The Duck Konundrum VI: Now with Way Way Way Way Way Too Much Pepper
"There's certainly too much pepper in that soup!" Alice said to herself, as well as she could for sneezing.

The Duckchess is an incredibly picky eater, and it takes five quasicelebrity chefs to prepare her daily meals. The five chefs listed below each begin seated around a round table at equal intervals, counterclockwise in alphabetical order by first name (Dude, Emerald, Jordan, Milton, Pauletta). In front of each chef is a cutting board. Also on the table is a large lazy Susan with ten equally spaced pots on it, so that there is one pot in front of each chef, and also one pot between each pair of adjacent chefs' pots. The lazy Susan, like all self-respecting lazy Susans, can rotate, so these pots may move during the cooking process. The lazy Susan has ten positions, so a one-position rotation moves all of the pots that were in front of chefs to be between chefs.

At the beginning of each phase, each chef should count the total number of tablespoons of pepper in the pot directly in front of them. Based on that number, they should each choose the appropriate action from their list of actions. These actions each have names (the cooking-related verbs in capital letters), and the order in which the five chefs perform these five actions should be alphabetically by action name. The amount of pepper in the pots may then change as other chefs follow their instructions, but the subsequent chefs should not change actions or order; the choice and order of actions is determined at the beginning of the phase only. (There is one exception to this rule: if an action says that a chef shuts down the kitchen, all chefs stop cooking immediately at the end of that chef's action, even if they have not completed their own actions for the current phase.)

At the end of each phase, once all five chefs have each performed an action, it is time to feed the Duckchess. Assuming all instructions have been followed correctly, one of the pots should contain the ingredients of one of the recipes on the list of recipes. This delicious concoction should be fed to the Duckchess (leaving that pot empty), and then the Duckchess will take the action listed at the end of the recipe. Note that the Duckchess's actions may change the rules outlined in this introduction; when a Duckchess's rule change contradicts an initial rule, the new rule should always be prioritized.

The items in the royal pantry are also listed below. There is only one instance of each item in the pantry, so once it is removed it is unavailable when future chefs visit the pantry. In addition to the pantry items, the chef have access to an unlimited supply of pepper, and each chef has access to an unlimited supply of their own signature ingredient.

Note that any ingredients may be added to or removed from any pot at any time, if instructions say to do so. For example, you might think it is impossible to remove the cheese from a mixture of cheese and butter, or that after putting fifteen tablespoons of pepper in a pot, it is impossible to remove six of those tablespoons. You would be wrong, and you should be embarrassed about your lack of imagination. Clearly you had boring toys as a child.

FRIENDLY ADVICE: Keep track of what has previously occurred, not just the current state of affairs! If you make a mistake and have to retrace your steps, it'll be much more bearable to back up a step or two than start from square one.

### Recipes

#### Bacon-Wrapped Bonanza

Effect: The Duckchess thinks this is delicious! But, as with most things, it could use more cheese. Take all the remaining cheeses from the pantry and place them in alphabetical order. Then, put the first three into the pot previously contained this recipe; put each additional cheese in the next pot proceeding clockwise, continuing one cheese per pot until the cheeses are all used.

#### The Big Kahuna

Ingredients: Pork, pumpkin, spinach, havarti, bordelaise sauce, add pepper to taste
Effect: The Duckchess knows that on paper, it sounds like these ingredients would fit together perfectly; but in practice, this just tastes horrible. The Duckchess spits this into the garbage and instead eats the contents of the pot diametrically opposite this one on the table (leaving both empty). Also, take anything on the cutting board of the last chef to add an ingredient to this pot and throw it away.

#### Cheesy Kettle Corn

Ingredients: Corn, butterscotch sauce, gouda, butter, kosher salt, add pepper to taste
Effect: It's salty... but it's sweet. It's sweet... but it's salty. The Duckchess is so confused! She thinks the chefs should be confused too. Rotate all the cutting boards clockwise, so that each chef now has the cutting board that previously belonged to the chef on their immediate right.

#### Judgment-Free Calzone

Ingredients: Duck, duck sauce, any three cheeses, add pepper to taste
Effect: Do not judge the Duckchess. She has seen horrors that you have not. Cannibalism is a natural coping mechanism. Let us never speak of this again, and just to help avoid the subject, add the same amount of pepper to the now-empty pot that was in it before the Duckchess devoured one of her own kind. Nothing happened here. Nothing.

#### The Meat Munch

Ingredients: Any five proteins, add pepper to taste
Effect: You've turned the Duckchess's world upside down. From now on, the order of chefs within each phase is reversed. (So, the chef whose action name is last alphabetically goes first, and so on.)

