A Dinner Surprise

olio – noun


1.   a dish of many ingredients.

2.   a mixture of heterogeneous elements; hodgepodge.

3.   a medley or potpourri, as of musical or literary selections; miscellany.

4.   Theater.

  1. a specialty act performed downstage while the upstage set ischanged.
  2. a performance, as a musical number, presented between scenes oracts.
  3. drop scene (def 1).
  4. a program of variety acts, especially the second half of a minstrelshow.

lap – noun


1.   an act of going completely around a track or over a course when you are running, swimming, etc.

2.   a part of a journey

3.   the front part of the human body from the waist to the knees when in sitting position.

4.   the part of the clothing that lies on the front portion of the body from the waist to the knees when one sits.

5.   a place, environment, or situation of rest or nurture:

6.   area of responsibility, care, charge, or control:

7.   a hollow place, as a hollow among hills.

8.   a part of a garment that extends over another:

“What is that smell?” Kelvin asked as he walked in through the kitchen door.

“Do you mean good smell or bad smell?” his girlfriend, Lettie, asked.

“Um, not sure yet,” came his honest reply.

Lettie opened the oven door checking on her ‘olio‘ casserole as her Aunt Dot called it.

“Whew!” Kelvin said, wrinkling his nose. “That is funky.I’m heading out to mow.”

“That works,” Lettie said. “My ‘olio‘ casserole will just be coming out of the oven.

Kelvin half smiled. “Oh good.”

Lawn mowed, Kelvin walked into the kitchen right after Lettie pulled out their dinner. He noticed she had set the table really fancy with a lace tablecloth, cloth napkins and two lit, blue candles. Next to their plates were wine glasses.

“Honey, what’s the occasion?” he asked, curious.

Lettie blushed. She walked into the kitchen, brought out the special casserole and set it on the trivet. When she lifted the glass lid off, steam and funk assaulted Kelvin’s nose.

Kelvin raised his eyebrows, exhaled slowly and said, “Smells great honey. What do you call it again?”

Lettie raised just one eyebrow, a trick only she could do between the two of them. She poured him a glass of wine but none for her.

“My Aunt Dot calls it ‘olio‘ casserole. Everything leftover in the fridge goes in so there is no waste. So a hodgepodge of flavors. I used condensed soups and blue cheese to tie the flavors together.” She beamed at him.

“Oh,” was all he said. He politely let her spoon a portion of it on his plate. When she served herself, he took a bite.

He chewed fast. “Mmmm.” He smiled with the food still in his mouth. He forced himself to swallow and gulped down his glass of wine.

“The wine really brings out the flavor,” Kelvin gurgled. He poured himself another glass after he took his next bite.

Lettie took a bite of food. She chewed only a few seconds before she spit it out all over her lap. Kelvin coughed, laughing, causing him to choke on his food.

“Thith ith groth,” Lettie sputtered, wiping food off of her tongue as fast she could. “Aaaaaaacky.”

Kelvin finally swallowed his food and downed his glass of wine. “You don’t like it?” he asked impishly. He poured Lettie a glass of wine and himself a smaller one so he could get rid of the taste in his mouth from her ‘olio’ dish.

Lettie shook her head and rubbed her belly, “Baby doesn’t like it either.”

It was Kelvin’s turn to spit up. Wine sprayed all over his lap.

“We’re going to have a baby?”

Lettie nodded yes, blushing. Kelvin scooped her out of her chair, hugged her tightly while planting kisses on her face.

“Promise me two things,” he began.

“Sure,” Lettie agreed.

“First, promise me you’ll marry me.”


“Second, promise me you’ll never make olio again.”


Kelvin and Lettie sealed their deal with a kiss, a ring and Chinese takeout.


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