by Grant Bailie



His grandmother's recipe called for the pasta dough to be beaten with a bone--and not just any bone either. It had to be a human femur. This was his first hurdle. Where would he get such a thing at this hour in this part of town? Or, for that matter, at any hour, in any part of town?


It was a forty mile drive on bad roads to the family graveyard but there was little else he could think of. He dug up his grandmother. With some kicking and some wacking with the shovel, he forced loose her femur, retrieved it from inside the folds of the rotting housedress she had been buried in, and put it in the back seat of his car. 


On the way home he stopped for some garlic, oregano and ginger. The ginger wasn't for this meal—it was for something else he was planning in a few days. One of his father's recipes—a lemon ginger chicken. The chicken breast  would have to be pummeled for three hours straight with a bloody fist. He was not looking much forward to that.


This is why he usually ordered out, but these were the high holy days and tradition was tradition.