Completed Family business

Baking sweats to sweeten an upcoming voyage.

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Considered one of the most mysterious cities in Mizahar, Alvadas is called The City of Illusions. It is the home of Ionu and the notorious Inverted. This city sits on one of the main crossroads through The Region of Kalea.

Family business

Postby Penny Noor on November 16th, 2017, 2:01 pm

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Early morning
1st Summer 509AV
Noor family home


Apron, check. Ingredients, check. Bread oven… well that was her mother’s job.

“What are you standing around looking lost for? We don’t have all day.” said Vailena wiping her hands from coal dust.

“Sorry mum.” Penny murmured, having up until this point been busy pondering the perils of her predicament. Oh how she hated cooking. How she truly truly hated it. Perhaps the girl wouldn't have been so inclined to despise anything to do with food other than actually eating it, if she was any good at it but alas her sheer lack of skill was truly demotivating.

Her mind was wondering. Tomorrow her father was to set off on yet another voyage after less than a fortnight's stay in his own home. And once she goes Penny was likely not to see him again for another season or two. How it saddened her heart that she barely managed to get another of him before again having to say goodbye. And one would think that in fifteen years one would grow used to this pattern, but not Penny who idolised her father in spite of the distance between them. Perhaps the distance covered his flaws.

Shaking the thoughts from her mind Penny rumbled through the books on the windowsill before finally finding a somewhat tattered, hand written notebook her mother had kept since her own teenage years. Flipping through the pages she alas found the recipe she was looking for and slammed it on the wooden table.

“Penelope…”

“I’m doing it, am I not?”

“The attitude…”
Vailena reminded before swooping over to the other side of their tiny, one bedroom apartment to find a rod with which to poke the fire.

The recipe was really simple and so Penny was left mostly alone to do it. ‘Sweet Bread’ read the top of the page.

Rumbling through yet a few more drawers the girl found a few bowls and a small, rusty old scale that her mother used so much that almost all the paint had come off. She’d place one of the small bowls on one side and prepped a few weights beside so that this attempt at cooking didn’t end up with flower all over the house from the scale tipping; like the last attempt did. And once she was satisfied that the weights on one side pretty much equalised the weight of the ceramic dish, Penny referred back to the recipe book before starting to poor flower into the bowl.

First a few spoonfuls, then she watched as slowly the bowl side of the scale would lower. Then She’d counterweight the scale with a lead weight. Again she’d scoop the white, fuzzy powder into the bowl and again she had to equalize the scales. Slowly but surely she got to the desired weight, having gone overboard just a little but figuring it wouldn't be a problem. After having done so she’d pore the contents of the bowl into the larger dish which she put out earlier to mix the ingredients in.

Next came the sugar and again Penny repeated the process of weighing it out and pouring it in.

“Have you activated the yeast?” came her mother’s voice from the other side of the room.

“No not yet, sorry mum.”

“You know it has to stand around for a little to work. It’s the first thing you should have done. Goodness, girl. Even the recipe says so."

“No it doesn’t.”

“Look closer.”
Vailena knew her notebook like the back of her palm, sometimes even better. It was foolish of Penny to test her on that.

And so the girl did read past the ingredients list and onto the step by step instructions. Each step was numbered by a carefully drawn number. And so, lo and behold, step 1 read as following. ‘Poor dried yeast powder into a cup and add some skin temperature water. Cold water won’t work and hot water will kill the yeast. Stir and leave for 15 minutes to bloom.’

Penny gritted her teeth as her finger followed each word on the page. “Right… Could you please bring me some water mum?”

“Come, I’ll do it.” she said, taking a ceramic cup from the cloth covered cast iron trey that they used as a dish rack. The cup was almost completely dry. Penny watched idly as Vailena walked over to the heart, spooning some water that had been sitting in a pot over it that had been cooling from their morning tea. She put just the tip of her finger in. Finding out it didn’t burn she kept it in for a prolonged second before putting it in her mouth, licking off the droplets and deeming it “Just perfect.” She then reached into a small brown sack where a sand coloured powder was, tipping just a spoonful into the water. It frothed and smelled truly odd though perhaps not in a completely unbearable way before stirring it and passing it back to her daughter.

