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

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 II

Postby Tazrae on March 1st, 2021, 1:03 am

Timestamp: 3oth of Winter, 520 A.V.


Continued From: An Innkeeper's Day I


It was a top priority for Taz to get the buns in the oven. While she let the dough rest a moment, she turned to her baking hearth and loaded in some fresh wood. She lit the fire from banked ashes she had in the hearth stored in its corner pile. Then once the wood was going, she turned back to the dough. She patted it happily, ran her hands across the smooth flour-dusted surface of the ball she’d turned out onto the cutting board, and reached across the workspace to pick up her pastry cutter. It was a long metal blade – square – like a cleaver, with a handle on one end of the long edge of the square instead of jutting off the end. The bamboo handle was comfortable and it allowed her to slice the dough into twelve portions.

She then took each chunk of the twelve and rolled it gently in her hand. She shaped the buns into the size she wanted, then allowed each of them to rest while she prepped the baking pan. She covered it with lard and dusted it with flour. Then, taking a small knife out of her carving block, Taz went to the icebox and cut off a portion of butter to melt in a small pan in the heat of the pastry oven. Pulling a paintbrush out of her drawer, she carefully dipped it in the small pan of melted butter and reached for her sesame seeds. The small white dried seeds were packed in a spice jar on her spice rack. She loosened the lid and with a flourish grabbed up the paintbrush and began coating the top of each bun with butter. Then, once they were damp with enough butter to hold the sesame seeds, she sprinkled a bit of them over each bun.

Tazrae didn’t let them rise long. She just held off placing them in the oven until the oven temperature felt right enough to bake them. Once the oven was ready, she placed each bun on the prepared baking sheets and slid them into the oven. Then she inverted a small sand bell glass and nodded to herself. When the sand ran from the top portion, through the squeeze, and into the bottom portion, the buns would be more than done.

Twelve buns weren’t enough, Tazrae knew, so she started on her second batch of bread dough and began putting that together. It went faster than her first efforts had been on the first and before even the first batch was coming out of the oven, she was already prepping the next pan of buns once more. the first was dense buttery things that would hold meat well.

Taz didn’t want to cook the meat until she actually had guests show up. But with the second batch of buns in the oven, there was nothing stopping her from prep all the rest of the food, especially the meat, and make sure it was ready for the dinner bell.

The first thing she did was finish grinding all the meat. Then she seasoned it. She could cook it two ways… first in a patty form that would rest between the buns and be piled high with fruit and vegetables. The second way was run the buns open-faced and rather than grill the meat in patty form, she could put it in a frying pan and fry it after it was seasoned and make a saucy meat sauce to pile on the open-faced buns.
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 868
Words: 1242821
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 II

Postby Tazrae on May 16th, 2021, 10:51 pm

She opted for the patties since they’d be easier to hand out and she could actually grill more than one per bun for those men that had heartier appetites. Contemplating the bowl of ground up Tapir, Tazrae knew she needed to season it. It wouldn’t hurt to sweeten it a bit too since Tapir had very little fat in it, for all that the animal was bulky. She started with Paprika, adding a generous tablespoon to the meat, sprinkling it over the top. Next she added a handful of salt, more pepper than she probably should have – for Tazrae loved black pepper, and then a goodly chunk of brown sugar. Her brown sugar had jungle molasses added to it which Tazrae thought tasted better than the molasses that came from the eastern continent. She broke open three heads of garlic, separated out the cloves, then crushed them with the side of her big cleaver and used the blade to chopped them up. Once that was done, she added the chopped garlic to the meat and pulled out two onions.

Slicing onions always brought tears to her eyes so she cried quite happily while humming a tune as the onions got peeled then sliced, then diced up into smaller chunks. Tazrae was getting quite handy with her big kitchen cleaver. Finally, she pulled two big spicy peppers… Uta called them cayennes… out of their jar. The dried pepper had a wonderfully spicy aroma. She picked up her cleaver, deftly cut off the still clinging stems, and cast them aside. Then she cut through the peppers, the material fragile in their dried condition. Getting busy, she cut the peppers into little pieces, then went further until there was a pile of pepper debris on the cutting board that she then swept off onto the meat mixture using the blade of her knife.

Wiping her cleaver clean, she replaced it in the wooden knife rack and turned to the meat mixture. She carefully washed her hands again, then dug them deep into the room-temperature meat, and began to massage in the seasoning. As she worked the ground up meat, she began to sing…

This time she minded her diaphragm, enunciated her words, and worked on breath control. Tazrae had a lovely soprano voice, but it wasn’t as high as some women could sing. Nor could she sing as low as others. Instead, she liked to think of her voice as a throaty soprano… and she played up songs that she could easily sing in range.

