I mentioned before about meals. The meals I outline in the novel are similar to what most well to do people ate during these times. The poor usually had one to two meals a day. The fashion of eating more meals came into practice late and came from the wealthy. Tea was invented to hold a person over from the very light luncheon (dinner) to the long supper. As I mentioned before, supper was a long meal with many courses, but in most households was not large amounts of food. Any leftovers were the servants meals. In general, before the modern era, meat was very very small amounts and the fish course made up for the lack of protein. The poor received very little protein.
The entire time Frau Drescher spoke, Aksinya gave a running commentary and translation in Russian to Natalya.
Natalya asked many questions in return to Aksinya, but Aksinya was able to answer most of them herself. Finally, she stopped Frau Drescher, “The Lady Natalya wishes to know more about breakfast and luncheon.”
“They are very simple meals. We serve coffee and tea at breakfast. You may have soft boiled eggs, bread, meat, and cheese. Luncheon isn’t much more than that. We have a break of one hour at noon. Usually, the ladies take a long tea, but the dining room is open and food is available there.”
Aksinya explained everything to Natalya.
Frau Drescher was suddenly finished. She made one last statement, “I do have very strict rules about the dormitory. Those rules are to protect the ladies here. I will provide them to you with the materials that include the rest of the details.”
Aksinya asked, “Rest of the details?”
“The linens and use of the facilities. The storage of items. The care of your clothing. The cleaning schedules for your rooms. Each of these things is taken care of for our dormitory students.”
Aksinya cocked her head, “Very good. The Lady Natalya and I like these rooms very much. We accept them. My servant Asmodeus shall bring our clothing and such things as we need.”
The Reverend Mother beamed, “Are you decided then, Countess. You will be studying with us?”
“Yes, we shall.”
The commentary to Natalya and the question from her allows me to explain a little about the meals. It also allows me to expand some about the details. You don't need much, but a touch of them helps increase the realism of the scene and gives you a taste of the complexities of life in the times.
I don't tell you the "strict rules." You can guess most of them--they are the typical rules found in most dormitories. I will give you a little more explanation later, but for now, this is sufficient.
Aksinya clinches the deal by accepting the rooms and puts in a dig to Asmodeus--she calls him "my servant," which he is. The Reverend Mother clarifies the position and that is all for today.