Solo More Than Just Cataloguing

Job Thread. Sophia starts to learn how to make plants useful.

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forum. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

Moderator: Gossamer

More Than Just Cataloguing

Postby Sophia Sunshore on August 28th, 2018, 10:44 am

Image
42, Summer, 518 a.v.


Sophia stared down at the journal on the desk with unseeing eyes, her chin propped up on her hand. It had been a while since she had started to work for the botanist Uta, but recently her days had all been exactly the same. She would come up to Uta's Place, plop down behind the desk and then transcribe notes into her own journal, or write up Uta's latest findings. On the plus side, her drawings were improving, but on the downside her brain was starting to stall at the repetition.

She was so tuned out to the environment around her that Sophia almost leapt out of her skin when Uta came up behind and tapped her on the shoulder. The Svefra turned to face the botanist, a sheepish smile on her face. Uta raised a single eyebrow. "Come with me, bring your journal." Sophia flipped the book shut and scooped it off the desk as she stood, stepping after the botanist. They headed out of the home and off to the right, into another covered space that Sophia hadn't been in before. I had the feel of a lab - at least the equipment inside appeared to be from one - but overall was more casual. She glanced at Uta with questioning eyes.

The botanist smiled. "I think it's about time you learn other things besides note-taking. This is where I do the other part of my work." She gestured to some of the equipment. "I use this place to break down the plants and things we discover into their different parts in order to test each one for toxicity, but I can also make useful things here like oils." Sophia eagerly swept her gaze over the small room as Uta continued speaking. "Just about everything that grows here has a use - not always a good one mind - but you can use most plants for something."

Uta stepped over to a table where a collection of coconuts had been gathered. "I thought that we could start with one of the simplest and most useful things today, which is how to make coconut oil." The botanist picked up a coconut and tossed it in her hand. Sophia moved over to join her. "First we need to husk them." Uta moved a bowl over to the table. "Collect the water in here and we can drink it later."

Sophia placed her journal down on the table and accepted the coconut Uta handed to her. The botanist had also supplied a hefty rock, which sat next to one of the table legs. Uta had wandered off to another part of the room to set something else up, leaving Sophia on her own to remove the husks.
She picked up the rock and tapped the top of the coconut to remove the cap, and then set it down with that side facing down. Next, she used the rock to hit the top of the coconut hard. It took a few tries, grasping the rock tightly in both hands, but eventually the husk started to split. When it had cracked enough, Sophia used her hands to peel the husk away from the nut inside.

She repeated the process on each of the six coconuts sat on the table. She wasn't the strongest, so it took her a good few hits on each with the rock until they started to crack open, but eventually she had removed all the coconuts from their husks. She retrieved a short but heavy knife from Uta and cracked each coconut with a swift blow to their sides before letting the water run out into the bowl. She was left with a dozen halves and a decent amount of water for the pair to share.

+627
Just getting back into RP after almost 10 years - please be patient with me!
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 193
Words: 167152
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

More Than Just Cataloguing

Postby Sophia Sunshore on August 28th, 2018, 11:43 am

Uta came back over with another bowl and a couple of small blunt knives, one of which she handed to Sophia. "Good job. Next step is to scrape this white flesh inside the halves into this bowl here." Sophia picked up one of the halves and set to work, twisting the knife into the solid flesh of the nut to break it apart and then scraping the chunks out and into the empty bowl. "How much oil will all this give us?" Sophia grit her teeth as she twisted her hand, attempting to prize away a particularly stubborn piece of the coconut meat.

"Not as much as you might think. You need a lot of coconuts to make a decent amount of oil. Thankfully we have a plentiful supply here so we are unlikely to ever run out, but we won't get a lot from these few. You'll end up with a small bottle to take home though and I'll probably take the rest over to the Panacea." The pair continued to work away at the insides of the shells, the sounds of knives scraping against the rough nuts filling the air between them.

Eventually a dozen empty shells littered the floor around them, and they had managed to fill the bowl with large chunks of coconut meat. Uta motioned for Sophia to collect the shells and put them to one side as she went off to collect the next piece of equipment they would need. Sophia stacked the shells on an empty table and Uta placed two mortar and pestle's down, along with a length of cloth and yet another bowl. Uta motioned to the utensil. "You'll probably want to get yourself one of these if you don't have one already. They're really useful." The botanist scooped a handful of the white meat out of the bowl and placed it in the mortar.

"We want to grind this down as fine as we can so that it's easier to strain." Sophia mimicked her, filling her mortar and picking up the pestle. She worked it down into the meat over and over until it resembled a fluffy sort of paste. She emptied the contents into the bowl and then started the process again. She had to pause frequently as her arms were slowly growing tired. The pair worked in silence, concentrating on the repetitive actions of grinding down the meat.

