COOKING IS MORE THAN SIMPLY preparation: it is also a celebration of source, and hence a manifestation of living history.
“Where did you find this recipe?” m’Lady Phytan Gorrista asked between well-laden forkfuls. “I have never tasted its like.”
Prosatio Silban bowed deeply. “That is always gratifying to hear, m’Lady. As you may imagine, there is a story attached to its discovery. I was recently traveling in the uninhabited hills far to the northwest of epicurean Pormaris…”
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– Definition: v. 1. hit or beat (someone) repeatedly 2. defeat thoroughly in a match or contest
– Used in a sentence: Isn’t it nice when the Bad Guys finally get a well-deserved drubbing?
– Why: Because “B.T.S.O.O. him” is too vulgar.
A CHANCE ENCOUNTER CAN SOMETIMES be profitable – but the profit, though rich, needn’t necessarily be monetary.
The sun was just kissing the golden-hilled western horizon when Prosatio Silban pulled up on the plaited yak-hair reins, signaling his dray-beast to halt for the evening. So much for reaching Possum Toss before sunset, he thought. Fortunately, as the Poet puts it, ‘Home is wherever you spend the night.’
He stepped down from the driver’s bench, raised the seat, and rummaged in the jute sack beneath. Producing a greasy maroon fatberry-cake, he fed this to his dray-beast, told it what a good dray-beast it was, then stepped back up past the bench and opened the galleywagon’s horizontally-split double doors. He yawned, stretched his sitting-stiffened legs, and absorbed his surroundings. A balmy evening, and what looks like a shady morning-spot. An outdoor supper is definitely what’s called for.
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A JOKE, ANECDOTE, OR SHAGGY-DOG story should be no longer than necessitated by the redemptive power of its punch line.
PROSATIO SILBAN STOOD UP, WIPED his hands on his kneebreeches and cursed mildly in the name of a minor god. If only this wheel hadn’t broken, he thought, I’d now be in many-harbored Soharis cooking fresh-caught fish for wealthy or needful marketgoers.
It wasn’t that he resented his galleywagon’s occasional problems — after all, any traveler sometimes had to bear with same — but recent events were enough to push the Cook For Any Price to his patience-limits. First had come the cancellation of his contract for the annual feast to Pyolo, Spirit of the Anticipatory Benevolence, with the burghers of bucolic Oakstraw when they discovered that he was a self-defrocked Sacreant. “It’s nothing personal,” they told him. “But we can’t hire for a holy festival someone disenchanted with the Flickering Gods, can we?”
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