Completed [The Protea Inn] An Innkeeper's Day I

The job thread for Winter 520.

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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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[The Protea Inn] An Innkeeper's Day I

Postby Tazrae on March 1st, 2021, 1:02 am

Timestamp: 30th of Winter, 520 A.V.


Mornings in Syka were special. Tazrae felt like there was no place on Mizahar that was more beautiful than Syka’s painted sky over the warm turquoise ocean. The dawn never gradually lightened into a full day. Instead, the world painted bright streaks of red and purple, azure and orange across the sky like some artist locked in the frenzy of creativity. It was like the world woke here full and bright, with all the birds calling welcome and the roosters in the yard crowing a challenge. Cockatoos and parrots joined in the singing, vying with the songbirds that flittered all around in their new day excitement. Mornings were noisy. Mornings were high energy. Tazrae loved them.

Tazrae never really felt like she was indoors living at the Protea. She slept with the storm shutters back and the windows held no glass. Breezes chased each other into her room, blowing curtains outward or inward depending on their moods. Insects came and went freely, often pursued by hungry feathered food seekers. Monkeys occasionally visited, and more frequently the small lizards that looked like Bree in miniature scurried about. The young Innkeeper was always watchful for snakes, though they left her alone now with Bree in and about hunting the creatures. Taz loved the wildness of it all. It was so different than the sheltered fortress home of her youth.

She rose from the bed, pushing open the mosquito netting, and slipping her bare feet onto the sanded wooded floor planks. She stretched her toes out and rose up on them, grinning, as she slipped off the simple oversized shirt she wore to sleep in. Gathering the loose silk, she smoothed it out and tossed it up on the bedrail where the netting was hung. It would refresh the garment for the next use. Its gauzy light weight fluttered in the feral breezes chasing about the room. Taz inhaled deeply, smelling the salt air and the rich earthy aroma of the jungle all around them.

The Inn was devoid of guests this morning, letting her off the hook for making any sort of breakfast. That was fine by her as Creech lifted his muzzle from where he was snoring on the bed and jumped down to follow her. Taz had a morning routine. She stopped by the washroom, used it, and washed her hands and face. Then she headed out on the porch where she passed a rather large bushel basket of tomatoes that had a note tucked into it. “Extra from the garden. Figured you could use these. – Julie” The Innkeeper grinned. She had no plans for the morning with no guests, but it seemed plans had found her.

Heading down the steps, she stopped to scratch the muzzle of her Ixam who was sprawled out in the sun with an extended belly – probably from fishing in the early morning hours. Bree was still growing, just a teenager in Ixam terms, so such feedings were common. The Ixam’s blue green patterning was gorgeous in the morning sun and Taz took a moment to admire the way the sun played along her scales like jewels. And while the riding lizard didn’t seem inclined to wake, her muzzle did curl back into a lizardy smile and she muttered ‘morning’ to Taz as the Innkeeper wandered by. “Morning sleepyhead… go ahead and sleep as long as you want. I’m going to be in the kitchen this morning.” She added, unnecessarily since the Ixam was already tucking her head back onto her forelegs and shifting to a more comfortable position to keep sleeping.
Last edited by Tazrae on May 12th, 2021, 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
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[The Protea Inn] An Innkeeper's Day

Postby Tazrae on May 12th, 2021, 2:24 am

Creech wasn’t impressed. The big Imperial Watcher bounded past Tazrae, nipped ineffectively at Bree’s flank, and disappeared into the grass above the sand to do his morning business. Taz padded barefoot out to the reptile garden, wanting to check on the snakes and a mother snake to see if she’d laid eggs yet.

Her biggest Mussurana appeared calm, uncoiled, and was basking in the speckled sunlight the snake cabinets let through their mesh roofs. She was still bulging with eggs and though Taz had offered her food the day before… a squirming pit viper Bree had caught… the gravid female had shown no signs of wanting to eat. The meal hadn’t gone to waste. One of the other seven snakes Tazrae kept devoured it instead, so Taz figured herself on egg watch.

While she was out at the Reptile Garden, she carefully refilled all the waters and checked each snake to make sure they were feeling no stress. None of them seemed malcontent. She’d wander back out after her day of cooking and handle each and every one of them except for the one heavy with eggs. They really didn’t need handling, but Tazrae loved playing and interacting with them, and it helped to keep them tame. The Mussurana, as caught, was already somewhat docile, but Taz wanted them child-safe before much longer. More and more of the people visiting Syka were coming in with children or older people, and learning about snakes here by handling them close up would be invaluable to the new residents who just weren’t visitors.

When she came back in, washed up again, and fetched the tomatoes from the porch, Tazrae set a big kettle on to boil. She’d peel the tomatoes, then stew them to make ketchup and tomato paste out of them. She was scheduled for a full Inn over the course of the next few days so she wanted to make sure she had plenty of the tomatoes canned and ready since she used ketchup in so many recipes. Uta’s bounty was her windfall for sure. And the guests tonight would be no different. The young Innkeeper had found that feeding new visitors to Syka unfamiliar meats like Tapir required incorporating the meats into familiar dishes like stew, meatloaf, and a new dish she really loved that involved ground meat on bread buns. She’d make that tonight since she had a good quarter of a Tapir to cook laying on an ice block in the icebox.

