Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Ch 171 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 171 -- Roast Chicken


Right then, time to make dinner. What I had planned for tonight was a simple pilaf roast chicken. My parents made it sometimes when I was still at home. After I moved out I made it for myself once at Christmas for old time's sake and I enjoyed it so much it became a regular thing for me to make pilaf roast chicken on Christmas. For that reason I didn't forsee any problems making it in this world, and it's something I've been thinking about making ever since I bought the Black Magic Cooking Stove with its gigantic oven.

This world doesn't actually seem to have chickens but I've got something that will work the same (I think). A Cockatrice. I have a whole one left and as prepared by the Guild dismantlers it's just like a chicken, that is if a chicken was 1.5 meters long. Even the Gluttonous Trio will be full up after eating a "chicken" this big. Probably.

First the ingredients. I needed to buy stuff like herbal salt and frozen pilaf and a brush to apply oil so I opened the Net Super and started ordering before I got to work. I avoided a lot of bothersome preparation by buying frozen pilaf which I heated lightly in a big frying pan to defrost since I didn't have a microwave oven, the way I would have defrosted it it at home. Sure I could have made the pilaf from scratch but it would take a lot of time and the frozen stuff was just as good for this recipe. I rubbed herbal salt on the Cockatrice inside and out and when the pilaf was warmed through I packed it into the Cockatrice's body.

After filling it up with pilaf I stitched the carcass closed with a bamboo skewer and tied the legs together with cooking string to keep the shape before brushing the entire Cockatrice with olive oil. I put the completed Cockatrice on a giant sheet of baking parchment in the pre-heated oven. It just fitted, as the Black Magic Cooking Stove salesman had said. Yosh!

I baked the Cockatrice at 200 degrees for just under an hour, keeping a close eye on it as I was still a bit unsure of the oven's temperature settings. I opened the door frequently to brush the dripping fat over the skin, making it brown and crisp and about half-way through the baking process I turned the entire Cockatrice over to ensure it cooked evenly. I used another bamboo skewer to stab the giant bird and when the fat that ran out was clear I judged it was ready to eat. I took it out and removed the bamboo skewer and the string before admiring the results of my cooking. A whole roast chicken is a wonderful sight but a whole roast Cockatrice outdid it by far, and the smell! However I didn't have long to enjoy looking at the results of my hard work since I was distracted by the piteous voices of the staving waifs and orphans behind me.

"That looks delicious." Fer seemed appreciative.

"Hurry up and give me it." Dora-chan was hovering impatiently at Fer's shoulder, his muzzle quivering.

"It's such a big piece of meat- Sui wants to eat it quick-" Sui was pyonging enthusiastically.

Everyone's eyes were nailed to the roast "chicken".

"Hang on, I'll have to remove the meat from the bones first." I got to work, separating the meat and heaping the pilaf soaked in the bird's juices into dishes for my contracted monsters.

"Here you are." I said, putting the dishes down and stepping back quickly as the food started to disappear.

"Mmmm, this is really delicious." Fer said telepathically. You really think so? Well the way his dish was emptying was a good sign. Sure he liked Cockatrice meat when I cooked it as cutlets and such but baking it whole in an oven is a different flavour experience.

"The crispy outer skin is irresistable." Dora-chan chimed in. "The rice too, it's really tasty, very meaty." Ah, good. I liked the crisp skin too when I made roast chicken for myself, and it was good to hear the pilaf was savoury and delicious.

"The skin is crisp and the meat inside is tender and delicious meat juice comes out. This rice is also delicious because the taste of the meat is soaked into it- " Ah, gourmand Sui-chan likes everything about the roast Cockatrice. Baking it whole kept the meat from drying out and the pilaf has soaked up the taste of the meat, even though it was pre-prepared frozen pilaf rather than home-made. A success! Well, time for me to try some too.

Ooooh, I had to agree, but it's almost too delicious even if I say so myself. The skin is crisp, the flesh plump and juicy and the rice soft and flavourful, a wonderful mixture of tastes and textures, a real pleasure to eat.

Fer and Sui had seconds and extra seconds, and in the end only bones remained as I had half-expected. They made me promise to make it again sometime which I readily agreed to, it's a very simple dish after all. Fer would have to hunt another Cockatrice sometime though.

"Wobbly stuff, I want some wobbly stuff!" Dora-chan demanded after I had finished cleaning up.

"Dora-chan, it's called 'pudding'." I explained.

"Is that what you call it? Pudding, I want some pudding." Dora-chan flew in circles around my head. "I haven't had any today so it's two, remember."

I had promised them two sweets each day and, yes, they hadn't had any yet today so two sweets it was. I turned to Fer.

"You too?" Fer nodded impatiently. "Strawberry shortcake as usual?"

"Umu." So two strawberry shortcakes as usual for Fer.

"Sui wants something I haven't eaten before-." Sui wanted to try something different as usual. I opened up the Sanke tenant store in Net Super and chose two custard puddings and two strawberry shortcakes for Dora-chan and Fer and after some thought I selected an apple pie and a strawberry roll cake for Sui. They looked delicious on the dishes, at least for a few seconds before they were devoured. Fer and Dora-chan headed off to the beast stables to sleep but it was still too early for me to go to bed. Maybe Sui-chan could make something for me?

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Ch 170 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 170 -- Anti-Dwarf Secret Weapon


"Bakayaro-! You want us to make WHAT? No way! Get lost!" I left the shop as the door was slammed shut behind me. I sighed to myself, that was the fifth blacksmiths I had tried and, thinking back on it, the most polite in their response to my request. The others had been much ruder.

After leaving the Adventurers Guild I had gone to the blacksmith's quarter of Doran to ask someone to make a barbeque stove for me. I had tried one store after another with no luck, getting turned down time after time in the same way. I'd open the door, I'd be welcomed then asked "What kind of weapon or armour are you looking for?" When I started to explain, "Well, it's not a weapon I'm looking for but this kind of thing..." the conversation would end at that point. Abruptly.

When you think about forges and blacksmiths in stories, Dwarves are what comes to mind and sure enough, all five of the blacksmith's workshops I had tried were run by Dwarves, just as pig-headed and short-tempered as you might expect. Still, they didn't have to shout at me quite like that, did they?

