Who

Edlsesa, Fergus, Ziniel, Ainslee, Daenerys, Xanthee

What

Who's bright idea was it to charge the candidates with making lunch from start to finish?

When

It is midmorning of the tenth day of the fifth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Kitchens, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 02 Mar 2018 05:00

 

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"I'm really not qualified for this,"


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Kitchens

For the benefit of the thousands of souls who will feast off the proceeds of this area, chaos and anomie reign supreme in this hub of Igen's food production. The smell of the place is overwhelming, everything from the butcher's offal to fresh-baked bread assaulting one's olfactory sense. This space is large and well-equipped, with hearths aplenty to shoulder the massive undertaking of feeding the desert crowds; internal to the outer edges, several large stoves belch smoke upward through the stacks, to stain the chimney without. A pair of nooks lie in front of the entrance and the exit, a vain attempt to keep questing individuals from entering too fully within the cook's domain.


It's a couple of candlemarks before lunch and the living caverns and kitchens at Igen Weyr are a hub of activity as candidates…wait cooks, no…candidates (?) prepare a meal for the weyr. White knots can be seen everywhere, running from the kitchen garden, from the stores, between the kitchens and the living caverns. They haul food and drink, ingredients, run lunch to the leadership and crafters that can't come to the caverns. Want something done? Ask a candidate. It's what they're for.

In the kitchens themselves, candidates are watched closely by a weyr cook as they prepare lunch. Edlsesa has been tasked with putting a porridge together and she worries over the recipe. It doesn't look like it's described in the recipe, and something is definitely burning. Couldn't they have made her wait staff for lunch? She chews on her lower lip, gorgeous hair all messy and piled in a bun atop her head as she frantically tries to figure out just what is burning and why this is all going wrong.

Fergus is just so hairy that putting him in charge of anything to do with food might be inviting everyone to have red-gold hair hidden in their stew inadvertantly. Despite this, the brawny, short candidate has been put to work with something that has the least amount of chance of getting hair into anything - chopping vegetables. He's good with knives, he has strong, muscly arms (though hairy) and is diligent. What could possibly go wrong? So there Fergus stands, his thick, deep red hair tucked under some sort of thick bandana in an attempt to keep it out of the food as his knife flashes against some unwary carrots. His beard has also been pulled back and tucked away down his shirt. That's the best he can do about tat … sorry - no hair nets for beards.

Running between the kitchen garden, and the door to the kitchen a basket in hand that's filled with whatever ingredient is requested is Ziniel. Wait, did she get all the eggs that were requested? Yes. Maybe she's forgot some of the berries? No. Those are there too in their own, smaller basket. Maybe she forgot some of the greens that were requested? No. She has those too. Ziniel sighs as she re-enters the kitchen, and deposits the baskets where directed.

Ainslee is an image of shining glory. No, wait… she's just covered in fish scales. "I'm really not qualified for this," she's muttering to herself, as she clumsily rakes a knife blade over the side of a fish. In the wrong direction. "Seriously," she pitches her voice a little louder, and glances around at so many equally hapless fellow Candidates. "Does anyone want to swap?"

On a workbench near the harper girl, Xanthee is set up with a cooking sheet on which she is placing the meatrolls she is forming by hand. The squares of pastry are filled with a seasoned mixture of ground meat. Rolling them up carefully on the floured surface of the work bench before placing the finished product onto the tray. Her nose wrinkles as she smells something burning and turns her head to look in Edlsesa's direction, "I don't think it's supposed to smell like that." Helpful Xan is helpful.

Wait, what? Daenerys, cooking? What's the world coming to, putting him in charge of ensuring the various pies and whatnot get their proper dose of frosting and sugar dusting? Being a man who loves his sugary snacks, he's perhaps a bit… eager to see it done in style! That cake he's decorating has an awful lot of fluffy frosting, for instance.

Fergus sweeps aside a pile of neatly chopped carrots, handing them off to a harried candidate who scoops them up to add to a simmering stew nearby. Fergus looks a lot less harried than the majority of the other candiate-cooks, though he generally always looks pretty unphased with things. At the sound of Ainslee's distresss, he sidles over to her and squints down at the fish, "I can show you how?" He reaches a hand out for the fish fileting knife with a grunt of question. Whoever eats the fish will just have to hope no beard hairs end up in the filets.

