Waves of onion, garlic, coriander, curry and fresh cilantro permeated the kitchen. Pork sizzled in the wok. Jasmine rice steamed on the back burner.
Richard walked cat-like into the kitchen behind me and scooped over half the can of peanuts undetected.
Pouring the peanuts into my measuring cup, I noticed the lost soldiers.
“Richard Cranium, would you come in here?” I asked, irritated.
Richard peaked his head around the corner wearing a sheepish grin.
“Where are the rest of the peanuts?”
“What?” he asked looking away from me.
“The peanuts that were in this can,” I asked holding up the empty can.
“Where?” he said smiling then looking at the floor.
“You’re not fooling me, Richard. Would you do me a favor, if I buy something for a recipe, wait until after I have finished the recipe before you wipe out the left over ingredients?”
“Anything you say, Fannie,” he said wearing his wicked smile.
“I am going to hold you to that,” I said giving him the look.
An arctic blast carpeted the neighborhood.
While making snow angels in the front yard, Richard asked, “Fannie, can we have Thai food again for dinner, I am having a craving for peanuts.”
Lifting my head, I asked, “You’re not pregnant are you?”
“Do we have any peanuts in the house?”
“Nope, I ate ‘em all,” he said.
“Then you get to drive me to the store. Should I be investing in Planter’s stock?”
We purchased two cans of peanuts.
No other cars were in the customer parking lot.
“Shall we have a little fun?” asked Richard. “Buckle up.”
Putting the truck in four wheel drive, he backed up making a quick circle in the snow.
“How about a figure eight?” he asked. I nodded.
He drove over the fresh snow stepping on the accelerator as he cranked the wheel. The back end of the truck slid to the right just as the local gendarme drove into the parking lot.
The officer smiled, waved and shook his head.
We stopped the truck. Smiling, we waved and headed for home.
The peanuts disappeared in the middle of the night.
December arrived. We decorated the house top to bottom for the upcoming holidays.
The next time we ventured to the grocery store, I purchased two cans of nuts.
When we returned home, George stopped by for a chat.
“Hey, George how’s it going?” asked Richard.
“Good, good, how about this snow?” George asked.
“Hey you two, I’m going to get the groceries put away while you chat,” I said carting three bags of groceries into the house.
While putting away the groceries, it occurred to me, why not hide one container of peanuts for future use.
In the dining room, Santa, dressed all in white, sat on a blue stool with blue decorations around him. Placing one of the cans in the display, I stood back and admired. The blue can blent with the scene.
Richard searched the house for seven days looking for those peanuts, he tore the kitchen apart three times, cleaned out the refrigerator, moved all of the furniture in the living room twice, our bedroom once and even the bathroom and our office.
“Richard, thanks for reorganizing the pantry, it’s never looked so good,” I said leaning against the wall to keep from falling over while suppressing laughter.
A few more days passed. We played “hot and cold”.
“You’re getting warmer,” I said as he walked from the kitchen into the dining room. He searched behind the curtains and around the side board.
He rounded the corner into the living room.
“You’re getting colder,” I said grinning.
He turned around looking into the dining room.
Richard looked under the dining room table, feeling with his hands the areas he could not see.
“Any gum under there?” I asked.
“Very funny, you are enjoying this way too much.”
He stood and looked around the room again. Throwing his hands into the air he marched out of the room.
“Richard, do you want me to tell you where they are?”
“No, I’ll find them myself,” he said grumbling something else under his breathe.
On Christmas Day, he sat in the living room looking around. There on the half wall between the living room and dining room sat the can of peanuts just below Santa.
From the kitchen I could hear a string of profanity, a lid pop and silence.
We spent Boxing Day putting the Christmas decorations away.