Memoirs of a Not-So-Simple Cook

by Janet Wright

Finally, with weary footsteps she crossed her own threshold, only to see absolute wreckage within her co age. Once more, it seems her brothers could not simply help themselves. ere, upon the table strewn with toppled mugs, spilled drink and food that she had prepared earlier in the evening before being called off for that emergency birthin'...were some very loud snoring pigs. At least they should have been born pigs and not her brothers. Judith's life would have been so much easier had they been swine. en, she could have at least had salted pork to last through the winter months. Taking a deep breath, Judith began to set things to right leaving her brothers where they lay. NO sight was to be had of the visitor, yet, there next to the wash tub, sat a cleaned bowl, spoon and mug. Giving clear indication that someone had been by AND had the manners that her brothers clearly lacked. Pouring water into the cauldron, as the soup had been all consumed, and not a bowl le for herself… Judith moved to retire to her own small cot, away from her brothers. If only she could get a few hours of rest, then she could handle whatever was to be thrown her way this coming day.

Not two hours later, eyes wide open as the low sound of the outside world penetrated what had been the fitful starts of a wonderful slumber. Taking in a deep breath, Judith stretched and moved to start her day once more. is day, she was not looking forward to, especially a er the run in with Mistress Howard. Within the hour, the chores were complete, or as complete as they were going to get, and her face washed, clean dress donned upon her body, Judith made her way back out the co age, giving the door a satisfying slam, in hopes of disturbing her rather loud snoring brothers at the table.

The walk was a brisk one towards the Earl's manor house. It was currently in states of being repaired from the decline of the last Earl. Fortunately for her and many others, the kitchens were in wonderful working order, as were other parts of the estate. Making it at least able to keep a certain number of the locals employed, and a goodly portion of the other locals employed refurbishing it. Entering through the back way to the kitchens, Judith gave her greetings, and ducked back off to begin once more chores. Ge ing a bucket, she scooped up some hot water out of the giant copper ke le that was constantly kept lit in order to ensure hot water was always available within the manor house. Quietly as she could, Judith crept up the back stairways to the living quarters of her beetters.

Coming to the Earl's quarters, she li ed her hand and made a small scratching sound upon the door. Unto which, Mister Henry, the Earl's valet, opened the door. A small nod was given, as Mister Henry began to ladle the hot water into a porcelain pitcher. A small curtsy was given from Judith to him. Taking a few more quiet footsteps down the hall, she reached the Machioness's rooms. Once more, scratching on the door, only to have it opened, and a frowning busty woman with a sharp nose, greet her. Judith's le foot automatically took a step back in surprise. Li le black eyes were set in the face as a hand lifted. Judith automatically li ed the bucket as an offering, while ducking her shoulders and head down, as if to cower from a blow that might land upon her head. A snicking sound through her lips of displeasure at the sight of Judith only for a heavy sigh was followed as the dipper went into the bucket to refill the pitcher for Her Ladyship. Once more, Judith dipped down in a curtsy, only to be waved off by the crow of a woman.

As Judith walked down the hall, making her way to the guest chambers, her face carried on an entire conversation with absolutely no sound coming from her. Oh my…If anyone was to see that conversation?? ey would certainly have known her true thoughts of the Lady's maid. Unbeknownst to Judith, there was someone who was observing. As she passed the figure without seeing him, a hand raised to cover his own mouth in an a empt to stifle a laugh that was threatening to bubble up.

The day, she was not looking forward to, especially a er the run in with Mistress Howard.