“Sometimes the strident reds and burning blues,
The raw vermilions and magenta hues
Are all too harsh…they persecute our eyes.
So then, like pallid ghosts of butterflies,

White Ginger blossoms float above a pool.
Divinely fragrant, silken-soft and cool,

Or Stephanotis, mimicking the tropic skies,
Flaunts gleaming waxen stars before our eyes;

Sheer webs of lace the Spider-Lilies weave,
So frailly delicate, we must believe

that pixies, skilled in magic, spent the night
With nimble fingers spinning 'Queen's Delight';

Magnolias tilt their carven ivory cups
To catch the moon-wine that Leth sups.

I cannot name them all…I have not room
To praise each flower that with sweet perfume

Beguiles my lazy fancy with it's fragrant white
And floats a web of glamour on the magic night.”
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 868
Words: 1242821
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 II

Postby Tazrae on May 16th, 2021, 10:54 pm

She smiled at the song, loving tunes about magic. Her fingers worked through the meat, mixing and mixing and mixing, as another song came too her and she began to sing again.

“Love me the warmth and light of tropic lands,
The strange bright fruit, the feathery fanspread leaves,
The glowing mornings and the mellow eves,

The strange shells scattered on the golden sands,
The curious handiwork of Eastern hands,
The little carts ambled by humpbacked beeves,

The narrow outrigged native boat which cleaves,
Unscathed, the surf outside the coral strands.
Love we the blaze of color, the rich red

Of broad tiled-roof and turban, the bright green
Of plantain-frond and paddy-field, nor dread
The fierceness of the noon. The sky serene,
The chill-less air, quaint sights, and tropic trees,
Seem like a dream fulfilled of lotus-ease.”


They were songs Randal had taught her, ones that came from poets, or so he said. She should write more songs, having a bit of knowledge of songcraft herself. She wasn’t one for spinning tunes though. Her creativity lay elsewhere, perhaps even in the mastery of cooking for she loved nothing better than doing this sort of work.

When the meat and spices were thoroughly incorporated, Tazrae withdrew her hands and washed them just long enough to pull out another sheet pan and oil it thoroughly. She didn’t want the meat to stick to the surface, and a bit of extra oil would just cause the meat to brown faster on the grill.

Grabbing a handful, she began to form patties of the mixture by pressing the meat together and bouncing it in a circle in her hands, forming and coaxing it into what she considered a universal burger patty size. Once finished with the first, she crafted a second and went through the bowl of ground meat faster than she thought. When she was all done, she had well over thirty burgers on the sheet pan. Smiling in satisfaction, she knew she had enough to feed her guests and anyone who dropped by for dinner unexpectedly. The guests, too, would be extra hungry landing onshore today after their quick trip across the Suvan.

Tazrae picked up the sheet pan and carried it over to the icebox where she slipped it inside and onto the block of ice that was chilling everything in there. The patties would be nice and cold when she slipped them on the grill, if not frozen a little on the bottoms. That worked in her favor for the stiffness and lack of heat would keep the patties in their new shapes.

She washed her hands again and this time took the time to clean up a little, washing her cutting board, the pans she mixed the dough in, and the utensils she’d dirtied. Taz liked a clean kitchen, so her sink never had dishes in it when they could be quickly washed up and placed safely away in cupboards.
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 868
Words: 1242821
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 II

Postby Tazrae on May 16th, 2021, 10:56 pm

As she washed, she sang again…

“Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.”


It was a sad harsh song, one she’d heard in Riverfall. She wondered if there was a way to tweak it, to make it happier. She didn’t like the sad songs. They dragged one down. Taz wished she knew more songs, perhaps ones with birds singing and skies being blue. But there was a noted lack of bards in Syka to produce such things. Someone would have to write them…. perhaps even her?

When the kitchen was noticeably cleaned up, she decided to prep the ingredients for the grilled patties. She decided lettuce, tomato, and some sauces would be the best. She’d already made Ketchup, so mayonnaise and mustard were next on her to-do list. But first, she’d go out into the yard, cut some lettuce, wash it, and then cut up the dozen or so fresh tomatoes she’d held in reserve from the ketchup making of earlier.

Taking her harvest knife, she left and was back momentarily with a basket holding a head of lettuce.


She rinsed the head of lettuce, flipped it over, and picked up her cleaver. She banned the center core with the handle of the cleaver, hard, causing it to break off from the leaves. She then used her fingers to tear out the core and set it aside, freeing all the leaves. Gently, she pealed them back from the head, fanned them out, and carefully laid them out to dry from their bath on yet another baking sheet. Once the lettuce was fanned out, she cut off any bits that had been nibbled on by wildlife, ixam, or even slugs… and stashed the whole tray in the icebox on a high tray slot where it wouldn’t wilt or freeze but would stay cool.