#### Secret Souffle

Ingredients: Shrimp, oyster sauce, rum, any three vegetables, add pepper to taste
Effect: The Duckchess loves this so much, she's going to reveal her secret message! Highlight all of the adjectives in the instructions you've followed so far, and circle every ninth one. The second letters of the circled words will give a message that describes two of the instructions; remove those two instructions from the list, and repeat this process on the remaining instructions; repeat this until you get a single word. Don't worry, there isn't any rum in the pantry.

#### Southern Flavortown Cheesesteak

Ingredients: Steak, cheddar, okra, donkey sauce, add pepper to taste
Effect: That makes the Duckchess want to shake things up! Put this now-empty pot between Emerald and Jordan, and rearrange all the other pots, without tampering with their ingredients, to proceed counterclockwise in increasing order of pepper content. (Each of them should have a different amount of pepper in it at the moment.)

#### Tasty Teamwork

Ingredients: Butter, donkey sauce, kosher salt, okra, scallops, any additional ingredients desired, add pepper to taste
Effect: The improbable cooperation involved in preparing this dish rips a hole in the fabric of time and space, opening a portal to the high-gravity realm of Zyzzlvaria. The Duckchess leaps in and with tremendous force of bill, she heroically prevents our galaxy from collapsing in on itself. But before the tear is completely sealed, every fruit or vegetable contained in a pot is sucked into the void. Except for pots that also contain kosher salt, which are immune to Zyzzlvarian gravity. It's very important to use kosher salt.

#### Thanksgiving Thunder

Ingredients: Turkey, buffalo, buffalo sauce, okra, any other vegetables desired, add pepper to taste
Effect: The Duckchess appreciates that you used all parts of the buffalo: the meat and the sauce. For each pot (other than the now-empty one) that does not contain a sauce, add a sauce from this pantry that starts with the same letter as a protein in the pot. If you have a choice of proteins or a choice of sauces, always choose the one with the shortest name.

#### White Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients: Eggplant, mozzarella, parmesan, kosher salt, butter, add pepper to taste
Effect: No sauce? The Duckchess thinks your cooking is bland and pedestrian. Add two tablespoons of pepper to each of the pots that currently contain exactly one non-pepper ingredient.

### Pantry Contents

The pantry contains the following ingredients; once a chef has retrieved an ingredient, no other chef may fetch more of that ingredient, so it's a good idea to cross it off this list. Whenever an instruction refers to an ingredient's name, it should be the name as written in this list, regardless of whether that name is singular or plural.

Proteins:

• Bacon
• Buffalo
• Chicken
• Cod
• Crab
• Duck
• Hamburger
• Pork
• Salmon
• Sausage
• Shrimp
• Steak
• Tuna
• Turkey
• Venison

Fruits:

• Apples
• Apricot
• Banana
• Cherries
• Grapes
• Guava
• Honeydew
• Kiwi
• Mango
• Oranges
• Peach
• Pear
• Plum
• Pomegranate
• Watermelon

Vegetables:

• Asparagus
• Broccoli
• Carrots
• Cauliflower
• Celery
• Corn
• Cucumbers
• Eggplant
• Mushrooms
• Peppers
• Potatoes
• Pumpkin
• Spinach
• Turnips

Cheeses:

• Asiago
• Brie
• Cheddar
• Colby
• Edam
• Gorgonzola
• Gouda
• Gruyere
• Havarti
• Mozzarella
• Muenster
• Parmesan
• Provolone
• Ricotta
• Swiss

Sauces:

• Alfredo
• Barbecue
• Bordelaise
• Buffalo
• Butterscotch
• Duck
• Hollandaise
• Marinara
• Oyster
• Soy
• Sriracha
• Tabasco
• Tartar
• Teriyaki
• Worcestershire

### Instructions for Dude Fiery (signature ingredient: donkey sauce, which counts as a sauce)

BROIL (0 tbsp pepper): The first thing we want to do is bring some meat to this party! Get two proteins from the pantry; your first protein should be an anagram of the last name of an English poet born on Halloween, and your second protein's first syllable should rhyme with your first protein. Cut each of these into four servings. Put a serving of the first protein into the pot in front of you, and then a serving of the second into each of the pots next to that pot. The remaining five servings should be placed in a line on your cutting board, so that the servings alternate from left to right. Those meats are gonna need some flavor, so throw some donkey sauce in the left and middle pots, and shake three tablespoons of pepper into each of the three pots. Rock and roll.

CODDLE (4 tbsp pepper): The pot that just showed up in front of you seems like it would make a nice traditional dish if you just added some milk and did some mashing. But you did the shopping this week, so naturally the pantry is missing many things that any sensible person would have on hand. As a substitute, put some donkey sauce in there, and put the rightmost serving on your cutting board in too. One of the three closest pots to you is empty except for pepper; give that a taste. Hmmm... needs more pepper. Throw twelve more tablespoons in there. And just so the pepper doesn't get lonely, go to the pantry and get a cheese that makes a common English word if you read its letters backwards. Add that to the pot to your right, and put the now rightmost serving on your cutting board in the pot to your left. Now you're cooking' with gas! Or electricity. Actually, are these burners even on? How do you cook stuff on a lazy Susan?