Last edited by Penny Noor on November 29th, 2017, 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Family business

Postby Penny Noor on November 16th, 2017, 2:20 pm

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Absent mindedly Penny almost tipped the whole thing into the mixing bowl before Valiena’s bony fingers managed to grab her arm and stop her. “What are you doing? It needs to stand around, Penelope. Concentrate!”

“Gosh, sorry mum!”


It was really hard for her to concentrate on things she didn’t care about. And cooking was indeed one of them. Now when it came to things like drawing, even drawing cakes or pots or dishes, Penny could ist around and do it all day without noticing the passing of time. However whilst she was doing this tedious task, every second seemed dragged out and mercilessly elongated.

Next came the eggs. Just two. Penny took a blunt knife and smashed the shells, separating the yolks from the whites by tossing them between each half of the egg and putting them in two separate bowls. The whites went into the mixing bowl, the yolks into a smaller one next to it, just as the recipe said. Penny thought this step a little useless as the notebook said nothing of beating them. Knowing however the pedantic nature of her mother Penny wouldn't have put it past her to do it just to be picky. Still she listened to the recipe… mostly verbatim.

Having picked out all the little bits of eggshell with the tip of the knife that accidentally managed to fall into the bowl, Penny the started mixing all the ingredients together.

She had troubles mixing the tough dough with a flat wooden spoon. The doubt clumped up into tiny balls where the egg and the flower met, but most of it remained pretty dry. And so Penny poured in the yeast and stirred it again.

‘Next add in a glass of milk and keep stirring till the dough is kneadable’

Penny did as the recipe said, pouring in a whole glass and stirring lazily, watching as bits of flour and sugar went up in the air on impact. A little flower settled on her nose and in her hair but well, such was the nature of cooking for penny, messy. Then she added the egg yolks which completed this tasty puzzle. As she stirred it the dough became stickier and stickier and threads started manifesting as it stretched with every stir. Once satisfied that no stray clumps of flour were going to fall out from inside the doubt and that all the dry and moist ingredients were more or less incorporated, the girl flipped the bowl upside down and watched as a great big fleshy lump fell from the inside and onto the wooden table.

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Family business

Postby Penny Noor on November 16th, 2017, 2:38 pm

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“Penelope Aida Noor! Do you pay no attention?” came her mother’s voice, irked but still as soft and melodic as ever. She wasn’t angry. She barely ever got angry with her daughter. She was simply a little vexed by her mistakes.

“What’s did I do this time?” Penny snapped back before realising her mistake. “Oh…”

“You just made twice the world for both of us in the space of less than a chime. Goodness! You won’t find yourself a good husband if you’ll be so absent minded all the time. NOw scoop that dough back into the bowl”


Penny did just as her mother had instructed, irked a little by the comments on her future married life. She had no intention of settling down anytime soon. She had too much to do. She had too many ambitions and too many goals to throw them all away and become a housewife just as her mother has. She had little interest in boys; they were all stupid anyway. Honestly the girl was far too egocentric to even think of becoming someone’s wife. She had no idea why Vailena was so very determined to pawn her off to the first bidder.

Those many varied and exciting aspirations aside, however, Penny plunged her own body fingers into the dough and began unsticking it from the table where it has well and truly lodged itself among the cracks. She scooped as much of it as possible, now having her own fingers encrusted with the gooey, chewy substance that she created.

As she did so Vailena took out a knife and began scraping the remaining dough of the table with the blunt end, scratching the already scratched up wood. Their home wasn’t a palace. Far from it. Most of the furniture was old and either taken from discarded pits of her father’s stock he hadn’t managed to sell when overseas, or hand made by her uncle from bitts of boats that had served their purpose. All the woodwork was reclaimed. All the dishes and pans and pots were inherited from Penny’s grand parents or bought at a discounted price.

From a young age Penny was taught that what the world could see mattered more than what it couldn’t. Vailena herself would braid her own and her daughter’s hair into elaborate plaits before leaving the home. Their dresses were always sewn with care and hole free. Even their aprons and everyday clothing was patched with fabric that matched and carefully selected threads. The Noor family certainly didn’t look right but they did look tidy, like they took care of themselves. The outside of the house had always boasted clean windows. The inside however, even though also immaculately clean for Vailena seldom did anything other than housework, it was used and aged and lived in.

