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Second Job Thread - Work as a cook gets chaotic as Elin makes a fish stock and attempts to dish up food on time

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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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Postby Elin on May 2nd, 2017, 11:47 pm

70th Spring, 517
"Common" | "Kontinese" | "Tukant"

Elin had worked at the Rearing stallion for some time and had managed to form a positive working relationship with both Kevith, the Tavern Keeper, and his wife Remi, the cook.
She’d been working closely with Remi over the course of the season and had grown to know quite a lot about the woman. She liked to be in charge of the kitchen, which was good since Elin was quite the Novice and nowhere near as skilled as Remi, and Elin realised that it was probably because of that that she’d formed such a good working relationship.
She’d also realised that Remi enjoyed telling stories, having listened to many tales of the elderly woman's past along with old folktales that she’d never heard before.
It was pleasant, but still Elin felt slightly uneasy leaving her two children with somebody else when she came to work. She doubted she’d ever really get used to it, even if Ilia and Rion’s fathers were the ones she was leaving them with.

Smiling, she’d just finished peeling a few carrots and chopping them, and had placed them into a cooking pot when Remi had beckoned her over

“We’re making a stock for the fish stew!” the woman said and Elin nodded before listening to the woman explain how they would make the stock and Elin listened to every word, before glancing around to check where everything she’d need was, before she got started.

Remi had said that the main ingredient that would be left in the end result was the water, so ELin grabbed a second cooking pot and added water to it so it was about half full.
Then she saw the fish bones, heads and tails, Remi had told her about. Apparently they were a mixed of fish bones from todays and yesterdays fish and would release their flavour when boiled in the water, but the heads and tails were fresh from today.

Inwardly cringing at the smell and the sight of the fish heads and their dead eyes staring blankly at Elin, she picked up the bucket and tipped it into the cooking pot.
Now the cooking pot was about three quarters full. Apparently the next step was to add the vegetable peels to give it a more grounded flavour instead of just the pure fish.

Elin took the carrot peels from earlier and added them to the pot, before starting to chop the onions.
She cut the base of the onions and almost instantly her eyes began to sting and she cursed herself for forgetting how much it had hurt the first time.
Working through the pain she cut the top and added the discarded parts to the pot, but peeling the onion and adding the peel.
She was left with one half cut, skinless onion, and decided that it would be best to leave that for now and focus on getting the peels from the other onions and vegetables to add to the stock pot.
She cut the rest of the onions to match the first one and added the discards to the pot, before finding a few heads of broccoli that needed chopping, and the stalks would be used in the stock.
Sighing, she used her knife to cut into the base of the broccoli, separating the florets from the woody stalks, and then she roughly chopped the stalk so it wasn’t too large and added that to the cooking pot.
She saw that Remi had added a few other vegetable skins and peels, and Elin noticed that everything Remi had said should be used for the stock was already in the pot.
Now it was time to add the heat.
-
Last edited by Elin on May 12th, 2017, 2:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Elin on May 7th, 2017, 7:46 pm

Smiling slightly, Elin picked up the cooking pot filled with vegetable peels, vegetable skins, fish bones, and fish heads and tails, before carrying it to the fire and placing it on top so that the base of the pot was being heated by the fire.
She watched the pot in between chopping the already peeled vegetables, her knife occasionally slipping off the vegetables and stabbing her work surface.
Her head kept turning to check the cooking pot to see whether the water was boiling, and after a few chimes she noticed the water boiling.
Smiling she moved over to the pot and put a lid on it. According to Remi this was to stop all of the water from the pot turning into steam and escaping, and Elin simply trusted it, doing as the woman said.
”How long does it boil for, Remi?” Elin asked, tilting her head to look at the older woman.
“About a bell, maybe more, maybe less. We’ll know.” the woman said and Elin nodded, turning back to the vegetables, cutting them in half and then in half again, before cutting the quarters into chunks that were about half an inch in size.
Soon the less painful vegetables were chopped and Elin was left with the onions.
She frowned and rolled her eyes, her hands tentatively picking up one of the onions and frowning at it even more. Then she placed it down on the work surface and used her knife to cut it in half.
The two halves fell apart and Elin felt the stinging begin in her eyes.
In her head she swore, not wanting to swear out loud and risk offending Remi. Instead she kept quiet as she continued to cut the onion into smaller and smaller pieces, her eyes beginning to tear up as she did so.
Attempting to clear her eyes of tears, she blinked rapidly, trying to gain her full vision back from the watery substance obscuring her eyes.
Briefly the tears would clear, but they’d fill her eyes again soon enough. In those short few moments that her eyes were cleared of water she was able to cut a few pieces of the onion, and after a few chimes the first onion had been cut and Elin took a few moments to wipe her eyes with her sleeve to try and relieve them, but instead they started stinging even more. Again she cursed silently, opting to chop the last onion before trying to find a solution to her stinging eyes.
This onion took a lot longer to chop, and worried about the state of her vision, she opted to move the fully cut pieces away from the rest of the onion, not wanting to chop her finger and end up with blood all over the chopped onion making it unusable.

