~ Menelya, Tuilë 19 ~
Today’s market was quite lively, though I am sad to say that there has been no sign of our dwarven friends in quite a while. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it thoroughly as I usually do. It was the first time I saw such a collection of baked goods! Hir Glorendir has brought some small treats before, but it was not quite as expansive as hir Arnethelion’s display. But I suspect hir Glorendir only bakes occasionally for his friends while hir Arnethelion is a provisioner by trade.
I was sampling a slice of his honey cake while he spoke with another ellon about the particulars of flour and whether they have different tastes depending on where they are from. I had not ever given much thought to that before. I always assumed ingredients from Mithlond tasted best – they taste of home. Hir Arnethelion’s goods were made with ingredients from Imladris, though they were baked in the ovens of Duillond. I gave Faun a taste of the honey cake and we tried to determine if we could taste something of Imladris in them…They were spectacularly delicious, but I think that had to do more with hir Arnethelion’s skill rather than his ingredients being from Imladris. I am glad that he has come so far to trade his goods – intending to learn from our provisioners here, he says – since that will allow me to partake of his creations often! And I have the feeling that those who dwell in Duillond and Celondim will be quite thankful for it as well.
I even have plans to help him make a name for himself among the elves of Ered Luin: I have invited him to bring his baked creations to our spring celebration, Nost-na-Lothion! It will add a nice touch to our celebrations if we have something to go with the wine, and the refreshments will serve as a nice break from the dancing and music playing. And elves will not be able to stop talking of hir Arnethelion’s treats and he will have a very successful business. Perhaps it will entice him to stay longer.
I was going to travel home to Mother and Father after the market, so I thought it best if I bought some of these honey cakes and scones and brought them home with me. In exchange for five and twenty of my decorated parchments, Hir Arnethelion gave me three entire loaves of honey cake, a dozen scones, blackberry jam, and clover honey on top of it all! We certainly had a feast at supper. Mother, Father, and Calaeros enjoyed them greatly and hardly left anything for the next morning’s breakfast. Mother, in particular, is always so enthused whenever she discovers a new artisan of some craft or other. She must try out all their goods and recommend them to all her friends. She asked if I could request hir Arnethelion to send regular deliveries to our home in Mithlond so that she may serve it with tea when she has friends and guests visiting, which is nearly always.
I also met hir Gilnethrim who had a fine collection of jewels with him at the market. I took particular interest in a pearl-shaped opal, which I think Mother would like. I am going to trade hir Gilnethrim some parchment as well for it. I think the opal will sit very prettily in the etched shell that Falthariel made; it currently sits on Mother’s bedside table and catches the sunlight coming in through the window every morning.
Faelial was also at the market and she showed me how much of my dress she had made. The entire bodice was complete and it was such a vibrant red embroidered with gold. I am both thrilled and fearful of wearing such a color…I have always favored blue hues and the red is such a drastic change. When Faelial completes the skirt of the dress, I will wear it to Nost-na-Lothion. I wonder if I should not look like a grand flower, myself, in it!
I will have to work very diligently on my decorated parchments, for now I owe too many friends too much parchment. I will have to work on hir Arnethelion's first since I told him I would deliver his sheets to him at the spring celebration. It should not take overlong since he requested ones with a simple floral border, but he also wants them to all have slight deviations, so that will take me some extra time. He intends to use them for recipe and ledger notes, he says! It has always been nice to think of my decorated parchments being used to carry lovely sentiments in letters but it is quite another thing to imagine them as pages of a book, which might be used often by its owner and even passed on to future generations!
Now, I only hope that hir Serongil will not spoil the upcoming spring celebration or hir Arnethelion’s impression of me. He kept making awful comments at the market about my having only one brother and if hir Arnethelion was bringing someone to the celebration and how hir Arnethelion need not be threatened…Oh, he is undoubtedly making allusions to last year’s summer dance! Aeriaeth suited my brother best and I was determined that she would go with him. And I knew hir Serongil was looking too often at her and he would spoil my plans, so I made sure of it that he had no time with her. It was in the best interest of Aeriaeth and Calaeros, of course. Why should the happiness of two be sacrificed for the sake of one such as him?