A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That   2503.08.17*  
Written By: Mike H.
(2009 Sept/Oct. Fic Trade) Starskimmer experiments with her recipes and finds that the clean up afterwards can be very rewarding.
Posted: 12/14/09      [11 Comments]

The sun was just rising and most of the elves were returning to their dens to take their rest. On this particular morning though, Starskimmer would not be joining them. She peeked out of her den across the now quiet Holt, mischief clearly glinting in her eyes. Once she was satisfied that no one would see her she scurried over towards the craft trees and then into the area she used for her brewing.

There was really no particular reason to be sneaking, except that it gave her a bit of a thrill to do so. This morning she was feeling adventurous and felt like experimenting, so she decided she would have some fun with it. Life was after all too short to be dour and gloomy. The more fun she could have with her work the better!

Once safely in her little work area she pulled the skins shut over the doorway and lit her candles. Now, with light to work by, she pulled the skins away that were covering the stone urns she had been working on. Sometimes being a stoneshaper had its advantages. The tribal pranksters had in the past salted her wines and she wanted to avoid such a thing happening again. Never mind that for the most part those pranksters were her own cubs or their furmates! Proud as she was of them, she wanted to save her handiwork so that everyone could enjoy it.

Placing a hand on the nearest urn she felt the warmth through the stone that told her that the brew was ripening. Using her magic to open a little hole in the closest urn she inhaled deeply as the pressure was released with an audible hiss. Her wolf-sharp nose gave her the delicate aroma of dreamberry juice ageing to perfection. As she had done every morning for the last hand or so of days she opened each of the urns in turn and to each added some special ingredient. To one she added a bit of juice that she squeezed from some passionberries. To the next just a hint of tart fruit juice and to another just a dash of brownfruit squeezing. So it went for some time, adding a little of this or that to each. After each addition she stirred her concoction, took a little taste and then sealed it back shut.

Eventually, this brought her to her final urn, which was almost as tall as she was and held far more juice than any of the others. This was intended to be her finest concoction of the summer and was her pride and joy. She climbed up on her work table and magically opened the top, breathing deeply of the heady aroma that wafted from inside. For several long moments she inhaled deeply, the rich scent causing a tingle to run down her spine and her toes to curl ever so slightly. Almost as good as a tumble in the furs, she thought… and likely to lead to more than a few such tumbles if she brewed it right.

Concentrating hard, she altered the top of the urn so that it had several small holes in it. Each of the holes were too small for a berry to go through, but easily big enough to allow the juice to drain in. Over this she spread a handful of the best dreamberries she had found and then ground them down with the palm of her hand so that the juice poured into the urn with the rest. Pausing then to eat the pulp that was too large for the holes, and then to lick the spare juice from her hand, she giggled a bit before closing the holes off. This took a couple of tries to get right but at this point she didn’t care too much. She was experiencing a pleasant tingle in her head from sampling her own recipes but wasn’t overly concerned about it. After all, how else was she to judge if the new wines were coming along well?

So it went for the rest of the day. She squeezed the juice from different berries and fruits, mixed them into one of her urns or just enjoyed the juice on its own. It felt good to give in to her creative urges and just play with it to see what new recipes she could come up with. Of course, by the time afternoon gave way to evening, she was covered in different juices and her clothes were stained in a rainbow hue. This was no cause for concern though. She was in too good of a mood to worry about a few stained leathers. In fact, the warm feelings flowing through her from sampling her wines and juices were giving way to other notions.

Standing, she looked at her stained clothes and her own skin still wet and sticky from all the juice and wine she had splashed onto herself.

“Hmmmmm…..such a mess,” she purred in a soft whisper. “I think that I’ll need some help to clean this all up.”

With a determined expression and none too steady of a walk, Starskimmer left her work behind and went to find some willing helper. There were added benefits to being the brewer for the tribe, such as all of the wine she wanted and the fun of making new recipes. Now she would show some lucky someone the added benefits of being around when she took a notion for some company. Life was good, she realized, and was about to get a whole lot better before the day was through.

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