Ugor-san had warned me that the blacksmith's workshops in this city were mostly dedicated to making weapons and armour and that the owners were stubborn. I had to agree with him now I had visited some of them myself. Still, they were blacksmiths so they should be able to make things other than weapons and such. So what could I do? Ask the God of Blacksmiths to intervene on my behalf? I thought sourly to myself, as if that boozehound would do anything... then inspiration struck. Ah, booze!

The blacksmiths workshops were all run by Dwarves apparently and of course, Dwarves famously like to drink, if the stories I had read back in my own world were true. If I bribed them with alcohol I bought from the Net Super... he he he, a taste of something strong should do it. I quickly ducked into an alleyway out of sight so I could open Net Super and buy some booze straight away.

So, I thought to myself looking at the Net Super's drinks display, what sort of alcohol would be best? It would have to be strong with a high alcohol content. Whisky then, I decided, a little would go a long way. I didn't drink much whisky myself but I plumped for a famous Japanese whisky, 700ml in a very recognisable square bottle. I held it in my hand, thinking about the effects of items from Net Super in this world. Would it cause a dramatic change to the drinker? I decided to Appraise it just in case.


[ Whisky ]

Alcohol from another world. Expensive.
Reduces stamina by 2% for approximately 5 minutes.


Oh, whisky causes a decline in stamina, not an improvement? That was the first time I'd seen something from Net Super do that, a 2% drop for five minutes. Was it because it was booze, or was it because being drunk reduces someone's status? I didn't know but I'd discovered something new about Net Super which was good. However it wasn't a big change and it didn't last long so I decided it would be fine. I headed for the next blacksmith's workshop along the street, bottle in hand.

"Excuse me-" I said as I opened the door.

"Hmm, a customer?" An elderly Dwarf with a short but sturdy-looking body turned to me and growled. "What d'you want?" Yeah, that's exactly the sort of friendly welcome I had come to expect. Now to see if my secret weapon would work.

"I want to place an order ..." I started to ask.

"Oh, what kind of weapon d'you want?" he immediately interrupted, same as all the other Dwarf storekeepers I had encountered today.

"Well you see, what I'm looking for isn't a weapon, but ... could you just listen to what I've got to say please?" The elderly Dwarf had frowned as soon as I had said I wasn't looking for a weapon.

"It isn't a weapon? Armour then?"

"Well no, but I would be grateful if you could listen to what I've got to say.'' I repeated.

The Dwarf's frown deepened and he crossed his thick arms. "I'm not doing anything right now so I'll listen to you. I won't make it if it isn't a weapon or armour but I'll listen." Hooo, this was the politest Dwarf I had run into all day!

"Yes, that's fine." I said. I brought out a piece of parchment I had bought in advance and started to sketch my idea of a barbeque stove, explaining as I went. "You see, it's about this size and I put charcoal in a drawer here. I'd want you to make a hole, maybe a pattern of holes in the side so it will burn better. The mesh on the top will be removable, I'd grill meat on it." The design I had drawn up was a lot larger than the simple charcoal grill on the food stall we had visited in the morning since, well, I had Fer and company to feed. As I finished pointing out the details the elderly Dwarf harrumphed.

"...Haa, get out, get out!" the Dwarf's face grew red as he shouted at me. "If the other Dwarves heard I'd made something like this for you I'd get laughed at, I'd never live it down. Try someone else!"

As expected, he wasn't keen on the idea. "I've already been yelled at and turned away at five other stores today." I told him.

"What, you went to five other workshops before you came to my place?" the Dwarf harrumphed again. "Slow learner, ain'cha? There's no place around here that will take your order to make that, that THING." Well, I knew that, the blacksmiths in Doran were only interested in making weapons and armour but I had my anti-Dwarf secret weapon in my hand. Would he be able to resist it?

"Changing the subject, do you like booze?" I inquired. The Dwarf threw his arms out, inviting inspection.

"Look at me. I'm a Dwarf, in case you hadn't noticed." He obviously didn't have a high opinion of my intellect. "Of course I like to drink, no question about it." he explained as if to a child. Well, I expected that answer but I wasn't totally sure, it was a good idea to check.

"Well you see I have something special here..." I got a cup from my Item Box and held it out along with the bottle of whisky to the store owner. "This is a very rare kind of booze, extremely strong. I was wondering if it might suit a Dwarf's taste." The Dwarf's eyes fixed on the bottle in my hand and I saw him swallow a couple of times. I definitely had his attention now.

"Why don't you try some?" I cracked open the bottle of whisky and poured a generous helping into the cup. I saw his nostrils widen as the sweet alcoholic fragrance wafted from the cup as I swirled it around. He took the cup and peered into it then he lifted it to his lips and threw the contents back into his mouth.

"Gaaah, wow!" he exclaimed. "This booze, it's..." he blinked, licking his lips. "It's the best-tasting booze I've ever drunk!" Hehehe, my anti-Dwarf secret weapon seemed to be working perfectly. Time to close the deal.

"This booze is not sold around here because it is made in a remote location of a small country far from here." The Dwarf's eyes remained fixed on the bottle in my hand. "I have some more of this booze, not much though. If you accept my order then I'd include five bottles of it as an extra along with the price in coins." The Dwarf didn't think too long about my offer, not surprising given the way he had reacted when he tasted the whisky.

"...Ten. Gimme ten bottles of this booze, separate from the actual price and I'll make that thing for you." He crossed his arms again, staring at me and the bottle in my hand. Yosh! The whisky was an outstanding success.

"I'll give you 10 bottles, then. As a thank you for accepting my order, please take this one." I handed the bottle over to the Dwarf who quickly poured another cupful and downed it as quickly as the first one.

"Haaaaah, really tasty. I can't believe this booze is so delicious." he muttered. I hadn't lied, it really was made in a remote location in a small country far away, in another world actually. I wasn't a connoisseur of whisky myself but it had been a popular best-seller for a long time so I had figured it had to be really tasty.

"How long will it take to complete?" I asked the Dwarf who was starting to pour himself another cup from the bottle. He stopped and looked down at my drawing before thinking for a few moments.

"Ummm, three days. Come back in three days and it'll be ready."

"How much will it cost me?"

"It's a pretty big thing, lemme see..." he thought for a few moments more then said, "About 350 gold coins, including materials." That much wasn't a problem for me and I nodded.

