Who

Ainslee, Magdaline, Miel

What

Ainslee is kneading dough, Miel wants sweet beets and Magdaline oversees all…

When

It is sunset of the twenty-second day of the fourth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Kitchens, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 24 Feb 2018 05:00

 

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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 is, arguably, one of the worst times of day to be in the kitchens. It's loud, hot, and noisy: a total sea of chaos in the midst of the rising dinner rush. There are a fair number of white knots among the workers - no reason not to exploit basic labor when possible - as they chop, wash, and whatnot. Ainslee is stationed at a counter, wrist-deep in kneading dough, struggling a little to get enough leverage to really push at it.

This is probably the worst time too for a greenrider to come down and lurk to the side, but Miel’s really craving a particular snack and, well…? Or she’s just here to make sure the Candidates are behaving themselves (it’s totally because she wants a snack). Alas, it’s too chaotic for her to risk venturing to snoop herself, so she makes her pregnant-self as comfortable as possible and tries not to get Hangry-Hormonal on everyone’s asses. “Not as easy as it looks, eh?” she tosses Ainslee’s way.

Ainslee is focused. Very focused. Because, no, dough isn't as easy at it looks. So when Miel makes her comment, the Candidate starts, one hand pressing forward with a bunch more force than the other, landing her forearm in the dough and everything all kind of…smeared forward. Graceful, this one. "I'm sorry?" She looks at the greenrider. Nevermind, it's pretty clear she just answered the question. "Can I help you with something, um," slight hesitation, "ma'am?"

Oops! Miel winces sympathetically when the woman fumbles with the dough and sounds genuinely apologetic. “Sorry! Didn’t think you’d spook so easy.” she remarks off-handedly and with a good natured grin. Which broadens almost ear to ear in not-feigned delight when Ainslee all but offers her ‘help’. “Oh, would you? I mean,” A freckled hand is gestured at the dough. “Once you’re done there. Don’t need the bakers after me as well for you neglecting it. But… yes, in fact… I’m kind of peckish.” Code for: Really. Damn. Hungry. “And what I want is probably buried somewhere in that cellar.” More pointing, now to a door that leads to a room full of preserves. THAT one!

Ainslee collects herself - and her dough - watching Miel from the corner of her eye as she pats it all back into a ball. "Why not get some dinner out the caverns?" She gestures in the appropriate direction with her chin, working her way back into the rhythm of kneading. "I mean," shove, "I don't mind fetching it for you. But I know sometimes," her gaze flicks over the greenrider's midsection, "waiting isn't preferable." Such tact? She is standing at a counter, amongst the kitchen chaos, working over a ball of dough, Miel right nearby.

“Can’t. Tasked with making sure you guys don’t do something stupid,” Miel’s just all grins tonight and doesn’t seem to mind the lack of tact from Ainslee. Might be an issue down the road but… maybe she’s caught the greenrider in a decent enough mood. Or is that ‘desperate’. She pouts (yes, pouts). “Already checked the caverns and either someone ate it all or they didn’t put any out. It’s not a common staple.” And let’s hope Igen didn’t run out? “Ever have sweet beets? Not the other pickled kind,” Her nose wrinkles. “I mean, these are pickled too but sweeter somehow? Never really stood out before but… I could go for a jar right about now.” If she noticed the look to her midsection, she doesn’t draw further attention, save to place her hand on the rounded curve. "Oh! Evening, assistant Headwoman!" There's a bright smile for Magdaline now too.

"I think you'd need a whole task force for that," Ainslee says, a little sly. It takes her a beat to realize Magdaline's speaking to her, but when she does she straightens. "No ma'am. Apologies. I don't often…" she lets herself trail off - because, really, no one cares how often she makes bread. She gives the bundle of dough one last pat, before shifting it to an oiled bowl that sits waiting. "I believe I've only had pickled beets. One of my foster brothers, it was one of his favorites. I can go see if I can fetch some though - they're marked differently, I'd guess? The sweet ones?" Even as she volunteers as tribute - er, beet-fetcher, she glances at the Assistant Headwoman, seeking permission to leave her post.

