Translator: Haruchin Editor: Marky
「 Here, help yourselves. 」
We had assorted hams and cheese piled together, turnip potage, sliced bread with the butter, olive oil and plum jam in small saucers. There’s the roasted snow white geese and grilled veggies, and for dessert, we have a fig crumble tart.
I served everything on the table, and the preps were completed. Everything except the bread and plum jam was made with the stuff that I can get around here. They’re a lot more expensive, and yet they’re so bland compared to the things in my house, but that can’t be helped.
Ash already ate the bread made from the wheat back home, so I decided not to mind it.
「 Please allow me. 」
Butler offered to take over when I was about to cut the snow goose roast.
At first, he only intended to see Ash out, but I also invited him too, and Ash was the one who made him sit with us despite his hesitancy. Seems like he can’t calm down if he’s eating together with his master.
I offered a short prayer to the spirits.
「 Cheese with honey, I will take note of this. The turnip soup is also superb. 」
Ash’s face was terrifyingly grim after that first word. Maybe she’s happy? I don’t have enough background and practice on reading expressions, so I’m not really sure about this, but her hand didn’t stop, so she probably liked it, right.
Butler was earnestly tasting them — probably driven by his desire to make the same thing. He made a complicated expression with every bite.
Thank goodness I made them with the stuff here. Whew, that was close. Ah, but I was a bit nervous because turnip’s top part was a bit purplish.
The snow goose was really delicious, worthy of it’s exorbitant price. I brushed it with the oil oozing from it while roasting it whole. I sauteed several types of mushrooms and herbs and used that as stuffing. The skin was crispy and fragrant, the meat tender and juicy.
The mushrooms were those I gathered during autumn and preserved in oil. The Dinosso family taught me three preservation techniques — oil pickling, salt pickling and drying. The kitchen shelves in this house are lined with preserved goodies. Those tall glass bottles are just for my amusement.
There were chestnuts that I boiled then dried, various nuts, dried fruits and pickles. Maybe I can go later to the sea and buy some fish to make sardines or anchovies in oil.
I served the whole, round, fig crumble tart as is on the table. It’s the improved version of the tarts I got from them earlier. 「 Crumble 」 is made by mixing wheat flour, sugar and cold butter all together into a minced paste, and it’s crunchy and crumbly when baked.
I can cool the ingredients all I want, thanks to the current season, so I wanted to make a lot of food. But I had to make a blazing fire in the fireplace or else it would be too cold with ice. Ahhh, I really want a refrigerator. Ah, maybe I can store huge amounts of ice in 【 Storage 】 during the winter season?
「 You look like you’re in a good mood. 」
「 Yeah, I’m happy when the dishes taste great. 」
Az was taking a bath in the water dish I placed beside the wall. Normally, I use this small table, this pitcher and that basin to wash my face and hands, but now, they’re used as the spirits’ food dish and bird bath at the same time.
The spirits that help me usually aren’t allowed to be in the same room with my guests, so I also prepared the same stuff on the second floor. There were also spirits who didn’t like water — fire spirits being an example — so I also had the fireplace going.
Everyone’s generally covered as long as there’s water, fire and plants. But their preferences are also diverse it seems; some prefer candles over the fireplace, and some like carbonated water instead of just plain water, and so on.
Alright. How about the tart? Butler stood up to cut the tart. Not sure, but he seemed to have guessed what I wanted when I turned my eyes to it. He inserted the knife to the whole tart —
「 Whoa!? 」
「 What!? 」
Colorful things slammed down at the tart. A red one, yellow one, and a blue one with a color so deep it’s almost black.
It was the spirits who fell down. Spirits usually play pranks on things that caught their fancy, but they normally won’t touch things they’re not interested in. There were also those who can’t pass through glass and particular metals, but most of them can pass through, so I mostly ignored those spirits.
But when they’re excited, they unintentionally touch the things, or else they would do mini power explosions and that would break the things.
Just like what happened now.
「 What was that? Maybe the temperature difference, or something? 」
I pretended to examine the tart by extending my hand towards it, and grabbed the spirit that was the source of it all by its head.
There’s no problem with the plate because it was made from wood, but because they collided right on top, the tart was crushed and bits and pieces were scattered all around.
These red and yellow spirits were the ones I asked to help me prevent the other spirits, aside from Az, from coming near me, and they were the ones who guided those spirits back to my house. This unfamiliar blackish one must be the culprit.
Butler was dumbfounded, while Ash looked like she wanted to say something.
「 I’ll go get another one and a wet towel, too.」
I grinned and said that while gripping the spirit’s head tighter.
This black one is huge compared to the spirits that cooperated with me before. Those two were the size of my palm, while this one looked like a doll, and it’s head was more or less half of my hand. There were those who had great power despite being tiny, but the power of spirits is usually proportionate to their size.
This red doll-like spirit is Rose, and the yellow fox-like one is Corn, I think. Looks like they really did their best, so I’ll prepare something they’ll like later on.
So, let’s ‘pickle’ this boisterous one as punishment.
I crammed it inside one of the cylindrical bottles that I planned to use for pickling later. It was on the bed of salted rice bran allotted for it, but I haven’t put any vegetables in it, yet.
The spirit instantly became meek when I pushed it in. I closed the lid then winded a string around it.
The bottle started to rattle again halfway through, but I put a weight on top so it couldn’t move. The spirit couldn’t escape because the container was made from enamel, which was casted with metal and coated by glassy stuff.
I washed my hands, took the dish towel, and prepared the spare tart.
「 Oh, thanks. 」
Butler — it probably wasn’t Ash — already cleaned the table while I was away.
The messy tart he reassembled onto the plate looked really pitiful.
「 We can’t have the fig tart anymore, so in exchange, here’s a tart I made from honey-pickled walnuts and cranberries. 」
So, what should I do with that spirit, huh.