Confessions of a Foodaholic

Submitted into Contest #46 in response to: Write a story about an author who has just published a book.... view prompt



I crack an egg, careful not to let the yolk fall into the bowl. Just as I'm getting the last of the egg white out, the doorbell rings. I drop the egg in surprise, and the yolk completely splatters into the bowl,  ruining my all-egg-white-meringue for my latest recipe: mini dark chocolate pavlovas with a light whipped cream and drizzled raspberry coulis on top. I grunt in frustration, then wipe my hands on a dish towel and answer the door. A mailman is there, holding a big package. 

“Hello, are you Mrs. Ella Ashby?” he asks. I nod, and he hands me the package. The mailman also gives me a small tablet and an electronic pen. “Sign here, please.” I do as he asks, then thank him and close the door.

I bring the package over to the kitchen island, and cut it open with a pair of scissors. Inside is a note attached to a few stacks of big hardcover books. The note says:


Congratulations! You are now a published writer! I had quite a bit of fun these past weeks trying out some of your recipes! My, were they delicious! Anyway, I would love to have a meeting with you soon to discuss dates for the book tour! Text me what time will work for you in the near future, darling!

Hugs and Kisses, 

  Nessa Winslow, Editor-in-Chief of Bradshaw Publishing Co.

I smile, and pull out one of the books from under the note. Confessions of a Foodaholic is written in sunny yellow calligraphy on a pale blue background. There is also a picture of me, dressed in my apron covered in roses, smiling in my kitchen.

I thumb through the book, glancing at all of my recipes in it. Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, Classic Cinnamon Rolls, Teriyaki Shrimp Stir Fry, and Braided Semolina are just some of them. I hug the book to my chest, sighing happily. 

After a moment of just staring at my newly published book, I pull out my cell phone and text my husband, Noah, a picture of it. I also send it to all of my close friends and family.

A few hours later, after re-doing my meringue for the mini pavlovas, I am picking my five year-old son, Crew, from school. My mother usually picks him up because I am always working as an executive chef at Cafe Blaise, a fancy restaurant a few towns away from me. Today, my mom is visiting her friend in New Jersey, so she couldn’t pick up Crew. Also, today is my day off, so I wanted to spend a little more time with my son.

I bring Crew to the park for a while, then get him some ice cream at Carvel. He loves strawberry ice cream more than anything else in the world. Usually, I make it at home, but I wanted to treat my little boy today.

Later on, I make steak tidbits with thyme-garlic butter and grilled asparagus. I also make the whipped cream and raspberry coulis for the mini pavlovas. After trying the pavlovas, I decide that next time I should use just a little less cocoa powder, and possibly add a teaspoon of espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor. I make a note of this in my pink recipe book.

Noah is on a business trip, so it’s just Crew and I in the house tonight. We watch a few episodes of Curious George, which is my son’s favorite show, before I put Crew to bed. Once he is sound asleep, I put on a pot of tea and watch a few episodes of Gilmore Girls, which is my favorite show.

The next morning, I’m up early to go to the farmer’s market. I really want to get some organic meyer lemons to make some lemon meringue pies for Cafe Blaise’s dessert tonight. My mom got home late last night, so she offers to bring Crew to school.

Once I get back from the market, I go on a run, shower, get dressed, and head to work. 

The cafe is very busy today, mainly since we just added a bunch of new items to the menu. I’m exhausted by the time I get home, which is at 11. Crew is sleeping at my mom’s house tonight, and Noah is getting back from his business trip in about an hour, so I wait for him to get home before going to bed.

During that hour, I take a nice, long, luxurious bath and enjoy a nice big cup of tea. At about 12:30 PM, Noah walks in the door, lugging his big suitcase behind him. “Hello Miss Published Writer!” he says, smiling. My husband gives me a big hug and kisses me, mumbling into my hair how proud he is of me. I show him the book, and he just keeps telling me how proud he is and how much he loves me. 

“Guess what?” I say between kisses. “What?” he asks. 

“I’m meeting with Nessa for breakfast tomorrow to discuss a book tour!” I exclaim. Noah grins. “That’s amazing, honey! That is just so, so amazing!”

I have another early morning the next day, so that I could get ready for my breakfast with Nessa. She’s coming to me all the way from California, so I make sure that all of the food is perfect, and that my house is immaculate.

