My standard KP disclaimer:
I know Disney owns "Kim Possible"...lock, stock, and Rufus.
If they want to sue me, they have to get behind all my other creditors.
Since I am in south Florida, the line has formed to the right
…and goes all the way to Sacramento!
HOWEVER, 'Spaghetti Squares®', 'Mighty Magic Power People®', and 'American Bake-Off®'
belong to me...Thad Marster, The Samurai Crunchbird.
I will defend the rights to this character…with my heart, my honor, my agent (Matthew Shrader),
and The Sword of the Ancient Mystics® (also mine)...though not necessarily in that order!!
1) Well, folks…this is the third story in the 'ch-RON-icles' series. These tales will feature Ron Stoppable in many of his everyday adventures before he began joining 'you know who' on her missions.
2) Do not look for any issues with 'timeline continuity' between stories or 'canon' knowledge from the series. While I may use some characters more than once, none of these tales will necessarily fit together with any other 'ch-RON-icles' in the series.
3) Tuesday, March, 25th, 2008, was a momentous day for my FanFiction journey. My two romantic comedies, 'The Big Day' and 'Chance Meetings and Pasta' reached milestones, with 'TBD' reaching 600 hits and 'ChaMP' reaching 200 hits. Since each story was quickly buried in the archives under avalanches of 'contest' entries, I truly appreciate the effort it took some people to find these works and read them.
Just a few days ago, my 'T'-rated tale of unrequited love, 'Oh Yes! Yori!', generated over 200 hits and a dozen reviews in the first 24 hours after posting. (If you have already read it, please don't spoil the ending for everyone else, okay?)
Yes, I know several writers whose stats make all this seem like chump change. I still never expected this much warmth and support from everyone here. I want to thank each and every person who has read my work, sent in a review, or added me to his or her 'Alert/Favorite' list. For those of other beliefs, no offense is intended when I say...may God bless all of you.
In addition, I just completed my 'beta-read' submission to snapbang for Chapter 31 of his saga, 'When Heroes Fall'. If you like a nice epic diversion, and you are not offended by its 'T' rating (for violence), go over to that tale, take a look at it, and maybe give him a review...That is, after you finish here!
Enjoy the show!
'ch-RON-icles: A Taste of Talent'
…For My 'Mother Hen', The Samurai CrunchMom…
…For most people, it is a place of necessity, where they grab something from the freezer, pop it in the microwave, and plop the plastic bowl's contents onto plates before trudging off to the dining room and serving it to an ungrateful brood…
…For others, it is merely where to place the leftovers from their latest purchase of fast-food burgers, bucket of chicken, or Chinese take-out…
…But it was a magical land of sights, sounds, and flavorful sensations for one four-year-old boy in particular…
Each morning, he woke at the sound of the footsteps of his mother, Jean, as she passed his door on the way to the kitchen. He followed her and watched with wonder as she turned on the gas stove and made breakfast. He knew to stay a safe distance from the little blue flames. However, he was still entranced by their movement as they danced so close to the bottom of the pan.
Friday morning was Omelet Day at the Stoppable house. He observed the care his mother took in chopping the mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, and turkey ham. Since they were not Orthodox Jews, she would occasionally use regular ham, cooked bacon, or cooked sausage instead of turkey ham...for a little variety.
He noticed the attention she used when cracking the eggs and mixing the whites and yolks together. He thought the 'one-handed egg crack' trick she used was fascinating, as she never let a sliver of eggshell enter the mixing bowl.
His ears were rewarded when he heard the mixed eggs sizzle as they made contact with the inside of the pan. What really caught his attention was the way the mixture changed color and began to give a soothing aroma when it was heated by the pan.
His senses were further stimulated as the chopped ingredients were introduced to the egg mixture. The fragrance of the roasting vegetables, meat, and cheeses provided sweet bliss for Ron's nose. He noted the slight browning of the eggs as they were folded to complete the semi-circle shape of the omelet.
By the time this ritual was completed, his father, Donald, reached the kitchen, fully dressed except for the suit jacket he kept in the closet. He greeted each of them with a hug and a kiss—his wife on the lips, his son on the forehead—before he made the coffee. As the omelets were being served, Donald poured the coffee for himself and Jean. Before sitting down at the table, he made sure Ron received a glass of milk.
After a quick prayer of thanks from Donald, the family thoroughly enjoyed their omelets. Ron especially enjoyed how the taste of the melted cheese blended into the flavor of the meats and vegetables.
He turned to his mother and asked, "Mommy, how did you learn to cook so good?"
"Well, Ronnie," she began, "when I was not much older than you, my mother showed me how to study recipes."
"What's a recipe?" Ron innocently wondered.
"A recipe," she explained, "is a set of steps to take to get something done. It's just like the way I taught you to tie your shoes."
