Thursday, April 20, 2017

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learning to burn, part 31

Start HERE if you haven't read this story before.  If you have, you know the drill.  Basically, this is a mess.  It's the basic, bare-bones story... mistakes and weird notes to myself included.

Shabred leans against the wall of the building a step behind them and the rest follow his example. “This shop gots the best meat pies, it do. Finnigal, he make 'em new every morning, he do. I like the kind he makes, I do. I be hoping Rumier knowed it, or he might get the wrong thing, he might. We just waits and sees, we will.”
A few moments later Rumier comes out with a bulging brown bag. “I didn't haggle with the fellow. His prices are more than fair, especially for the size of these pies. We might not be hungry for lunch if we each eat a whole one. Perhaps we can each split one and bring the rest to the littles back at Gablehaven.”
“That sounds great for the girls, Rumier. But I think Ofonode should have one to himself. Don't you think so Binia?”
“Yes. Yes, I certainly do. I think that boy is getting ready to grow a few inches. He needs as much food as he can eat.”
Ofonode quietly stands against the building, listening to the two ladies, feeling thankful that they are so generously covering for his crazy tummy.
“Well, that's fine with me. Shabred and Oseratin, do you want one to yourself, my good men?”
“No. I's thinking it be good for me to wait to eat until noonsies.”
“I was just thinking something very much the same, Rumier. I'll wait.
“I think I'll join you two. We'll end up with even more to share with the littles that way. That sounds perfect.” Rumier passes a meat pie to Eminghare and one to Ofonode. Eminghare splits hers with Binia.
Before Eminghare can take a bite, Ofonode speaks up, “Maybe we should say a blessing?”
“Yes! I'll say it.” Binia replies. She blesses the food and they begin eating.
Between mouthfuls, Eminghare says, “This is delicious! What in the world is in this thing? I mean, I know there must be some sort of meat, but I've never tasted anything so good!”
Rumier smiles. “Finnigal butchered some peacocks for a wedding and received a few for payment. He was very pleased to tell me that the peacock in these pies is even more delectable than pheasant of the hills, which are renowned in our city.”
“Oh. Isn't that interesting? Have you ever had anything so delicious, Binia?”
“I have lived much longer than you, my friend. This is delicious, for sure. Yet, the food on my planet in comparison is heavenly in a way I cannot manage to put into words without feeling as thought I might cry right now.”
“We don't want anyone crying, now, do we.” Oseratin interjected calmly.
Ofonode finishes his whole pie before Binia and Eminghare.
“Aren't you the hungry one, Ofonode?” Rumier notes.
“Binia said he was getting ready to grow a lot, didn't you hear, Rumier? Growing requires a lot of energy, I think.”
“Too true. Well, let's be on our way, then.”
Ofonode hangs back to walk behind everyone else in the group. He is careful not to think anything at all and just focuses on walking. He notices that Eminghare looks back at him periodically, but she doesn't say anything.
The group finishes gathering all the items they can before arriving at the central market. Shabred seems very excited and the rest, feeling his anticipation, feel excited, too.
“How about we all go to different tents and choose some food, then gather at the fountain and share what we've collected. That way you'll get to try a wider variety of foods regularly made here in THE NAME OF THE CITY.”
“Good to me. How do we pay, though. I don't even know what kind of currency you use here.” Ofonode is excited to choose some food, feeling very hungry again.
Rumier considers a moment, “Currency would be too limiting. After you choose your food, ask the price. Once you know, tell them to charge it to Lady Grace. Make sure to tell them that you will tell me the price they quote you and that they will be paid as usual. If we do it this way, you are free to get as much food from whichever tent you choose.”
The members of the group separate and wander around the court area. Ofonode finds a barbeque tent almost immediately. The listed portions and serving options are almost more than his gurgling tummy can take as he stands in line looking over the options and smelling the delectable aromas.
When he has the deep dish he's selected full of sweet baked beans, 6 fluffy buns, and mounds of moist brisket with pink around the edges and barbeque sauce smothering it, Ofonode makes his way to the central fountain. He finds Shabred waiting there. “You were even faster than me! How did you manage it, Shabred?”
“The best stall is over there, out of the way-like, it be. At the end o'the day it be empty of folk, but still full o'food, it were. Some day it won't be so easy to eat so well, but today they still had plenty, they did.”
“And it looks quite good. What is it?”
“Fried veggies, biscuits, and gravy for dipping all of it, it be. And mighty good in the mouth, they are.”
Just as he finishes describing his choices, Eminghare and then very quickly after her the rest of the group arrives. Rumier is carrying food in front of him and something under his arm. Oseratin has something under his arm as well. Rumier sets his food down near Shabred and then sets up a table. He takes another from under Oseratin's arm and sets it very near the first. “This way we can all eat from the table like civilized folk. I even have small dishes so we can serve ourselves from the main dishes.”
“Very good thinking, indeed, Rumier. I'm very glad. I was wondering how we would manage to share food in some semblance of order and avoiding too many messes.” Oseratin looks pleased as he commends Rumier.
February 17, 2017
Shabred puts his dish down and wanders away as everyone else situates themselves. When he reappears, he carries two chairs.
“Splendid idea, my good fellow! Now we'll all be able to eat without everyone reaching over everyone else.” Oseratin had been sitting farthest away from the tables. He rises and sits opposite the rest, next to Shabred who also sits in a chair.
“I would like to share what I chose and hear what everything else on the table is. I'll start and we can go around the table.” The others nod their heads. As he suggested, Rumier starts, standing as he speaks, he begins passing food out to each person as he describes his choices, “Mine is a variety of veggies sauteed in smoked sesame seed oil. The potatoes are cut thin and fried and then white truffle oil drizzled over and pink salt sprinkled on top. These are the best potatoes on this planet, I'm sure. The meat is thin cut loin of a gargar beast which was first marinated in a sweet sauce and then slow roasted. This is my favorite food from the market.” The food he chose was completely passed out and only his plate left by the time he finished describing it. He served himself and sat down to eat what he had on his plate.
Oseratin stood and also began passing out food as he begins talking, “I've only been here once and none of the purveyors are the same as those I experienced before. However, the same family owns and runs the little fish stand right over there.” He points to a stand far across the square. “I am excited to see if the items I've selected taste the same as they did on my last try! I chose the pila fish fried wraps, smother berry dipping sauce, and buriburin veggies sauteed with guriguri butter. I hope I got enough. I wasn't sure how hungry everyone would be.” He realizes as he seats himself that he neglected to put food on his plate and rises immediately to rectify the neglect, which leaves nothing remaining in the dish he had filled.
Binia rises and begins serving, “I have been here more frequently than Oseratin. The family who vends ba few tents away from the pila wrap tent has also been using the same techniques and recipes for generations. I feel confident that what I have chosen will hold true to what I have enjoyed in the past. You will enjoy what looks like small sweet rolls. They are sweet, but they are stuffed with a blend of ground guriguri with banbani and zukie veggies. In my opinion, these rolls are best when dipped in the very light shuriban sauce. In fact, because it is so thin, I will simply serve the sauce right over the rolls. They just are not the same without it. I also chose some binbin fruit mixed with shiria paste. It's almost like a cookie, but neither the paste nor the fruit has been touched by heat. So, they are in their wonderful delicious raw state. The binbin fruit is very juicy, so be aware that it may dribble down your chin if you're not careful.” Binia retakes her seat and eats the food she's served herself.
Eminghare rises. “I have never been here before and it took me a while to choose. Basically everything I passed looked wonderful. I may have finally stopped just because I was so hungry. But these little dumplings are just way too cute to pass up. And I saw a few people standing around outside the tent eating them and those folks looked like they were in heaven. So… I chose these gangan stuffed dumplings. I'm sure there's probably more than just gangan in it. I just don't know what it is. The dipping sauce is made from portotelun fruit and smoked sesame oil. They might have added some soopy berry, at least I thought so by the smell. I also chose these slices of sauteed shimby veggie. I think there may also be some zuke and marzoon mixed in as well. I think it smelled absolutely divine in the tent. I hope everyone likes it!” Eminghare sits and tries the sauteed veggies first and almost melts into her seat with the pleasure. She definitely feels like she chose well with those.
“The food yous all choseded is very good, it were. It be fancy and filled my mouth with new wonders, it did. I feared yous might not like my plain choices so much, I do. But I choosed the best fluffiest biscuits with fried veggie, I did. And there be a thick gravy for dipping, there is. Yous should take some iffin you like to, you should.” Shabred served everyone some veggies and buscuits, but didn't serve the gravy. He takes his seat, his head hanging.
“I think this gravy is divine. It has gargar beast sausage in it, doesn't it, Shabred?”
Shabred raises his head, looking less downcast, “Yes, yes it do, Rumier. The tent that sell it raise them their gargar beast themselves, they do. Some of the best in the market, I says!”
“I think you may be right. I'll have to tell my mother so she can be sure to look into their gargar beast for Gablehaven.
Shabred sits taller and smiles widely.
“I'll serve now if anyone is still hungry.” Ofonode stands.
“I be hungry still, Ofonode.” Shabred offers first.
“Me too.” The rest say.
“I probably stopped at the first tent I went to. I chose this barbequed brisket. I don't know which beast it came from and didn't think to ask. I guess I was feeling so hungry I wasn't thinking about getting details about the food. I also chose these fluffy buns. Sorry that they have the barbeque sauce on top and bean juice stuff on bottom. I'm sure they packed the dish this way so the meat would stay out of the beans. I don't know if anything is in the buns. I guess I should have asked, but it didn't occur to me, honestly. The beans are shuri-sweet striped purple hine beans. I had no idea they would grow so far away from home, but if they are like the ones my Aunt and I grew, they will be very creamy and delicious. And, of course, shuri bugs make the most amazing sweet goo… so, I'm sure the beans will be almost like a dessert.” Ofonode sits and eats his choices, feeling well satisfied and pleased that everything tastes as good as he thought it would.
He finishes eating before anyone else and sits back in his chair, wondering if he could eat more if there were more to eat.
“There's a little left in that dish, Ofonode. Why don't you finish it?” Eminghare suggests.
Ofonode sits up, thinks a moment, “Does anyone else want more?”
Everyone else shakes their heads and pats their stomachs, so Ofonode serves himself the rest of the food left in Eminghare's dish.
As he is finishing, Oseratin begins gathering the dishes, “What do we do with these, Rum"ier?”
“It is time we get along. Yes, we should place all of these dishes in the basket over there.” Ofonode looks and find a loosely woven rope basket resting in a secondary pool, which is lower than the main fountain. Water from the fountain pours slowly into the pool and falls on the dishes. “By the time the owners collect them, they are quite clean. The fountain statue is made of sharzuma… and you should know that extremely small particles of it can be found in all the fountain water. In fact, this fountain feeds every building that has running water. So, our whole city is nourishes by sharzuma water. We are healthier than most other NAME OF THE PLANET NATIVES?”
“That is mostly true, but not entirely, my good fellow. You will know more as you travel and see the world.”
Rumier blushes and ducks his head a little. “Well, let's get on our way. We have a couple more stops to make and I would like to get home to help finish the dinner preparations and share the meat pies with the little ones!”
Everyone stands, Shabred disappears with the two chairs and tables and rejoins the group as they make their way out of the square.
Rumier acknowledges Shabred service, “Thank you for taking care of those things, Shabred! You are such a helpful kind-a-fellow!”
Shabred smiles widely and walks taller.
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