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Dear Diary,

by Paul Herrera about a month ago in recipe

Are you going with me?

Dear Diary,

This has been an interesting week for me. It all began while I was grocery shopping. Nothing out of the ordinary, just shopping.


As I was making the rounds through the aisles, I checked my list, wanted some lasagna. So off to frozen foods.

At the other end of the aisle there she was, staring into the ice cream section, she looked hypnotized. Well dressed, looked like a successful business owner. I strolled down her way; she was preoccupied with the ice cream she did not even notice me. A minute later she saw my reflection in the glass door. With out speaking, she pointed to rocky road, looked at my reflection, her facial expression asked, “What do you think of this flavor?” Looking into the glass door, I shook my head no.

She took a step back and pointed to garlic flavored ice cream, I could see she was laughing. I gave thumbs down. For the next 10 minutes, other customers saw what looked like two street mimes performing. She chooses, “Homemade Vanilla Strawberry Brownie Batter Carmel Ice Cream Extreme Chocolate.” I could not believe such a flavor existed, let alone say it.

I saw her at the check out we began to get to know one another.

“Hi, are you really going to eat that?”

“Of course! I love adventure, it’s the only way to live.”

“I’m Joe, how are you tonight?”

“I’m Lisa, you come here often?”

“Yeah, I do, it’s the atmosphere, the cheesy music, and I have an addiction to eating.”

Joe thought, “Getting good vibes from her, she likes adventure, why not ask her out?”

As they walked out of the store, Joe spoke up.

“Lisa, have a question.”

“Sure, go ahead ask.”

“Would you like to have dinner with me, at my place?”

“That was quick.”

“In the short time we have talked, I get a good vibe from you, you’re an interesting lady.”

“I got a hunch about you, sure why not, let’s get together.”

“How about this coming Thursday for dinner, at my place. I’ll cook.”

“Oh really? Let me guess, hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly?”

Stunned, “Wow! You read my mind! Laughing, how about Grilled Chicken, Green Salad sprinkled with cheese. With a nice Merlot 2003.”

“Till Thursday?”

“You forgot something…”

“I did???”

“Yes, you did…”

Lisa had a smirk on her face and was not about to let him off easy.

“Okay, you win.”

“How are you going to contact me?”

“By phone.”

“What number?”

An embarrassed Joe admitted his error.”

“Yeah, that would make things run smoother, can I have your phone number?” “Oh, one more thing”


“What’s your address?”

She handed him her business card wrote het address on the back of the card.

“Here you go.”

The following days drove me nuts, it is like time slows down when you are awaiting something new.

Monday, I placed an order with Bright Cellars, one case of Merlot wine, vintage 2003 to 2007. Looking forward to the arrival. When it comes to wine polish the glasses for optimum clarity, Merlot especially can be visually, and tastefully appreciated.

The plan for dinner was laid out. Cognac with a blend of passion fruit, horderves, not too many as to ruin dinner. Why such a drink you ask? Dinner is to experience a variety of tastes, the horderves will neutralize any after taste before dinner. Always serve your best wine last, with a toast to your guest(s).



Today is Wednesday, time to gather all the ingredients from the local store. Diary, this is a nice store with an old-world flavor to it. Mom and Pop owned.

Chicken, fresh everything else. Getting home I find my wine has arrived. Inside I open it like it was Christmas.

To my delight two bottles of wine, in my order, came from Sonoma County, soil is rich, growing conditions for 2003 were perfect. Lucky me! Two bottles! One for today, the here and now, the other for tomorrow night.

Spoke to Lisa, anticipation builds, chemistry is strong. It is a shame you are only a diary. lol

To my surprise, that night the rain decided to make a guest appearance. With the crashing thunder, it felt like a front-row seat to the 1776 overture.

Morning came and things calmed down, Ansel Adams would approve. Crystal clear morning, light rain, just enough overcast to set a romantic mood over dinner.


Hello Diary! I know this unusual for an early post but I have a good feeling about tonight. Later.

The time was high noon, Lisa calls.

“Hey, Lisa! How you are this day? Looking forward to dinner? what do you about this rain.”

“I like the rain, it cleans the air, ahh, are you going to do a rendition of Gene Kelly’s singing in the rain?”