"Thank you, please go ahead with my order. I'll come back three days from now."

"Oh, don't forget the booze." the Dwarf added. It was clear what he thought was the most important part of the deal. Dwarves really did like to drink, as expected.

"Don't worry, I won't forget." I said as I left the store. Fer and Dora-chan were asleep outside and Sui-chan was in my shoulder-bag as usual, also asleep of course.

"Hey, let's go back to the inn." I said telepathically to Fer and Dora-chan.

"Nuuu... are you finished?" Fer said grumpily.

"Fuuuah, finally?" Dora-chan added, flying up from the ground.

"Sorry you had to wait. That's me finished for the day. We can go back to the inn now."

"I'm hungry, let's get back and eat." Fer was already up and moving as I peered up at the sky. Was it really that late? But the sun was definitely sinking towards the horizon. I had spent more time trying to find a blacksmith that would make a barbeque stove for me than I thought. Ah well, it was sorted now so as I followed Fer I started thinking about dinner. What meat was left in the Item Box, what was I running out of? There wasn't much Orc General left but I still had plenty of Bloody Horn Bull and Wyvern in stock plus a lot of Orc meat from the dungeon and elsewhere. I still had about half of the Giant Tarepo left and of course the Cockatrices and the Rock Bird Fer had caught recently. Cockatrice, now that gave me an idea, remembering something the Black Magic Cooking Stove salesman had said to me. Could I make use of the big oven of my Black Magic Cooking Stove? I was pretty sure what I was thinking of making would fit.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Ch 169 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 169 -- Ugor-san Gets Extremely Angry (Again)


We soon arrived at the Adventurers Guild. I had found two nice baskets in the general store and had placed the pound cakes in them, ready to hand them over to Ugor-san and Elland-san. As soon as I made an appearance the Guild's staff hurried off to fetch Elland-san without me having to wait or even ask for assistance. It was a bit unnerving for someone like me to be treated as a VIP like this. Elland-san soon made an appearance and we went up to the now-familiar Guild Master's office on the second floor.

Once we were seated Elland-san said "Please wait for Ugor-kun to arrive." Elland-san looked somewhat dispirited, he wasn't even trying to ogle Dora-chan like he usually did. I heard him mutter "I told him I could deal with this myself. I've done it before when he wasn't around..." No, I could understand Ugor-san's feelings, you would try to dodge out of doing your job or mess things up with your selfishness. Best to wait for Ugor-san to get here, Guild Master.

Shortly after the office door opened and Ugor-san hurried in. "Thank you both for waiting." he said, throwing a hard glance at the depressed Elf sitting behind the big desk before he took his own seat and produced a large sheet of paper.

"Let's get on with business, Mukouda-san." he said, "I would like to pay you for the dungeon goods you delivered to us yesterday. Well, the details are..." Ugor-san ran a finger down the paper as he read out the items I was selling to the Guild.

"First there are 125 Orc skins for 1000 gold coins then there are 63 Lizardman skins for 630 gold coins, 102 Ogre skins for 2040 gold coins, 113 Troll skins for 2486 gold coins, 88 Minotaur skins for 1,672 gold coins, 21 small Ogre magic stones for 315 gold coins, 23 small Troll magic stones for 460 gold coins, 20 small Minotaur magic stones for 380 gold coins, 7 small Giant Killer Mantis magic stones for 147 gold coins, 15 vials of Paralyze Butterfly paralysis powder for 75 gold coins, 20 Wild Ape furs for 160 gold coins and a small magic bag for 280 gold coins." He stopped to glance up and down the paper again before announcing, "That makes a total of 9645 gold coins."

He tapped the paper with a finger before saying "Because the amount is so large I'd prefer to follow the example of the Merchants Guild yesterday and pay you with white gold coins and large gold coins. Is that okay with you Mukouda-san?"

When I nodded Ugor-san got out a large lockbox and counted out 96 white gold coins, 4 large gold coins and 5 gold coins, arranging them in piles of ten on Elland-san's desk. "Please confirm the amount," Ugor-san said as he put the last coin down.

I leant forward and counted them, "White gold coins 1, 2, 3 …… (Omitted) …… 96, yes, plus 4 large gold coins and 5 gold coins. Yosh." I looked up and nodded. "Yes, that's correct." I started putting them away in my Item Box, rather regretting the absence of those utilitarian sacks I normally received payment in. Ah well.

"Lately we've been able to secure a large amount of skins and magic stones thanks to you, Mukouda-sama." Ugor-san said with a smile.

"...But getting the Vasuki's fangs, the Manticore's Poison Stinger, the Gustave's fangs and spine would have been better..." came a whisper from the other side of the big desk. Ugor-san's darkening face turned towards his erstwhile superior.

"Did you have something to add, Guild Master?" he asked dangerously.

"I didn't say anything." Elland-san muttered. Really, Guild Master, did you really expect Ugor-san to not hear that? I waited for the explosion to come but I was disappointed as Ugor-san shrugged it off.

"Well, that's okay." Ugor-san settled back in his seat. "I wanted to have words with you when you purchased the Earth Dragon materials without consulting with me. I might have demurred over the expense you incurred but, as it turned out you were right and the Dragon blood and liver quickly sold for more than I expected." He shrugged. "In fact that extra cashflow enabled us to buy more of Mukouda-san's dungeon items today than we would have normally been able to afford."

Elland-san perked up at Ugor-san's words. "Yes, that's right." He nodded enthusiastically. "I did tell you that, didn't I? And I was right, wasn't I?" An avaricious smile spread over his fine Elvish features. "So are you ready to give me a budget to get the Dragon Sword made from that Dragon fang now, as a reward?"

Uh oh. As soon as Elland-san said that a vein started to throb on Ugor-san's temple. Bad move Elland-san, you just made Ugor-san extremely angry (again). I didn't understand Elland-san's obtuseness, after all he worked with Ugor-san every day, surely he would have learned not to aggravate him like that? I could only congratulate Ugor-san for his patience in dealing with his blundering superior day after day.

