Once Jasmine and Lucy’s cafe began serving soup, things changed completely.
Up until then, the girls would open the cafe (otherwise known as Jasmine’s mum’s garage) on a Saturday afternoon. Their friends had become used to meeting there, and chatting over the hot chocolate and delicious home made shortbread.
But once it became know how good the soup and bread was, people started wanting to have their lunch at the cafe. And it was not just their school friends who were coming, but their mums! And their dads! And neighbours!
This all meant that the girls had to work a lot harder. They had to get up early to chop the vegetables for the soup. They had borrowed some of Mrs Clancy’s giant pans, and every Saturday by 11 o’clock, the kitchen would be full of the wonderful smells of soup and baking bread.
Jasmine and Lucy then had just an hour to get the garage transformed into a cafe. Mum let them put the radio on loud, and the two of them ran around the garage, putting up fairy lights and arranging chairs and tables whilst they both sang their heads off to their favourite songs.
They both loved being busy and were thrilled that the cafe was such a success. They had begged Mum to let them open the cafe on a Sunday afternoon as well, but she said ‘Absolutely not.’ She said she was worried that they would tire themselves out, what with school as well. ’Everyone needs a day off,’ she said firmly and refused to discuss the matter any further.
Jasmine was so excited about the cafe, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. She would have opened it every day if she could. It was so amazing that just a few months ago the cafe hadn’t even existed and now it was something everyone was talking about it. And it was all down to her and Lucy.
That Friday night, she lay in bed waiting to fall asleep. But she just couldn’t stop thinking – new ideas for recipes for soups, perhaps they should serve a different cake each week – and call it ‘Cake of the Week’!
It suddenly occured to her that the cafe didn’t have any menus. Now they were serving different things, people needed to be able to see what they could choose and how much it would cost.
Very quietly so as not to wake her mum, Jasmine climbed out of bed, switched on the light and got out her pens and sketchbook. As she sketched out a few different ideas, the design for the menu began to take shape.
Jasmine loved art, and was good at it. The problem was that she became so engrossed in designing the menu, she didn’t notice the time go by. When she looked at the clock, it was almost one o’clock in the morning!
Quietly putting her pens down, Jasmine climbed into bed and straight away fell fast asleep.
Mum’s call to get up came much too soon. By the time Jasmine entered the kitchen, yawning and rubbing her eyes, Lucy had already arrived and was hard at work.
‘Morning,’ yelled Lucy cheerfully. She was wearing a blue and green apron, and her long blond hair was tied up in a bun. She was kneading the dough for the bread. Jasmine slumped down on a kitchen chair and grunted.
‘What’s up with you?’ asked Lucy. She loved Saturday mornings in the kitchen, especially baking the bread. She couldn’t see what Jasmine had to be miserable about.
‘Nothing’ replied Jasmine grumpily, and rested her head on the palm of her hand and wished she could go back to bed. The kitchen was so warm and her head ached. She definately did not feel like chopping vegetables for soup.
Mum put a glass of orange juice in front of her and told her to drink it.
‘I hope you didn’t stay up reading last night,’ she said. Jasmine answered ‘no’, almost truthfully, and drank her orange in silence while Lucy told her what they would be serving in the cafe that day.
‘There’s some cooked chicken in the fridge, and so we thought we would do Chicken and Sweetcorn soup. I’ve already chopped the onions, so that’s the hardest bit done. Can you rub the butter and flour together for the Shortbread.’
‘Fine’, huffed Jasmine and dragged herself over to the fridge to get the butter.
For the next ten minutes Jasmine stood glaring into a mixing bowl, rubbing the butter and flour together. In fact, she discovered it was quite a good thing to do if you were feeling grumpy, as you can make mean expressions at the bowl and rub the butter into the flour in a really mean way. She didn’t think any one was watching her as she snarled and scowled at the crumbs as she squished the between her fingers. But then she looked up to see Mum and Lucy laughing at her.
‘Leave me alone!’ yelled Jasmine accross the kitchen. Mum and Lucy responded with an ‘Wooooohhhh’ which made Jasmine even more cross. She was having a bad day.
Things got worse when it was time to open up the cafe. As usual a small queue had formed outside. As they filed in through the garage door, Jasmine spotted that the new boy in her class Samuel Foxon was among them.
Sam had only been at her school for a few weeks but had already assumed the role of most popular boy in the class, if not the whole school. When he was little, his mum had signed him up with an agency to be a child model, and this had led to a role in a television commercial. He had loads of stories to tell about being on television and in magazines and everyone, boys and girls, thought he was just fantastic. Jasmine thought he was just a bossy showoff.
