Last Friday, Mr. Mulberry called to offer me the job! I quit the haberdashery straightaway, and went in for a visit over the weekend to say goodbye to my dear friends (and to take them this flamboyant Fruit Cocktail Salad, but more on that later). Anyway, I am now a sales girl at Grain-O-Wheat! Well, I guess I should say the sales girl. When I went back to the office on Monday for my first day of work, I found myself once again alone in the lobby. I wasn’t about to be deterred by that, though; I lifted my chin, hung my purse on the lobby desk chair, and sat down. The desk was neatly maintained by its previous occupant. Nothing was out of place. I doubt it had been left alone for long, because it wasn’t all that dusty and all the pens still worked.
Mr. Mulberry came in about 15 minutes later. “Morning, Sally,” he sighed, frowning.
“Excuse me, but I’m not Sally. I’m Lemon, remember? You hired me last week?”
He used one index finger to push the bridge of his eyeglasses back in place. His eyes looked magnified behind the curved glass, and they blinked sleepily. “Ah, yes, I remember. The new sales girl. Settling in?”
“Well, it is just my first day, sir. I was wondering…. Um, I was wondering, where is Sally?”
Mr. Mulberry didn’t move, but he may as well have been squirming in his suit. He cleared his throat. “Maternity leave.”
I clapped my hands with joy. “Oh! How wonderful! Will she be returning soon?”
He didn’t answer. “I’m going to leave some folders of information for you to look at on your desk. They should familiarize you with our products and the way we do things around here.” And with that, he slouched to his office.
I spent the rest of the week flipping through the folders. It’s so much information! I just don’t know how I’m going to learn it all. There’s cereals to learn, and ingredients, and processes. And forms and files and laws. It’s just so much! Still, I am convinced that this job will advance my career far more than the hat shop ever would or could.
I do miss my friends at the hat shop. I made this sweet Fruit Cocktail Salad for them as a goodbye gift, and we had an impromptu going-away party. I will still see them, of course. We have plans to all go out on Friday, and I spent Valentine’s Day swilling chic cocktails with the ladies at a bar in the West Village. Still, it’s not the same as seeing them every day. This recipe is one of the easiest in the book, and its pineapple-y goodness goes well with a rum-based tiki drink (the kind with the umbrellas). You should definitely make this one!
Fruit Cocktail Salad
From Joys of Jell-O
“A recipe you can change at will–almost any canned fruit may be used.”
1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Gelatin (any fruit flavor) [I used pineapple]
1 cup boiling water
1 can (1 lb. 1 oz.) fruit cocktail
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped nuts
1 banana, sliced
Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin in boiling water. Drain fruit, measuring 3/4 cup syrup. Add syrup and lemon juice to gelatin. Chill until very thick. Then fold in fruit and nuts. Pour into a 1-quart mold or bowl or individual molds. Chill until firm. Unmold. Makes about 3 1/2 cups, or 6 servings.