By Melissa Dore firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: A truly delightful story that explains how Lois, legendary for her lack of talent in the kitchen, came to prepare the holiday feast seen at the end of the episode "Season's Greedings."
Ok — this started as it's own story, but with "Seasons Greedings", I had a way to put it all in perspective. Normal Disclaimer stuff…etc etc.
Lois was drying her hair when it hit. Thanks to those stupid space rats, she had "disinvited" everyone from her Christmas eve party, and she had canceled the caterers. Now she had re-invited everyone, and though most sent there regrets, it looked like Perry and Jimmy were going to come over. She'd even asked that nice man from the Orphanage, but he said that Christmas eve was a busy night for him. One problem, the caterers couldn't come. That meant Lois was on her own.
"Oh, well…How hard can it be?? Just a turkey and some vegetables, and something chocolate for desert." Lois shrugged, pulled her coat over her sweatshirt, and went to the grocery store.
The store was absolute chaos. Everyone was doing their last minute shopping before the store closed for Christmas. After grabbing a cart from some lady that had only _two_ items (Lois knew she was going to have _many_ more), she pushed her was to the Dairy section.
When she thought no one was looking, Lois pulled out her Bon Appetit magazine and started thumbing down the index.
Hmmm, she thought. I need milk for the potatoes, Cheese for the hors d'oeuvres, butter for the bread, and whipping cream for the desert. She looked up, and gasped. There were over 16 varieties of butter looking at her. There was margarine — fat, low-fat, no- fat, salt, no-salt, low-salt, spreadable, churn style, mixed with butter, butter mixed with margarine, margarine made of canola oil, sunflower oil or corn oil. Lois sighed, it's Christmas straight butter will do. She found the first package that said "100% butter", and grabbed it.
With one item in her cart, Lois moved down to the Milk and Cream section. She almost forgot the cream cheese (to go with the candy cane like caviar appetizer), and bumped into the cart behind her. She heard an "oof" and looked around to apologize.
"Mrs. Kent!" Lois was startled, she had thought that Clark's parents had gone back to Smallville.
"Lois! What a pleasant surprise!" Martha Kent had managed to upright herself and was grinning from ear to ear. "Might I ask what you're doing here?"
Lois looked down at her one package of butter. "I'm…I'm cooking for my Christmas party tonight! I just needed to pick up a few things."
"Oh, that sounds wonderful! what are you having?"
Lois thought that with that red hat, and that infectious grin, Martha could have been an elf.
Lois looked at Martha. She could do this on her own…couldn't she?? Lois was beginning to have her doubts, the margarine choices had taken over ten minutes, the rate she was going, she'd be here all night, and would have to serve everything raw.
"Please, call me Martha."
"Well,…um … Martha … I was going to do this …" and Lois pulled out her Bon Appetit holiday issue.
"Ohhh…Bon Appetit! and the holiday issue too! You know, I've always wanted to try those recipes, they've always looked so good."
Lois's hopes were raised. "You do?"
"Yes, I've always wanted to try some of these recipes, but Clark and Jonathan are such _sticklers_ for tradition. Once I tried to have a Japanese Christmas party with Sushi, you would not believe how fast that was vetoed!"
Lois, thinking of Clark's reaction to Christmas, could _well_ believe it. She nodded in understanding.
Martha looked up at Lois with very wide eyes and asked, "Do you think I could _possibly_ help you with this party? I mean, I've always wanted to try these recipes, but I've never had the chance. Could I help?"
Lois thought she managed to keep her astonishment and relief thoroughly covered. Here was the answer to her silent prayer!
"Mrs. K…Martha, that would be wonderful! You know how chaotic it gets in the kitchen before a party, and I was afraid I wasn't going to have all the time to do the dishes I wanted to do, by myself!" Lois paused and looked at Martha, "Are you sure you don't have something else to do? I mean you came to Metropolis to go Christmas shopping, and with all these Space Rats, I'm sure you didn't get much done."
Martha smiled. "Lois, as a matter of fact, I've been done with most of my Christmas shopping for quite a while. We came to Metropolis as an excuse to see Clark, and to let Jonathan find me my Christmas present. If I could help you, it would let Jonathan have the perfect excuse to go off and find my present!"
Lois laughed. Martha certainly knew how to make a person feel at ease. "Martha, that would wonderful. The truth is I was a little nervous about cooking this meal, I mean, Desert is _no_ problem … as long as it's chocolate, but the turkey and the vegetables …"
With a laugh, Martha put Lois pound of butter in her cart. "You sound just like Clark! When he was a small boy, I raised him on fruit for snacks, then in elementary school, Peter introduced Clark to the wonders of sugar and chocolate! For almost six months, Clark wanted marshmallows on _everything_, he even wanted them on his spaghetti!" Martha chortled at the memory.
Lois laughed out loud. All she could think of was Clark stuffing marshmallows in his mother's sauce pot. What a wonderful memory. She looked up to see Martha staring at her with a very serious face. "What?", Lois asked.
"We need to make a list, we're running out of time, and we have to get everything in one shot. Otherwise we're flat out of luck."
So Lois and Martha pulled out the magazine, chose the items they wanted to make, and made Lois' first grocery list.
