Hey, I’m back~! (Don’t worry, I know you missed me). For those who didn’t read the message from a week ago, I basically got a constant headache for an entire week, so of course, I didn’t translate. Well, let’s hope that I can get back on pace I guess. Enjoy~
(Once again, all “hamburgers” are actually “hamburg steaks”)
And so, it was time to settle things.
Day and night are interlaced, twilight.
The flames of the candlesticks that were hung here and there, lit up the hall of the Ruu house’s main residence.
Now, there accompanied by Reina-Ruu, the eldest of the Ruu clan Jiba-Ruu appeared to sway一一now everyone was present.
It was about twice as big as Ai-Fa’s house, the large hall was of about 20 tatami mats.
There was no difference in the structure itself, but the men’s swords and bows, fur mantles, as well as short-spear like weapons, hung by hooks which seemed to be made of giba bones, were lavishly displayed on the walls.
And, on the wall behind the clan head that took position in the chief seat, was a huge monstrous thing with giba fur, a terrifying skull.
How many hundreds of kilograms could that huge giba have been in life?
Even I, who occupationally wouldn’t be shaken by animal furs or bones, was a little awe-struck, it was tremendously huge.
“Fun. It’s finally done”
While boldly rolling1 fruit wine in an earthen bottle, Donda-Ruu was murmuring irreverently.
On the other hand, Jiba-Ruu sat down quietly.
Perhaps it was because the person beside her was too big, but she really looked small.
She wore not only the single long piece of cloth worn by married women, but also a shawl like cloth on her shoulders, and some sort of magical ornaments shook with a jyarajyara were on her body, they were small and shriveled like a dried fruit.
I couldn’t tell because her back was bent, but she must have been shorter than Reina-Ruu.
Her head wrapped in silver hair, seemed to only be about the same size as Rimi-Ruu’s.
Her beautifully depigmented hair, like Reina’s who was beside her, was tied in twintails at the bottom as well, her face, was wrinkled like a monkey’s. She was so wrinkled, I didn’t even know which ones were her eyes.
Her shoulders to the fingertips that were stuck out were thin and frail, like dead branches. Her existence itself was ephemeral like a haze of heat, and if Reina-Ruu who sat down together with her were to let go, it seemed like she would wither and collapse with how she was.
(Well……It’s great that you have enough energy to stand and walk around, but)
Basically, wouldn’t it probably be unreasonable to let such an old woman eat meat-based dishes?
However, the die has already been cast.
Now it’s just to see what results will come out of this, that’s the only choice.
In the hall, two kamados were arranged vertically, on top of which metal pots were playing cute bubbling sounds.
They weren’t for cooking use. They were small kamados for keeping warm.
Perhaps because there’s no cooking is done in this hall, and that the pantry was also in a different building, it didn’t smell too much of fat.
That’s why, what it was filled with, was the smell of the food we had just cooked.
Surrounding the kamados, as many as fourteen people sat to form an oval shape.
At the end of the oval, sat Donda-Ruu in the chief seat, and the eldest Jiba-Ruu.
Across and of a distance from them, at lower seats, were me and Ai-Fa.2
On my right side, were the three brothers Jiza, Darm, and Rudo.
A bit farther, was Lara of the three sisters. As well as the youngest daughter Rimi.
On my left, were the wife of the previous clan head, grandma Tito-Min, the clan head’s wife Mia-Rei, the eldest son’s wife Sati-Rei, and the eldest daughter Vina.3
To Vina-Ruu’s left, the dishes for Reina-Ruu were lined up.
As the representative of the day’s kamado duty, Reina-Ruu will help Jiba-Ruu eat, and after finishing that task will she begin to eat her own meal. This wasn’t just for today, it seems that someone plays this role everyday.
The old Jiba-Ruu, has become so weak that it’s difficult for her to eat on her own.
Incidentally, Sati-Rei’s baby Kota-Ruu, was sleeping comfortably in a grass-woven cradle behind his mother.
“……in gratitude for the blessings of the forest……”
Donda-Ruu with a voice very solemn for that beastly man, declared so.
The fingertips of his left hand which were rugged like gloves, were held up in front of his beard-covered mouth.
“……To those who watched the fire, Tito-Min, Reina, Rimi, Ai-Fa, Asuta, we give our thanks, to those who obtained this life tonight……”
Everyone recited those same words, and their fingertips, were drawn to the side.
That一一was the same gesture that Ai-Fa showed every night before meals.
Ai-Fa was just rolling the words in her mouth, so I couldn’t hear what she was saying though. This was the kind of prayer she was giving was it.
Wondering if Ai-Fa was quietly chanting my name every night after night, it felt somewhat weird.
As the short prayer ended, the meal very abruptly began.
