(063) Camping out Cuisine
While passing by countless Peddlers along the way, we traveled southward.
My heart tinged for leaving all of the horse handling to Haru.
Carol invited me to clean up the mana grass that she picked up just now so, as a test, I tried 「Clean」 and because it reached the condition whereby the soil was completely removed, I once again had nothing to do.
Carol was shocked.
Originally, the magic 「Clean」 is not supposed to be so omnipotent and 「Clean」 shouldn’t be able to remove the soil from the grass.
Since to the grass, soil isn’t something that is dirt but something it requires.
Even if she tells me that, I can’t control what I’m capable of doing.
After that, soaking it in water for half a day and drying it by basking it in the moonlight during the night would likely make the mana grass a good quality material.
To me, drying it after soaking it in water felt like double the work but since it’s supposed to be done that way, I poured the water produced using the Water magic 「Petit Water」 into a barrel from within my item bag and placed the mana grasses within it.
I’ve also become better at adjusting the amount of water produced using 「Petit Water」.
When I was secretly practicing, I was flustered when the water ball I sent out seemed like it smashed the tree it hit.
Using magic with full power is extremely easy but using it when holding back requires precision.
Since I had nothing to do, I prepared the rock solid bread that I failed to eat yesterday night that became even harder despite already being hard in the first place and began performing a certain task.
Because the sun was setting, we gathered firewood and today we would be camping out around the area here.
Since it seemed like it would take 2 days to reach Dakyat, we’re camping out around the area here for today.
Even for Dakyat that felt like it was quite close by when viewed from the mountain summit, it’s actually quite far once we actually travel.
In particular, the path down meandered quite a bit as we descended so there’s no helping it.
Carol remained in the carriage as Haru and I gathered tree branches that seem capable of acting as firewood.
Fortunately, since there was a forest once we descended the mountain, we weren’t inconvenienced with the lack of firewood.
Along the way, we found tree nuts that look edible and I gathered them together with Carol in the morning so that might be good enough for breakfast.
Her Harvester level has increased so she’s acquired the 「Plant Appraisal」 skill and is apparently able to at least determine if tree nuts are edible or not.
After we finished gathering a certain number of tree branches, I assembled about 30 percent of them and,
Similar to 「Petit Water」, I held back and used the Fire magic.
I constructed the campfire without disintegrating the tree branches and turning them into charcoal.
With this, we should be fine even when the night comes.
Feeling at ease caused me to feel hungry.
“Alright, shall we cook then?”
I suggested to the 2 of them.
Haru and Carol raised surprised voices.
It can’t be helped that the 2 of them are surprised. Even though we’re camping out, I have an item bag and it has various dishes inside.
There wasn’t a need to deliberately use the campfire to cook.
“See, we can eat freshly made dishes with the item bag any time but we won’t have a chance to eat campfire cooking if we don’t have an opportunity like now right? Don’t worry, I’ve already purchased the ingredients and prepared the cookware as well.”
Saying that, I lined up the frying pan and ingredients from my item bag on top of a flat rock. It was all purchased in Belasra Town.
Incidentally, I also used 「Clean」 on the stone for sterilization and disinfection — though I’m not sure if that was achieved but it became clean.
“For the time being, shall we have roasted fish and simple barbecue? I’ve also bought iron skewers either way. Haru, sorry but could you help fillet the fish. Carol, please cut the leek into bite-sized chunks. I’ll make the meat easy to eat.”
Haru prepared the freshwater fish, Carol, the leeks and I, the remaining wolf meat.
Thanks to my dismantling knowledge, I know the method to make meat softer to a certain extent.
I inserted fine cuts into the muscle fibers to make it more tender.
I felt that this dismantling skill could also be used sufficiently by cooks that work with meat dishes as a skill.
Naturally, I didn’t put in cuts for Haru’s portion. It’s not because I’m being mean but because she prefers meat that is chewier. The chewiness would be lost if I cut the muscle fibers.
“Haru, the fillet … or not.”
The fish was splendidly split into 3 pieces.
However, they were cut into chunks.
It was split into the head, torso and tail portions.
At the very least, it wasn’t a fillet.
Rather than fillet, it was a disappointing split.
“Oh well, since it’s at this stage I’ll work it out. Carol … no, my mouth isn’t that small you know.”
She was slicing it. However, it was ones with 5 mm width. Furthermore, she has only finished slicing 3 slices. Just how leisurely has she been cutting it?