Once as much of the dough as possible was scraped off the table top, Vailena took a handful of flour from the pouch and dusted it with the precision only a woman who had been baking sweats her entire life could muster. “Now you can put it back and knead it out. It’s still a little too sticky so fold a little more flour into it, ok darling?”

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Family business

Postby Penny Noor on November 16th, 2017, 2:53 pm

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Penny did as instructed, taking a whole handful of flour and placing it right in the centre of the dough after pounding a little well in it with her fist. Her hands then cupped around the bread dough, closing it together and flattening it before, with a very clumsy motion she’d fold it and and press down again, letting the flour sink in.

“Another one, Penny, please.”

She repeated the process before gaining a nod of approval from Vailena. Only after ensuring that there were no hidden pockets where flour was just lurking to burst out of and cover the whole kitchen in fluffy white dust, by pulling the dough apart with her nails and then bringing it back together, did Penny once more to the dough out onto the floured surface. There she would clumsily knead it, using all of her weight to flatten out the dough, push it forward and roll it back together. A whole chime went by but continuing with the repetitive movement that made her wrists ache, her elbows shake and her breath to hasten, Penny had finally brought the doubt to something of a smooth, consistent mass.

The girl referred back to the recipe book once more, following the lines she read with her finger. ‘Place the dough in a cloth covered pot, in a warm place for a few hours and let it bloom. Once it’s doubled in volume, split it into buttered forms and bake.’

And so she scooped up the dough back into the ceramic mixing bowl and placed a towel over it, twisting the end of that it would fit like a lid a little better. Vailena then took the bowl from her and stood it atop the bread oven where the stone sill was warm from the fiery coals beneath but not enough to burn a hand. The perfect place for blooming the bread. And as she did so she explained it to her daughter.

“You can’t put it right into the oven. It will grow a little but not enough. Getting the temperature just right will make it bloom the fastest you see? It’s due to the yeast.”

Of course Penny cared little. The information came in one year and out the other. All she cared about it for this to be cone already. She knew she’d have to wait another few hours till he could race down to the docks where her uncle and father and the rest of the crew were no doubt counting up the stock, packing it into crates and loading them onto their cargo ship. It was a daunting task and a full day’s work as always but she was desperate to help with the back breaking work if only to spend a little more time with her Papa. She was going to miss him so.

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Family business

Postby Penny Noor on November 16th, 2017, 3:17 pm

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A full three hours later the dough had filled up the bowl so much that it had lifted the towel off the top. That was then Vailena had given her daughter the sign that it was ready.

Slipping both oven gloves on just to be extra careful Penny took the bowl off the bread oven top and brought it back to where she had prepared two cast iron strays lined with butter and bread crumbs. Or more specifically it was her mother who had prepared them as panny managed to spill the first jar of bread crumbs whilst tripping over her own feet. She was lucky that Vailena was truly an angel of patience and never yelled no matter how many stupid mistakes Penny made. For all her faults that was something penny had appreciated perhaps most of all.

She reached into the bowl and ripped out a good chunk of the sticky dough before putting it in her mouth and winced. Perhaps she put far too much sugar in it. It certainly tasted far too sweet for her own palette to stomach. Or perhaps it was because the recipe did have ‘add a pinch of salt’ written in it which Penny just casually skipped over without even realising. Still Korim, her father, had one hell of a sweet tooth and so, certain that he will enjoy the bread, Penny kept her mistake to herself and simply divide the dough between both trays, spreading it out gently so that it would reach all four corners. Then, putting her gloves back on, the girl put both trays in the oven side by side and closed the iron hatch behind them. It was out of her hands now.

“I recon it’ll take about an hour.” said Vailena, beckoning her daughter over to the corner of the house where two beds stood, one beside the other. She sat upon them, fiddling with some thread, surrounded by clothes.

“Is there any chance of speeding it up. I want to go already. I bet they already finished loading the boats and are down at the Stallion's Rear and I’m missing out all of the gossip.” pleaded Penny, sitting herself down, placing her head solemnly on her mother’s shoulder.

In turn Vailena brushed her child’s hair with her long fingers. She knew how much the girl missed her papa. She’d do anything in the world to make him stay herself if only for the child’s sake but they both knew just aswell that they had food and a roof over their heads thanks to his hard work. And too did he love his job. He must have, so they both thought, otherwise he wouldn't be leaving behind the wife that loved him and the daughter to whom he was a true hero.

