T/N: Today I’d like to give a big thank you to my Cookie Donor Shannon! I haven’t yet decided on what sweets to get, but I’m getting excited just thinking about it ❤
The day before we came here, when we were talking about picnicking the thing that came to my mind was sandwiches.
But unfortunately the bread in this world seems to be a bit too hard for making a proper sandwich. The saying that bread in other worlds isn’t very refined seems to be apply to this world, too.
And since the bread from olden times back in my previous world seems to have been rather coarse as well, I guess it’s not wholly unexpected that it would be here too. And so I started thinking.
Why not use the knowledge from being a Japanese person in my past life as a cheat to bring about a food revolution in this world!!
But then I realized a couple of things. One, it’s not actually that easy to find and raise yeast here. And two, my cooking skills were only average in my previous life.
Plus, the picnic was the next day, so there wasn’t really enough time to make a big impact on the world…. So I settled for just preparing the ingredients for the sandwiches.
“Ojousama, you definitely have to keep this a secret, okaaay?”
Right after we had decided to have a picnic at the garden, I had taken Conny aside and asked her to help me sneak into the kitchen.
Since it’s located in the servant’s wing of the house, taking jaunts to the kitchen is not exactly a recommended pastime for the nobility. So in order to get there I had to walk behind Conny, hiding in her shadow out of sight from any other people that we passed by.
“Umm, I’ve prepared everything that you asked for…… Will this do?” Conny asks, anxiously showing me the things that she had grabbed: chicken meat, onions, white wine, olive oil, etc.
“That’s perfect, thank you.”
I give her a big grin, hoping to help put her mind at ease, and Conny hesitantly let a smile form on her face as well.
“You definitely cannot be allowed to cook, Ojousama, so Conny will do everything for you, okaaay!?”
“Yup, I’ll leave it all to you.”
Okay. Let’s get started with my 3-minute cooking lesson!
“First, cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and put them into a bowl. Next, cut a few shallow incisions into the pieces to score the meat. After that chop up a full onion into finely cut pieces and add those, some olive oil, and just a little bit of the wine into the bowl with the chicken. It should be just enough so that every piece is completely submerged in it.”
“Okay!” Conny replies and quickly does as I had asked. And though she had us both in tears while she was chopping the onion, she had no problems in producing a high quality, juicy chicken marinade.
“Good, that’s just right. Now all we have to do is let that sit over night. Then tomorrow we’ll just have to grill and slice up the chicken and then make and add the sauce for it, and voila. We can eat it as a sandwich. Oh, and please make sure to cut the bread into thin slices!”
“Understood! But you know……This sauce looks so good!” Conny says. As she is appreciating the appearance and the scent of the marinade, I could hear her stomach growling, sounding just like a whining puppy even back then.
The next day after we had eaten breakfast, we went back to the kitchen again to see to the final touches for the dish.
And this time, Niisama had tagged along with us too.
“I know it’s my fault since I came too early, but what exactly are we doing here?”
We are currently in a room that is attached to the kitchen that is typically used for preparing the place settings for the dining room.
Noticing Niisama’s strange expression, I inform him that, “I wanted you to taste-test some progressive and unique new food.” Since nobles tend to have rather high standards, I wanted to make sure that this dish would suit their tastes before I brought it on the picnic with us, so I had asked Niisama to come to the kitchens with me, but he looks quite astonished by my request.
“Food?! Don’t tell me, Alice, did you cook something? Do your parents know about this?”
Oh my. Is Will-Niisama someone who doesn’t approve of nobles cooking their own food? Since he is now looking quite dubiously in my direction, I quickly reply that, “No, Niisama. I had Conny do all the cooking for me, I was just there to supervise.”
“Oh, so that’s what you meant. It’s dangerous so don’t pick up anything that’s sharp or hot, alright?” Niisama says, giving me a relieved smile. I guess he was just worried about my safety, and that’s why he reacted so negatively earlier.
As expected of a big brother! It feels nice to be worried over.
“Okay!” I say seriously, which seems to be enough to satisfy him since then he asks me what food he’s supposed to be trying, bringing the conversation back to the original topic.
“This, right here!” I say, taking off the silver lid of the container in front of me and pulling out a bite-sized finger sandwich.
It’s appearance is very simplistic: just two small pieces of lightly toasted bread with chicken and lettuce and such in the middle. And there doesn’t seem to be anything special about it, of course. No trick or anything to make it unique.
“O, okay~… It looks delicious… Thanks for the food~…”
I guess it must have looked a bit too normal… Or at least more normal than he was expecting…..But I’m glad that it doesn’t seem weird or anything!
