Completed [The Protea Inn] Providing For The Guests I

Taz forages and preps, making ready for the guests.

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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] Providing For The Guests I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2021, 2:43 am

Timestamp: 50th of Spring, 521 A.V.


Tazrae had an Inn full of guests again. She didn’t mind, but each time James brought a load from Riverfall, The Veronica seemed to hold more and more tourists and people just sight-seeing the jungle. At this rate, she’d have to give up her room again and move to a tent on the beach. The young woman was more at home now doing that than actually claiming one of the guest rooms as her own. Taz was portable, as an Innkeeper, and the only thing she couldn’t move in a pinch was her kitchen contents. And thus, it was she was out at dusk for low tide setting shrimp traps. She was hoping for a large helping of shrimp – enough to give her guests some nice shrimp tacos. The traps had come in from Riverfall on James’ last run, a special order from her. He’d also brought her lobster and crab pots in turn when she’d first moved here.

The traps were circular pots, not unlike crab pots, but made of more tightly woven corded-mesh, similar to the mesh one would use to cast for seine nets. Tazrae didn’t have the arm strength to cast, reel in, and recast nets over and over again. For her, making use of the dock and laying out shrimp traps were far more her style. Bree had the nets loaded on her back, draped casually over the Ixam’s shoulders, while Tazrae carried a bucket of fish carcasses.

“First time using these. Do you think they will work?” The Ixam asked dryly, preferring to dive into the water and chase her prey like any normal jungle Ixam would. But Taz could neither hold her breath nor loved water like the riding lizard did. So instead, she offered to haul traps and keep the young woman company as she baited them by lantern light and left them to soak.

“These have to stay in twelve bells or more… hopefully they will be full by midday tomorrow.” Taz mused, almost talking to herself. She took the traps off Bree’s back two at a time, untangled their lines, and cut a portion of bait to lay in the funnel like structure to lure the shrimp in. The bottom dwelling creatures were insatiable feeders and would smell the fish carcasses from all over the bay. They would come, hopefully scurry into the funnel-shaped entrances that were directed inwards and once fed, would not be able to leave.

Taz added weight to the traps so they would stay on the bottom without shifting around. Her weights were stones, smooth and heavy that would send the traps to the bottom smoothly from where she pitched them in the water. A tie-off lines would keep the shrimp traps tethered to the bottom and would wrap around the pilings that anchored the dock in place. Taz loved her dock. She’d built the big monstrosity herself and felt like it came in infinitely handy either to tie off visiting guest boats or to provide her food for the Inn.

Her dock was more than large enough to tie off a ship the size of The Veronica and hardly rocked with Bree moving around on it as well as Tazrae in tow. The pair of females quickly baited the traps, weighted them, and tossed them out into the bay. Taz threw in two of her crab pots and two lobster traps as well. She needed to bulk up on food, restock her pantry, and have plenty of goods around to feed the currently full Inn. If she had extra, she’d can the crab and lobster so it would be ready to eat when she needed it. Canned lobster and crab made for delicious crab cakes and lobster sandwiches.
Last edited by Tazrae on May 24th, 2021, 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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] Providing For The Guests

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2021, 2:45 am

Once the traps were baited, Taz measured out what she knew the depth of the water was in weighted line, then added twenty five percent more of the rope to give it a little length to drift around, and tossed each trap off the edge of the dock, one per pilon, giving the traps a lot of spread yet allowing the scent of bait to fill the nearby ocean.

“Twelve bells, right?” Bree commented dryly, as Taz nodded.

“Please stay out of the water nearby until then, okay? I don’t want anyone scaring the shrimp off.” She said softly, stroking the eye ridge off the Ixam in thanks for her help tonight. “You can play in the surf, but do it either up or down the beach… don’t dive off the dock. It won’t help us catch much if your splashing around catching rockfish.” She smiled at the Ixam who’s stomach rumbled in hunger. “You are going hunting aren’t you?” She commented, laughing at the growing adolescent Ixam’s constant need for food. Preparing to leave, Taz tossed the rest of the scrap fish carcasses off the edge of the dock, knowing the little fishes hanging out under its shelter would enjoy the tidbits. She dipped low to rinse the bucket out completely finished with the evening’s task.

Bree nodded her agreement to stay out of the water, and as Taz picked up a lantern to see herself back to her tent where she was going to sleep that night, the Ixam trotted off. Catching shrimp was tricky, Taz knew, and there was no guarantee she’d have fresh food for the guests. She had ham in the icebox I she needed it, but Taz was tired of pork. She had ordered six shrimp traps from the Mercantile and this was the first night she’d used them. Taz had tried dip netting for the shrimp but that was heavily hit or miss. She’d tried baiting with a cast net and using a Seine Net as well.

Only the morning or early afternoon would tell if she had any of the creatures or not. Until then, she moved quietly into her tent, gazed up at the Inn longingly for the the day she’d have an upper level apartment all her own. Taz stripped, put on a nightshirt, and slipped into the bedroll after blowing out the lanterns. She didn’t move a muscle when Creech joined her later that evening, the big dog flopping at the foot of her bedroll.

