*sees short chapter* yay~ *sees paragraphs* no!! Anyways, sorry it’s so late, the paragraphs and work got in the way. Somehow, hasn’t my chapter debt gotten worse!? Enjoy the chapter…
“Yoshi, it’s done!”
I was able to declare that, according to my internal clock, about 1 hour and 20 minutes after I threw the Giba meat into the pot.
In the meantime I earnestly removed the scum, adjusted the fire, checked the firmness of the meat, soothed the hungry Ai-Fa, and sometimes talked a little seriously一一a fun but troubling 80 minutes.
In the house, the irresistible smell of Giba meat filled.
It seems to be more fragrant than last night, is the reason because of the difference in fat?
Well, such trifles don’t matter.
Anyways, it’s actual food!1
“Sorry to have kept you waiting. To your heart’s content, please eat”
I stirred the contents of the pot with the ladle, first pouring it into Ai-Fa’s bowl.
Except for the pseudo potato poitans, after all, I hadn’t thrown any in yet.
After 60 minutes from the start of boiling, the pseudo onions also known as arias were sliced, and the pseudo black pepper pico leaves were thrown in.
Still the soup, was cloudy.
Translucent, with the meat dashi stock coming out well, a white soup.
That’s right. Let’s call this [Giba Soup] instead of [Giba Nabe] (T/N: Hotpot).
If you think about it, the dashi stock is taken from the meat, and since the only seasonings are salt and spice, the name [soup] is more appropriate than [nabe], in this one aspect.
If it’s [soup], there’s no problem even if the ingredients are onions.
I wish poitan had the same potato taste that they looked like, I thought.
Well in short, to enjoy a meal self-suggestion is also important.
So, the dish I’ve named “Giba Soup” in my mind, is presented to my dear mistress.
“Without adding poitan, it’s kind of weird”, Ai-Fa said as she sniffed the soup with a suspicious expression.
Well, the smell itself was great even in the nabe from yesterday, so at the moment there isn’t much difference to find.
After pouring my own, I sat in front of Ai-Fa.
“To be honest, this is only the first prototype, so I can’t be too confident. I’m going to use this as a foundation for improvement it in the future, well, I want to hear your honest impressions”
“……Good or bad, I don’t care about that. Even if you ask me for my impressions, it’s pointless”
“I got it I got it. ……Well then, itadakimasu!”2
Ai-Fa closed her eyes, brought the fingertips of her left hand to her mouth, and showed a gesture of drawing a horizontal line.
Then, she chanted while mumbling something.
Could it be, the sign of “itadakimasu” in this world? I feel like I didn’t see her make that gesture yesterday.
But regardless, I’m glad. A world without the concept of “itadakimasu” and “gochisousama”3, would be too sad for a chef.
At any rate. It’s actual food.
First, I spooned up some soup with a wooden spoon.
The transparent film of fat shining brightly, a whitish liquid.
The black power scattered here and there, is pico leaf.
The smell and look, are both the best
However, so far there’s no big difference from last night.
I tried tasting it several times, but I wonder how it ended up. With expectations, when I tried a sip一一there was no problem, it was delicious.
It was a simple soup without miso or soy sauce, with the slightly peculiar flavor of Giba meat, accented with pico leaves. The taste was light but rich, your appetite would be stimulated if you let your guard down.
It seemed that about a third of the water that was poured into the pot had evaporated, after it was slowly and calculatedly boiled down.4 I hadn’t added any water. As a result, it seems that I was able to complete a soup with an amazingly rich flavor and umami.
Now, the question of, the Giba meat.
I checked this guy’s firmness with wooden sticks that doubled as chopsticks, this is genuinely, the first real meal.
When I spooned up a sliced piece of meat instead of one that was shaved off from the bone along with the soup, the ivory colored meat, along with the whitish fat, swayed cutely with a purupuru.
4 centimeters square in size, and with a thickness that had shrunk to about 5 millimeters, I resolutely threw it into my mouth.
When chewed, the meat frayed with a puchipuchi.
Soft. Softer than I had imagined.
But, the bite is firm.
With gelatinous fatty meat, and elastic lean meat fusing in your mouth, the umami, spread slowly and steadily.
This is as expected, a top class ingredient.
Even though the meat hasn’t been aged, it’s not at all defeated by the shishinabe I ate 3 years ago.
Of course, it might be due to the troubles I went through to prepare it, and the physical exhaustion and hunger probably also helped with the deliciousness一一still, I don’t feel like changing my evaluation.
I didn’t use much seasoning, so the meat’s umami is directly transmitted.