“Which dress shall you wear. Oh you’ll look just stunning in my new burgundy one. Like a real lady. What say you, Penny?” she grasped the dress by the shoulder puffs and held it up to her daughter’s slight frame, kicking the skirts so that they would line up with the stitches.

It was clear the garment would drown the girl who inherited her stature from her father’s side of the family. Many said that she looked just like her deceased grandmother, thin and tall and quite lanky whilst Vailena was a much plumper woman. EVen in her youth she was busty and curvaceous only to gain a little more in the mid section as the years had gone by. She loved large skirts and shoulder puffs and frills and lace around thick cuffs. All the things that would give her the illusion of the figure she once boasted.

Although Vailena was truly beautiful and in spite of age and the weight she had put on after child birth, all of that beauty was still evident. Her hair was thick and luscious and tamed in lovely, intricate braids. Her lashes were thick. She was rosy cheekbones and an upturned nose and fingers so long that her hands were truly graceful. The same fingers Penny inherited.

“Mum I need to be able to move about. I want to help papa and the guys with loading the boat.” Penny protested the garment choice that would have been most ill suited for such a task.

“Very well. What about the black blouse and green skirt. At least look presentable. I won’t be having you strutting down the street in men’s clothes.”

“That was my first choice.”
she laughed, picking up the garment from the bead. “I’ll quickly go wash and change. Can you please keep an eye on the bread mum?”

“That I shall.”

Last edited by Penny Noor on November 17th, 2017, 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Family business

Postby Penny Noor on November 16th, 2017, 3:27 pm

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Alas she was ready and the sweet bread was done. One the loafs was really sunken in but the other had raised a good amount and developed a browned crust atop with a long gash right though it where the dough had split in cooking. Suffice to say Penny was almost proud of herself. With a kiss goodbye, picking up both loafs wrapped in a white cloth, tied by cotton, she ran out of the house and down the hills towards the dock. She was so excited to see her father and so very saddened by his imminent departure.

Hurrying through the illusions that seemed only to shorten her journey for once, the girl passed Hinrane Morcer , the librarian on her way. And with a quick, greeting wave she kept going. Alas she made it. Alas all of the morning’s work was worth it.

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Family business

Postby Penny Noor on November 17th, 2017, 3:41 pm

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“Paaa! Paaa!” she screamed the moment she saw him, bolting to embrace him as he carried a large trinket box.

“Hello there my little Penny” Korim laughed, holding the weighty object above his head so that she could wrap her arms around his waist and thump her head lovingly against his ribcage. “Have you come to help?”

“But of course!”

“Well isn’t that little miss Penny Noor.”
came another voice from behind one of the waggons of goods. It was Miles. A long time friend of her father’s. They had gone to school together and as best friends entered the same profession still remaining almost inseparable.

Miles was a tall bloke. And burly was he though not quite as much as Korim. He had a mop of golden hair, as curly as noodles and knuckles so very rough that they bore almost permanent scars. He was a jolly guy. Always said hello to Penelope. Always so delighted to see her but the older she got the more delighted the widower was. He had two girls of his own although both older than Penny and she was almost fond of them but not quite as fond as she was of the old sea dog.

“A pretty penny, that daughter of your’s Korim. I swear ya getting more and more like your pa every year. Eyes and all.” he jested, giving her a polite smile. “Keep an eye on her old friend. Not long before her eyes gonna be the talk of the dock.”

“Keep yer filthy mouth shut, ye petch.”
Korim threatened, hiding it’s very real nature behind a toothy grin. He didn’t like the way the other men stared at his daughter. To him she was the most precious thing there was and over his dead body they’d have to ste if they ever even thought of having an inappropriate flirt with her. Still he trusted his friend and didn’t think him a bastard enough to betray his trust.

Penny followed the two men as far as the plank that lead up to the ship, halting at it’s very edge. Her eyes watched as it swayed when the sailors’ shoes threaded onto it. She wasn’t about to join them there. She hated anything and everything to do with water far too much to ever step a foot onto a ship. Honestly her stomach churned just at the thought of it. Once their heads emerged back from the darkness of the cargo cabin, her face lit up one more as she produced the two loaves of sweet bread from her backpack.