BASTE (5 tbsp pepper): Go to the pantry and get two fruit ingredients; you reviewed a wacky diner in Florida last week, so pick up the state fruit of Florida. And a kid there said you looked like Beaker, so pick up the fruit that shares its name with the guy who hangs around with Beaker. Put those ingredients on your cutting board, with the brighter-colored one on the right. Now rotate the lazy Susan clockwise until the pot in front of you contains ingredients that start with the same letters as each of your cutting board ingredients. That pot has more pepper in it than either of the pots next to it; add pepper to those pots until all three have the same amount. Those two pots are missing something else... of course! Donkey sauce! Throw some of that in there, and then turn the lazy Susan so that those two pots end up in front of Milton and Jordan. They should use more donkey sauce.

DRAIN (9 tbsp pepper): You don't usually taste during the cooking process... oh, who are you kidding, you almost always taste during the cooking process. Take a sip from each of the three pots closest to you. One of them has a strong citrus taste... put three tablespoons of pepper in that one. One of them has a major kick from the sauce but also a pungent smell from the cheese; it doesn't need both of those, so remove the cheese and put it on your cutting board. The third pot doesn't taste like anything except pepper; I guess that's what happens when you put 26 tablespoons of pepper in one pot. Remove half of that pepper, and add in... let's see... how about that cheese you just took out? And some donkey sauce. And the protein on the cutting board to your left. And 15 tablespoons of pepper. Oh, you are a true artist.

GLAZE (12 tbsp pepper): It's not Halloween, so resist the urge to stick your face into the pot in front of you. (Though that is generally something you do at least once when cooking any meal.) What would really go well in that pot, though, is a fruit that contains two common nicknames, one male and one female, that don't overlap. Get that from the pantry and put it in the pot in front of you, along with some... what the?! Can nobody at this table keep their ingredients to themselves? Take the unwanted ingredient on your cutting board and put it in the rightmost position on the cutting board of the chef to your right. Then go back to the pantry and get the two ingredients that have the shortest names containing the letter I. Put the ingredient with more I's into the pot to your right. And throw the other ingredient at the chef that has two separated servings of the same fruit on his cutting board. Take that, Poindexter.

SPRINKLE (18 tbsp pepper): Auugggggh!!! It burns!!! It burns!!! This is the worst pain you've experienced since the last evaluation before you dropped out of cooking school. And that was emotional pain, which was a lot less stabby. Extract the item that damaged you and put it on your cutting board. Then rotate the lazy Susan clockwise one position for each tablespoon of pepper that was on that item. One of the (gaaaaah!) three pots closest to you now is empty. Take the sauce on your cutting board and add it to that pot. Then put one tablespoon of pepper in that (urrrrrgggh!) pot for each letter in the name of that sauce. Finally, take the sauce out of the pot immediately to your right, and drink it in its entirety. Mainly so the other chefs think that's the reason you're currently crying.

DEBONE (21 tbsp pepper): Of the three pots closest to you, one of them contains every type of pantry ingredient except fruit. Add one tablespoon of pepper to that pot for every non-pepper ingredient the pot contains. Then, to complete the set, put the fruit from your cutting board in as well. Now rotate the lazy Susan so that that pot is immediately to your left. Go to the pantry and pick up the non-vegetable ingredient with the longest name. (Remember, lift with your legs, not your back.) There are two pots on the table with the same number of tablespoons of pepper, and one of them contains donkey sauce. Chuck your new ingredient into that pot, which should splash that sauce (and half the pepper in that pot) entirely out of the pot and onto the nearest chef's apron. That's what he gets for being the innocent victim of your pointless rage.

### Instructions for Emerald Degrassi (signature ingredient: okra, which counts as a vegetable)

STIR (0 tbsp pepper): Okay, people, let's kick it up a smidge. First, go to the pantry and get a crustacean from the protein section and a spicy sauce, so that the first letter of the sauce immediately follows the first letter of the protein in the alphabet. Go ahead and put all that sauce in the pot in front of you, and put the protein on your cutting board. Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! By the way, whenever you shout "blam," you should put 2 tablespoons of pepper into a pot. Always start with the pot immediately to the left of the pot you most recently put something into, and then proceed one pot to the left for each additional blam. (Those last two didn't count. You need the exclamation point.) So in this case, you should now have put something into every pot except the one to your right. Go grab a fruit-vegetable pair in which both items have the same number of letters and start with the same letter, and put 'em both in that last pot. Blam!

