Completed [Protea Inn] The Songs Bakers Sing

Tazrae makes some standard guest breakfast and snack favorites.

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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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[Protea Inn] The Songs Bakers Sing

Postby Tazrae on November 30th, 2021, 2:43 am

Timestamp: 65th of Fall, 521 A.V.


Tazrae stretched as she wandered around her kitchen barefoot and in a long isuas nightshirt. She’d woken early and the rain that usually hit first thing had held off so far. That meant the jungle heated up quickly and with little to no breeze off the ocean, Tazrae was overly warm. She took a moment to try and comb out her curly hair, giving up on it after a chime or two resigned to the fact it was going to be a mess most of the day. Frizz took over when humidity moved in, and it was indeed untamable.

Taz set the kettle on to boil, then padded back over to the room she was currently calling her own and changed out of her sleep clothing to slide into a cream crochet bikini that did very little to hide her figure. She slipped on a gauzy linen shirt over the top and tied it at the waist, leaving it unbuttoned most of the way down. Women in Syka tended to trim off body hair, and Taz was no exception. It just worked better with the type of clothing they often wore that was more than revealing. She liked her skin smooth, soft, and left with nothing that would catch on crochet or knitted fabric.

“By the Gods, its hot…” She whispered, almost grouchy. She had to beat this funk, this darkened mood she’d awoken too. There was just two things that could do it for her so far… Taz had discovered. Baking, and of course, music. She opted to combine the two to lift her spirits.

Her dreams had been muddied, full of Florentin Arcadius’s actions and Alric’s worries. In the darkest parts of them, she’d switched out Alric’s mother for Alric himself being the one Florentin hurt. Such nightmares woke her from unsound sleep immediately, and quite a bit of them had been happening lately. She couldn’t help but feel like Alric and even herself were standing on a precipice, trying to decide to leap over, leap in, or run away.

Taz, being who she was, wanted to leap over. And she was trying to gather all the tools possible to do that. And with that in mind, she began to sing.

“Water and light
Leaves his eyes
History falling down
Hope rising up
We're the here and now
All that came before
Can I stay asleep?
We're not children anymore.”


So thus, dressed to get down and dirty in the heat of the kitchen, Taz once more walked into her kitchen and looked around. She needed a plan. Today she wanted to make a ton of snack foods that people could eat while they were off doing other things or take with them on excursions. Some of her guests had hikes and paddleboard trips planned with Randal or Uta… so she decided bagels and soft pretzels were the thing to do. They were quick and easy, fresh, and traveled well. Both things required a lean dough, and a bare minimum of ingredients. So Tazrae took the now-boiling water off the stove and poured herself a cup of tea, liberally sugared it, and then set a pot of water on the stove to start to boil for the proofing of the dough. The kettle water she set aside so she had warm water to get the yeast going. Then she got started on the dough.

She gathered all her ingredients, needing the warm water, yeast, bread flower, brown sugar, and salt. The dough was considered ‘lean’ because there was no fat or lard added to it. It was the same kind of dough she used for focaccia, pizza, and crusty hearty bread. She’d have to redouble her efforts and add fat if she was making thick dinner rolls, or breakfast foods like cinnamon rolls.

And as she gathered things and made her plans, Taz kept singing.

“We can fight the dark
This is who we are
There's a new light coming
Finally had enough
Finally waking up
To who we are becoming
Open your eyes!”


She didn’t know where she’d heard the song, but it was fitting…

Taz took a cup and a half of warm water, added a two and a three quarter teaspoon of yeast, and then let the yeast bloom in the warm water. The young Innkeeper then took four cups of bread flower and added a tablespoon of brown sugar to the bowl. She added two teaspoons of salt and worked the dough until all the ingredients were incorporated.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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[Protea Inn] The Songs Bakers Sing

Postby Tazrae on December 24th, 2021, 4:38 pm

Taz flowered her counter, turned the dough out, and began to work it. As she worked it, she lifted her voice again, focusing on the notes, concentrating on hitting them and holding them in the right pitch. The song slowed at this point, deepened, became more heartfelt.