“Have you brought me something delicious my dear?”
said Korim, wiping his hands on the outside of his trousers and taking the plumper one. The flatter one was then handed to Miles beside him who thanked her graciously.

It was then that another man appeared from the cargo cabin. A man just a little taller than her father but the resemblance between them was uncanny. It was her uncle Hariel, Korim’s younger and favourite brother. “Penelope. Fancy seeing you here fancy girl. Glad to soo ya.” he said as he gave her a tight squeeze.

“Glad to see you too uncle. Are you joining papa this time around?”

“Aye. I am. He ain’t.”
the man pointed to Miles. “Fancy that. The sea dog’s retiring.”

Penny looked to miles. It was her belief that he did deserve retirement. He was roughly the same age as her father but years of boozing and drugs depleted his appearance to that of a man at least a decade older. Perhaps having to stay home and take accountability for his many vices would set his straight. “How come you don’t retire papa? Mum and I could use another pair of hands in the home, you know?”

Korim laughed aloud with a mouth full of sweet bread. She was right, he hadn’t even noticed that it was far too sweet and sugary. Miles noticed of course but he was too polite to say anything, handing his sunken in loaf to Hariel.

“And do what? Take up knitting. I hardly think so Penelope. Someone’s gotta keep food on the table.” her father replied.

“I could work.”

“You’re still young child. Enjoy your youth while you still got it. It’ll be marryin’ time before you know it and then kiddies. Have you any idea how much work you were then you were born? Mum and I were sleeping 2 hours a night for the years year and we only had one of you.”

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Family business

Postby Penny Noor on November 17th, 2017, 7:52 pm

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Every parent eventually wanted to be a grandparent and both of Penny’s parents were no different. Perhaps because they never managed to give her siblings or perhaps because they felt that for her age she was especially mature, often overestimating her maturity in fact, but both Korim and Vailena couldn't wait to have more tiny feet running around the house. They had married so very young and so did their parents and they expected the same of Penny. But whilst Vailena often worried that Penny took next to no interest in boys, Korim was just glad that he had no trouble to deal with when he was away. And likewise whilst Vailena’s many talks and tuitions of the propriety in romance did irk Penny more than she’d like to admit, her father’s passing comment did not in the least. Korim could do no wrong in the girl’s eyes. She had so little of him after all.

She knew her papa didn’t want her to work. He had out right told her how precious to him she was. An only child and a girl to an old ruffian like him was a precious jewel to be treated as such. Not only did he spoil her mercilessly but too did he wish a high life for her. A certain quality of upper society he had never the pleasure to enjoy.

But not only did she aspire for such a life herself. She did dream of earning it through art and literature. She had a certain appetite for books, paintings and manuscripts few could match. Truly those luxuries were a mark of a high life to her. And she wanted to pay a part in creating these timeless wonders for generations to come. She dreams to putting her family name on the map once and for all so that all would know it. Alvadas was not the place to realise these dreams for many artists she looked up to could create such psychedelic wonders with the gift of illusion that she could never hope to live up to them in spite of how much she prayed to Ionu, of that she was certain. But what she could do is learn from them. Beauty didn’t come from thin air no matter how wild the imagination.

Leaving her dreams as what which they were for the remainder of the day, just dreams, Penny got up to aid the sailors carry what was left of the merchandise onto the ship. Or rather she would carry the smaller chests and trinkets filled with all sorts of dingly, dangly objects near the ship and then quickly hopping away from the edge of the wooden platforms. She wasn’t about to get too close to the water.

“How did a bastard like you make a girl like that, Korim. She’d more frightened of water than a cat. My, my, the girl won’t even step foot on a boat.” Miles made the passing comment but all in good fun. The men had always poked fun at each other and Penny did always join in. She knew the men meant no malice so she gave as good as she got.

“I’d rather stay dry and not smell like the ocean, thank you very much mr Miles” she snubbed him, taking a wooden box from his hands and carrying it over to the ramp.

Then she’d return right over and pick up another, larger box from the wagon. The edges pressed against her fingers a little painfully as it did weigh a considerable amount but she paid it no attention. She was just glad to be among friends and glad to help out her papa before she had to regrettably see him off.

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Penny Noor
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Posts: 108
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Joined roleplay: November 4th, 2017, 1:14 pm
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