(1940-02-26) Samples and Planning
Details for Samples and Planning
Summary: Clara and Annie meet to do some catching up, Elly presents food samples for the charity gala Clara is planning.
Date: 26 February 1940
Location: The Leaky Cauldron

The past week has been cold. The type that sinks into your bones, that makes the soul shiver. There has been nothing friendly about the snow that has drifted in with this cold. It's left layers upon layers of white on the ground. In short, it's been awful. Except for today. Spring is on the heels of winter now, ever nearing. And because of that today is a sign of relief. The air is a bit warmer, the sky is vivid blue and the sun shines with renewed life.

The cauldron isn't overly busy at this hour - it's close to lunch. The odd sound of a chair scraping the floor or the clang of plates from the back is heard. What few people that here are eating or reading, but in general are being very quiet. Along with them is Clara. At a table near a window but not to far from the fire either she sits, eyes moving to the warming outside world. Every now and then they move back to the sheets of paper before her. The young Prewett isn't drawing this time, instead she seems to be going over some details around having the odd sip of tea and nibble of bread.

A little witch bustles in from the London side of the world, stopping briefly to shake show off her boots and look around. She spies her target immediately, at once moving across to the table where Clara sits. "Alright, Clara?" she greets the other witch casually, pulling her mittens off and stuffing them into her pockets. "Sorry I'm late. Tim was a bit late gettin' out for work, he dawdles on the days I'm off from the school," she says with a grin, pulling her coat off next. There's a lean to give Clara a quick half hug before Annie hangs her coat on a hook and flops down across from her companion, looking at the papers. "Yeh look a busy bee t'day."

The papers before her are examined, a pen like quill is taken and some notes are jotted down, or places signed. Then those big grey eyes look out the window again. It's hard not to imagine the rush of flowers, warm air and sunshine. It's so close, and this day brings about further temptation for nicer weather and daydreams.

The approach of Annie pulls her from said thoughts and there is a wide smile. "Annie! Oh it's fine!" Moving to return to half hug a shrug follows. "Oh just organizing a few things for the shop and the fundraiser. I finally got the plan for where the money will go. To kids who need it for schooling at Hogwarts and can't afford to keep going." Pleased with this idea the papers are put to the side, no need to fuss over them with her old friend here! "So darling, how is Tim? And yourself for that matter."

Elly comes bustling out of the kitchen with a silver tray, fancy for the Cauldron, "Coo, Annie, good ye are here! Could us a second opinion on these." She sets the tray down on Arla and Annie's table and on the tray there are little golf ball sized cauldron shaped bread bowls of soup, with little bready lids! They are bite sized and brimming without being overflowy or messy. Simple to pop in the mouth and enjoy, at a gala, say. Within the bread bowls she's managed to pack all of the flavors of, Beef and Barley, Bouillabaisse, Cock-a-Leekie, French Onion (with broiled cheese on the top!), Irish Stew, Scotch Broth, and all of the Leaky Cauldron Soups besides those. "I fink if we picked three….may five at the maximum…flavors it'd be a hit at the Gala? It's sumfing new I'm trying for the catering." She bounces a bit in place, trying to not be overly excited.

Annie grins across at Clara as she settles, "Tim's grand, ta. Always called of t'work at odd hours, but the news happens in it's own time without checkin' on his schedule first." Her head turns as Elly bustles over, the smile holding just as warmly. "Alright, Elly?" Blue eyes drop to the tray and widen in appreciative anticipation of the new wonders the barwitch has dreamed up now. "I guess I showed up right on time, after all." She reaches for one of the little bread cauldrons, not picky about which flavour she gets, well acquainted with all the Cauldron's tasty delights, and pops it into her mouth. Eyes go even wider and her hand comes up to cover her mouth, so she can hide the bite as she comments even with her mouth still full. "Cor, Ells, that's amazin', that is."

Elly arrives with a plate of food. Never can one say no to her cooking! Clara looks up to her and gives a big smile. "These look, and -smell-, wonderful." Like Annie the Prewett doesn't seem to care which she gets, everything is good. "What does Tim do again?" Asks the witch of her friend. "I just can't remember." Then popping the food into her mouth eyes move to Elly. "Amazing. These would be perfect!"

Elly gives another little bit of bouncing in place and claps her hands together quietly in front of her heart. But then Elly slides back into professional mode and asks questions to help her perfect the appetizer. "Do ye fink tha I should put a bit of butter brushed on the outside, or will that make it too greasy on the fingers? Is the shell too hard? Did I get the bits of meat and veg small enough that it feels like ye are eating a tiny stew? Or is that unpleasant and I should just liquify it all?" Her blue eyes bounce between Annie and Arla as she zips off the questions.

