First off, just let me go ahead and get this out of the way– Vacations are amazing. When they happen in the mountains of New Mexico, that makes it that much better. My body is here this morning, but my mind is still about eleven-thousand feet above sea level.
That being said, I thought I’d drop a little scene from my current WIP. It is a YA Fantasy novel about a girl who dreams of becoming a Chef. Her hopes are sidelined, and maybe cooked, when she accidentally kills, cooks, and serves the only animal capable of producing a cure for her poisoned King. In the same meal, she also manages to kill off the King’s Champion, the man who had just traversed hundreds of miles to secure the animal.
She fed another piece of wood into her stove and grabbed her butcher’s knife from its place in her old, scarred knife block. The hilt was wrapped in twine to keep it from separating, but it was familiar. She split the garlic and broke it apart with the backside of her blade, then julienned it with quick, methodical slices. She crushed these with the flat of her blade, inhaling the pungent, savory smell of fresh garlic.
Grinning, she scooped up her garlic and dumped it into a wooden bowl. She glanced over at Cezil to see the boy already browning his thick-cut bread.
She bit her lip and cracked her one egg, careful to make the break as clean as possible. Holding the open egg over the bowl, she stared from the waiting egg to the garlic. She knew what she wanted to do in her mind, but translating that to reality was something else entirely.
“Bloody burns,” she muttered and turned to another empty bowl. She passed the egg back and forth from one-half of the shell to the other until only the yolk remained, then dumped that in with the garlic. She grabbed a whisk and mixed.
“Too thick,” she muttered. She grabbed the carafe of oil and dribbled some into the bowl as she mixed. After a long minute of this, she set the jar down and grabbed her lemons. A quick slice with her butcher knife had both split evenly down the middle and she squeezed them into her mixture, then attacked it once more with her whisk.
“What in NAMEOFGOD’s name are you even doing?” Cezil asked from just over her shoulder.
“Cooking,” Callan said, giving the mixture a few more turns with the whisk. She dipped a finger in and brought it to her tongue. She had to force herself not to moan with pleasure at the garlicy taste. With a serrated knife, she sliced off two medium-sized pieces of her freshly baked bread, then lathered both sides with butter. She threw a small pat of butter onto the stove and grinned as it sizzled, but didn’t jump about. Perfect.
She laid one piece of bread onto the surface, then with the bread knife scooped up some of the garlic mixture. She spread it on thickly and hurried to the spit where the beef waited. With her butcher’s knife, she sliced off thin cuts from the bottom, where the juices had run down while cooking. She set these on her station and rushed to the icebox. The huge block of ice sat in the bottom, the shelves above it filled with creams and, most importantly, cheeses. She grabbed a few chunks of goat cheese and ran back to her stove.
Rather than cut the cheese evenly, she tore chunks off and dropped them onto her garlic mixture, pushing the bread around gently. She placed the slices of beef on top of the cheese and then the other piece of bread.
“You’ve ruined it, you know that, right?” Cezil said, arms folded across his chest. If Callan didn’t know any better, she’d say he was worried. “You left it on there way too long, Cal.”
“Uh-huh,” Callan muttered. As gently as possible, she slid her butcher’s knife under the sandwich. Had she left it on there too long? Though she didn’t let it show on her face, worry gnawed at her insides. She’d built the fire up gradually. How long had it been on there? Crap, she’d lost track of the minutes. Had it been minutes?
It had to be perfect. This was her chance. She had to cook this dinner.
There! And, don’t laugh at me. I haven’t decided on the names for their Gods yet, so… NAMEOFGOD it is!