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An Apple A Day by Kaylee Arafinwiel

Author: Kaylee Arafinwiel
Title: An Apple A Day
Rating: G
Theme: Sweet or Savoury Recipefic, October 2014
Elements: Crumbly
Author's Notes: Baraves is mine and Emma's OC, the wife of Galadhon, mother of Celeborn and grandmother of Celebrian. Tatharien is the OC wife of Galadhon's brother Gwathion (another of our OCs), and they are the paternal grandparents of Oropher, the father of Thranduil. This story features Baraves in the West, after she is Reborn and has set aside her aristocratic silks and satins (but not attitude lol) for healer's robes.
Summary: After Celebrian sailed, the elleth was put in the care of her no-nonsense grandmother, Healer Baraves. Would Elrond's lady survive her grandmother's best interests?
Word Count: 1269 without heading or recipe.

T.A. 2510, Lórien, Aman

Anor was sailing high in the sky above the Gardens of Lórien, and yet Celebrían had failed to rise from her bed. Baraves was vexed – she had seen Celebrían waken before, and yet today she refused. “Daeriel,” Baraves said sharply, a legacy of her former self. “Little girl, wake up.” She placed a hand on Celebrían’s forehead. The elleth was feverish, but not so much as she had been. “I know you are awake, little girl,” Baraves continued, as the elleth flinched away from her touch. “Sit up. I have your medicine for you, and water.”

Celebrían shook her head weakly and tried to push Baraves away. “No…” she pleaded, “please, go away, I do not want it.”

“You will take your medicine, little girl,” Baraves said shortly. Celebrían looked at her, glassy-eyed, and tried again to push her away, but Baraves was having none of it.

“Do you want me to get Bereth Melian?”

Celebrían cringed. No, she did not want her Maia aunt – or grandmother by marriage – involved, she thought, and swallowed the bitter syrup reluctantly. She sipped from the water goblet Baraves held for her, all the while hating her weakness, her dependence on Daernaneth Baraves. Her adar’s naneth took no argument from her when it came to her care; strict and severe, she would have her way or Celebrían would be sorry.

Did Baraves not think she was sorry enough? Was not this illness punishment enough?

“I am determined to see you healed from this malady, little girl,” Baraves said, as though Celebrían had spoken aloud. Perhaps she had, Celebrían thought, cheeks reddening as Baraves continued to scold her. “You will not fade. You will not die. I will not disappoint my son…oh, very well, and that Golodh, assuming she takes ship some time or other…by having you die on me.”

“Please, Daernaneth…” Celebrían had to stop, for she had a sudden fit of coughing, and Baraves made her breathe deeply and slowly when it was over, into some sort of tube to strengthen her lungs. Celebrían did so extremely unwillingly.

“Please what, little girl?”

“Please,” Celebrían continued weakly, “can I not have something nice? All these bitter potions, powders, broths and syrups…I would like something sweet. Just once.”

“We will see,” was Baraves’ unsatisfactory response. “Try and get up now.” She assisted Celebrían from her pallet, but the elleth was so weak that she promptly tumbled back onto it.

“Mayhap if I had something sweet I would be stronger,” Celebrían suggested.

Elflings, Baraves thought in irritation. “I said, we will see.” She insisted on Celebrían trying again, with the same frustrating result, and huffed with displeasure.

Still, when she left Celebrían to sleep again, Baraves went straight to Master Mithlas to consult with him. The Doriathrin healer listened carefully, and nodded. “Apples,” he said after some thought. “Apples will aid in her healing. She ought to try something more solid at least. An apple a day, at the very least, would do well.” Then Mithlas left Baraves to contemplate how best to use this information.

In the end, she thought of a sweet dessert Tatharien, her husband’s sister-in-love, had been fond of, and she consulted with the other elleth. Tatharien had made it with her own hands, something no noble elleth had been expected to do, when her only child Celepharn fell ill.

