Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 100 Part 1: The Hermit of Endsk (IX)
Adel and evelet love you so much. They thought c.99 was too short of a chapter and split up c.100 so you didn’t have to go a whole week thirsty! Also because it’s still mostly about the fascination of the steamer. Enjoy this double release, friends. All glory to the steamer!
“Vio, how do you season it? Is it just salt, or is it salt and pepper?”
After cutting and washing, Rille placed the vegetables in the wisteria basket inside the steamer. She then began to plate the food and set the table, so it seemed all that was left to do was season them simply.
Vio was confused by Rille’s question, as he had never been asked how to season them. Typically, the only question asked about the preference of your food in the steamers is whether it’s cooked dark or light.
Steamed vegetables reminds me of ponzu1, Vio thought.
Thinking about it made Vio tilt his head and ponder. His musings grew into the thought that escaped his lips:
“What if we use vinegar.”
“Uhh, vinegar, like wine vinegar? Isn’t that sour?”
Rille’s reaction showed that she was bothered by the question.
Vio’s head swirled with memories from his past life. His father liked to make homemade dressings during his life as Mikumo Yamato.
“Well, do we have any citrus fruits? We could squeeze them in and mix them. Then we could add some oil, salt, and pepper.”
“Is it like sprinkling lemon on vegetables to unlock the scent and flavor? That sauce actually sounds kind of delicious.”
Rille was able to imagine the taste, and she salivated. Her face shone brightly.
“I’ll make it right away.”
“Well then, I will prepare the garden’s Ricanda fruit,” Adela said, and she told the children to pick fruit from the garden.
They all responded, “Okaaaay,” and scurried off obediently.
“It’s almost harvest time, but many of the fruits are starting to ripen. They may still be sour, however I think they will be a decent substitute for lemons.”
“I’ll get my father-in-law’s wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil. It would be a hassle to go shopping for them individually,” Dawn told the group as he quickly headed over to his father-in-law’s house.
Flint, who had just finished cleaning up, was chatting while looking at the steamer. He voiced how impressed he was.
“It’s interesting to think of using citrus juices to make a sauce. I’ve only eaten them as is, or used them to make juice or jams.”
“Ah, what about syrup?” asked Vio.
“Yeah.” Flint said.
“If you add vinegar with the lemon, it can be used as a sour beverage.”
“Really? You can? Using vinegar? I thought vinegar was only used for cooking.”
“Usually, you would add a little sugar, but that would be expensive… It might be something you could sell to nobles.”
When they heard that it would sell, a gleam shot across both Flint’s and Emma’s eyes.
Maybe Emma’s strong suit isn’t farming… but business? Vio asked himself.
If Emma had a knack for business negotiations, it could certainly help the orphanage.
Once the vegetables were well steamed, Rille mixed the dressing. She dipped her finger in and tasted it when she was done mixing.
“This is…. delicious!”
“Yeah. The acidity of the sauce pairs well with steamed vegetables.”
Emma and Flint exclaimed aloud, thoroughly impressed. Next to them, the children were eating nibble after nibble and making a ruckus.
“This is the first time I’ve eaten anything like this! It’s so good!”
“I’ve gotten sick and tired of beans but… I can definitely eat this.”
“Don’t say things like that. You’re making me feel bad!” said Adela.
Bean sprouts were perfect for orphanages that were struggling. They are incredibly cheap and also nutritious.
Emma and Adela were embarrassed and turned red-faced. They stuck their nails to prevent the children from saying anything more.2
However, the children weren’t getting the hint. One of the younger ones called out, “But it’s true, Sister Adela. You always tell us not to lie.”
An older child behind them quickly nudged them and said, “It’s fine, just be quiet.”
Vio also tried the sauce. The acidity of the wine vinegar was mellowed by the condition of the Ricanda fruit. The combination was very tasty.
“Well, all things considered, this worked well. I bet a boiled egg would be good with these vegetables.”
“Boiled eggs! That’s a luxury item, isn’t it? We could make steamed eggs here and brand them as unique to this region, and we could sell them at high prices to tourists…”
Emma grinned. The wheels in her head were spinning. Business was on her mind.
“If we take the sales and use them to cover the overhead for the shrine, it would be considered an indirect donation… But first we would have to overcome the deficit so we could then buy chicks with the profits.”
Emma started muttering to herself rapidly in a manner that slowly evolved into something unsettling. Adela laughed in a distracting way, jumped in front of Emma, and bowed to Vio.
“As Mr. Violant said, we will save money on firewood. Thank you. I will have to use this new steamer to try new recipes.”
“Yes, please do. Continue to come up with new ideas and do your best.”
Once Vio finished speaking, the Priestess, Sister Emma, and all three carpenters nodded.
The carpenters seemed to have business-oriented mindsets, so they would probably have a good concept for selling it.
The results of the experimental steamer were excellent. Vio gave his farewells to the people who were on cloud nine with the new possibilities and left the shrine.
On his way back, Vio thought about drinking Tsubute fruit juice from the royal capital and how delicious it was. He stopped by the market, picked up Ricanda fruit, and returned to the inn.
He asked Rille to make the juice, place it in a container, and freeze it. He had plans to have it turned into a sorbet.
When he presented it to Riona and the others, they were thrilled. They had just gotten out of the bath and retired into the lounging area, and having a cool glass with lemon water in their hands brought them sweet relief after the heat of the baths.
“Today was a good day.”
Vio liked just relaxing in his room because it was an easy way to kill time.
Translator’s Note: So much about the steamer. Why is this steamer such a big deal? Let’s move on from the steamer.