Chapter 153 -- Minced Meat Dishes And After-Dinner Desserts
"Sorry to keep you waiting." I apologised straight away, knowing it wouldn't help but I'm Japanese so...
"Where were you?" Fer grumped.
"You're late again." Dora-chan chimed in.
"Sorry sorry. I'll make dinner straight away." The only apology those two would accept was food-shaped and came in a large bowl. Bowls. Right then, I had lots of Orc General and Bloody Horn Bull minced meat to hand thanks to the Mithril mincer Sui-chan had made for me so that was a start. What could I make that was quick and easy, well, how about filled omelettes? Melted cheese and aubergines would be good to go along with the minced meat too, I could alternate the two dishes. Yosh, let's get started. I opened up Net Super and started off buying onions, ketchup, cheese and meat sauce in cans before I switched over to the cookware section and bought some extra-large dinner plates.
I decided to make a simple omelette straight away and serve it quickly to my contracted monsters since they seemed a bit impatient. Chop some onions, fry in a frying pan with oil until they turn translucent, add the Orc General and Bloody Horn Bull minced meat and stir-fry them together after sprinkling some salt and pepper and adding some soy sauce and sugar, not too much. Once the meat was done I put it to one side to cool a little.
Now for the eggs. I melted butter in a hot frying pan, cracked in the eggs and coddled them around until they were starting to solidify then dumped in the minced meat on top. I got one of the large plates, used it to cover the frying pan then flipped it over and hey presto! One large, actually oversized minced meat omelette ready to eat.
"Yup, that looks good." I muttered, starting on the next two omelettes. I'd need three omelettes, topped with ketchup (of course!) and having the Black Magic Cooking Stove with its four really strong burners was a life-saver. I could only make two omelettes at a time though since stir-frying the meat used up one burner and cooking the eggs another. I had cooked a lot more meat into the omelettes than I would normally do for myself because, well I knew my contracted monsters really liked meat. I added the ketchup and put the oversized plates down for them and started on the next round of omelettes while they ate.
"Here, eat this while I make some more food." I said, turning back to the stove.
"Eggs and meat, huh? This is pretty tasty." Fer mumbled telepathically, his muzzle stuck deep into the omelette. Why did he have to mumble? I wondered as I worked on the next dish. Okay, his mouth is full but he's using telepathy...
"Ohhh, the eggs are runny and not overcooked." Dora-chan added.
"Eggs and meat, it's delicious-" Sui-chan said.
Everyone seemed to like the omelettes. For the next round I made minced meat with aubergines and topped with melted cheese. I started by peeling and halving the aubergines before frying Orc General and Bloody Horn Bull meat with a little salt and pepper. When the meat browned I added the aubergines and topped it all with meat sauce. I had to be careful, the sauce was quite strongly flavoured so I added it bit by bit and tasted it frequently as I stirred it into the mixture. When it was cooked I put the meat and aubergines into a large baking pan, sprinkled the top thickly with grated cheese and put it into the stove's oven. I judged it was ready when the baked cheese turned a light brown and then I took it out and served it onto three plates, just as the three gluttons finished their omelettes. I was getting better at this, I mused. Timing is important in cooking, of course.
"Here you are, be careful because it's hot." I warned them, a little too late in Dora-chan's case. Straight out of the oven the melted cheese was like napalm.
"Hot hot hot... huff huff, oh yeah, this is tasty..." He was blowing on the dish and then eating a mouthful, blowing and eating, in too much of a hurry to let it cool down a little but it was the sort of dish that tasted better when it was hot. There was a sudden gust of cold air from somewhere. What? I looked around and saw Fer using his Wind magic to cool his own serving of baked cheese over minced meat. That was one way to do it, I supposed.
"This will do nicely." Fer commented as he stuck his muzzle deep into the dish. "Ah, still hot... but it's delicious anyway."
Sui-chan only waited a few moments for her own serving to cool a little before ingesting her helping. It seemed she could deal with the hot food better than the other two which surprised me a little. Slimes were water creatures after all, weren't they?
"It's delicious because it's sticky hot." Sui-chan said. "So much meat, that's delicious too-" Sui-chan really likes cheese, of course.
Oh, I mustn't stop now, time to make more oversized omelettes for the next serving. After that I made more minced meat topped with grilled cheese, more omelettes and more minced meat then more omelettes then... finally everyone's dinner was over. Well, apart from my own dinner, a mouthful or two snatched between cooking """Seconds""" for the other three as usual. I had nearly finished eating when-
"Hey hey Aruji, is it time for Sui's reward yet-?" Sui-chan asked hopefully.
"Oh, wait a minute." I said, swallowing my final mouthful of minced meat and grilled aubergines.
"Nuuu, what's this about a reward?" Fer asked suspiciously.
"A reward, huh?" Dora-chan chimed in.
"Ah, well you see..." I started to explain but Fer and Dora-chan crowded me.
"So, this reward for Sui?" Fer pressed in.
"Yeah, what's it for?" Dora-chan was hovering right in front of my face.