“Will you be my love
Will you go with me
Are you who I dreamed?
Or just a memory
Will you understand
What I have to do
Will you be the man
The one I thought I knew”



Tazrae loved kneading her bagel dough by hand. It became very dense and heavy, but she only needed to work it a few chimes to get it where it needed to be to rise appropriately. A bowl was then lightly greased and the dough ball placed into it. She covered it with a cloth to prevent insects, and let it sit near the warm oven. Then she let it rise for a bell and a half, punched it down, divided it into eight sections and shaped it into bagels. Eight wasn’t going to be enough, so she turned around and started back over again, making more dough and catching it up to the dough that was already done.

She smiled as she worked, letting the music lighten her, even though the song was about fighting darkness. The Innkeeper wondered where she’d heard it before.

“We can fight the dark
This is who we are
There's a new light coming
Finally had enough
Finally waking up
To who we are becoming
Open your eyes!”


Half grinning, Taz wondered what the enemy would think of her singing about fighting evil and making bagels.

She held the stupid grin on her face as she worked, laughing to herself and humming the chorus again, working on the pitch and cadence.

“We can fight the dark
This is who we are
There's a new light coming
Finally had enough
Finally waking up
To who we are becoming
Open your eyes!”


Shaping the bagels were easy. She just rolled out sixteen dough balls, then used two fingers to poke a hole in each and opened her fingers like scissors to widen the holes until they were an inch and a half to two inches big. She wasn’t looking for perfection. She was looking for good taste which the brown sugar, salt, and flour would insure.

Sliding out of the chorus, she went on to the next stanza, slowing her words, dragging them out… playing with the song like she was playing with the dough. And suddenly she wished Alric was there, with her, in a way that sent warning signs straight to her brains. She hadn’t seen him in a while and she missed him for certain. Pushing that away, she moved back to the song and to the task of making perfect bagels directly in front of her.

“Into the deep blue
We'll do this together
Water and fire
Reach higher
There's no turning back”


The next step was odd. The bagels needed to go into a water bath. She needed to boil each one for one chime on either side in a pot of boiling water. Boiling the bagels was what caused the bagels to get their beautiful shine and crisp coating. The outer layer of dough cooks which holds the shape of the bagel through the rest of the baking process. Taz added a teaspoon of honey to the water bath which helped the bagels caramelize on the outside and become crisper. Then patiently, she boiled each of the sixteen bagels on each of their sides for one chime.

While she boiled, a mind-numbing task, she worked on the chorus again.

“We can fight the dark
This is who we are
There's a new light coming
Finally had enough
Finally waking up
To who we are becoming
Open your eyes!”


Hrm… it was getting better. She might even be able to sing the song in public one day… or even maybe to Bree.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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Posts: 1055
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[Protea Inn] The Songs Bakers Sing

Postby Tazrae on December 24th, 2021, 4:45 pm

Once the bagels were put through their water baths, Taz laid them all out on cooking sheets and made a small bowl of egg wash to brush each bagel with. Once both sides were coated, she slid them into her bread oven to bake. Luckily her oven had a double layer, so two sheets fit nicely one on top of the other, and she could get the whole batch done at once. The bagels baked for twenty to twenty-five chimes, which she rotated the sheets halfway through so the bagels would bake evenly across the oven. When she pulled them from the oven, she laid them out to cool on her bread racks and got busy on the next recipe.

A new recipe meant a new song. What was a good song for Pretzels? She knew nothing that was bendy twisty or salty delicious, so she decided to focus on the war of making the pretzels look nice instead. She was a soldier, for sure, in a war with dough.

Laughing at her own silliness, Taz began to sing.