Ron thought for a moment, made a bitter face, and asked, "Wouldn't my shoes taste yucky?"
"No," she laughed, "I don't mean that. Remember how you had to hold and turn the laces in a certain way to keep from getting your fingers caught in the knot or having the laces come loose? Each step must be done in the correct order for the results to come out right."
"Oh," he realized, "I see. It's just like making sure the little blue flames are there before putting the eggs in the pan."
"Exactly." Donald added. "Without any heat from those little blue flames, the eggs and other stuff would just be a mushy soup…and that might taste as yucky as those shoes of yours!"
All three of them laughed as Donald finished his breakfast and grabbed his suit jacket from the hall closet. In the same fashion as earlier, he gave Jean and Ron another hug and kiss before leaving for work.
As they watched him pull out of the driveway, Jean heard the phone ring. She answered it and talked to the party on the other end for a moment before hanging up the phone. With a saddened face, she turned to her son and said, "That was Mrs. Dr. Possible from down the street. She said Kimmie has what they call a 'summertime cold' and can't see you for a few days."
Jean noticed the frown on Ron's face. After all, he met his first real friend eight months earlier in Middleton Pre-K. Even during this summer break before kindergarten began at South Middleton Elementary School, he really liked hanging out with the spunky little freckled, green-eyed girl with flaming red hair in pigtails. She even liked his imaginary friend, Rufus.
Kim helped Ron overcome a bit of his shyness, while he helped her to channel her high-spirited energy toward being more helpful and less destructive. This was especially fortunate for Kim's mother, who was on maternity leave after the birth of not one but two little boys. Thanks to Ron's lessons in patience, Kim was quickly becoming an excellent 'big sister' for the twins.
Jean knelt down, placed her hand on Ron's shoulder, and looked him in the eye. "Ronnie," she reasoned, "I know you wanted to spend time with your little friend today, but we can't have you catching that cold." Her face turned to a smile as she changed the subject when she asked, "Did you want to learn more about those recipes we talked about?"
Ron thought for a few seconds before he smiled and answered, "Sure thing, Mom."
Jean stood up and said, "Follow me. It's time to explore the attic."
Ron and his mom spent the better part of an hour in the attic, searching through boxes of odds and ends. Finally, Jean held up a worn three-ring binder filled with slightly-yellowed pages and declared, "Here it is…'Recipes for Kids'."
Ron screamed as he hid behind some boxes, "AAAACK!! DON'T EAT ME, MOMMY!"
Jean hugged her son and chuckled, "No, Ronnie. These aren't recipes to cook kids—they are simple recipes kids can use to cook food."
Ron looked up from his embrace and meekly said, "He-heh…Sorry about that."
Jean motioned toward the attic door and said, "Let's get downstairs and see if some of these recipes still work."
Jean showed Ron the different sizes of measuring cups and spoons and pointed to where they were used in some of the recipes. She then brought out a can of Spaghetti Squares® from the cupboard and pointed to the side of the can.
"Sometimes," she noted, "the recipe for something is printed right on the side of its can or box. Want to give it a try, Ronnie?"
Ron smiled and proclaimed, "I get to cook! BOO-Yeah!"
Jean then removed a device from a nearby drawer and explained, "This is a 'safety opener'. It opens the can from the side, so that there are no sharp edges to cut you."
She showed Ron how to use the opener. She started the opener and let Ron watch it do its job. She quickly grabbed a plastic bowl and another can of Spaghetti Squares® to add to the first one. Once the opener was finished, she shut it off, removed the lid, and poured the canned pasta into the plastic bowl.
"Okay, Ronnie." She continued. "Since you saw how to use this opener, did you want to give it a try?"
Ron quickly nodded and placed the opener on the second can in the same fashion his mother did with the first. He pressed the button and jumped back slightly as it came to life and began to open the can.
Jean giggled, "Relax. You're doing fine. Just watch for it to finish and shut it off, okay?"
Ron nodded again and did as he was instructed when the opener was done. He copied his mother's actions by throwing away the lid and pouring the contents into the plastic bowl.
After he completed these tasks, his mother grabbed one of the empty cans, pointed to an appliance on the counter and said, "This is called a microwave oven. Instead of the usual pots and pans, we use plastic bowls and spoons to cook food in here."
Confused, Ron asked, "Why can't we use a pan?"
Once again, Jean took a few seconds to form an explanation suitable for a four-year-old child. She finally replied, "Do you know those laser beams the 'Mighty Magic Power People®' use on TV? While that's just 'make-believe', a microwave uses beams of heat that bounce off the food. If those beams hit metal, like from a pan, they could bounce the wrong way and mess up the whole kitchen."
When Ron's expression indicated he understood, she pointed to the label on the empty can and continued, "Now remember our little reading lessons. Can you read what this can says?"
