Chapter 14 – First Time Cooking
“Mm… Mmn uu…”
Around the time that the risen morning had begun shining through the window, I squirmed in bed as I woke up.
“Huh…? Where… is this, I wonder…?”
Reflected in my still blurry eyes was not the usual ceiling that I was familiar with, but a ceiling I had never seen before.
Having just awoken, my mind with its gears still not quite spinning tried to grasp the situation, when I rose from the bed and looked around the room.
“Umm, the inn, room?”
I slowly recalled the events that happened up until my sleep.
“Ah, I came to the world from my old life…”
As the gears in my mind finally started to spin, I realised the situation.
“I, have to prepare. The knights’ breakfast…”
Recalling my promise with the Prince yesterday, I remembered that I had things I needed to do.
I got down from the bed, and reached my hands out to the clothing I washed yesterday that I suspected were dry by now.
“What time is it now…?”
When I looked outside the window, I found that the morning sun had shown its face.
According to the knowledge of my old life, right now we were in the beginning of summer, and the sun began to rise at five.
When I looked at my watch, it had just hit five.
There shouldn’t be any clocks in this world.
Each day is separated into twelve koku, and with two hours to a koku, the peoples’ sense of time was usually separated into chunks of thirty minutes; the smallest denominator should be a quarter of a koku.
Normal people fundamentally told the time by looking at the position of the sun, and though the royal palace should have water clocks or sundials, even with those you couldn’t accurately tell the time.
The water clocks in the palace should essentially ring the chimes every half koku, but in this far away village, there’s no way to know.
Most places use the sunrise as the basis for the beginning of their day, and come home when the sun sets.
It’s like the lifestyle the farmers had in the olden days, isn’t it.
First, I’ll change and fix up my appearance.
I am also a woman of age. I am not fussed about appearances, but at the very least I have no intention of appearing sloppy.
I took off the dougi that I wore in place of sleeping clothes, and put on the underwear that I washed.
I wore these yesterday, but I don’t have any other pairs after all, and it’s better than going without panties and bra.
As you’d expect, I’m opposed to going commando when wearing a skirt and thin blouse.
I put on my familiar school uniform, and once I bundled up my hair, I was finished.
Taking out the hand towel that I always carried in my bag, I headed downstairs to wash my face.
When I entered the dining room, the innkeeper was up and appeared to be preparing breakfast.
Greeting people is the basics of communication.
“Morning. You sleep well?”
He returned the greeting with a smile.
“Yes, very well. I’d like to wash my face, but where should I go?”
“If you go through that door, you’ll reach the well.”
After opening the door that the innkeeper indicated and going outside, I found that there was a well and washing place.
Drawing water from the pump-style well, I washed my face nice and clean.
While I was at it, I drank some water before heading back to the dining room.
“I’d like to prepare breakfast if that’s all right.”
I walked towards the kitchen whilst calling out.
“For the ingredients, use whatever you like from here. Do you know how to use the tools?”
When I entered the kitchen and looks around, I found that vegetables, eggs and bacon had been prepared.
There were three stoves in the kitchen and pots and the like lined up. Inside the room were also tools that I’d never seen before, but if I compared them to the things I knew about in my original world, I could more or less guess their uses.
“It should, be fine. If there’s something I don’t know, I’ll ask.”
After replying, I wondered about what I would cook while looking at the ingredients lined up.
First off I need to be able to make it in bulk, so it would probably be better not to do anything that’s too complex.
Thinking this, I decided on bacon and eggs, salad, bacon and vegetable soup, and bread for breakfast.
“If you’d like, shall I prepare breakfast for the guests as well? I’ll be preparing a lot, so even if I make more portions it won’t matter you see.”
You have to make soup in large volumes after all.
“Really? Then can I take you up on that?”
“Understood. I’ll be returning once to my room first, so could you fire up the stoves for me? Also, please boil one of these pots full of water please.”
After asking this of the innkeeper, I returned to my room to grab the spices that I prepared yesterday.
When I returned to my room, I hung the hand towel from the chair, and then after checking the spices divided in the bag, I took out the ones I needed and headed down to the dining room.
When I returned to the kitchen, all of the stoves were on fire, and a stockpot was on the fire.
After acknowledging them, I grabbed the bones from the chicken in last night’s dinner, and headed to the well.
Choosing bones as clean as possible and washing them with water, I returned to the kitchen.
I placed the washed bones in the water that was just starting to boil, and while being careful so that it wouldn’t boil over and spill, I made dashi.
Taking eggs from amongst the ingredients in the kitchen, I separated a few yolks from the whites.
After checking that we had oil and fruit vinegar, I began creating my own mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise is all-purpose. As long as you have mayonnaise, most foods can be made delicious.
The innkeeper was watching my hands interestedly, so I gave him a simple explanation as I cooked.
Once I finished making the mayonnaise, it was perhaps the third koku, six o’clock.
I left my wristwatch in my room, so I didn’t know the exact time.
Breakfast is supposed to start at 7, so it should be in about an hour.
I asked the innkeeper to wash a few vegetables, and I cut up the bacon.
I cut the bacon I’d be using for bacon and eggs up thin, while I cut up the bacon for the salad into small bits.
I cut the parts that would be going into the soup into rough large pieces, and separated them all in preparation.
I put the frying pan on the stove, and oiling the pan a little, I stir-fried the bacon for the salad.
Next I lightly cooked the soup bacon.
Once that was done, I prepared a few people’s share of dishes, and got started on the bacon and eggs.
From now on I’d be using two stoves.
The innkeeper had returned from washing the vegetables while I was preparing, so after I cooked one bacon and egg serving to show him, I asked him to do the rest before I got started on the salad and soup.
I separated the vegetables into the salad and soup groups, and cut them into appropriate sizes.
Taking out the chicken bones from the stockpot, I threw in vegetables, starting with the ones that needed the longest to cook.
While the vegetables were cooking in the stew, I prepared the salad and when the soup was close to done, I threw in the spices and herbs that I prepared in advanced.
At the end I taste tested them, and after seasoning it with salt, the soup was done.
I arranged the salad in bowls too, and after putting on my homemade mayonnaise, it was done. Yup, I’ve done quite well.
It seems the innkeer has finished with a few persons’ portions of bacon and eggs, so I’ll have him try the vegetable soup.
“Wow! I’m shocked! Even though the ingredients you used are exactly the same, you got it to taste this good?”
It seems that the assessment was the best.
I may have made various mistakes in writing the cooking…
Please be gentle in pointing them out…