Who

Xanthee, Ramita

What

Xanthee is worrying over a new recipe and Ramita is picking up dinner, just another afternoon at the Shared Ovens.

When

It is afternoon of the fourth day of the tenth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Shared Ovens, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 19 Apr 2018 04:00

 

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"If it can burn, and you absolutely need it with no time to make another, it will find a way to burn."


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Shared Ovens

Even in the heat of summer, a fire will always be found here and that's the point. Stationed conveniently close to both the residents terraces and crafters' quarters, the back wall of this courtyard is taken up by a massive brick oven with constant delectable aromas wafting out of it. For a token amount for to contribute towards the fuel and maintenance costs, a dish can be left to cook in the oven during the day. The omni-present crowd of aunties and uncles will take turns out of their routine of gossip and card games to occasionally check on the dishes under their care and stoke the fire. And if after a long, hard day of work, someone is too hungry to wait to get home and eat, there's a few tables set up around a lone tree.


Afternoon and the area around the ovens is still relatively quiet, a couple aunties sitting on a chair chattering softly and a figure who is bent over and peering into the oven, her long raven colored hair hanging down over her shoulders, mumbling to herself as she pokes something inside with a long wooden spatula. Standing back up, the figure is revealed to be Xanthee, her face quite red from the heat of the ovens as she runs the back of her hand over her sweaty brow as she eyes the oven nervously, bitting her lower lip.

There are some folks that some people will always delegate to 'the womenfolks'. It shouldn't be surprising that most Steen men are a very rare sight around the ovens, but this autumn afternoon, someone in the family's scarlet is making her appearance. That someone would be Ramita, complete with her ever present shadow of an escort and the frozen expression that probably qualifies as resting bitchface. There is an order to the madness of most communal spaces, even in the heart of the chaos of the bazaar and so the vintner waits her turn in line just like anyone else, although a finger taps against the empty basket on her arm as she watches Xanthee peer into the oven for somewhat longer than she deems acceptable. "It's either done or it's not. You should probably make a decision already."

"Oh sorry!" Xanthee exclaims, red-faced as she steps out of the way with a bow of her head for Ramita along with a wave of her hand. "Go right ahead. I think mine needs a little bit more, I'm not sure. It's my first time making it." The younger woman says with a smile as she moves back to lean back on one of the tables, as her hands go to her hair, pulling the mass of black waves away from her face and twisting them up into a loose knot which she secures with a stylus she had stuck behind her ear stuck into just the right spot.

Now normally, this would be the time for someone to say something like 'oh, no problem!' or make small chitchat about what exactly it is that the girl is making. But expecting such pleasantries from Ramita might be like expecting a stone to cry. Instead she just raises one of those perfectly manicured eyebrows in an 'oh really now' expression as she steps forward, fishing out some oven mitts from her bag before she reaches in to the oven to reclaim her own clay casserole dish. Once that's obtained and she's out of the way, she does unfrost a TINY smidgen. "You know… normally recipes come with a time recommendation."

Smoothing down her flyaways idly, Xanthee watches the Steen woman as she retrieves her dish, sighing softly as she taps at the tabletop she's leaning on idly. There's definitely an anxious energy about the dark haired girl, so when Ramita mentions a cooking time, she just flutters a hand dismissively. "Yes, I know, but I want to make sure they are perfect. It's for a special occasion." The older woman may not be the chitchat type, but Xan most definitely is. And now that Ramita has moved away from the ovens, she hops back up to her feet and uses her long spatula to pull a cooking sheet towards her, checking something before shaking her head with a sigh and pushing it back into the heat. Standing back up, she turns and pipes up, "Still not done." as if that wasn't obvious.

Let's play the game of 'just how high can Ramita's eyebrows raise?'. It's her favorite, with the close second of 'how hard can eyes roll?' Since she has the hot casserole dish in oven mitted hands, the vintner walks over towards the nearest table and sets down the dish before she starts digging in the basket again, pulling out a towel to wrap the very hot dish in. "Perfect and first time are rarely two things that should go together." Mistakes… she's made them. And then promptly hid ALL EVIDENCE. And deny it ever happened to anyone that wasn't in Benden and can prove otherwise.

"Well I don't have time to make another batch because I need them for tonight." Xanthee explains as she fidgets gently, willing herself not to check again because they clearly needed several more minutes. Watching Ramita in as she moves around to a table, she shrugs her shoulders absently. "And I am very familiar with trial and error when it comes to new recipes, which is why I'm hovering like a broody gold. They can't go wrong if I'm standing right here checking them every moment." Or can they? Worry crosses her face as she leans over to check yet again.

Ramita lets out a brief, unlady like snort. Dubiousness, thy name is Ramita. "Dragon eggs might not over cook and a watch pot may never boil, but trust me. If it can burn, and you absolutely need it with no time to make another, it will find a way to burn." And she might not be a baker, but she has spent more than her fair share of time dealing with carefully heating things to make something consumable. "Normally if you need something perfect with no risk of failure, you pay for that."

A soft giggle is Xanthee's response to Ramita's dubiousness along with another shrug. "Yeah, I probably could have paid someone for them, but it's a gift for my boyfriend, and it's more special if I make them myself." She explains with a bright smile displaying fully the flush of young love radiating from the dark haired girl. "And besides, he won't likely care if they're not perfect. It's the thought that counts right?" she asks mostly rhetorically. Nodding at Ramita's pot, she inquires politely, "So what's on the menu?"