Picking up a knife, Taz cut all the stems and green bits off the tomatoes. She also carved out any portion that looked nibbled upon by anyone else, and into the boiling water, the tomatoes went. She pumped out a fresh cold bowl of water and fished the tomatoes out of the boiling water and into what was basically an ice bath to split their skins and loosen them. She kept doing this until the ice bath was out of the room, at which point she took a break to peel. Having been scalded, the tomatoes where easy to peel and the skins came right off.

She left the skins in a scrap pile to feed to her chickens – along with the stems and other nibbled upon waste – and let the fresh then-skinless tomatoes rest in yet a third bowl while she got the big pot of water boiling again and did another batch. It took her the better part of a bell to skin all the tomatoes. When she was done, she cut them down with a few casual careless chops and dropped them into the pot of water that was still boiling to finish cooking. By then, most of the water had boiled off, leaving a lot of tomatoes and tomato mash to cook. Taz let the mixture boil and bubble gently until every part of the tomatoes had softened, taking the time to clean up the rest of her workspace while they did.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[The Protea Inn] An Innkeeper's Day

Postby Tazrae on May 12th, 2021, 2:28 am

When the tomatoes were boiled and cooked thoroughly, she pulled out the rest of her ingredients. First things first, she added a half a cup of water to the cooked down tomatoes. Stirring thoughtfully, Tazrae reached for her bin of sugar. Releasing her wooden spoon, she pried off the lid, grabbed her 2/3rd cup, and scooped out a measure of the sugar. She added the sugar to the boiled down mixture, then reached for her white vinegar, measuring out ¾ of a cup to add to the soon-to-be ketchup. She stirred the mixture in a swirling motion then added onion powder, garlic powder, salt, celery salt, mustard powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and a single whole clove. Changing out the spoon for a whisk, she whisked the spices into the paste and continued to cook down the mixture.

Tazrae kept the whole mixture over high heat, keeping it uncovered while she stirred constantly. It took time to reduce, the whole thing bubbling happily making her whole kitchen smell like Ketchup. When it looked like it was reduced down enough, she pulled a fine strainer out of the cupboard, laid it across a glass bowl, and poured the hot mixture into the strainer one ladle full at a time. Using the back of the big metal ladle, the young Innkeeper forced the mixture through the mesh of the strainer, ferreting out all the hidden seeds and leftover pieces of skin she might have missed peeling the odd bright red fruit.

Once strained, she left the whole mixture sit. Taz would allow the ketchup to come up to room temperature before she seasoned it further. It most likely needed salt and pepper and perhaps a tad more cayenne before she could declare it done and put it in a jar in the icebox. But food tasted different hot than it did cold, and since most of the time she ate it cold, she wanted to taste test it cold.

Setting the ketchup aside, the aspiring young chef went in search of her meat grinder. She found it in the pantry on the bottom drawer. It was all metal and clamped to her counter. She affixed it firmly then went about hacking off slices of the tapir meat she pulled from the icebox. Grinding it was a good way to introduce it to her guests if they’d never had jungle fair before. She planned on making thick buns to hold the ground meat mixture in a delighted type of sandwich popular in and around Syka.

Most of the settlers grilled burgers – thickly pressed patties of ground meat – for easy-to-eat food that required few dishes and even fewer utensils. It was a custom Tazrae was adapting too as well at The Protea. Plus, she could sneak in all sorts of meat – python, tapir, even monkey – to feed her guests since beef was almost unheard of and they grew tired of fish after so many days.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[The Protea Inn] An Innkeeper's Day

Postby Tazrae on May 12th, 2021, 2:37 am

There were jungle deer that provided good meat as well, and most usually guests couldn’t tell the difference between the substances as long as she was liberal and talented with the spices. She’d feed pork often too, though the whole settlement had agreed to no hunting at the Swine Swells for a full season so the pigs there could recover since the denizens of Syka had been hunting them hard. Plus, feeding the little pigs was something of a tourist event now… making the pigs tamer than ever and even in further danger of being overhunted. Randal had suggested just limiting the hunting to boars only. But the animals were so tame it was too easy to take the biggest which was nearest to you when people did hunt the swells. And what it was doing was making the wild pigs even wilder.

This was all the things that went through Tazrae’s head as she fed section after section of meat into the grinder, making burger out of the whole of the tapir haunch. Normally she’d save some roasts from the big deep muscle there, but she’d found wild game in the Jungle didn’t actually have that much fat so making burger out of it let her add some lard to it and caused the meat to be more juicy and less dry. To that end, she ran some pig fat through the grinder, mixed it with the tapir, and when she was satisfied the meat was the right color for juicy cooking – and her arm ached enough from cranking the handle – she stepped back and put the burger in its large pan back in the icebox.

