Translator(s): ShimizuA Editor(s): Matty Proofreader(s): N/A TLC: N/A
Mayonnaise and a little uproar (part 2)
Tsukasa, Riruru, and Akatsuki, who was taking care of the children, all stood in the kitchen. The dinner preparation was left to Sono and the other members on cooking duty.
“So, I will now start my lecture on ‘How to Make Mayonnaise.’”
“We’ll be in your care!”
“We’ll do our best!””
Riruru and the children replied energetically, while Akatsuki grumbled with dissatisfaction written over his face.
“Muu… Why do I have to do this? I’m not even on meal-duty.”
He had a cross-grained personality…… or so the cause seemed to be.
Akatsuki was a magician. He was a man who had found his calling in a job that demanded the fine movement of his fingertips, so he actively avoided activities with the potential to injure his fingers by cutlery and hot metals, like in cooking. In the worst case scenario, he’d suffer an injury to his hand grave enough to impede his magic acts; the damage to his career would be beyond repair at that point. The occupation landed him as much as 10 billion a night.
Of course, Tsukasa was well-aware of that, so he attempted to persuade him with,
“It would be nice if we could expand our diet, for health reasons. We won’t be using a knife or a fire, so will you please cooperate with me?”
He appeased Akatsuki by showing his understanding that Akatsuki was a devoted pro as opposed to an unhelpful troublemaker. Akatsuki gave a bitter smile in reaction to being persuaded.
“As usual…… you shrewdly cut off my escape route with your empathy.”
“I must do whatever it takes, right?”
Tsukasa continued the lecture after sneering at Akatsuki.
“Then, first item on the list, break the eggs and separate the yolk into another bowl.”
“Is it really okay to not use the rest?”
“Yeah. We only use the yolk in making mayonnaise.”
“But it seems like a waste……”
“What.. ? The leftover egg whites will not go to waste if we use them for a stew. It‘s easier to separate the yolk with your bare palm rather than by spoon. Spoons should only be used in this procedure if you plan on preserving the yolk, but since we’ll use it all today, you don’t have to worry about that.”
As one would expect, Riruru, who’s always assigned to cooking duty, is already used to it. She cleanly separated the yolk without any breakage. Akatsuki did it just as skillfully. He didn’t have any experience in cooking, but his dexterous fingers were outstanding. But ──, as expected, the children weren’t as competent.
They couldn’t neatly crack the eggs and ended up crushing the yolk along with the shell.
“Ah, I smashed it……”
“Ahahaha! Lucca sucks~.”
“Uu, I’m sorry.”
“No need to worry. We can still use it. The crushed yolk will be mixed in the stew just like the whites. Just control your strength so it won’t break next time.”
Tsukasa encouraged Lucca and the others with a friendly smile and went back to work. The tension went away thanks to his lenient attitude. They may have failed the first time, but with some practice, the children learned to cleanly crack their eggs
“Done! Ririru-oneechan! I can do it now!”
“Me too! I didn’t smash anything!”
“Great job. You’re all really good at this.”
“Ehe~”, the children cutely blushed at the praises coming from Riruru.
Tsukasa continued on with the lesson while glancing at the children’s smiles.
“Next is the seasoning. Put salt and vinegar in the yolk bowl and stir, then add olive oil and stir it again.”
The Elm villagers frowned at Tsukasa’s last given instruction.
“A–..are you putting olive oil in something we’re gonna eat?”
“ …… Will it still be.. okay to eat?”
They didn’t have a clue about using olive oil as a cooking ingredient. The Elm Village subsisted off hunting and was used to tallow. (TN: Rendered animal fat. Solid at room temperature.) For them, olive oil was something bought for grooming hair on their head, ears, and tail. To us earthlings, it would be tantamount to seeing someone using hair products in cooking, so it was only natural that they were taken by surprise.
Tsukasa tried to explain it to them.
“While it isn’t commonly used in food within the village, it is in our world. Rather, it was better for the body than tallow.”
“Is that so.. ? I never left the village, so I didn’t know……”
As he was explaining to them, Riruru and the children poured olive oil into the mixture of yolk and vinegar and stirred it as they were told.
It couldn’t be helped if they were still hesitant, but their doubts will be put to rest after trying the mayonnaise. And so, Tsukasa resumed instructing them.
