CNN: Cheese And Meatballs

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Where’s the chopping board . . .

“What are you looking for?”

“The chopping board.”

“Here it is.”

Taengoo smiles as she takes the chopping board from the pretty lady. “What a neat little drawer.”

The lady smiles in return. “It’s made just for chopping boards. It has the slots and everything.”

Taengoo puts the chopping board on the countertop and puts the spring onions on it. Ah, a knife. A knife . . .

“Here.”

Taengoo squeaks in fright when she turns to look. The lady is holding a knife right in front of her face.

“Did I scare you?”

“A little.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Taengoo takes the knife with careful hands and chops up the spring onions. In they go. Taengoo drops the spring onions into the boiling water with the lady watching over her from behind. Somehow, it makes her more nervous. “Er.” Taengoo pauses. I don’t know what her name is. Would she tell me if I asked?

“What is it?”

Taengoo decides to try. “What’s your name?”

“Oh!” The lady seems surprised. Then, her eyes narrow into cute little crescents. “My name is Tiffany. But most of my friends here call me Ppani.”

Her pink ears prick at the lady’s name. It’s such a pretty name. Just like her. “May I call you Ppani too?”

Ppani smiles and her eyes turn into cute crescents again. “Sure, you can.”

Taengoo nods. “Ppani, could you turn around, please?”

“But why?”

“You’re making me nervous when you watch me cook.”

Ppani looks surprised again. “Oh, okay. I’ll go outside. But will you be alright in here?”

“I’ll be fine.” Taengoo gives Ppani a gentle push. “Go.”

“Okay.”

Taengoo turns back to her little dinner project after Ppani exits the kitchen. She’s determined to make the nicest bowl of ramyeon for kind Ppani. I can do it!

A peak into the refrigerator reveals a generous supply of cheese, kimchi, fishcakes and meatballs. Yeah! Taengoo hauls out several packets and puts them on the counter. She deliberates over them and decides on the meatballs. Meat is important. Meat is good. Taengoo wishes she had her claws so she doesn’t have to find a pair of scissors to cut the packet open. Why do they make these packets so hard to open?

At last, Taengoo finds the scissors and frees the meatballs from their packet. She plonks a few into the boiling soup and stirs. Now for the ramyeon, cheese and more yummy stuff.

I should cut the cheese into a nice shape. Like a heart.

Taengoo lays the cheese on the chopping board and presses the knife down on it. She does it carefully but one wrong move and she’s groaning. “Argh, I cut it wrong. It’s not gonna be a heart anymore.”

Taengoo holds up the cheese and stares at it. “It looks like a diamond now. Oh well, a diamond is nice too.” And with that, she lays the diamond-shaped cheese over the ramyeon. A job well done!

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It isn’t until Taengoo is serving the pot of ramyeon that she realizes something is seriously wrong with it.

“Oh no. Eggs. I forgot the eggs.”

Ppani smiles. “It’s alright, Taengoo. You can add them the next time.”

Pink ears flop flat on Taengoo’s head and her tail hangs listlessly. “I forgot the eggs.”

Ppani takes a sip of the soup and smacks her lips together. “The soup tastes really good, Taengoo.”

Pink ears prick up and Taengoo’s tail comes back to life. “Really?”

Ppani nods and smiles. “You’re really good at cooking ramyeon. Why don’t you cook it for me again tomorrow?”

“You want me to cook against tomorrow?”

“Mhm. Would you like to?”

Taengoo nods eagerly, her pink ears and tail on the up and up. “Does it mean I can stay with you tonight?”

“You can stay with me for as long as you want, if you want to.”

“I would love to. You’re the kindest person I’ve ever met.”

Ppani smiles. “And you’re the cutest pink cat-human I’ve ever seen.”

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