In the morning, before the light fully hit, Taz was up to serve yogurt and granola to the guests. She then cleaned all the rooms as soon as the guests were out and about for their days, and once she had everything else done, she headed back to the kitchen to start on the preparations for dinner. Creech joined her there, with Bree staying outside where the growing Ixam didn’t scare the guests. Taz had plans. She wanted shrimp tacos for dinner and to do that, she needed to make fresh soft tortillas.

The Innkeeper pulled out the ingredients. She opened her tin of flour, pulled out the baking powder, and put the salt on the table. She pulled milk from the icebox and got olive oil from the cupboard. She then removed a small bowl of bacon grease she’d been collecting each time she fried bacon. When she was done assembling her ingredients, she added logs to the stove and lit the fire inside the firebox. It would be heated by the time she got the ingredients all mixed up. And she’d need the heat to warm up the milk and cook the tortillas.
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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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Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[The Protea Inn] Providing For The Guests

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2021, 2:47 am

The recipe was simple. Since it only made 16 tortillas, she’d easily double it making twice that many so the six guests could each have two tacos or more. And there’d be leftovers to fry for chips if they wanted a nightly snack with some fresh made fruit salsa. Once the stove was heating, she pulled out her father’s recipe book, flipped to the instructions for making tortillas, and re-read the directions quickly.

Soft Tortillas


  • 3 cups flour + flour for dusting
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsps salt
  • 1 ¼ cup milk, divided
  • 2 tbsp and ½ tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp bacon grease


Taz pulled out a large mixing bowl and measured out the flour. She added the ground wheat, baking powder and salt to the bowl and combined them with a whisk. With the stove now heated, she set large saucepan on it and added the milk, oil, and bacon grease to simmer. She carefully stirred it so it did not boil. Slowly, as the milk mixture heated, she added the flour mixture to the saucepan and stirred it with a wooden spoon until a decidedly shaggy dough ormed.

She dusted flour on her stone cutting board and turned the dough out onto the floured surface. Taz rolled up her sleeves and got her hands deep into the dough and began to knead the dough. It took her three or four chimes before she had the dough stretchy and smooth. She shaped it into a ball and set it aside for what would turn out to be a full bell, letting the dough relax.

In the mean time, she went down to the dock and checked the traps. She pulled all six shrimp pots out of the water, finding them pleasantly full, as well as the crab pots which she did poorly with. There were two lobsters in the traps, and with that haul, she happily piled the shrimp and lobsters into her large bucket, slung the wet traps over her shoulder, and hiked back up to the Inn. She left the traps to dry in the sun where they were usually stored at the side of the Inn before the reptile garden. Then she carried the loot into the house and set a big pot of water onto the stove to get boiling.

Glancing at the dough, she noted it was fine, and got ready to go with the bucket of shrimp and two lobsters. She got out a second bowl, filled it with ice she chipped off the block in the icebox, and then filled it with water to chill. She added a heavy amount of salt to the iced mixture and mixed it thoroughly to create an ice bath to instantly cool the shrimp once cooked. Most chefs recommended boiling peeled shrimp in water infused with aromatics. But Tazrae hated how it ruined the natural crustacean flavor. She had another method she used to prepare the shrimp. Instead, she cooked them unpeeled in unsalted water. The young Innkeeper actually loved the flavor of shrimp and lobster, enhancing the natural bounty of Laviku instead of masking it.

So once the water was boiling on the stove, she rinsed all the shrimp thoroughly while they were still alive in cold water. Then she dumped all the unpeeled shrimp into the hot clean boiling water and let them cook until the water returned to a boil and the shrimp turned pink. It took only a chime or two before she was fishing them out with a slotted spoon and putting them directly into the salted ice bath.

Once the shrimp were cool to the touch, Taz went about the unsavory task of peeling the shrimp by grasping their legs and pulling the shell up and around their bodies. She pinched off the tails, then saved the whole mess for some fish stock she’d make with all the leftover parts. Then she pulled out a pairing knife, made a shallow incision into each of the shrimps curved backs from head to tail, then dug out and discarded the vein. The now cooked and cleaned shrimp were put in their own clean bowl and returned to the icebox.
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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
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[The Protea Inn] Providing For The Guests

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2021, 2:49 am

Taz took a moment to draw water into the sink and began washing up the dishes she’d accumulated so far. She dumped the tails and bodies into the boiling water that she’d used to cook the shrimp and let the fire in the stove die down to allow the liquid to simmer there. She’d have a nice seafood soup to serve with the tacos so her guests were not about to get hungry.

Turning back to the tortillas, the dough now had plenty of time to relax so she was ready to go. Moving the simmering pot of stock off to one side – she’d add vegetables to it in a bit – she pulled out her cast iron griddle and added a few more sticks of wood to bring the stove’s heat up to a more medium level. She oiled the griddle well, then began to divide the dough into thirty six balls, each about one and a half inches in diameter. She covered most of them with kitchen towels to protect them from bugs since most of her kitchen was open aired.

