Why, hello there. You may know me as the witch, or my personal favorite, the ‘old hag’ in the classic children’s fairy-tale Hansel and Gretel, but I’m here to tell you a different story and it goes like this.
Once upon a time there was a baker writer lady who grew up in the big city where she had a shop full of indulgent treats, cakes, and candies in which she specialized. People came from miles around to sample her confectionery, but after many years she got tired of the hustle and bustle of the city and decided to move to a secluded little spot in the woods, where a fresh supply of high quality water would allow her to produce some of the purest, most elevated treats of her career. She had many a happy day, listening to music and whipping up fabulously stunning (if I do say so) concoctions in her cabin cottage, going outside to offer her delicacies to the birds and bask under the light of an unpolluted sun.
As there was no one to buy her wares, she began to adorn her house with the heartier varieties, the hard candies and sturdy cinnamon cookies that would last a lifetime, taking a whimsical delight in indulging her own personal fantasy of living in a fairy-tale castle made of lollies and bonbons. There was no one to judge her out in the woods, so her fantasy rapidly became reality and soon the most fantastical cottage of graham and rainbow-colored gumdrops lit her little patch of woods like a psychedelic dollhouse.
She was in her kitchen one day, covered with flour from the newest batch of cinnamon grahams she’d been rolling out to patch a hole in the roof, when she noticed yet another hole, growing larger in pieces, in the corner of her living room.
“What the…” she exclaimed, grabbing a broom and going outside to chase away what she assumed were some ill-bred field mice.
Instead she found herself face to face with two red-faced children, staring up at her with devious smiles and the melted chocolate of her tempered trim on their faces.
“Excuse me,” she said (somewhat huffily if truth be told). “What do you think you’re doing?”
The little girl stood up and twirled around in a porcelain dress that cost more than the lady’s yearly bakery earnings. “This house is made of candy, so we’re eating it.”
“This is my house,” said the lady. “Please don’t do that.”
The little boy burst out laughing. “You live in a house made of candy?!” he exclaimed gleefully, before reaching out to grab one of the spun sugar windowpanes. It shattered into candy shards, which the two children threw in the air before taking one of the pieces and decapitating a gummy garden gnome with it.
“Hey! You two better clear out. Where are your parents?”
“They let us do what we want,” said the boy.
“I’ll see about that,” said the lady. With that she went inside and being somewhat old school and fed up with children who respected no boundaries and lacked discipline, she came outside with her crème brûlée blowtorch, turned it on, and chased the children off her property.
And to make a long story short, the brats ran back to their parents and made up a story about being kidnapped by a witch who tried to eat them. The baker writer lady received a visit from the forest patrol who told her that houses made of confectionery were against the housing code, and that it would have to come down. Far from being defeated, the lady merely chopped up her house and hit the open road, selling pieces of her house gingerbread-style at various markets and bake-sales to fund her cross-country expedition.
So there you have it folks, yet another mistelling of what in the end was a clear smear campaign orchestrated by two property-desecrating minors, who may or may not have learned their lesson but at least never got another piece of my-err-the lady’s awesome confectionery house.
- The full recipe is available in the Best of Flash Fiction Kitchen cookbook, available here.
This post has been shared on Phoenix Helix’s Paleo-AIP Roundtable.