Completed [The Protea Inn] Just Desserts

Tazrae makes strawberry shortcake and a whole lot more... for evidently everyone.

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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] Just Desserts

Postby Tazrae on May 17th, 2021, 3:00 am

Timestamp: 40th of Spring, 521 A.V.


Tazrae woke with a raging sweet tooth. There was no other way to describe what she hungered for. James had made a quick turn around with The Veronica to fill some exotic orders from Riverfall in regards to parrots and alone snake she’d refused to be part of exporting. Eyelash vipers were nasty things and while she could find one in the jungle, she had decidedly chosen not to. They didn’t need to be in Riverfall nor did people there need access to their poisons.

She had no idea if James had captured the snake or not, but she’d hoped he’d done the right thing and had put the client off or at least substituted an equally beautiful snake – maybe a green tree python – for the viper. At least the python, while it could bite, wouldn’t have deadly venom. It would be just as beautiful as a display if that’s what the people truly wanted the creature for. Plus it would be easier to feed. But regardless of all that, James had brought her back a treat from his return.

There was a huge… and she did mean a huge… crate of strawberries from the fields outside of Riverfall. She could make jam with them, jelly, and a multitude of desserts. She’d probably eaten twenty of the berries just walking back from helping to unload the ship. Bree hadn’t been shy about helping herself either. If the berries were still in the season when James made another trip, she’d ask him to acquire another crate and indeed some live plants if possible. Strawberries should grow in the jungle, or so she hoped. The girl, even inundated with fresh fruit from the jungle, still loved strawberries most of all.

And with the biggest delight ever, her entire kitchen smelled of the berries when she woke before her guests and prepared pancakes for them. She’d served them with a quick strawberry sauce and some whipped cream for the top. And now… that the guests were fed for the morning and out either looking for land to purchase or out on excursions their newly budded tourist industry had developed… Taz had time to make some treats for the evening meal and for herself.

She’d decided on strawberry shortcake. Shortcake was delicious and something she made with mangos, banana, and even passionfruit. But shortcake was best with strawberries which she never got in Syka. So with the rare treat, Tazrae planned to take the time to make the cake and fruit mixture and have it chilling in the icebox when the likely overheated guests returned.

First, she had to dig out her recipe. She pulled out her book of handwritten recipes, thumbed through it until she found the one she wanted, and got to work reading it… refreshing her memory.

Strawberry Shortcake


Shortcakes:
• 2 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
• 1 cup whole-wheat flour
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
• 4 tablespoons cream cheese
• ¼ cup oil
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 3 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk

Filling:
• 4 cups sliced hulled strawberries
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• ½ cup whipping cream
• ½ cup sour cream

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
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] Just Desserts

Postby Tazrae on May 17th, 2021, 3:02 am

Okay, there was work before the real work, that much was for sure. Taz had to both make cream cheese and make sour cream before she could produce the cakes… but she was fine with that. She had whole fresh milk from one of the few dairy cows they had in the settlement and she was not afraid to go the extra mile to make the ingredients she needed to make the cake the way she wanted it.. and she definitely wanted it this way. Her recipe came straight out of her recipes she’d kept from way back in her family… the same ones they’d always used.

So… luckily cream cheese was easy to make from milk. In fact, Taz was routinely surprised at how many products she could make from whole fresh milk. Cream cheese, cheese, butter, buttermilk, whey, and even sour cream could be produced and it didn’t take a lot of work or a lot of milk to get things started. In fact, cream cheese only took three ingredients. She needed whole milk, lemon juice, and salt. That was it. The young Innkeeper smiled and got her ingredients out.

The young Innkeeper threw some wood in the stove, lit it, got the surface heating, and set a large saucepan on its cooktop. Then she got out her strainer and cheesecloth. Taz measured out a half-gallon of the milk straight from the cow in it, then left it to boil. As soon as the milk started to boil, she added the lemon juice and turned of the heat. She set it aside for a few chimes, carefully waiting for it to curdle.

Once the curds formed, a yellowish liquid was left behind. She set up the strainer over a large bowl, lined it with cheesecloth, and poured the curdled milk through the cheesecloth, and used the combination of the cloth and strainer to strain out the liquid whey. Taz rinsed the curds with cold water, making sure the extra whey clinging to the curds vanished. Then she squeezed the curds in the cheesecloth to drain any last drop of the liquid whey.

