Some folks are set in their ways. Sometimes that is due to youth and inexperience or fear of growing up. Sometimes it is because someone has been set in their ways for so long. For centuries. It frustrates the crap out of me but I keep trying.
My philosophy is to never get so set in my ways that I don’t want to experience new things. Better yet, not get so set in my ways and opinions that I get stuck permanently.
I received a call from Tellias, the elderly ancient Vampire. He and Eleora are over 2,000 years old but they look like teens. Talk to them for a few minutes and you’ll realize that they are not young at all.
My greatest fear is to one day show up at their farmhouse and find a pile of ashes or worse. They are old and fragile and I love them more than anything.
Tellias whispered over the phone in an almost panicked voice. “Someone dropped a box off at our door. We don’t know what to do with it.”
The words rang in my ears. What could be in the box? A severed head? Bones? Goblin changelings? Government secrets? Jimmy Hoffa’s mummified remains? An angry cobra?”
I arrived at the farmhouse to be welcomed by the old dog Ginger. She staggered over to me like quiet friendly drunk and licked my hand.
Tellias stood on the porch in a straw hat, black tuxedo pants and a white unbuttoned tuxedo shirt (the kind with a thousand little pleats.) He was wearing red socks. Eleora had on one of the ugliest dresses I’ve ever seen – some sort of gray with green nubby stripes with an elephant design stitched around the edges with yellow crystal eyes. It hung on her a few sizes too large so she’d tied it with a yellow scarf. Matching yellow flip flops were on here feet. I kept my sunglasses on. I made a mental note to go through her closet and take her shopping… again.
They stared at me with concerned looks. Eleora took my hands and they ushered me into the kitchen. There on the table was a large box full of broccoli.
Tellias leaned against the counter with a disgusted look on his face. “We grow our own Swiss chard.”
“We like that,” said Eleora.
“We grow it,” said Tellias.
“We grow it ourselves,” said Eleora.
“I like red bell peppers,” said Tellias.
“Those are good,” said Eleora.
“Roasted,” added Tellias.
“Yes, roasted over a fire, “said Eleora.
“A hot fire,” said Tellias.
Eleora wrapped her fingers on the table. “What are we going to do with all of that broccoli?”
“Where did it come from?” I knew I wouldn’t get a straight answer but I asked anyway.
“They thought we looked pale,” said Eleora.
“We’re supposed to be pale,” said Tellias.
“We’re pale people,” said Eleora.
“We don’t like broccoli.”
“What were they thinking?”
“It looks like brains.”
“We’re not zombies. We despise broccoli.”
I stood, exhausted. They both stood there staring at me, waiting for an answer.
I read the small note that was left on the box. I took a deep breath. “It is just a box of vegetables from someone who thought they were doing you a favor. I’ll make a note to tear their hearts out next time I see them. Will that make you feel better?”
Tellias scowled at me. “You don’t need to get all pissy and sarcastic with us Juliette.”
“Broccoli,” spat Eleora.
“We cooked and fed a bunch of it to Ginger but it gave her gas,” Tellias said.
“She liked it,” said Eleora.
“But it wasn’t a great idea,” said Tellias.
“No, not a good idea,” said Eleora with a shake of her head.
“Not at all,” said Tellias. “So what should we do with it? We can’t feed it all to the dog.”
“We don’t care for it,” said Eleora. “We don’t like it.”
Tellias put a hand on my arm. “Do you want it?”
There must have been 10 pounds of the stuff in the box. I texted a friend of mine who works with a homeless shelter to see if she wanted it for the hot meals they cook.
Eleora looked at the box. “How can people taste so nice when they eat that stuff?”
I heard the screen door open with a screech – not of any paranormal creature but because it needs some WD40. Anyway, something smelled good and there was Cody, my dear young Vampire (for only 2 years now) standing with something in a pie pan with a dish towel over it.
I’m going to assume, actually I know, he must have spent the night with Lola. Yes, Cody DID indeed spend the night in the cottage on the farm with Lola my g-g-great-grandmamma (born in 1365 but looks all of 26.) Anyway, there was Cody – Vampire hipster and all around nice guy.
He smiled showing a little bit of happy fang. “I brought quiche. Used some of that broccoli your friends brought over.”
I took in the lovely scent. “It smells wonderful Cody.”
“Gluten free with local organic cheese and uncured bacon.”
Tallias scowled. “Thank you Cody for the thought but real Vampires don’t eat Quiche or broccoli.”
“Oh come on,” said Cody. “Don’t be like Sam I Am, give it a try.”
Tellias shook his head. “We’re Vampires.”
Cody tried to turn on the charm. “Sure but one cannot exist on blood alone. Give it a try. Just a small piece.”
I spoke up. “I’ll make coffee and have a small piece with you. Where’s Lola?”
Cody smiled again but a different kind of smile. “Asleep. We had a big night on the town last night. She couldn’t handle the sunlight this morning.”
Eleora quietly got out a few plates. “I was 300 years old before I tasted cheese.”
Cody looked genuinely surprised. “Really? Wow. I can’t imagine life without cheese.”
She fussed with a few napkins and silver forks. “I like Stilton the best with a small slice of fig. Not preserves with all the sugar but just a thin slice of fresh ripe fig,” said Eleora. “I get the figs right off of the tree out back.”
“Good choice,” I said.
“With a nice bit of blood warm blood to go along with it. Do you want me to call someone to come over? Tellias call 911. They’ll send those nice young officers out again. They’re local too. Not organic but they’re wonderful and sweet.”
I couldn’t let them do this. Oh no no no. “No. Absolutely not. You have blood in the refrigerator. I’ll take you out in a few days, or Cody and Lola will take you out. You don’t need to lure anyone here.”
Tellias continued to look unhappy. “Cody brought over a tofu and broccoli stir-fry last night.”
“Last night,” said Eleora.
“We still love you Cody even if you are dead set on killing us with your cooking,” said Tellias.
“We haven’t loved a new Vampire as much as we love you since a long long time,” said Eleora.
“Not for a long long long time,” said Tellias who draped his arm around Cody’s shoulder.
I took a bite of the Quiche. “Oh Cody, you’ve outdone yourself. This is lovely.”
I always pick up the phone when the old ancient Vampires call. I always come over. I always take care of every emergency because I have to. That is what we do for those we love. Even if it is vegetable. But next time it has to be an artichoke because they at least have hearts.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
Cody’s Crustless Quiche with Veggies
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 scallion chopped fine
½ tsp. dried thyme
4 of 5 sliced mushrooms
4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
Dash of nutmeg
8 oz. spinach, washed
½ cut broccoli chopped really fine
8 oz. Jack cheese, shredded (Cody likes the nice texture of the Jack)
1/8 tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large frying pan, sauté the diced onion in the olive oil until the onion is tender. Add broccoli until it turns a nice bight green and just begins to get tender. Add mushrooms and spinach. Cook until the spinach wilts. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add the shredded cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg and thyme, and stir to combine.
Add the veggies and bacon to the eggs and cheese, and stir it all up.
Pour into a greased pie plate. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top starts to brown.