BROWN (3 tbsp pepper): The chef nearest to the pot with the pumpkin in it has been seriously misbehaving. You think it's time somebody did something about it. Go to the pantry and get a vegetable that rhymes with the plural of a talking bird. Bring that back to your cutting board and split it up into five servings. Now glue those servings together with some melted okra in the shape of a person. Oh, she's looking your way, look busy! Put four tablespoons of pepper in the pot to your left, and move the sauce from the pot in front of you into that pot. Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Okay, she looked away. Rotate the lazy Susan three positions clockwise, so that there's a very hot sauce in front of you. Take the veggie-doll, pitch it into that pot, and wait to see what happens.

SIMMER (5 tbsp pepper): What in the world is going on with that pot to your right? Talk about your weird flavor profiles. Take the non-seafood protein from that pot and move it to the pot in front of you. Then, take the item on your cutting board, and put it in the pot on your right. Still pretty weird, but at least the proteins make sense. Blam! Now let's get something new to work with... Go to the pantry and find a protein and a cheese that each have a double letter in their name (by which I mean the same letter twice in a row), and make sure those letters come from the same half of the alphabet. Okay? Now put the cheese in the pot to your left, along with some nice okra, and put the protein on your cutting board. Blam! Speaking of which, one of the three pots in front of you has twice as much pepper as one of the others. Put three tablespoons of pepper into the third pot.

TOAST (7 tbsp pepper): Now THAT seems to have done it. Your creation has risen to its feet and is shuffling back and forth. Awww, the poor thing looks hungry! And if it's anything like its daddy, it has a refined palate, so go get a protein from the pantry with a name that ends with the name of a four-letter herb. It doesn't seem interested... so discard that ingredient into the pot immediately to the right of the pot on the table that contains seven different non-pepper ingredients. Rotate the lazy Susan two positions clockwise (so that multiple seafood items are in the pot in front of you), and then observe as your creation takes a giant bite out of the arm of the chef immediately to your right. Oh, so that's what it eats! Who knew? Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!

LIQUEFY (10 tbsp pepper): There should be two pots on the table that have exactly four non-pepper ingredients. Of those two pots, one contains an ingredient which is also on your cutting board; rotate the lazy Susan until that pot is directly in front of you. It's already got fruit and sauce in it, so add the third ingredient from your cutting board, plus two tablespoons of pepper. Two of the three pots closest to you contain sauce, but the other doesn't. You could throw in the sauce on your cutting board, but that doesn't seem quite right. To the pantry! One of the sauces there has a name in which every letter present appears exactly twice. Take that sauce, put it in the sauceless pot. Which is no longer sauceless. Blam! There should now be exactly one pot on the table (call it Pot A) that has exactly twice as much pepper as another on the table (call that Pot B). Ignoring chefs' signature ingredients, find the only ingredient in the pantry that has the same first letter as an ingredient in Pot B, and the same third letter as an ingredient in Pot A. Put that new ingredient in the pot on the table with the least pepper. Blam!

POACH (12 tbsp pepper): You can't help but notice that everybody else at the table has been engaged in blood-feuds and tantrums, and apart from some compulsive catch-phrase-related behavior, you've been pretty normal. So it's probably time to use voodoo magic to raise a zombie sous-chef. Go to the pantry and get a sauce, the first three letters of which describe where you're going to want to go when all of this is over. Also pick up the only vegetable that starts with the spelled out name of a Greek letter. And some soy sauce, because who doesn't like soy sauce? Cover the item on your cutting board in the first sauce, stick the vegetable onto the item in the shape of a face, and stick the makeshift head you just assembled onto the headless corpse you always bring with you just in case. Place the now-headed body on the ground to your right. While you're waiting for him to rise and do your bidding, put the soy sauce and some okra into the pot to your right. Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! (There were twenty of those. You're welcome.)

FLAMBE (13 tbsp pepper): This zombie (well, pombie is probably more accurate) is clearly defective; it's still lying there motionless. According to your voodoo cookbook you need a body... check. A decorated fruit head... check. Some pepper... grab a tablespoon of pepper from the pot in front of the chef to your right and rub it on the pombie. Still nothing. Let's see... according to this recipe, the pombie needs to be exposed to a truly unholy act to give it life. That stabbing was pretty graphic; grab the weapon from the cutting board to your left and jam it into the pombie's side. Nope. Maybe a ritual sacrifice; take the cheese-based weapon in the pot immediately to your right, and throw it into the pot elsewhere on the table that has deer meat in it. Yeah, you're not really surprised that didn't work. Blam! Blam! Blam! This raising the dead thing isn't panning out as you'd hoped. Turn the lazy Susan until there's a pot in front of you containing butter and two cheeses; add okra to that pot and sulk.