Ron concentrated and responded, "Heat at medi…medi…"
"Medium." Jean urged.
"Medium-high power for 3 minutes in a mic…mic…"
"Microwave-safe bowl. Stir once while before serving."
"Very good, Ronnie." Jean beamed. She pantomimed her next directions as she said, "Open the door, put the bowl inside, close the door, press '3-0-0', and then the green button."
Ron performed the same actions Jean demonstrated, following her directions to the letter and number. Exactly three minutes later, a familiar beep was heard from the microwave. Jean was ready with two oven mitts as she opened the door.
"You have to be careful," she warned, "because this will be pretty hot. Just look at the steam coming up from the bowl."
After they enjoyed their lunch, Jean turned to Ron and asked, "Ok, Ronnie. Is there something you want to try cooking for dinner tonight?"
Ron thought for a moment and replied, "No, mommy. I think I want to try something else right now, if that's ok."
Jean smiled and said, "Sure, honey. What did you have in mind?"
Ron explained his plan to his mother. She brought down a couple of cans from the cupboard along with some food from the refrigerator. As Ron began to use the can opener, Jean made a phone call…
…An hour later, Jean and Ron arrived at the front door of the Possible house. Once Dr. Anne Possible opened the door, Ron quickly excused himself and went straight to the kitchen with the sealed plastic bowl. Several beeps were heard from the other side of the kitchen door, prompting Anne to ask, "Ron knows his way around a kitchen now?"
With a grin, Jean replied, "You'd…be surprised."
Within minutes, he called out to both mothers, "It's ready!" as he brought forth a tray…
Although it was a warm summer day, little Kimmie Possible was bundled under several layers of blankets. She really felt bad for two reasons. First, she felt yucky thanks to this blasted cold. Second, the cold forced her to stay home when she was supposed to spend time with Ron…and away from the twins.
She heard a knock on the door and the soothing voice of her mother. "Kimmie," Anne chimed, "You have a visitor."
'A visitor?' Kim wondered. 'Who in the world would be coming here? And why would they want to see me?
Anne opened the door and let in a little blond boy. The boy carried a tray filled with two steaming bowls of chicken noodle soup and two bologna-and-cheese sandwiches.
"RON!" Kim shouted with joy, before turning her head to redirect a thunderous sneeze away from him.
As he placed the tray on the stand next to her bed, he cheerfully responded, "Hey, Kim. I heard you were feeling bad. Grandma Rose always says this helps with colds. I cooked it myself." With a sheepish grin, he admitted, "Well, my mom did cut the sandwiches."
Kim could only stare in wonder at the food before her. The soup smelled terrific and her sandwich was cut diagonally…just the way she liked it.
As Kim began to eat her sandwich, she noticed Ron had yet to touch the other one. Ron answered her puzzled look with, "I already ate at home. This is for your mom. She probably needs a little help, too."
From the doorway, Anne gasped in surprise, "Thank you, Ronnie. That is so sweet. I bet your mommy thinks you're just a ray of sunshine, huh?"
"Yeah," Jean agreed, "it's more like 'Ron-shine' with this little guy."
Ron motioned to the tray and said, "Mrs. Dr. P., you two should have a little 'mom-and-Kim' time." Without thinking first, he added, "KP's told me how much of a pain the twins are."
Kim narrowed her eyes at Ron and began to say something as she stifled another sneeze. Jean caught this non-verbal message and said to Anne, "He means they may need twice the effort just to keep up with them."
"Of course." Anne nodded. "Fortunately, there's more than enough love for everybody."
Jean replied, "You two just enjoy your lunch. We'll watch the twins for a little while."
As they left the room, Ron whispered, "Nice save, mom."
After they returned home from their visit with the Possibles, Jean opened the recipe binder and asked, "Ronnie, what do think we should cook for dinner tonight?"
Ron looked at the different choices in the 'main dish' section before deciding on a simple baked chicken recipe. All he had to do was let three boneless, skinless chicken breasts sit in Italian salad dressing until thirty minutes before his father was set to come home. His mother said the book referred to this as 'marinating'.
Thanks to the meal planning tips from the book, the Stoppable family enjoyed 'Italian Chicken', garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans that night, with 'Texas Sheet-Cake Brownies' for desert.
As they finished their meal, Donald Stoppable turned toward his wife and smiled. "Jeannie," he proclaimed, "you have outdone yourself tonight."
Jean laughed heartily while Ron gave a look of sadness and a slight level of hurt.
Confused, Donald queried, "Did I miss something here?"
Jean placed a gentle hand on her son's shoulder and replied, "Honey, if you want to give compliments to the chef, they should go to Ronnie here. I showed him how to use everything, but he did all the cooking!" She stood and hugged Ron from behind his chair as his face turned to a bright smile.