"You've done this before?" Ainslee looks grateful, immediately surrendering the knife to Fergus. "I'm supposed to," she squints at a wrinkled, stained sheet on the counter, to the side of her fish collection, "scale and debone them, before seasoning." She casts an envious look at Xanthee and her meatroll forming, noting, "I can do some things. But this is awfully," her nose crinkles prissily as she rubs at some fish scales clinging to her wrist, "well, much."

Edlsesa looks over at Xanthee mournfully. "I know… I don't know what I did wrong…I followed the recipe." And Sesa knows how to follow written directions…she is a harper after all. "I think I'm going to have to start over." She sounds a bit frustrated and harried. "WHo eats porridge for lunch anyway?" Another mournful look at the mess before Sesa pulls up her bootstraps and begins clearing her area and tossing the ruined food out. She will get this right, by the egg, or die trying. Well…maybe not die trying, but the situation is that dire to the girl.

A mournful look is cast towards the open kitchen door as Ziniel's directed towards where the vegetables are being prepped for stews and other such things. Does she have to cook inside? The girl sighs as she picks up a knife and begins to dice tubers. Those are going to go somewhere right?

Fergus leaves his vegetable chopping knife to another candidate before taking up the fish knife from Ainslee with deft hands. "Some," he grunts in answer to her question. He's always so full of words. "Not so much the seasoning, though." He reaches out for one of the fish and, with easy motions, starts to debone and descale the slimy fish. It takes him a minute or so to get the rhythm going, though, but he manages to cut a decent looking filet. With no hair on it … yet. He offers the filet o Ainslee, "Season?" Because she has the bit of paper with whatever seasoning needs to be done.

"Well better you than me. There's a reason I was here first thing and grabbed the meatrolls. Only sharding thing I know how to cook." Xanthee says with a giggle and a wink. "And I have no idea who eats porridge for lunch, I think most of the time the cooks are just trying to mess with us." Her emerald gaze looks meaningfully towards the cooks who are there supervising the making of the food. Another finished roll is dumped on the tray. "Maybe try to keep it off direct heat?" she offers in way of helpful advice.

Ainslee accepts the filet a little gingerly, then handling it with more confidence when it doesn't slip right out of her grasp. Or start to wriggle. "I can do that." She squints at the sheet again, before pulling bowls of salt and pepper closer and sprinkling them - a little unevenly - on the fish. She watches Fergus out of the corner of her eye, trying to memorize his movements, and maybe that's why she gets a little heavy-handed with a very red spice. "Where did you learn to do that?"

Daenerys looks up from a cake that has achieved epic proportions of over-sugared delight and eyes the mess Edlsesa has made of the porrige. "People who are strange?" He asks of the room at large, himself mystified as to why that stuff makes a good lunch. The very idea repulses him deeply. He turns his gaze to the meatrolls and other things currently being worked on by his fellow candidates. "Good thing I got dessert!" Is he a little too enthusiastic? Of course he is, his long plait dangling dowm his back and fortunately not getting in the way of the food being made. Who would want hair in their cake? Nobody with any sense, of course.

Edlsesa finally gets her mess cleaned up and sighs as she begins anew, putting a pot of water on the boil for the porridge. "This is what I get for overstaying in the archives." She'd been reading a particularly interesting bit of weyr history and had got wrapped up in it. She's still working on her Harper studies in her free time, she doesn't want to fall behind if one of the eggs on the sands doesn't choose her. "I'll give that a try this time, perhaps I was keeping it too hot. Or maybe I didn't add enough milk? How much exactly is a few splashes?" These recipes really could be better written. It's driving the OCD side of Sesa's brain a bit nuts.
Edlsesa sticks her tongue out at her brother. "Lucky you Daen! Better save me some of that fluff!"

Fergus slices easily into the next fish, deftly separating bones from flesh with apparent ease. "Fished ab it with my father," he notes in reply, his voice a normal basso rumble, "Take it you haven't fished before?" The corners of his eyes crinkle a bit, the only real hint that he might be grinning a bit from behind his massive bushy beard. He slides over another two filets to Ainslee, seemingly not upset at the fish slime all over his hands. Part of the job, apparently. "Old people," is his contribution to the question regarding who eats porridge, "Old people eat porridge all the time."
And bears, apparently. But there are no bears on Pern.

