Sadly, She’s Not Scone Anywhere

, , , , , , | Right | February 14, 2020

When I was a young teen, I worked at a fifties-themed restaurant in our heavily tourist-oriented downtown. I was just the dishwasher and prep cook, and the real star of our little restaurant was our elderly cook.

She made all our fabulous baked goods, soups, desserts, and sauces, and she had “signature” items that drew in a lot of people. She had been a sous-chef at some high-end, fancy restaurant before her age made her look for something less demanding. She was in her 70s, a tough, plainspoken, chain-smoking kitchen genius. One of the things she made better than anyone else was scones.

One busy Sunday morning, she had already worked her hours and gone home. I was alone in the kitchen, since the fry cook had left for a bathroom break and the restaurant’s owner was up front handling the cash register.

Suddenly, a very large, loud woman in a vividly red dress barged into the kitchen and started yelling at me that she wanted the cook’s scone recipe. She forced me into a corner and kept screaming in my face about how she came to Stratford every year and how the cook always refused to share her recipe.

I was only fourteen and a rather timid, shy fourteen at that, and the woman’s yelling, flailing arms, and intrusion into my physical space had me scared, flustered, and close to tears.

The business’s owner heard the woman yelling even over the din of a full restaurant and ran into the kitchen. Seeing what was going on, she grabbed the screeching woman by the neck of her dress and bodily hauled her out of the restaurant. As she frog-marched the woman out, she yelled into her ear, “I will not have anyone coming into my restaurant, barging into my kitchen, and abusing my staff! Get out! If I ever see you back here again, I’ll have you charged with trespassing!”

The owner then came back into the kitchen and calmed me down. She told me that this woman was an American tourist who came every summer and always tried some ugly tactic to attempt to get the cook to part with the recipe. She had already tried bribing her, waiting until the end of her shift and following her to her home, and even threatening her. The cook had always managed to send her packing with her typical snarkiness.

She also told me that the only reason the cook wouldn’t give her the recipe is that it required steps to be done in perfect order, with exact timing, and with a very light touch, and she doubted the screaming, overly-entitled tourist nutbar could manage it… and she was just the type to sue her if her attempts at the recipe failed.

We never saw the insane tourist harpy again, thankfully.

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