Remains (From a prompt in Writers’ Digest July/August 2015)
I ate it—but not all of it. It was terrible. That’s what happens when I am hungry and tired. My standard for edible food collapses like a wall of sand.
The cheese crisp was not crisp. It was cold and tasteless. I think the cook threw two handfuls of grated cheese on a floppy tortilla and sent it out to the server. I sat there at the restaurant table smoldering from stuffed frustration and envy. The kid’s plate across from me looked divine and she was devouring it with gusto: a juicy hamburger on a toasted bun with pickles, lettuce and a side of fries.
The next day, I salvaged the remains of my meal. I sliced a fresh red pepper and patterned the slender pieces on top of the crisp, sprinkling it with parsley and drizzling garlic-seasoned olive oil on the tortilla. I placed the tortilla on foil and baked it at 325 degrees in the oven for seven minutes.
It came out with edges lightly browned and bubbling cheese and toppings. The peppers were sweet with a touch of garlic and juicy.
Sometimes the remains of a disappointing entrée can be resurrected into a tasty treat. On its second do-over, I ate it all.