Beris, Ramita


Ramita and Beris make something new and wobbly for patrons at the Pit.

Belated posting!


It is noon of the twenty-fifth day of the second month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.


Administrative Offices, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 07 Oct 2017 23:00


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Administrative Offices

In the depths of the Pit, winding halls meander beneath the stands, carved from bare stone. Shortly into one such tunnel is a door of fine wood that opens up to a small room. Paneled all in dark woods, the room finds a balance between spartan simplicity and a reminder of the wealth of its proprietors. A singular polished desk stands as centerpiece, behind which sits a large chair of Steen scarlet. Shelves line the room with records of all sorts - matches, bet ledgers, improvements, and maintenance. To the side of the room stands a small table with an assortment of amber liquids, and upon the tiled floor is a large colorful rug, well-worn from decades of use.

Here, away from prying eyes, Steens manage the day to day affairs of the family and consort with whom they will, making deals to arrange fights or deals within the bazaar with equal interest.

It hadn't been easy for Ramita to carve out a decent work station within the Pit's kitchen, but she is a Steen and fighting is in their blood. While it might not be the dedicated distillery space she's aiming for, she does at least have a portion of the kitchens clearly demarcated as her's now. Usually there's a pretty standard set up for preparing the tubers for the mash for the stills or preparing the peppers for the infusions, but today she has a different task in mind. There's a very solid thunk as she sets down the pan she was carrying. It doesn't take more than a glance to distinguish that what's in that particular pan is porcine hocks. Several of them.

Beris is used to making her way to Ramita's 'distillery' by now, and it's with the idea of a normal day's work in mind that she comes down the steps today. Peeling and scrubbing tubers, washing the equipment, and general cleaning is tedious work, but being able to watch Ramita work and hear the journeyman explain things makes up for the boring parts of the job. Lyira is draped over the back of her neck as usual, head hanging down over one shoulder, tail over the other. Beris smells the pork hocks before she sees them, and her pace slows as she leaves the last step and crosses to Ramita. "That's…different."

"Get the pot," It shouldn't really be a surprise that there's no pleasantries coming from the vintner. Ramita just goes straight to business when her assistant makes her appearance and waves towards one of the collections of stock pots that they've claimed. "Fill it half way up with water." As for the journeyman? She's going to be making her way over towards the cold storage to come back with a basket full of berries. "And yes, we're going to be making something new."

Beris has got used to Ramita's ways by now, and there's not even the faintest change in her expression as she goes to get a stockpot - one of the larger ones. She doesn't reply to Ramita's instructions, but there's the sound of water being poured, and a moment later, Beris is plonking the now rather hevay stockpot onto the counter with a dull thud and a slosh of liquid within it. "Oh yeah?" Despita the jostling, Lyira doesn't move, but Beris does remove the fire-lizard and set her on a nearby, empty shelf, before grabbing an apron and popping it over her head.

Ramita makes herself busy with inspecting those berries and then starts the process of washing them. "Throw those bones into the pot all of them, and then set it to boiling. That's going to take a while." As in hours. It's going to take hours and hours to reduce them fully. Luckily, Ramita's got faith that this venture is going to work out and there's another stock pot full of bones that's been boiling away for most of the night. That one is almost finished. And is probably what these strawberries are for. "You've seen those gelatin desserts that get set out every so often?" Special occasions mostly, but they're a thing. At least in Benden.

Beris eyes the bones, then shrugs and grabs them with bare hands and drops them into the pot. The plop of the water accompanies each bit, until they're all in there, and she wipes her hands on her apron before grasping the pot again to move it to hang above the fire. With that done, she pauses to peer into the pot already merrily boiling, pulling a curious face at the stuff inside. "Uh - yeah." Beris has to think, but yes, she has seen them at least once before. "The wobbly ones, right?"

Mmmm, bones and alcohol. Isn't that just a lovely combination? Although the spirits haven't made their appearance yet, surely it's only a matter of time. Ramita may pick up many assorted family duties, but pastry chef hasn't been one of them yet. She nods in confirmation about the wobbly desserts as she finishes washing all her berries and takes the colander towards a waiting cutting board. "You should, in theory, be able to combine some alcohol with the gelatin and still get it to set. So, we're going to make some gelatin, flavor it with berry jam, and then add the vodka and wait." And eventually hopefully sell it to intrigued parties. Because selling stuff is the name of the game.

