Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Friendship Recipes"

This poem is spillover from the December 3, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "surprise" square in my 2-5-19 card for the [community profile] fluffbingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Aquariana, Kraken, and Strange Family threads of the Polychrome Heroics series. It directly follows "What Lies Within Us," so read that first or this will make no sense.

"Friendship Recipes"

[Saturday, December 6, 2014]

Marko had just managed
to coax a six-cup can of
ruby cocoa powder from
Dorothy and Merit when
his computer chimed with
Genna's inbound signal.

Pouncing on the email,
he opened it to find ... stuff.

Marko pried himself away from
the fascinating attachments
long enough to read the note.

Dear Hatter,

I am happy to be your friend.
You are doing a lovely job too.
Thank you for letting me know you'd
like to work on friendship skills. I have
attached a few examples here to get
you started. I'll work up a lesson
for Ocean Pearls and send you
a copy to review when it's done.

Best Wishes,


Curious, Marko turned back
to the small stack of attachments.

There was a list of friendship skills,
instructions for learning and teaching them,
and a whole batch of Montessori lessons
on Grace and Courtesy for toddlers.

Marko leafed through the examples,
appreciating that Genna had put
the bottom rungs on the ladder,
but had not stopped there.

The next batch had worksheets:
a metaphoric friendship recipe
with the details already filled in,
then two different blank pages,
one a Friendship Recipe and
another Friendship Pie Recipe.

There were actual recipes too.

The first was Friendship Snack Mix
and a recipe page with a wide range
of different snack mix flavors.

The second set was for something
called Amish Friendship Bread,
including many recipes for
delicious things to bake and
instructions for making starter
from packaged or wild yeast.

Mouth watering, Marko sent
the recipes to the cafeteria,
hoping that one of the cooks
could make sourdough.

Then he went back
to browsing the pieces
about friendship itself.

Some of the skills were
things he could actually do,
like helping people. At least
that part was reassuring.

Others were unfamiliar,
or things he did badly, like
empathizing and pretty much
everything else with emotions.

Wondering if any of it would make
more sense, and remembering
Genna's wonderful lessons, he
opened the Montessori file.

And it was full of programs.

They were written for children
instead of computers, but they
were very clearly programs, with
each step described in precise detail,
one after another, to be followed
in exactly the same sequence.

Marko was thrilled. Nobody
had ever spelled out things
like this before -- it made
them all so much clearer!

He flipped back to the set
of friendship recipes.

Pips had said that
each friendship was
a little bit different.

Maybe if you mixed up
different amounts of joy
and patience, they would
suit different friendships,
like making a pie crust
chewier or flakier?

Marko went back to
the list of skills and then
tried to imagine just what
he would use with Genna.

Someone knocked on the door.

Marko checked the security feed,
found Rainbowe outside, and
opened the door for her.

"Please go to the interim lab
that Aunt Flo is using, pick up
a package from Merit Badge,
and deliver it to Genna St. Croix,"
Marko instructed the teleporter.

Rainbowe wriggled with glee.
"You give the best assignments!"

Marko just hoped that she wouldn't
eat her whole tip at once. Genna had
figured out how to feed teleporters, but
they did have different calorie needs,
so she tended toward the generous.

Maybe if he actually filled out
the worksheets, Genna would
send him something from
the list of recipes, too.

Tucking his tongue between
his teeth, Marko began a list of
favorite snack ingredients, trying
to match them with friendship skills.

He could almost taste success.

* * *


Dorothy Canady -- She has sorrel skin, brown eyes, and long wavy brown hair. She is tall and sturdy. She wears glasses. She rarely wears jewelry except for her necklace. Dorothy works in the interim lab with Aunt Flo in the Maldives. Her lab partner and best friend is Merit Badge (Merit Ptah Mayer). The two of them are working to develop ruby cocoa powder. Dorothy is a capable chemist with a lot of stamina. She also studies women's history. Her body image is bad, though.
Qualities: Good (+2) Best Friends with Merit Ptah Mayer, Good (+2) Chemist, Good (+2) Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Good (+2) Stamina, Good (+2) Women's History
Poor (-2) Body Image

Merit Badge (Merit Ptah Mayer) -- She has peaches-and-cream skin, amber eyes, and long wavy brown hair. She is short and slender. She wears glasses. She likes ornate jewelry, especially Celtic styles, and often wears trinket rings. Merit works in the interim lab with Aunt Flo in the Maldives. Her lab partner and best friend is Dorothy Canady. The two of them are working to develop ruby cocoa powder. Merit is a skilled biologist who works and thinks fast. As an Activity Scout, she is helpful and good at doing many different things.
Qualities: Good (+2) Activity Scout, Good (+2) Biologist, Good (+2) Best Friends with Dorothy Canady, Good (+2) Cook, Good (+2) Fast
Poor (-2) Short Girl Problems

* * *

Ruby chocolate has been in development for years, but only recently released on the market in our world. Terramagne has had it a little longer. They still haven't released a good cocoa powder from it, though, because the production process is different than other types of chocolate. Naturally a group of young women are snitching time in Aunt Flo's mad science lab to try making ruby cocoa powder. Marko and Aunt Flo both know about this, but they have not intervened because the girls aren't hurting anything and ruby chocolate is delicious.

Friendship skills are among the important social skills. There are ways to teach and learn these skills. Marko is just one of those people who learns poorly by osmosis but very well by detailed instructions.

The worksheets include a Friendship Recipe filled out, a blank Friendship Recipe, and a blank Friendship Pie recipe.

Enjoy Friendship Snack Mix and some more snack mix recipes.

Amish Friendship Bread can encourage a sense of community. You can create a starter with packaged yeast or wild yeast. There are many things you can make from this sweet sourdough starter.

High-burn means a metabolism that demands a substantial amount of extra fuel due to superpowers. Certain abilities typically require many more calories, such as Super-Speed, Super-Strength, and Teleporting. Details vary; speedsters almost always want extra sugar, strongmen need more protein, and either can go for fat. Other abilities may require more raw materials, like Regeneration which needs things like amino acids, calcium, carbon, and iron to replace lost tissue and blood. Soups often need two to four times the ordinary amount of food, especially when using their powers vigorously. An average diet is 2,000 calories/day, or 3,000 for heavy labor. That puts the soup range around 4,000 to 12,000 calories. High-burn falls toward the far end of that range, and can go even farther.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, education, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, life lessons, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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