DICE (14 tbsp pepper): It seems like the pot in front of you contains just about everything, so you might as well put the ingredient on your cutting board in there too. And some okra. Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! You could change four of the middle five letters in the name of one of the ingredients in that pot to get the name of an ingredient in the pantry. Get that item from the pantry, along with another ingredient that starts with the same letter but isn't a cheese. Divide that second ingredient into two servings, and toss one of those servings into the only pot on the table that just contains pepper. Put the other serving on your cutting board, and put the first ingredient on your cutting board to the right of that.

### Instructions for Jordan Sheepsley (signature ingredient: scallops, which counts as a protein)

FRY (0 tbsp pepper): Dear God, who cleaned this cookware? It's dreadful. All right then, get some bleeping ingredients from the pantry, specifically a protein, a fruit, a vegetable, and a cheese, so that all of them start with the same bleeping letter, each of them has the same number of letters as exactly one of the others, and none of them contains a bleeping letter U. Cut them each into two servings, and arrange them on your cutting board from left to right in alphabetical order. Then take the second, fifth, and eighth servings from the left, and put them in the pot to your left, the pot in front of you, and the pot to your right respectively. Finally, put five tablespoons of pepper into each of those three pots, and turn the lazy Susan four positions counterclockwise so that these are somebody else's bleeping problem.

KNEAD (4 tbsp pepper): Did someone literally just throw bleeping food across the table? Is this amateur hour? All right, take a look at what you've got to work with. There's a lot going on in the pot to your left; add some scallops and four tablespoons of pepper and then leave that alone. The pot on the right seems close to done; go to the pantry and get an ingredient with a name that anagrams to a word for a female relative. No, not a bloody dragontherm! Come on... Take that ingredient, put it in the pot on your right. Now the pot in front of you, there's some promise there. Take the leftmost and rightmost ingredients on your cutting board and put it in that pot. Frankly, there's pepper to spare in there (especially given the sauce), and some of these other chefs wouldn't know a bleeping flavor profile if it bit them on the arse. So take all the pepper out of that pot except for two tablespoons, and equally distribute the removed pepper into all the pots on the table that contain kosher salt. (If you have to use fractions of tablespoons to do so, something's gone wrong.) There, that at least resembles progress.

MINCE (5 tbsp pepper): Oh dear, oh dear, what are these other chefs thinking? Why does the pot to your left contain nothing but sauce and pepper? Who would bleeping eat that? Go to the pantry and pick out a protein with a name that contains the reversed name of a trigonometric function, and a vegetable with a name that starts with a type of shoe. Drop both of those in the previously mentioned pot, and then put scallops in all three of the pots closest to you. Now, there are two servings of one ingredient on your cutting board. Those were supposed to be for the red team and the blue team, but since they didn't bleeping show up, put one serving in the pot in front of you and throw the other serving away. And last off, take eight stunning tablespoons of pepper, and dump half of it into the pot in front of you, and the other half in the pot to your left. Bloody hell.

HUSK (6 tbsp pepper): You really can't imagine what these people are trying to make. It smells like someone bleeping died in here. Rotate the bloody lazy Susan so that the number of tablespoons of pepper in the pot in front of you is a perfect square but not a perfect fourth power. Of the two ingredients on your cutting board (and by the way, how the hell did those get there?), one of them is already present in a pot nearby; take the serving on your board, and take the serving in the pot, and chuck them both in the bin because they're RAW! (And yes, they're probably supposed to be raw, but that's not the point!) Now take the other ingredient on your cutting board, and put it in the pot in front of you. Seems like a bad idea, but you know what? It's been that kind of a day. And meanwhile, people are overseasoning everything in sight; in each of the three pots in front of you, get rid of one tablespoon of pepper, and then get rid of half of what remains. The new total of those pots should be a much more reasonable 19 tablespoons of pepper. The Duckchess eats that in an average midnight snack.

GARNISH (11 tbsp pepper): There is not enough bloody competition in this kitchen. From here on, declare the two chefs to your left to be the red team, and the two chefs to your right to be the blue team. And place some scallops on the cutting boards to your left and right, because everyone bleeping knows that if you don't know how to bleeping cook, you'll end up putting bleeping raw scallops on the plate! Now, turn the lazy Susan so that the two pots directly in front of red team chefs have the same total amount of pepper as the two pots directly in front of the blue team chefs. In addition to the pepper, each of those four pots contains the same number of non-pepper ingredients, except for one that contains two more than the others. Well, that's not bleeping fair! Go to that pot, take the two vegetables out, and put them on your cutting board. Then smack that chef on the back of the head for cheating. Bloody twerp.

PUREE (15 tbsp pepper): Spin the bloody lazy Susan so that the empty pot is directly in front of you. It's high time you did something with that ingredient on your cutting board. Put it in the empty pot and add three tablespoons of pepper. You're also going to need a stunning sauce, so go to the pantry, get one with the same number of bleeping letters as the ingredient you put in, and add that sauce to the pot as well. That's enough work on your own recipe, maybe you should start fixing these other disasters. There are two pots (next to each other on the table) that have both a prime number of non-pepper ingredients and a prime number of tablespoons of pepper. Everybody knows prime numbers taste like a duck's dinner, so add a tablespoon of pepper to each of those pots. One of them still has a prime number of tablespoons! Bloody hell! Remove the longest-named fruit from that pot, wipe it off, and put it on your cutting board. Somebody'll find some bleeping thing to do with it.

