On Monday she showed her boys how to make pizza from scratch. She taught them how to knead the dough and explained the patience required to let the yeast work its magic. She showed them how to work the pizza with the palms of their hands, and not to roll it out. She explained how to layer the cheese directly on to the sauce and not to crowd the pizza with too many toppings. That night they all went to bed with flour in their hair, dried dough under their finger nails and full bellies.
On Tuesday they made shepherd's pie with shredded lamb in a rich gravy. She showed them how it was easier to pipe the mashed potato after letting the filling cool. She told them the story of how their grandmother claimed she came up with the idea of topping the pie with grated cheddar cheese but never got the recognition that was due to her. That night she had to chase them to bed, her voice hoarse from telling them stories about her mother.
On Wednesday they made chilli from prime ground beef and thick chunks of bacon. She warned them not to use too much chilli powder but they didn't listen. Little David wiped his eye with a hand he should have cleaned first and he wept for an hour straight, though by the end even he was laughing at how silly he looked with his puffy red eye. That night the boys went to bed with their mouths still burning, convinced that next time they should listen to their mother when she tells them how much chilli powder is just enough.
On Thursday she taught them how to order ingredients from the Internet. She told them how to keep the lights off at night so no one would know they were home and ordered them not to answer the door unless they could see it was a delivery person. That night the boys slept in the same bed. Together, alone, in the house.
On Friday she touched down in Tijuana, pleased with herself that she had prepared the little ones so well, as any good mother would.