The year is 1496. The place is Rome, Italy. The snow-capped mountains in the distance are beautiful. The air is crisp with the promise of snowfall. Lucretia Borgia is sitting at a large table in the kitchen of the Vatican thinking about how to get rid of the rats.
Her father, Pope Alexander VI, wants her to take a job as a cook at a nearby Inn. Lucretia, with her blonde hair and kind heart, is a cinch for getting the kitchen job.
Meanwhile, the snow is falling softly at the Mountainside Inn near Rome. The kitchen is full of black smoke.
"What kind of cook are you? I put an ad for a cook and all I get are amateurs. I will be out of business soon if I can't find a decent cook!
There is a knock on the door and several mountaineers enter the Inn very tired and hungry. "Quick, open the windows and try to get rid of the black smoke. I will try to distract the mountaineers so they won't leave for another Inn."
The mountaineers try to peer through the black smoke and start coughing. "What kind of place is this? The sign outside said the food is good. Maybe we should just turn around and go to Dominic's Pizza Inn down the hill. I hear the pizza is amazing!"
"Just a minute. My staff will clear up the smoke and start over. What kind of food do you want? We just had a little mishap. We are getting a new baker within a day or so. I can whip up anything you want. Come sit down at the tables."
He quickly wipes up the soot and motions for the mountaineers to sit down.
"Do you have pizza?"
"Of course we have pizza. It's better than the stuff down the mountain. Many mountaineers come here Just for the Pizza. Do you want ale as well?"
"What do you think?"
"Okay, there are ten of you. How many pizzas?"
The owner of the Mountainside Inn returned to the kitchen and motioned for his helpers to assemble ten pizzas with pepperoni and cheese."
"Don't burn it. Just don't. Or you will be on the street."
The owner went in his office and started to write a classified ad.
"Cook/Baker wanted for Mountainside Inn. Baking experience, pleasant personality and willing to do your own dishes. Apply as soon as possible."
A few days later, Lucretia Borgia is sitting in the kitchen with her tea while reading the local paper. She really wants to be a cook or a baker. She is bored hanging around the Vatican. She wants to stop trying to poison rats. She smiles. Maybe she can poison....
"Just a spoonful. What harm can it do? And such delight."
She turns the page of the paper and sees the ad for a cook or baker
at the Mountainside Inn. "Just what I want!"
"Papa, I am going out. I am going to apply for a job at the Mountainside Inn for a cook."
"I hope their stomachs can handle it. ", he laughs.
"You are always the comedian, aren't you?"
Lucretia puts on her hat and robe and gets inside the coach. "Driver take me to the Mountainside Inn. I have a job to get!"
The horses rush along the roadside and climb the hills to the mountain when they finally arrive at the Mountainside Inn.
There is a help wanted sign. "Cook/Baker Wanted Immediately".
She gets out of the coach and knocks on the service entrance door.
"I am Lucretia Borgia. I am here to apply for the Cook/Baker position in the kitchen here. Will you please announce me?"
"You are the Pope's daughter. Why would you want to be a cook here? "
"I am so bored. It's always the same thing every day. Papa trying to marry me off to his enemies and walking around the Vatican is rather repetitive. I need change. I need to cook and bake!"
"I don't know about this. Let me get the boss. Let him take a look at you."
The boss of the Mountainside Inn comes to the door to greet Lucretia Borgia. She reaches out her hand in greeting and he kisses it.
"I am here to apply for the Cook/Baker position. I am a terrific cook and I can make the mountaineers happy too."
"What do you like to bake?", the boss says.
"I like to make cookies, brownies, pies, cakes, you name it, I can bake it. Just get me the ingredients. But I refuse to do dishes. I have to watch my beautiful hands don't get chapped. Do you want a cook or not?"
The boss takes a look at her beautiful face and long blonde hair and smiles.
"It's been boring here too. Business has been slow and the last cook almost burned down the kitchen. Are you sure you can cook? You look like you never seen a kitchen, never mind a stove!"
"No worries. I can whip up a feast in moments. Put your faith in me.
I will turn things around and just a spoonful of my magic will make all the difference. Please just give me a chance?"
"I will give you a week probation. If you burn the food, you are out, understand?"
"When can you start?"
"Right now is good."
"One thing. I don't want any supervision. I work alone. My secret ingredients are a family recipe. So no peeking."
"You're hired, Lucretia. Hope you can cook."
The Mountainside Inn boss gives Lucretia Borgia an apron and a cooks hat. He shoos all the other workers out of the kitchen and shows her around. "This is where we keep the flour and sugar and other baking items. The pans are over there. The stove needs wood and be careful because the last cook almost burned down the whole inn. If you need help, yell out."
"Do you need recipes?"
"No" , Lucretia says, "I have my own family recipes. They are in my mind."
"Start baking. The mountaineers will be coming in after a few hours of skiing on the mountain and they are hungry."
Lucretia Borgia smiles. "Oh, how delightful! This is more fun than chasing the rats in the Vatican. Just a spoonful of poison and the fun begins."
Lucretia starts assembling flour, sugar, butter, eggs and a special ingredient along with chocolate chips for Lucretia's cookies.
She also makes pies and cakes with the same loving touch and signature spice.
The dining area is her special touch. She puts table cloths of the tables and fresh saucers and plates. Music is added for ambiance.
The front door to the dining area has a bell that rings when the mountaineers enter. There are five today. Lucretia smiles from ear to ear.
"Let them eat cake."
"What is your pleasure fellas?", she says as she hands them a menu.
"Are you the new cook? You look familiar."
"I am the new cook and baker. Call me Lucretia. I am happy to serve you today."
"You sure are pretty. What do you recommend?
Lucretia thought for a minute. "Have a cookie, sweetie, They are delicious and pack a punch. I have coffee and cream as well."
"Bring on the cookies and we will have pie as well."
"Very good sir. I am sure you will enjoy it."
About fifteen minutes later, Lucretia brought in a tray of coffee and poured it into the cups. "Wonderful aroma. I never tasted such good coffee."
"A family recipe"
"I will be back with the cookies and pies."
She wheels a cart arranged decoratively with colorful cookies and slices of pie. There is a certain sheen about the pie that attracts attention.
"Take a taste of the pie and let me know how you like it. I am on probation. I hope it pleases you. Let the boss know I am a good baker."
All ten of the mountaineers take a taste of the pie, all at the same time. Time stops. All ten gaze at Lucretia with fear in their eyes and lean back with the taste of the family recipe on their lips.
The boss walks into the dining area.
"The aroma of cookies and pie are addicting. " He says as he shovels a spoonful of pie into his mouth. A frozen smile on his lips as he falls over and the pie flies around the room.
Lucretia shakes her pretty blonde hair and brushes off her apron.
"The lunch crowd will be coming in soon. I have to call Papa to clean up the bodies and make another batch of cookies. "
She walks outside and puts a new sign on the Mountainside Inn. It is now called "A Delightful Spoonful " and soon becomes the talk of the mountainside.
The Borgias are pleased. Just a spoonful of poison makes this Inn delightful.