"It's more special if its actually edible…" Ramita has moved on to a bit of eye rolling as she places her carefully wrapped casserole dish in the basket, although not moving quite yet. It's hot, very hot. And accidentally spilling it on herself is not something she's inclined to do. "But I hear there are some who can't tell the difference." She gives a bit of a shrug. And as for what is in her own dinner? Just a one word answer. "Stew."

Xanthee laughs at her first she nods her head consideringly, "That's preferable for sure, but Mal wouldn't care. He's kind of amazing like that." she says with a soft giggle before leaning over the oven again, this time uttering a softly triumphant noise as she pulls off the dish towel that she had tossed over her shoulder. With some maneuvering, she pulls the cooking tray out of the oven with her hand wraped in the towel. Swinging it wide, she walks gingerly over to the table where she slides the tray onto the table, revealing a half dozen bubbly pies. Their crusts may look lopsided in places and there are a couple that got quite dark, but Xan looks rather pleased with the results. At the woman's last she pipes up with a smile, "Mmmm, stew is great when it starts to get colder."

"Uh-huh…" Xan can gush as much as she pleases but well, Ramita doesn't particularly care. She's just waiting at the moment and some things are more interesting that inspecting her nails for any dirt or anything for the fiftieth time that day which is what she was doing along with listening. The lopsided bubbly pies do get a bit of a skeptical once over, but they aren't quite burnt, at least not from what she can see. "Or you know, great when you need something to sit for a while." No fuss, no muss, slow cooking is clearly the way to go as far as Ramita's concerned since she's got other things to do. Like cook booze. Or find a storefront.

Xanthee is too excited by her success to be bothered by the older woman's disinterest in her gushing about a certain miner. Letting the hot pies cool down, she turns back to Ramita with a wide smile on her face, nodding her agreement at the woman's comment over the stew. "There is that too. Just throw stuff in the pot and let it cook." she says, knowing it probably takes more than that, but then Xan mostly takes her meals in the Living Caverns still instead of cooking her own. Suddenly changing the subject, she turns towards the other woman, "So how are you? Business good?"

Ramita at least isn't cruel and not going to completely step on all of Xanthee's hopes and dreams of a perfect date night. Those thoughts the crafter will keep tucked closely inside her own frozen little heart. Knowing that one was bound for eventually some pre-arranged marriage that is little more than a business dealing kind of inclines ones to doubts of 'romance'. "You can't just throw anything in a pot though." Just in case Xan doubted that Ramita has standards about all things in her life. The stew was one more that had some of the finest ingredients, and the hottest peppers that wouldn't melt her parents faces off. She gives a brief nod of her head about the question of business. "It's growing." And the fact that the vintner has been poking her nose around in all the vacant buildings she can find for the past couple months can't go hidden forever.

"Oh I know that." Xanthee replies to Ramita's first, waving a hand dismissively, "I'm no cook myself obviously, but I spent enough time in the Kitchens to know that there's more to it than that." she says as she waves her towel over the hot tray, hoping it will help the pies cool faster. At the woman's last she smiles brightly, "A growing business sounds good to me. It's not like I've ever heard a merchant complain about too much business." she caps off again with another soft giggle as she uses her spatula to gently lift one of the darker bubblies and try to peek underneath at the bottom.

Some habits die hard. And keeping a recipe a well guarded secret, except to some trusted individuals just seems like sound business practice to Ramita. So don't expect any sharing of her fabulous stew recipe (the secret is that it's just WAY too spicy for any other mistakes to really be noticeable, since she's not exactly a baker and only made it begrudgingly). Whiff too close and it might singe any nose hairs. "You must not have spent much time around the bazaar…" Despite Ramita knowing full well the girl had been employed in the Tea Room before going elsewhere. "If something exists, someone will complain about it." But one hand gingerly touches on the basket carrying the towel wrapped dish. And she doesn't flinch, so now the journeywoman is getting up, but not leaving just quite yet.

Xanthee looks satisfied with what she can see of the bottoms of her bubbly pies and puts the spatula back down. "Only when I was working in the Tea Room really. Since I became Weyrwoman Nasrin's assisstant," She drops that fact in so casually, but it's obvious the girl has quite a bit of pride for her new position. "I've hardly stepped foot in there. But I do know about people who will always find something to complain about. Got my fill of that with annoying customers." she says with a soft chuckle accompanied by a look of relief to no longer be working in food service.

Name dropping might impress some… but considering this particular name is family, Ramita just rolls her eyes a little bit as she gathers up the basket. "And so moved on from annoying customers to all the annoyances the good weyrfolk can throw your way?" Our of a frying pan and into a fire maybe? At least Daria could toss out the most annoying customers. "Good luck, Xanthee." With a subtle head tilt to accompany that farewell, Ramita and her dinner are out of there.

No power on Pern could make Xanthee not be cheerful at this moment, the moderate success of her bubblies overrides any eyerolling from the other woman. "Maybe, but I'm weyrfolk as well, born and bred, so it just feels right for me." she adds with a shrug. The other's farewell is met with a broad smile and a bob of her head, "And you have yourself a fine evening." she calls back as she ponders how to get the bubblies back up to their room in the Crafter's Quarters.

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