44. Katariona Learns to Cook from the Former Earth Goddess
“Well, it looks like you’ve completed all the prep work. So, let’s use an earthenware pot……come to think of it, there aren’t any earthenware pots in this country, are there?”
Kikuno-sama snapped her fingers and a round pot appeared. It was an earthen, clay-colored pot with an unusually shaped lid. I’ve never seen a pot like it in this country. Since we knew that Kikuno-sama was a former god, it came to no surprise that she could use magic to suddenly produce a pot like that.
“It’s an unusual pot.”
“It’s called a clay pot. Simply put, it’s a pot made of fire-resistant clay that has been kneaded and fired in a kiln.”
An earthenware made out of clay. Clay is the raw material for clay pots. And since she was the god over the clay, she must’ve been able to create it from magic. Everyone curiously stared at the unusual clay pots before us. Everyone, that is, except for the grumpy Tojurou-san.
“The other thing we need to have are the seasonings used for the pot. However, the cultural tastes between the continent and Hinoshima are different, so we don’t have any soy sauce or miso, do we?”
“That’s what I have been looking for, too. If only we had soybeans.”
Tojurou-san, who had been grumpy till now, joined the conversation.
“Eh? I have soybeans.”
I nodded, agreeing with Chris.
“I tried making them with Adzuki beans the other day.”
“You did? Soybeans should be difficult to grow on the continent…… Oh, Yurie is a member of Leon’s genus, so you can use creation magic, can’t you? Eh, you can use sacred magic as well?”
It seems that Kikuno-sama has appraised me with her divine eye. It seems that she discovered that I’m a member of Leon’s genus, and so I made soybeans and adzuki beans with my creation magic. I also received sacred magic from Flare-sama.
“I was going to order soil from the Eschen Empire in order to cultivate the plants,… but Flare-sama, the Goddess of Light, … taught me that by changing the light source, I could grow exotic plants.”
When cultivating plants from the East inside a greenhouse, Flare-sama had suggested that I try growing the plants under a light source with the same luminosity as the Eschen Empire.
Flare-sama managed to reproduce the luminosity of the Eschen Empire, which she taught me. So, thanks to her, I was able to create it and successfully cultivate the soil.
After our trials, Chris and I have been studying the plants in the greenhouse that we also built in the lord’s mansion. Thomas, our gardener, has been taking care of them for us while we were away. The soybeans were growing at a faster rate, so we harvested them.
“My, oh my, is that the lazy goddess of light?”
“She’s recently become a hard worker.”
That’s a terrible thing to say. Apparently, Flare-sama and Daaku-sama are famous among the gods for being a fickle and lazy pair of siblings.
“So where are the soybeans?”
“It’s on this shelf.”
The chef provided me with my own shelf when I started cooking. There was a sign on the shelf stating, “Forbidden for use except for the Young Lady and Marie.”
Mare took out the soybeans from the shelf. The soybeans are in jars with “temperature control”. I found these jars in a magic tool store under the Magic Academy’s jurisdiction on my way back from the royal capital.
Kikuno-sama smiled prettily when I handed her the jar.
“You can use this to make soy sauce and miso. We’ll need various kinds of ingredients apart from this, but for today, let’s use the ones I’ve brought with me.”
Saying so, Kikuno-sama took out bottles and jars from her bags she brought and separated the contents into different bowls.
Looking at each bowl, there is a black liquid and a brown object that looks like a lump of soil.
“The liquid is soy sauce, and this lump is miso. Please try it.”
This isn’t something you can find on the continent, so she brought a small amount when she left.
When I fearfully sniffed the shoyu, I could smell an indescribably mellow and rich aroma. Taking a spoonful, I tasted it. It was salty yet delicious.
Next, I tasted the miso. It was a little sour, but the mellowness spread through my mouth and was delicious.
Both are made from soybeans.
“Oh my! I’ve never tasted seasoning like this before, but it seems to suit a variety of dishes.”
Marie seemed to be surrounded by a flurry of flowers. Something seemed to have flashed through her mind at that moment.
“Well done! Kikuno-sama. Now, you can make a Hinoshima meal with this.”
‘I wasn’t planning on serving it for you, Hikoshirou. I’m providing it for Yurie, who is working very hard.”
Kikuno-sama said, turning away from the pitiful Tojurou-san.
I filled the clay pot with water and added what seems to be dried seaweed that was brought by Kikuno-sama from Hinoshima. I was told that it is for making the soup stock called dashi.
When the water comes to a boil, we add the vegetables and meat and allow it to simmer. Today, we decided to make a hot pot seasoned with miso.
After the vegetables and meat are cooked to a certain extent, we add the miso to the pan and let that simmer further. Once that has simmered for a while, we soak the ingredients into our seasoning flavor and your dish is now ready.
An appetizing scent filled the kitchen.
Kikuno-sama divided the ingredients for the pot onto plates for each of us.
“Please enjoy your meal.”
I first drank the soup. The mellow taste permeated my mouth. Next, I took a bite of the vegetables and meat that had been soaked in the miso.
“ “ “ “ “ Delicious!!!!!!” ” ” ” ” ”
The voices of five people overlapped and echoed throughout the kitchen.
“Rice! I want to eat rice!”
Tojurou-san shouted, excited by the taste of his hometown after spending so long from home.
“As expected, you don’t have any rice, do you?”
“ “Yes, we do!” ”
Chris and I raised our hands in response to Kikuno-sama’s question.
“My, you even have rice?”
I asked Marie to get the rice from the shelf. The rice is packed in a sturdier jute bag. It is very heavy, weighing around ten kilos, but Marie managed to easily carry it over her shoulder. Contrary to her dainty appearance, she is surprisingly strong.
Kikuno-sama took a grain of rice from the jute bag and placed it in the palm of her hand for a closer inspection.
“Did you plant this directly in the soil rather than in the paddy fields?”
Tojurou-san said, “If you plant it, for the time being, something will grow, right?” So I planted it into the soil.
Wheat-like ears grew splendidly, so I harvested them and took them to the farmhouse for threshing.
“Yes. And, what is a paddy field?”
“I’ll show you next time you plant it. You can cook this rice deliciously.”
After magically creating another earthenware pot, Kikuno-sama began to grind the rice. She stirred the rice with her hands twenty times and then discarded the muddy white water. After repeating this process a couple of times, she allowed the rice to absorb the water and cooked it into something delicious.
“If you let the rice soak in the water for a while, it will taste even better, but for today, let’s cook it as it is.”
Filling the rice in a clay pot with water, she heated it. The women applauded her for her brilliant handiwork.
“We’ll use the pots as a lunch box. So, let’s make pots for everyone until the rice is cooked.”
From there, an assembly line with six people emerged. Some chopped the vegetables, others checked the temperature of the pot on the woodstove, and other such tasks, which were distributed amongst us.
“Kikuno-sama, won’t the pot be cold by noon?”
“If the god of time brings it, you can have a hot meal.”
That’s it! Since God of time’s space doesn’t undergo the passage of time, we can serve fresh and hot food for everyone.
After the rice finished cooking, we let it steam for a while and then shaped them into triangles. In Hinoshima, this is called an onigiri. The advantage of being able to eat it with one hand is very similar to sandwiches.
I heard that the rice balls formed from the bottom of the pot are delicious, so I mixed some parts of it into my rice balls that I was shaping.
I hope everyone will enjoy them.
TL: Hope you guys enjoyed the chapter~!