“After it’s well mixed, add the oil little by little and stir again. Add oil yet again after mixing it. Repeat this step until the olive oil that I distributed to you runs out. After the oil is fully fused with the mixture, it’s complete.”
“Eh..? Is that all?”
“Woah~ it’s so easy!”
“I told you so. Simply put, mayonnaise is a condiment made from mixing water-based vinegar and oil with egg yolk.”
It didn’t need any special tools nor technique. All you needed was the strength to keep stiring it. As for Riruru, who spent her time in the mountain village and away from modern culture, she had the strength to keep a calm face. And the children divided the stirring burden among groups of three. Along the way, Tsukasa had to do a follow up for Akatsuki who had exhausted his vitality──
About ten minutes later, perhaps the first mayonnaise ever created in this world was complete. Riruru was nervously gazing at the mayonnaise in each bowl.
“So.. this is the condiment from Tsukasa and the others’ world…… isn’t it?”
“ I-it looks somewhat disgusting~.”
“It’s sticky and mushy…… Is this really delicious as you say?”
“I anticipated you would say that and prepared steamed potatoes for the occasion.”
Tsukasa took out potatoes that had steamed at the furnace corner which was still grilling the meal, arranging it in front of Riruru and the others.
“You should try to eat this with it,” he encouraged the girls.
Riruru and the three children wore perplexed faces towards that offer, but they weren’t children of an affluent mountain village. They, who were still in their period of growth, were always hungry. They would eat just about anything offered to them, so the four girls split two potatoes into halves, smeared mayonnaise on it with a wooden spatula, and took a bite without delay.
“Om, nom…… Hmm!”
Their eyes immediately widened in pleasure,
“It’s so delicious! Tasty!”
“The more I eat it, the more tasty it is!
They enthused about how delicious it was with a twinkle in their eyes.
But that was a reasonable reaction. The tender richness of egg yolk and sour vinegar coated by oil. It would be a revolutionary taste for a tongue only used to salt and vinegar. It has the magic to fascinate all of earth in the span of only a century.
“An elegant sourness such as this…… It’s a first for me!”
“I guess. Only mayonnaise has this unique sour flavor.”
“He, this is good stuff. Is mayonnaise always this delicious?”
“Probably because the eggs were still fresh. The harmony of the egg yolk’s sweetness fused with the sour and salty taste gives it a deep flavor.Adding sugar and pepper overwhelms the flavor. Better yet, since there were no additives to it, there wasn’t any bitterness to sting your tongue. It becomes this good, surprisingly.”
It was same as commercial mayonnaise yet with a slightly different flavor. It has a thick harmony of saltiness and sourness found in foods like cheese. A unique homemade quality.
“Seconds! I want seconds!”
“Lucca also wants to eat more!”
The children started begging for more as they started to like it. But they were firmly held back by Riruru, the oldest among them.
“Stop behaving like that, everyone. If you eat more than what you just had now, you will become hungry by dinner time.”
“Beside, isn’t there something everyone wants to say to Tsukasa?”
By her words, the children stopped, turning to Tsukasa,
“Tsukasa-oniichan!! Thank you!!”
They said it with a loud voice and showed him a smile as bright as a sunflower.
“I’m glad you liked it.”
After they stopped thanking him, Tsukasa went to clean up the remains on the wooden spatula used in making the mayonnaise.
“Let me help too,” said Riruru as she came to him and quietly muttered, “Everyone is pleased,” with a smile that didn’t lose to the children’s.
“Aah, I’m glad that my knowledge was of use to you guys.”
“Even so, Tsukasa, like that thing you did with the onions, you’re really good at cooking. You’re too good for a boy .”
“It’s because I helped my mother ever since I was Lucca’s age.”
“Is that so? That’s great. You’re a boy but you’re properly helping out with these kinds of chores.”
“I just wanted to stay with my mother.. I really loved my mother.. Since I started living alone, I got more chances to hone my skills. Now it became one of my few redeeming features.”
“Are you not living with your mother now?”
It was a casual question. She was just asking something that caught her interest. So ーー
“ …… Aah. I was abandoned by my mother.”
Riruru froze at his unexpected answer.
“It can’t be helped. I did something horrible, something unforgivable to her, and she was hurt deeply by it.”
Before Riruru could bring the subject up,
“WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING!!!!!”
Winona’s angry shout sounded different from the usual spat, heard from outside the kitchen