I’m curious, do you guys even like these starting comments from me, or is it distracting? Well, enjoy~!
Change: Granny Tito-Min -> Grandma Tito-Min, to show that it isn’t the same honorific as Jiba-Ruu
Now then, let’s switch up our thoughts, and concentrate.
I’ve been distracted by the voices around me for a while now, it feels like my hands have been neglected. As one that occupies the lowest seat of chefs, this isn’t good. To handle old man’s santoku knife with such frivolous feelings, it couldn’t be forgiven.
“……These poitans’ cooking method, isn’t that difficult. If it’s to the liking of the oldest Jiba-Ruu, I hope that everyone will continue to serve it with their own hands from tomorrow on”
As I made a declaration to those in front of me like that, the poitans started boiling with a guragura. When I tried stirring them with a ladle so that they wouldn’t be burnt, they were already quite sticky.
“Ano, could it be, that you’re going to boil them until all the water is gone?”
The one who asked, was Reina-Ruu.
“That’s right” I answered, as a confused look floated up in her round eyes.
“But, then the poitans will become as hard as clay right? I don’t think that that would pass through a human’s throat……”
“Eh? Has Reina-Ruu boiled down poitan to that point before?”
Reina-Ruu seemed puzzled for a moment, and then she said “Yes!” as her eyes lit up.
“To find out if there was a way to make poitans easier to eat, I tried many things. Everyone, scolded me for treating food poorly though”
What was it. A happy smile spread across her face.
Why did such an expression surface at this timing? Surely, it couldn’t be because it’s the first time that I’ve called that name could it?
No. Concentrate, concentrate.
“Well then the poitans will be left to Reina-Ruu. ……However, I don’t mean to say it in a bad way but, even the people of the forest search for cooking methods like that huh”
“Yes. If granny Jiba hadn’t been like that, I think I probably wouldn’t have bothered with anything either but. ……Is it okay to completely drain the water?”
“Aah. Be careful so as to not let it burn”
Now then. There’s still time until dusk, but let’s finish the work that can be done right now.
“Well then, let’s start preparing the giba meat. This dish’s heat control is difficult though. Still, well, if it seems helpful then please refer to it”
While saying that, this time it was the shoulder loin was unwrapped.
Then, “areee” Rimi-Ruu gave out another loud voice.
“What a weird shape! Is this really giba meat?”
“Nn? Something’s weird? This, is the meat from between the giba’s back and shoulders though”
“He一e! That, I’ve never eaten anything like that!”
“Wh, why? The Ruu clan takes the whole giba back home right?”
“It’s just taken back for the sake of stripping off the fur, we only eat the hind legs, Asuta”
The one who answered so, was grandma Tito-Min.
“Why is that? If you have such a large family, the hind legs will be eaten up right away wouldn’t they?”
“No. The men of the Ruu clan, hunt two giba everyday. Even just the hinds legs sometimes rot away”
“2 heads everyday, is it……”
I was a little stunned.
Well then it’s true, if it were a 70 kilogram class giba, the hinds legs alone would be close to 20 kilograms, so 40 kilograms for 2 heads……such a large amount of meat couldn’t be consumed in 1 day. Even if you were to consider the smoked portion, the legs alone might just about cover it.
But then again, I thought. Giba horns and fangs, one set is only enough for 10 servings of arias and poitans.
Which means, for the 12 (plus 1 infant) person family of the Ruu house, 1 head a day isn’t enough. Although there’s a large surplus, killing two heads, is reasonable.
Of course, with this system there’s a surplus of meat, I understand that. Even in my home’s food store, it was evident.
The giba that Ai-Fa killed about 6 days ago, was about 45 kilograms of meat, while being preserved in pico leaves the water was drained and that shrank to about 40 kilograms. But, I and Ai-Fa alone can only consume one kilogram of meat in 1 day. And it can only be preserved for 2 weeks, so at this rate there is no choice but to have more than half of it be smoked.
Moreover, in the meantime Ai-Fa needed to hunt a giba every 5 days to get its tusks and horns, so there’s no choice but to leave it in the forest and feed them to wild animals.
That’s why, it would be a waste to use meat that has been properly bled just for smoking, so this time we being able to consume nearly 10 kilograms of meat, made me feel rather pleased but一一even with such a big house, to only eat the thigh part of their hard earned meat, makes me feel a little sad.
As I was cutting the shoulder loin, I glanced at the cheerful face of grandma Tito-Min standing in front of me.
“Then um, you strip the fur of the captured giba, then it’s horns, tusks, and hind legs are cut off, and then the entirety of the rest is thrown away?”
