A Kinrowan Estate story: Minding the Stockpot


Even visitors to Kinrowan Hall get put to useful work if someone such as the Kitchen staff needs a hand as Elizabeth Bear, author of such works as the White Space novels of Ancestral Nights and Machine discovered one autumnal evening…

Oh, hey there. Come on in. Don’t mind the fiddler; I think he’s just dozing. Every so often he picks up his head and plays a few bars of ‘The Hangman’s Reel’, though, so I’m not entirely certain.

I’m hoping that’s not meant to be a message.

Me? Oh, I’m Bear. I’m sort of a houseguest. Anyway, I was curled up in Falstaff’s Chair by the fire in the Pub with a stack of paperwork and a green pencil, and when I looked up it seemed like everyone had vanished. Napping off the turkey, no doubt. Anyway, I didn’t know if I should let the fire burn out or bank it, and I thought what the heck, it’s pleasant and I have work, and the kettle’s staying hot over the coals and somebody has to keep an eye on the turkey stock, anyway. And I find one does sort of get so one doesn’t want the day to end.

Though I can’t stay up all night every night the way I used to. Sleep is so frustrating.
What? Oh, turkey stock? Well, there’s always the leftover carcass after a holiday, isn’t there. I dislike turkey soup, usually, but the stock is useful in the kitchen, and it freezes well, so you have time to get over being so sick of turkey you could gobble before you have to use it.

An English acquaintance was complaining in my hearing, recently, of the importation of the turkey as festival meal to Europe. He opined that the birds were the blandest creature imaginable, which I found a little shocking. I wonder how he’s been having them cooked. Admittedly, there’s a knack to it, and to not drying them out, but… but you probably would rather talk about anything but turkey. I beg your indulgence. I ramble when I’m sleepy.


Diverse Voices

Diverse Voices is our catch-all for writers and other staffers who did but a few reviews or other writings for us. They are credited at the beginning of the actual writing if we know who they are which we don't always. It also includes material by writers that first appeared in the Sleeping Hedgehog, our in-house newsletter for staff and readers here. Some material is drawn from Folk Tales, Mostly Folk and Roots & Branches, three other publications we've done.

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