Blinking rapidly she shifted the water in her eyes so it instead rolled down her face, before she managed to chop the last onion in half, and then into quarters, before she had to stop and blink the water out of her eyes again.
This time she managed to chop most of the onion before she found her vision watering up and not wanting to waste time blinking tears away, she simply pushed the cut pieces out of the way and felt the onion, attempting to line up her knife correctly before pushing down. This cut was successful, so tentatively she changed the knifes direction again and pushed it down quicker this time. The knife managed to cut through the quarter of onion but also found itself cutting into the side of her finger. She hadn’t realised where her hands were when cutting down on the onion, and the stinging pain in her hand distracted her from her stinging eyes as she winced and silently curse.
She could see specks of blood forming from where she had cut herself, and holding her hand she turned to Remi.
”Do you have anything I could use to stop myself bleeding everywhere?” she asked nervously, having managed to avoid cutting herself since her first day at the tavern.
Remi offered her a thin strip of cloth that hadn’t yet been used and Elin smiled at the cook appreciatively, before beginning to wrap the cloth around her finger tightly, before somehow managing to tie the ends together to hold it in place.
It wasn’t pretty and already her makeshift bandage was beginning to come loose in places, but it was doing it’s job for now!
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Postby Elin on May 12th, 2017, 9:50 am

Even with the messy bandage loose and falling off in places Elin would be able to continue work with her other hand and the non-bound fingers provided that blood didn't start seeping through the bandage.
Sighing, her eyes finally cleared of liquid, she saw that she had chopped most of the onions and only a few had been tainted by her blood. She was glad to see that not all of her work had been in vain and audibly sighed in relief, before realising that she must have seemed like a particularly noisy cook to Remi, with all of her sighing and wincing and groaning over the course of the day so far.
Using her uninjured hand, she placed the chopped vegetables and onion, that hadn’t been tainted, into the cooking pot that held the carrots, before glancing around to see what else needed doing before food was ready to be served.

She saw Remi beckon her over to where some fillets of fish lay. Remi took a knife and gently held one of the pieces of fish in place, before pushing the knife into it smoothly and pulling it back, separating the fillet in half, before doing the same to chop the fillet again.
Elin nodded as the knife was handed to her and Remi turned back to her own cooking, and Elin began to copy what Remi had done, pushing the sharp knife into the fillet, then pulling the knife towards her.

She was quite surprised that she was trusted with such a sharp knife after cutting herself earlier. Though it was going fairly well for her.
She’d cut the fish into pieces that were about two inches in size. They weren’t neat or particularly uniform, but for a stew she imagined that they’d be appropriate.
”Remi, is this okay?” Elin asked the older woman, seeing the woman nod as she said yes, and then Elin added the fish to the cooking pot with the chopped vegetables.

Now they just had to wait for the stock to be completed.
In order to keep busy, Remi had asked Elin to skim anything that had formed off the top of the stock, and Elin nodded, lifting up the lid of the cooking pot to see a few clumps of white froth on the top on the broth.
She grabbed a spoon and carefully placed it into the broth slightly, before manoeuvring the spoon to under a clump of froth and lifting it out to try and remove the froth.

She managed to get some of the clump out of the stock, but half of what she'd recovered slipped from the spoon and fell back into the stock.
Sighing, she repeated the process a few times until the stock was mostly clear, with only a few tiny pieces of froth floating on the surface, though in Elin’s mind they were insignificant and not that noticeable.
As she finished and put the spoon down, she felt a presence next to her and she turned to see Remi next to her.
She watched as the cook used her own spoon to taste the stock, before the cook nodded and told Elin that the stock was ready and that it was time to strain out the vegetable peels and fish parts.

