By Lynn S. M. < lois_and_clark_fan_at_verizon.net . Substitute the appropriate character for _at_>
Submitted: January 2022
Summary: Lois tries her hand at cooking macaroni and cheese.
Story Size: 1,044 words (6Kb as text)
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Lois gazed at the bewildering wall of cheese. There was every type imaginable: old, new, brick, ball, string, shredded, imported, domestic. How did she wind up here?
She thought back to a fortnight earlier, shortly after she and Clark were finally, really, truly married. She had asked Martha the secret to her long and happy marriage — so different from that of Lois’s parents. Martha had said, “Oh, honey, there’s no secret. There really are only two things needed to keep love alive: Good communication and putting the other person first. I try to do something selfless for Jonathan every day to show him I love him.”
Although Martha had gone on to state that it wasn’t the size of the gesture that mattered, but the frequency, Lois wanted to do something big. And for her, “something big” meant voluntarily cooking something.
She knew it would have to be something simple, so she asked Martha for suggestions. Martha had jotted down a recipe for macaroni and cheese casserole. It was a healthier version, one in which puréed cauliflower and nutritional yeast substituted for some of the cheese. Martha swore that you couldn’t taste either. She liked the recipe since it was indeed healthier than most recipes for the comfort food. Jonathan needed to limit his cheese intake, and she always felt better when she could get Clark to eat vegetables. While he didn’t seem to need nutrients from food the way humans did, who really knew? She wanted to err on the side of caution.
Today was the first day in which Clark worked but Lois had off, so today was M & C Day. (Hopefully, it wouldn’t turn out to be Doomsday, as well.)
And so here Lois was, trying to gather ingredients from the local grocery store. Martha’s recipe called for half a cup of cheddar cheese and a quarter cup Parmesan. That looked simple enough on paper, but this store must have at least twenty varieties of the former and ten of the latter. What to get?
She finally decided to ask for help from one of the Hawaiian-shirted employees. She called out to the back of a dark-haired woman about her age, “Excuse me, miss…” When the other woman turned around, words actually failed Lois for a split second, then she exclaimed eagerly, “Iris? Iris West? I haven’t seen you since you finished your internship at The Planet. What are you doing here?”
Iris looked around, apparently to ascertain that nobody else was nearby. She then leaned toward Lois and whispered, “I’m undercover on a story.” At her normal volume, she said, “Freelancing doesn’t always pay the bills, so until I find a full-time job in journalism, I am enjoying this steady job.”
After a lovely conversation during which they spent just enough time discussing cheeses to spare Iris a reprimand from her boss, Lois paid and left the store with her newly acquired ingredients. Once home, she dug out Clark’s pots and pans. She put the steam-in-bag cauliflower in the microwave and let the magic box do its thing. She managed not to make too much of a mess when she blended the steamed cauliflower and milk, at least on her second attempt. (She would wash all those towels tomorrow. Who knew that it was so important to put the lid on the blender before turning it on? Good thing she had bought a spare bag of cauliflower.) She added the nutritional yeast, herbs, spices, and seasonings and let it simmer. After that, all she needed to do was throw in the cooked macaroni, pour the concoction into a baking dish, and heat it in the oven.
Clark, being Clark, was able to smell the casserole long before he opened the front door. Before Lois could register that he was home, he swooped into the kitchen and gave her a hug from behind.
“Honey, that smells terrific. Just like Mom makes.”
“It’s her recipe.”
“I can’t wait to try it.”
While he set the table and she dished out the food, they discussed their days. She told him about Iris and her concern about whether she really was under cover or whether she had fallen on hard times. He agreed that they should invite her over for dinner and see what transpired.
Finally, the moment of truth came. Clark inhaled the delectable aroma, which was truly reminiscent of his mother’s cooking. He put a spoonful of the casserole in his mouth. CRUNCH.
“It tastes just like Mom’s.”
Lois beamed, at least until she tried a forkful herself and nearly broke a tooth. “Oh, this is awful. The noodles are like little rocks.”
Clark tried to head off Lois’s imminent meltdown. “Lois, honey, it is delicious. I like crunchy foods. But I tell you what. I’ll zip out to get you your favorite dumplings, and I’ll enjoy the macaroni and cheese myself.
“What did I do wrong?”
“Did you cook the macaroni first?”
“Yes. Your Mom wrote to add cooked macaroni to the sauce, so I emptied the box onto one of your cookie sheets and baked the noodles for half an hour first.
“Next time, you might want to try boiling the noodles instead.”
“Sure. Let’s make the casserole together to serve when Iris comes over.”
Lois hugged Clark and said, “Thank you for not giving up on my cooking. I love you.”
Clark smiled to himself. He had overheard his mother’s words of wisdom and realized that he had just completed his own selfless act for the day.
The macaroni and cheese recipe can be found here: https://umanaidoomd.com/comfortfoods/ . Incidentally, I have made it a few times and it really is delicious. No exaggeration: I really couldn’t taste the cauliflower in it.
This story was written for Kathryn84 as part of the 2021 Christmas Ficathon on lcficmbs.com.
Things Kathryn84 wanted:
1. A selfless act
2. Lois, Clark or both finding a friend in Metropolis
3. A recipe
Things Kathryn84 didn’t want:
1. A main character dying
2. Alternative Universes
3. Time travel