Completed Dreaded Onions

Elin cuts vegetables and injures herself on the job

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This shining population center is considered the jewel of The Sylira Region. Home of the vast majority of Mizahar's population, Syliras is nestled in a quiet, sprawling valley on the shores of the Suvan Sea. [Lore]

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Dreaded Onions

Postby Elin on April 29th, 2017, 11:14 pm

1st Spring, 517
"Common" | "Kontinese" | "Tukant"

It was the first of spring and Elin knew that she'd have to work hard if she wanted to give Ilia and Rion the life that she wanted them to, and so she'd got herself a job as a cook at one of the taverns in the city, rather than focusing on the odd jobs she had been trying her hand at. She'd even managed t find a friendly neighbour that was happy to look after her two children while she was away at work.

Sighing, she looked up to see that she was at the tavern, and she smiled slightly, her eyes glancing over it before she stepped inside and headed to the tavernkeeper, a warm smile on her face as she did so.
"Hello, my name's Elin?" she said calmly as she looked the tavern keeper in the eye. "I'm supposed to start work here as a cook today? I'm not late am I?" she said warmly, tilting her head slightly as the tavernkeeper told her that she wasn't late and lead her through to the kitchen, explaining to her how long food should take to be ready to serve, and how there was another cook she'd be working with, that she should be able to ask for help or advice, and that on days that the other cook wasn't there that she'd have a few brief recipe notes to work from to make sure that she didn't miss anything out.

Smiling warmly, she thanked the tavernkeeper and he handed her an apron that she quickly tied on, before checking around the kitchen trying to get her bearings.
It was bigger than she had used before, and a variety of cupboards held pots, pans, plates and bowls, while drawers held things like knives and spoons.

"Time to get started then!" she mused to herself, washing her hands as the other cook arrived smiling warmly. Elin couldn't help but smile back as she dried her hands and opened her mouth to speak to the woman.
"Hi there, I'm Elin." she said calmly yet happily before opening her mouth again. "What would you like me to start with?" she asked, listening carefully as the other cook asked her to prepare the vegetables, showing her to a few boxes of carrots, potatoes, onions, brocolli and a few other vegetables, and Elin smiled at the cook, before moving to her work space and grabbing an onion and one of the sharper knives.
Calmly she chopped off the head of the onion and began to peel away the brown papery skin, until the onion was left with just the waxy white layers.
She chopped off the base of the onion and threw the waste away, before cutting the onion in half down the centre of the onion and lay the two halves so the cut side was facing the work surface.
Her eyes were already beginning to sting and water, as she'd forgotten quite how pungent the vapours from an onion were. They were painfully strong, and Elin had to bite her lip to keep persevering.
Blinking away the water from her eyes, she continued cutting, cutting the onion so the layers weren't broken up, then changing the direction of the knife to dice the onion.
It wasn't anywhere as neat as she'd have wanted it to be, with a few pieces of onion being bigger than the rest, and others being much smaller. Still, the onion was chopped and that particular onion was ready for use.
There were still four in the box and as much as her eyes stung, she preferred the idea of chopping all of the onions together, rather than having to break to chop them later.

Frowning she grabbed the second onion and cut the head and base from it, her cuts much messier than she'd wanted, but she peeled off the papery skin.
By now her eyes were streaming with tears but she didn't dare wipe them for fear of aggravating them more. Instead she blinked rapidly, trying to clear her eyes of the stinging feeling before she turned away for a few minutes trying to compose herself before she continued chopping the onions as fast as she could without risking harming herself.
It took more chimes than she enjoyed with tears streaming out of her eyes, but she had got them done!

