You can ask as many times as you want and use all the interviewing tricks you know but she won’t give you the recipe. “They’d go ahead and screw it up and then it’d be ‘oh, Ms. Johanna’s cake isn’t good at all,’ all over around here.”
Ms. Johanna planted many of her herbs from what she read in stories about medieval kingdoms, some historical but mostly fantasy, preferably with dragons and complicated battles and skulduggery among the ruling class.
Ms. Johanna’s been telling me that the old straw hat I wear is too heavy to do any good when we work in the garden (it does just fine). She said she needed to teach me how to make a real hat but we had to have some newspaper, specifically The New York Times.
The operation will take only a few minutes. I don my mask and slip the gloves and pruning shears into my back pocket and take to the streets.