Beris is the first of the interested parties - though she's not going to be the first to volunteer to try the stuff. Much more fun to give it to eager people who want some new kind of alcohol to drink. Or…eat in this case? "Huh." She moves away from the fire to where Ramita is with the berries, a silent offer to help chop them up there in her body language as she seems to wait for her next instructions. "How strong're they gonna be?" Because that's the most important thing, of course.

Ramita will gladly set the colander down between the two of them. And there's surely another cutting board and knife available for Beris to claim. Once chopped, the olde rwoman is tossing the berries into a pot that's just waiting. There's a few moments of chopping before she finally responds to that question. "Honestly, I don't know." That might be a first, Mita admitting she was unsure of anything to Beris. "But we can surely find some volunteers to test some out." How many pit fighters are going to turn down free booze? Even if it isn't really free since they're paying by being guinea pigs.

Beris isn't a pro chef, but she knows how to cut things, and between the two of them it doesn't take too long to get all the berries prepared, Beris adding her lot to the pot as she goes along. She doesn't probe in the silence as they work; Ramita's answer will come eventually, she knows, and it does. If that's a flash of surprise for the journeyman's admission, Beris hides it quickly. Then there's a sly smile at the suggestion. "Oh yeah. Nobody turns down free booze." She considers the pot of berries, then looks at Ramita as she asks, "are you adding anything spicy to these? Or just gonna try them like this first?" Since they're an experiment of sorts.

"Not to the berries. We will be using the peppered vodka though," So Ramita definitely isn't leaving spice out completely on the first go round. But if it's too tame for some reason, adding more peppers to the jam is definitely a possibility. And honestly, it'll will probably be something she'll try at one point or other. "Just set that to boiling as well." There's a nod towards Beris and the berry pot. She's going to go inspect the first pot of gelatin that's almost ready and skim something grey off the surface. "I think this will be ready once the jam is." Which will be PERFECT TIMING

Beris starts to look disappointed, but perks up when there's the promise of the peppered vodka. Good, gooood. She silently adds this pot to the group on the fire, checking the other pot of bones to ensure it's heating up. Getting there! Which also means it's a good time to sidle over and see what Ramita's doing with the already-boiling pot. "Anything I can get ready for that?" She asks, nodding towards the pot Ramita's skimmed stuff from.

"Keep an eye on that!" Ramita's voice isn't quite paniced, but definitely a bit sharper than usual. "Berries will burn easily." All those sugars. And caramelizing might be something they'll go for another day, but not today. Today they just need regular, non-burnt berry jam. The Steen woman is going to give her pot another very critical inspection, poking at it with her strainer again. "I think it's good." But considering she's never made gelatin, well, thinking is as close as she'll come to knowing until a few hours from now.

Beris looks alarmed at Ramita's sharpness, and mroe or less scampers back to the berries. A wooden spoon grabbed from nearby is used to give them a good stir, keeping them moving. While there's no verbal apology, she does look at least a little guilty for risking them. "Yeah?" Beris has no more experience at making gelatin than Ramita, so she's not much help. "How long'll this take?" She's still stirring, though less earnestly now she's ensured they haven't immediately burned to the bottom of the pot.

Since Ramita's checked on what she can with the stock pots and Beris seems to have the berries under control for now, she's going to go back and start cleaning up those dishes while she waits. Especially the pan that had held the porcine bones earlier. That's one of the first dishes she cleans since they'll need that later. "Not too long. About twenty to thirty minutes." Which compared to the hours for the bones, isn't long at all. But definitely long enough for anyone's stirring arm. "Let me know once it starts thickening up. It won't quite look as thick as what you spread on toast, but that's because it has to cool." Which she intends on it to do once it's mixed with gelatin and vodka. Plans, she has them.

