Solo Finally Found

Directly after a successful visit to Zuva Creamery

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Finally Found

Postby Naiya on May 26th, 2015, 3:16 am

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23rd day of Spring, 515 AV

Despite Naiya's very basic grasp of the common tongue, Savena had done a wonderful job of explaining the work done in the Creamery. She had even willingly explained a step by step rundown of a generalized cheese making process.

Naiya was trying to run through the steps in her head once more as she walked beside her strider. She did not want to forget anything, and the woman had said a great many things on the topic.

When making cheese, as Savena had explained as they began the tour, the milk was heated until it bubbled, 'boiled' was the word the woman had used. When Naiya asked why, she had been informed that it was for purity of the milk, which was to do with heating the milk until the bad parts were gone. The talk there had mostly gone over her head. The important part was that the milk should be boiled. The vats the Creamery used had been large, hardly imaginable for the Drykas woman. They didn't have that much milk, let alone a reasonable way to travel with such large tools.

When Naiya had explained her fears, the pale woman had reassured her that the process could be scaled down quite easily, and so they had continued on the tour, although Naiya was quite a bit more impressed as they continued.

The next step proved a more difficult task for the Drykas to take on, another new task to keep in mind on a regular basis. She was quickly running out of time in her day for anything, between working and her tasks around the pavilion, she was growing ever more busy.

Perhaps this constant state of doing was what it meant to be a valued member of a pavilion. It certainly seemed a mighty task, although one she found she enjoyed. It led her to making friends among the other Drykas at the Hunter's rest, and to things like her visit to the creamery. She was learning almost constantly. Today was no exception.

The next thing she had learned was that cheese needed things called cultures to help it form, and the shop at the Creamery had cultures for sale. At the conclusion of the tour, Naiya had been reluctant to buy cultures, though, because she would not be able to come back all year to repurchase more. She much preferred to have something that she could use without need of buying it repeatedly. For this, too, Savena had a solution.

So Naiya had bought the at the woman's insistence, and had more instructions for that. New milk was needed, cream spooned off the top, and then the skimmed milk had to be put in a pot that had boiled clean. That was heated in water, and then the culture she bought should added, and then the whole mess stored until it became firm. She had informed Naiya that this was considered a 'mother culture' and needed to be remade every 10 to 12 days. That would be important to remember, because if she missed it even once, she would not have the surety of the cheese coming out edible.

It was kind of the woman to offer her this knowledge, without it Naiya would have been floundering through the process on her own, and according to the woman, she could have even made people sick with the end product of all her work.

She pulled herself out of her mind, for a moment forgoing the remaining steps she had learned in favor of reorienting herself and Wildfire towards their camp. She had to pause and search the grasses, seeking the flattened grass and hoof prints that betrayed their previous trek together. It stretched ahead of her, obvious only by the trampled grass behind her that lead to the Creamery. She knew that they were generally towards the Sanctuary, and she had walked with Wildfire, so she assumed the hoof prints matched by boot prints were the ones to follow.

Reassured of their path, Naiya patted her companion's shoulder and turned her attention back to what she had learned, letting the warmth beneath her fingers serve to keep her on course as she reflected on her lesson in cheese making.

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Finally Found

Postby Naiya on September 21st, 2015, 6:15 pm

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Rennet, she had been told, was added after the culture had had time to work for a few bells, and the rennet was what solidified the curds. Lemon and vinegar had been the two things she mentioned that were quite easy to locate, but she had also told Naiya that there were a number of plants that could serve much the same purpose if prepared properly. Ginger and thistle had been two Naiya recognized, but the others were native to Riverfall, or perhaps just called by different names.

There were too many barriers in their conversation to tell, but she had gathered four ways, and if those wouldn't do, she had bigger troubles than language.

From there the process was easy. The curds form, and they are drained. Once they have finished draining it's ready. The whey is used in a number of ways. It adds flavor and vitamins to stew or soup, it washes hair and leaves it soft, it can be drunk like milk, or given to the animals.

The curds are cheese, according to the woman, they can be flavored with salt and herbs then stored or eaten. Made simply as that, the product is called soft cheese. She didn't share any specific recipes then, but Naiya had hoped that she could find or make some of her own easily enough.

Hard cheese was different, the woman said, taking more time and more materials. Naiya told her she wasn't looking to make more purchases before beginning to make cheese, but the woman had said she would share the information anyway.

The process was the same. Heat the milk, add the culture, add the rennet, separate the curds from the whey, drain the excess liquid out of the curd. Soft cheese now in hand, instead of storing or salting the cheese, it is pressed to drain even more liquid from the cheese.

It starts with the cheese press, a simple enough tool, five pounds of weight for the first bell, and then the cheese is flipped and pressed again with twenty pounds of weight. The next morning it is flipped again and pressed with the same weight for eight to ten bells more.

Soft cheese was likely what Naiya would keep to. It would spread onto bread for easy breakfasts, or go with fruits at lunch. Although, maybe a hard cheese would go better with dinner, but that was likely more work than they could manage with just their little tent.
Last edited by Naiya on September 22nd, 2015, 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Finally Found

Postby Naiya on September 21st, 2015, 6:40 pm

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Following the press, you have hard cheese, Savena had informed Naiya, seeming glad to have reached the end of her information, but more because now Naiya knew it than because she was done with the process.

From there the flavor of the cheese is made by washing with brine, or rubbing with salt, and storing the cheese in a certain environment for a certain time to change the flavor. That seemed impractical in the tent city, maintaining anything beyond 'cooler than the outside' was difficult. Especially if it needed to be dry.

That part of the process, ageing, was all about recipes, and she had given Naiya a small booklet, written in common, with recipes for both kinds of cheese. There were three or four variations of soft cheese and three hard cheeses, the rest were the secrets of the creamery.

Naiya had time to ask some questions, and the woman had done her best to explain the answers, but mostly after the basic tour was complete, Naiya had not been able to follow much more.

In the end, Naiya had purchased a few starter cultures, just in case she should forget to remake the mother culture as Savena had explained. Then she had also bought a gallon of vinegar from the woman, so that she would have something to curdle the milk with.

Both her purchases and the booklet were carefully stowed in the Yvas bags, her strider carrying them faithfully. The woman had been so kind, it was almost enough to erase the trials that had proceeded her arrival at the location. Getting lost, being chased off by angry Akalaks, it was enough to make her wish for the safety of Endrykas. She would think twice before venturing alone into foreign cities once more.

All the same, she was excited to try out what she had learned, so with her eyes turned back to her path she stepped up her pace, seeking her home with new vigor.

LedgerAt my best guess,
-4 SM Gallon Jug
-1 GM Gallon of Vinegar
-1 GM Four small packets of cheese culture
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Naiya
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