It turned out that the television commercial he had been in was for toilet roll, but that just made everyone think he was even more hilarious and fantastic than ever.
Lucy came rushing into the kitchen. ‘Jazzy! Samuel Foxon’s here! He’s sat with Mathew and Andrew from your class.’
‘I know,’ replied Jasmine disdainfully. ‘Its no big deal. Its not like he’s not a film star, or anything. He’s just a boy from our school’
‘He’s been on television.’ Lucy started to cut the soda bread into chunks, ready to serve.
‘Advertising toilet roll!’ Jasmine spat out the words. The arrival of Sam Foxon had done nothing to help her headache.
‘You’re only jealous,’ retorted Lucy.
‘I AM NOT JEALOUS!’ Jasmine yelled.
‘Stop arguing!’ Mum stood between the two of them. ‘Lucy – you go and take the soda bread to the guests. Jasmine, the chicken and sweetcorn soup seems a bit bland. There is a jar of minced chillies in the fridge. Add one or maybe two teaspoons of chilli to the soup. It should bring the flavours out a bit more.’
Lucy left the kitchen with the bread, while Jasmine stomped off to the fridge to get the jar of chillis. She was still cross about Lucy and the whole Sam Foxon thing. Why did people think he was so fantastic? He literally had a crowd of girls who followed round the playground at school. And now, Lucy would be joining them, laughing at all his stupid jokes, and going on about how wonderful he was.
‘Have you done the soup?’ asked Mum. For a moment Jasmine wondered what she meant, but then she said ‘yes’.
‘And have you tasted it?’ asked Mum again. ‘Yes!’ Jasmine again replied, even though she hadn’t. Today she just didn’t feel like cooking.
Then Lucy rushed in, saying everyone wanted the soup. Mum filled the bowls and handed them to Lucy and Jasmine to take out.
‘Oh Mum, do I have to?’ whined Jasmine.
“Yes, you do. What is wrong with you today!’
“Nothing,’ scowled Jasmine and grabbed a bowl of soup to take out.
She walked into the cafe. She pretended not to see Sam so she wouldn’t have to serve him, but he called out ’Hiya Jaz.’
‘Oh hi’ she replied, while looking around the other tables to whom she could give the bowls of soup. To her horror, she realised there was only Sam who didn’t have any soup. She turned and gave him the meanest smile the world had ever seen, and then set the bowl in front of him.
‘It looks lovely,’ he said politely. ‘Did you make it yourself.’
‘Yes’ said Jasmine, before sweeping off into the kitchen.
‘That new boy Samuel seems very nice,’ said Mum.
Jasmine did not reply.
‘Don’t you think he’s nice?’ asked Mum again.
‘Samual Foxon is covered in love bites and they are all from himself,’ snapped Jasmine.
Suddenly Lucy burst into the kitchen. ‘You better come quick. There’s a big problem with the soup!’
All three of them went into the cafe, to see people hopping up and down, gasping and flapping their hands in front of their faces.
‘Its the soup. They’re saying its too spicy,’ said Lucy.
‘Well it shouldn’t be. Hang on,’ Mum turned to Jasmine. ‘Jasmine – remember when I asked you to put in two teaspoons of chilli into the soup. Which spoon did you use?’
Jasmine thought for a second, then said ‘a teaspoon of course. One of the small …’ Now it was her turn to gasp. ‘Oh Mum. I think I used the big spoon – the tablespoon by mistake. Oh no! I’m really sorry.’
Jasmine looked in horror at the people in the cafe, gulping down glasses of water. One man complained that the soup was so hot, it was making his nose run and Lucy had to go and fetch some tissues.
‘This is a disaster,’ Jasmine groaned.
‘Not at all,’ shouted someone from behind her. It was Samual Foxton, standing up with a spoon in the air. ‘Oh no,’ thought Jasmine. ‘Just when things couldn’t get any worse.’
‘I love Chilli Soup. Its delicious!’ Sam shouted. With that, people started whispering ‘Oh, chilli soup. Actually, its quite nice!’
At the end of the afternoon, they had sold out of soup and shortbread and most of the customers had left. Only Sam stayed behind to help with the tidying up.
‘ Samuel,’ said Mum. ‘You saved the day.’
‘It was no problem at all,’ said Sam. ‘I honestly do love chilli soup.’
‘Well if you ever want to help out here in the cafe again, you are welcome any time. Isn’t he, Jasmine.’
Jasmine managed to turn the corners of her mouth up into something that resembled a smile. This was one day that couldn’t be over soon enough.