"You really like cooking, huh?"
"Not just any kind of cooking. Ever since I was a little girl watching Julia Child with my mom, I've loved French cooking. And now here I am in France where I finally have the opportunity to try it for real, and it's just going to waste!"
She noticed my little laugh and added, "I mean, of course the point is to be doing the Lord's work, but I don't see why I shouldn't use what free time I have to learn some of the sauces and reductions and soufflés and such that I've always dreamed of making just right."
"I guess there's nothing wrong with that," I said. "But after two years of living here, I still don't see why some people say French food is so fancy and refined. They eat like cave-men here! Moldy cheese! Rotten grape juice! Raw meat! What's with that glob of raw hamburger meat with a raw egg floating on top? I can't believe people can just mash that up and eat it just like that! Yuck!"
Sister Bell laughed. "My last comp used to call that one the 'salmonella special'."
"Then they put a fried egg on everything," I continued. "On grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, on dinner crèpes, even on pizza! I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying that it's the kind of 'experimental cuisine' I'd expect from a bunch of frat boys, not from the country that's supposed to be some center of high culture."
Sister Bell laughingly agreed.
"I'll have a pizza," I said. "Oh, and could you slap a big old fried egg on that? Thanks."
"You know I'm not talking about brasserie food," said Sister Bell with a smile. "I wish I had the chance to cook something for you before you go so you can see what I mean."
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"I'm mostly kidding," I said, "I know there's a lot of good stuff here."
Just then Elder Clark got a hold of the ball and broke away for a lay-up on the other end of the court. It was cool to see he could hold his own against the others despite his size. When I first met him I thought he was kind of a dork because he was so into juggling and magic tricks. He was always on about how he could juggle and ride a unicycle at the same time (though of course he wasn't allowed to bring his unicycle on his mission). But it turned out that he was a lot of fun, and his little tricks were great for getting people's attention and striking up conversations with them while street contacting in town.
I was looking at my watch and wondering when this was going to wrap up, when all of the sudden Elder West started yelling at Elder Dietrich. Elder West was saying that Elder Dietrich had tripped him. Sister Bell looked concerned.
"I did nothing of the sort," said Elder Dietrich. "It's not my fault if you can't run across the court without tripping over your own feet."
"That's not funny and it's not true," said Elder West. "I'm sick of your cheating."
"And I'm sick of your lip!" said Elder Dietrich. "Now let's get back in the game, or else I'll have to mention your bad attitude in my weekly report to the Mission President again."
So they all got back to playing, and it seemed more-or-less friendly except that Elder West was looking at Elder Dietrich like he was ready to sock him one.
"This isn't right," said Sister Bell. "Elder Dietrich is exercising unrighteous dominion."
I laughed. "Maybe, I don't know."
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