The Bishop Is Coming and I Can't Cook!

Written in response to: End your story with someone saying: “What a day.”... view prompt


Fiction Friendship Funny

Colleen always loved to watch her Mom bake. She watched from the corner of the kitchen. Maybe one day she will be as good as her Mom but she sighed and knew that she simply could not cook! It would do her heart good to have a challenge and to bake fabulous pies all by herself. Maybe someday her Mom will hand over her cookbook to Colleen. But the only thing that Mom let Colleen do is watch.

The single source of joy in Coleen's life is baking. She loves the feel of dough between her fingers. The aroma of pies baking in the oven. She loves to share her pies with neighbors and friends. Helping others is her life's journey. The telephone rings off the hook for requests of delicious pies. Colleen has a big heart and her Mom taught her how to bake, how to measure ingredients, how to shop for the best prices and how to talk to green grocers so they put aside fruits and vegetables for you to use in your baking.

There is a rumor that the Bishop is coming to town. The town is Farmington, Maine. Folks know each other by name, they sing in the choir, they go to the Saturday night bean suppers held in the gym of the Elizabeth's Church. Colleen and her Mom always were right there volunteering to help out with their wonderful pies.

Having the Bishop come to town is a real thrill for the people of Farmington, Maine. He is a real celebrity.

Mom was doing the crosswords at the kitchen table and she came up with a fantastic idea to turn things around for Colleen's confidence. "All these years I have been wrong. I put her in the corner when she loves baking. How cruel of me to be so selfish. I will now sit in the corner and see how Colleen handles the Bishop coming to town. Let's see what she bakes for him. She thinks she can't cook but she has been watching me for years. I am confident that she can pull this off with flying colors!"

Colleen is in charge of the bizzare at St. Elizabeth's. She agrees to help bake pies for the honorary guest--Bishop O'Reilly. She calls for help but no one is "available". She takes on the challenge--Alone--only one catch--she can't cook!

The phones are ringing off the hook in the kitchen of St. Elizabeth's.

Colleen is alone because nobody wanted to help her with the bizarre. She tried calling everyone she could think of to help out and they all had ridiculous excuses!

Mom said her feet hurt and she could think of nothing finer than soaking her feet in a hot tub of bubbling hot water. There was no convincing Mom. Mom was the only one that did not need a recipe in front of her to cook any thing on this Earth. She was a wonderful cook and now Colleen could not count on Mom!

Colleen next called St. Elizabeth's Convent and pleaded with the cook to come on over and help but the cook was already underwater in requests for pierogies for Lent and also had a cold but did suggest the high school home ec teacher, Mrs. Grand to help out.

Her fingers went dialing for hours and even Mrs. Grand was little help because she was in Cancun on vacation and there was no one to help out. No one at all!

Colleen was ultimately alone in setting up the biggest event that St. Elizabeth's had in years! She could not put her head around the fact that no one wanted to help! What is wrong with these people? Don't they have any pride in St. Elizabeth Parish? Don't they want to impress Bishop O'Reilly? Colleen put her head down and cried. What was she going to do? How could she back all those pies on time without help? How? Why are people so selfish?

Colleen decided that she needed to just do it. To drive to the supermarket and ask for advice. Just take it one step at a time. Breathe and fill your basket with flour, eggs, blueberries, apples, butter, Crisco, baking pans, Pam, oven mitts, oven timers, and each and every item that she could possibly fit into five baskets and hope they all fit in her car. She can do this. She can make a pie fest that will knock Bishop O'Reilly's socks off!

She set the oven, she rolled out the dough, she peeled the apples and washed the blueberries and set the tables and set the timers. She baked in a frenzy and smiled because her fear was easing and her joy was soaring. She could bake pies for Bishop O'Reilly. To hell with the losers that are too busy to help. They can eat dust. Colleen will eat pie! But can Colleen cook. She must summon up her courage and confidence.

The clock ticks onward toward the day of the bizarre. It is frightening and exciting. Colleen looked in the mirror. She is a sight. She looks like she has been through a tornado. But she keeps going. She has a list of what she wants to bake. Pies, cakes, cupcakes. But can she cook? Will science and luck and prayer hold Colleen hand or will this be a disaster? Jesus, Mary and Joseph, please help me bake!

Colleen is covered from head to toe with flour. She can't remember things very well anymore. Did she put the oven on and at what temperature?

Where is that recipe Mom gave me for those wonderful blueberry pies? The pies are part of a fund raiser at the church bizarre tomorrow night. Bishop O'Reilly will be the honorary guest. This thought sends Colleen into a frenzy. She has to bake one hundred fifty pies by tomorrow night. Is it possible?

She will soon find out. Grasping the flour with both arms, she lugs it over to her work station and takes out the measuring cup and measures out two cups of flour per pie crust, ice cold water, butter and of course the blueberries, but they come later, or do they? She tries to remember her grandmother's recipe for flaky crust, but in her panic her mind goes blank. Colleen attempts to pour some flour from the bag but too much comes out. She adds the water to compensate and now she has a big mess on her hands. Mixing with her arms, not a spoon, mind you, she attempts to blend the ingredients.The mixture gets a strange texture to it. Not at all like pie dough...

   Uh oh!

 "Jesus, Mary and Joseph! If you have a shred of pity in your heart for a poor fool, help me please! I can't cook!"

She didn't see that right next to the flour bag was a bag of cement mix.


No wonder her arms got cemented in the dough.

Only eighteen hours until someone discovers her baking errors.

What will Bishop O'Reilly think? Colleen can just see Mom in her mind shaking her head, pointing her finger in her face, in a kindly manner, and saying,

"I thought I taught you better than this! Always, always read the directions! But not you, you don't even read the bag. Well, you made your cement pies, now what are you going to do now? Are you ashamed of yourself? The Bishop is coming and I gave you a great recipe for blueberry pie, but not to read the bag. You did not reach for the flour, you reached for the cement bag!

Details! Details!

What a day!

 I suppose it is time to become a Protestant.

March 19, 2022 02:58

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