Late Lunch and Tuber Peeling

Xanadu Weyr - Kitchens

It seems that with the fire that destroyed much of the kitchen, care has been taken to restore it to a condition well beyond what it was orignally. And thus state of the art equipment has been brought in from the various crafts to be used - stoves and large ovens replacing the hearths, while thin metal sheets have been installed over each countertop, for both ease of use and ease of cleanup. A large pantry remains generally open, containing a all the nonperishable goods, while a similarly large icechest contains the perishable goods.

Afternoon and the kitchens are bustling, though not quite as busy as they would be directly before a meal was due to be served. A lot of prep work at the moment, slicing and chopping and peeling, whilst the Bakers and their helpers chatter about this, that and the other. Out of place and out of the way, Ashkeia's tucked into a nook with a plate and cup near to hand, finishing off an 'I missed lunch' sandwich.

Pora is not quite so lucky as to have escaped being roped in to help with all the preparations for dinner. Already covered in flour from an earlier attempt at assisting in the baking, she has now been relegated to peeling tubers, seated near Ashkeia's nook with a knife and a large bag full of them. She's looking a little bored as she peels them one by one, tossing them into a basket she has nearby. "Day off?" She asks, making idle conversation.

Ashkeia's brows lift as Pora's question pulls her out of whatever preoccupation had her attention somewhere else. Lifting her hand to shield her mouth, a self-conscious gesture though she is a neat eater, the portly woman shakes her head as she finishes chewing. "No," once she's swallowed. "Just on a break. I've been stuck with a broom in hand all morning. This little adventure is going to ruin my hands." Sighing, she grimaces in distaste as she looks mournfully at one of the appendages in question. With a chin nod for the sack of tubers, "What about you? This your idea of fun?"

"Not really." Pora says with a little bit of a frown, eyes on the tuber which she is currently attempting to peel. It wouldn't be good to get distracted and end up with a cut, after all. "Well, my hands were pretty much ruined from farmwork before I ever got searched… what did you do before this?" She asks, curious. "Did you work in a craft?"
Ashkeia plunks the last bit of corner crust that's all that remains of her meal back onto the plate, dusting crumbs off her fingers. "Oh? What sort of farm are you from?" is asked with seemingly genuine interest. "Mmn, yeah. Glasscrafter, though technically I'm more of an artist, you could say. I don't actually make glass, I just decorate it."

Pora chucks the latest peeled tuber into the basket, looking in Ashkeia's direction as she plucks another one from the bag. "Oh, no place special. My family owns a farm a couple days' ride away. We rotate the crops every turn to keep the soil fresh. This year it was just grain." She starts peeling the next tuber. "Really? What kind of glass pieces did you decorate?" She asks.

"Your own farm?" Ashkeia looks impressed as she glances back towards Pora. "That's a bit more special than working someone else's land." Picking up her cup she takes a sip, turns sideways to the counter to lean her elbow there. "All kinds, really. I started out with painting, and can do almost anything a person wants; ornaments, plates, cups; you name it. I came here to study under an etcher, and can do windows and mirrors, too." Tilting her head, she asks with a small smile, "So whose meddlesome dragon reordered your life?"

"My family does." Pora says with a little smile, even without looking up from the tuber. "I'm set to inherit it. But… well, with this whole candidacy thing, it might end up going to my younger brother instead." In answer to the second question, she pauses and looks up, grinning. "K'ael's. He's a nice guy. Have you met him? How about you?"

Ashkeia nods. "My family work for a small holder up near Lemos. So it was either a Craft or marriage for us to have any prospects." She laughs then, softly, "Yeah, I know K'ael. Riff and Raff trot across a few pages of my sketchbook. Haven't really seen him around all that often though… he always seems to be gone whenever I'd swing past his cottage. Me? Oh. Oceleth… O'ric's brown. You know him?"

"Oh? Did you have a lot of suitors?" Pora asks, curious, as another peeled tuber is chucked into the basket. "I haven't met O'ric… truth be told, I haven't met very many riders at all. I'd never set foot in a weyr before a few months ago. My family just needed me to take the harvest in to be sold."

At the word 'suitors' Ashkeia chokes a bit, spluttering into her cup. Setting it down she presses a hand to her chest and fists the other over her mouth, coughing. "Sorry. Excuse me," she wheezes. The corners of her mouth tremble, and after a moment she loses the battle and just grins. "I was thirteen when I apprenticed. My younger sister Shalana has more than she can handle, though, or so I'm told. My brother Dash has gone to Beastcraft and Keisha's still too little; only 10. What about you? Pretty, potential heiress; guys should be lining up."

Pora laughs a little at the compliments, smiling bashfully and tucking a bit of her hair back behind her ear. "That's sweet of you to say." She says, distracted for a moment before she busies herself with the tubers once more. "But no, not really. I mean, we are kind of out in the middle of nowhere. Our farm, I mean. I never really met any boys, much less any that showed any interest…" She grins, a little rueful. "… And even now that I'm around so many boys, that part isn't really changing."