“I was just a kid then skipping stones
Innocent and so alone
And I sense we were all alone
You could take my heart and you could take my home
But you'll never ever break my soul
No, you'll never ever break my soul”


It was a haunting song, one she’d heard in Riverfall at The Blue Bull tavern. She’d liked it ever since, sometimes requesting it discretely through whoever had been with her when her favorite bards were singing. It was the only reason she’d frequented the tavern, and never without her mother’s butler who often accompanied her just to keep her out of trouble knowing she’d sneak in to listen to the music anyhow.

Jarles had always had a soft heart for Tazrae. She secretly thought it was because she baked him all his favorites, especially for the Sweet Day Festival.

“But you know me
I wanna go back but I can't back down
And you know me too well
'Cause
I'm a soldier, till it's over
You and I fighting for the art of war
I'm a soldier, up against the war yeah
I'm a soldier, till it's over
Live and die fighting for the art of war
I'm a soldier, I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall”



Pretzels were a popular street food in Riverfall, but they were extremely expensive. Taz had figured out early on a nice way to make them at her father’s Inn without the expense. She’d carried the recipe all the way to Syka and made them still. The pretzels required a water bath as well, but she added baking soda to the bath and made sure to stoke the fire up to get the water boiling again. The water took a whopping half cup of baking soda, which was about all she had left after she reserved enough to make the pretzels. Taz would have to make a trip to the mercantile and if Juli was out of the stuff, order more from James to pick up in Riverfall.

There was always a way around expensive food if people were creative enough. There was a way around anything, that much was for certain if one set one’s mind enough to it. Taz wondered if there was a way around wanting to be with someone who lived half a continent away. She doubted it, not in the long run. And she knew, with a certainty, she would never be enough to lure him from a task if he had his mindset to it. If Alric grew into his power enough, he’d most likely opt to stay and help his city. And to be honest, Sunberth sounded like a place where a great many people needed help. Could she blame him for loving where he lived? No… she couldn’t. She loved Syka with a passion that meant she’d never leave it willingly.

Gods but baking gave a baker too much time to think. She went back to singing instead…

“We were just two kids thrown into the flames
We would never ever be the same
We would never ever be the same
We were just a spark that lit the change
They could never ever bring the rain
They could never ever bring the rain”


Baking soda. Her war was with it currently. If she didn’t get baking soda, and with a lot of her baking powder gone, Taz would not be able to bake. The thought depressed her, though she decided she’d make the best of it.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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Posts: 1055
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[Protea Inn] The Songs Bakers Sing

Postby Tazrae on December 24th, 2021, 4:48 pm

Luckily… Art of War was a long song. It was long enough to distract Tazrae through pretzels and maybe beyond.

“But you know me
I wanna go back but I can't back down and
You know me too well
'Cause
I'm a soldier, till it's over
You and I fighting for the art of war
I'm a soldier, up against the war yeah
I'm a soldier, till it's over
Live and die fighting for the art of war
I'm a soldier, I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall”



She was getting better at emphasizing words rather than singing them… making them clearer to her listeners. Someday, perhaps, she’d be good enough to sing in the Tendays instead of just play. Shyness and Bards didn’t go hand in hand, and thankfully Syka was slowly stripping her of the modesty she was raised with.

Taz scooped out one and a half cups of warm water from the boiling pot and set it aside to cool down from extremely hot to just warm. If she added yeast in before it cooled, the yeast would not rise. The young baker thought of it as ‘killing’ the yeast, though there was no proof it was alive. She helped the situation along by adding a bit of cooler water from the pump on the sink, and tested it with her finger until she was sure it was warm enough without being too hot or too cold. Then she added two and a quarter teaspoons of yeast and let it bubble for a bit before she continued on with the recipe.

No singing for this part, Tazrae thought, since it needed her full attention.

She got a big bowl out, tossed in three and three-quarters cups of flour, a tablespoon of her fresh churned butter, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Taz stirred these dry ingredients until they were well incorporated, then added in the yeast and the warm water it was bathing in. She turned the mixture in the bowl repeatedly until it was well mixed, then upended the bowl on a flowered kneading board on her counter and began to work the dough. Like the bagels, this was a fast dough that needed very little kneading. Taz probably worked it no more than three chimes, then shaped it into a ball. She left the balls all on the kneading board and covered them with a slightly damp kitchen towel and allowed them to rest for ten chimes.

