The day before I came here, all I could think of when I heard of a picnic was sandwiches.
However, the bread in this world is quite hard—a bit too hard for sandwiches. The saying that bread in other worlds isn’t very good seems to be apply to this world, too.
In my previous life though, bread was also hard, so this is within my imagination.
That’s why now is the time to revolutionize the food culture with my modern Japanese world knowledge cheat!
But then I realized that yeast is not that easy to make, and my cooking skills are only average.
And since the picnic was coming the next day, I decided to just prepare the ingredients.
“Miss, this has to be a secret, okay?”
Shortly after the picnic was decided, I asked Connie me to sneak into the kitchen.
Apparently it is not recommended for nobles to enter the space of a menial job, so I sneaked in behind Connie’s shadow.
“Well, I’ve prepared everything, but…is this correct?”
An anxious Connie holds the chicken, onions, white wine and olive oil in her hand.
“It’s perfect, thank you.”
I smiled at Connie to reassure her, and she giggled back.
“As expected, the Young Mistress shouldn’t cook, so Connie will do it for you, okay?”
“Yeah, I’ll leave it to you.”
Okay, the 3-minute cooking session begins!
“First, cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl. Then chop up an onion and mix it with a little olive oil and a little wine, just enough to make the meat to be submerged.
Connie said ‘yes,’ and then worked quickly. We both cried while chopping the onions, but the first stage of the glossy chicken marinade was done without a hitch.
“Perfect, it’ll be fine just like that. We’re going to let this sit overnight, and tomorrow I want to slice it up and make a sauce for it. Then we make eat it in a sandwich, too. Oh, and please cut the bread into thin slices!”
“All right! But still…this combination looks delicious!”
The marinade looked and smelled so good that even at this time, Connie’s tummy rumbling could be heard from her belly.
Then the next day came.
After we finished breakfast, we decided to put the finishing touches on our picnic lunch.
Brother Will is with me, by the way.
“I know you said to come early, but what are we doing here?”
The location is the food preparation room, which is connected to the kitchen.
I tell Brother Will, who looks at me curiously, that I wanted him to taste the excellent food ahead of time. I asked him to check if this dish was okay by the standards of a nobleman, but he was seemed quite shocked.
“Cooking?! Oh, don’t tell me that Alice made this? Do your parents know about this?”
Oops. Is Brother Will someone who doesn’t approve of nobles cooking their own food? I hasten to deny it as he looks at me quite suspiciously.
“No, Brother Will. I instructed Connie to make everything for me.”
“Oh, I see. You could get hurt, so don’t carry a knife or anything hot, okay?”
My brother smiled with a relieved look on his face. Apparently, he was just thinking about my safety.
As expected of Brother Will! It’s so nice how he worries.
I said ‘okay!’ cheerfully, and Brother Will seemed to be satisfied. He then brought the conversation to the original topic.
I said, and I took the silver lid off and held out a bite-sized finger sandwich.
It looks like a simple sandwich made of chicken and lettuce and other ingredients on bread with a lightly baked surface. It’s like there are no tricks to make it special. It’s a simple sandwich.
“Oh, it looks delicious. Thank your the food!”
I’m glad it looks more normal than I thought it would be…at the very least it doesn’t seem strange!
Brother Will gives me a look as if he finds me adorable since I’m so excited to show him the food for the picnic, and then unceremoniously plops the whole sandwich into his mouth.
At first he chews normally, but after a moment his expression starts to change.
After suddenly chewing faster and swallowing the last of it, Brother Will looks at me with vigor.
“What…? It’s…this is something…It’s so, so good…What is this…?”
Brother Will was so shocked that he lost his vocabulary, and I replied with a proud grin.
“I call it, marinated chicken, autumn vegetable, and mayo sandwich!”
Now I am serving my family the same sandwich that shocked Brother Will before.
I’m already getting some interesting reactions.
First was father.
To begin with, he was so moved by his daughter’s food ‘full of love,’ that it took him a while to even eat it.
After a moment of praise for the appearance, saying that it had “a beautiful balance of exquisite cooking, and a fragrant aroma,” and so on, he started to eat it. When he finally took a bite, his 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 that Gendo pose…
Next is my mother. She had a small appetite, so she ate elegantly, little by little, but when the part she was eating came to the mayo sauce and the chicken marinade, it was like she was struck by lightning and froze. She stayed there smiling and frozen for about ten seconds.
After that, she finished eating gracefully at 3 times the normal speed.
Brother Will had already tasted it this morning, so he happily ate them again and again, his cheeks stained with deliciousness.
Connie-chan came after us since she’s a servant. I feel a little sorry for her, though.