Calmer about the berries now, Beris dares take her eyes off them to watch what Ramita's doing. "Ah. When they thicken up, gotcha." Since she's just washing dishes, Beris looks back at the berries, swirling the spoon through them and enjoying the way they're starting to soften when the spoon touches them. "This a, uh, recipe of your own making, the whole thing?" There's a wry smile as she adds, "they should be making you a Master for all these things you create."

Ramita gives a small laugh at that. "Crafters craft, Beris. If I weren't creating things, I wouldn't be doing my job. But mostly just taking things from here and there and combining them together. Researched some about the gelatin. And the jam. And of course I've been working on the spirits for turns." Her pride and joy and what got her that journeyman's knot.

Beris can't argue with that. "Makes sense." She's still stirring the berries, having found a nice steady rhythm that seems to be about right. "It feels like it's getting thicker now," she adds, keeping up the movements with the spoon even as she glances over at Ramita.

When Beris calls, Ramita will go over to check the progress on the berry stuff. She nods approvingly. "Good. Almost there." And not burnt, which is the important part. "I'll go ahead and strain out the bones." So tiny woman is going to meet giant pot. Although, considering she's used to dealing with the massive pots for other parts of her spirits making, she handles it like the pro she is. Those chunks of meat are quickly set aside, along with some much smaller pieces that get strained out as well. "So bring that over here…" And it's the moment of truth! Or at least one of them.

She hasn't been told to stop stirring, so Beris will continue as she is. "Smells good." That's definitely the berries she's talking about - as Ramita starts to strain the boiled bones, the smell they release is definitely not as pleasant. Other people might be surprised by Ramita's handling of heavy stuff, but Beris has seen it enough times to keep how impressed she is inside. "Okay, here it comes." Wrapping the pot handle with a towel, she lifts it to take it over to Ramita, eager to get a good look at the results of the straining.

In the pot, there's a lot less water than was originally in the pot. A whole lot less. It's not quite clear, but only a little bit murky. While Beris is bringing over the berries, Ramita is busy fetching a giant whisk and a bottle of already prepared vodka from somewhere in her stash. "Go ahead and pour that in," she's just going to gesture with that whisk for Beris to continue. She's the one prepared for holding hot pots at the moment and Ramita's hands are full. "We'll give it a good whisk, then mix in this and pour into that." This being the vodka in her hand. That being the pan she cleaned just a little while earlier.

Beris's smile is gleeful as she sees the vodka bottle Ramita produces. She loves it when a plan comes together. "Okay," comes the affirmative again, as she carefully tips the contents of her pot into the results of the long boiling, moving it a little so it doesn't all fall in one big heap. Once her pot is empty, she wipes the drips off onto the edge of the gelatin pot before putting the pot over to begin a new pile of dirty dishes.

Yeah, that jam pot is going to be one they want to see to right away or it's going to be a nightmare to clean the hardened resiude off. But right away is going to have to be a bit later because Ramita is totally focused on this last stage of the process. She's going to very quickly whisk together the jam into the gelatin and then, while someone else might measure the vodka before pouring it in, she's just going to eyeball it. A bit conservative with the first few chugs. Some more whisking. When it doesn't seem too watery, she'll pour a bit more in. Repeating a couple times before some criteria only she's certain of is met and she'll nod. and step back. "Okay. If you would just pour that into the pan…" and they're almost done for now!

Beris is way too into the last stages of this process to worry about the jam pot. She'll regret it later if she doesn't remember after, though. She watches Ramita add the vodka with a smile pulling at her lips as the woman adds more and more. "Yup." Using the towel for protection, she'll do the requested pouring, that smile turning into more of a grin now. "Smells good. I don't think we'll have any problem convincing people to drink it." The sweet smell of the berries has covered up any lingering meaty scents.

"That's the goal anyway." And even if Ramita isn't saying it outloud, the faint smile on her face is probably a clue that the woman's pretty proud of their work. "I'll take this to the cellars. See to the rest of the dishes and then I think it will be lunch." Because all that boiling and stuff took a while. But she's going to get that dish down to the cellars to cool without incident and later they can enjoy the fruits of their labor. Or watch other people enjoy it as they take notes.

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