He gives me a look as if he finds me adorable since I’m so excited to show him the food I’m bringing for our picnic today, and then unceremoniously plops the whole sandwich into his mouth.
At first he chews normally, but after a moment his expression starts to change.
He starts chewing even faster and then vigorously looks towards me as he’s gulping down the mouthful.
“Huh……? It’s…… this is…. seriously delicious…. How can it be this good…..?”
Seeing Niisama so shocked that he’s at a loss for words, I can’t help but giggle a bit and grin proudly at him before answering his question.
“It’s called a marinaded chicken, autumn vegetable, and mayonnaise sandwich!”
And that’s how I ended up shocking Niisama with a sandwich, and also how our current picnic lunch had been prepared. Now it’s those same sandwiches that I am currently treating my family to.
Each of their reactions were entertaining, just like Niisama’s was.
First was Father.
It took him a while just to take his first bite of the food because he had been so moved by the meal that his daughter had prepared for him ‘full of love.’
He started with praising it’s appearance saying that it “is a delectable combination….” and that “the lightly toasted bread is an exquisite touch….” and also that “it has a savory scent….” and on it went for a good couple of minutes. Then, when he finally took a bite, his affectionate expression froze and turned serious in an instant. After swallowing he struck a Gendo pose, resting his elbows on the table and interlocking his fingers together in front of his face, and he hasn’t moved since. He must really love it…. that Gendo pose. He certainly does it enough.
Next was Mother. She typically has a small appetite, so she had been elegantly sampling small portions of each of the foods that we had brought for the picnic, but when she had gotten to the chicken and mayonnaise sandwiches it was as if lightning had suddenly struck her. For 10 full seconds after she had finished her first bite, she just sat there with her typical smile frozen on her face.
But when her shock had finally subsided she very elegantly resumed eating, only at a pace 3 times faster than normal.
Unlike my parents, Will-Niisama had already sampled the sandwiches this morning, so while they were each going through stages of shock, Niisama was happily helping himself to them one after another.
And then there was poor Conny-chan. Since she is our servant, she wasn’t able to eat with us and had to just watch us enjoy the food, waiting until we were done before she could have her turn. And she was the one who had seemed the most hungry, the poor thing.
Now then, why would just a mere chicken sandwich have the power to shock everyone to this extent? Well one reason is because there is no history of ever using wine and enzymes to tenderize meat before in the culture of this world.
Another reason is the mayonnaise.
The culinary situation in this world seems to be considerably lacking. Not only are pepper and chili peppers almost impossible to find due to their lack of distributors, but even sugar and salt are considered high-class items and are not easily attainable. There is no miso or soy sauce here either, of course.
So there are not many ingredients available, and those that are tend to be of the preservable, not easily perishable variety. Which means that almost everything is coarse or tough.
For the members of the nobility who hire chefs and kitchen staff for their estates, it seems that so long as the food has a strong flavor and there is enough of it for them to eat their fill, then they will be satisfied.
For commoners however, the bar lowers even further to where they’ll be happy has long as they can get enough to eat every day.
It’s only when you get to be part of the upper-crust of society that you finally start to see some variety in what you can eat. Only the most rich and powerful people have easier access to any number of types of fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products.
And depending on the skills of the chefs that they employ, the flavor and style of the food they eat can vary greatly, so they can enjoy a diverse cuisine.
But there are only a handful of people who are considered to be in the upper-crust of society. And since there is only a handful of them, there isn’t much stress placed on developing meals with new flavors and textures that make full use of the perishable items at their disposal.
And so I thought I’d try using what I had on hand to its best advantages to pioneer a new type of cuisine: by utilizing the enzymes in the onions I was able to make the chicken meat nice and tender so that even after just one night it will melt in your mouth. I also used the white wine to help get rid of any bad smell that the chicken meat has. Lastly, I spread the mayonnaise onto the coarse bread in order to soften its texture in an attempt to make it more palatable.
Tenderness and texture and removing any residual bad odors from food is one part of Japanese culture that I don’t plan on giving up.
Plus, who doesn’t like mayonnaise? There shouldn’t be that many people who dislike it. It’s super simple to make: all you have to do is mix some egg yolks, vinegar, oil, and salt all together. But I don’t remember seeing it on the table during any of our meals. I’m not sure if it’s because eggs are so expensive so no one’s ever thought of making it before, or maybe because no one’s ever realized that the vinegar can have a sterilizing effect, but it has yet to become popular in this world. Whatever it is, we didn’t have any in the kitchen so I instructed Conny on how to make it from scratch and had her make some just for these sandwiches.
Even though I did plan a lot of this out in advance while considering this world’s knowledge of cooking, when I made the chicken & mayonnaise, everyone’s extreme reactions were slightly out of my calculations.