She re-floured the surface of her cutting board and pulled out her rolling pin. Working in small batches, she rolled out each of the balls into six inch rounds. She did four at a time, putting them on the griddle to cook on each side about two or three chimes. She could tell they were done when air bubbles formed on the surface and the bottoms began to brown. She’d flipped them and then cooked the other side a chime or two until the top now turned bottom browned in spots. She stacked the completed tortillas in a special ceramic domed bowl designed for the things, and kept cooking until she had all the tortillas cooked. She’d reheat them before serving, but they’d be perfect for the shrimp tacos when it came time to cook up the shrimp.

It wasn’t time to cook dinner just yet, so Tazrae worked on mixing up some seasoning for the shrimp and prepping the vegetables she’d need to make the tacos. Tazrae quickly began by pulling out assorted seasoning tins and mixing a bit of this and a bit of that into a small bowl that would go over the shrimp when she grilled the already cooked creatures just a bit to reheat them for the tacos. She tossed in a tablespoon of chili powder, two teaspoons of ground cumin, a heaping tablespoon of smoked paprika, added two teaspoons of garlic powder, some onion powder, a bit of sugar and then salt and pepper in a few pinches. Finally, she added a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper to give it a kick.

She set the mixture aside to use in the frying pan later, and pulled out the vegetables she had stored in her pantry. Since the fish stock was boiling, she decided to treat that first. Tazrae quickly added three tablespoons of olive oil, chopped up a large onion to add to the pot, and then decided to throw in what she considered to be the ugliest carrot she’d ever seen. It was corkscrew crooked and wasn’t something she’d show the guests anyhow.

So, a quick chop without peeling did just fine for it. she added a rough chopped fennel bulb and three celery stalks. She added salt, two large cups of white wine, and a handful of mushrooms. She ran outside, plucked four bay leaves, and ran back in to add them to the pot as well. Then she quick chopped up four pieces of kelp she had dried in the herb rack and threw that in.
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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] Providing For The Guests

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2021, 2:52 am

She left the stock to bubble, knowing she’d throw all the extra’s in from the vegetables she’d chop for the tacos. Taz then got out sweet red peppers, orange peppers and a green bell pepper. She pulled out a small onion, peeled and diced it, then cut up a pineapple and used the rough chopped innards to fill another small bowl. The onions would get caramelized and then she’d throw in the peppers which she sliced open, seeded, and fine chopped after cutting off the tops.

All the food waste from the taco vegetables went into the stock pot except the pineapples. She also pulled out a head of romaine lettuce and washed and sliced off a large pile of lettuce leaves, leaving them on top of the ice bock in a bowl in the icebox. The shrimp was already in there along with all the vegetables that were now ready to go into the frying pan when it was time to cook for the guests.

She pulled the stock pot off the heat at that point, setting it on a trivet to cool on the counter. She pulled out a second stock pot, rested a strainer inside of it, and then lined the strainer with cheese cloth. Then using a ladle, she carefully began to transfer the contents of the stock pot that boiled into the smaller new pot leaving all the waste and scraps that had been cooking in the stock – including the shrimp shells – captured in the strainer. When she was done pulling out all the extras, she was left with a nice pot of stock ready to be turned into a delicious soup.

Taz was pleased. She had fresh tortillas, fresh cooked shrimp, fresh sliced vegetables, and the makings of a great soup all ready for the guests. She could now throw together the tacos just by tossing the vegetables in the frying pan, cooking them down, loading the tacos, and tossing the shrimp with the seasoning and loading the tacos. The guests would have plenty of food. And dinner would be a simple affair.

Now, the only thing left to do was to put a fish chowder together to go with dinner. Taz took a moment to slip out, headed down to the Commons, and looked around to see if anyone had any fish to trade or gift. Sure enough, Mathias was at the fish cleaning station gutting what looked like a dozen fat seabass. Taz talked him out of one in no time, which he even cleaned and headed for her, and was back at the Inn making the chowder in no time.

The recipe was easy.

Seafood Chowder


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, about 2 cups, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 quart fish or clam stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds white seabass (or any whitefish), cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 c of cream


With the recipe out, Taz got busy.

Continued in: [The Protea Inn] Providing For the Guests II

Word Count: 3043
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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)

[The Protea Inn] Providing For The Guests I

Postby Tazrae on May 29th, 2021, 2:40 am

Grading


Foraging +3, Hostessing +1, Planning +3, Cooking +4

Foraging: Setting/Baiting Shrimp Traps, Crab Pots, and Lobster Trap, Planning: Catching Dinner The Night Before, Cooking: Making Soft Tortillas, Cooking: Cleaning And Cooking Shrimp, Cooking: Making Shrimp Seasoning, Cooking: Making Fish Stock, Cooking: Making Shrimp Tacos, Cooking: Prepping Vegetables, Cooking: Seafood Chowder
Image
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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