Magdaline takes a quick look at Miel's tummy and combined with that request, it's pretty easy for her to put two and two together. Unfortunately for the green rider, the assistant's eyebrows are furrowing a bit. "Sweet beets. Can't seem to say we get asked for that too often. Least not in Igen. Knew a couple of Fortian women who would always crave them…" And she's just going to take a moment to step aside and whisper something to one of the more senior kitchen workers who whisks herself off to the stores. And MAgdaline is just going to claim whatever was in the bowl and start stirring. "The flour gets finicky if it's over worked. If you've ever eaten a piece of bread that feels like it weighs twice what it should… that is probably the reason why. And Thurie is going to scour the stores. Wouldn't want you to accidentally get lost in there…" There's a bit of a wink for Ainslee. Not that she expects this particular candidate to have a habit of disappearing when given half a chance, but it's been known to happen with others.

There will be no tribute today! Miel isn’t wholly disappointed, but she winks all the same to Ainslee. Was it a trap, then? What is it with bored riders and Candidates? “Ooh, you’re making me worry,” she sighs towards Magdaline. “It’s not like I can just skip on over to Fort and beg there, y’know. But thank you!” And not just because she’s pregnant! More because, well… riders really don’t have that much free time. “You wouldn’t get lost, would you?” she teases Ainslee a little more.

Ainslee nods in time to what's being said about the bread, but draws herself up at those comments about getting lost. "Of course I wouldn't." She denies crisply. "I don't normally work the kitchens - I mean, I didn't," she corrects, with the tiniest hitch of her knot-bearing shoulder, "but I've lived here long enough." She pulls a fresh ball of dough toward her - there are several lined up nearby, and begins to work at it, with notably less force than before. "I don't suppose some fresh beets could be doctored up to taste similar, ma'am?" It's not totally clear who she's directing the question to - either of the other two women, really.

"You could possibly send the father on a mission?" Magdaline says with a bit of a shrug. Or maybe it'd be a wild wherry chase as a form of penance for helping create the situation leading to the cravings in the first place. Who knows! But back towards the closest candidate, Mags gives Ainslee a smile as she continues whisking up that concoction. Is it meringue? Is it whipped cream? Whatever it is, it's taking a lot of stirring. "Perhaps we'll assign you to help with store inventory sometime in the next sevens then? With so many new helpers, things do start to get out of place quicker than we can correct it…" As for the possible solution, she considers it with a tilt head. "It'd be rather difficult if I recall correctly. It's not just the vinegar mix that's sweet. The beets themselves are different." She looks over to Miel for confirmation on that.

Miel almost protests that but the finger lifted is drawn back and tucked under her chin thoughtfully instead. “… y’know? That’s not a bad idea.” Sorry, not sorry, Ha’ze! The bronzerider just better hope there is at least ONE jar left here in the Weyr. “Maybe I will tell him!” Curiously, she’ll drop her gaze to Ainslee once more. “You’re weyrbred, then? Always perk. Bit less of a shell shock! Pardon the pun.” Which may have been intentional! Magdaline’s look is met with a shrug, “Could be? Honestly I never paid close attention beyond the label and what was told to me. All I know is they’ve a pleasant sweeter taste than the harsh tang.” Of whatever they use to brine or pickle.

"I can, ma'am," Ainslee agrees with Magdaline. "I'm a seamstress though. I mean, was." Someone's struggling with tenses. "Might be more useful in that capacity. But I don't mind inventory." She turns the dough, adds some extra flour as it sticks to her hands. "It's the least he can do," she chips in toward the errand-boy fate of the father. "What with you confined." She nods placidly, but the corners of her mouth tighten a bit. "It is nice to not have to learn the Weyr. I've already met a few struggling with it. But it's still not - well, it's still an adjustment," she says a little primly.

"Ainslee, right?" Just because Magdaline hasn't officially introduced herself to everybody doesn't mean she hasn't been keeping tabs on names and faces of those people working under her (or under people working under her) and those getting searched. "We'll actually try not to get you in the laundry or the mending too terribly often. The candidate chores aren't just us trying to get free labor or keep you busy, but teach you some skills you'll need if you should impress. Despite what your classmates might say." And whisking continues! good thing Mags seems to have some impressive forearm strength, although she is slowing down a bit, but the mixture is firming up now. There's a bit of a groan at the pun. Not forgiven. "How long were you waiting to hatch that one?" Retaliation was the only response. As for the beets and if Ha'ze gets off easy or not, that question might be answered sooner rather than later. Thurie seems to be returning back from the cellars, though too far away yet to tell if she's got the goods!