He didn’t particularly attempt to wait for me or Ai-Fa to take our spoons.
If we mixed poison into his meal, he would have absolutely died.
I couldn’t imitate that, to believe一一[to entrust their kamado], I wonder if that’s what it means.
That’s why, we can’t afford to fail.
I dare say, I can’t afford to fail.
Certainly the five of us made this meal, but the one who gave the instructions, was me. If tonight, if something goes wrong with this meal, it would all be my responsibility.
That’s not it, regardless of what anyone says, I’ll take away all of the blame.
Rimi-Ruu, Reina-Ruu, Tito-Min一一and of course even Ai-Fa, I won’t even let one of their fingers touch it.
(So please, Reina-Ruu. Support grandma Jiba well)
As I was reaching for my own bowl, I to Reina-Ruu who was a few meters away and was snuggling up to grandma Jiba, sent a mental shout to her.
Today’s menu, as per Rimi-Ruu’s request, was the same as last night’s.
It was『~Giba Meat Hamburger Fruit Wine Sauce Served With Grilled Aria~』
However, today wasn’t just [Grilled Aria], we also prepared [Giba Soup].
It wasn’t a main dish soup. There was a lesser amount of meat and arias, it was a side dish soup.
Right now, what was being cooked in the iron pot, was that.
At the same time as the meal greetings finished, grandma Tito-Min quickly stood up, and poured the soup into the bowls of the people who were silently eating.
Meanwhile, Reina-Ruu who was snuggled up to grandma Jiba-Ruu, didn’t move.
Everything is as set up.
In the meantime, I checked the quality of today’s dishes, and tried to see what each person was doing but一一I mean, everyone was similarly, moving their spoon silently.
Before the meal, when us 5 cooks started arranging the dishes, well Rimi-Ruu already made a fuss “What’s this?” “Is this giba?” “What is this flat thing?” just yesterday, but after they listened to some simple cooking explanations and guidance on how to eat it and a few important points, they quieted down as if going to a wake.
Those who were dissatisfied and displeased, those whose eyes were shining with curiosity, those who decided to stay silent from beginning to end while wearing a sour face, there were various different reactions. But in any case, everyone uniformly closed their mouths, and after that, waited for Jiba-Ruu’s arrival.
And now, from the continued silence came a tense feeling, and everyone was moving their spoon with all their heart.
Giba meat hamburger. Giba and aria soup. Grilled poitan. Three items, in one set.
The women don’t eat as much as the men, so because of that, women had a bit over 300 grams, while men had a bit under 700 grams, me and Ai-Fa had 500 grams as usual, and only Jiba-Ruu was cooked a modest sized one that was a bit over 200 grams.
A noteworthy point, was that these weren’t mini burgers, but rather we were able to cook normal sized hamburgers.
The Ruu clan has multiple kamados, so making it the standard way by first frying the surface over high heat, and next letting it cook slowly over low heat, was possible.
Whole ones for the women, and 700 grams divided in 2 for the men, we were able to provide everyone with a thick patty.
At the end I again steamed them with fruit wine to add flavour though. Anyways, this resizing, I feel that it made a big difference at completion.
It cleared up the only dissatisfaction in my mind, which was “mini burgers aren’t enough”, I was able to clear this point.
As expected this was a great answer, when the swollen hamburger that’s around 3 centimeters thick is bit, it overflowed with even more juices than last night, it was irresistible. (TN: Now I’m hungry, thanks MC)
The original firm texture increased, and moreover, because the content that wasn’t fried over high heat has increased, it’s much juicer and softer.
As for me, I was very satisfied.
And, as for the reactions of the members of the Ruu clan, it was一一as expected, silence.
Some were chewing on their bitterness as before the meal, some happily loosened their cheeks, and some completely erased any facial expression, there were various reactions. But, as for impressions and such, there were none in particular. Just like how Ai-Fa was, perhaps there’s a custom of slapping a wasteful mouth.
By the way, the representative of the dissatisfied faces was the clan head Donda-Ruu, the happy one’s was the sexy eldest sister Vina-Ruu, and the expressionless one’s was the second brother Darm-Ruu, that’s what it felt like, and after that the rest seemed to belong to one of the types.
Rimi-Ruu was of course eating with a smile, but her eyes were sometimes turned to grandma Jiba-Ruu with concern.
“Here, it’s the food, granny Jiba. It’s especially delicious today. Our guests, have made a very delicious meal”, Reina-Ruu said while presenting the wooden spoon to grandma Jiba-Ruu’s mouth.
What was on that spoon, should be teared grilled poitan so as to make it fluffy, and Giba・Soup.
This was the setup I devised.
“Such soft meat, even granny Jiba can eat it!”, Rimi-Ruu was delighted. But as a person from another world, “Still, a hamburger is heavy for an 80 year old old woman”, was the feeling that I couldn’t get rid of.