Despite herself, Taz found herself whispering the next verse of the song, turning it from poignant to haunting.

“Follow me into the dark and I will lead you to the light
Flawless, soundless, fearless, hearts keep holding on all through the night”


She checked the water, found it boiling nicely, and added more wood to the fire. The fire had to be hotter than normal bread fires were, so she added a few chunks of coal to ensure the heat was definitely elevated. Then, she cut each ball into three sections. Using the counter again instead of the kneading board, she rolled out each third section into a rope exactly twenty inches long. Then she circled the ropes, crossed them over in the middle, and twisted the ends together. She brought the twisted ends back down towards the bottom and pressed them to form the iconic pretzel shape.


Boiling meant more mindless time for singing, time Tazrae took advantage of.


“I'm a soldier, till it's over
You and I fighting for the art of war
I'm a soldier, up against the war yeah
I'm a soldier, till it's over
Live and die fighting for the art of war
I'm a soldier, I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall
I will never fall”



Laughing, she surveyed her pretzels. “I’m a soldier, alright… a pretzel soldier.” She muttered, then got on with her kitchen work.

Once she had all the pretzels formed, she dropped them into the water two a t a time and boiled them for twenty to thirty ticks. She carefully pulled them out of the water after her count, using a slotted spoon to drain the water, and then dropped them on a baking sheet. As she counted for the next batch, she’d pat the first pair dry, and added coarse sea salt to the tops.

Taz decided to do this with half of the pretzels. The other half, she liberally sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar so she could later make a sweet sugary dipping sauce. She repeated this two-way process until all her pretzels were boiled, and then she slipped them into the oven for a little over ten chimes. She found the oven wasn’t as hot as it needed to be so she had to keep them in an extra five chimes, which compensated nicely and saw them all cooked.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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[Protea Inn] The Songs Bakers Sing

Postby Tazrae on December 24th, 2021, 5:00 pm

Tazrae found herself working on that last verse before the final chorus one more time.

“Follow me into the dark and I will lead you to the light
Flawless, soundless, fearless, hearts keep holding on all through the night”


It was haunting enough, but adding some of her audius to it, could instantly transform it to chilling, she decided as she played with resonance and let the sound of her voice draw out and echo with Rhaus’ power.

She shook her head, letting it go. She needed to focus on what was in the oven and get something going to eat with the pretzels.

When Taz was finally able to pull them out of the oven, the pretzels all looked nice and soft with a firm crust. She broke into one to check, then sniffed each section and took a bite out of it just to be sure. The dough was delicious, dense, with a chewy crust. She then divided the pretzels into two batches, according to which were sugared and which were salted.

The salted pretzels needed a nice cheese sauce to go with them. Taz could pack the sauce in little covered ramekins or leave a big dipping bowl in the middle of a platter of pretzel if she served them at home. It all depended on if her guests took their snacks on the road or returned back to the Inn for their midday grazing.

Pleasing people, attending to their wishes made her happy, but it also caused her to think about her ‘mother’. Her song changed because with her mother it was never a pleasant thing. It was silent agony.

“I'm caught up in your expectations
You're trying to make me live your dream
But I'm causing you so much frustration
And you only want the best from me
You wanted me to show more interests
To always keep a big bright smile
Be that pinky little perfect princess
But I'm not that type of child
And the storm is rising inside of me
Don't you feel that our worlds collide?
It's getting harder to breathe
It hurts deep inside”


She should go back to Riverfall, confront her ‘mother’ about her situation, and where her grandfather was. But Taz knew she wasn’t ready, even if her mother actually told her the truth.


Rummaging around in the icebox, Taz pulled out a big wedge of rich orange cow cheese and then fished out her cheese grater from beneath the counter. She spent a few moments grating cheese. Grating cheese was mindless business, the best-kept company with a song for sure. And she certainly had one in her head… that wanted to get out.

