Sarah smiled to herself as she made her way home from the shops hugging her parcel. She knew exactly what she was going to do. She had planned it all so carefully.
Her father had started a new job as head chef at Banyan’s Restaurant after they had moved from Melbourne to Perth a month earlier. Just the two of them - Max and Sarah - starting a new life after Sarah’s mother had been killed in a car accident.
“Just unpack the two biggest boxes.” Her father had said as he headed out the door that morning. “Then you can go for a swim.” The apartment block had its own heated indoor pool, complete with a swipe card for the security entrance to avoid any unwelcome visitors.
But the boxes could wait. Sarah had much more important things to do. It was the first day of winter school vacation, and this was her big chance to show her father how responsible and helpful she could be.
But somehow, it had all gone terribly wrong and she looked in horror as the thick glutinous mass seemed to grow larger and larger. “This can’t be happening!” she thought frantically as the river of liquid inched slowly towards her.
Sarah looked around as her father came into the kitchen and gasped in shock as a blob of potato and leek soup dropped from the ceiling and ran down his neck.
“Sarah, what happened?”
The look of disbelief on her father’s face was more than Sarah could bare and she burst into tears. “I don’t know what went wrong. I followed the directions. It said to add a tub of corn flour but...”
Max looked at the recipe. “Sarah, it says 1 Tab of corn flour; that means 1 tablespoon, not 1 tub.” Then he picked up the plastic container from the bench and read the label – CARBONATE OF SODA.
“Sarah, this is carbonate of soda.” It was all Max could do not to laugh. “You’ve just made yourself a small volcano.”
Sarah looked miserable. “It started overflowing onto the stove and when I picked up the pot I dropped it and it went everywhere and...”
Max looked up as another blob of soup dripped down on his head. “Including the ceiling it would appear.”
“I wanted everything to be just perfect for you.” Sarah said as tears rolled down her cheeks, “I wanted to cook dinner and surprise you.”
“Oh honey, I know you did!” said her father kissing the top of her head. “But for now, why don’t we just clean up this little mess and go out to dinner. Then on Saturday, we’ll start those cooking lessons with something a little simpler.”
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