Plans, Plotting and Potatoes?

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Elisabeth Black
Approved Character
Posts: 1726
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:51 am
Race: Human
Profession: Little Wonder-Bunny of Anger
Renown: 1035
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Wealth Tier: Tier 8

Plans, Plotting and Potatoes?


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Arc 721, 30 Ashan


When Elisabeth planned the quick trip to Scalvoris, there were several things she needed to do. Scholar’s Nook to research. Perdita’s to pick up Storm. And some shopping. Shopping wasn’t something the young woman enjoyed but this time, it was for a very specific purpose: Balthazar’s Birthtrial.

It was something she had been planning before Almund but now that that nastiness was behind them, she wanted to surprise him with something special. Of course, the trial had already come and gone, but there really hadn’t been an opportunity to get him anything considering they had been shipped straight from Almund to Faldrass. The actual trial had been while they were on their expedition to Faldrass and while they did acknowledge it together, it wasn’t enough for Elisabeth. They had been through too much in recent times.

She needed to do something….but more importantly, she wanted to.

An idea had begun to form. Balthazar, like her, wasn’t into possessions much. Well, weapons. He liked weapons but she had already given him a dagger that he cherished for the Zi’da holiday. She didn’t want to go dipping into that well again. There wasn’t a single possession or thing that she could buy that she felt he would cherish more than that dagger.

As well, he often told her that actions spoke louder than anything. So instead of buying him something…she wanted to do something for him. However, it was going to take a bit of planning.

While at the Scholar’s Nook, Elisabeth had come across a cookbook. Balthazar loved steak. Elisabeth…did not know how to cook steak – at all. It wasn’t something she came across much, but she remembered how much he had enjoyed it at the Mummer’s Ball. So that was the plan – learn how to cook steak and when she got back to Faldrass, she would cook him a special birthtrial dinner.

The shopping had been simple. Beef, bought from the butcher. She paid extra for good cuts of beef and listened to the butcher explain that the meat she bought would be especially tender because it was cut from areas of the animal that were positioned away from active muscle areas. That meant the meat wouldn’t be tough. It made sense when she thought about it.

At the market, she found potatoes (remembering those had been included in the dinner Balthazar ate that night) and some assorted vegetables. It was still early in the season for vegetables but there were some winter crops that grew simply fine in the colder temperatures. At least, that was what the vendor had stated. Grabbing some carrots and broccoli, she moved on to another vendor that was selling pastries and assorted sweet items. Asking about things that would keep until she got back to the island, the woman assured her that wrapped cookies would be fine. Choosing a few different types, she paid for sweets and moved on to the final stop – alcohol. She couldn’t afford purple whiskey – Balthazar’s favorite – but she did pick up a few bottles of whiskey. There were some other odds and ends she purchased, some favorite foods that he could enjoy for a few trials, things not readily available to them on Faldrass.

Hauling the load back to Balthazar’s house, she carried it into the kitchen and got to work.

Elisabeth had bought enough items for the dinner on Faldrass and for her test trial in Scalvoris, not wishing to have her first attempt at cooking him the special dinner to end in disaster. To be fair, Elisabeth was not a bad cook. She knew how to keep people fed with basic skills…but nothing in her life had ever forced her to take said skills further than that.

Not until Balthazar.

The desire to make him smile was profound. The couple had been through a lot together and making him dinner with some of his favorite things was the least she could do. Grabbing her notes, she found two pans that looked like they would work rather well. She would need one for the steak, one for the potatoes and broccoli.

Her notes stated that she should cut the potatoes into thin slices to more quickly and evenly cook them in the pan. Grabbing a knife, she began cutting them as the cookbook had shown her. She only cut up one potato, considering she was only going to feeding herself that evening. Then, the notes said to dry the moisture off the potato slices with a towel and season them with salt and pepper generously, tossing them in the seasoning. The reason, she remembered, for wicking the moisture away from the potato surface was in doing so, it would allow them to brown instead of steam. Browning, apparently, was a good thing. Good to know.

The notes said to take some of the oil she had bought and coat the bottom of the pan with it and heat it up. Easily done. Once the pan was sizzling, she was to lay the potatoes in it and let them sit to cook for several minutes. Elisabeth remembered specifically that the cookbook had said that potatoes take a while to cook and brown properly using that method so leaving them alone, checking them occasionally, was a good idea.

With the potatoes cooking, it was time to turn to the meat. Oddly enough, the thing about absorbing the moisture off the potatoes held true for the meat as well….and seasoning with salt and pepper. The young woman had asked for a small piece of beef to use as her experiment, so grabbing that piece, she did as her notes said. Letting her fingers follow her handwriting, she found the section that dealt with the steak, noting that she should do the same thing with the oil in the pan and heat it up.