Xanthee swivels her gaze to her adoptive brother and the desserts he is preparing, round green eyes wide as she chuckles a little bit, "Are you sure everyone has your sweet tooth Daen?" Her hands moving on their own to keep the output of meatrolls up even though she only looks down briefly every now and then. Turning to Fergus' remark about old people, she nods and then adds, "Ohhh, and the littles as well. Babies and toddlers eat a lot of porridge."

Ainslee looks over toward the dessert station, attention drawn by Daenerys' incredible enthusiasm. "Is there any cake under there?" She says, wry, of his decorating. Her wandering attention really isn't doing her seasoning any favors, as she misses salting the two new fillets entirely, and instead puts pepper on them twice. "No," she answers Fergus. "My brothers do, sometimes, but," she hitches one shoulder. "It's not really wo - my type of thing." And as for porridge? "Sick people, too."

Edlsesa would be glad she wasn't eating the fish if she saw Ainslee and her spice work, but she isn't, and she hasn't, so she can't say much on that. But, she can eyeball a pot of water that's not boiling yet while she measures out the spices and wet and dry ingredients for the porridge. "I suppose you're right about that…." SHe says of old people and ankle biters eating a lot of the thick, nasty mass that is porridge. "I'll take Zingari curry anyday…" She'd been practically raised on the stuff considering her late father's connection with the caravan.

Daenerys is all innocence, covered in frosting and sugar! How'd he manage that? who the heck knows, these days; who the heck knows. "Who said this is for the Living Caverns?" He asks, slyly. He considers his creation thoughtfully, grinning in satisfaction. "There might be cake under there somewhere." He eyes Ainslee sidelong, then carefully adds a few berries to the top of the cake. You know, for posterity and a nod toward healthy choices, or something. Did he save some fluff? Why yes,yes he did. It's in the bowl always saved aside for licking, thinking mournfully of the yumminess he's missing out on now the Zingari are far, far away. "Zingari anything… he sighs softly to his sister. "Their food is the best."

"Oh why'd you have mention Zingari curry?" Xanthee bemoans as her stomach rumbles at the thought of the flavourful food. "I can't wait till they are back on the grounds, the place feels so empty without them." A soft sigh from the raven-haired girl as she finishes off a tray of the meatrolls, covers it with a clean cloth and moves it carefully over to the rack by the oven so the pastry can proof. Back to her work station, she grabs an empty tray and starts her routine over again.

Fergus starts to get into a rhythm with the cutting of the fish - debone, descale, hand filets off to Ainslee for spicing. Or not-spicing, depending. He's getting through the pile of fish fairly easily and, so far, hasn't seemed to shed any of his ample amount of hair into the things. Yet. "What'd you do before being a candidate? Obviously not fisherwoman." He rumbles a laugh at that, his eyes focused on the flash of his knife. His ears perk up at the sound of something though, "Zingari curry? Is that spicy?" He grunts in apparent delight at the thought, "Spicier the better."

"Why not try and make it?" Ainslee suggests to the three mooning over curry, after a glance toward their supervisor, who seems very involved in making sure some of the younger candidates stop trying to hide "surprises" in the rising bread loaves. "Sounds like you might know it well enough?" She passes off a platter full of seasoned fish, and begins working on filling the next. "I'm a seamstress," she explains to Fergus, then hesitates. "Was?" She frowns over her own tense issues, before adding, "You were a Crafter, I think I heard?"

"Think they'd let us?" Daenerys gives a nod to the supervisory ag — er, cooks, considering what to add all the sugar to next, despite the comments to the contrary. But now, he's being pointed toward steaks, and reluctantly moves to the duller task to tenderizing the things for their seasoning. "A little taste of home would be so nice…" He sighs, carefully spilling the seasoning mix onto a batch of six, making sure each has an even amount of spice upon it before pulverizing each until they cannot possibly have any toughness remaining. Good thing they're the good herdbeast.

Edlsesa sighs wistfully. "I can't even make porridge. I don't think I could do curry any justice." Edlsesa looks over to her brother as he bemoans a taste of home smiles. Turning to Fergus, she grins. "It can be, they've made things that will melt your face off, but they have milder curries that are packed with flavor." Back to Daen, Edl shrugs. "Dunno….maybe after we're done with this. Do you think any of us could do their spices any justice? I don't think I could." Her father probably could have told her what was in curry, when half those spices can also be used to make paint.

