Penelope woke up to banging and shouting all around her. “Boom!” she heard cannon fire.
Wide awake now, she crouched behind the boxes she used to hide herself when she stowed away. She heard footsteps approach.
“Come on,” said a man’s voice. “I just want to take a peek at the loot before Captain Will gets down here.”
“Wouldn’t hurt would it?” said another male voice. Penelope heard the sounds of crates and barrels being opened. The men came closer and closer to her hiding spot.
“Clump, clump, clump,” Penelope heard another set of footsteps coming down the stairs to the cargo hold.
“Alright you two, get out of there,” ordered a rough woman’s voice. Penelope heard a click from a revolver.
“We didn’t mean anything by it Captain Will,” said one of the male voices nervously. “We were just,” there was a long pause. “We were just checking for stowaways!”
“And did you find any?” asked the woman sarcastically. “Or will I have you two sold like the rest of this ship’s crew?”
“Uh, no Captain,” replied one of the men. “But we haven’t checked all the boxes!” She heard one of the men come closer.
“Hey!” shouted the man, quite surprised. “Here’s one!” The pirate dragged Penelope out from behind her boxes.
“Bring her here!” ordered Captain Will. Penelope saw a large woman, dressed in soft boots, belted loose pants and a sweater.
“Shirley?” asked Penelope surprised. The woman looked almost exactly like the bartender at the Sleeping Dog. Then Penelope realized that this woman seemed to carry her weight better. Her largeness seemed more muscle than fat.
“No, Shirley’s my sister,” replied the woman, eyeing here suspiciously. “How do you know her?”
Then someone came down the stairs and the woman turned. “Captain Will,” said another pirate. “We’ve subdued most of the crew but the captain is still giving us trouble. He’s actually quite a fighter.”
“Well get more men to take him down, then offer him a job. We can always use a good fighter,” replied Captain Will. “And take these two and put them in with the rest of the ship’s crew. I’m busy right now.”
“Of course Captain,” replied the pirate. He relieved the two men of their weapons and had them march in front of him up the stairs.
When they were gone, Penelope told her story. When she finished, Captain Will said, “So you can cook?”
“Well, no, I’m a baker,” replied Penelope.
“That’s too bad,” said Captain Will. “My cook died from food poisoning and I need another one.” There was a long pause. “Of course, if you can’t cook, I’ll just have to throw you in with the rest of the ship’s crew and take you to the market. A pretty girl like you should fetch a good price.”
“Of course, my sister taught me a few things,” replied Penelope. “I’m sure I could whip something up for you.”
“Good,” replied Captain Will. “Find the ship’s galley and cook something for me. All this fighting has made me hungry!”
Penelope found the ship’s galley but she couldn’t have been more worried. She was never one to “whip something up,” if she could help it. She worked best with everything planned and thought out ahead of time. Even at the beginning she used the cookbooks available in the kitchens they raided to bake her goodies. Lulu had always been the improviser.
When she searched the cupboards she was even more disappointed. There were no eggs, no sugar, and not even a cup of flour. Instead she found rice, onions, some bell peppers and a few spices.
She sat on the galley stool and put her head in her hands. “What am I going to do with this?” she asked out loud.
Then she remembered the first meal that Lulu ever made for her. She had been so frustrated with a chocolate cake recipe that just wasn’t turning out. Her tears trickled down on the failed, bitter, chocolate frosting.
“Hey Penelope, it’s okay. You’ll get it!” said Lulu encouragingly. “What you need is something hot to eat. When was the last time you ate?”
“Yesterday,” Penelope replied.
“That’s your problem!” Lulu said. She then “whipped something up,” a bowl of chicken curry. Penelope could remember it clearly – comfort in a bowl. Here is the recipe.
Total Time – 1 1/2 hours (includes 1 hour to cook the rice)
1) 2 cups of rice
2) Breasts of one grocery store rotisserie chicken
2) 2 cups of water
3) 1/2 large onion
4) 1 green pepper
5) Japanese Curry Mix – I use this kind.
6) Olive oil
Preparation and Cooking
1) Cook the rice.
2) While the rice is cooking, peel the skin and cut the breasts from a grocery store, pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Dice the breasts and set aside.
3) At this point you can cut up the rest of the chicken into bite size pieces and save it for another dish.
4) When the rice is done, coat the bottom of a wok with olive oil.
5) Dice the onions. Place in the wok.
4) Dice the green peppers. Place in the wok.
5) Turn the burner on medium and let cook until the onions are almost done.
6) Add the diced chicken breast. Let the breasts heat up with the vegetables.
7) Add two cups of water and bring to a boil.
8) Add the curry mix. When the curry is thoroughly mixed in with the other ingredients and is bubbling, it’s done.