“What’s for dinner?”

Hearing her voice, Harold gingerly set the wooden spoon on its rest at the center of the stove, and turned to find Else tying an apron around her waist.

“Potatoes,” he answered, sizing up her ambition. “Braised, with salmon and vegetables. Why?”

Else smiled at him and smoothed the apron out across her stomach. “I’ll do it. I don’t mind.”

Harold smiled back. “Mind? Do you even know what braising is?”

She knew he was teasing, although he had every right to think that she would have to root around in the back her brain–or the tattered copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking–to remember some of the most basic techniques. Else pursed her lips at him, and raised any eyebrow. ” ‘Course I do. Go relax in the living room where you belong.”

Obediently, Harold passed Else the wooden spoon and skirted the oven to get out of her way. She laughed, delighted that the domestic putsch had been a success.

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