The Whole Enchilada

My Aunt Lydia wasn’t a powerful witch. But she could still make your life miserable if she wanted to. Just little curses to be annoying. A driver who cut her off in traffic, she gave a worrisome rash for a week. The waitress who kept forgetting to fill her coffee cup, she made the toaster behave erratically, sometimes burning it, sometimes undertoasting.

And the time I left the pizza boxes in the recycling bin and she got a nasty note from the city.

She waggled the citation in my face. “I appreciate you helping out your old aunt on trash day, but I have told you about the pizza boxes. It’s the grease, you see.”

“Won’t happen again, Aunt Lydia,” I said.

“Oh, it won’t,” she warbled. “Now take those chef skills and make me dinner.”

I wasn’t a chef yet, just in school.

“Sure, Auntie. Whatcha want?”

“Something … spicy.”


I knew something was up when I grabbed the tortillas and they started blowing raspberries at me.

From the living room, stifled giggles.

“You gonna chop us up, lovely as we are?” The sweet potatoes cooed.

“Sorry,” I answered. “I hope this doesn’t hurt.”

“You g’wan ahead, sugar, this is what we live for.”

The poblano pepper wasn’t as nice. “I need a cigarette before I go,” he said. “I’m kinda smoky.”

The chorizo couldn’t wait to start yapping as soon as I opened the package. “Hola, mi amigo! Que pasa?”

Sautéing the whole mess of these chattery foods was a test of my patience. But they mellowed eventually as their flavors came together.

“You’re using sauce from a JAR?” the Baldi brand sauce complained.

“I don’t have any tomato paste,” I explained.

The sauce bubbled disdainfully at me as it swam over top the dish.

The final touch, shredded cheese.

“This recipe is nothing without me,” it said. “Shower us over this mess!”

“What!” The sour cream barked. “The spice level in these enchiladas indicates that they’ll be inedible without ME!”


“Oh these enchiladas are just marvelous!” Aunt Lydia exclaimed. “It’s as if the ingredients were speaking right to you!”


Aunt Lydia was mischievous but not mean-spirited. Her curses never lasted long. Eventually the voices got quieter, as Lydia’s powers faded. We had to ask her to stop using her power completely because it was making her weaker. But I don’t think she cared.

One day I was making a turkey sandwich and its usual gobbling had stopped completely. That’s the day I found out she had passed.

She probably put a curse on St Peter at the gates. Good old Aunt Lydia.

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