Or rather, the way she was gripping the knife was quite dangerous.
Perhaps she couldn’t even hear my voice, she stared at her hand and about when she raised the kitchen knife high, I grabbed her wrist.
If I let her continue using such cutting methods, she might really cut off her finger one day.
Even though these 2 girls are so cute, to think that neither of them knows how to cook — I slightly thought to myself but well, everyone has their own weaknesses.
Come to think of it, Miri’s cooking skill was also absolutely hopeless and the person I’ve met who could cook the best since I’ve come to this world is Margaret-san (♂).
Maybe it’s a sign telling us that the era of females doing the cooking is ending on Earth and in this world as well.
After that, I told them what I would do it and I showed Haru the way to do a fillet and taught Carol the way to use a kitchen knife.
“Sorry, master … I am new to cooking.”
“Carol as well … sorry.”
“It’s fine it’s fine, don’t mind it. Since I quite like to cook anyway.”
Because Miri’s meals were made by me alone after our parents died in the accident.
I could cook decently. Of course, it is nowhere near to the pros.
I seasoned the meat with the salt we purchased from Florence and the pepper we purchased as a commodity in Belasra before skewering them together with leeks and roasting them over the campfire.
In the meantime, while heating up the frying pan, I placed the fat removed from the wolf meat on.
Actually, it would be better if rapeseed oil or olive oil was used but I’ll restrain myself there.
To the fillet fish, I applied flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs made by crushing the hard bread.
I made fried fish fillet using the frying pan.
Since it was completed right at the same time as with the barbecue, we waited for the iron skewers to cool down before the 3 of us ate.
“Barbecue … I seldom eat leek but it’s very delicious like this. The meat is also modestly tough.”
“This is the first time Carol tried this fish cooking style. It is crunchy and the flavor of the fish is trapped and concentrated within, it’s very delicious.”
The cooking was well received by the 2 of them.
Certainly, the fried fish was delicious. The meat was also good.
However, among the cooking I’ve tasted since coming to this world, it was still second to Margaret-san’s cooking.
I felt that the dishes I ate in Japan was a lot more delicious.
Moreover, above all else, I’d like some sauce or soy sauce for the fried fish.
Barbecue as well, it was unsatisfactory with just salt and pepper.
If that can’t be achieved, at the very least rice — I want to eat rice.
My quest for food looked like it still had to continue.
~Side Story Jofreli’s Journey~
The day Jofre and Elise departed from Belasra was the night the day before Ichinojo reached Belasra.
There was a huge reason why they left Belasra.
After the 2 of them finished eating a decent dinner after a long time, they purchased a large amount of feed for Centaur who was in the stable and crammed it into the item bag as well as purchased saddles for 2 to use on Centaur.
All that was left was to find an inn to sleep — that was the only plan.
But, Jofre looked at the eastern sky and exclaimed.
“Look Elise! The first star is shining!”
“That’s true Jofre. It’s really pretty.”
“Did you know? When the first star appears in the eastern sky, it signifies the day to start a journey. Not in the west or the north or the south but the east, if the first star shines in the eastern sky, then today is the day we depart.”
“Okay! Let’s immediately go!”
Setting off on the day the first star shines is, in essence, a simple saying to depart the next morning because the weather is good but for Jofre who only heard half of the saying, they ended up beginning their journey at night just like that.
“So, where are we going?”
“Of course, it’s best to ask the journeying pro.”
“Then, we’ll leave it to Centaur right.”
It’s not that the 2 of them have forgotten the result of leaving it up to Centaur.
They just merely strongly remembered the fact that as a result of entrusting it to Centaur, they firmly arrived at Belasra Town.
Incidentally, this Centaur — the species called Slow Donkey. Just like its name, they don’t really have speed but they are monsters with a lot of strength.
Furthermore, after eating 2 Rare Medals, its strength was raised greatly and its speed was now on par with ordinary horses.
It was also much stronger than Jofre and Elise.
To the extent that if the 2 of them hunted it, they would not be able to win against Centaur.
In spite of that, why is Centaur obeying the 2 of them?
The answer is quite simple.
It has not been obeying them since the start.
It merely lives whichever way it wants to.
That is Centaur’s living principle.
Therefore, Centaur let the 2 of them ride on its back and today it would travel appropriately as well.
That dignified posture felt like it was precisely a veteran of travel but naturally, none of them grasped their destination.
The side story would continue another time.