Annie grins at Elly's enthusiasm, and tries to answer the rapid-fire questions. "I think if it's for some sort of gala, the butter might be a little messy around elegant clothes. The shell is perfect to me. And I think without the little bits that say 'here, yer eatin' stew' it might just feel a bit odd in the mouth." She finally pauses for breath, and takes a deep one, then laughs. "I think that's it." Her eyes move to Clara, "He works for th' Prophet, started as a photographer but he's been movin' into writin' stories a bit more." There's noticeable pride in her tone when she speaks of her husband, and a tenderness as well. "But someone must tell me all about this gala!"

Clara takes another one. "Sounds like he is busy.". It's good Elly isn't her mother, because if she had a parent that could cook like this, the Prewett may be clothes shopping every other day! For the sake of it, one more is taken. There are a ton of options. After that one is chewed and swallowed eyes move to Elly. "I agree with Annie sweety. Given that we'll be auctioning off art and collectables, the butter may be to much. Otherwise, it's wonderful. Do you think you can make up a sample again so we can bring some wines and pair them up with all of these?" And Annie again draws her attention with a big smile. "Oh! I'm throwing on. The funds raised will go to help kids who need it for school. We can dress up eat find food, made by Elly of course. Have wine, dance! You'll come wont you, with Tim if he can?"

When Elly gets momentarily distracted by another table, Annie turns full attention back to Clara. "That sounds like a fine thing t'be supportin'," she agrees with a nod. "I believe I've heard of at least one student just this year, worryin' over family disagreements an' payin' for school. Poor lad. No one should miss out on an education, especially when it comes t'magic." She gives a dramatic little shudder, "Cor, I'd hate t'know there were witches an' wizards out there not properly trained t'use their skills. That'd be just dangerous." She sneaks another stew bite and gets Irish Stew, which just reminds her of Tim all over again, and of Clara's comment. "He is fair busy, but it makes him happy, so I won't begrudge it." Tim's already given up things to make their life together, she wouldn't ask more of him. "When's yer gala set for then?"

Elly sagenods on her way to the other table about the butter, she was already mostly decided against it herself, but wanted feedback before a final decision. The water requested is levitated and summoned from the bar in the clay pitcher it's in and steadily floats over heads until she plucks it out of the air and fills up the tables glasses. Once everyone is content again at the other table she returns to Clara and Annie's table. "I surely can whip up another sample batch. Especially if we can decide on which one we are goin to serve."

"Oh? Well, if there is one there are more, and truly, that is sad news. We'll need to raise a bunch of money. I've got some amazing pieces to go up, and even some of my own art! I've been told more than a handful of times to sell it, so what better place to start?" Though Clara has always been a bit more… protective of her art, which is amazing, to put it simply. "Agreed, that would be dangerous for them and others." A firm nod follows. "I'm sorry to hear he is so busy sweetie, but you know, I can just see the love on the both of you. It's so sweet! I hope he can make it. I've not yet set a date, making sure to get all details in order and approved first."

Looking up to Elly there is a nod, and grin. "Make some of each for it. Having something diverse will be good, you never know what you'll get! And I'll get some wine I have picked and see which goes best. A red and a white for sure."

Annie blushes lightly at Clara's words, although she knows it's fairly obvious that she and Tim remain absolutely smitten with each other. "When yeh set the date, let me know, an' we'll see if Tim will be free that evenin'." Although they aren't very well off, they make do. But a thought strikes Annie, and she pauses before venturing, "I'm not sure if it's the kind of thing yer lookin' for, Clara, or if Tim would be keen on it, but he's taken some lovely photographs. Shall I talk t'him an' see if he might part with some for a good cause?" Donating Tim's beautiful work would give them a way to help out even though they aren't rich. Elly gets another warm smile on her return. "I'd request the Irish Stew, 'specially if Tim can make it, but that's bein' a bit selfish, granted."

Elly beams happily, nothing truly makes her more elated then seeing people enjoy the things she's made for them. "Irish Stew. Good choice, it's one of my favorites." She then looks back to Arla, "Heavens all of them again?! I suppose I could…" She wrings her hands a bit as she is obviously churning over when and how and where she can manage her time to do another full sample.

Thinking it over, as it might be a bit much, Clara reconsiders with one more bite. "True, a lot. Let's go with the irish stew, and then the french onion soup. Both are very, very good!" A big grin is given to Elly. "I'll find a few wines to pair with those, if you're able to make a small amount to test the flavours together with." Looking to Annie her big grey eye slight up, "That's brilliant! I'd love to do that! The point of this is to also promote people and their business. His work would be wonderful to show."