Chimes passed slowly, Sophia's arms growing more and more tired. A knot was forming between her shoulder blades and she grimaced as she tried to stretch it out. Eventually all the meat had been ground down, and the mortars were set to one side. Uta grinned at Sophia. "More physical labour - next we have to strain this lot through the cloth to get the milk."

+466
Just getting back into RP after almost 10 years - please be patient with me!
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 193
Words: 167152
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

More Than Just Cataloguing

Postby Sophia Sunshore on August 28th, 2018, 3:02 pm

Uta added a small amount of water into the ground coconut and mixed it in well. Sophia gathered the short length of cloth into her hands and the botanist carefully transferred the mixture over. Uta excused herself at this point, leaving the lab area and disappearing from Sophia's eye-line. Sophia continued working, gathering the cloth around the coconut and squeezing as hard as she could to let the milk run into the bowl they had just emptied. It was tough work - tougher than the grinding had been but she kept at it, wringing as much milk as she could from the coconut until it resembled some sort of dry mush.

After a while Uta returned, and she helped Sophia press out a little more milk until it stopped dripping through no matter how hard they tried. Sophia grabbed one of the empty coconut shells to put the cloth in temporarily so that it didn't make a mess everywhere. "Right bring that bowl with you and follow me." Uta had grabbed a long spoon and motioned with it to the place she had vanished to earlier. She had set up a small fire just outside of the room and helped Sophia place the metal bowl over the small flames.

"I need to see to something for a bit, so you need to stay here and keep an eye on it. What this part does is boil all the water out of the mix. Make sure it doesn't burn. It might take a while but you'll eventually be able to see the oil bubbling up to sit on the top." She handed Sophia the spoon and headed off to see to whatever task it was she needed to do.

Sophia put the spoon into the mixture before dashing back inside to grab her journal. She settled herself down in front of the fire and flipped it open to the next empty page. Carefully she wrote down the process they had gone trough so far, so that she would essentially end up with a recipe she would be able to use again on her own. Occasionally she would pause in her writing to stir the mixture.

After some time had passed a bubble or two rose up to the surface of the coconut mix and popped. Sophia watched them, assuming that it was starting to finally boil up and evaporate the water off. She continued to stir intermittently, ensuring that nothing stuck to the sides of the bowl and burned. In between stirring she added drawings of the various tools they had used to make the oil. In particular she focused on the mortar and pestle, trying to recreate the correct shape from memory.

Still time wandered on, and the day shifted over to the afternoon. The mixture was coming along well now, simmering away quietly in the bowl. Sophia could see the oil starting to collect on the top of the coconut mush underneath. Eventually, after Sophia had lost track of time completely, Uta returned and she peered into the bowl. "Looks good, I think we can take that off now." The botanist handed Sophia some thick cloths, and she carefully eased the bowl off the flames and carried it back inside while Uta doused their fire.

+546
Just getting back into RP after almost 10 years - please be patient with me!
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 193
Words: 167152
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

More Than Just Cataloguing

Postby Sophia Sunshore on May 26th, 2019, 12:08 pm

Inside again, Sophia gently set the bowl down so it could cool off before they moved on to the next stage. She peered at the mixture inside, the oil sitting atop the milky pulp in a distinct, clear layer. It was fascinating to her how it stayed like that without mixing back in with the water, even when it was jostled by her moving it. “When that’s cool, we are going to soak the oil off the top into another container.” Uta had come up behind her to look at the mixture and Sophia nodded to show she understood.

The botanist moved to start clearing up the rest of the tools they had used, and Sophia quickly went over to help. She collected up the empty coconut shells and husks, and Uta motioned for her to place them back on the table. “Those we can reuse. The hairy stuff on the outsides can be collected for tinder, and the shells themselves we can make into bowls. Why don’t you start doing that while the oil cools down?”

Uta placed a small sack and some sort of file down next to the shells. “Put the tinder in there,” she pointed at the sack, “and then use the file to make the shell as smooth as you can.” The botanist then moved off to finish clearing away the other tools and Sophia set about pulling the ‘hair’ off the coconuts. It was thick and not really like hair at all, but the description was accurate enough. It peeled off surprisingly easily, and soon enough Sophia had the bag stuffed full.

Next she picked up the file and one of the empty coconut halves. She turned it so that the bowl was set face down on the table and started to run the file over the rough outer shell. It was harder than she expected it to be, as the rough surface caused the file to bump around and miss patches. She applied more pressure which seemed to work, and slowly the coarse shell started to smooth over. It took her a long while to get the first shell just on the smooth side of rough and by that time Uta had come over to join her, wielding a second file and collecting up her own half. They worked in companionable silence, the rasping of the files and snatches of birdsong outside the only sounds they could hear.