"I wouldn't dare, besides, I have no idea what the spices they use would be." Xanthee says with a sigh, arranging another finished 'roll on the tray. "They should be back soon anyway, they are never gone from the grounds for too long." Pausing then, the weyrbrat puts her hands on the small of her back and arches it sharply, causing several audible pops as she groans with relief. "How much longer till lunch?" she asks wistfully as her tummy growls yet again before she resumes her meatroll construction.

Fergus finishes up the last of the fish, deftly deboning and passing the filets off to Ainslee, "Woodsmith. Journeyman. Still technically one, I suppose … just on hold for a while." Just as he starts to set the knife down, one of the chefs calls him over to start hauling something heavy from the stores. Grunting in annoyance, he wipes his fish slimed hands off on a nearby rag and bobs his head in farewell to his fish-slicing partner, "Nice to meet you." To the room at large, he adds, "Have to try some of that curry some time." With a wave of his hand, he starts off towards the stores to go get whatever heavy item seems to be needed this close to the serving of lunch.

"Probably not," Ainslee answers Daenerys, seemingly unconcerned that her suggestion is terrible. She accepts the last fillets, calling, "Thank you for the help!" after Fergus. "The question is," she muses, regarding the immenence (or lack thereof) of lunch, "do we have to eat what we just made? Because honestly," she casts a look over at one of the candidates who appears to be struggling with scraping burned bits off of some pastries, "I'm not sure I trust all of us. Myself included."

Daenerys wouldn't trust the lot of them, either; have they just poisoned half the Weyr? Well, the other half can blame the cooks for this bright idea, then. He smirks to the remaining candidates, "Well — we tried. Whether this works out… I am not laying good odds on it." He squints a moment, and adds a last pinch or two to his steaks. Whoever gets them is probably not going to like how spicy they really are. "I can't wait til they get back. Maybe they'll help us do it. Make curry, that is, next time we're all herded in here to help cook." Nothing like being forced to do chores to add to the upkeep of the place, is there. He glances over to a sulky young Holder miss, insulted that she must dirty her delicate hands with washing dishes, no less; she practically vibrates with a sense of 'Well, I never!'

Xanthee watches the redhaired man leave for the stores and then sniffs indignantly in Ainslee's direction, "I don't know what you're talking about? My meatrolls are entirely edible." And she puts the next one down on the tray and moves it just so before picking up another square of pastry and measures out the right amount of meat filling. "That's an idea Daen." she adds non-commitally about this idea of asking a Zingari to help them cook curry. Then the Holder lass is given a smirk, muttering softly under her breath sarcastically, "Oh the poor wee lamb." a soft giggle accompanying her words.

Edlsesa has something that at least resembles porridge going now, bubbling softly away as she looks for butter to put in it. Now, she just had that butter, where did it go? She begins lifting bowls and towels and things off the counter surface. "Dammit…." She mutters under her breath and inwardly groans. The idea of the Zingari helping with lunch perks her up a bit. "Do you think the weyr would let them?" She wonders aloud and then moves on to just get a new dish of butter instead. She's too frustrated for missing butter right now. As for eating the food here…."Who's up for going to the Oasis inn for lunch? My aunt Ayla would probably be happy to escort us, and Jhakkarath is a doll!" How's that for an idea? Sesa has to try and not giggle at the holder girl, because Sesa herself would be more than happy to be on dish duty…but for some reason, people want her to learn to cook.

Ainslee shrugs, taking a rag to wipe down the fish prep area. "I'm sure they are," she replies to Xanthee. "But we it's not like we've all done much kitchen work before." She narrows her eyes a little at that smirk, and throws the Holder girl a look that's shaded with some sympathy. She opens her mouth to say more, but lets herself be distracted by Edlsesa's suggestion. "Lunch somewhere else is a great idea."

