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Foreign Cuisine

Posted on Tue Jun 14th, 2022 @ 7:57pm by Lieutenant JG Siora Carberos & Patrick O'Malley

Mission: A New Beginning
Location: Mess Hall
Timeline: post-dinner time
2053 words - 4.1 OF Standard Post Measure

It was just past dinner service, and as usual, the mess had been packed with people. Patrick wiped his forehead with the cuff of his sleeve, pushing back his chef's hat. "Whew," he breathed as he turned off his stove. Yet, as he seemed exhausted, a happy smile was plastered to his face. Setting aside the last leftover, which really wasn't much, he glanced up just as a lone figure seemed to enter the mess.

Sure, there were always stragglers for dinner, but they were few. "Hi," he called out, drawing the woman's attention, "I've not seen you here before. New arrival?"

Siora's eyes scanned the room. Her stomach rumbled a little, but nothing like usual. Normally she waited far too long to get herself fed and this was an exception in regards to the fact the repair of a junction took less time than she anticipated. Her eyes were drawn to a man, a man with chestnut hair whom had just asked her a question, "Do I look that obvious?" she asked with a little laugh. She knew she felt like a new arrival, but had hope she did not stand out as one.

"A bit," Patrick chuckled, "you looked lost... And you're lucky, I have leftovers, care for some?" He gestured towards the bowls he had just put in the counter, their contents clearly still warm. "My name's Patrick, what's yours?"

"Sure! Thanks! I'm always hungry." Siora laughed softly as she surveyed the bowls of food. "I'm Siora, it's nice to meet you. Are you Lt. Commander Murphy's Patrick?" She asked getting a plate.

Patrick beamed at her as he served up the plate of food. "Pretty sure I'm not his possession but yes he's my husband. Did you meet him?" His beaming smile was definitely one of pride as he mentioned the chief engineer. "Always hungry huh... You sure don't look the part. I mean..." He blushed in embarrassment as he tried to pay the woman a compliment but seemed to fail miserably. "You look pretty good for someone who might always be eating."

"I did. He caught me staring at the warp core earlier and tried to shoo me away. He must have thought me a tourist." Siora chuckled. "He told me that you were an amazing cook and to try you out... or your food." She replied as the man almost put his foot in his mouth as he attempted a compliment.

"Why thank you. I have a hidden quantum realm in my pocket that I hide my waistline in." She joked. Siora was graced with a fast metabolism, and she abused that as often as she could.

"I guess I'm to blame for him not wanting strangers in engineering," Patrick laughed, "I used to bring him food, before we got together and he wasn't very appreciative of that. But hey, I needed to repay him for giving me a kitchen right?" He shrugged. "I guess it hit a soft spot after all, because here we are, recently married. Anyway, do you like it?" He nodded towards the plate. "What do you usually like to eat? I do accommodate for requests... not individual dishes but you know as a dish of the day kind of event."

"He gave you a kitchen?" Siora asked but quickly changed her expression. "You got married? Congratulations! How long have you been together?" She asked. "I usually eat all sorts of things. My own people are usually more herbivore-ish... herbs, plant based food. Which is why I love here... the introduction to something called beef. An interesting meat."

"He gave me a kitchen," Patrick confirmed, "I can't stand replicator food. Meat is an exception as I can't get much fresh of that, but all the vegetables I serve, I freshly grown here on the ship, or acquired when we stop at colonies. So beef hm.... What about a good steak? Or a burger?"

"I make a mess with a burger." Siora giggled to herself. "I do like a steak though. There is something a little more refined about it to me... but the idea that Humans used to kill a lot of their animals for food and materials has always fascinated me. Not in a weird creepy way though..."

"Well as an omnivore, I can tell you that cattle was often kept for food purposes... And I do love a good steak. So... steak for tomorrow then? What would you like to have with it? Anything uhm... from home?"

Siora nodded as if to agree with the man. After all, he was more an expert on his own people than she could claim to be. She'd only ever interacted with Humans more recently when she joined Starfleet, and when she was an advisor for them. "I have some herbs and spices, I can give you some seeds, things to plant if you want to add them to your hydroponic section?" She asked. "Usually we lean to a more herbal/vegetable mix."

The chef's eyes lit up at that. "Yes we'll give them to our botanists, I don't have green fingers I'm afraid, I don't have any talent for growing things. And I'm sure I can create something for you, but it would be helpful to have tasted them first."

"Ah okay." Siora nodded. "Better to give them to the experts." she agreed. "I don't have much of these green fingers you need for growing plants and such. It is strange your fingers need to be a certain colour for it..." she added a bit confused by the term, and coloured fingers in general. She wondered why green made a difference when growing things...

"Oh it's got nothing to do with the colour of your skin, but everything with how you are with the greens. And speaking for myself I don't have the patience to go and grow things. I leave that to the experts, while they leave me to my expertise." Patrick smiled. "So.. how's your food?"