Several more chimes passed before Sophia could run her hand over the outside of the shell and confidently say it was smooth. She flipped it over and the bowl rolled away from her. The Svefra grabbed it before it fell to the floor and inspected the bottom again. The shell was fairly thick and to be a useful bowl it had to be able to stand the right way up. Setting it down again, she set the file on the very centre of the curve, where the bottom of the bowl would be and began to file again. Eventually she had created a small flat spot, and when she put the bowl the right way up again, this time it stayed put and she gave it a satisfied smile.

She did two more of the halves this way, leaving the insides as Uta had told her to. For that there was apparently a different kind of file and then they would need to painted with an oil to make them more waterproof. She lined her creations up on the table before standing to inspect the oil they had left cooling. She was able to touch the pan now and poking the liquid carefully with a fingertip told her that the oil was not cold, but cool enough to work with.

+625
Just getting back into RP after almost 10 years - please be patient with me!
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 193
Words: 167152
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

More Than Just Cataloguing

Postby Sophia Sunshore on May 26th, 2019, 12:10 pm

Uta set her up with yet another bowl and a small piece of cloth. “This is the easy part now! Just absorb the oil off the top with the cloth and squeeze it into the bowl.” Sophia laid the cloth over the mixture and waited for a few ticks as the oil crept into the fabric. Then she lifted it over the other bowl and squeezed the liquid out in a small trickle. She repeated this over and over, pressing the fabric down into the coconut mush to absorb even more when the layer on the top had all but disappeared.

After several chimes, Sophia had extracted all the oil she could. The bowl containing the oil still had a lot of the flesh in it, which would explain why Uta had not wanted her to squeeze it directly into the bottles for storage. Again, the oil separated itself from the flesh and they carefully drained this off the top into the bottles. All In all they were left with three small bottles of pure coconut oil. “Like I said at the beginning, you need a lot of coconuts to make any substantial amount of oil.” The botanist stoppered one of the bottles before handing it to Sophia. “Here, you can have this one and I’ll take the other two down to the Panacea later.”

Sophia accepted the bottle with a smile. ”It is good though that we can use the whole coconut for various things.” She motioned to the milky pulp still sitting in its bowl. ”Can we use that stuff?” Uta nodded. “Oh yes, I’ve been making into a snack.” Interest piqued at the mention of food, the Svefra quickly took up her journal and was poised eagerly to write down any sort of recipe.

Uta laughed. “It’s nothing special. I didn’t want this part to go to waste, so I experimented and figured out how to make a really good little snack ball. You add some sort of extract like vanilla to the coconut and a pinch of salt. You can also add something like honey if you want it sweeter. Then you just roll it into little balls and you’re done! You can eat them like that, or if you’re feeling fancy and have some dried nuts around, crush up the nuts and roll the balls in it, then you can bake them. They last a little longer in the heat.” Sophia was scribbling down everything the botanist was saying. ”They sound delicious.”

The evening was drawing near by this time, so the pair cleared up all the tools they had been using. Sophia pocketed her little vial of oil and collected her notebook before thanking Uta for teaching her something new and incredibly useful. Uta nodded, collecting up the bowl of pulp they had left. “It’ll be good to have you help out in other ways from now on. Enjoy the oil, I’ll drop by later with a couple of shell bowls for you.”

Sophia waved her goodbye and meandered back to her little tent on the beach. The evening had drawn over during her walk, and she crawled into her bed. Her arms were tired from their near constant use all day, but she had picked up yet another valuable skill and some important knowledge she could use in the future. Maybe one day she could even expand upon the more simple uses for the plants and oils and create other useful things for the denizens of Syka.


+584
=2828
Just getting back into RP after almost 10 years - please be patient with me!
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 193
Words: 167152
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

More Than Just Cataloguing

Postby Rohka on September 8th, 2019, 1:34 am

GRADES
sophia sunshore

Experience
    Botany +3
    Herbalism +1
    Drawing +1
    Wilderness Survival +1
    Cooking +1

Lores:
    Botany: How to remove husk, flesh, and water from coconuts
    Botany: How to strain out coconut milk
    Wilderness Survival: Coconut husk can be used for tinder
    Wilderness Survival: How to make smooth bowls out of coconuts husks
    Herbalism: How to make coconut oil
    Drawing: A mortar and pestle
    Cooking: Recipe for coconut snack balls
Additional Notes:

Sophia, this was a lovely read. You taught me how to make coconut oil! Plus, the snack balls really do sound delicious. Your PC is so patient and diligent, I'm looking forward to reading more.

And congrats on reaching competent in Botany!! :D Please don't hesitate at all to PM me if you believe I've missed anything, I'm happy to answer any questions.




If you have any concerns over this grade, don't hesitate to send me a message on either Discord or Miz. Also, please be sure to EDIT any posts in the grading queue to 'Graded'. Enjoy!
-Rohka ❤
User avatar
Rohka
So?
 
Posts: 201
Words: 206322
Joined roleplay: May 24th, 2013, 5:28 pm
Location: Ravok
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests