Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sally, Part 13

1.  I'm still sick (which is why I didn't post yesterday), but I haven't thrown up for at least 12 hours.
2.  My baby got her shots yesterday and didn't cry to much.
3.  We got her ears pierced (don't judge) and she didn't cry too much then either.

You'll need to read Part 12 for this one to make much sense.

And to The Cook's surprise, Mattias let it happen.  He peeled and boiled potatoes, seasoned pork, mashed potatoes, cooked pork, seasoned potatoes and put the food in large bowls to take out to the crew, all without a single person coming in to bother him.  Stacey stepped out of his room and noticed that no one stood guarding it.  No one cared that he hadn't left his room yet, and no one cared if he was going to try to escape.  Of course, 'escaping' off the side of the boat in the middle of the sea was hardly an intelligent thing to do.  It was certain death to sea-monsters or sharks if you were lucky, exposure if you were not.  So, it made sense to Stacey that no one stood by his door.

It didn't take long for the crew to come though.  Like animals in the desert know it's going to rain because it happens so rarely, so it is with sailors and good food.  The aroma spread throughout the ship, starting at The Cook's quarters and on.  Like the Pied Piper he walked through the ship and on to where he usually fed the men, and most of the crew had formed a line behind him.  Even Mattias interestedly stood at a distance, but not too far a distance that the food's smell could not flood his nose when the breeze caught it just right.

The intoxication hadn't fully taken effect yet though.  Like with all great art, the first look, the first listen, or the first smell only piques an interest.  When a person fully gets immersed, that's when its full beauty can be felt.  And so, the sailors lined up for what could only be described later as their own slice of heaven.  The first in line was the giant who had lifted Stacey off the deck upon their first meeting.  To be fair, he wasn't actually a giant, but had giant ancestry.  And the humans that made up the rest of his blood were not small people either (which is how one of them came to mate with a giant).  He took his share and thanked The Cook.

Stacey hadn't meant for this to happen, but his cooking would give him a proper look at the crew, all 183 of them.  To call it a mish-mash of lifeforms would be an understatement.  Golnar was hardly the most interesting. Along with the humans Stacey expected to find, here were Dark Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, Orcs, Halflings, Half-Elves, Wood Elves, Hobgoblins, a couple of Trolls, and a few species that Stacey had never seen.  Each of them grabbed a plate of mashed potatoes and pork, and each of them got lost in the flavor.

Great food is hard to come by, and even harder to explain.  It starts with the scent.  It can't be overpowering, but soothing.  Great food smells like a home never lived in, but only dreamed of.  It's a warm blanket, and a crackling fire, both inviting and interesting.  It's a smell that beckons, and asks everyone in the vicinity to just take one bite.  Then, when the food finally makes its way past the lips, a whole new sensation comes, a warm delightful feeling that spreads from point of entry to every extremity.  It makes the eater forget where he is, forget every worry and every care that he had before that magnificent bite.  Often, it's said that great food is gobbled down, but that isn't so.  Great food, truly great food, requires no effort to savor.  One need not remind himself to take his time and enjoy every single bite, because he will do it naturally.  Every mouthful will amaze him, and it will take time to overcome that amazement, no matter how fast he might want to finish his plate.

And so it was with Stacey's meal.  Mattias was the last to get a plate.  He had already heard the moans of delight from the other sailors, but he kept his affect to a minimum.  "It's not poisoned is it?"

Stacey suddenly realized his stupidity.  He had the ingredients and could have sent every sailor to hell, but instead, he fed them all heaven.  "No, sir."

"Good, because we have an amazing cleric who could have brought us all back from anything, and then we would have had to kill you."

Maybe not so stupid.  "Yep, it's just food.  Take a bite."

For Mattias to be properly described, it has to be said that he is a master of his own faculty.  Nothing phases him, and he knows how control every joint and tendon, and yet, when he took that first bite, even he had to close his eyes and marvel at the flavor.  He was a little short of breath.  "You say you got these potatoes in Andrill?"

"Yes, sir."

"How did you get that rancid taste out of them?"

"I've been working on that for years sir.  Potatoes were the first I tried with, I'm working on the carrots now."

"Goodness."  He'd taken another bite. "We still need you to be able to fight, but I care much less now about you closing your eyes."

2 comments:

  1. Awesome! Nice story! Keep it coming!!
    P.S. Take care, will you?

    ReplyDelete