Maura_icon.gif Taril_icon.gif

Scene Title Lessons in Cooking
Synopsis Taril teaches Maura how to make soup.
Location Sundermount
Date July 2, 2016
Watch For Lessons in LSD mushrooms.
Logger Taril

Taril has already hunted and gathered the herbs he'll need. Maura already knows that much and, since he made plans to meet with the mage here for that cooking lesson, he's waiting with the unskinned rabbit and all the plant life what will go into it. There's a pot there that is pretty close to what they'll be given for long journeys away from ready supplies and he's already gotten the fire started.

Somehow Maura makes it to the meeting place alive and unscathed! Hurrah! No errant spells or strange happenings along the way to stop her. She's arrived with just herself and her stave, since she can now openly carry it without freaking out about Templars. "Rabbit stew, or rabbit soup?" she asks promptly, as soon as she's within spealing distance. Keen eyes take stock of the supplies, herbs, and plant life that's been collected.

Taril thinks it over for a second, then shrugs. "It's a thin stew. I think there's a name humans give it but I can't remember it. Most of the time to us it's just 'what you're going to eat'," he grins. "It covers everything you need in one bowl." With that, he pulls out his knife and points to the feet of the rabbit. "You have to cut around the joint of each food, then down the middle," he explains, then merely relies on show as he makes quick work of skinning the animal. The bits that won't be used are placed in a bowl and set aside. "You should always leave these behind but away from where you camp." And now, lucky Maura, you get a visual lesson in how to chop the animal up and take out the tiny bones.

Fortunately, after getting a very up close and personal view of ponider guts, this is… much cleaner to look at in a manner of speaking. She doesn't even turn green. "Right. So the animals get to it.. but not us." Maura agrees, paying close attention to what he's doing. "I believe it's been intimated that I have very ittle in the way of cooking skills. So you've already made a friend when I told Adair you'd be teaching me some of these things."

Taril laughs. "I'm pretty sure they don't teach you much self reliance in the Circle. It wouldn't do for you to be able to survive on your own. These parts," he points to the removed bones. "You tie into a piece of looseweave and put into the water to help make the broth. Then you won't choke on the little bones. You put the bones in with the herbs and roots so they cook." He cups one hand and points to the very center of the palm. "But don't put too many herbs in. Just about that much or you're going to be eating boiled herb soup."

"No, they certainly did not. We spent much of our time in scholarly pursuit and discipline. Not much else." Maura agrees, without any rancor as she listens. "So only put too many herbs in if I've been terribly irritated and want to get back at my traveling companions?" That dimple in her smile is surely dangerous. "Which roots do you suggest, then. I'm alright with picking herbs. But roots? I have no idea what works and what does not."

Taril pulls the bag with the root vegetables over. "It really depends on where you are, but I picked the ones that grow pretty much everywhere. You have to identify the tops So these…" He picks up a purple thing that looks like a carrot. "Are what carrots are when they're not grown in human gardens. Wild onion, garlic, wood turnips, and if you're in the Deep Roads…" A package containing two different kinds of mushroom is dumped out. "Look for these tops. You can survive on them if you have to. Only these. Any others look too much like the poison ones and only dwarves can really tell them apart. In fact, one will give you visions." He grins. "There are herbs you can put in a stew that will… purge the body. If they piss you off that much. Just make sure you go with a salad."

"Purple!" Maura, fascinated by carrot colors. Quite the scholar now, isn't she? And since they will be in the deep roads, she lifts up the packet of mushrooms to study them carefully and commit them to memory. "A vision? What kind of vision? Is it a real one?" Whups. Maybe Taril should have left that one out. Several people may not be pleased if she runs around on Thedas LSD equivalent.

Taril rolls his eyes and laughs. "The kind where things that don't move do and talk to you and you wake up hanging by your pants from a tree. I've seen it." And it was HILARIOUS. But only because it wasn't him. "Trust me, stick to these. Unless you're with someone who can save you from yourself, they're bad news. Plus, the person I witnessed threw up for the rest of the day."

"Oh." Maura sadfaces. "Well, there will be people there who can save me from myself. But, I don't really want to be throwing up all day. That's a shame." He does know she would have tried it if he didn't mention the puking part right? "Okay. Roots, herbs, bones.. how long does it need to cook together before it's ready? And what other small animals does this kind of soup work well for? Do NOT say spider." she adds, holding up a hand. Just no. NO.

