Friday, September 24, 2010

Sequel Time

In honor of her eighteenth birthday tomorrow, here is a sequel I wrote to the story, Olivia's Hats, back in 2000 when she was merely seven years old.  It even has a recipe attached!  Enjoy!

(a sequel to Olivia’s Hats)
©2000 by Tom Hayes

Olivia lived with her family in a very nice house at the end of a quiet street.  But there was something quite special about the house, because it had something that no other house had.

In an extra room at the back of the house was a huge closet.  And that closet was packed full of hats.  And these hats were not ordinary hats -- not ordinary hats at all.

Olivia’s house had once belonged to a magician, and the hats had belonged to him.  And every time Olivia placed one of those hats on her head, something magical happened.

She might find herself digging for dinosaur bones.  Or deep in a cave.  Or even  far beneath the sea.  All she knew for sure was that if she put on a hat, there would be a loud PHWOMP!  And she would find herself in the middle of some new adventure.

One rainy afternoon, Olivia decided it was time to try on another one of the hats.  She went back to the closet and looked at all the hat racks and hooks and hangers and boxes.  It seemed like no matter when she came to the closet, there was always one hat which seemed to especially catch her eye.  And this time was no different.  There, on a hat rack, as white as new-fallen snow, was a baker’s hat.  And somehow, Olivia just knew that this was the hat she had to try on.

As she was lifting the hat up to her head, Olivia noticed a small, yellowed piece of paper tucked inside the baker’s hat.  She pulled it out and looked at it closely.

“Oh!”  she said, “It’s a recipe!”

And indeed it was.  The paper said, “Triple Chocolate Double Fudge Peanut Butter Pow! Kazam! Brownies” and it listed all kinds of delicious things, along with the instructions on how to make the brownies.

Olivia tucked the paper into her pocket, and tried on the baker’s hat.

PHWOMP!  Suddenly Olivia found herself in a huge, shiny room.  She looked around and realized that she was in the biggest kitchen she had ever seen!  She looked down and saw that her clothes had changed into the white shirt and checkered pants of a baker!

Just as Olivia was about to decide what to look at first, a little old man dressed as a baker came bursting in through the double-doors of the kitchen.

(A note for the illustrator:  This can be the same old man as in Olivia’s Hats.)

“There you are, Chef Olivia!” he cried.  “Please, you’ve got to hurry!  The contest is about to begin!”

“C-contest?” asked Olivia.

“Why of course!” said the little old man.  “I hope you’ve finally decided what you’re going to bake!”

Olivia suddenly remembered the recipe she’d found in the hat.  “As a matter of fact, I have, “ she said.  She pulled the paper out of her pocket.  “I’m going to make ‘Triple Chocolate Double Fudge Peanut Butter Pow! Kazam! Brownies’.”

“That sounds . . . very interesting,” said the little old man.  “Shall we begin?”

“Certainly,” said Olivia.  “Here’s what we’re going to need:  flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate, peanut butter, baking powder, fudge, and a teaspoon of vanilla.”

The little old man let out a yelp!  “Vanilla?!?  Are you sure?” he asked.

“I’m pretty sure,” said Olivia.

“Oh, dear.  Oh, dear,” said the little man.  “I’m sorry to tell you this, Chef Olivia, but I think we have a problem.

“It’s the other chef, you see,” he said.  “He got here early, and took ALL of the vanilla!  Every last drop!  It’s for his ‘Va-Va-Va-Voom Vanilla Sponge Cake’, you see.”

“Well, we’ll just have to get some more,” said Olivia.  “I can start the recipe while you run out to the store.”

“No, no, no!” said the man.  “That won’t do at all!  According to the rules, we must only use what we find here.  And that other fellow has already taken all of the vanilla!  Oh, whatever are we going to do?”

Olivia thought for a minute.  Then she got a wonderful idea!

“You just get started on the Triple Chocolate Double Fudge Peanut Butter Pow! Kazam! Brownies,” she said, handing him the recipe, “and leave the vanilla to me!”

Olivia walked into the big pantry.  When the door was safely closed behind her, she took off the baker’s hat.

BAMPH!  Olivia was back in the closet!  She walked down to the kitchen.  Her mom was just beginning to fix dinner.

“Mom,” said Olivia, “Can I borrow the vanilla for a little while?  It’s kind of important.  I promise not to make a mess.”

“Sure, honey,” said Olivia’s mom.  “I don’t think I’m going to need it.  Just bring back the bottle when you’re done.”

“Thanks, Mom!” said Olivia.  She took the bottle of vanilla from the cupboard and went back to the magic hat closet.

She put the baker’s hat back on.  PHWOMP!  She was back in the pantry again, dressed in her chef suit.  She went out to where the little old man was furiously mixing flour and eggs and chocolate.

“Look what I found!” she said, holding out the vanilla.

“B-b-but I was sure that....  How ever did you...?  Wh-why, that’s WONDERFUL!” he finally said.

Olivia measured out one teaspoon of vanilla.  They finished mixing up the brownies, and put them in the oven.

A half an hour later, they took the Triple Chocolate Double Fudge Peanut Butter Pow! Kazam! Brownies out of the oven.  They smelled great!  Olivia cut them up and put them on a plate and took them out through the double doors into a big dining room.

A set of doors on the other side of the room opened up at the same time.  A fat man in a chef’s hat came through them.  He was carrying a tremendous cake.  Olivia realized that it must be the Va-Va-Va-Voom Vanilla Sponge Cake.

There was a table in the middle of the room.  Some men in suits and tall black hats were waiting there.  The fat man set down the cake.  Olivia set down the brownies.  The men in suits tasted the cake first.

“Hmmmm,” they said.  “Light.  Moist.  Spongy.  But too much vanilla.”  The fat man frowned.

Then they tasted Olivia’s Triple Chocolate Double Fudge Peanut Butter Pow! Kazam! Brownies.  Huge smiles spread across their faces.

“These are the most heavenly brownies we have ever eaten!” they said.
“We declare Chef Olivia to be -- The Winner!”

Olivia was presented with a gold medal and a trophy that looked like a golden spoon.

“Thank you all very much,” she said, “but I couldn’t have done it without my friend here.”  She put her arm around the little old man.  He beamed.

Olivia gave him a hug, and then told him that she really had to be getting back.  She went back to the kitchen, picked up the recipe paper and the vanilla bottle, and took off the baker’s hat.

BAMPH!  Olivia was back in the closet once again.  She took off the hat, carefully put the recipe back inside it, and closed the door.  Then she took the vanilla back to the kitchen.  Maybe her mom would help her make some brownies for dessert!

The End

[The recipe for Olivia’s Triple Chocolate Double Fudge Peanut Butter Pow! Kazam! Brownies follows:]

Olivia’s Triple Chocolate Double Fudge Peanut Butter Pow! Kazam! Brownies

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 oz. chocolate fudge
2/3 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup peanut butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13”x9”x2” baking pan.  Melt chocolate, shortening, peanut butter and fudge in saucepan or double-boiler over low heat.  Stir well.  Remove from heat and mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in remaining ingredients and spread in pan.  Bake for 30 minutes or until brownies start to pull away from side of pan.  Cool and cut into bars.

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