So why would just a simple chicken sandwich have the power to shock everyone to this extent? I think a reason is that this world doesn’t have a culture that uses alcohol and enzymes to tenderize the meat.
Another reason is the mayonnaise.
The food situation in this world is pretty lacking. It’s not surprising that pepper and chili are almost non-existent, and salt and sugar are high quality products. There is no miso or soy sauce.
As for the ingredients, most of them can be stored for a long time. In other words, they are very hard and coarse.
Even if the aristocrats had a cook in the mansion, it seemed that the stance was that it was good as long as the taste was rich and the stomach was well filled.
Perhaps the difference between nobles and the commoners was that they could eat a steady amount of food every day.
Only when one is quite upper class can they eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy products.
Furthermore, depending on the skills of the cooks they hire, they can enjoy a variety of flavors as they cook.
But there are only a handful of people in the world who are in the upper class. Because of that, 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.
So, in order to break new grounds, I marinated up the chicken overnight with the enzymatic power of onions to loosen it up, and then skimmed off the smell with white wine. Then I coated the hard bread with mayonnaise to make it more palatable.
As a Japanese woman, I can’t compromise on the softness of the texture and the removal of the stench.
On top of that, there aren’t many people who wouldn’t like mayonnaise. It’s made by simply mixing egg yolks, vinegar, oil, and salt, but I didn’t recall ever having this dish on my table, either because mayonnaise didn’t exist yet because eggs are relatively expensive, or because people didn’t know that you can sterilize them with vinegar. So I had this made from scratch with instructions.
Apparently the chicken marinade and mayonnaise that I made with such a calculation had a greater impact than I imagined.
Father had been trembling and mumbling something like,
“Mayo…nnaise…This must be the food of the gods…”
–the food of the gods…pffft!
I almost burst out laughing at my father’s muttering, but I held it in so I could continue listening.
“And what a tender piece of meat this is. It’s the first time I’ve ever tasted tender meat that can unravel on the tongue like this…I’ve handled freshly caught rabbits on a hunt before, but it’s not like that at all. That one was definitely tender, but it was also quite smelly…”
That’s because I let it ferment through the night!
Incidentally, in this world where there is not much of a concept of yeast and enzymes, it was hard to convince Connie that there are few dishes that can be rested overnight other than salted preserves.
She kept insisting that if we let the food stay out at room temperature so long it would spoil, but I just kept saying, ‘it’s okay’ until she gave in.
“Yes, those two things are phenomenal, but the overall harmony is amazing…! The savory vegetables combine with the meat, the crisp fall vegetables that neutralize the oil, the bread that wraps everything together and holds it all together, and this mayonnaise, a sauce…that makes the bread sweet and tender. I’ve never felt this kind of harmony in a meal before.”
My mother is talking just like a food channel girl.
As each of them sighed in ecstasy, my father, who hadn’t lost his excitement, blurted out,
“Alice, how did you know how to cook like this…?”
I knew it was coming…that question.
But I was also prepared, so I answered stagnantly.
“I don’t remember when, but I noticed that the meat I had eaten with onions was always softer than usual. I just decided to apply that theory to it!”
When I don’t know what to say, using the ‘I don’t remember any of the particulars so don’t ask too many questions’ plan is always the best.
But my father and mother said, “Did that ever happen?” So I nodded my head.
Then I went with plan 2.
“Also, the mayonnaise came to me while I was ill, and just suddenly occurred to me. I wondered if I could modify the eggs to make them taste the way I like them…Maybe it was the wisdom or encouragement given to me by an ancestor or spirit that told me to eat good food and get well…”
It’s a bit of a stretch, but mentioning that it might be ‘the will of the gods’ seemed to work very well.
“Ohh…! I see! Okay, that makes sense…!”
My father looked up to the heavens, and your mother followed suit.
“Yes, this very taste is godly work…!! Both Alice’s miraculous recovery and this mayonnaise were divinely inspired…!”
It feels like my survival is being put on the same level as mayonnaise, but at least it seems like I was able to fool them for now, so it’s okay.
……No, I’m not sad about that! I’m not!!
T/N: Never underestimate the power of Mayonnaise, Alice! It wouldn’t be an transmigration novel if there wasn’t at least one modern world cooking session~
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3 thoughts on “Chapter 18: Godly Skill”
Thanks for picking this story up! I’m enjoying being able to continue it again. As an aside:
“As for the ingredients, most of them can be stored for a long time. In other words, they are very hard and course.” Should be “coarse” in this instance, not “course.”
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In the of changes you have been isekai.
And be careful on the raw egg you made that mayo. Getting food poisoning in the middle age would no longer be fun and fluff story.
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Thankfully one of the magics of Isekai Plot Armor is being immune to food poisoning from anything short of lethal chefs.