“Yes. To keep it from falling into the hands of the people of the forest, it’s thrown down the valley. At the bottom of the valley lies a munto’s den, so the muntos bring the giba’s soul back into the forest”
“……To keep it from falling into the hands of the people of the forest?”
“Yes. If a person without the power to hunt finds that meat, once people can only eat giba that others have thrown away, people without pride will be born”
The pride of the people of the forest, is what it is huh.
To me who was born in another world, this was a somewhat befuddling situation.
Well一一the most confusing thing was, that they were treating such delicious loin and ribs as waste! Because of that point, my ethics are fully known.
“For reference. If a man is injured or too old and can’t hunt giba, what is the fate of their family?”
“People who have lost their power, will rely on family1. If their family does not have the power to save them, they will instead rely on a clan with greater power. As long as you have the strength to do work other than giba hunting, you are qualified to eat giba”
“Is that so”
With that explanation, I’m convinced that I follow their ethics by an extremely tiny amount.
“Understood. Thank you very much. ……Now then, once you’ve cut the meat more or less like this, next you’ll chop and mince the meat with the knife”
Once again, I pulled my mind back into cooking.
Now, was not the time to be gathering information.
“It will be easier to use a large knife at first. Don’t put in too much strength, use the weight of the knife, like this, and chop the meat evenly”
“What’s this! Interesting! Rimi will do it too!”
“Un? ……That’s right. If it’s just this, then I can leave it to you”
There’s still time to spare. There’s no problem if only I finish it. Thinking about tomorrow and after, I want to at least teach them how to make delicious giba meat as much as possible.
“Uwa一, greasy一! Interesting!”
When you only hear that voice it’s as if they were playing, but there was nothing dangerous at all with Rimi-Ruu’s kitchen knife handling. Even if she’s young, she seems to be properly doing her job at home.
“A, ano! Asuta! I also, want to try that!”
The one who raised her voice, while stirring the poitans was of course, Reina-Ruu who was stretching her neck and peeking at my hands.
Even if you weren’t so desperate, we have 7 kilograms of meat for 14 people’s shares of hamburgers. If you want to chop, chop as much as you’d like.
“Ah, the poitans seems to already be done enough. E一to, could it be moved as it is I wonder?”
“If you pass a stick through the handles, a group of two can carry it!”
“That would be helpful. Then, Ai-Fa……”
“If it’s just this much, could I do it?”, Reina-Ruu said with a grigi branch in her hand as she smiled.
If so, then Ai-Fa and Reina-Ruu would be……was what I thought, but my inner wild instincts, ‘don’t pair these two people up!’ it screamed.
So, being careful as to not get burned, I pointed the handles on the sides up, through it passed the grigi stick, and me and Reina-Ruu carried it outside with an eh hoh eh hoh.
Ai-Fa didn’t have such a cold look in her eyes anymore, but for some reason or another, from around after her conversation with grandma Tito-Min, she looked to be contemplating something with slightly darkened eyes.
I hate it. A sinking Ai-Fa, is the thing I don’t want to see the most.
“So then, what do we do with this pot?”
“Aah. Put it in a sunny place, and let it dry as is. To not let it burn, let’s sprinkle some water on the outside of the pot”
Putting aside the part about Ai-Fa’s uneasiness, the way this girl Reina-Ruu worked was splendid.
She was very prompt, and a fast learner. She’d hear one thing and know 10 things. This was probably the same with Rimi-Ruu, but she wants to properly learn these techniques for the sake of grandma Jiba, is what I strongly think.
After carrying out the poitans, when I let Reina-Ruu chop the meat, she was better than Rimi-Ruu, and I didn’t even have to finish it up anymore, the mincemeat was beautifully completed.
There were plenty of knives, so once grandma Tito-Min joined the fray, the large 7 kilogram worth of giba meat, in no time at all ended up turning into a pink mound.
These girls, really are excellent pupils.
“Are? Asuta! There’s some leftover meat over here! Is messing this up fine too?”
“Ah, leave that as it is. It’ll be used in a different dish”
I think that soup is essential if your teeth are weak, so other than the 7 kilograms worth used for the hamburgers around 3 kilograms worth of shoulder loin was taken out. Rimi-Ruu very disappointedly voiced a “che一!” while pouting.
“The order has been a little reversed, but next is the arias’ preparation. We’re going to need a couple of other things, so could you also guide me to the pantry, Rimi-Ruu?”
“Ah, it’s about time to put another pot onto the fire. ……Ai-Fa, please help me carry the stuff”
Ai-Fa, took her back off the wall with an absentminded expression.
The kamado was being taken care of by grandma Tito-Min, and the 4 of us remaining headed towards the pantry.
There were 3 doors in the hut, from the right was the kamado’s room, the pantry, and the dismantling room.
