“I wanna win next year,” I moped to my dad. For the third year running I had not received a prize in the costume contest at my elementary school’s Halloween Carnival. Apparently “Pretty Ghost” was also not good enough to win. I didn’t even place. I never placed. However, shy little me entered each year with one goal. I would stand on the cafeteria stage and quietly squeak my name, grade and costume. The judges would be wowed. I would be called to the front of the stage and pronounced that year’s first place winner. Or second, or third — any would do. I was in second grade and only had one year left at this school and I knew it. (No, middle school did not start in fourth grade, instead the district shuffled us around to different elementary schools — elementary schools without costume contests.) It was time to get really serious.
“Okay,” my dad said, “Mom and I can make you a costume that will win, but you will have to be a Monarch butterfly.”
I gulped and took a deep breath. I dreaded this costume; it was so…ostentatious. “Okay,” I agreed. (Let me a take a moment here to admit I have no memory of this conversation. I am embellishing the tale that was told to me. I do however, remember how much I wanted to win. I also remember my feelings toward this particular costume.)
There was a whole year to go before my pending metamorphoses. The closer we got the more I knew I could never be that butterfly. I wanted to win, but on my terms. I wanted to be a witch — a nice witch. Kind of like Tilly Ipswitch in Tilly Witch. And if I had been able to figure out my inspiration for this costume back at age 8 maybe it would have worked better.
My parent’s, again, gave me the choice. I could win or I could lose.
My mom started sewing and my dad opened the Encyclopedia Britannica to Monarch butterfly. Outside two sheets of cut, sewn and freshly painted orange organdy fabric hung from the tree to dry.
For this final year my imagination did not outdo reality. Shy yet determined I stood on the pale and lacquered cafeteria stage. I, very quickly, opened my wings and the judges gasped. I won. The first place prize — a teddy bear — was handed in to my outstretched wings.
About now you might be wondering about this post. There is no picture at the top per previous formatting and below there is no recipe. The title doesn’t reveal what meal will be eaten in its witty way.
Yet, it does.
Based on stats, if I wanted to receive the most hits on this site I would always post a recipe with sugar. I would make sure to always have a current seasonal recipe and holiday posts would always make it up before the holiday in question. Far enough in advance to allow someone to go shopping and prepare the sugary dessert. Recipes would always be tried and tested and posts would always be short on words, heavy on pictures. There would be a thorough use of SEO tactics. Always instead of sometimes.
Which isn’t to say that I’m nothing but a nice witch nibbling lettuce leaves. The desserts and the Monarch butterflies are also me. They are me on a different path. You make one choice and go one way. Different choice equals different path. It’s hard to say that one is right and the other wrong. Like the Choose Your Own Adventure books I took from my brother’s shelves where every path led to an adventure I would declare that an unknown path is always an adventure.
Suppose I hadn’t gone as a butterfly. How would losing have affected me? Suppose I lost as the butterfly. What if, just what if, the witch won.
Today you are given the choice.
Which path will you take? What adventure will you choose? To guide you on your path you have these clues. Both are delicious. Both contain fruit though you may not know this. One contains a vegetable. One is faster to prepare than the other. I’ve made one several times before and the other only once.
Choose Your Own Adventure