The Dinnertime Disaster – Featured Story #3

A girl writing in a bookWe are sharing the next story in our new series, Featured Short Stories, written by students in the Creative Writing Club.

Every week, the students in the club work on writing stories, sometimes from their own ideas, and sometimes from story prompts. This week, we are featuring a story written from the following prompt: Write a story about a girl who mistakenly cooked dinner for her parents with sugar instead of salt.

This story was written by Chinwendu, aged 10. Enjoy!

The Dinnertime Disaster

A lot of people say that I can’t cook. As rude as it may sound, they’re right. I can’t cook. I can’t make anything to do with food. I’d just ruin it.

Last Saturday afternoon, my parents told me that they were going to be out till late that evening and that I should make dinner.

“Why are you asking me to do it?” I asked. “You know I can’t cook.”

“Yes but you are the oldest,” said Mum. I frowned. I hate it when they use that.

“And you’re now sixteen,” Dad added.

“We could get takeaway or something.” I suggested.

“Lilli, this is not up for discussion. You should be more responsible.” Mum said.

I frowned again.


“Bye!” Mum and Dad called. They were clearly not listening to me. I watched them as they left the house and drove away.

A few minutes later, I was texting my friend when –

“Lilli!” screamed Tess, my seven-year-old sister, from upstairs. “I’m hungry!”

I rolled my eyes. Tess was always hungry, no matter what time of day it was. I ignored her and continued on my phone, then –


This time her screams were even louder, too loud to ignore. Tess’s screaming had woken up our twin baby brothers, Jack and Jamie, and now they were crying too.

I ran upstairs, to find Tess in the twins’ bedroom, trying to get them to be quiet.

“Did you have to scream?” I scolded. “You’ve woken up the twins now!”

I shushed the twins and put on a baby cartoon for them on their tablet. Then I switched on the TV for Tess and put on the Children’s Playlist that she loved so much. I didn’t really see the point of it.

I looked at my phone. It was only 2:37. Okay, I still had time to make something before Mum and Dad got back.

When they were settled, I went downstairs and rummaged around for my Mum’s cookbook which was given to her by her mum who got it from her mum who got it from her mum and so on. Eventually, I found it in the storage room, covered in dust and a spider. I let out a yelp and I rushed to get a stick of some sort. I looked in the utensils drawer and found a skewer. I prodded the spider off the book and blew away the dust, like they do in the movies.

I laid the ripped, old, and slightly heavy cookbook on the counter and flipped through it. I decided to make something easy like spaghetti.

I read the instructions:

How to make spaghetti


  • 500g of spaghetti
  • Boiled water
  • Tomato sauce (if you do not have any, go to page 23 for instructions on how to make it)
  • A tablespoon of salt

It seemed easy enough to make.

I got out the ingredients and the pot and filled up the kettle with water. I set it down, then looked at the instructions.


Step 1

Pour in your boiled water to about halfway or less, depending on how much spaghetti you want to make.

By now, the water was ready, so I poured it into the pot, to just under halfway.

Step 2

Open your pack of spaghetti and put into the pot – there are two ways to do this,

  1. a) position the spaghetti so that it goes all the way around the pot, or b) snap the spaghetti in half, bit by bit, so it fits into the pot. You might prefer option a as the second can get a bit messy.

Book knows best, I thought as I positioned the spaghetti into a circle.

“Okay,” I said to myself. “What’s next?”

Step 3

While the spaghetti is boiling, either go to page 23 on how to make tomato sauce –

Tomato sauce… hmm… I was pretty sure Mum kept a few tins of tomato sauce in the storage room, so I went to check. Just like I thought, there was a whole pack of tomato sauce on top of the freezer. I took one out and brought it to the kitchen.

-Or use a can you already have.

“Done that bit already,” I said to myself.

I checked the spaghetti which looked soft enough by now, and, then I poured in the tomato sauce. I really couldn’t be bothered to make it in a separate pot.

Step 4

Lastly, add a tablespoon of salt to the spaghetti and stir.

Just then, as I was reaching for the salt, a loud BANG from upstairs jerked my hand and I knocked the SUGAR into the pot!

Oh no.

I panicked and tried picking out the container with a wooden spoon, but by the time I lifted it out, nearly all the sugar was gone.

I ran upstairs two by two and saw Tess had somehow caused the TV to collapse.

I was so angry I yelled at Tess.

“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” I roared. “I left you upstairs watching your channel and somehow you make the TV collapse?!”

“Sorry…” Tess mumbled. I shook my head in disappointment.

“Sorry won’t solve anything,” I said. “The only thing you have done today is cause trouble, and, what’s worse is that you just made me knock a whole container sugar into the spaghetti I was making!”

“Sorry…” she said again.

I frowned.

“Just pick up the TV and get on with whatever you were doing.”

As I picked up my phone, I noticed that the time was 17:59.

Had it seriously taken me that long to make dinner for a family of six?

I put on Cocomelon for the twins again and helped Tess lift up the TV. Remembering the spaghetti, I rushed downstairs to turn of the stove and just then, Mum and Dad came in through the back door.

“Oh Lilli, dinner is ready?” Mum said. “Perfect timing.”

I watched my parents cautiously as we all sat down to eat.

“Why do you look so nervous?” Dad asked me.

I didn’t speak. I was too scared.

“Let’s just eat,” said Mum.

She took a fork of her spaghetti and put it in her mouth.

“YUCK!” she cried out and spat her meal back into her bowl. “That is DISGUSTING!”

She looked at me, wiping her mouth with a tissue.

“It can’t be that bad,” Dad said as he took a forkful of the spaghetti.

Sure enough, he spat it back out too.

Tess and the twins watched intently at this hilarious scene as Dad wiped his mouth and stared at me.

“What did you put in this?” he asked.

“It’s so sweet,” agreed Mum.

I gulped.

“Well,” I began, “You see-”

“I poured in sugar instead of salt while Lilli was in the toilet,” Tess interrupted.

I looked at her from across the table.

“It was a mistake Daddy,” Tess said. “I was only trying to help”.

She smiled at me, and I smiled back.

“Well, next time, don’t be so clumsy, okay?” said Dad.

Tess nodded.

“Now, what should we do about this food?” Mum said.

“Let’s order pizza!” Dad said cheerfully.

“And we need to get everyone some cooking lessons too!”

And we all laughed.

If you have a child who loves writing stories and you want to encourage them to explore their creativity and their imagination, then we would love to have them join our writing club! Just click on the link to register, and we will be in touch. Creative Writing Club – Registration Form.


  1. Funny story that reminded me of my own childhood escapades with learning how to cook.

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