Miel laughs, bright and sweet and the grin from before comes back into play. “It IS the least he can do! I have been awfully lax in my demands. Being ‘confined’ to the ground was kind of already in the cards, though. So I can’t pin that on him!” Her pregnancy was more of a quirk of ‘right time’, given her recovery from a very bad Thread injury. “She’s got the right of it!” Magdaline has the greenrider’s support there! As for her pun? She just feigns some innocence. “Just cracked that one on a whim!” she quips back. Seeing Thurie returning, Miel perks up. “Well?”

Plus, it'll give Miel a break from Kai's ever watchful eye! Ask the dragon for it, not the bronzerider!

Ainslee smiles wry, "Skills like breadmaking?" She ducks her head a little at her own sass. "Sorry, ma'am. And yes, Ainslee. Truly, I don't mind whatever work I'm assigned." She sounds truthful, rather than like she's trying to kiss up. "Do you have much longer?" That's to Miel, whose gaze she follows to Thurie and Ainslee too seems curious for the report.

Magdaline doesn't take too much offense to the sass at the moment, considering it's followed immediately by an apology. "It serves a purpose, beyond keeping you all fed. Have you seen those sacks of firestone the weyrlings are responsible for tossing around?" And the other riders catching, but they weyrlings are the ones constantly drilling and tossing firestone refills entire falls. "Gotta work up those arm muscles somehow if you don't want a face full of rock." Thurie is back, but looking a little bit dubious at the jar in her possession. "Well, I found these, ma'am. Ma'am's." There's a nod to both Magdaline and Miel. "But I'm not sure when they were actually put in the stores. The date wasn't labelled." At least the jar isn't dusty or sandy. That's a good sign, right?

Miel won’t laugh, but it’s obvious she has to bite at the inside of her lip to keep from doing so under Ainslee’s sassiness. It was a valid question, too! “Trust me, it hurts getting nailed by firestone sacks. If it doesn’t end up breaking your nose, the bruising alone…?” She makes a pained grimace and even hisses a bit through her teeth. “Not fun.” And she probably sees it enough as AWLM when the time comes. “Mhm, probably another month or two, if the babe decide to be on time! Which is fine by me, because that means I won’t be completely useless once those eggs Hatch.” She’s itching to get back to doing SOME semblance of her duties, okay? The jar and Thurie are both given a skeptical look and Miel is clearly tempted. Cravings! “… I guess we’d know the moment we open it, if it has soured?”

Ainslee has not seen these sacks, or the ensuing broken noses, and it shows on her face. And the way she leans into her work a little more, grabbing a fresh piece after moving her current one to another oiled bowl. "Months," she muses, then asks: "Is that how much longer until, then?" She doesn't quite seem willing to say the word 'hatching'. "I'll admit, I haven't paid all the timing too much attention in the past." She eyes the jar, "You may want to get someone else to try it first ma'am. Just in case."

What's this 'we' that Miel is talking about? Thurie is all about handing that jar over and she's just going to take that meringue Magdaline had been whipping up back. Time for her to put it in a waiting pie crust anyway. Far, far over there away from any potential noxious fumes. Magdaline taps a finger against her chin as she considers this. "Probably… but the jar does look relatively fresh. And the vinegar in them should keep it relatively safe…" Relatively. Maybe Miel should have someone else taste-test it first! As for time, the older woman shrugs. "It'll go by quicker than you can imagine." Although if that's for the candidate or the pregnant rider, who knows. Anyways, MAgdaline's attention is being required over by the meat station and off she goes!

“Give or take. And you’ll find that the time just goes by,” Miel snaps her fingers for effect. “Like that! We’ll be keeping you busy. Right, Magdaline? No idleness here!” As for the contents of the jar, she eyes Ainslee. “Well, I’d usually joke if that was you offering but I don’t want risking poisoning a Candidate.” Not a good thing to be doing that! With the jar now in her possession, she looks as pleased as anything as she carefully gets to her feet. “Y’know… maybe I’ll have Ha’ze taste them first. Kaisylaith will probably demand it, anyhow. And I’m pretty sure you lot won’t go causing trouble.” Well behaved group this is! So far. “So I’ll leave you under the watchful eye of the staff here. Enjoy the rest of your evening, Candidate!” And with a small salute, Miel excuses herself to go return ‘home’ and hopefully enjoy some not-spoiled sweet beets.

"Good evening, ma'am." Ainslee calls after the Asst Headwoman, shifting it to, "Ma'ams," as Miel announces her departure. The Candidate returns to kneading bread dough, looking fairly relieved as the beets also go out the door.

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