"Oh, sorry." Siora laughed a little, feeling a bit silly. "Sometimes Human sayings confuse me a little bit." she admitted. "My food is great, thank you. I can't say I have much talent for cooking, or growing things... now building things. I can do that."

"I got Murph for that," Patrick grinned proudly, "and don't worry... I'm Human and I don't even get all of them. So... what would you like to have for dessert?"

"What do you have that is made of chocolate?" Siora's eyes lit up at the very thought of that intoxicating brown delicacy she had came to love.

"There should be ice cream in the freezer," Patrick mused, "but otherwise I don't have any chocolate desserts right now. Anything I'd need to make at this point would need hours to set.." He paused, looking up at her. "But I could arrange for a proper cake or mousse somewhere this week? Assuming Stef's chickens have more fresh eggs."

Siora's heart sank a little that there were no chocolate desserts, but the sound of the chocolate ice cream perked her up enough to want that. "That would be great, I mean you don't need to make it specially or anything but I will definitely be here for cakes. For now though, that ice cream sounds great! Honestly anything chocolate and I'm here." She grinned.

"I do take requests," Patrick reminded her, "I just can't guarantee it'll be granted straight away. And...maybe I'll need to ask you to get some of the ingredients yourself too, at that. Such as eggs. Stef's a nice guy though, can't really miss him as he pretty much lives in the arboretum." He served up a well sized portion of different chocolate flavours and set the bowl in front of his guest. "Enjoy," he smiled, clearly happy to be of service.

"No, no that's fine. I understand you can't just whip up something from thin air, you need the right stuff." Siora replied as she rotated her hand to imply the many ingredients he would need. "But thank you for this." she said taking the bowl from him and taking a large spoonful and her eyes almost rolling back at the hit of flavour on her palette.

The young chef smiled, the pure joy on her face making him feel all warm inside. Seeing people enjoy his food, really did make him happy. "I'm glad you're enjoying it. So... tell me more about you? What do you do, when you're not working?"

"I like reading. I've been to the library already and have gotten a small selection of paper books to read in my time off. I've got a little holo-fireplace in my quarters and a small comfy cosy seat that I snuggle up in with a cup of hot chocolate and get lost in another world." Siora replied as she truly loved that part of her free time. "What about you? Do you get much time away from the kitchen?"

"While I just said I'm not much of a gardener as I'm really not any good at it, I do like to get my hands dirty and just rummage around trying to plant things," Patrick smiled, "but otherwise, my profession really is my hobby. I do love to cook and I spend much of my time experimenting with new dishes from various cultures. And these days, I suppose I need to add spending time with my husband to that as well, whenever he has spare time."

"Maybe one day if you keep planting things you will become good and get that green thumb you would like." Siora said with an encouraging smile. "But I can understand trying to find the time to be with your husband. Keeping a ship running is a fulltime job with the warp core being your mistress sometimes." Siora agreed with herself.

"Good thing Murph doesn't do mistresses then," Patrick chuckled, "but yeah, he's busy quite often. I've learned to live with it though and accept that he's busy, as long as he does have time for me. If he does, I'm happy." He shoved another portion of the dessert forward. "Let's not have this wasted...take it with you if you want. Or share it with someone..."

"Oh I do have a dinner date soon. I might take it to that... although I'm not sure if Cardassians like that sort of food." Siora shrugged. "Oh well, if Hadir doesn't then I'll just have to eat it myself." She grinned. "Thank you, Patrick."

The chef smiled. "You're welcome, and maybe send the Cardassian my way so we can discuss his local cuisine too. I'm sure there's something palatable in there that everyone can enjoy?

"I will, I'm not up on much of Cardassian foods... I mean apart from Kanar I don't know anything." Siora shrugged. "Cardassians can be quite hard to get a read on, they don't get give up a lot of information easily."

"I have no experience with Cardassians so I'll take your word for it," the chef smiled, "but...since you seem to know this one well, maybe you can pry loose some information in regards to edibles?"

"Oh no..." Siora giggled a little girlishly. "I don't know him very well at all. I just met him earlier today during a meal. He asked me to dinner one night and he seemed nice enough." she placed her hand over her heart and looked at Patrick with a goofy grin. "But I promise I will get as much information on his food habits as I can Patrick. I swear I will." she grinned.

"You don't have to swear on it," the chef chuckled, "just send him my way so we can discuss foods he wants for meal times. Assuming he bothers to get into the mess at all, that is. Intelligence folk are odd people, they don't seem to mingle a lot."

Siora nodded. "Yes, they are always up to something I think." she pondered out loud. "I will be sure to send him your way Patrick. Thank you for the meal, and the conversation, but I am full and now need to go lie down." she grinned. "I will see you soon."

With that Siora smiled at the man and he said his goodbye before she skipped off into the 'sunset'.


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