Annie grins as the other two women negotiate food terms, tossing into the mix, "An' yeh might want t'add a third, somethin' special just t'the Cauldron. Kind of promotin' yeh as bein' individual. Havin' something wonderful that can't be gotten anywhere else." They're certainly a happy little bunch, nattering over food and art. "I'll ask Tim t'night if he'd be willin' t'give it a go. He's taken some really wonderful photographs. Will it be strictly Wizardin' then? He's done some lovely things with moving photographs."

Elly smiles and nods, "Three soups at least, five at the most. But ye two enjoy the samples. Try one of each an' I'll be back later to get the final decisions. So glad ye like them!" She does her little hand clap again with bouncing included before she turns and bustles back for the kitchen to set up the next round of samples for them.

"One should be a dessert." Clara thinks aloud after a bite of another is taken. "Irish stew, french onion soup, a dessert and.. which soup do you think?" A glance is passed to Annie, after a farewell and thankful nod is given to Elly. "He can bring whatever he likes, two the three pieces at the most though." Taking a sip of her drink, another idea hits her. "Oh! Will you go dress shopping with me? I need something pretty to wear, and would love a second opinion!"

"Ta, Elly," Annie calls after the blonde witch, before turning her attention immediately back to take another sample. She chews thoughtfully before answering. "I think one of the Leaky soups, since they're specialties, don't yeh think? Somethin' that really says the Cauldron isn't just some tatty pub, but there's really somethin' special." There's a nod to the suggestions about Tim's photographs. "We c'n have yeh by one evenin', an the pair of yeh can talk over the details. Once I make sure he's agreeable. He's a bit of a shy one, my Tim, but when it's got t'do with his photography he can really come out of his shell." And then comes talk of shopping! "I'd love t'go with, Clara! It'd be a grand time."

Elly calls out of the Kitchen serving window, she overheard on her way in, "I'm an excellent seamstress as well!" The offer is a chime, light and without any pressure. Mostly a tease, though genuine in the offer. It's how she manages nice things to wear on her budget. She makes everything herself. "But shoppin' is loverly!"

Taking a piece of paper she writes the address down and hands it over, and her home address in Moorgate. "Come by whenever sweetie, I'll be glad to take the items. And I hope it helps out!" Another bit of food and there is a nod. "I agree something that speaks of here. I plan to have a chocolate fountain too! With fresh fruit for the dipping." Not that she will eat the chocolate, Annie may remember from school, Clara doesn't care for sweets in the least and will bypass them even if they look like the most delicious thing on the entire planet. "Splendid! I'd love to have some company. I know, getting a bit ahead of myself but I can't help it." When Elly calls out there is a smirk. "And if I can't find anything, will get Elly to make it!"

Annie makes a mental note to talk to Tim as soon as they both get home, and to plan dinner for inviting Clara over. And a guest? Hm. "I'll look for somethin' new as well, an' we might both end up beggin' dear Elly for her help," she says, laughing. Then it strikes her. "A chocolate fountain? Cor, that sounds dead posh. What a lovely idea. If yeh need a helpin' hand, Clara, do call on me? I'd be happy t'do whatever I'm able." Then she asks, as casually as she can, "An', when we have yeh t'dinner, shall we be plannin' for a guest as well?"

"That's the fun of it! Creating something for ourselves! The last time I did that was.." Now thinking it over, Clara 'hrms' to herself. "I wore this wonderful outfit to a dance in Egypt. The colours were amazing." This makes her grin, ah memories! "Sure I'd really like some help. There is a lot to do, and a lot to get sorted, and set up and all that. And yes, a chocolate fountain. Not that I care really, but you know, others will like it."

"Egypt must've been grand," Annie says, a slight dreaminess in her voice for just a moment. "I can't imagine havin' seen so many places as yeh have, Clara." She nods, the matter of help settled, "Aye then, we'll get sorted what yeh might need me t'do." The fact that her sly question about if Clara would bring a date over to the house for dinner goes uncommented on. Instead she indulges in another of Elly's little samples, this time getting beef and barley. "Cor," she says in soft amazement once she's eaten it, "What that lass c'n do in a kitchen."

"I'll write out a list and to see what needs to be done and we can start to tackle it. The most important being our dresses of course." She grins and smirks a bit. "Oh! And, I'll be coming alone. Not all of us are lucky to find love as you have darling. I'm just.. living the single life." A following shrug, and maybe, maybe the faintest frown plays along with her words. Looking to the kitchen there is a chuckle. "Probably something delicious."

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