"Guild Master," Ugor-san said, thin-lipped, "You convinced me that the Guild would benefit from possessing a Dragon Sword made from a Dragon's fang even though I was somewhat reluctant. But!" he raised a finger. "We only have the funds to spare at the moment to purchase the necessary materials. Getting the sword made will cost a lot more, money we don't have yet. You don't seem to realise that the Guild's finances are limited." He sighed. "We'll need to consult with the blacksmiths here in Doran to determine which workshop can actually make such a sword, how much it will cost and so on before we can even begin to figure out where the money to pay for it is going to come from. It won't be cheap, or soon." Ugor-san gestured, indicating the office we sat in and by extension the rest of the building. "It takes a lot of money to operate the Guild and we have to earn that money first and foremost. Fripperies like having a Dragon Sword made to satisfy one particular Guild member's selfish desires come well down the list." He fixed the deflated Elf with a hard stare. "Wouldn't you agree, Guild Master?"

Ooooh, Ugor-san's argument left nothing for Elland-san to rebut. Excellent work, Ugor-san.

"No, no, no, that's not what I said." Elland-san replied weakly, "I just-"

Ugor-san held up a hand. "I didn't say the Guild could never afford to have the sword made in the future, it's just that right now all we can do is solicit bids from some of the larger blacksmith workshops to get an idea how much it will cost us. Really, Guild Master, sometimes you..."

Ah, it sounded like Ugor-san was going to deliver yet another sermon and Elland-san was slumping in his seat in resignation. I didn't want to sit through this even though Elland-san deserved the stern talking-to he was about to receive. I decided that intervening before Ugor-san could get going would be a good idea, after all Elland-san had been helpful to me in his own Dragon-obsessed manner and right now he looked like he could use being rescued.

"Ahem, Ugor-san?" I interjected. Ugor-san stopped abruptly and turned to me.

"Oh, excuse me Mukouda-sama." He looked down sheepishly. "I can't help myself when the Guild Master starts acting like this. I'm sorry." I totally understand, Ugor-san.

"No, apart from that I have a gift I want to give to you, Ugor-san and you too, Elland-san." I put the baskets with the pound cakes inside on the desk in front of them. "Here you are." As they lifted the lids and peered inside I went on to explain. "I thought the assistance Ugor-san provided me at the Merchants Guild yesterday deserved a reward, and I'm indebted to Elland-san for disassembling the Earth Dragon. They're a sweet sort of a cake, please enjoy them."

"Oh, are you sure?" Ugor-san asked, peering into the basket in front of him.

"Yes, please accept them."

"Thank you very much for this gift." Ugor-san smiled broadly. "My wife and children really like sweets." It seems that my choice of confectionery as presents was not a mistake.

"I like sweet things too." Elland-san said. "I'm very happy to accept this, I'll have some of it with tea right away."

Ugor-san scowled. "Guild Master, what's with this 'right away' business? Do you really have time for tea?" The vein on Ugor-san's forehead started to throb again. Not a good sign. "Surely you're not going to stop work to indulge yourself? There's a lot for you to be getting on with after all."

Elland-san quickly closed the lid on the gift basket and sat back, waving his hands. "No, no, I didn't mean right now as in, well, 'right now'. That would be the wrong thing to do, Ugor-kun. After finishing work right now, that's what I meant of course ha ha..."

Yes, you should work hard, Elland-san. You've got a lot of things to do to get ready for your trip to the Royal Capital after all, but for us we were done for the day and it was time for us to leave the Adventurers Guild. However Ugor-san had mentioned blacksmiths and their workshops earlier when the subject of Elland-san's desire to have a Dragon Sword manufactured came up and that gave me an idea. Could a blacksmith here in Doran make a barbeque stove for me? When I asked Ugor-san about this he explained that Doran was a dungeon city and nearly all of the blacksmith workshops here specialised in weapons and armour.

"Can they make anything other than weapons?" I asked.

Ugor-san shook his head. "In my experience the best blacksmiths are single-minded and quite stubborn about what they'll work on. I can't say for sure, you'll have to ask around and see for yourself."

Ah, so that's how it is? Well I supposed I could go to a few workshops and negotiate with the smiths directly if I had to. With that I said my goodbyes and left the Adventurers Guild, following Ugor-san's directions to the blacksmiths quarter in the city.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Ch 168 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 168 -- I Want A Barbecue Stove


Next morning as we were walking along the street towards the Adventurers Guild, Fer suddenly wrinkled his nose and said "Nuuu, isn't that burning meat I can smell?" Flying alongside us, Dora-chan's muzzle twitched. "Yeah, I can smell it too."

I sniffed and sure enough there was definitely a smell of roasting meat in the air. Following the smell to its source led us to a food stall on the street near a general store. Fer and Dora-chan naturally headed towards the stall since food was involved.

"What the-" The ojisan behind the stall was surprised to see a big Wolf (Fer) and a tiny Dragon (Dora-chan) suddenly appear in front of him.

"Ah, sorry. They're my contracted monsters, it's fine." I explained quickly, much to the stallholder's relief.

"Oh, are they Tamed? I though they were real monsters. Hahaha..." Fer and Dora-chan were staring hard at the meat skewers cooking on the ojisan's stall and a moment later Sui jumped out of her bag obviously attracted by the smell. Sui is a Slime and doesn't have a nose but it seems she can smell things like other creatures. Of course she's not a normal Slime, she can grow into a Big Slime and make recovery potions and Elixirs and forge mithril items and use Water magic to pew-pew S-ranked monsters. Maybe ordinary Slimes couldn't smell things like she could, I had no way to know.

Anyway it was pretty obvious why Fer, Dora-chan, and Sui were lined up in front of the stall staring at the meat skewers... Didn't you guys eat your fill this morning before we came out? I sighed.

"So, do you guys want to eat some of this?" I asked redundantly.

"Umu" Fer muttered telepathically.

"Eat, eat, eat" Dora-chan chimed in.

"Eat-" Sui echoed.

It's unanimous then. "So how many skewers do you guys want?" A couple each, three maybe? They just finished a big breakfast--

"I can handle 30 of them." Fer said, his eyes still rivetted on the stall's grill.

"Hmmm, I want 15 or so." Dora-chan said.

"Sui can eat 30 too-" Sui added.

Boy, you guys can really eat. "Excuse me, I want 76 skewers." Thirty plus fifteen plus thirty and one for me. Yeah yeah, I know, I had just had breakfast as well but the smell of the charcoal-grilled meat was getting to me too.

