Nonfiction from Jane French

Photo: Gaelle Marcel

Another Day to Ruin Dinner

Retrieve bulk sausage from the freezer to make pasta sauce. Simply brown it in a pan, add tomatoes and spices. This sausage, however, was actually a disk of whole wheat pie crust dough. Explains the weird appearance and flavor.

Could happen to anyone, really.

Grab corn starch to thicken broth. Simply combine with water, then pour the mixture into a simmering pot of homemade soup. This pour, however, triggered an eruption of foam all over the stovetop. Turns out I actually grabbed baking powder by mistake.

They look so similar.

Prep vegetables for stew. Simply chop, chop, and chop. While prepping, I spy a crumb on the countertop, press it onto a fingertip, and lick it into my mouth. Immediately, an involuntary spit. The crumb was actually a dead spider. This dinner wasn’t so much ruined as canceled.  

I am dry heaving just typing.

Shop online for a cookbook. Simply scroll webpages, add selection to the virtual shopping cart, and proceed to checkout. After describing a new recipe to my husband, he gently took my hand and actually said this, “Look, I don’t want to start a fight, but don’t you think you should use the cookbooks we already have?”

I love him so much, really.

Tomorrow belongs to no one, most especially a bad cook. I want to ruin more dinners, and I won’t take them for granted anymore. I will count my many blessings, really.


Jane French is a freelance writer and an advocate for low-income seniors. This is her first published CNF and she is honored. She is also stoked about a homemade “shelter in place” batch of drywall spackle she used on a ceiling repair. You can find her at and @janefrenchwrite.

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