Below is a first draft of a story idea for a new book I'm working on. Critique thinks it's off to a good start. What do you say? What would you like to see happen in a story like this? I look forward to reading your comments.
The Cat Who Invented Pizza
“Storee, the pizza’s here.” Mrs. Wryter called to her daughter.
“Coming Mother,” she replied. Her cat, Critique, was already moving toward the kitchen drawn by the delicious aroma of sauce and spices. Critique always purred when Storee allowed her to lick the sauce off her fingers when she finished eating.
“What kind did you get?” Mr. Wryter asked, tucking his napkin into his shirt collar. Critique is probably hoping for anchovies but I like pepperoni better.”
“I know you do,” Storee’s mom answered. “But I don’t think your doctor would approve. Didn’t he suggest you eat healthier foods?”
“Yes, he did.” Mr. Wryter sucked in his tummy, trying to hide the round belly that had started to fill out over the winter.
“Is pizza healthy?” Storee asked.
“It can be,” her mother answered. She lifted the pizza from the box and placed it on a round platter in the middle of the table while Storee gathered a plate and napkin for each of them. “But pepperoni isn’t the best topping to have when trying to eat well.”
“So what’s on it?” Mr. Wryter asked wrinkling his nose at the thought of spinach or mushrooms on his pizza.
“It’s made with the most delicious things,” she answered. “I know you’re going to like it.”
Mr. Wryter wasn’t convinced. He cast a sad look at Critique, wondering if her dinner would taste better than his.
“What’s that green stuff?” he asked in horror. “And why does the cheese look like that? It doesn’t even cover the whole pizza.”
“It’s a rustic pizza,” Mrs. Wryter answered.
“What does rustic mean?’ Storee asked.
“Rustic means simple or from the country,” her father said.
“In the case of pizza it means it made like it was a long time ago, Mrs. Wryter added. “This pizza is made with whole wheat flour. The sauce is made from fresh tomatoes and garlic and the cheese was made by a local farmer. It was cooked on a pizza stone, too. Just like pizzas were made in Italy, where pizza originated.“
“What about that green stuff?” Storee’s dad asked again. “And you still didn’t tell me why the cheese is so skimpy.”
“I know what the green stuff is.” Storee smiled at her father trying to reassure him. “It’s basil. I can tell by the smell. Grandpa grows it in his herb garden. It’s good with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.”
“Now I get it,” Mr. Wryter grinned. “You want to help me eat better and still enjoy my dinner.”
“That’s right,” Mrs. Wryter said placing a big slice of pizza onto his plate. When made with whole wheat dough, fresh herbs and garden tomatoes you don’t need a lot of cheese on the pizza for it to taste good.”
I agree,” Mr. Wryter said, adding a dash of olive oil and vinegar to his side salad and then taking another big bite of his pizza. “I think this pizza is my new favorite. Thank you for buying it.”
“Surprise. I didn’t buy it. I made it.”
“But I saw you take it out of the box,” Mr. Wryter said.
“When I went to the farmer’s market to get the ingredients to make dinner I stopped by the local pizza shop and asked them if I could buy a box so I could surprise my husband with a present. The manager was kind enough to give me one and it worked. You didn’t know the difference. “
“I sure didn’t,” Mr.Wryter agreed. “But, I wonder how that guy is going to feel about giving you that box when we don’t order his pizza anymore.”
“Oh, we can still get pizza there sometimes. They have a new brick oven and lots of healthier options. But I liked making it here and hope you don’t mind if I try it again.”
“I don’t mind,” Storee assured her mother while slipping her hand under the table to give Critique a taste of the wonderful tomato sauce her mother had made.
“I don’t mind either,” Mr.Wryter said reaching for another small piece. As he did let a tiny piece of pizza fall to the floor hoping Storee and her mother didn’t catch him feeding the cat at from the table.
Later that evening Storee sat in her thinking chair, with Critique in her lap, wondering who made the very first pizza. Three days later, after a visit to the library to do some research Storee sat down to write.
“Oh my”, the old Italian lady sighed. “How can I make dinner for my family when all I have is flour, herbs, and a few tomatoes? She didn’t notice her favorite black and white cat lifting it’s paw and swiping a small ball of mozzarella cheese off the table sending it rolling toward the brick oven in the hearth. But that evening when her husband bit into the delicious dinner she had made for him out of almost nothing he suspected she’d been inspired by an angel. ”