I bake croissants, quiche Lorraine, cranberry almond scones, eggs benedict, and a batch of my world-famous (well not world-famous, but definitely famous at Cafe Blaise) mini semi-sweet chocolate doughnuts partially dipped in caramel and topped with flaky sea salt and a little bit of crunchy bacon.

Nessa rings the doorbell at exactly nine o’clock AM, dressed in one of her signature black minidresses and brightly colored four-inch high heels. Today the heels are red, probably from her all-time favorite designers, Stuart Weitzman.

“Ella ASHBY! Oh my, how radiant you look! So good to see you, hun!” trills Nessa in her British accent, giving me a kiss on each cheek. “So good to see you, too, Ness!”

I bring my publisher over to the dining room table, where I laid out our breakfast. Nessa sits down and gets to work on pouring herself a cup of tea and spreading jam on a scone. 

“So, we must discuss book tour dates,” she says, pausing to take a bite of her scone. “By the way, these are delicious. Truly to DIE for! You just MUST put this recipe in the next book!”

I perk up, and Nessa continues, “I was thinking that we could do the tour this summer, since the book is coming out in the middle of June. Since we still have two months until then, I should be able to book some hotels, transportation, etcetera, etcetera. Also, I assumed that you would want to bring your little chap with you, so it must be in the summer.”

After about a half an hour of eating and chatting, I suddenly feel very nauseous. I hold my mouth, then mumble, “I’ll be right back.”

I run into the bathroom, and heave up my breakfast. Wiping my mouth, I ponder what the reason could have been for my getting sick. I hardly had anything to eat, just two scones, a bite of a croissant, and the teeniest sliver of quiche lorraine.

I don’t know why, but I just start to cry. I cry for less than thirty seconds before I realize why I threw up and why I’m crying.

Feeling overwhelmed with happiness, I burst out of the bathroom and go over to Nessa.

“Nessa, I can’t go on the book tour this summer. Probably not next summer, either.”

Nessa cocks her head. “Oh, how sad. Why can’t you?”

I simply say two words, “I’m pregnant.”

June 20, 2020 03:57

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05:24 Jan 18, 2022

You made this dad cry, and we're all done having kiddos. Great job. I'm excited to see more from you!


Michaela Dennean
20:15 Jan 18, 2022



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Sue M
04:40 Jun 25, 2020

Michaela, I must be a "Foodaholic", since I was licking my lips and looking forward to the next specialty Ella talked about or created from the start to the end of the story. I also had questions as I read. For example, "Text me what time will work for you in the near future, darling! Hugs and Kisses, Nessa Winslow, Editor-in-Chief of Bradshaw Publishing Co." I wondered why the Editor-in-Chief would write such a personal note to Ella, having no idea how they would have known one another, and looked forward to finding out. ...


Michaela Dennean
15:50 Jun 25, 2020

Hi Sue! As I read your comment, I now have realized that I should have paid more attention to detail! Now I wish I had submitted my story earlier, so that I could tweak some minor things. As far as Ella's relationship with Nessa goes, I meant for Nessa and Ella to be very good friends that just so happened to be colleagues. Thanks so much for your comment! By the way, I am only thirteen, therefore I still have much to learn. (I am also a "Foodaholic" myself; I based Ella on a much older version of myself!)


Sue M
01:21 Jun 26, 2020

Michaela, I couldn't agree with you more. I submitted with less than 5 minutes to spare, so being able to receive feedback to help improve the story wasn't possible for this contest. As for you being 13, I respect that you're already entering contests and your writing will definitely improve with every future story you write. Regardless that we will all improve, you are a very talented writer now. Thanks for clarifying some of my questions/comments and you certainly deserve to bake something delicious for yourself tonight :) Sue


Michaela Dennean
02:10 Jun 26, 2020

Your words brought a smile to my face in these unhappy time! By the way, I did bake something delicious, classic chocolate chip cookies with a sprinkling of sea salt to give a nice sweet-and-salty kind of taste!


Sue M
04:25 Jun 26, 2020

Believe it or not, I can see your smile Michaela, especially when you were baking those cookies! I hope you've been compiling your recipes, since there's no age restriction on publishing! Sue


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