Grating cheese required more singing… singing that turned angry and tortured… like running the block of cheese up and down the grater, destroying its very nature to remake it into something new.

“Just let me be
Who I am
It's what you really need to understand
And I hope so hard for the pain to go away
And it's torturing me
But I can't break free
So I cry and cry, but just won't get it out
The silent scream”



She grated two cups of cheese, set it aside, then laid a saucepan on her stove. She put a good dollop of butter in the pan and then sprinkled a quarter cup of flour over the butter. Mixing them together as the butter melted, Taz made a roux with the paste, letting it thicken. Then she added about two cups of raw milk to the mixture, changing out her wooden spoon for a whisk. She whisked it constantly, thickening the mixture for about five chimes until it was thick. Then she gradually stirred in the cheese.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
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)

[Protea Inn] The Songs Bakers Sing

Postby Tazrae on December 24th, 2021, 5:22 pm

Tazrae could make sauce in her sleep. So she kept mulling about Estra and kept singing the song. Creech walked in on her once, sniffed the air hopefully then saw the look on Tazrae’s face and retreated.

“Tell me why you're putting pressure on me
And everyday you 'cause me harm
That's the reason why I feel so lonely
Even though you hold me in your arms
Wanna put me in a box of glitter
But I'm just trying to get right out
And now you're feeling so, so bitter
Because I've let you down”



She had to carefully tell herself that Estra had no power over her and indeed didn’t even know where she’d went. Tazrae hadn’t told her mother or her step-father she was going to Syka. She’d just put in her notice on her apartment and stepped on James’ boat. James had promised her not to tell them. She didn’t want Akalaks with a signed contract showing up in the name of her mother.


Gods the woman’s nerve. Taz wouldn’t put it past her even though it had been just over a year.


“And the storm is rising inside of me
Don't you feel that our worlds collide?
It's getting harder to breathe
It hurts deep inside
Just let me be
Who I am
It's what you really need to understand
And I hope so hard for the pain to go away
And it's torturing me
But I can't break free
So I cry and cry, but just won't get it out
The silent scream”



She took out her spices then, rummaging around until she found cayenne pepper and some assorted other peppers that she used to make hot sauce with. Those all went into the cheese to make it spicy. Then she tasted it, thought it over, and added salt and some simple black pepper. She let it cool and knew it would keep up to five days in her icebox. Roaming Syka, the cheese would naturally heat up and be a sauce for anyone taking it along with a pretzel snack in a tightly lidded ramakin. Syka was just that warm and that perfect for doughy delights.

The baking was lightening her mood… so too was the singing. The song Silent Scream was helping her let go of the dreams and her fears. Music had that effect, Taz decided, as she finished off the sauce letting it simmer a few chimes as she stirred.

“Can't you see how I cry for help
'Cause you should love me just for being myself
I'll drown in an ocean
Of pain and emotion
If you don't save me right away
Just let me be
Who I am
It's what you really need to understand
And I hope so hard for the pain to go away
And it's torturing me
But I can't break free
So I cry and cry, but just won't get it out
The silent scream
My silent scream”


Once she was done, Tazrae packaged all the cheese up in their individual ramekins so she could pass them out with snack lunches in the cloth bags she had gathered for such things when guests would wander and she was certain they would get hungry. Then, with vigor, she piled the dishes in the sink and began to clean. Still humming, she ran through the song she’d sung throughout the baking, working on her vocals and trying to get the pitch of her voice just right.

Her worries had eased a bit. Music and things in the kitchen had their own kind of magic and a way straight in to soothing her heart.

Words: 4278
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[Protea Inn] The Songs Bakers Sing

Postby Tazrae on December 24th, 2021, 5:28 pm

Grading


Tazrae -

Cooking +5, Singing +5, Planning +2, Performance +3

Lores: Cooking: Making Pretzels, Cooking: Making Bagels, Cooking: Making Spicy Cheese Sauce, Singing: Practicing Songs To Perform.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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