A Conversation for Najopomo 2020: Gravepicking

November 27: Food for thought

Post 1

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array

Day 27:

Pato wakes up broken. Images of Sod’s execution kept haunting him through the night. If there had been any way to save the poor Sod’s life, he would have done so. There wasn’t. Not without compromising the safety of everyone else. Well, it is time to look forward and see how much damage is done by the fire and the flood. Is the Clan is prepared for the coming winter?

As Pato gets up, trying to let Aryna sleep, he runs into Marlon, who is finally able to stand upright again without support. Marlon still winces when receiving a brotherly hug though. After a quick meal, both men go out while discussing the last few days. Pato tells of his plan to change the pairing rituals, now that he has learnt that there is an easier way to mingle with the old Clan. He then asks about Marlon’s feelings toward Yusna, although the grinning and blushing tells most of the tale upfront.

Bora and Vinco are gathering clothes and food. Outside the house they meet up with Keela and Joni who have also been packing. Vinco is certain they will easily be able to catch up on their parents within a day or two. Traveling with just horses is much faster than by ox-cart.

The inventory of the food reserves shows that there is not yet enough food to get through the winter. That is why Pato sends out foraging parties to try and find wild grains to add to the stores. He knows that there are single and double grain ancestors of the cultivated barley now used by the Clan. Harvesting those is a time consuming process, due to the low yield per stem and the tough membrane around the grain, but it is better than to starve to death. If he remembers correctly, he has seen patches of those wild grains on the way back from the other Clan, so that is where they will look first.


Since Marlon is up and about, but not completely recovered, Pato asks him to mind the village in his absence, together with Yusna and the help of his aunt and uncle. That gives him freedom to manage the foraging parties.
Aryna insists that she joins him. Pato suspects she rather likes horse riding.

The plan for the foraging parties is that if something is found one party starts harvesting, while the others travel further out, increasing the range and area covered, then creating a sort of bucket chain to transport everything back to the village. Pato and Aryna will ride out further to scout for food for when the closer supplies run out. Since they have horses, they will cover a lot more ground than the villagers who are on foot.
By the end of the day, they have charted quite a stretch, finding several promising areas.
They end up at the pond they visited only five days earlier. It seems like ages ago. So much has happened in the meantime. It now occurs to Pato that Aryna may not have joined him just for the horse riding after all. He suspects and hopes this is going to be a long night together.


November 27: Food for thought

Post 2

Array

I think I'd rather sit by that river and try fishing, horses are the devil on four legs! smiley - applause


November 27: Food for thought

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

smiley - rofl Aha, something you DON'T want to ride...

smiley - applause Excellent idea about that grain!


November 27: Food for thought

Post 4

Minorvogonpoet

Let's hope they find both fish and grain. smiley - applause


November 27: Food for thought

Post 5

paulh, hiding under my bed

If they caught enough fish, could they salt them to preserve them? Are there any wild fruits that could be dried?


November 27: Food for thought

Post 6

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

I've never heard of anybody salting freshwater fish to preserve them, Paul. They always just ate them fresh, as far as I know. They could even catch them in winter, if they went ice fishing.

Fruit could be dried - at least, dried apples were popular. I remember eating them as a kid. In fact, I liked them so much, my mom would only let me have a handful a day. smiley - laugh

Fruit could also be preserved in sugar or honey. But of course, the most popular way was jams, jellies, and preserves - that's why they exist, as a way to use fruit, since home canning hadn't come along yet, and there was no refrigeration other than an ice house.

I say the most popular way, but that's probably not true. Fermenting is also a means of preservation, and before Welch's came along, that's what you made: cider or wine. smiley - laugh


November 27: Food for thought

Post 7

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array

We still sometimes dry fruit and vegetables to reduce weight when hiking long distance. I particularly like dried pineapple.


November 27: Food for thought

Post 8

paulh, hiding under my bed

Apples originated in Central Asia. But maybe they would be crushed into juice and then fermented.


November 27: Food for thought

Post 9

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

Apple cider saved Jamestown colony - they were all dying of typhoid before that from drinking the water from a polluted tidal river.

Englishmen, srsly.

Jonathan Chapman did everyone a similar favour by planting apple trees throughout the Ohio Valley. He was a religious mystic, too... smiley - winkeyesmiley - apple It was all about scrumpy.

Apple cider vinegar and apple pies, etc, were really made popular by the advertising company the apple growers hired to save the apple industry AFTER Temperance set in. Temperance nearly killed apple growing in the US.

The advertising company came up with a slogan: 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away' is NOT a proverb, any more than 'you'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.'


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