A New Novel, Part 199 Do You Know How to Cook Anything?
For those who haven’t been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Austria.
Father Dobrushin and Aksinya had their conversation. The Father set Aksinya to her tasks. One was to help Ekaterina…
When Aksinya entered the kitchen, Ekaterina twitched her lips, “There you are, Countess. Do you know how to cook anything?”
Aksinya shook her head.
“Can you make tea?”
Aksinya shook her head again.
Ekaterina brought over a knife, “I will show you how to peel potatoes, yes.”
Aksinya sat in the corner of the kitchen and peeled potatoes. She wasn’t very fast, but it kept her occupied. Ekaterina attempted to teach her something about cooking. Aksinya listened attentively and tried to remember everything.
When the food was cooked, Ekaterina asked Aksinya, “Countess, do you know how to set a table?”
Aksinya shook her head, “I know where the silver is supposed to go, and if you show me…”
Ekaterina smiled, “We have no silver, but I will show you.” She handed Aksinya a fork and a spoon for each place.
Aksinya placed them on the table while Ekaterina instructed her. Aksinya’s lips turned up, “It wasn’t difficult.”
“Most things are not. You just have to know what to do.”
We know Aksinya is not trained in any normal domestic work. Ekaterina is not unkind, she just needs to know where to begin. Thus the questions. Ekaterina is very matter of fact about the whole thing. So, she starts Aksinya with peeling potatoes. A good skill for anyone and the beginnings of everything in a Russian kitchen.
Observe the condition of Aksinya now. She is a drudge in the kitchen of the rectory of an Ecclesia. The Countess is little more than a servant. This makes Ekaterina’s address to Aksinya as Countess all the more ironic.
Ekaterina is providing skills in a subject that has not been important to Aksinya at all. Aksinya is occupied and treated as an adult and not a helpless noble. Aksinya herself sees this as a subject she needs to learn. Through this, I show you more about the household: they have no silver, they have no need of knives (no meat), there is not much to it (they have little). Tomorrow, more at dinner.