Remi helped her to lay a thin lightly woven cloth, almost similar to a cheesecloth, over a cooking pot, then Elin carefully pick up the pot of stock and began to pour it through the cloth.
She watched as the liquid seemed to pour through, while fish bones and other solid pieces were stopped by the cloth.
A few times the cloth ended up so laden with pieces of bone and vegetable peel, and Elin had to stop pouring the stock and remove the debris from the cloth, placing the bones and fish heads and everything else into a bucket to discard at the end of the day.

Eventually, Elin was left with half a cooking pot of stock and she couldn’t help but smile slightly.

In order to make the stew, they added a bit more water and some tomato juice that Remi had made a day earlier. Then they added the chopped vegetables and began to heat the cooking pot.
“In ten chimes, add the fish.” Remi said as she got back to her own cooking and Elin began to clean up the mess that had been made. Some of the stock had spilt onto the floor and Elin had managed to find the cloth used to clean the floor, using it to soak up the liquid to prevent herself and Remi from slipping on it.

Soon ten chimes had passed and Elin washed her hands again, before adding the chopped fish to the pot.
”How long does the fish take?” Elin asked Remi as she turned to look at the woman with a smile on her face, as the woman told her that it would take about six chimes and then it would be ready to serve, along with details on how it should be served.

When it was time, Elin was to ladle the stew into a bowl, then place that bowl onto a larger plate with a spoon and a piece of bread.

Elin nodded, listening carefully before glancing towards a table near the entrance to the kitchen.
Apparently when it was busier they put the food on the tables and waited for the barmaids to come and collect it, but for today they’d take the food to the barmaids in the bar.
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Postby Elin on May 12th, 2017, 2:35 pm

It wasn’t long before the stew was ready and a number of orders came in.
Some were for Remi and the parts that she had cooked, while a few were orders for the stew.

Smiling, Elin retrieved a few bowls and plates, then carefully cut a chunk of bread for each order, placing it onto the plate, before picking up the bowl and glancing around for a ladle.
It took a few moments for her to locate the ladle as it hung from a beam with a series of hooks in it to hold various utensils.
She began ladling the stew into the bowls, before placing the filled bowls onto a plate each.
She picked two plates and bowls up, holding them carefully so she wouldn’t spill them and headed towards the door into the bar of the tavern, but before she managed to get there a pretty young barmaid appeared, offering to take the stew with a smile and offering to show Elin where the rest of them needed to go.

Elin accepted her offer, hurrying back to get the two other bowls and then following the young woman into the tavern.
It was filled with a variety of people. Some she recognised and others she didn’t, some were perfectly pleasant while others seemed like the type of person Elin would avoid. Her thoughts were only confirmed when she noticed one of those men grope the behind of another poor barmaid and Elin frowned for her.

Then the barmaid she was following stopped at a table of four men, and asked if they had ordered four stews.
The men confirmed and the woman began to put her stews in front of each of the men, before taking the other two stews from Elin and placed them on the table, before thanking Elin for helping her to carry them.

Elin then headed back to the kitchen with a smile before continuing the process of dishing out the stew as each order came in.

By the end of the day, Elin couldn’t help but notice that she too smelt of the fish stew and laughed slightly, before saying goodbye to Remi and Kevith, before starting on her way home, debating whether she should go to the baths first.
Total Thread Word Count2667
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Elin
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Posts: 175
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Joined roleplay: March 11th, 2017, 4:50 pm
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Postby Karyk on June 18th, 2017, 5:34 am

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Elin
Skills
Cooking: 3
Observation: 2
Lores
Cooking Recipe: Fish Stew Stock
Cooking: Put a lid on a pot to keep steam in
Blinking rapidly briefly lessens the effects from cutting onions
Cooking: Push knife into meat, then pull toward you
Cooking: Skim unwanted debris from top of stew
Cooking: Use a fine cloth to strain broth
Cooking Recipe: Fish Stew
Miscellaneous


 
Notes and Comments
CS Checkmarked: ✓
CS Reviewed by Me: ✓
Season Request was Submitted for Grade: Spring 517
Season of last IC post: Summer 517
Season of last Paid Seasonal Expense: Spring 517
Eligible for grade? Yes





I loved the detail in this, very well done. Please mark your post in queue as Graded.
Follow your heart, and the plot will follow.
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