Each skewer held 3 large-ish pieces of meat and cost 7 iron coins. I handed 6 silver coins to the ojisan to pay for the meat, adding a bit extra to compensate him for the nuisance value of having Fer and company camped out in front of his stall and preventing other customers getting near.

"Is that all right?" the ojisan asked after I told him to keep the change. "Thank you for that." He scooped all the cooked skewers, maybe fifty or so off the glowing grill onto a large wooden platter. "Here's the first lot. I'll cook some more for you right away but you can have these for the moment."

I got out some dishes from my Item Box and stripped the meat off the skewers into the dishes, about sixty pieces of meat for Fer, sixty for Sui and thirty pieces for Dora-chan. "Help yourself." I said and stood back as the Gluttonous Trio launched their classic frontal attack on the food in front of them.

"Is this Horn Rabbit meat?" Fer grumbled telepathically. "Compared to the meat you cook for me it's almost inedible. Still..." I noticed his jaws didn't stop moving though. Hey Fer, you smelled it being cooked and wanted to eat it, that's why I bought it for you isn't it?

"I gotta admit, this is nowhere as good as what you serve up for us." Dora-chan agreed. "It's not terrible but, well, it's tough and salty-tasting. The way it's cooked is good though, I can eat it okay." He had liked the smell too but like Fer the actual taste was a disappointment to him.

"The meat that Aruji cooks is the most delicious-" Sui-chan added. "This meat is a little tough but it's juicy and delicious-"

Thank you Sui-chan. I thought about the stall-holder's cooking technique, he was grilling the skewers over charcoal. The meat he was using must be cheap if a skewer only cost 7 iron coins but it was still not too bad grilled this way according to my three gourmands. What had Fer called the meat, 'Horn Rabbit'? I asked the ojisan and he confirmed it was Horn Rabbit, the most common meat sold from street food stalls in Doran. It was popular with customers because it was cheap, apparently.

It turned out the stallholder had only recently moved to Doran and he had just started selling skewers here today. "My first day," he said with a smile, "and I've sold so much already. It just shows opening this stall was a great idea."

Well, my Gluttonous Trio are big eaters and you shouldn't rely on us being your main customers but still, ganbatte stallholder-san.

"Here you are, the rest of your order is ready." The ojisan handed over another platter-full of cooked skewers. I stripped the meat from the skewers and served them out in the now-empty dishes on the ground -- thirty pieces of meat from ten skewers each for Sui-chan and Fer and fifteen pieces from five skewers for Dora-chan.

"Be careful because it's hot." I warned but my three contracted monsters were already digging in. Serving Fer, Sui and Dora-chan their portions left one skewer on the platter, for me to try. I bit into it, chewing hard. The only seasoning was salt but cooked over a charcoal fire it smelled wonderful and tasted... okay. I had gotten used to Wyvern and Orc General and even Dragon meat, the Horn Rabbit was not in that class, it was denser and didn't fall apart in the mouth the way the others did but, still, it was okay. I put that down to cooking the meat over a charcoal fire, it made it smell irresistible as the outside of the meat got seared from the intense heat. As I took another bite of Horn Rabbit meat and chewed it I thought to myself that Orc General meat, Bloody Horn Bull meat and Wyvern meat would taste wonderful if it was grilled over charcoal. Add in the various seasonings I could buy from the Net Super and they should taste even more delicious.

Ah, I want a barbeque stove. Barbequing meat like this is great, of course but after we left Doran we were heading for Berleean, a fishing port city and that meant seafood which is even better barbequed. I really needed a barbeque stove... if I had seen a barbeque stove in the Net Super I would have bought one already but they just weren't on sale there. Table-top stoves, yes but no barbeque stoves. The Net Super didn't offer big items like that, unfortunately.

Is a barbeque stove something that Sui could make? No, I didn't think so. She's only been able to make things I can show her, a knife, a sword, a mincing machine but I don't have an barbeque stove she could copy. I know what they look like and I could draw one and explain to her how it works but I doubted she'd be able to make it properly just from that. Besides I wanted a big stove, I'd have to cook a lot of meat at a time to feed certain hollow-bellied creatures I was acquainted with and could Sui-chan make something that large inside her? I regretfully put the idea of having a barbeque stove aside for the time being. Maybe I could figure out something later.

Fer and company seemed to have finished eating and my own skewer was finished too and we had things to do today so I tidied up the dishes, said goodbye and good luck to the ojisan and went into the general store next door to buy a couple of gift baskets before we headed off to the Adventurers Guild to receive the payment for the dungeon drops we were selling.

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Ch 167 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 167 -- A Thank-you Gift For Ugor-san


Everyone had finished eating but I still had more cooking to do. I wanted to build up a stock of ready-to-eat food, rice and assorted toppings of minced meat and the like to put away in my Item Box. I set pots of rice to cook on three of the burners of the Black Magic Cooking stove while I made a lot of meat sauce on the fourth. I heated up oil in a frying pan and stirred in minced Orc meat until it browned nicely then skimmed off the fat before I added soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar and some grated ginger (the stuff from a tube was fine) and kept it at a low heat, stirring continuously until it was ready. I let it cool down before putting into a container and storing it away.

This is a super simple recipe, usable for all sorts of dishes, a topping for rice and as a side so having a good amount to hand was very convenient. The meat can be a mixture of beef and pork or just beef or chicken by themselves, it doesn't really matter. That done, I decided I had something else to do before I visited the Adventurers Guild tomorrow, to repay the kindness of Ugor-san. He had really helped me out a lot today, after all.

Without Ugor-san's intervention the jewellery I was selling would have been purchased for less than it was really worth. I'm not short of money thanks to Fer's efforts, not to mention Dora-chan and Sui too of course, but I don’t know much about gems and if Ugor-san hadn't said anything I would have accepted the first offer Adriano-san made. Even if Elland-san had been with me (that person seems to be useless except when it comes to Dragons) I suspect he wouldn't have spoken up like Ugor-san did.

I didn't know much about how the Merchants Guild in this world carried out their business but I could guess -- the phrase "Buy cheap, sell dear" from my own world probably existed in this world too so making a low offer to start with was just a natural thing for Adriano-san to do. I didn't think that a Merchant as skilled as he was had really made a mistake in his first offer, after all. If I knew what the items were really worth I maybe could have negotiated a better price myself but I didn't. Ugor-san knew what they were worth though. I decided that from now on I'd only sell items to the Adventurers Guild, it was safer that way.