Next, she picked up one of the potatoes and checked it over. They were quite small for potatoes, but that was probably something to do with the weather.
Glad to be done with the onions, she began to wash the potatoes in a bucket of clean water, scrubbing them to try and remove the dirt from the skin, and maybe even remove some of the skin so she didn't have to do that later.
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Last edited by Elin on May 3rd, 2017, 9:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Dreaded Onions

Postby Elin on May 2nd, 2017, 11:43 pm

Elin continued to scrub the potatoes, until the water had turned a murky brown colour. Then she pulled out one of the six potatoes and checked it.
A lot of the skin had been removed from the scrubbing, but there were still a few unnaturally dark spots on the potato that she decided should be removed.
She picked a blunter knife out of one of the drawers and began to scrape it along the undesirable parts of the potato, pulling off small pieces of the darker spots.
It was tedious, but after a chime the job had been done and she pulled a new potato from the water, this one also with undesirably darkened parts.
Sighing, she started again, carefully scraping the darkened patches of skin away, little by little, until those parts were left clean and white, before she continued doing the same to each potato until they were all clean and the skin have been scraped from them.
Now she was ready to chop them, but she didn't know quite how large the other cook wanted them to be.

"How big do you want the potatoes?" she asked turning to the other cook and smiling warmly, wanting to make the job as pleasant as possible so that she would actually enjoy her days and nights at work.
"About this big love." the other cook said, holding her hands up and showing a gap that was just under half an inch, and Elin nodded and smiled, thanking the woman before turning back to her stuff, glad that the onions had been done already.

She took the largest of the potatoes and placed it on the surface ready I chop it, before glancing around the kitchen and feeling around in the drawers until she managed to find a somewhat sharp knife that should have made it easier to cut the potatoes.

Carefully she cut the first potato in half, being careful to keep her fingers out of the way of the blade.
Then she cut each of the half potatoes in half again, continuing to chop until she had a few chunks that were about half an p inch in size, and a few others that were either slightly bigger or slightly smaller.

Then she sighed, glancing at the bucket of potatoes and wondering if she could speed up the process at all. She only had five left at the moment but she couldn't help but wonder how long it would take her to chop twenty potatoes if there was ever a need in the future.

Allowing a smile to creep back onto herself, she grabbed the second largest potato and place it on the surface, cutting it in half slightly faster and much less carefully than she had done earlier in a brash attempt at speeding the whole process up.
As she went to cut them again, she became aware of the knife scraping along her nail as she pushed through the white flesh of the potato. Almost immediately she let go of the knife, leaving it stuck in the potato before removing her hand to check her nail, making sure she hadn't done too much damage, but it simply looked as though the nail of her index finger had been deformed and flattened on its most curved point.
She was slightly disappointed, but thankful it had only been her nail rather than her own flesh.

Inspecting the potato she couldn't see signs of any of her nail, and so she retrieved the knife again, wiping it clean on the apron she had borrowed, before resuming cutting the potato in the cautious manner she had started.
It was taking longer than she had wanted, but if she practiced she was certain to speed up the process, or that's what she was hoping for at least.

Soon the second potato was chopped, this one a lot less uniform than the first with larger size differences between the chunks, showing where she had lost her focus.

As she grabbed the third and fourth potatoes she frowned, determined to cut these more evenly.
She cut them in half, her cuts rough and uneven due to her frustration, and she frowned even more at the sight, before continuing to quarter the potatoes, the cuts getting progressively more uneven until she gave up trying to keep all the pieces uniform.
"You can't win them all!" she thought to herself bitterly, forcing herself to accept that fact for that moment as she cut through the flesh of the potatoes until the chunks were all somewhere around half an inch in size and finally she grabbed the final two, attempting to disregard her want of uniform chunks, and she began chopping them tentatively, her fingers and nails tucked out of the way to prevent more damage, and eventually those two potatoes were also done.

Looking at them she noticed that they were the most uniformly sized chunks and silently she swore at herself for caring too much, coming to the conclusion that her pedantic behaviour had caused the chunks to be less evenly cut.
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Dreaded Onions

Postby Elin on May 3rd, 2017, 9:09 pm

Now that the potatoes and onions were done and she had a pile of chunks, she realised that she would have to clear room for the rest of the vegetables and she turned to the other cook.