Martha Kent was surprised how well the shopping went. The only argument that she and Lois had was over the turkey and stuffing. First of all, Lois wanted to buy a frozen turkey. Martha had to reason with her, that unless she wanted to postpone the party until tomorrow., and have a turkey doing the backstroke in her bathtub all night, she needed to get a fresh one. Once a turkey was selected, Martha headed over to the bread aisle.
"Martha, why are you getting day old rolls? I'm not skimping my guests on stale rolls!"
"They're for the stuffing for the bird, Lois. I usually make my own biscuits for stuffing, but we don't have the time or oven space!"
"Why do we need to make stuffing? It's already in the turkey. They always include a nice yellow bag of stuffing in each turkey."
Martha almost choked. "Lois, have you cooked a turkey _with_ that bag in it?"
"No … but then, I've never cooked a turkey. Mom used to take the bag out, and when I asked her what was in it, she said `stuffing'."
Martha sighed in relief. "Lois, that's _not_ stuffing. It's usually the neck, liver and heart. I don't use it, but some people cook those up as well."
Lois made a horrified face. "You mean…ew! Eww ew ew ew! Oh, thank you for telling me, I was just going to leave the "stuffing" in there … oh I would have gotten everyone sick!"
"Maybe not sick Lois, but the bird would have tasted horrible. The paper might have caught fire, and your turkey would toast!" Martha laughed, "But that's not going to happen, so let's pay for our food, and get out of this madhouse!" *****
Once they got back to Lois's apartment, and had unloaded every thing, they got to work. Martha put Lois to work cleaning out the Turkey. She did surprisingly well, for her first bird. Lois only made one "ewwww" while cleaning out the inside.
"You know Martha, I've seen murders and bombings in my line of work, but this is truly gross!"
"You get used to it dear. You can throw out the umm…"stuffing", but I would advise taking outside, as soon as possible, it can stink up a house _really_ fast."
With that advise, Lois threw the stuff in a garbage bag, and headed for the dumpster. The last thing she needed for this party, was a smelly apartment.
When Lois came in, Martha had the stuffing ready for the bird. "Ok, Lois, ready to stuff the turkey?"
"ohhh…I thought _you_ could do that, after all I cleaned that thing, you should have some of the fun."
"No, Lois. It's your bird. If you stuff it, you can say you made this turkey, _all by yourself_. Just grab the back end, think of your worst enemy and STUFF!"
This started Lois and Martha into a giggling fit. Lois was laughing so hard, that she didn't even notice when she had finished stuffing the bird.
"You know, Martha? That wasn't so bad?!"
"See, you'll be a gourmet cook in no time! The key is to laugh at the gross parts, and follow the recipe to the T. When you have more experience, you can fool around with amounts, but meanwhile, follow the instructions! That's what they're there for!"
As they stuffed the Turkey, glaze, stuffing and all into the oven, Lois began to relax. She could do this!
For the next several hours, Martha showed Lois how too prepare the vegetable, and how to set everything up so all the food would be done at the same time. Lois work hard, and never noticed that she was following Martha's lead. Slowly the food was almost done. The turkey was turning a nice golden brown, and it was time to set up the table.
"Well Lois, I'm afraid I have to go." "Uhh, why? I mean, we're not done! What about the turkey, and the vegetables! I'll overcook them by myself." Lois could feel some of her self confidence about cooking ebb.
"Well Lois, unless I leave now, I'm going to miss my plane home. As it is, I should have called Clark to tell him where I am. Your meal will be wonderful! I'm sure your guests will love it, and you can be very proud, because you did it yourself!"
Lois looked around. The smells were wonderful, and she did feel very proud of herself. Her first _real_ meal, and it's going to be great!
Lois hugged Martha. "Thank you! I couldn't have done this without your help!"
Martha hugged Lois back. "You're quite welcome Lois. It was fun to try those _really_ gourmet things. Thanks for letting me come over."
Lois looked down at this small woman and felt wonderment. She knew this wouldn't have been possible without Martha, but here Martha was saying _Lois_ was the gourmet!
"Ohh, can I give you a lift to the airport? I don't want you to miss your flight!"
"No thanks, Lois. You need to keep an eye on your food, and set up the table. I'll catch a taxi."
With those words, Martha picked up her coat, bundled herself up and headed for the door.
"Thank you again, Martha. Please, stop by when your back in Metropolis. I'll fix you a _gourmet_ meal, all by myself!"
"And I'll be looking forward to it!" With this, Martha gave Lois a final hug, and left the apartment.
When Martha got outside, she was about to hail a cab, when she heard a voice from above her.
"Excuse me ma'am, could I give you a lift?"
"Why…_Thank You_ Superman. I was afraid I would miss my plane!"
With this, Clark picked his mother up and started to fly to the airport. "So…how did the afternoon go?"
"Oh it was wonderful Clark. Lois is on her way to becoming a good cook. She just needed some direction. I'm glad you told me that she was having this party. Ever since you told me her four food groups were "phone, fax, e-mail and delivered", I wanted to let her know how much fun it is to cook. I hope everyone likes it."
"I'm sure I will, Mom. I'm sure I will."