Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Cordelia Petros’ Repurposed Honey Jar

Cordelia Petros’ Repurposed Honey Jar: 
Object Post 104

Source? Cordelia probably bought it, and its contents, from an irreproachably local source
Significance? It was the perfect thing for what Stephen had in mind
Fate? A good scrubbing in soapy water
Author’s inspiration? A penchant for repurposing kitchenware
Appeared in? The Peacock’s Pearl and The Drake’s Diamond

Yes, said Grandma, sneaking a glance at Grandpa who was pounding garlic with the bottom of the honey jar.
At the end of The Peacock’s Pearl, Cat Mahal was in her mother’s kitchen with her grandparent, Olivia and Stephen Petros. Stephen, a Greek-born Scotsman with an amazing zest for life and two magical traditions to draw on, had decided to make a spaghetti bolognaise. Lacking, or unable to find, a garlic crusher, Stephen repurposed his daughter Cordelia’s honey jar to smash the garlic into submission.
While Stephen cooked with the vigour only a Greek Scotsman could manage, Olivia had something important to impart to Cat.
This she did, but Cat soon noticed something odd.

It occurred to me that Grandpa hadn’t said anything for a while. That just wasn’t like Grandpa. He’s not (as far as I know) related to Elizabeth, but they have one thing in common; neither can ever keep quiet if there’s something going on. Grandpa should have been bouncing about putting his dibs in and giving opinions.
Of course he was busy pounding garlic with Mum’s honey jar. (She was not going to be pleased about that.) Maybe that was absorbing his attention. I looked round, and there he was, with the jar raised in both hands and a manic grin as he anticipated the crunchy-squish to follow… sometime.
I stared.
Grandpa stood there, frozen in place. He wasn’t distressed, or even put out. He was grinning away in anticipation of giving that garlic what-for...sometime.
I stared.
Then I turned my attention back to Grandma.
Yes my dear?
You froze Grandpa.
Only a little bit.
You stas-hexed him. Do you often do that?
Well… not very often.
Does he know?
Slowly Grandma unfolded her hands and lifted her finger to her lips.
I closed my eyes. Aghhhhhh! Mama mia! Dangnabbit! My grandma freezes my grandpa!
Hush dear. This too is a secret that need not be told. It does him no harm and has, sometimes, protected him from—worse.
I hushed.

 That book ends a little after this point, and when The Drake’s Diamond opens, Stephen was still frozen while menacing the garlic with the honey jar.
Several people were converging on Cat’s house, and so she—

told Grandma she’d better un-hex Grandpa quickly.
Grandma didn’t argue. She shot Grandpa a look and down came the honey jar, smash-squish on an already-battered clove of garlic Grandpa had been pounding before Grandma hit him with the hex. The smell of garlic backwashed in our direction, mingling with the scent of Earl Grey from the cup of tea Grandpa had made for Grandma and forgotten to deliver.
“Stephen.” Grandma raised her voice a bit over the smash-squishing. She sounded placid, just as if she hadn’t stas-hexed Grandpa and left him frozen in place for at least five minutes.
She swept the odds and ends back into her handbag (yes, that apparently-bottomless handbag) and snapped it closed.
“Yes Livvy?” Grandpa stopped pounding on the garlic and turned to Grandma, beaming. He hadn’t the least notion he’d spent the last five minutes under a hex.
“You might want to wash that jar before Cordelia sees it,” said Grandma. “You know she’s particular about her kitchen.”
“Oh, Cordy won’t be back for ages,” said Grandpa. “Car trouble, remember?”
“Cordy is back now,” said Grandma, still sounding placid.

When Cordelia came in, she stopped short…

…at the sight of Grandma sitting at the counter while Grandpa ran water over the bottom of the honey jar.

That was the last we heard about that jar. Let’s just hope Stephen added some soap and elbow grease to that water.

Cordelia Petros’ honey jar gets appropriated and repurposed into a makeshift garlic crusher in The Peacock’s Pearl and cleaned up in The Drake’s Diamond.

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