First Day, part 9: Dinner with Strenata [1 Trandary 4261]
As you recall, the arrangement was that I buy Seeks-Inihithre Strenata a roast fish and name it Inihithre.
It was quickly decided on the way there -- there being of course Tamvaus -- that all the dishes at dinner were in fact famous or important cities, or, to be unduly technical, named after such. Which lead to the following table at table, enscribbled on the back of Seeks-Inihithre's nametag
|Shellfish Custard Appetizer||Tauvane||The second city, after Inihithre|
|Raw Chub-Beetle Flesh in Butter Side Dish||Calanchia||The seat of an important, but doomed, empire of a couple thousand years ago|
|Porridge with Cyanberry Sauce Side Dish||Drchmaer||The first city on Choinxeia, destroyed by cyarr; still buried, but Glikkonen lives there. I've never been.|
|Sprats with Offirrah and Arhoolie Side Dish||Oorah Thrassen||Ghirbis mentioned to the owner that I was fond of offirrah, so they made this for me as a special side dish. By means of sprinkling offirrah on the usual "Sprats with Arhoolie" side dish. It's fearsome and mighty, and can incinerate cyarr at sixty feet, which I suppose is the point of Yistreian cooking in general. (Addendum: No, I'm thinking Choinxeia. Yistreia doesn't have a cyarr problem, does it?)|
|Grilled Mhorhy||Inihithre||I managed to get the waiter to write "Inihithre" on a little flag on a little toothpick stuck in the flank of the fish -- do fish have flanks? -- when it came to the table. Strenata squealed!|
|Annular noodles in cream sauce with liver, bacon, and chiffonade of arhoolie||Nestrune Kreslink||
Sythyry: Um ... Seeks? Nestrune isn't a city. He's a Rassimel.
Strenata:Oh, I'm very sorry to hear that. [She knows him as well as I do.]
Sythyry:Well, if a grilled mhorhy can be a city, so can Nestrune. He is, in any case, sufficiently full of himself to populate a city.
Strenata: [much giggling]
The various cities were duly demolished. Strenata and I had to share the eating of Nestrune Kreslink; there was too much of him for me.
Which lead to desserts.
Strenata: I'm too full to eat a town, much less another city!
Sythyry: How about a god, then? It is First Day, after all.
Strenata: Just the thing. Waiter, bring me a small bowl of your compote of dried prens, and name it Virid, if you please.
Orren Waiter: [Doesn't blink] One creation god for you, O Orren. And for you, O Zi Ri?
Sythyry: I'd like the chilled cream soup, in a chalice not a bowl if you please.
Strenata: Name it 'Merklundum Harnipsundum the Dog who Killed a Fish'
Orren Waiter: [Doesn't blink]. One chilled cream soup, in a chalice, named after the water god. Would you like any other deities?
Strenata: No, thank you.
Orren Waiter: We do have the Star-Serpent on the menu today, which I believe is manifested in the form of candied ginger flavored with pondygreen. Also, the chef got to the market early enough to acquire the discipline of music before the temples could -- you may have wondered why their choir was so dreadful today; you need look no further than the chef of Tamvaus -- and it has been reduced to a sweet syrup flavored with cassowary. Could I interest either of you wonderful deiphages in either of these important natural phenomena?
Strenata:[collapses in giggling]
Sythyry:[Manages to look serious] A bit of the star-serpent sprinkled on Merklundum would be excellent.
Orren Waiter:[Walks back towards the kitchen. At the door, he calls out in the style of less respectable establishments:] Hey, cook! One Herethroy-maker, one wet puppy in a chalice, chopped snakey on top, for table Sh!
Rassimel Chef:Darkwell, what shoutments are you now shouting? You are not meaning! [Kitchen door closes behind Orren Waiter while Rassimel Chef is still shouting.]
The tip for this meal was very, very large. And afterwards, back at my home, there was a certain amount of distinctly nervous kissing and tailtwining on the couch, until Havune and sixteen thousand Cani showed up.