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July 15, 2024

The Aser Stories 02: Soup du Jour

By Sand Pilarski

"I never know what to cook..."

Early this morning, I open the door of the tree trunk that supports the front of my cave, and there's a note stuck in the door with one of those cheap daggers you find in the "Dollar Days Sale" bins, three in a package. Luckily for the note writer, there's also a little silver piece folded into the paper.

The note says, "My domestic tranquility is threatened because I never know what to cook in the evenings. Can you find me a divining spell so that I can know how to choose auspicious meals?"

In the first place, I know this note is stuck in the door of my house because if I'd been asked this question in person, I'd have had my staff knocking some sense into the head that was asking. Still, the silver will get enough putty to fill in the gouges and dinners for the week besides.

In the second place, this is a question that plagues only persons that have enough silver to seek to buy spells or menu selections or hack at people's front doors.

In the third place, I plan on keeping the silver, and maybe getting more from the same source, so here is my suggestion.

Make a list of all the things you can eat.

Cross off the list all the things you won't eat. (Some people simply will not even sample skunk, for instance.)

Write down on another piece of paper, "Oatmeal and dried beans."

The next step is like a personality quiz: do you love the market, with its daily haggling for the freshest goods and the best price? Or do you hate bumping shoulders with barbarians and dwarves and lizard-persons? If you hate the market, then what you do is get a goat at the beginning of the week, and the menus run as follows. Firstday, roast goat. Twosday, sliced goat with goat gravy. Thirdday, chopped goat over steamed grain with goat gravy. Midweek, goat stew with herbs to kill the smell. Fifthday, bread because the smell of goat will make you gag. Sixthday, soup made from stock from goat bones with lots of onions. Lastday, oatmeal or beans.

On the other hand, if you like the market, just go down there each morning and see what looks good. If nothing does, try just having oatmeal or beans every day for a week and a lot more things will look like they want to be cooked on your hearth, and will seem auspicious as well.

Incidentally, spells, divining or otherwise, cost two gold pieces, payable in advance.

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2007-02-12
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