That’s why, I decided to go through them in order.
First, was the soaked grilled poitan.
Next, was the arias in the soup.
If that can be cleared, then finally was the [Giba・Burger].
However, at the beginning the hamburger will also be soaked in the soup. That way, the minced meat should unravel inside her mouth without her having to chew.
After eating it all, if she can eat a plain hamburger, then let her eat it.
I, don’t even know how many of grandma Jiba’s teeth are left. So if it’s impossible, then I even feel that she doesn’t need to reach the hamburger.
For that reason, I prepared [Giba・Soup].
This, is the menu that I created only for the sake of grandma Jiba.
But, even if you’re thinking about the normal menu, there’s no doubt that adding soup is better, so I want others to fully enjoy it too.
Still, in the end, this was a menu for grandma Jiba.
For that reason, I chopped the arias thinner than I’d like, and boiled it so that it didn’t leave any texture.
As for the giba meat, because I used a lot of it in the hamburgers, I put some in the soup to replace dashi stock, I was thinking of nothing but that.4
As for what would soak the grilled poitans and giba hamburgers, it was [Giba・Soup].
This, was the special menu I thought up for grandma Jiba.
“Ah……” Rimi-Ruu raised a small voice.
Of course I too, had noticed the change.
Even when Reina-Ruu called out, grandma Jiba would shake her head loosely as if annoyed, but with a gesture that seemed to have given up on everything long before, she swallowed the contents of the wooden spoon.
“See, isn’t it delicious? There’s still much more alright?”
Reina-Ruu said that happily, as she teared a new poitan and dropped it into the bowl.
However, grandma Jiba didn’t move.
It’s inappropriate, but it was as if she had died with that bite一一she didn’t even tremble anymore.
I found that many people, while proceeding with their meal, were paying attention to over there.
First, sitting next to grandma Jiba, the clan head Donda-Ruu.
The two older women, grandma Tito-Min, and mother Mia-Rei.
From the men, the youngest brother Rudo.
And of course, me, Ai-Fa, and Rimi-Ruu.
The eldest brother Jiza-Ruu, because his eyes were like thin threads, I didn’t really know where he was looking.
“What’s wrong? Isn’t it delicious? Me and Rimi and grandma Tito-Min, helped make it together you know?”
Looking to be a little impatient, Reina-Ruu put the wooden spoon in front of her mouth.
No, there’s no need to rush. She can eat at her own pace, when I murmured that in my heart一一grandma Jiba’s mouth, opened thinly.
Looking relieved, Reina-Ruu put the wooden spoon into her crack-like mouth.
“Then next, shall we try the arias? These are also soft and delicious alright?”
Reina-Ruu, sampled all the dishes while cooking.
For how to recommend a meal to grandma Jiba who avoids meals, it would be better for the person themself to know the taste, was what I suggested.
“Asuta, for granny Jiba who you haven’t met before, you think so much for her huh……” Reina-Ruu’s eye’s started to water, but from my point of view, it was natural to think about that.
This, was also for the sake of Rimi-Ruu and Ai-Fa who were thinking of grandma Jiba.
And I, am a chef.
How good can I make my own dishes taste. Chefs who don’t think about that, aren’t worthy of the title of chef.
“It’s delicious right? Then let’s eat some meat shall we? This meat too, is very soft”
Finally Reina-Ruu’s wooden spoon went into the [Giba・Burger], and soaked about half a bite in the soup.
How about this?5
The chopped arias mixed in the burgers, were good, but they were chopped a bit more finely than I normally would though. Basically, it was the normal recipe.
To avoid burning the surface as much as possible, I instructed her to let her only eat the soft meat in the center as much as possible at first. But if her back teeth were wiped out, the minced meat and arias might get stuck in her throat. That danger as well, I fully told Reina-Ruu of it.
Inside grandma Jiba’s mouth, pieces of meat and soup were put in.
Her wrinkled mouth, moved with a monumonu.
From where I thought her eyes were, transparent tears began to overflow.
“What delicious meat……is this truly, giba meat……?”
In the quietened hall, that withered voice, certainly echoed around.
- You know those fancy rotating wine glass thing-ies? Yeah, that, except I don’t know what the actual term is.
- So basically, in Japan, the place where you sit can have meanings depending on the situation. Chief’s seat is the best place to sit, warm, safe, etc, while lower seats are, well, lower seats. Just some context.
- (TN: I’ve only just realized that the eldest son’s wife has the same family name as his mom…)
- Confusing sentence, this is the best I could make out of it. It could also mean removing the dashi stock with the meat, but my common sense is telling me that that’s not feasible.
- Cool it! (Do you get the reference? 5 points if you do, though you can’t really do anything with the points…)