"Pssh," Ashkeia dismisses 'sweet' with a wave of her hand. She nods her understanding for 'middle of nowhere,' her nose wrinkling slightly. "Mmn, yeah. Kind of hard to get to know someone in the flurry of a Gather, too, if you can attend them. At least right now, it's probably that," gesturing at the white knot, "scaring them off."

"Yeah. I mean, I went to a couple of gathers a turn, but that seems like a tough way to find a husband." Pora agrees as she skins another one of the tubers. "Like you said, you barely get to know them." She catches the gesture to her knot, eyeing it for a moment. "Oh, I don't know…" She sighs and slices another peel of skin from the tuber. "They sure seem to notice Quila, and she's got one of them." There's a little hint of jealousy in here tone there.

Ashkeia stacks her cup on her plate, crust of bread snugging around the bottom edge, then glances around the kitchen briefly. "Want me to help with some of those? I've got a bit of time yet before I have to report to Janecin for the afternoon; might as well make myself useful," she offers. Brows furrowing slightly, "Quila… can't say that I've met her. At least, not to stick the name to a face, though I've probably seen her if she's one of us. Some girls are just more charismatic, I suppose. Me, I don't worry overmuch about it. Romance just gets in the way of studying, and I had my eye on getting Journeyman by my twentieth." She pauses, shrugging her shoulders as she sighs. "That plan sort of got put on hold, though."

"Oh, would you?" Pora replies with a gleeful smile, clearly quite pleased by the offer of help. "I'd really appreciate it… the sooner I'm done with this, the sooner I can enjoy the rest of my day. Thank you… I'll owe you one." She sets the tuber bag upon the table so that Ashkeia may take as many as she'd like. The topic of Quila earns a little smirk. "You'll know her when you see her, trust me." She sighs. "I shouldn't talk bad about her, though. She's really very nice. It's just… well, you know."

"I'd rather peel than get a broom thrown at me again," Ashkeia confides with a wink. "Less blisters!" She casts about to locate another knife suitable for peeling, and a kitchen towel to wipe her hands off on. Once ready she pulls a tuber out of the sack, bouncing it a couple of times in her hand before bending her attention to stripping it of its outer skin. "Yeah, I know," says the fat girl who tends to have to look down more often than up to meet a man's eyes. "But you know what? If a guy can't see past the packaging, he's probably not worth the effort of getting his attention, anyway." She gives a little sniff, her lips twitching. Hmph. Boys. "You mentioned a younger brother," she changes the subject. "Do you have any more siblings, or is he the only one?"

"Can't argue with that." Pora says, scooting over a little to make room for Ashkeia by her at the table, resuming the peeling with a cheery smile on her face. "And I guess you're probably right… but still, it gets a little tough. I was chatting with this boy they searched just yesterday, when she walked into the barracks. Needless to say, his jaw practically hit the floor and he lost some interest in our conversation." She says with a little laugh. "Oh, and hardly. I have two older brothers, an older sister, and three younger brothers. It's a big family."

Ashkeia nods her agreement, eyes flickering briefly in a quick glance up before dropping again to make sure sharp knife stays away from soft flesh. "I hear that. It would be nice to meet a guy that was actually interested, I have to admit. I just don't want to be one of those girls who waits around for the perfect Harper tale to happen, and never actually does anything, you know? My sister's like that. Shalana. She'll drift along in the kitchens at Windy Ridge until some guy finally asks her to wear a red dress, end up hip deep in babies and probably be happy as a flitter in a bucket of fish guts for it." She shakes her head, bemused, but also sort of fond for the absent sibling. "Shells, seven of you? And you're the one set to inherit…. What do your older sibs do, that one of them won't be taking over, if you don't mind me asking?"

Pora smiles brightly over at Ashkeia. "Well, don't you worry. It hasn't happened yet, but my sister says weyrs are the perfect places to meet boys. And she usually knows what she's talking about when it comes to these sorts of things. You'll find one, I know you will." Eyes go back to the tuber to resume skinning. "The oldest is a Healer, over at High Reaches. The next is a Harper, at Fort. My sister is a Weaver. So, that leaves me."

Ashkeia laughs, a return smile given as she nods. "Both of us will," she ammends. And after a pause, adds with another laugh, "And probably when we're not actually looking!" She 'ahh's a little as the list of Crafts is given, nodding her head as she chucks her peeled tuber into the basket and reaches for another. "Quite a diverse group; must be proud." Her conversation turns to inconsequential Weyr gossip after that, idle chatter to pass the time while she helps to get those tubers peeled before she has to go attend her Journeyman for the better part of the afternoon. Even Candidacy can't entirely interrupt a Crafter's life.

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