I cannot find that I posted this anywhere. If it’s a duplicate, apologies!
“All right, I have three partial dictionaries from back then.”
Aatu waited patiently for Vijaya to finish digging through her piles. “And – hrm. One cookbook from that era, or, I mean, three pages of it. Free of charge, Aatu, as long as you give me a sample when you’re done.”
“Thanks, Vijaya. You’re a lifesaver.”
“Nah, I’m just a word-saver. Go on with you. Kairu is going to want to know what you want well in advance, you know.”
Aatu left Vijaya’s lair – every scavenger who found the written word brought it to her, just like anyone who brought tech brought it to Yash and any plants or seeds went to Kairu, so the place was stacked wall to wall with carefully-curated piles – and headed back to his kitchen. His Inn was the best on the Old Rt. 30 had to offer, and a lot of that was Vijaya’s help and Kairu’s plants, Yash fixing his equipment and Aatu’s own ability to make any food he could find a reference to.
And since Vijaya and the scavengers liked to bring him anything that sounded like a food reference…
Pumpkin was easy, and a quick look at the P part of the dictionary confirmed that the thing this old magazine-bit had referred to was probably close enough to the thing Kairu grew and Aatu already served in several different ways.
Spice, okay, he and the dictionary were in agreement on spice, but that was awfully broad. Aatu doubted either that this thing meant the addictive drug derived from the Dune novels, which was a scribbled-in reference that looked newer, or that they had so few spices they’d had one that just got called spice.
Which left spicy, for things like the hot peppers Kairu liked to grow.
And then Latte. A milky coffee.
Aatu threw three pumpkins in the oven to roast and started considering his options. The first pumpkin spice latte in over seventy-five years was about to be created, and it was going to be served in Aatu’s Inn.