It was time to make the bread. She’d bake oversized rolls they called buns in Riverfall and they’d be ready by the time she was ready to make the tropical meat sandwiches for her guest’s dinner. Tazrae fetched down her large mixing bowl and filled it with warm water from the kettle heating over the hearth. She dissolved two tablespoons of yeast into the warm water and waited for it to bubble. She added in about a third of a cup of vegetable oil, a quarter of a cup of sugar, and left it alone for five chimes.

After letting the mixture stand to wake up the yeast, Taz added a whole egg, a generous pinch of salt, and enough flour to form a soft dough. She mixed it by hand, then floured her cutting board and turned the dough out onto the board. At first, she began to knead the dough and hum… but before long a song burst free. It was naturally of the ocrean, for what else would have liberated itself from her throat when the morning breeze was so full of the fresh tang of salt air and wild jungle? She sang as if no one was listening, judging, and as if no one cared. It made the song lovely and wild, like the Suvan along Falyndar’s shore.


“The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.
The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.
Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.
The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves.”



It was a morbid tune that she’d learned among the crew of The Veronica. But Uta had taught her happier songs. She loved the one about a viper and a songbird… and so to pass the time kneading, she began to sing again.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[The Protea Inn] An Innkeeper's Day

Postby Tazrae on May 12th, 2021, 2:40 am

“Jungle morning; deadly dance,
jungle tales of rave romance,
I have heard a wondrous tale
deep in jungle plush and rare.

Songbird nests atop a tree
singing songs in dawning glee.
Her little brood two hatch bright,
three small eggs she warms at night.

Slinky Viper slides and peeks
craving Songbird weeks and weeks.
Clever Viper must have cause,
to crush Songbird in his jaws.

Songbird sees a lowly worm
swoops and takes him to her home,
there she feeds him to her brood,
worm is neatly sliced in two.

Viper witnessed brutal act
testy he will quick react.
He slides up to songbird host
with deceptions naive boast.

Songbird squeals with great alarm,
she knows Viper means great harm
bravely waves her wings at him,
Viper molting very grim

Are you here to hurt my young,
day is new and just begun,
we just sing sweet melody
to the jungle from my tree?

Viper calls the heinous crime!
Viper brings the deed to mind,
you have killed an earthen worm
now will rain my slaying storm.

Songbird says we need to eat
so that we may sing and tweet
What is lowly worm to thee,
Viper hanging in the tree?

Viper had come well equipped
with venomous steady hiss,
I was told by earth mother
to avenge little bother

Songbird knew that this was lie
but saw death in Viper eye,
so she pleaded for their life
and asked Viper for his price.

Viper thought down very long;
he is slender, he is strong.
Viper is a gaming snake
Songbird’s spirit he would break.

Songbird sings of sun and sky
azure blue and mountain high,
you must sing of deep despair
or your lives I will not spare.

Songbird looked inside her heart
if with something black to start.
Songbird’s soul was whitened pure.
Songbird trembled quite unsure.

Viper poised for his attack,
Songbird coursed a throaty crack
then she sang a song of pain
death echoing each refrain.

Viper jolted then amazed
Songbird singing hellish lays!
Viper now had lost his bet
anxious paused with slimy sweat.

Then a cold rage filled his mind
years he was made to wind
only feeling savage lust
on his stomach in the dust.

He remembered tales of young
with his hand he lit the sun
shining high in heaven's glove
knowing how it felt to love.

He recoiled in his ball
then he raised his belly tall,
his demon eyes blackened holes
dripping fangs now full exposed.

Before Songbird could escape
Viper drunk for savage rape
he bit fast his fury hard
ripping meat and tender lard.

He struck and gnawed, ripped and razed
in bloodletting he was crazed
rage gave way to common sense
he was choking on himself.

Blinded by his ancient hate
when he chose his mortal fate,
he did not strike Songbird’s wail
he was eating his own tail.

Viper dead fell from the branch
failing yet a second chance,
next day morning clear and bright
jungle thriving in the light.

Songbird stalls her happy song
pondering her youngest born
now she coos a saddened tune
in the jungle in the gloom.”


Laughing to herself, Taz continued to knead until the dough was smooth and elastic. She refrained from letting it rise. Buns needed to be denser, strong enough to hold onto the meat. And if she let them rise, they’d get full of air pockets which would soften the bread and make it a mushy mess if she tried to make it into any kind of significant sandwich.



Words: 2978
Last edited by Tazrae on May 12th, 2021, 3:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[The Protea Inn] An Innkeeper's Day I

Postby Tazrae on May 12th, 2021, 2:50 am

Tazrae-

Cooking +5, Planning +4, Singing +2

Cooking: Making Ketchup, Cooking: Grinding Meat Into Burger, Cooking: Making Buns For Meat Sandwiches
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User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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