Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)
Jamie hated supermarkets.
His weekly shop was monthly, once a month and his trolley contained ready-meals, Pot Noodles and a bag of apples.
Two things changed: his mum sent him a cook book, by his namesake, and Joanne started on the checkout. He knew her name because he studied her name tag every week when he went shopping.
The frozen meals became meat and, god forbid, actual vegetables.
Slowly, once a week became twice, and herbs found their way into his basket along with mushrooms and onions, and Joanne smiled at him as he put his groceries into bags, reusable bags.
Jamie’s cooking expertise did not come naturally and when Joanne commented how much she liked swede as it passed through the till, Jamie blanched, he had no idea what to actually do with the said vegetable, but he smiled and nodded like he did.
Joanne chatted away as he packed and Jamie grinned and nodded in all the right places, knowing that if he spoke, his words would run away with him and trip right over his tongue and he’d never be able to speak to her again!
“Lamb, my favourite!” she said.
Jamie smiled, tongue-tied.
“So what’re you making? Oh, silly question…lamb, obviously…”
“I’ve got a great lamb recipe I’ve never tried,” she said flushing under his gaze. “I got Jamie Oliver’s book for Christmas…”
“So did I!” he managed.
Her smile grew even brighter. “You did! It’s just…I’ve no one to cook for.”
He knew his grin was stuck and it wasn’t going to move.
“What about you?” she asked, “Anyone?”
He shook his head and squeezed out the words. “No one, just me.”
“I’m sorry, I’m holding onto these like an idiot!” She placed carrots into his bag. “Well, I hope the lamb tastes good!” Jamie paid and grabbed his bags, his stomach twisting.
Before he walked away Jamie’s mouth moved of its own accord. “Joanne…I really have no idea how to cook lamb, in fact I’ve got no idea what to do with most of these vegetables…”
“I can help…” she offered tentatively, “I’m finishing in ten minutes.”
“I’d like that…” Jamie’s stomach flipped, like a burger on a grill, as Joanne’s smile lit up his life. “I think it’s time I opened that recipe book!”
Day Eleven: November - Feast
Follow the other writers and stories!