My foot jiggled as I sat perched on the arm of the couch, staring at the clock, willing the hands to move faster.
Who do I think I’m kidding? I can’t wait.
I bolted to the front door, slamming it behind me.
Using the handrail, I heaved myself up the steps to the promenade, the warm Spring air immediately overheating me.
Ignoring the discomfort, I moved as quickly as possible knowing that even a pause to catch my breath would delay fulfilling the need that screamed inside me.
Minutes later I was across the street, swinging open the heavy glass door and getting blasted in the face with air conditioning.
The hostess smiled and greeted me by name, grabbing a single menu and leading me past a couple watching their steaks sizzle in pools of butter, to a table for two.
Louie stood at the ready and knew what I was here for. He saw that look in my eyes, and asked if I wanted to order right away or wait. I raised an eyebrow, causing his laugh to fill the air around us. “I’ll be right back.”
He dropped a cold ginger ale in front of me to settle my anxious, grumbling stomach. Not much later, when I didn’t think I could bear another moment’s wait, his smiling face returned with the warm white dish perched high by his shoulder.
“One side of steamed broccoli, my lady.”
A grin split my impatient cheeks and I lifted the fork I had been fingering since arrival.
Firm yet tender, the gorgeous green broccoli blossomed in front of me like the hills of Ireland on a rare sunny day. The fork easily sliced through, and I popped the first bite between eager lips.
Buttery buds burst on my ecstatic tongue. A touch of salt, a little pepper and the faintest hint of lemon merged to create the most perfectly seasoned vegetable I’ve ever tasted.
My shoulders relaxed as I dug into the head for more, feeling the tiny florets dance with familiar flavor around my mouth.
It took mere minutes for me to devour the entire fist-sized dish. Louie collected the plate as I leaned back in the seat and ran a hand over my ample belly, breathing a satisfied breath.
“Are you two happy now?” he asked, with a chuckle.
Just then, my husband arrived in a flurry, dropping his bag on the floor, kissing me hello and asking how I was feeling.
“Better now.” An honest answer to both their inquiries.
He looked up to our waiter, placing his usual salad, steak and fries order, then turned back to me.
“I see you had your dinner. Did you want-“
“Oh yeah, we want cheesecake now, please.”
Louie walked away without comment, knowing I’d be back many more times for my broccoli and cheesecake dinners before this baby was due.
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This post was written for The Red Dress Club Memoir Meme writing prompt.
The prompt went like this:
This week, we’d like for you to write about your favorite fresh fruit or vegetable. Share a memory of when you first tasted it, where it came from, when you last had it, a favorite way to prepare it, and such. As you write your piece this week, think of it as writing a scene. Be sure to engage our senses, make us feel, see, taste, hear, and smell. Pull us in with your description.
I admit that when I first read this, I wondered what they were getting at. But then I recalled my disturbing obsession with broccoli when I was pregnant with my son. I dreamt about it. I thought about it during the day. We lived across the street from a steak house that I still, to this day, believe serves the most perfectly perfect steamed broccoli ever in the history of the world. So I’d meet my husband in there (or go in by myself) once or twice a week and feast on broccoli. With a cheesecake chaser.
But it was all about the broccoli. Ohhhh….happiness is fresh broccoli steamed with a slice of lemon until it is tender without being soft, then topped with just the right amount of pepper and salt. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Mmm…
ETA: I can’t believe I didn’t add this in at first, but after a reading a few other TRDC posts today about berries, I had to add a little something here. Some day maybe my own daughter will remember the day I took her berry picking when she was 3yo.
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