The potatoes were beginning to smell good, which she took to be a good sign. She flipped one over with a fork to see if any browning was taking place, only to note a small trace of it. Apparently, potatoes did take a long time. While she waited for the second pan to heat up, Elisabeth decided to move on to something else. Going back over to the bags of groceries, she grabbed the broccoli and read over the notes. She was going to cook the broccoli in the pan the potatoes were cooking in once they were done since broccoli didn’t take long at all to cook. Checking the notes, they said to cut the heads of the broccoli off and set aside, which she quickly did.

Time to go back to the meat. She repeated the process of blotting the meat with a towel and seasoning both sides generously with salt and pepper. The pan was hot, so she laid the meat into it and was rewarded with a splatter of hot oil on her arm. Jumping back, she eyed the pan with furrowed gaze, frowning just a bit. “Well, that wasn’t very nice of you,” she muttered to the pan, but left things be for the moment.

Checking the potatoes, she found them to be nice and brown on the one side, flipping them all quickly over to the other side to repeat the process. Finding herself with nothing to do for the moment, she picked up the page of notes and reviewed them all again. She had written some information about the doneness of steak. Some people liked what was called ‘rare’ – barely cooked. Shuttering, Elisabeth read on. Depending on how done someone liked their steak, there were different cooking times. That made sense. She didn’t really know how Balthazar liked his steak but, in her case, she wanted it well done, meaning it would take a bit longer, which was fine. She could ask him what his preference was when she got back to the settlement.

While both the potatoes and meat cooked, Elisabeth grabbed the rest of the food and sorted it. The remaining meat needed to be chilled for the time being, as well as the fresh foods. The other things were packed away for the trip back to Faldrass.

Coming back to the stove, she checked the steak to find it nice and brown on the outside, flipping it over. The potatoes looked to be perfectly done on both sides, so she decided to do a little taste test. Grabbing a slice of potato, she took a bite. It was a bit crispy, maybe a little overcooked but all in all, not bad. Shrugging her shoulders, she picked up the pan and removed the cooked potatoes to a nearby plate. Consulting her notes, she added another bit of oil to the pan and plopped the broccoli into it, seasoning again with salt and pepper.

Back to the steak, she found that it was a little too done -or at least looked a little too done- on the second side. A bit charred but she wasn’t too fussed about it. It was a learning experience after all. Moving the steak to the plate, she decided to cut into it to see about the doneness on the inside. Once she sliced in, she noted no pink whatsoever, happy with the result.

The notes said to move the broccoli around in the pan a bit until cooked to desired doneness. Elisabeth wasn’t sure what the ‘desired doneness’ was but she figured a few bits were good enough and moved the vegetable to her plate.

Viola! Dinner was done.

Taking the plate over to the table, she sat and tasted everything. Potatoes, a bit overdone but not bad. The meat tasted pretty good but next time, she would have to watch it a bit more carefully. Broccoli, not done enough, tasting a bit raw….so needed to cook longer. Making a few more notes on the page, she relaxed, cooking done for the evening, and enjoyed the meal while planning how to better prepare for cooking it for Balthazar once back at the settlement.

word count: 1701
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Re: Plans, Plotting and Potatoes?

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Player Name: Elisabeth

Points awarded: 10
Magic xp: none

Knowledge:

Cooking - Potatoes take a long time to cook
Cooking - Drying the outside of potatoes helps them brown faster
Cooking - Not paying attention to cooking items is a bad idea
Cooking - There are different 'doneness' levels for steak
Cooking - Taste test doneness of vegetables before removing them from the pan
Writing - Carefully transcribing recipe notes will ensure clear instructions


Renown:
Loot: enough luxury food to last 4 more trials. 1 poorly cooked meal of luxury foods... So not as bad as it could be.
Injuries/Overstepping: minor oil burns on the skin. They should clear up, but keep them moisturized. And don't get almost condemned to hell later this dayyy.
Wealth Points: -1 wp for ingredients (luxury food worth 5 trials)
Consequences: none

Skill Review: All Skills used appropriately to PC's level
Notes: I really do enjoy a nice slice of life crafting thread. You went through the process of shopping, cooking, and following the recipes with a good pace. She displayed appropriate difficulty for her skill level in cooking (0) in my opinion, and while it's not well cooked, having it at luxury level probably ups the quality just a tad. I hope Balthazar appreciates the meal she will make him, and the regular whiskey.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this review, feel free to PM. Enjoy your rewards!
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