"C'mon guys, you're too close." I said as I pushed them back. "Y'see, I had Sui-chan make a cooking item for me earlier and I figured she deserves a reward for doing it." As I explained I saw the expressions on Fer and Dora-chan's faces and swiftly changed gears. "Of course I'll give you two the same thing as well, OK?"
"So what kind of a reward is it?" Fer asked, his ears pricking up.
"Yeah, like the big guy said, whatizzit?" Dora-chan added, buzzing around my head even more furiously.
"It's cake." I answered.
"Cake, is that the white, fluffy sweet thing you offer to Ninril-sama?" Fer asked, licking his muzzle. Thinking about it, I'd given Fer cakes and baked sweets before and he'd enjoyed them, things like anpan and choco cornets.
"Yeah, you know I have a skill to get stuff from another world, right? I got a level up in that skill and it lets me order even more delicious cakes and sweet things than I could get before." I explained.
"Oh really?" Fer was definitely interested now.
"Sui-chan deserves something for making the cooking item for me and this is the perfect reward since she loves sweet things. Don't worry, there will be some for Fer and Dora-chan too of course."
"Hummm, I wasn't worried." Fer lied. Of course you weren't worried that something might escape your big stomach, Fer. Riiiight.
So, to business. I opened Net Super and selected the new Sanke store menu option. Let's see, which should I choose... well, it's a bit common perhaps but I couldn't resist the strawberry shortcake. Next, ohhh, they were holding a limited-time Matcha Fair, all sorts of cakes and sweets made with green tea flavourings. I was tempted but I knew Sui-chan didn't like bitter things so I moved on. The white chocolate cake, ohhh, and the blueberry tart too, yup that looked delicious and of course Sanke's signature dish, their world-famous custard pudding. I went back and added some matcha shortcake for myself as an afterthought since why should I do without? That would be sufficient, I decided and fed coins into the Net Super screen. A few seconds later a cardboard box appeared as usual.
I opened the box with some difficulty as all three of my contracted monsters were getting in the way to see what they were getting. Inside was another box with the cakes and pudding, carefully surrounded with cold-packs to keep them cold and fresh. I took out the cakes and put them on plates then unsealed the pudding which came in its own little tubs and put it out on a plate too. It got broken up a little but I figured that wouldn't affect the taste.
"Here you go." I said, putting the dishes down for the Impatient Trio.
"Umu." Fer eyed the dishes, obviously trying to decide which of the cakes to sample first.
"Oh, so this is cake? Lemme see what it tastes like..." Dora-chan had never eaten cake before, had he?
"Hooray-" Sui-chan had eaten cake before and was very happy, it seemed, to be given the chance to eat more.
After a few seconds of sampling the cakes and pudding...
"Umu, what's this really delicious thing that has red fruit on top of the white filling?" Fer mumbled. So Fer's favourite was the strawberry shortcake?
"W- w- what's this?! The wobbly stuff, it's sooo yummy. Gimme some more!" Oh, Dora-chan seems to really really like the pudding. I dished out more pudding for him but I expected he'd be satisfied with only one extra helping. Three servings of wobbly stuff would probably be too much for the Pixie Dragon. Probably.
"The cake I'm eating is sweet and delicious-! More, more, Sui wants to eat lots of it-!" Yeah, Sui-chan really likes sweet things. I put out one more serving of cake for her but that would be all, I decided. There would be other opportunities to indulge her sweet... uh, she didn't have teeth, her sweet... ummm, I gave up and turned my attention to my own dessert, a green tea shortcake from Sanke's limited-time Matcha Fair event. I needed coffee to go with this, black of course. I pondered just making it with instant coffee granules but black coffee? Nah. I opened up Net Super again and searched for... ah yes, here it is, drip-bag coffee. I selected an assortment pack and fed more coins into the Net Super interface to purchase it.
It's great there are such convenient things like drip-bag coffee now. When I want to drink black coffee it's so easy and quick to prepare, just follow the instructions on the side of the box and I couldn't go wrong. I positioned the drip-bag across the mouth of my cup using its little origami folding handles then I took hot water from my Item Box and slowly, sloooowly poured the water through the drip-bag, letting the dark coffee collect in the cup below. The smell of freshly-brewed coffee filled my nostrils with a comforting aroma. Wonderful. I took a first sip, oh yes, definitely more flavourful than instant coffee.
I bit into my matcha shortcake. It's an adult taste, bittersweet. I sipped more coffee, delicious, then another bite of the cake. Yosh, coffee goes so well with matcha sweets, doesn't it? I settled back to relax...
"Hey you, gimme more wobbly stuff!"
"Aruji-, Sui wants to eat more cake!"
Dora-chan and Sui, can't you be a little quieter, please? It seems Dora-chan had become addicted to pudding and Sui-chan's consumption of sweet things was making her somewhat hyperactive and demanding.
Speaking of sweet things and demanding behaviour reminded me of someone... Ah, Deplorable Goddess-sama. Oh dear. I wouldn't be able to keep the Sanke tenant store a secret and I was going to get pestered unmercifully by her when she found out. Ah, what a pain. The pleasures of matcha shortcake and drip-bag coffee turned to ashes in my mouth.
"Hey, you listening? Where's my wobbly stuff?"
"Sui wants to eat more cake-!"