Translator: Haruchin Editor: Marky
I left the walls to them and climbed up to the roof — several orange-ish tiles had been broken.
The tile colors are almost the same for all the houses. That’s because they’re from the same soil~ well, that’s partly true, but it’s mostly because they’re still unglazed. The vermillion color comes from the iron oxide in the soil, and the red bengara pigment remains after oxidation firing, which uses less wood for fuel. The colors range from red to orange, and some are even brown — it differs depending on the town, but yeah, most of them are unglazed.
It’s great that we don’t have that much rainfall here compared to Japan, but it still leaks even if they’re not broken…Unglazed pottery soaks up water!
I wonder if these tiles were broken when they climbed the roof to clean the chimneys? Chimney sweeps were mostly children, so they’re supposedly light. But then, it would still crack under the weight, I guess. Unglazed pottery is brittle, after all.
Reduction firing is done in an airtight kiln, so it results in a blackish tile. It has a low water absorption rate, so these tiles don’t leak. Glazed tiles are unusual here, so wealthy folks usually have black roofs.
I don’t wanna stand out, so let’s just leave it as vermillion. So far, there were only two instances when the roofs soaked the rain but didn’t start dripping, so I guess it’s fine.
I removed the broken tiles and replaced them with new ones. I wanted to turn the window at the courtyard into a glass one if it isn’t visible from the outside, but standing here, I realized that the chimney sweeps can totally see it so, yeah, giving up on that idea. Indoors is fine, but I don’t want to have an eye-catching exterior., so not going to tamper with that.
Never mind the stone floor of the first floor, both the second and third floors have worn-out wooden floors, so my next project is to have some spots refinished. I’m using materials and stuff that can be found in Canum because this house will be rented out.
「Let’s have lunch. 」
「Looking forward to it. 」
「 Indeed, Jean-sama’s dishes are really delicious. 」
The trio seemed happy when I called out to them, so that put me in a good mood. I prepared lunch while Butler brewed the tea.
Today’s main dish is mushroom and macaroni gratin. I already prepared it yesterday, all I have to do is to add a lot of cheese on top, then put it inside the oven, adjust the coals and bake it for that nice toasted brown finish. I also cut the french bread into suitable size and slather butter generously, sprinkle some garlic and pour a bit of olive oil before toasting it.
Both of them are done while I’m dishing the pot-au-feu that has been simmering over the fireplace onto the plates. Our menu for today is macaroni and mushroom gratin, garlic toast, pot-au-feu, and chiffon cake for dessert.
We offered thanks to the spirits, kinda like ‘itadakimasu’ before digging in. Alright, tell me, how is it?
「How wondrous yet again… 」
I’m usually just cutting, stewing, toasting, baking or grilling, so whenever they say it’s delicious, I can’t help feeling nervous thinking whether they’re saying that because it tastes good, or they just say that because the taste is actually bad but it’s something novel that they haven’t tried yet. Oh my galloping heart…
Salt, cheese and herbs are commonly used here, so I feel a bit at ease for now.
I watched their reactions for a bit before taking a bite myself. Yup, it’s delicious, but I shouldn’t have made steaming dishes to this extent, since we’re already hot from all that work. Yup, it’s a blunder on my part.
「I like this top part. 」
「It’s this creaminess inside for me… 」
「This soup is very delectable, too. 」
Hey, praise the pot-au-feu, I put in a lot of effort in making the consommé for that. It had been an infinity hell trying to remove that never-ending scum while clarifying it. Well, that’s the result of thinking ‘let’s make a lot of this since it’s a base soup’.
Ah, but the cabbage cut into eight parts then simmered tastes really nice; it’s soft and sweet. It’s not the dark green ones I’m used to seeing around here, but the cabbage that resembles the ones from Japan that I’m familiar with. Actually, this cabbage is harvested from my field, but nobody seems to suspect a thing.
「I want some wine. 」
「You’re in the middle of work, so rejected. 」
Retze muttered while munching on the garlic toast. There’s wine with low alcoholic content on the table, but it’s too mild so he’s treating it like water.
「Oh right, what happened after that drinking party? Were you alright? 」
— after being tossed to the floor even though it was so cold.
Ash fidgeted, but let’s just ignore her. She was drunk back then, but it wasn’t like she kicked up a fuss, nor did she bother me. She seems to mind it, though.
Just, don’t get dead drunk outside ‘coz it’s dangerous, okay?
「Well, I’m already used to huddling with those guys after getting wasted. The trick is to get drunk before your opponent. 」
I don’t need that kind of trick.
The Gold-rank part was a huge group. Never mind those higher ranking dudes, the low-ranking folks probably wanted to earn money, so there are a lot of people frequenting the forest to hunt, and they are getting into quarrels with the resident adventurers because of that, so Retze and Ash avoided going there.
There’s a limit to the number of hunting grounds that’s only a day trip away from the city, so it’s not really about the Gold-rank party, but the sheer number of people going there.
Well, not complaining ‘coz here they are helping me with the renovation thanks to that.
Ash seemed delighted while eating the chiffon cake.
I smeared a lot of lightly beaten fresh cream on the maple syrup chiffon cake.
「This is another fascinating texture. It’s soft and gently melts in the mouth… 」
「Yeah, it might seem rare since they usually make sweets that are hard, prolly ‘coz it keeps well that way. The ingredients are common, though. 」
Actually, ‘pastries’ in itself are considered quite rare here, but they are mostly heavy and bulky.
It couldn’t be helped that they lacked variation, after all, just only a while ago, they followed the official notice that artisans could only make pastries during special holidays. Instead of making luxury goodies, they were told to use the valuable ingredients to make bread. Thus, they could only make dishes other than bread that required flour can only be made at their home.
Folks couldn’t enjoy sweets unless they were capable of making them, or if they were rich guys who could afford to have their own cooks. Eventually, putting cheese and bacon on bread was allowed, then sweet breads — places like Nalhualdid already have confectioners.
In the first place, only a few houses have their own ovens; it was mostly stoves for fireplaces. Let alone sweets, even bread had to be bought from stalls or from the confectioner apprentice peddling their goods on the streets.
Sugar is valuable, so most of those pastries are salty ones or cheese flavored, but here in Canum, the commoners can look forward to sweets and pastries that are maple syrup flavored.
「Want to put on some more? 」
This chiffon cake tastes sweet enough for me, but I also prepared a small jar of maple syrup for those who have a sweet tooth.
「I’m already satisfied as it is. 」
Retze looks like he prefers sour things. That’s only my guess, being the wine-lover that he is.
「Me too. 」
Butler apparently doesn’t like deep-flavored food, not only sweets. And he favors thin broth ones, like, pot-au-feu instead of gratins?
Ash, you’re putting too much, I think.
T/N: Let’s drool at these together~
Macaroni and mushroom gratin and pot-au-feu