Eivor came across a worried chef and helped him with his culinary troubles.
While exploring Ledecestrescire, Eivor heard the frustrated cries of a chef.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: What's this? What do I have to do? Have I lost my touch? Am I cursed? I... I just can't get it right. Stupid. You're stupid. A fool. That's what it is! You think you know what you're doing, but you don't.
- Sauce Results
Bullhead – too sweet.
Brown trout – too pungent.
Pollock – too flaky.
Haddock – strange texture.
Flatfish – too lean.
Shad – too boney.
Bream – too meaty.
Cod – too buttery.
Burbut – too firm.
Halibut – too dry.
Salmon – too rich.
Grey Trout – too delicate.
Sturgeon – too fishy.
Eivor spoke to the man.
- Eivor: Mmm... Smells good.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: O, please! I'm irritated enough already. The last thing I need is someone lying to my face.
- Eivor: It is a compliment, Saxon. Take it. What are you brewing anyway?
- Anglo-Saxon Man: I call it Ledecestrescire sauce.
- Eivor: That is a mouthful. What is wrong with it?
- Anglo-Saxon Man: It doesn't come close to meriting such a sizable name, that's what's wrong with it. And I've tried. Lord, have I tried. But I cannot for the life of me strike the perfect balance. I should just give up.
- Eivor: As I look around, that is hard to argue.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: You wouldn't happen to be carrying an eel would you?
- Eivor: Not the first thing I grab when I set off for the day, no.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: I've fished everything in Ledecestre but the eel.
- Eivor: And you think this elusive river-snake could be the answer to your sauce woes.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: There's only one way to know for sure.
- Eivor: All right. If I wrangle one, I shall bring it to you.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: Yes, please. I must try, if only to rule it out. Thank you!
Eivor left the man and went down to a river below the house, where she cast out her fishing line and caught an eel. She returned to the cook and delivered the lengthy fish.
- Eivor: I have your eel.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: O, good! Please, add it to the pot.
Eivor walked over to the nearby pot hanging over a fire and inserted the eel.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: Ahh. Here it is. Would you be so kind?
Eivor was apprehensive and skeptical.
- Eivor: You want me to taste this?
- Anglo-Saxon Man: Of course, for your palate is far less tainted than mine. Take a generous amount, too.
Eivor downed a fair sampling of fresh sauce from a cup.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: And? Verdict?
Eivor gagged and coughed at the taste, leaving her voice hoarse.
- Eivor: No... not quite there.
The cook was despondent.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: O, Lord.
Eivor left the pot to talk to the cook again.
- Eivor: Uh... If it helps, I've had worse.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: I suppose that's it then, it's over. Time for me to pack up my things and see what the fruits of another kingdom might offer me.
- Eivor: Where will you go?
- Anglo-Saxon Man: Worcester, I think. Though I'll be buggered if I'm going to name my sauce after that paltry place. Thank you... for all your help. I don't know many Danes, and don't care to, but you've helped bring closure to this journey. If I could ask one more favor of you, it would be to take this failure to the grottos below my home. I can't stand the sight of it.
- Eivor: Farewell. Luck be with you. You will need it.
Eivor caught an eel in hopes of resolving the chef's attempts at perfecting a new sauce, only for the resulting mixture to be unpalatable. While thankful for Eivor's help in eliminating eel as a potential sauce ingredient, the man resolved to move to Worcester and try again, though he vowed not to name his sauce after the city were he to find success there.
Behind the scenes
The name of the memory and the cook's final lines are comedic references to the place of origin for Worcestershire sauce. Historically, it was based on the fish sauce garum used throughout the Roman Empire, and was first commercialized in 1876 by chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins. The cook's list of unsuccessful tests with different fish and request to use eel is likewise a joke on the typical recipe, which instead uses anchovies and various spices to achieve its distinctive flavor.