Daenerys rolls his eyes skyward at the girl, muttering, "Bless her heart." We all knows he means the exact opposite, though; he might even be hoping she manages — whoops, his wish is come true! In trying to move a too-heavy tub of soapy water, the girl manages to douse the entire front of her too-fancy smock and shrieks! Loudly. Daenerys coughs, trying hard not to crow with laughter — but wait, did someone mention lunch elsewhere? He's all about that idea! "Maybe they will let us! We could ask if they mind having the Zingari do lunch at least once. And yes, yes we should head to the Oasis Inn — I don't want to be here when they discover just how bad we are as cooks…"

A shadow seems to cross Xanthee's features at the mention of the Oasis Inn, and she has to swallow hard a lump in her throat, but she's mostly faced away from others, head bowed over her work station so hopefully that masks her expression for the moment it takes her to replace her smile before looking back at the others. "I'd love to join you, but I have to take a run today and lunch is the only time I can work it in. I keep sleeping in and missing my chance in the morning, and I feel so sluggish if it's been a couple days." Her tone is quite convincing actually and anyone who knows Xanthee, knows she is a bit of a running nut. Turning back to her task at hand though, the smile drops form her lips as she continues her task quietly.

Edlsesa cheers a little when everyone, saving Xan, accepts her idea for lunch. "Great! Y'know Xan, you could always join us after your run." After all, she couldn't possibly be thinking of skipping lunch all together, can she? Using one of the kitchen 'lizards, Sesa scribes a message to her 'Aunt' and then skitters to add the butter to the porridge, which she's managed not to burn, but it still looks thicker than it should, and smells sickly sweet.

Ainslee grimaces as the tub water goes everywhere, and steps over to help, shooing the Holder girl off to clean herself up. She's absorbed in picking things up for a few minutes, so misses Edlsesa's note writing. When she goes back to her station for more rags she asks, "How are you going to contact your aunt? Are you sure we won't need… extra permission?"

Daenerys eyes Xanthee consideringly. Her and her running. "You sure, baby girl? I mean… the Oasis Inn is a great place to eat…" Especially since they'll be away from the results of the disaster that lunch will be for all. But maybe there's something to avoiding being there, but Daenerys cannot fathom why. He'll have more time to hang out with Edlsesa? He's for that, at any rate. He gives Edlsesa a shrug for his agreement. "Well, if she doesn't want to go, we can hardly make her." Well, unless they want to explain kidnapping and all. The shrieking Holder lass is enveloped in older cooks, all hustling her off to find her something else to wear and clean herself up some more. Anywhere but in the kitchens, sounding like she's being murdered.

What resonable questions from Edlsesa and Daenerys and it has Xanthee cursing silently as she takes a long beat before tilting her head over in the harper girl's direction with a sweet smile on her lips, maybe a bit too sweet, before swinging it towards her brother. "No, I don't think I'll have time to do my run, then make it all the way out there, and then eat and make it all the way back here. I have to report to laundry right after lunch is done as well." See? All perfectly reasonable reasons to avoid going to a place that fills the raven-haired girl with thoughts of her beloved Miner.

Edlsesa has a feeling there's more to why Xanthee is avoiding the Inn than she is currently giving up, but as Edlsesa has no right to pry, she keeps her natural curiosity to herself. She may get to catalogue gossip on her own time, but prying it from people is mean. Turning to Ainslee, Sesa smiles. "I sent a lizard off just now, if she agrees she'll be in the bowl waiting for us as soon as we're done." She looks at her porridge and pulls it from the fire. "That is as good as that is getting. I'm going to wash up and go wait for Ayla now, you guys meet me when you're done ok?" Sesa grins and escapes the kitchens as fast as she can. She really doesn't want to see how the weyr reacts to this lunch.

Ainslee bundles an armful of rags together, nodding to Edlsesa. "I'll finish helping with that mess," she nods to where the Holder girl's legacy remains, "and meet everyone." She glances at a few other candidates for confirmation, before heading back over to clean-up duty.

Daenerys will also not pry, choosing instead to try and edge away from yet more food prep and indulge his sweet tooth — and makes it away from the watchful eyes of the cooks long enough to wolf down an over-frosted bubbly pie before he scoots off to go wash up. "Good deal!" He agrees over his shoulder before he disappears.

And then there is just Xanthee left, finishing her last tray of meatrolls before wiping her hands on her arpon, now looking forward to a nice quiet run along the lake shore before coming back and munching on her meatrolls before afternoon chores. Oh the glamorous life of being a Candidate!

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