Prosatio Silban and the Fellow Seeker

(Four printed pages. If you’re new to these tales, here are the preface and introduction.)

SOME MORNINGS, THE FOOD BAZAARS in many-quayed Soharis are a-bustle with moneyed and caffeinated customers; others substitute sustained novelty for their pitiful lack of custom.

Prosatio Silban sighed inwardly. The beefy cook’s galleywagon had been parked for three days near the entrance to the bayside city’s main victual market. While the first two days had been reasonably profitable, he was beginning to despair of the third. It’s still early yet, he reminded himself. And fortune’s wheel has many turns.

He considered his painted menu board, which advertised eighteen modest but effective satisfactions for the appetites of hungry marketgoers, under the three-color declaration “The Cook For Any Price.”

5 Thoughts: Lessons Learned by an Autodidactic Home Cook

1. THE SMALLER THE KITCHEN, THE greater the discipline. And the organization.

2. Thrift rules. In other words, there are no such things as “leftovers” — only the beginnings of future meals. (Thank you, Tamar Adler, for this bit of back-pocket wisdom.)

3. Keep your most-used recipes hanging over your main prep-counter/stove. Keep also a folder for (annotated!) recipes already cooked, in addition to filing future-use recipes by preparation media (“skillet,” “sheet pan,” “slow cooker,” etc). Organization, remember?

An Arrow Escape (A Prosatio Silban Tale)

(Four-and-a-half printed pages. If you’re new to these tales, here are the preface and introduction.)

THE LAW IN STONY-HEARTED Tirinbar mandated that all escaped slaves and their liberators were to be killed when located – but that could not deter Prosatio Silban from trying to do the right thing.

The beefy cook, born and raised in the less-pitiless parts of the Uulian Commonwell, acted with decency as a matter of course. But when the slight, copper-skinned young woman appeared late one evening on the figurative doorstep of his buopoth-drawn galleywagon (parked in the only location he could find, which had turned out to be a seldom-visited spot hard by the mountainside city’s main marketplace) his first motivation was profit.

Prosatio Silban and the Mapping Lesson

(Five printed pages. If you’re new to these tales, here are the preface and introduction. Enjoy!)

NIGHT, AND THE CLEAN SMELL of salt. Slap of waves and wind-flapped canvas. Creak of leaping timbers. An urgent overhead call, and a soft but substantial splat.

I just served that, Prosatio Silban thought in mild vexation, and grabbed a nearby mop.

It was not the beefy cook’s first brush with someone else’s seasickness, and in fact he himself had suffered from the Mariner’s Malady for the first three days of his current adventure. For he was aboard the Golden Rose, working his passage around and across the Rimless Sea by helping out in the galley (and environs) as needed. Right now, that meant standing vigilant on the weather deck with seedcakes and a hotpot of yava to ballast the crew’s queasy stomachs – and a ready mop for when he couldn’t.

5 Thoughts: Pattern Matching

1. THERE ARE TWO TORAH STORIES which have troubled me for some time.

2. The first is about the giving of the Ten Statements (AKA the “Ten Commandments,” but “statements” is closer to the actual Hebrew). What should have been a joyful event was marred by the incident of the Golden Calf — epiphany ruined by idolatry.

3. The second has to do with the consecration of the Tabernacle: the portable God-tent containing, among other things, the Ark of the Covenant (which itself contained the aforementioned Statements).

Prosatio Silban and the Sovereign Cure

(Five-and-a-half printed pages, inspired by our current situation. If you’re new to these tales, here are the preface and introduction. Enjoy!)

THEY SAY, SOMETIMES, THAT THE cure is worse than the disease. But to Prosatio Silban’s way of thinking, that just means it must be the wrong cure.

The Cook For Any Price was slowly driving his galleywagon along the dusty main street of an apparently deserted village. He had been there before, though long enough ago that he had forgotten its name. However, he did remember the laughter of its children, the music of its minstrels, and the burble of its creek. It had then been a small but bustling hamlet of some two hundred lively souls – but now, all that greeted him were the deep croaking of creekside bullfrogs and the dismal drone of hidden watch-crickets. A pennant of smoke hung in the distance, the view of its source blocked by tumbledown shacks.