”Whereabouts would you like the chopped ones putting?” she asked with a smile, hoping that the other cook wouldn’t be annoyed by her questions, and the woman simply smiled, explaining that the vegetables were for a stew and that they needed to be put into a cooking pot.
She beckoned Elin over and showed her where the cooking pots were kept, and as Elin nodded, paying attention to the woman, she noticed that the woman had been filleting a white form of fish. No scales were on the fish, and there was a bucket full of head, tails, fins, and bones, then a second bucket of fish guts and entrails that were discarded from the fish. It smelt far too strongly for Elin and the scent was almost vomit inducing, but not quite enough to actually cause a gag reflex.

Taking one of the largest cooking pots, she turned to the woman and smiled.
”Filleting fish looks like tough work. I’d like to learn someday though!” she exclaimed seeing a smile on the woman’s face as she offered to one day show her, when they had more time of course.

Elin returned to the piles of chopped vegetables and carefully picked each one up, placing it into the cooking pot until her workspace was clear again.

Now she could start with the rest of the vegetables and her hand went to the carrots, of which their were eight.
They were covered in dirt that had dried onto them and rough skin that would need peeling away.
She used her bare hands to scrub the carrots of most of the dirt, before pulling them out and putting them on her work surface. It looked like there would be enough room to cut the carrots together, or at least three of them at a time.
Grabbing a knife in her right hand, she held the carrot in her left. Using the knife she dug into the carrots flesh slightly and then turned it so it was facing towards her and the majority of the length of the carrot, before pulling the knife towards her and seperating the skin from the clean orange flesh underneath.
It wasn’t neat and the peel was thick in some parts while remaining particularly thin in others, but she’d managed to avoid cutting herself or making an overall mess of the carrot.
She continued on with the process until the skin had been removed from the carrot leaving an oddly shaped carrot with less of a circular shape than a fifteen sided monstrosity, but she continued on, cutting the tail base and head from the carrot before moving onto the next

“So, not born and bred here? What’s your name and how old are you, lass?” she heard the other cook say warmly as she continued to fillet the fish, and Elin raised her head to look at her, smiling.
”No, I’ve only been here a few seasons, but I grew up in Lhavit, on the other side of Kalea from here.” she smiled before answering the cooks other questions. ”I’m Elin, and I’m twenty, twenty-one in fall.”

There was a brief moment of silence as the woman clanked her bucket of fins, entrails and bones before the cook spoke again.
”I’m Remi, and I’ve grown up here. Have you been to ‘Kova’s Wishing Well’ at all? Or do you know anything about it?” Remi asked and Elin shook her head as she finished peeling the skin away from the second carrot, topping and tailing it before moving onto the next one

”I’ve heard it’s name, but that’s all really.” she explained and she had the feeling that Remi was smiling.

“Well, they say that a ghost is there, the ghost of a beautiful woman and that if you throw a coin in, she'll come to you and your life will change.” Remi said and Elin briefly looked at the older woman.
”Have you ever seen her?” Elin asked and she saw Remi shake her head. ”I might like to try that one day. Throw a coin in and see what happens.” she said with a smile, turning back to the carrots and continuing to peel them until the last one was peeled and all she had to do was top and tail it.
Cutting the base off was easy, but as she cut the tip the knife slipped, pushing into the flesh of the tip of her middle finger and she yelped, flinching and pulling her hand away, shaking it vigorously as she did so.
Next thing she knew Remi was next to her, checking her finger.
A small amount of blood had gathered at the cut and more was beginning to join it. Soon the dot of blood had grown into a globule and threatened falling from the cut to whatever was underneath her hand.
Remi picked up an old cloth and handed it to her and Elin smiled appreciatively, wrapping the cloth around her finger and holding it with the adjacent index and ring finger to hold it in place to try and stop the bleeding or at least stop it from dripping everywhere as she used the non-bloodied to wipe the knife clean and rinse it in the water, before trying to cut the carrots one handed.

It was a messy process and more often than not the carrot simply rolled away as she pushed down on the knife.
Two out of every three attempts resulted in the carrot slipping away, the one out of every three times that the carrot didn't roll away, the cut was uneven, but eventually the carrots were cut.

Elin looked at her hand and contemplated checking it, then her eyes flicked back to the carrots and she quickly placed them into the cooking pot with her free hand before examining her cut to see that it was still bleeding, although not quite as much.
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