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Sagas of the Wild West

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Sharing the Love (Of Baked Goods)


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Rating: PG-14
Content: N/A

Mature Content: No

With: Clara and Emmeline
Location: Lickskillet Diner
When: 5 April 1876
Time of Day: Mid afternoon

 

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Clara had finished her time at the Lost Lake Ranch, caring for the twins of course. She normally got a wagon ride back to her farm home a few miles outside of town. But on this day she had informed the driver that she had business in town, not to worry about her, and saw to it she was dropped off on what served as Main Street of Kalispell.  In one hand she clutched a small gunny sack, amply bulging. She was coming to this baking session prepared, as was her style.

 

The timing was rather fortuitous as when she stepped inside the place, there were currently no customers. Probably anyone eating lunch had long ago finished and left and it was too early yet for most folk to partake of supper. Perfect! That would mean the two of them could concentrate on the point of her visit - baking! She was excited actually. Not that showed on her youthful features though, that was not Clara.

 

"Hello? Miss Emmeline?" she called out.

 

@Bongo

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Emeline was in the kitchen, just finishing up with the dishes when she heard the call, so she set aside the plate she was rinsing and headed into the main dining room, drying her hands on her apron.  "Can I help...oh, Clara!  How good to see you!"

 

She'd been expecting the young woman, but wasn't sure exactly when, and now was as good a time as any.  "Are you here to eat, or did you want to do some baking?"  She'd surely be happy for the company, and had little doubt that she might learn something from the girl.  "I'm just finishing up dishes from lunch, and I have supper started, so I was just getting to my desserts."

 

@Wayfarer

 

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The woman soon appeared from a back room, greeting her with some enthusiasm which pleased Clara indeed.

 

"It is nice to see you too, Miss Emmeline. Hope my timing is satisfactory,"  she replied.

 

As to the woman's question, Clara made it clear, "Oh I am here for the baking. Like we discussed." 

 

It seemed the timing was excellent as the woman was only getting set to start on desserts.

 

"Perhaps I can assist you then in that endeavor," the girl offered, but there was more, "Oh, I have some apples with me. Thought we could use them for a pie or cobbler. Whatever you fancy." She held up her small gunny sack.

 

"I also brought my own apron."

 

 

@Bongo

 

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"Oh, wonderful!  And fresh apples are great."  Emeline smiled as she turned back toward the kitchen.  "I've got some preserves but no fresh fruit for today."  She glanced back at the young woman.  "Cobbler or pie are fine, or I was thinking of experimenting with turnovers, something men can take with them to eat later...I've been thinking on meat pies, too, and providing packed lunches that folks can just grab and take for later."

 

Certainly, boxed lunches would be an idea for people who had to go to work, or were traveling, and maybe one day she could contract with the train company and stage line to provide those at the stations.

 

"I think I have everything we'd need for whatever we decide."

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

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The woman was glad for the apples, Clara was pleased her gift had been a success then. It got the pair off on the right foot then, even Clara had to admit she did not always make the best first impression. She felt it might well be because she was smart and wasn't afraid to show that. Her father suggested it might have to do with her learning to smile more. Emmeline jumped right into what they might do and had plenty of ideas, fascinating ideas too Clara was impressed. She had only thought of pie.

 

"Turnovers? I have never eaten turnovers, more than likely because I have never made them. And if I don't do it, nothing is going to get done in my home," she freely admitted.

 

"Packed lunches? So they just come on in, set down their money, and leave with a lunch in a bag? Interesting," Clara pondered the concept out loud, it seemed sound.

 

The girl followed the woman into the back kitchen, her eyes taking in the room. It was well laid out, clean (always important at least to Clara), and warm with the stove going. There was a fireplace also, with a kettle over it. Perhaps for soup or the daily supply of beans or corn mush.  It was a fine kitchen and instantly met with Clara's silent approval.

 

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"Yes, sort of like a box social, only they don't have to date me to get lunch!"  Emeline smiled as she moved to rinse the last of the dishes, letting them air-dry in a rack.

 

"So, all right, if you want to try meat pies, we need crust..."  Then a thought occurred to her and she chuckled.  "Well, turnovers are essentially meat pies with fruit filling, so we'll only need the one sort of crust.  It has to be flaky, of course, but sturdy enough to hold up to a bit of travel.  Do you have a preference to start with sweet or savory?"

 

There was already some chicken and beef stewing, so that could make a good base for the meat pies, and Clara's apples would actually be a good compliment to those.

 

@Wayfarer

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Clara smiled at her lunch box crack, it did get her wondering though about the woman. Was she married and if so, where was the husband then? Did he expect her to run this place by herself? Or maybe he was gone out of town? The conversation however brought her focus back on food. The woman was finished with her dishes so it was time to get down to baking. Clara rolled up her sleeves, she was ready.

 

"Crust, yes. There are those who underestimate the importance of crust but I am not one of them. My brother Wyatt, when he was younger, would not even eat the crust but I had to cut it off for him. Now that he is twelve, he eats anything that cannot get away from him though, " the girl remarked.

 

"Let us start with the savory then, please. I am interested in how you do these meat pies. We can save the apple ones for later," Clara made her decision to Emeline's options.

 

@Bongo

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"I'm interested in how to make them, too!"  Emeline laughed.  "I've heard of them, but have never tried any myself.  The key, I understand, is indeed a good crust, and a good seal once the ingredients are put on it."  She pulled down a large mixing bowl and set it on the counter.  "Do you have experience baking in bulk?  I plan on making enough for twenty crusts, but we don't need to use a full crust for each hand pie."

 

Glancing at Clara, she asked, "Did you learn to bake from your mother?"

 

@Wayfarer

 

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Ahh, so Emeline did not know either about these turnovers? Well, that could make it an adventure then but Clara never shied away from a challenge. Besides there were two of them so they could better figure it out even experiment together.

 

"Oh? No matter, we shall give it our best then. If nothing else we can eat our mistakes," Clara declared as she finished rolling up her second sleeve.

 

"Experience in bulk? No, I do not. I bake for my family needs. There is my father and then Wyatt. Of course myself so three," she answered.

 

The woman asked about her mother then, had her mother taught her about baking. A fair enough question though talking about her mother was still not easy for the girl despite the time which had passed since that horrifying afternoon. Emeline did not know the details though so could hardly be blamed for bringing up what was an uncomfortable topic.

 

"Yes, she did. I learned very much about everything from my mother. She was a fine housekeeper, cook, seamstress, laundress, and of course...mother. We were very close," Clara declared trying not to get emotional about it.

 

"I miss her. We...miss her. She saved my life...."  her voice trailed off then.

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"We'll need five pounds of flour to start," Emeline instructed, nodding to the flour bin.  "I'm sorry about your mother."  She glanced at the girl with a small smile.  "I'm sure she'd have it no other way.  I can't think of anything that would stop a mother from protecting her children...but it must be difficult for you, to lose your mother.  I'm most of a grown woman, and I miss my mother, and we are only separated by the miles."

 

As she spoke, she fetched a tin of lard that she measured into the bowl with the flour.  "It sounds like she taught you well, and you do a fine job of looking after your brother."

 

@Wayfarer

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