The wild meat’s, violent umami. A solid presence. This is, the true value of gibier……5 though, it may be a bit presumptuous for the me who has only eaten gibier cooking a few times in my life to say that, but if I claim that in my heart then it doesn’t matter.
When I tried eating the aria vegetable with it, the texture was a bit softer than yesterday, it was just right for a soup.
If you eat it together with the meat or soup, the depth of the taste increases a lot. The onion (though it’s not an onion) looks to be a species that’s more sweet than spicy. Both the taste and texture aren’t overstated, and really raises the quality of the cooking.
(Un. As the first prototype, it came out too good)
Thinking that, I turned my gaze back towards the front, just as Ai-Fa was about to stand up with her bowl in her hand.
With her usual sour face, remaining silent, she headed towards the kamado.
Was she getting another bowl?
It’s good that the food’s improving, but I’m worried about if she’s tasting it properly.
She poured a second bowl into her bowl, and came back to the same spot.
Her eyes, didn’t look at me.
By this point, the anxiety that arose within me swelled to an uncontrollable level.
“Hey, how is it? As for me, I think it’s pretty good”
After sipping a mouthful of soup, Ai-Fa dubiously tilted her head.
“What is it? ……I told you it was useless to ask for my impressions”
“No well, I guess that was the case……”
Somehow, the area around my pelvis had become restless.6
An unidentified rage, it was like it was lifting a sickle while in search of a place to go.
Anger, sorrow, pain, anxiety一一I don’t know the identity, but it was no doubt that it was a “negative” feeling.
“Y, you know, I spent a lot of time cooking, that, could it be that, was it meaningless……?”
Ai-Fa, had a more and more suspicious face.
Then, she looked down at the contents in her bowl with a fuu.
Orange flames, flickered the shadows of her long eyelashes on her cheeks.
What should I do?
My heart was beating wildly.
I’m getting, a bad feeling.
“……For me, for food, there is neither delicious nor bad. Food, is a means to live”
“For such a thing, even if I were asked for my impression on the taste, I have no idea”
“Aah. That would be the case huh”
“But, what I can clearly understand is……”
Ai-Fa said, as her face, slowly looked up.
Her beautiful blue eyes, looked straight towards me.
“……delicious, this is what it means”
Her cherry coloured lips, slightly awkwardly, squeezed out these words.
“Eating, as in the act itself, is fun……comfortable……blissful, those feelings. This, is what it means, to eat delicious food”
I, was at a loss for words.
Ai-Fa, wrinkled her eyebrows while looking a little pained.
“Why you’re so passionate about cooking and such, the reason for being so serious as if an idiot, I understand. ……I understand, I think. Maybe I don’t actually get it, but at least, I can’t bring myself to try to deny your actions”
“I can’t find the words to say. I can’t explain any more. But, I think you did the right thing”
And then Ai-Fa, though only a little……her pretty mouth smiled.
“So, don’t make such a pained face. This dish, is delicious”
After I nodded back once, I was immersed in eating in silence.
Somehow, I don’t know the reason.
The lump of anxiety that welled up in the depths of my stomach had completely dissipated, and this time the back of my neck became hot, and a chill was running down my spine.
If I wasn’t careful, my chest was going to get choked up.
Probably一一I, was absurdly happy.
And also, absurdly moved by my emotions.
I’m sure I, more strongly than I had imagined, in a deep part of me, I hoped that, Ai-Fa would acknowledge me.
To the Ai-Fa who was still the only understanding person in this other world.
To the Ai-Fa who saved my life.
Eccentric, straightforward, acting roughly like a man, kinder than I’ve ever seen, probably holding a scar deep in her heart, trying to live alone without relying on anyone, strong, beautiful, brave, delicate, to this mysterious girl named Ai-Fa一一I, I wanted her to accept my existence, is what I was hoping.
(Damn it……but, I’m still not there yet!)
For some reason, a feeling of hostility was induced in me, as I roughly chewed the Giba meat.
My fight, is not over yet.
With renewed determination, I glared at my hated enemy.
Lying next to the kamado, was the pseudo potato一一the poitan vegetable.
- This, as well as the title, can also be translated as “real food”, “real meal”, etc.
- Probably don’t have to say it, but it means “Let’s eat!”.
- What you say after eating a meal.
- Not sure how to TL (そうとう入念に煮詰めた計算になる).
- This might be a French word, but if you didn’t know, it basically means wild game.
- T/N: Weird but ok
- Confusing… (お前は正しいことをしたのだと思っている)