“What a mind reader you are, the camera crews setting things up, as we speak.”

“Really? Are you serious? Camera crews?”

“Sure, I got my ballet slippers and everything.”

“Ballet slippers…? Wait a minute, Gene Kelly didn’t wear any …”

Joe started laughing.

“Lisa realized what happened, you swine!!”

“Well got to get things going, tonight about seven?’”

“No, six.”

“Yes, mam”

“Mam? Are saying, “Mam like grandma???, you, knuckle-dragging neanderthal!”

“Tonight, at six, then.”

“Don’t be late.”

“Yes, mam.”

“Grrrr! Six o’clock, knuckle dragger.”


It was three o’clock, clean the house then start prepping dinner, done in no time. Dinner was set according to plan to make the most efficient use of time. Salad ingredients were organized in the order of need.

Fresh green salad, a touch of Italian seasons, ready to go. Dinner table set. The wine glasses took the longest, always clean your wine glasses to where they appear to be invisible, make the color of the wine stand out, polish your wine bottle.

Joe ran a mental checklist in his mind, (Everything looks right, house clean, car taking care of, outside weather conditions are right. Will there be dancing? OF COURSE)

Before leaving, Joe called Lisa.

“Hi, Joe!”

“I’m leaving the house, on my way, you ready?”

“What do you think?”

“Oh great, how long will that take?”

“Just get over here, I’m hungry.” Lol.

Finding Lisa’s place was easier than he thought, if was not for the GPS unit in his car, he figured that he ends up in Canada. He saw her place, parked, and made for her door. Knocking she answered.

“Wow! You look great!”

“Thanks, you must be Joe.”

“No, I’m his twin brother Joe.”

“Come on in, have a seat. Just getting my things, so how was your day?”

“Busy, but fun.”

“I’m ready, let’s go.”

Joe opened the door, “After you dear, lady.”


The drive back to Joe's place was lively, she had a lot of things to say. I did not mind it, we talked like we had known each other for years.

“Something I should tell you.”

“What is it?”

“Still have to make the chicken, I wanted it to be right for dinner, besides, you might get a good laugh watching me make dinner.”

“Do you have the full chef's outfit?”

“No, just an apron that says, “Harry’s Burgers.”

Lisa laughed, “I am so looking forward to this show.”

At Joe’s place, Lisa gave it the look over and approved. “Nice place.”

“Why thank you, here sit right here at the counter, try this drink, I think you’ll like it.”

“What is it?”

“It’s a blend of passion fruit and cognac.”

“Just try a sip.”

“She took a sip…hmm that’s good. Light with a touch sweetness.”

“Is the chicken prepped?”

“Oh yeah, just need to add seasoning and fire up the grill, low flame, don’t worry I won’t smoke out the house,” With that, he flipped the fan switch on and any smoke was sucked up.

For the next half hour, while the chicken cooked, they talked, getting to know each other. Lisa liked the horderves.

Lisa was surprised when she watched Joe sprinkle mesquite on the chicken.


“Yes, you are going to live the flavor.”

“Dinner is ready, did you like the show?”

“Oh, yeah, it's so thrilling to watch a guy cook chicken.”

“As a gentleman, he held her chair out, she sat down.”

He brought out dinner, then he came back with two wine glasses, and a bottle of Merlot, (2003). Like a good host he followed protocol, he showed her the wine, opened it then giving it a few minutes to breathe, he brought out two glasses of water.

Joe turned on his computer to jazz only station and dinner began.

Lisa liked the salad, curiously she tried the grilled chicken, an array of tastes filled her mouth.

“This really good, the mesquite really put a nice twist on it.”

“Now take a sip of water, then another bite, then the merlot.”

Lisa’s expression said it all.

They talked endlessly getting to know each other. As the evening went on, the song from Pat Metheny started to play. Joe could tell Lisa was having a nice time. So, he reached out for Lisa’s hand and asked her to dance. She happily agreed. As Joe held Lisa in arms, they danced, Lisa asked, “Do you know the name of this song?’

Joe responded, “Are you going with me.”

Paul Herrera
Paul Herrera
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Paul Herrera

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I love stories that have twists and turns, enough it creates good conversation.

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