Barry: But why don't you try the food yourself, there are extra.
Hubert Alan: I will be glad to, thank you.
Hubert Alan duck into the food immediately, and Hatty halfheartedly also picked up a spoon.
But as Hatty was about to give her verdict, she was interrupted by the sound of loud clapping. All the children gathered around the serving station and with big smiles gave Barry and Hildie a big applause, It was clear that they loved the food and with that Hatty was silenced.
Back at the Commune Hildie and Barry immediately started with the preparations for the next day, again assisted by their friend. Hildie loved these kind of afternoons. The men usually gather in the kitchen too and kept them company, and children's laughter could be heart from outside.
While browning the onions for the following day, Hildie was called over by Charles and Camilla Hunter-Smyth.
Camilla: Hey Hildie, sorry to interrupt, but can we quickly have a minute of your time.
Hildie: Yes sure, what seems to be the matter?
Charles: Oh it is quite the opposite.
Camilla: Yes indeed, we would just like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the delicious food you served at school today.
Hildie (smiling proudly): Yes?
Charles: Isabella can not stop talking about this rice dish you served...
Camilla: ...and as you are probably aware she never eats anything. So thank you, thank you, thank you!
So that ended good for Hildie and Barry. I think it was nice of Rosemary to share her mother's cookbook with Hildie?
Another little update I want to ad to this post is that the Chocolate Rabbit sisters was both spoiled with new beds for their girly pink bedroom.
Till next time!