Opening the door in the middle, and stepping in with Rimi-Ruu’s guidance, “uwa……” I raised my voice.
This, was not what I expected.
There, ingredients I had never seen before lined up in rows.
“What’s with this? Isn’t this amazing? Isn’t this a treasure trove!”
It was impossible for me not to shout like that.
In the space that was about 8 tatami mats, there were lines of shelves without doors.
What was stored there, were stupidly big bright red tomato like and pumpkin like fruits, green rose like vegetables that were made from lettuce, a mysterious mass that could only be seen as a coiled snake, a thorny blue skinned durian like fruit一一anyway, there was a mountain of ingredients that weren’t aria or poitan2.
On the wall, hung the familiar pico and riilo leaves.
However, on the other hand roughly 2 meter long mysterious plants with thicknesses like bamboo along with burdock like roots growing out of them, as well as dried yellow persimmon like things were also hung.
The giba meat, was nowhere to be seen. A door could be seen on the back wall, so I’m sure that that’s the meat storage room.
In other words, most of the 8 tatami mats’ worth of space were filled with unknown ingredients, it was like a scene of paradise.
“Asuta! The arias are over here一!”
Swiftly running around between the shelves, Rimi-Ruu approached the right corner of the room.
Sure enough they were there, the arias and poitans laid about. A huge number of them, rolled about.
“……In this world too, there are so many kinds of vegetables huh”
“World? ……Un! It’s interesting how when they’re put in pots many different flavors change! Rimi likes tarapa! Big sis Reina likes tino leaves!”
“But hey, Rimi-Ruu. Humans can survive just by eating arias and poitans right?”
“Un? Aah, I guess so yeah! But, you’ll get bored of the same taste everyday no?”
I get it. So these food groups, are a powerful clans’ luxury is it.
No一一but, I’m sure they have high nutritional value.
Even if they’re luxuries, they shouldn’t be luxury items3.
No that you mention it, the women here, except for Rimi-Ruu and Lara-Ruu, everyone has a good amount of flesh. And also, in a very healthy way.
Since we can assume that poitans were grains in the first place, it’s a bit unreliable to have arias as the only vegetable, so we can surmise that these girls are using these vegetables to supplement for any lack of nutrition.
(But……in the end these guys too, just casually plop and melt the poitans in the giba nabe right?)
What a wasteful situation.
If you have this many ingredients, just how many colorful dishes could you make一一aah, my body seems to trembling from just thinking about it.
“……If you would like, how about using these ingredients as well?”
Said Reina-Ruu as she smiled modestly at me.
I, though my heart was being unreasonably shaken said “no”, and resolutely declined.
“I don’t have time to taste them, it’s regrettable but I’ll have to stop. Because using ingredients I’ve never even seen before would ruin the taste of the food which would amount to nothing”
Even the analysis of the poitan, took the time of 4 days.
To make my chef’s pride and Ai-Fa’s feelings into pledges, I can’t go on such an adventure.
(Speaking of which……) I thought, looking back at Ai-Fa, she seemed to be uninterestedly, staring at those things.
(……That’s right. If we don’t kill 1 giba every 5 days, we couldn’t afford the minimum amount of food needed. Even if we envy people who are in a blessed environment it’s no use)
For me who was born into a popular diner, caviar and foie gras are unrelated ingredients. These ingredients here are luxuries that are unnecessary for common people, I’ve changed my feelings to such.
So, we carrying 14 people’s worth of arias, earthen bottles of fruit wine, and a package of rock salt in our arms, left the pantry behind us.
“What, the hell is this? Giba shit? Don’t leave obstacles in my way!”
Cracking like thunder, a thick voice.
Across Ai-Fa’s face, tension ran.
“Aree? Father Donda, welcome home! You’re back early today!”
Rimi-Ruu who was carrying the earthen bottle shouted out, and ran up to their side.
In front of us who just exited the pantry, four men who smelled like beasts stood.
Standing at the forefront, was a large man who was looking down on the pot of poitans on the path with displeasure, over the Rimi-Ruu’s head, he glared at me.
“What, you (TN: Kisama) the stranger that rolled into the Fa’s house? I heard that you were pale white, but you really are a raw white brat!”
Even his breath was like that of a beast’s, this bearded large man一一
Of course he was, the Ruu main family’s clan head as well as Rimi-Ruu and co’s father, that person was Donda-Ruu.
- This family is all family, including cousins, uncles, etc.
- Keep in mind the word 青 can mean blue or green.
- These two groups of words “(贅沢品) and (嗜好品)” both translate to “luxury item”, but the former specifically means “foods that aren’t eaten based on nutritional value”.