ROAST (16 tbsp pepper): What is going on here? This is supposed to be a bleeping kitchen and it's more like a bleeping science fiction movie. It looks like you're going to have to be the one who ensures something useful actually gets made. The pots in front of the chefs to your left and right each have a sauce in them; extract those bleeping sauces and switch their positions. Now that you've done their work for them, take a look at the pots nearest to you... Oh bloody hell, is someone just using one of them to melt butter? Go to the bloody pantry, take five non-protein ingredients that start with the same letter of the alphabet, and put them all in that pot. And then, for each one of those five ingredients that has a name containing the letter B, put a tablespoon of pepper in that pot. Now hopefully things will go smoothly, because if one more bleeping chef pulls one more bleeping idiotic stunt, you're going to go out of your bleeping mind.

STEAM (21 tbsp pepper): ALL RIGHT, SHUT IT DOWN!!! This kitchen is a bleeping disgrace, and you did not come here to be attacked by fruit creatures! Forcibly kick every bleeping chef out of the room, whether they have more actions they were going to carry out or not. You are DONE here. This is FINISHED. And you're starting to feel a bit woozy. Look at this bleeping disaster. Most of these ingredients don't even mean anything; the only thing anyone got right is the amount of bleeping pepper in each pot, which seems to perfectly embody the Duckchess's most important dinner request. But apart from... huh, the room's spinning a bit... stupid bleeding chefs... you... ugh... nrrrrggggh... bleeeeeeeeping braaaaaaaaaaaains...

### Instructions for Milton Taupe (signature ingredient: kosher salt)

HEAT (0 tbsp pepper): Now this first ingredient you're going to grab from the pantry is a versatile vegetable also known as the aubergine. You'll also need two cheeses that both end in the same two letters, and a protein that has no letters in common with any of the other three ingredients. Of these ingredients, one of them begins with the name of a mythical creature; put that in the pot to your left, along with some kosher salt. It's very important that you use kosher salt. One of the others begins with the name of another food; put that in the pot to your right, along with some kosher salt. Of the remaining two, take the one with the shorter name and leave it on your cutting board; put the remaining one in the pot to your right. You should also get a sauce going, so fetch one from the pantry that's named for a French wine region, and put it in the pot in front of you. Finally, put two tablespoons of pepper into each of the three nearest pots.

MIX (2 tbsp pepper): Add some pepper to one of the three pots closest to you so that the numbers of tablespoons of pepper in these pots are consecutive (in some order), and none of them have the same amount of pepper as any other pot on the table. Add some kosher salt to the only one of these three pots that doesn't contain any protein. It's very important that you use kosher salt. Now, it's a common misconception that one of the cheeses left in the pantry is named after a sitcom character played by Fred Gwynne, though the added third letter dispels that myth pretty quickly. Still, grab that cheese and grate it into the nearest pot that doesn't contain any cheese. Last off, the pot on the table with the most pepper is in front of a chef who should really learn to make dishes that are nutritious as well as delicious. Go to the pantry and get two vegetables that each have a double consonant (repeated twice in a row) without a third instance of that consonant. Put those vegetables on that chef's cutting board, and take the ingredient that was on the cutting board and eat it. That's good eats! (Leave the remnants of that ingredient on the ground to your right.)

GRIND (3 tbsp pepper): No, no, no, this won't do at all. After all this cooking and all this advice, none of the pots except the one in front of you has a single vegetable in it? You pride yourself on your patience with rookie chefs, but this is frankly unacceptable. Shut down this kitchen, and get all of the other chefs out of here. Before you leave, maybe you can salvage these dinners; go to the pantry, take every vegetable in sight, and place them in the pots so that the vegetable with the longest name goes in the pot with the most pepper, the second longest in the pot with the second-most pepper, and so on. Huh. Those vegetables certainly ended up in an interesting order around the table.

MELT (5 tbsp pepper): You feel alive for the very first time in your life. No one pushes Milton Taupe around ever again, from this day forward! Remove one tablespoon of pepper from each of the three pots nearest to you, and rub the pepper on your face like war paint, along with some kosher salt. It's very important that you use kosher salt. Two of those three pots contain six non-pepper ingredients, and those pots have one ingredient in common; remove that ingredient in an effort to make these dishes a bit more nutritious. Now rotate the lazy Susan until the three pots nearest to you each contain four non-pepper ingredients. There is a set of three ingredients, one in each of these pots that starts with the same letter. Remove and discard all three. You know, after all that violence, cooking is just dull. Stomp on the foot of the chef to your right, and make it clear that it wasn't an accident. That's just how you roll now.