Father had been trembling and mumbling something like, “Mayo…..nnaise….. This has to be a food of the Gods’ own creation…….”
The Gods’ food (lol)
After hearing just that, I nearly burst out laughing, but I held it in so that I could keep listening, since that wasn’t the end to his muttering.
“And what is this? This meat is so tender. It just melts in your mouth! This is the first time I’ve ever tasted anything like this…… Even the freshly hunted rabbit that I’ve had before can’t compare to this. It may have been decently tender, but it had such a bad smell……”
That’s because I let it ferment over night!
By the way, there doesn’t seem to be much knowledge of yeast or enzymes in this world…. And fermentation isn’t typically used unless for preservation purposes, and even then people only know how to pickle things in salt. For that reason, I had quite the difficult time trying to convince Conny that we needed to let the food sit overnight.
She kept insisting that if we let the food stay out at room temperature for so long that it would spoil, but I just kept saying, “It’s fine. It’ll be fine.” And eventually she gave in.
“True, the chicken and the sauce are delicious, but the overall harmony of the flavors is also astounding……! The scent of the chicken intermingled with that of the vegetables, how the autumn vegetables effectively neutralize all oiliness, the amazing combination that arises from the flavors being enclosed between the bread slices, and that sweet mayonnaise sauce that gave the bread such a great texture…… I….. This is the first time that I’ve ever experienced such a harmonious dish before,” Mother exclaims just like a female announcer on the food channel.
And that was the gist of their reactions…… Just now, the two had finally finished eating and had let out a satisfied sigh. With lingering excitement, Father takes the chance to ask me, “Alice, how did you come to know of such a recipe…..?”
There it is. I thought someone might ask me that.
But that’s fine. I expected it, so I made sure to prepare an answer for it beforehand as well.
“I don’t remember when exactly, but at some point I realized that if you eat meat with onions, the meat tends to be more tender. So I just tried putting that theory to practice!”
In these sorts of situations the surefire bet is to use the ‘I don’t remember any of the particulars so don’t ask too many questions’ plan!! Works every time.
“Did something like that really happen?” Mother and Father question aloud, each turning to look at the other, slightly doubtful.
But I had prepared for their disbelief as well, so that was my queue to bring out plan 2.
“And mayonnaise is something that I came up with while I sick and stuck in bed. I just suddenly thought that using eggs to make something would probably have a great taste. Perhaps there was a spirit or a passing soul that had wanted to tell me to eat something delicious and get better, so they might have passed on the recipe as encouragement to me…..”
I might be overdoing it a bit, but I also mention that it might have been the will of the Gods.1 But no, bringing the Gods up is actually super effective.
“Ohh…..! I see, if that’s how it was then it all makes sense…..!” Father says, looking up to the heavens, while Mother continues, “Yes, that flavor certainly tasted like the work of the Gods……!! So that means that Alice’s miraculous recovery as well as mayonnaise were brought about due to the Gods’ guidance…….!!”
It feels like my life is being put on the same level as the existence of Mayonnaise, but at least it seems like I was able to fool them for now.
…….No, I’m not sad or anything about being compared to mayonnaise. Definitely not!!!
T/N: Lol, am I such a rare animal for disliking mayonnaise? Cause no one it seems dislikes mayonnaise!
Also, I’ve been thinking this ever since reading Cryarc’s scathing review of this story (the first 98 chapters) on NovelUpdates, but this story is definitely not what I was expecting. I’m not the biggest fan of “slowlife” stories where the main character is just slowly going about their life enjoying their new world, so I haven’t been finding this story that interesting to translate recently… That being said, I don’t want to leave you guys hanging if you are still really enjoying this story! So please answer this poll if you still feel strongly about me continuing it! If there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest, I’ll probably try translating something else. I have two possible stories in mind already that I would love to translate a few chapters for and see what they are like. One has a manga with two translated chapters out that looked very promising, and one is completely new, something I’ve never seen or heard of before. So yeah, please vote! I’m leaving my free time for the rest of this summer in your guys’ hands haha.
If the poll isn’t showing up for you, try clicking here.
P.S. If you are feeling extra, extra invested in this story, please leave a comment about what you are enjoying about it (the chapters after the Evil Maid Arc)! Maybe I can learn to enjoy it again through your eyes haha.
1Due to the nature of Japanese, it’s often impossible to distinguish whether a word is plural or singular, so I’m not sure if this should be God or the Gods. For now, I am going to assume that it should be the Gods since in the Legend of Creation the world was made by Darkness and Light. That makes me think that their religion would probably be polytheistic and they would be referring to all or some of those Gods when they refer to 神ーかみーkami.↩