Next, she put the curds in a separate bowl, added a bit of salt, and began whipping the curds like crazy with a wooden spoon. In just a few chimes, even with her arm aching from whipping the curds so hard, the curds began to cream and she soon had a bowl full of cream cheese. She tasted it, smiled, and set aside enough for her recipe above. The rest she carefully folded into a small glass container with a matching glass lid designed for the cream cheese. She carefully stowed both portions in the fridge and got to work on the sour cream. It was just as easy, easier in fact because she didn’t have to heat anything on the stove.


Sour cream needed milk, cream, and fresh lemon juice. A nice clean jar helped, and it took a bit of time as well, though Tazrae knew how to speed that situation up. She’d use a portion of the still-clean cheesecloth as a more permanent lid because the sour cream needed to breathe. It developed a far more fragrant flavor as it was exposed to the air, or so her mother’s recipe book stated. So once she shook the mixture, that would be it for the jar’s normal lid.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
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] Just Desserts

Postby Tazrae on May 17th, 2021, 3:03 am

Getting started, she took the lid off the jar, poured in two cups of heavy cream in. Then she added two tablespoons of lemon juice she squeezed from a lemon she plucked from her fruit rack. Taz was a pro at juicing a lemon these days. She’d bang the lemon on the counter, roll it between her palm and the wood of the counter, then cut it in half, juicing both sections. She only needed to teaspoons of the lemon juice, so she set the rest aside for the shortcake. Then, once the lemon juice was added, she poured in a quarter cup of already separated drinking milk and put the lid on the jar tightly.

Then she got busy. The jar needed to be shaken over and over and over again repeatedly. She did the duty like it was an exercise routine, using the shaking motion to strengthen her upper arms. She shook first with her left hand, then with her right, using her whole arm and flexing it repeatedly.

She did this for nearly a half bell before she set the jar down, shook out her arms, and removed the lid from the jar. She then covered the jar with cheesecloth, wrapped a strong ribbon around it, and normally would have left it on the counter overnight to set up.

However, she was in a hurry. She wanted the shortcake TODAY. There was nothing left to do but put the jar on the block of ice in the icebox and let it separate faster that way. It would firm up, and then she could keep what she didn’t use in the icebox for a ten-day or so. Sour Cream was great to have around… she loved it in cakes, cookies, and even on baked potatoes. All those things she could serve to the guests she had currently at the Inn.


But back to her shortcake. It was time to get started.

She added more wood to the baking hearth, stoked up the flames, trying to get it as hot as possible. The shortcake needed a hot oven, and she was sure she could get it thereby burning more seasoned hardwood. She ran outside, came back with an armful, and once more piled it into the oven until the fire was blazing. She held out her hands above the baking chamber, looked thoughtful, and nodded thinking it was hot enough. Then, reviewing her recipe, she got out her ingredients including the two sealed tins of the two types of flour.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
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] Just Desserts

Postby Tazrae on May 17th, 2021, 3:04 am

She measured the flour carefully, putting two cups of the fine cake flour in a large mixing bowl, adding a cup of the white whole-wheat flour in, then added a quarter of a cup of sugar. She carefully measured out the baking powder and then stirred all the dry ingredients together thoroughly.

Taz then pulled butter out of the icebox, cut off the right amount… about four tablespoons, then cut the hardened butter into little tiny pieces. She dumped the butter in, fetched her cream cheese she’d set aside and dumped that in, and then added more avocado oil… about a quarter cup's worth. She cracked an egg and lightly beat it in a separate bowl, then set it aside, waiting to add that mixture to all the rest. Then she fetched the buttermilk out of the icebox and added three generous tablespoons to wet the egg mixture a bit more.

She cut in the butter then, using a pastry cutter, working it well into the flour until the dry mixture was crumbly. Then she welled up the crumbly ingredients, poured the egg and buttermilk into it, and worked the whole mess into a dough of sorts. She worked the dough in the bowl by hand, then floured her counter and turned the dough out onto it.

She dusted the dough with a bit of flour, then worked it just a tiny bit more until she had it to the constancy she wanted. Flouring her rolling pin, she worked the dough into an eight by ten rectangle about a half-inch thick. Taz worked her arm muscles rolling out the dough, moving the rolling pin back and forth and back and forth almost rhythmically. She liked working with dough. It was one of her favorite things in the kitchen. She loved the smell of it, the way it transformed in the oven, and how delicious it was both cooked and raw. Speaking of raw, she popped a bit of it into her mouth and smiled.