Anyway, enough of that, I had to thank Ugor-san for taking care of me today. And what comes to mind for a thank-you present? Sweets of course. I had heard from Elland-san that Ugor-san has a wife and children so something like confectionery that the whole family can share would be even more pleasing.

My first thought was to choose something from the Sanke cake shop but I decided that wasn't something I could safely do, I didn't want the knowledge of my Net Super skill to leak out. So, something hand-made perhaps? Even though I've been cooking all my adult life (and, not to be boastful but I think I'm quite good at it), I've not made sweets much. As I strained to think of something appropriate my eye fell on the pound cake tins I had used for meatloaf.

"Ah, of course I've made pound cake before!" I remembered one of my part-time student jobs, working at a coffee shop which was famous for its delicious coffee and cakes. The most popular cake sets included chiffon cake, cheesecake and yes! pound cake too served up with their own-blend ground and filtered coffee. The cake sets were popular not only with female customers but also with old men. Me too, I should add even though I'm not female or old. Good coffee and simple handmade cakes go well together, that's all.

So, I made cakes working at that part-time job, pound cake, chiffon cake and the no-bake cheese cake too. It had been a while but I still remembered how to make them, well a simple version of a vanilla pound cake anyway.

I paused for a moment to think since all the ingredients would have to come from Net Super. What would be the status effects of eating a pound cake I made myself? I didn't think they'd be too dramatic even with Net Super ingredients. I decided I'd bake one and then use Appraisal on it and if it was too risky I'd not give it to Ugor-san. I knew the Gluttonous Trio would quite happily dispose of it for me, never mind sweet-toothed Deplorable-sama.

The recipe called for unsalted butter and sugar, eggs and plain fine flour, baking powder and vanilla essence. I already had eggs on hand so I purchased the other ingredients at the Net Super along with a whisk and a rubber spatula. At the coffee shop I had used an electric hand mixer but I couldn't use one here.

A pound cake is made by mixing flour and butter and eggs and sugar together, equal weights of all the ingredients. That's what made remembering how to bake it so easy. Baking powder made the pound cake fluffier like the cafe's own speciality version and a little vanilla essence sweetened the taste. Yosh, let's get started.

While the unsalted butter and eggs returned to room temperature I sifted the flour and baking powder together and lined the pound cake tin with a baking sheet before beating the eggs together in a separate bowl. I whisked the warm butter until it became runny, like very thick cream before adding the sugar bit by bit and continuing to whisk until the mixture became fluffy. It was time for the beaten eggs now which I fed slowly into the mix while I kept going with the whisk. Adding all the eggs in one go would be a mistake, it would make the mixture lumpy.

Finally I poured the sieved flour and baking powder into the mix and stirred it quickly and thoroughly with the rubber spatula. Once all the flour had combined it was ready to go into the oven. I spooned the finished dough into the pound cake tin I had lined with baking parchment, made a dent in the centre of the dough and then dropped the tin a few times on the table to displace any air bubbles.

A pound cake is baked for 40 to 45 minutes in an oven preheated to about 170 degrees. There's a trick, after about ten minutes of baking cut a slice in the middle of the top crust. This will make it look pretty when it's finished. Of course because I was using my Black Magic Cooking Stove I couldn't figure out the temperature properly so when the crust looked right I poked it with a bamboo skewer and confirmed it was cooked properly in the centre.

"Yeah, that looks okay..." I muttered as I took the tin out of the oven and tipped out the still-hot pound cake before wrapping it up in a clean cloth to let it cool down slowly. I'd leave it like that and unwrap it later to put on a plate for Ugor-san. Maybe I could get a nice basket with a lid instead though? Tomorrow perhaps.

I made another pound cake for Elland-san too although I wasn't sure he'd appreciate it. Despite Elland-san being, well, Elland-san he had helped me out a lot too, with the Earth Dragon disassembly and such. Ugor-san was married and had children so I was sure sweet things would go down well with them but Elland-san was single and presumably childless. Did Elves have a sweet tooth? Well, I'd find out tomorrow. What else... Oh, that's right. Appraise...


[ Pound cake ]
A pound cake made from different world ingredients. Increases magic power by approximately 1% for 5 minutes.


So the Net Super status boost would only be 1% for 5 minutes? That was insignificant so it would be fine to gift these pound cakes as I had intended. I'd hand them over when I went to the Adventurers Guild tomorrow to receive the payment for the items they had purchased from me. I could drop into a general store and buy baskets with lids on the way.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Ch 166 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 166 -- Meatloaf


It was time now to make dinner for everyone. I had a lot of Orc and Bloody Horn Bull meat I had minced yesterday and I decided to use up more of it by making a meatloaf. It had been a long time since I had meatloaf and with all that minced meat to hand, well...

I could bake a meatloaf in the Black Magic Cooking Stove's oven while I cooked other things like rice on the top burners separately, very convenient. The meatloaf I made for myself wasn't much like a commercial product, it was a lot simpler but I liked the taste and it went well with rice. Yosh, let's get started.

To make things easier I bought most of the ingredients from the Net Super. I already had a good stock of onions, ketchup, Worcester sauce, red wine and bread crumbs but I needed other things like bacon, frozen mixed vegetables (this would save me a lot of washing, peeling and chopping), boiled quail eggs, regular hen eggs, butter and pound cake baking tins for the final product.

I washed some rice and let it soak before cooking while I got started on the meatloaf. First I dunked breadcrumbs in milk in a bowl then chopped up onions before frying them in melted butter in a frying pan. Once they became translucent I dumped in the frozen mixed vegetables and stirred them in to the accompaniment of a cloud of steam and sputtering. I added minced Bloody Horn Bull meat to the bowl with the milk-softened breadcrumbs then added the fried onions and mixed vegetables. I broke in some regular hen eggs and seasoned the mix with salt and pepper and a touch of grated nutmeg before kneading the mixture until it was consistent and a little sticky.

