The Virtuous Chef

by Hannah Christensen

Please, be welcomed to my kitchen! It is with pleasure that I invite you to the working place of the Virtuous Chef. It is kind of you to be interested in my artwork.

Ah, yes, food is an art. And art, you know expresses values and ideas. I strive to always represent the most uplifting in my work.

Currently, I am involved in a line of historical recipes. Last session’s Locusts and Honey was not very popular, I admit. I even had some callers claim my goal was to promote abstinence from eating. No, they were quite wrong. Yes, I knew not everyone would be enamored with such a work, but how could I pass it up? The beauty of such sweetness found in such times of trouble—ah, how could I resist!

However, today I offer the choice to you. Is there a historical recipe you wish to learn? Something from the past that would be better remembered than forgotten?

And before someone asks, no, I will not prepare Roman style milk-gorged snails. My soul can find nothing uplifting in such a dish.

Hasty pudding, you say? Yes, I suppose it has some merit, but…hasty pudding? Patience is a virtue, you do know. It seems such a common and, well…humble…Of course! What better than the simple humility of hasty pudding? An unpresumptuous dish which does not demand long hours of one’s time. Very well, let us begin.

Begin by bringing your milk to a boil. The simple, rich heartiness of milk simply cannot be surpassed. Land of milk and honey, you speak joy to my heart!

Ah, look, it boils. Now we must whisk in the cornmeal—a quarter the amount of milk. Do not use a shy hand; whisk it briskly, chastise it! You want no lumps of discontentment. Once the mixture is smooth, lower the heat, but do not slack your stirring. Diligently continue to stir until it is thick.

Then you may add maple syrup, butter, and salt. Cover the pot, turn off the stove, and allow the pudding to sit for five minutes. Serve it hot. But don’t stop there. Be generous and add butter, milk, and maple syrup on top.

Taste and see the sweetness of a simple and humble life.

Our time together is done. I thank you again for visiting me. Today was indeed a short visit, I own, but what else could it be with….Hasty Pudding!

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Other Stories by Hannah Christensen

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