Once the dough was rolled out, she cut it into twelve equal shortcakes. She transferred them carefully onto a baking sheet and slid them into the oven. They’d bake for about twenty chimes. That gave her time to do one more batch of the dough, knowing she’d eat a couple for herself and that if word got out she was baking shortcakes, half the settlement would be there to get themselves some.

When the second batch of dough was ready, she rolled that out as well, her arms aching now between making the cream cheese and rolling out the batches of dough. She had that set ready to go into the oven… and opted for just one more batch. Twenty-four would stretch to feed everyone, but she wanted to make sure she had enough for all the denizens that might drop by. And of course, the leftovers would keep a day or two. Thirty-six was better, that was for certain.

Taz knew it was time to get the filling prepared, reminding herself she needed to triple the recipe to have enough done. Before she sat down to hull berries and slice them up though, she switched out the batches in the oven, pleased to see the shortcakes were puffed up and lightly golden. She set the first batch aside to cool, slide the second batch in, and began to uncrate the strawberries, pulling out two big bowls… one for the finished berry and one for the stems she’d cut off the tops. The chickens would fight for the stems, so she knew they wouldn’t go to waste.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
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] Just Desserts

Postby Tazrae on May 17th, 2021, 3:05 am

Grasping a small paring knife, Taz went to work cutting the green tops off the berries and slicing them into the big bowl. She only sliced about half, keeping some of the nicer bigger fuller berries to be whole to garnish the shortcakes and to snack on. She changed out the shortcakes baking once more before she got ready to create the filling.

First, she tossed the strawberries she’d sliced with the sugar, remembering to triple the recipe. She put half the berries into a saucepan to cook, knowing they’d simmer and melt down into a delicious strawberry mixture. The rest of the berries for the shortcake she sat aside and got busy on the cream.

She whisked the whipping cream in another big bowl, beating it repeatedly until it held its shape. The whole process took her about four chimes of grunting and groaning, complaining about her arms. Once the cream was whipped, she whisked in the sour cream or flavor and repeated the process of whipping the mixture until the cream was peaked again. Then she ran the bowl to the icebox, slipped it in, and stirred her simmering strawberry mixture, liking how it had cooked down. She pulled it off the stove to cool, and finished stemming all the rest of the berries. She put the stemmed berries into the icebox, knowing they’d hold until tomorrow… which would give her a chance to make some jelly out of them having more time in the day.

She then took one of the shortcakes that had cooled, split it in half on a plate, then poured some of the cooked down mixture over the bottom of the cake. She added the sliced berries tossed with sugar, and spooned on a bit of the whipped cream. She finished off the shortcake but sliding the lid on, adding a few whole berries to the side for a little aesthetic, and smiled at the creation. It was going to be delicious.

Tazrae dug out a fork, cut into the shortcake, took a big bite and moaned in approval. It was so worth the work! She then set the plate down, still moaning, and went to get some fresh ice cold water from the icebox. She only drank strained rainfall, not well water, so the drink paired well with the desert. She was just sitting back down again when the knock at the door sounded.

“Open up Taz. We can smell the shortcakes baking from here. We know James brought you back strawberries. Don’t make us lay siege to the Inn.” A familiar voice called… Mathias. She could hear others with the oldest Founder. Taz groaned, stuffed another fork full of shortcake in her mouth, and then slowly rose to let them in.

She was glad she decided on thirty six. There was at least a dozen people with Mathias, and none of them where her guests. Smiling, she threw the front door of the Inn wide open…. Thinking it odd they hadn’t just walked in anyhow. “Don’t worry… I made extra.” She said, waving her fork and gesturing them all through the doorway.

She stole another bite of her dessert before she got busy plating up the rest of the folks some of the treat. They were, after all, her new family here… and she was grateful for them.

Word Count: 2686
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
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] Just Desserts

Postby Tazrae on May 18th, 2021, 4:36 am

Tazrae-

Cooking +5, Planning +3, Body Building +3


Cooking: Making Cream Cheese, Cooking: Making Sour Cream, Cooking: Making Strawberry Shortcake
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User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 487
Words: 563892
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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