My recipe isn't much different from making hamburger patties really, the main change ups are the mixed vegetables and the boiled eggs and the way it was cooked. Once I had a large amount of the meatloaf mix ready I greased up the pound cake baking tins and lined them with strips of bacon. I added some of the meatloaf mix, spreading it evenly across the bottom of the tins and making sure there were no bubbles of air trapped. I added the quail eggs two by two across the bottom layer before filling the tins with the rest of the meatloaf mix, again making sure there were no trapped air bubbles. I folded the bacon protruding around the edge of the tins over the top of the mix and covered them with foil before I put them into the preheated oven.

Normally I'd bake a meatloaf like this at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes but the Black Magic Cooking Stove's oven didn't have a temperature setting so I'd just have to judge it by eye. Now for the rice. I lit the Black Magic Cooking Stove's burners and started boiling the clay pots full of washed rice and water while the meatloaf baked in the oven below.

Meatloaf is easy to cook, it's a large dish which I could easily monitor to prevent it burning. As the rice pots on the burners up top steamed away I opened the oven door and peered in.

"They may be ready soon..." I muttered to myself, poking a bamboo skewer in through the foil of one of the meatloafs to test it. When the juices that oozed out were transparent I took the meatloafs out of the oven and started making the sauce. I drained off the gravy from the pound cake tins into the frying pan then added butter, ketchup, red wine and chuno sweet sauce and simmered it.

I extracted the meatloafs from the pound cake tins (the bacon lubricated everything, better than baking parchment and, well, bacon!) and cut one of them into thick slices. Fer and Sui each got three slices while Dora-chan got two, placed on plates and covered in sauce. I reserved the ends for myself since I liked the crunchier drier pieces.

"Right, it's ready." I announced and as soon as the plates were put down everyone started eating.

"Nuuu, has this got vegetables in it...?" Fer asked telepathically as he consumed the meatloaf. "I can't avoid them, but I suppose it's tasty enough." Fer was an absolute meat supremacist but eating veggies was good for him and the others. With meatloaf, well, he couldn't avoid eating the mixed vegetables and leave them in his dish like he did on other occasions. I suspected he was objecting to the vegetables because he thought he had to uphold his position on meat-eating, nothing more. His jaws didn't stop even when he was complaining.

"I like this thick sauce. It's really delicious, isn't it." Dora-chan was becoming more discriminating about his food but I had to agree, the thick sauce works really well on the baked minced meat.

"Wow, there’s something in the middle. Is it eggs? Sui loves eggs." Sui was digging in to her portion enthusiastically. I'm glad you like eggs, Sui-chan. Maybe I could make Scotch eggs for you?

It had been a long time since I had made meatloaf, in fact not since I had been summoned to this world and I wasn't sure I had got the recipe quite right but it was the sort of cooking that didn't have to be perfectly prepared to taste good. Fer and Dora-chan were eating the meatloaf heartily and Sui-chan seemed to like it too. Well now, it was time for me to eat my portion...

It looked good, I could see two quail eggs peeping out of the sliced piece on my plate, sheer decadence. I covered it with the sauce and took a bite. Like Dora-chan said, the sauce was delicious. I could taste the red wine and the butter combining nicely with the rather dry minced meat and the mixed vegetables. I couldn't figure out what Fer was complaining about, the veggies made this dish.

Would a sauce like this work with hamburgers? I tilted my head, considering the possibility but I wasn't sure. It certainly suited the drier meatloaf, it would maybe be too much for juicier fried meat. The quail eggs tasted good too, they were an option I usually added for my own reasons just because it made the dish more luxurious. The bacon too, of course, there's no reason to wrap a meatloaf in it as I had but the extra salt was a sharp tasty treat.

""Seconds"" -- Fer and Sui-chan demanded more just as Dora-chan rolled over on his back, his little belly well-rounded from his own serving of meatloaf, declaring "I'm stuffed, I couldn't eat another bite."

The Black Magic Cooking Stove's oven was large enough that I had been able to make several meatloafs at one time so I could dish out more slices straight away rather than having to cook another meatloaf from scratch to meet the demand. The Black Magic Cooking Stove was so convenient, I was really glad I had bought it.

Fer and Sui were satisfied with just two more servings and then it was time for dessert, with supposedly-full-to-bursting-point Dora-chan demanding more "wobbly stuff". I opened up Net Super and got him his pudding, added strawberry shortcake for Fer and since Sui-chan was looking for something different this time round I chose millefeulle crepes for her.

The fact there's always room for dessert is a clear proof that, in this world at least, Justice prevails.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Ch 165 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Chapter 165 -- French Fries


Adriano-san's request for a favour was... odd. It seemed that the city, indeed the entire Kingdom was suffering from a lack of new cuisine. Every restaurant and food-stall had the same limited and over-familiar range of cooked food on offer. Naturally the Guild Master of the Merchants Guild was being inundated with demands to fix this situation as profits were drying up and he had been at a loss until I arrived.

“You aren't from this country, Mukouda-sama, and you say you're good at cooking. We'd be very much obliged for any new recipes and such you could share with us." I stifled a smile at Adriano-san's readiness to exploit a chance statement from me to boost profits. He was proving that he had truly earned his position as Guild Master of Doran's Merchants Guild. "It would be excellent if any such food went well with alcohol too. We have a lot of Adventurers in this city, as you know and they do like to drink. Cheap too would be good."

Well, he had increased the purchase price for the jewels and such I had just sold to the Guild and if it was just a case of teaching them something simple then I didn't see why not. When I said so Ugor-san got up and said "This doesn't have anything to do with the Adventurers Guild so I'll leave the rest to you then, Mukouda-san. I have a lot of work to get on with and I've left the Guild Master unsupervised for too long, who knows what he's been up to..." before saying his goodbyes and heading off back to his duties.

I thought for a moment, what sort of food and cooking techniques could I teach them? “Food here is boiled or baked." I muttered to myself as Adraino-san sat patiently. "Whatever I choose will have to be done that way or at least in a similar way..." Seasonings, all they had here was salt, some herbs and maybe small amounts of pepper although that was a very expensive item and probably wouldn't suit the sort of dishes the Guild was looking for, not for lower-class inn dining rooms and taverns and food stalls on the city's streets. Could I use seasonings from the Net Super? Nope nope nope. It wasn't just that I needed to keep that particular Unique Skill a secret, I was the only source of such items and I'd be leaving Doran soon. And they wanted it to go well with booze, that meant something like an izakaya's offerings didn't it? Nibbles and such rather than complete meals, I supposed.