At this point, if Taril DIDN'T know that, he'd have to resign as a hunter. "Just until you can poke them and get a fork or stick into them." He begins cutting up the vegetables to show the general size. "Nug, rabbit, deer, just about any animal that isn't too musky. If they're musky you have to soak them in vinegar and salt and it takes too long. Nug you can smoke to preserve and I'll show you how to do that sometime before you need to know how. …you CAN eat spider, but you don't want to. It tastes horrible and you only do it if you absolutely have to. Even then, just the legs. Never the body." See him shudder? He's had this lesson.

Maura is shuddering just thinking of eating spider of ANY kind let alone the body. Arglebargle! "Okay, got it." Fortunately, she does have something of a steel trap for a mind. So she really won't forget what she's being taught. "What about fish. Does this work for fish too? Well, maybe not. Way too many little bones for that. Maybe salted preserved fish if it's brought with?" At least she's interested.

"It can, but fish soups aren't easy to do so you'll probably be better off just gutting them, coating them in mud, and putting them in the coals of a fire. Once they're baked the skin comes off with the mud and they're easy to eat. Just eat them with your fingers so you don't miss any bones." If it sounds like a lot, imagine how young Taril had to start learning all of this. Since the water has been going a while, he pokes the roots with a long stick and then pours barley from a smaller container into the pot along with the meat. "You have to soak the barley to soften it, but this will make the soup stay with you as long as it would with bread. You can do it with preserved fish. You don't need to worry about broth making since it has salt already. Just don't do it with spider. Cook it to done and just get it over with. There's nothing that fixes that."

"Alright. I think I can manage this much, at least, while we're on the way to the deep roads. Did you sign on to that expedition with Varric? I believe it's going a bit later then the Grey Wardens' one." Maura points out, finding a nice flat rock to sit on. "Do you carry the barley in a container with water in it to keep it soaked? Or do you just add some water to it when you start to prepare everything else. And by the time you're ready to pour it in it's softened." Someone likes to be -exact-, okay?

Taril shakes his head. "No, I don't think I could…" See that shiver? "The place we ended up and these caves are one thing, but down there?" Congratulations, we have found a place where Teril isn't just happy to step into without worrying about the danger. "You keep it dry, then soak it before you're going to use it. It's important that you make sure it's always dry or a poisonous black mold could grow in it that causes madness and death." He thinks it over for a second and then shrugs. "But then, my Keeper says that facing what bothers you usually helps, so who knows?"

"Well, moldy madness and death bothers me, and I plan to keep avoiding that. So I think I'll keep the barley dry until it's time to use it." Maura decides, no matter what Keeper might have to say about food storage. On the other hand, she does nod solemnly at him. "Great. So you're basically saying even you're not dumb enough to go down there voluntarily. I can see how great an adventure this is going to be." Sigh. "Well, at least we'll be provisioned."

Taril chuckles once the soup is put together and all that is left is waiting for it to finish. "Maura, it's not that. It's… I have a hard time with being confined and those roads sound pretty confining. Besides, what do you mean 'Even Taril's not dumb enough'?" For that, he flings one of the barleycorns at her. "You don't have to be afraid of your environment when you understand it. I don't understand how stone that deep works and not being able to see the sky for days…"

"Well, you are the one who agreed to take me hunting. If you can face that, and then flinch at the idea of the Deep Roads." Taril sees where she's going with this right. And Maura laughs when the barleycorn stings the side of her cheek. "I see, I think. I suppose it will be rather disconcerting being down there. Maybe I should bring a bright blue sleep mask. So when I wake up and open my eyes I can pretend for a minute we're outside." She pauses. "Eh, no. That won't work. On the bright side, I am certain;y used to stone walls."

Taril shrugs. "That seemed more open. Honestly, I didn't even think that we were underground the entire time. Now I am. Thanks!" Another barleycorn is tossed before he uses the stick to pull out the bag with the bones. "There. It's done. I'll put it off to cool and you can take it home with you. I'm fairly sure you're going to have to get used to it. It could be worse." He gives a sympathetic look that slowly becomes a grin. "You're gonna be fine. This time you're going in because you chose to do it. It's better than staying safe behind walls and studying books."

"Anytime!" Maura quips, picking the barleycorn up and flinging it back at Taril. "And I liked studying books, thank you. Maybe I can find one to bring with to help me get to sleep. There'll always be a fire going to provide some light I imagine." But she does concede the point. "Yes, I am sure we'll be fine. And if we find anything that might interest you while we're there I'll make sure we bring it back for you."

"Ma serannas, lethallan. Hopefully I'll have some information about that place we found by the time you come back." Taril seems to think it over for a few seconds. "Of course, I may have to sneak into the Gallows to do it. That'll be a challenge." One that he's NOT afraid of, of course. "Alright, I'm going to go bury the bones and put the rest out for the animals to eat and then we can head back. The soup is yours, I already have mine for the day."

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