“It is called mastorva here in Aman,” Tatharien explained, and as they stood in the kitchen pavilion Lord Irmo had provided, Tatharien led the reluctant Baraves through the steps. “First, we stoke the fire,” she said, “then, while we wait for it to come to the proper temperature for baking, we slice the apples – I will do that, Baraves. We want four cupfuls.” As she sliced, she talked. “This pan needs to be rubbed with butter. I trust you are able to do that? We want just enough to grease it, so the mastorva will not stick to the pan.”

Baraves sighed, but nodded, and went about meticulously greasing the pan. Then Tatharien dumped flour, oats, and a small amount of spices into a bowl, and asked Baraves to mix them thoroughly while she finished slicing the apples. As Baraves stirred, Tatharien measured and layered the cut fruit in the pan. “Good,” she added, checking Baraves’ work approvingly. “Now, sprinkle that over the apples. It is time to bake them.”

The older elleth obeyed, and when the mastorva was nearly done baking, Tatharien asked a passing Maia to fetch cream for her, having noted the tabard of Irmo without taking in the Maia’s identity.

“As you wish, Daughter,” came the amused reply, and the distracted Tatharien looked up to see it was Melian she had so importuned. She blushed rosily. “My Queen…”

“Oh, fear not, Child,” Melian laughed. “I am not at all offended. Nothing done in love is ever menial. Remember that, Daughter,” she added, looking this time at Baraves. Then she was gone, and back in a moment with the jug of cream. Melian took the pan from the oven herself. “Ah, mastorva,” she said, eyes brightening, “that was a favourite of Lúthien’s, too, you know. I am sure young Celebrían will be quite happy with it. Shall I take it to her?” She cut a generous piece, placing it in a bowl and pouring cream over the top.

“If you would like to, my Queen,” Baraves replied, nonplused.

“I think so,” Melian said cheerfully. “Well done, Daughters.” She faded from their view, the bowl in hand, and reappeared in Celebrían’s pavilion.

Celebrían sat up as the scent of apples, cream, nutmeg and cinnamon wafted through her tent. “Oh, Aunt Melian!” she exclaimed. Then she frowned. “Oh. Aunt Melian. Did Daernaneth send you?” She wondered how much trouble she was in, and if perhaps Melian meant to eat the contents of the bowl in front of her as punishment for her recalcitrance earlier.

“I sent myself, best beloved,” Melian replied. “Now, your Daernana and Aunt Tatharien made this for you. So let us see if you can stomach it, hmm?” She produced a spoon from somewhere, and placed the bowl on a tray across Celebrían’s lap. Carefully, the elleth began eating, and her eyes lit up. “This is wonderful, Aunt Melian,” she said happily, eating with good appetite. “How did you convince Daernana to let me have this?”

“Your Daernana cares for your wants more than you think, best beloved,” Melian replied. “But she cares even more that you keep the will to live – as do I.”

Celebrían sobered and stared down into the bowl, scraping the cream idly from the sides. “It hurts,” she said quietly. “Sometimes I…do not want to.”

Melian nodded and kissed Celebrían’s brow. “I know, Child. But we all love you very much, and in time, the pain will fade – if you give it the chance. Take it one day at a time.”

“I will,” Celebrían whispered.

“Good.” Melian made the tray and bowl vanish, sat down on the bed and hugged the elleth close. “I promise, best beloved, you will never have anything to fear from me – unless you attempt to fade,” she added, an ominous undertone making itself plain.

Celebrían winced.

“No, my lady. You have my word.”

“Then I think perhaps tomorrow, some more mastorva can be arranged, hmm? But for now, I will leave you to your rest.” Melian tucked Celebrían in again, and sang the elleth a lullaby – the same that heartened Lord Námo’s charges so – until she fell asleep.

This Child, she felt, could and would be saved. All of Lórien seemed to breathe easier at the realisation.

The End.

Recipe – Tatharien’s Mastorva (Betty Crocker Apple Crisp http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/apple-crisp/3715a45c-3c00-430c-bbe2-9865f9013238 )

4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour

½ cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cream or Ice cream, if desired
1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.

2. Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.

3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 28th, 2014 02:22 pm (UTC)
Nice story and the recipe looks delicious:-)
Oct. 28th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you Nath! :)
Oct. 28th, 2014 02:40 pm (UTC)
The family tree you've built sounds pretty interesting and Baraves is an intriguing character. I like her tough love thing. Also, it was lovely to see Melian dropping in this fic. The recipe looks pretty good - I'm going to try that tonight, thanks!
Oct. 28th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're interested in the tree :) Baraves does have a bit of a tough love thing going on, yep :) I do love Melian but I didn't expect her - the Muse just dropped her in on me so I was as surprised as Tatharien and Baraves! hehehe. :)

Tell me how the recipe turns out? I took it off the internet because I couldn't find my grandma's recipe box! lol!

Oct. 29th, 2014 08:12 pm (UTC)
Hi! The recipe was nice! I had never tried an Apple Crisp with oatmeal. It turned out crisp on the top and a little chewey closer to the apples - it was really nice and different.
Oct. 29th, 2014 09:17 pm (UTC)
I'm glad it turned out so well! :) Did you mix the butter with the dry ingredients or use it to grease the pan? I wasn't sure how that was supposed to work, the recipe seemed kind of unclear to me! Luckily Tatharien's a more experienced baker than I am...
Oct. 29th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
I used it for the dry ingredients and took some extra to grease the pan. I cheated, though, and softened it in the microwave because I had a hungry 4 y-old around. ;)
Oct. 28th, 2014 02:58 pm (UTC)
Nothing done in love is ever menial.

What a lovely, wonderful thing to remember. I enjoyed this tender tale very much.
Oct. 28th, 2014 03:18 pm (UTC)
That line, as well as some things about Lorien and Melian's characterization as a servant of Lord Irmo, comes straight from the Fiondilverse, although I didn't think about it at the time. Fiondil's been a father figure to me and I have a sort of blanket permission to utilize his 'verse in my own writing, which is a good thing because it'd sneak in even if I didn't. He's just that good LOL. :)

Nevertheless, that line is a lesson that has stayed with me and sustained me, so I wanted Melian to be the one to voice it. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Shirebound!
Oct. 30th, 2014 02:13 am (UTC)
What a heartwarming story! I can definitely see Fiondil's influence here, but it's your own touches that make it unique. I love the firm but gentle healing that Celebrian is receiving.

The recipe sounds yummy!
Oct. 30th, 2014 03:06 am (UTC)
Thank you so much Dreamflower! :) I'm glad you like my story. talullahred tried the recipe and liked it! I need to try it, and I bet it would go well with your cheese! :)
Oct. 30th, 2014 04:43 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this very much. Something so delicious will surely help Celebrian.
Oct. 30th, 2014 04:57 am (UTC)
Thank you!! Yes, I do think it will. :)
Oct. 31st, 2014 12:04 am (UTC)
Normally, the Elf Stories are WAY over my head, because to my regret and embarrassment I have not been able to finish the Silmarillion. But this is so gorgeous, and lovely to see family interaction among these beautiful people created by Tolkien. Thanks for sharing this.
Nov. 3rd, 2014 06:04 am (UTC)
Thank *you* for replying Kimby! I'm sorry my response is a few days late, I've had a busy Halloween weekend culminating in my sister's birthday today and just got back to my Livejournal comments :) I'm glad you liked it so much, though! Don't be embarrassed, the Silm is a hard read for many. I hope you'll give it another try, though...take it in small doses maybe, not the whole plunge at once. :)

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Nov. 2nd, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC)
I think anyone tasting that wonderful dish would feel much better in no time! First visit to this world but I can see how deeply thought out it is and a lovely picture of family caring and generations bonding.
Nov. 3rd, 2014 06:05 am (UTC)
Oh thank you!! I'm glad you dropped in and hope 'first visit' won't be your last. :) I'm so happy you liked it!

Kaylee Arafinwiel
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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