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The Life and Times of Mag the Cook   by annmarwalk

A Breath of Fresh Air

At first I did not recognize the young woman wandering through the garden; then, as she came closer, I remembered that Lord Denethor was away in the field, leaving his new bride to continuing exploring the City on her own.

“You grow the cooking herbs here, yourself? What a wonderful idea!” She knelt down beside me in the wet grass, her eyes sparkling. “I was surprised to recognize coriander in one of your sauces. I did not know it was used here.”

“Nay, lady, not often; some friends down in the third circle introduced me to it. But I don’t know very much else to do with it, I’m afraid.”

“Have you tried rubbing it on fish, in a paste of garlic and lemon grass? That is how we fix it sometimes in Dol Amroth.” I shook my head, stunned at the idea that a princess would be giving me cooking suggestions.

“Lemon grass, my lady? I’ve not heard of that, but I’ll ask down in the market.”

“No, let me write home –” she paused, blushing just a bit, to correct herself. “Let me write to my father’s chamberlain, and have him speak to the gardener about sending some. It will do well in that sunny corner, I think.” She stood up, graceful as a young girl, unself-consciously wiping the dew from her skirt. “I have enjoyed speaking with you, Mag, is it?”

I rose also to bob a curtsey. “So it is, my lady, and the pleasure is mine. A good day to you.” She walked slowly back through the garden, stopping every now and again to admire a clump of narcissus, or cocking her head to listen to a bird song, before disappearing through the back gate.***
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She is like a breath of fresh air, I thought, a cool breeze from the sea. Nothing will be the same now that she is here.





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