"Well," Donald began as he rose from his chair and began to clear the table, "I am really proud of you, son. I guess I'll be doing these dishes, then."
As the summer passed, Ron learned virtually every recipe in the little binder, under the constant vigil and tutelage of his mother. Soon enough, he began to take on challenges from regular cookbooks and created a few recipes of his own. Of all these accomplishments, he felt proudest when he perfected his mother's 'one-handed egg crack'.
His visits with Kim always included another of his latest culinary creations. She said his lemon squares were almost as good as Nana Possible's. He felt a little dejected until she told him the 'American Bake-Off®' prize money Nana won from those squares fully paid for her Florida condo and the house she gave Kim's mom and dad when they got married. To be compared favorably to that kind of greatness made him feel a little better.
After a few weeks of this treatment, her mother told him, "Ronnie, if you keep bringing all this wonderful food over, Kimmie may start getting a little pudgy in the tummy."
Kim gave her a horrified look and wailed, "MOMMY!"
Anne defended her words by adding, "Don't get me wrong, Kimmie. This fried chicken is delicious. I'm just saying you don't need to be bribed with food for Ron to be your friend. Am I right?"
Kim's face began to blush as she took another bite of chicken and giggled, "It may be weird for a boy to cook this good...but I like weird!"
The summer break was near its conclusion, with just a few weeks from Ron's fifth birthday…
…Jean Stoppable, while nestled under her sheets, slowly woke to a subtle but soothing aroma…
Her mind pondered, 'Oh, that's so sweet. Don remembered our anniversary and wanted to surprise me with breakfast.'
She was almost fully alert when she sniffed again. In thought, she continued, 'Wow. He really went all out today…pancakes, turkey sausage, eggs, and coffee!' A seductive, sultry grin drew itself upon her lips as she added, 'Note to self: Be sure to properly thank him lat—HUH??'
It was at that moment she opened her eyes wide and saw her husband lying on the bed, still in peaceful slumber, seeing as he had the day off from work.
Alarms were going off in her head as it raced, 'If he is here, why am I smelling…'
"Surprise!" came the shout from the bedroom doorway.
The noise drew the full attention of both parents as they popped up their heads and saw Ron with a rolling cart the Stoppables used for formal dinner parties. On the cart sat three plates, flatware for three, a large stack of pancakes, a pan of hash- browned potatoes (made from scratch, thank you very much!), six patties of turkey sausage, four 'over-easy' eggs, two scrambled eggs, two steaming cups of coffee, and one glass of milk. A milk pitcher and sugar bowl rested neatly next to the coffee cups.
After a couple of seconds, Jean overcame her shock long enough to ask the obvious question, "You made all this yourself, Ronnie?"
With complete pride, Ron chirped, "A-yup-yup! Just wanna give my mommy and daddy a good 'nissary' gift. I used the footstool to reach the back burners and even turned off the stove when I was done. Did I do good?"
Donald sniffed at the food and gently chuckled, "It's 'anniversary', son…and this is downright amazing!!"
Jean pulled Ron into a group hug for all three of them on the bed as her mind surmised, 'It looks like the student has now become the master.'
Author's ending notes:
1) I hope you are enjoying these 'ch-RON-icles'. My goal is to submit more of these, once every two weeks. I know I had been posting every week during the last few months. However, my 'story buffer' is starting to get a little lean as I look for a second job.
Please watch for new 'ch-RON-icles' as they come down the line.
2) I feel I must give fair notice in advance…The next installment, 'ch-RON-icles: A Journey With Amos', WILL be rated 'T'. Even though I am sure my loyal readers (both of you) may think it doesn't need to be raised from the usual 'K-Plus' once they read it, I feel a moral obligation to do so.
3) Another one of my 'Episode Kickers' contributions, the one I wrote for 'Team Impossible, has been posted under the KPWG username. A 'kicker' is a short 'half-screen' vignette displayed while the episode's ending credits are shown underneath. They were used in the actual series for Season 4.
The 'Episode Kickers' project allows us to create 'kickers' for episodes which ran in Seasons 1-3. It is a collaboration of some of the finest writers in the 'KP Universe'. Just how I managed to 'make the cut' is still a mystery to me!
Again, look for it under the KPWG username. The first "Kickers' chapter is an explanatory posting. My 'kicker' for 'Team Impossible' is Kicker Number 14-SC (Chapter 16). Please enjoy the creativity of all these fine writers in the 15 kickers to date.
4) The production of this story, like that for any work of fiction, is solely dependent upon the constructive feedback of its readers. If you like it, I will gladly make more. If you think of ways to make it better, I am always open to suggestions. If you really think it's a piece of garbage, stop me before I strike again!! Once again, Review me, e-mail me if you wanna reach me! If you want to 'PM' me, that's ok!
Your friend in writing,
The Samurai Crunchbird