Ah, how about... “Adriano-san, do you have any fried foods?” I asked.

"Fried food? What kind of dish is that?" Adriano-san raised an eyebrow.

"It’s food fried in oil. Well, boiled in oil sort of." His puzzlement continued. How could I explain it to him? "Oil, you know..."

"Oil, yes I know about it but cooking... I don't get it." Adriano-san said. Oh, so they don't know about frying food? Then I had the perfect dish for him, thinking about it. Olive oil is the most commonly used oil in this world, grown over a wide area so it was readily available and the price was not too high. Doran wasn't that far from the sea so salt was a cheap commodity here too so what I was thinking of wouldn't cost much and it definitely would go well with the sorts of booze drunk in this world.

“There is one dish that I can think of," I said, "Would you like to watch me make it?" It would be easier to demonstrate how to make it rather than writing down the recipe on paper, I decided.

“Oh, thank you." Adriano-san's face lit up. "There are other Guild members who will want to see this, is it all right to call them?"

"That's fine..." I agreed. I looked around the elegant business meeting room we were in and decided it wasn't really the best place to set out a stove and start cooking, so after discussing my requirements with Adriano-san we moved out into a large atrium area behind the Merchants Guild building. I requested olive oil and salt as ingredients which the Guild immediately supplied. Yosh, time to go to work I said to myself as a group of Merchants gathered around to observe.

First of all, I took my Black Magic Cooking Stove out of my Item Box, to a chorus of comments from the watchers -- "Ooooh" and "That's a huge Item Box" and "A Black Magic Cooking Stove, that's the latest sort." I tried to ignore the comments as I got ready to make French fries. They're easy to make, cheap and as a thousand izakaya owners will tell you they go great with booze.

First off I needed potatoes. I got out a sack of potatoes which I had bought in a market in Doran before I went into the dungeon. I squinted at one of the potatoes, it wasn't exactly like the ones I could buy from the Net Super but it was close enough. Again going by what I had paid for them they were also cheap and common here, another requirement according to Adriano-san. I selected potatoes that hadn't sprouted and started to prepare them, explaining each step of what I was doing out loud to the audience.

"Right then, take potatoes like this, wash them well and wipe them dry. After that cut them like this." I sliced the potatoes into strips like regular French fries. "You can leave the skin on if they're clean." I held up a few other potatoes. "If they've sprouted like these ones then remove the buds, but it's best to peel the skin off in that case." Those ones I cut more thickly after peeling them. "Try different thicknesses and shapes, see what works best for you."

Although the olive oil wasn't too expensive it would take a while for me to heat up a pot of oil for deep-frying so I decided to just use a centimetre or so of oil in a big frying pan for this demonstration.

"So you put olive oil in a pan like this and bring it up to a medium heat then add the sliced potatoes and let them cook." I lit a burner on my Black Magic Cooking stove and started frying the potatoes as the audience watched my every move. Some of the more diligent Merchants were making notes as I proceeded.

"Once the oil starts bubbling and the potatoes float to the surface like this," I said, "remove them from the oil with a scoop and then increase the temperature so the oil gets really hot. Once it's ready," I plunged the half-cooked potatoes back into the bubbling oil with a satisfying sizzling sound. "keep frying them until they are crisp and brown, then remove them from the pan and drain off the oil. A quick shake of salt and they're done."

I added some more details as I prepared another batch of fries, explaining how they could check if the fries were cooked properly by taking one from the pan and breaking it in half. I said they could try using animal fat instead of olive oil, they could deep-fry sliced potatoes in larger pots rather than using frying pans and told them they should be careful against the risk of fire since the oil needed to be very hot for the second part of the cooking process.

"Now, please try them." I offered dishes of fries to the eager Merchants crowding around. "Be careful, they're really hot. Watch your fingers." They all sampled the fries, huffing on them before popping them in their mouths.

"Oh, the outside is crisp and the inside is soft and delicious."

"That salty taste, it's good. They will make people want to drink more beer."

“Oh yeah, these will definitely go well with ale.”

“And they're so cheap to make. Wonderful!"

"They're so easy to cook, I could put them on my tavern's menu today."

Generally the results of my efforts were receiving favourable evaluations but then again I've never heard of people who didn't like French fries. I repeated my earlier comments about trying different ways of cutting the potatoes and cooking them since I wasn't absolutely sure this world's potatoes were exactly like the ones I was used to but they weren't paying much attention to what I was saying, instead concentrating on the rapidly-disappearing servings of French fries. The smiles on their faces told me I had succeeded though.

"Mukouda-sama, I really want to thank you for teaching us about this wonderful dish." Adriano-san said as I put away the Black Magic Cooking Stove and tidied up. "Cooking food like that in oil, it just never occurred to me. The raw materials for this are inexpensive too and," he licked his fingers, "they will definitely make a great accompaniment to alcohol." He bowed gratefully. It was the only sort of food I could think of at short notice but it was good that everyone seemed to be happy.

“As a modest token of our appreciation," Adriano-san announced, "Doran's Guild will cover your membership fee and all taxes due to the Merchants Guild for the next year."

"Really?" I bowed in response. "Thank you for that, Guild Master." The renewal of my Guild membership and the taxes all paid just for showing them how to make French fries? Lucky. It wasn't until later that I remembered I had told Adriano-san that I had been thinking of allowing my membership of the Merchants Guild to lapse in favour of working as an Adventurer. Now, of course, I was committed to remaining a member of the Merchants Guild for at least another year. Ugor-san had described the Merchants Guild as 'sly old foxes' and I was beginning to see what he meant.

Fer and Dora-chan were snoozing on one side of the Guild's paved atrium, unconcerned with what I had been up to although Fer had kept one half-lidded eye on me when I started cooking. There was no meat involved on this occasion so he hadn't interrupted. As usual Sui-chan was still asleep in her bag slung over my shoulder. I nudged Fer and Dora-chan telepathically and they stirred into wakefulness. Time to go back to the inn and eat dinner, I told them.

"I'll take my leave now." I said to Adriano-san.

"Again, thank you very much Mukouda-sama." he said, escorting me to the Guild's front door and waving me on my way.