Solo More Than Just Cataloguing

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

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

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More Than Just Cataloguing

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

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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.

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Just getting back into RP after almost 10 years - please be patient with me!
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Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 111
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Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
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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."

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Just getting back into RP after almost 10 years - please be patient with me!
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Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 111
Words: 95646
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
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Medals: 1
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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: 111
Words: 95646
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)


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