CHILL (6 tbsp pepper): Breathe in. Breathe out. Calmly clean off your sauce-stained apron with a moist towelette. Calmly stir the pot immediately to your right, and add an ingredient from the pantry that begins with the name of a continent. Calmly add a tablespoon of pepper to the only pot on the table that contains three different cheeses. Calmly pick up the object on your cutting board. Calmly walk over to the chef who keeps throwing food in your direction. Calmly stab him in the neck with the object twelve times. Then, before returning to your station, calmly rub liberal amounts of kosher salt in the resulting wound. It's very important that you use kosher salt.

PICKLE (7 tbsp pepper): What a waste of perfectly good soft cow's milk cheese; wipe it off your face and reluctantly discard it. But the monkeyshines of an immature bully will not stand in the way of good eats. Turn the lazy Susan so that the pot in front of the cheese-thrower is now in front of you. Two of the three pots in front of you each contain exactly two non-pepper ingredients; add three tablespoons of pepper to the other pot. As far as the first two pots go, neither contains any sauce, and that should be remedied. For the pot that doesn't contain any cheese, add a sauce from the pantry with a name containing a four letter word for "podium." Add a sauce to the other pot with a name that contains a three-letter Asian mammal. Just to finish things off, add two things to the pot directly in front of you: the leftmost ingredient on your cutting board and some kosher salt. It's very important that you use kosher salt.

SHIRR (8 tbsp pepper): It's a common culinary misconception that you can only eat the sauce you should get from the pantry in months that contain the letter R; but while that's debatably true for the namesake shellfish, the sauce contains such minimal amounts of it that you'll be fine year round. In fact, just to demonstrate that fact, call the pot in front of you January, the pot to its right February, and so on around the table until you get to October. Then, put some of the sauce in every pot corresponding to a month that DOESN'T contain an R. Of those pots, two of them contain butter; you should add some kosher salt to the other two. It's very important that you use kosher salt. It occurs to you that the ingredient on your cutting board should probably be used sooner rather than later, but it doesn't seem like it would fit in with the ingredients in the pot directly in front of you. Turn the lazy Susan so the "April" pot is in front of you. Ah, now that's more like it. Put in the ingredient from your cutting board, along with five tablespoons of pepper.

BRAISE (9 tbsp pepper): Here's a little-known fact about cooking; ingredients that rhyme are essentially interchangeable once you put them through a food processor (and you should put everything through a food processor). So for example, right now it would be nice to have some strips of dried salted meat and some coffee, but we don't have any of those, so go to the pantry and get two items that rhyme with them. (For the coffee, get something that rhymes with a slang term that's also an island in Southeast Asia.) Of these items, take the protein, divide it into two servings, and put it in the pot to your left and the pot in front of you. Also, put some kosher salt in the pot to your left and the pot to your right. It's very important that you use kosher salt. As for the fruit, divide that into two servings as well, and put them on your cutting board so that the fruit servings are on the left and right, and the other item is in the middle. Then turn the lazy Susan three positions counterclockwise, just to keep folks on their toes. Oh, and add a tablespoon of pepper to the pot that's now on your right, because whoever recently took a tablespoon out of that pot clearly didn't know what they were doing.

### Instructions for Pauletta Spleen (signature ingredient: butter)

WHISK (0 tbsp pepper): Now before we do anything else here, you're gonna want to put some butter into the pot to your left and the pot to your right. Mix it in there real good. Okay, now rotate that lazy Susan just about three positions clockwise. There should be one non-pepper ingredient in the pot to your right now. Go to the pantry and get the two ingredients from that same category that have the longest names. You can just throw the longest one in the garbage, we won't need it, but empty the other one into the pot in front of you. Now I've heard that vegetables are extremely good for your heart, so let's ignore those and pick out a few cheeses. You're gonna want two cheeses that start with the same letter; just make sure neither of them shares its name with a New England college. Of those, take the one with the most repeated letters and put it on your cutting board. Put the other in the pot in front of you, along with, oh, let's say 8 tablespoons of pepper. And some butter. And 3 more tablespoons of pepper. Next, rotate the lazy Susan so the only pot that contains nothing but pepper is right in front of you. Finally, there's a pot in front of another chef that contains exactly 4 tablespoons of pepper; remove one tablespoon of pepper and throw it away.

JULIENNE (2 tbsp pepper): First off, why don't you turn the lazy Susan so that fancy European sauce nearby becomes as far away from you as possible. Not a fan of Europe. Too many ethnicities. Of the three pots now closest to you, one has significantly less pepper than the others; double the amount of pepper in that pot, and add some butter. I've been told that we need some fruits and vegetables, but I'll be damned if we're gonna use something green, so go to the pantry and pick up the two produce items that are the most yellow. No, not the mango. Of these, put the vegetable in the pot in front of you, and put the fruit in the leftmost position on your cutting board. That pot in front of you is looking good enough to eat; in fact, you'd better pick up the pot in front of you and the pot to your left and switch their positions so you don't actually eat it.