Then she set to work on the tomatoes, washing them gently. Taz was glad she left their skins on, making it so much easier to use a small paring knife to cut out their stems. Once they were all washed, stemless, and waiting, she took a good sharp slicing knife and began cutting them in thick slices that would sit neatly on the burger patties after she grilled them. Once neat slice looked particularly delicious so Tazrae sprinkled a pinch of salt on it and began to nibble as she cut up the rest of the tomatoes. They too were splayed out flat on a baking sheet and went back into the icebox.
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 868
Words: 1242821
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 II

Postby Tazrae on May 16th, 2021, 10:58 pm

It was time to make some mayonnaise.

On light feet, Tazrae grabbed her egg basket and headed out to the chicken coup. She gathered up more than twenty eggs – enough for breakfast for all the guests in the morning – and brought the basket in to rest on the counter. She selected a big fresh egg from the top of the basket and broke it open into a bowl. She then plucked a lemon from her hanging basket of fresh fruits, slammed it down on the counter, and began roughly rolling it between her palm and the wood of the counter. Once it was good and squished, she cut it in half and squeezed a bit of the lemon juice into the egg. Then, she retrieved her wisk from the drawer and began whisking the egg and lemon.

Once the egg and lemon juice were well whisked, she retrieved a bottle of avocado oil from a high shelf and measured out a cup of it. Then, as she set the whisk back into motion with her right hand, she carefully drizzled the cup of oil into the bowl with her other hand. When the oil started to build up, she stopped pouring and whisked the mixture harder until the oil incorporated. Then she began adding more oil until all the oil was mixed into the fluffy white mixture. She then added a healthy pinch of salt to the mixture, delicately tasted it with the dip of a spoon in there, and added a bit more. There was a lot more she could add to the mayonnaise but she preferred having it plain. She could add fresh dill, fresh garlic, or even honey and mustard to the mix. If she wanted it thinner, she could add more lemon and maybe a bit of chive for more of a kick. But instead, she left it plain as day. Once it was done, she transferred it to a smaller container that had a tight glass lid and returned it to the fridge. She had only, at that point, one more thing to make and she’d be golden.

Mustard.

Tazrae had all the ingredients she needed. All she had to do was fire up the cooking hearth, get a fire going with a medium sort of heat, and remember to take her buns out of the oven now that she was on the second batch. She checked the bread, which smelled delicious, and took the second tray of buns out of the oven laying them on a far counter to cool. Then she readjusted the heat in the hearth to go for the pot hanger rather than to bake in the oven beside it and went to assemble things for nice yellow mustard. She drew fresh water from the well, got out her powdered mustard, turmeric, pulled out another head of garlic, and took down the paprika and distilled vinegar.


Next, she put a cup of water into a small saucepan, resting it in the hearth on the grate used for such things. She gave the water a quick stir before she added the dry mustard which equaled almost ¾ of a cup, a heavy pinch of salt, a half teaspoon of ground turmeric, and peeled and freed the cloves of garlic from their parents. She then smashed the garlic with her cleaver, diced it into small pieces, and added that mess to the pot. An eighth of a teaspoon of paprika went into the pot and she stirred it all up and let it cook over medium heat. She didn’t get busy with something else but instead babysat the mustard until it was bubbling down to a thick paste about thirty chimes later.

Once the mixture had bubbled down, she began to whisk more than a cup of vinegar into the mixture and then set it back on the heat to cook until it was thickened to an overly dramatic thickness. That took her a few chimes… fifteen to be exact. Once it was done, she set it aside and let it cool alongside the buns. Once it was cool, she transferred it into a jar with a sealed lid and placed it firmly in the icebox alongside the ketchup.

At that time, she transferred the buns to her breadbox to protect them from any insects and honestly was all ready to grill the meat when the sun dipped heavily in the sky and hungry guests and visiting denizens came calling. Taz smiled, set about to cleaning up her kitchen once and for all before she allowed herself a nice afternoon nap beside Bree on the deck.

Word count: 2966
• Songs modified from poems by Maya Angelou.
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 868
Words: 1242821
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 II

Postby Tazrae on May 16th, 2021, 11:08 pm

Tazrae -

Cooking +5, Singing +3, Planning +4, Cleaning +2

Cooking: Grinding Meat, Cooking: Making Homemade Buns, Cooking: Making Ketchup, Cooking: Making Mayonaise, Cooking: Making Mustard, Cooking: Prepping burger ingredients
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 868
Words: 1242821
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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