CHOP (4 tbsp pepper): At this point, nine out of ten of the pots on the table have butter in them. Well now, you know what they call that in the Deep South? A good start. Turn the lazy Susan so that the only butterless pot is directly in front of you; no, actually turn it so that pot is immediately to your right. That way you can sneak up on it. Add butter to that pot (naturally) and also add three tablespoons of pepper to each of the three pots closest to you. There's another ingredient that would be perfect for the pot to your left, but it's currently on the cutting board to your right, and the chef over there looks like he's planning to make use of it. Distract him by removing the sauce from the pot in front of him and hurling it into his eyes. Then, while he's writhing in pain, put the previously mentioned ingredient in the pot to your left, along with some of that chef's signature ingredient. You know, for irony.

FRAPPE (5 tbsp pepper): Once you notice what ingredients have appeared on your cutting board, shriek for a good solid minute. Who is trying to sabotage your cooking with vitamins and nutrients? This means gastric war, if you do say so yourself. (And you do.) Immediately throw the two horrible ingredients in the garbage, and then go to the pantry for two replacement ingredients. One should have a name you can form by mixing together the first two letters of each of the bad ingredients, while the other should have the same last letter as one of the bad ingredients and the same penultimate letter as the other. The one with the fancy name is for cooking; put it, along with some butter and three tablespoons of pepper, into the one of the three pots nearest you that has the least pepper in it. The one with the shorter name is for fighting. Break off an appropriate piece of it, and put that piece on your cutting board, throwing the rest away. Then remove enough pepper from the pot directly in front of you so that that pot contains the average of the amounts of pepper in the pots to your left and right. (That average should be twice the amount of pepper in a pot on the table, and also half the amount of pepper in another pot on the table. Rub all the removed pepper onto the item on your cutting board, and lie in wait.

SAUTE (6 tbsp pepper): Put three tablespoons of pepper into the pot immediately to your left and then... was that a knock at the door? Are you being sued again?? Time for y'all to get out of Dodge. Pull the plug and shut down the kitchen; tell your colleagues to go out the front door, while you sneak out the back so that you don't end the day with one more subpoena. Though before you leave, take a look at each pot that contains butter. Coincidentally, each of those pots also contains one sauce; look at the amount of pepper in the pot and the name of that sauce, and see if it doesn't spell out something interesting.

CARVE (9 tbsp pepper): Give that lazy Susan a little spin, turning it clockwise until there's a pot directly in front of you that contains butter. Mmm, mmm. Butter. Neither the pot immediately to your left or right has any butter, and the good lord knows that some butter would improve them, but you can't have people thinking you're a one-trick pony. First take the ingredient that's been on your cutting board the longest and put it into the pot to your right, along with four tablespoons of pepper. The other ingredient on your cutting board has a certain letter repeated three times. Go to the pantry and find two ingredients that also have three instances of that letter. Of these, put the one with fewer total letters in the pot to your left; put the other on the cutting board of the chef to your right, on top of whatever he's put there.

PEEL (10 tbsp pepper): Slowly regain consciousness and stand up. Hopefully you didn't miss anything particularly important. One of the items you're surprised to find on your cutting board is the remnant of an ingredient from the pantry that has the same first letter as every non-pepper ingredient in a pot on the table. Stroll on over and plunk both of the items on your cutting board (the garbage item and the combo item) into that pot. After wandering back to your station, you notice that there are a lot fewer vegetables around than there were earlier. You're not sure what happened, but you're certainly not complaining... Identify the nearest pot to you that contains a seven-letter ingredient, and for every pot on the table that does contain at least one vegetable, remove a tablespoon of pepper from that previously identified pot. And to finish up, add some butter into each of the three pots closest to you, because why not?

WHIP (14 tbsp pepper): And now the time has come to strike! Grab the devastating weapon on your cutting board and... wait, what happened to the devastating weapon on your cutting board? Now you appear to have the symbol of one of the most delightful states in this great nation of ours. Put that, along with some butter and a tablespoon of pepper, into the nearby empty pot. Then reach into one of the three pots closest to you and extract an ingredient with the same first and last letters as the state you were just thinking about. It's probably too crumbly to do physical damage, but go to the pantry and get a non-cheese ingredient that ends with the same letter. Smear that all over your replacement weapon, and now at least you have a missile you can burn somebody's eyes with. The South shall rise again! Now run toward your sworn enemy, immediately slip on a discarded object, fall down, and be knocked out. Both your weapon and the previously discarded object miraculously land on your cutting board.