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Chapter 61 – Pleasure of Cooking

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Author: Eltria Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Robinxen

Chicken, potatoes, herbs, marinated beef, broccoli, carrots, turnips, eggs, milk, and sausages… Since we had just gone shopping a few days ago, there were plenty of ingredients in the magical fridge.

While it would be best to ask Mother about using the marinated beef, the rest should be fair game to use freely. With this in mind, I decided to think about menus for lunch and dinner.

Since it would be counterproductive to ask Mother for help here, I pulled out recipe books from the bookshelf and spread them out on the table. I started to plan based on the ingredients I remembered.

It’s probably a good idea to have a grasp of the basics of cooking. Cooking isn’t just about boiling or baking things.

As I read through the book, I remembered that steaming was another cooking method. So, I decided to steam the potatoes, carrots, and broccoli, even though it would take a bit more effort. Apparently the nutrients wouldn’t dissolve in water this way. It wasn’t something you can see, but it’s what I’ve heard.

I carefully washed the vegetables, removed the sprouts from the potatoes, and steamed them with the skin still on. I peeled the carrots, cut them into appropriate sizes, and steamed them. I also steamed the broccoli.

I hesitated about whether to steam the turnips, but since the “Creamy Turnip Soup” in the recipe book looked delicious, I decided to try making it. Grating it was a bit of a hassle, but it was interesting to see the turnip fibers come off. Grating it seemed to give it a thickness. When simmered with milk, it did become quite creamy.

For the main dish, something warm would be nice, so I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and let it come to room temperature. After finishing the soup, I fried the steamed potatoes in a frying pan with the chicken. As the fat began to seep out from the chicken frying skin-side down, a fragrant smell filled the air.

“…But still…”

The potatoes and the chicken seemed quite large compared to the ones in the recipe book. It might have been better to cut them into smaller pieces that could be eaten in one bite.

As I pondered this, I flipped the nicely browned chicken and covered the frying pan to let it cook through. As it finished cooking, I plated the broccoli and carrots. Just then, Mother returned.


For a moment, I thought I had taken too long with the cooking and missed lunchtime, but it was actually just the right time.

“The smell was so good, I started to get hungry.”
“It’s still too early for lunch.”

Mother showed an innocent expression with a mixture of surprise and joy, displaying the most radiant smile she had worn in a while. It seems that trying my hand at cooking was indeed a good idea.

“Wow, Leafa, this looks amazing. Did you make all of this?”
“I didn’t do as well as Mother, but…”

As I started to speak, I remembered the frying pan was still on the heat and hurriedly turned it off. While the chicken was cooked through, both the potatoes and the chicken had a slight burnt edge.

“It smells so good and looks delicious. Can we start eating before it gets cold?”
“Of course, Mother. Oh…”

As I plated the chicken, I realized my mistake. I only prepared one plate, a habit from when Glass was around. Knowing it was for the two of us, I should have prepared two plates.

“Can I carry this one?”

Without noticing my mistake, Mother reached for the serving knife and fork, ready to help herself.

“Yes, please. I’ll bring the rest, so please wait at the table.”
“I’ll do just that.”

As Mother carried the plate, she smiled and savored the aroma of the dishes.

“It looks really delicious. We’re having a feast for lunch today.”
“I hope it meets your expectations, Mother…”
“There’s no doubt it will. It’s made by my beloved Leafa.”

True to her words, Mother nodded repeatedly while enjoying the meal, expressing her satisfaction with every bite.

“I ate it all because it was so delicious. Should I have saved some for Rudra?”
“It’s okay. I now know that I can help you with cooking, so I’ll make more after this. If you’d like, may I also prepare dinner?”

Touched by my suggestion, Mother nodded with teary eyes.

“That makes me really happy, Leafa… Let’s cook together since we have marinated beef.”
“Please teach me, Mother.”
“Of course. With you, Leafa, it feels like you’ll surpass Mom in no time.”

Seeing Mother’s smiling face, I finally felt a bit relieved. From now on, I’ll cherish our family time even more. I don’t want to cause any more unnecessary worries.

That evening, Mother finished her work early as promised and stood in the kitchen with me.

“…Is it ready yet, Mother?”
“Yes. Be careful, it might splatter because of the marinade.”

I arranged the marinated beef in the preheated frying pan. The pan sizzled momentarily, but then the temperature seemed to drop, slowing down the cooking process.

“We should have left it at room temperature for a bit longer.”
“Today is a bit chilly, so this should be fine. Slow cooking will still make it delicious.”

As Mother spoke, juices bubbled up from the surface of the meat. With the heat not enough, the flavors might escape.

“…Mother, if we increase the heat, can’t we evaporate the excess moisture and lock in the flavor?”
“You have an interesting idea, Leafa. But if we increase the heat too much, it might be dangerous if the fire spills out from the pan.”

It seemed like a good idea, but it didn’t fit into our lifestyle standards. What should we do? If only, with the innovation of tools and magical devices, cooking like Mrs. Judy could become easy…

“It’s time to flip it, Leafa.”
“S-Sorry, Mother, I—”

Lost in thought, I had overcooked the meat. Hastily flipping it with a spatula, I caught a whiff of the slightly burnt smell.

“It’s alright. You really do like to think about various things, Leafa.”
“Yes… I think about how I can make life more convenient and useful for you and Father every day.”
“You might develop an amazing magical device one day. I’m looking forward to it.”

Mother nodded with a smile at my words, scanning the kitchen and the entire house. There were many magical devices in this house, indispensable for modern living, but I…

“…As much as magical devices are helpful, I still prefer to use alchemy.”

It was alchemy for me, after all. As I spoke, I realized something as I reached for the handle of the frying pan to check the doneness of the meat.

“Leafa, are you okay!? Did you burn yourself?”

My sudden halt startled Mother.

“I didn’t, I’m fine.” I nodded and looked back at the frying pan. “Um, Mother. What do you think about creating cookware with good heat conduction using alchemy?”

“That’s amazing… I think it’s a really good idea. I would definitely love to try using one if we make it.” Mother’s eyes widened in surprise at my suggestion, but she quickly smiled and nodded repeatedly.

“Thank you. I’ll think about the design and methods.” Inspired by the unexpected idea from my conversation with Mother, I wanted to start working in the atelier right away. However, it had to be postponed because Father returned home after work.

“…To have such a reward at the end of a series of shifts…”
“The seasoning was done by Mother, and all I did was steam the vegetables and cook the meat, Father.”
“No, no, I get to experience the happiness of being welcomed with your daughter’s home-cooked meal… It’s the best dinner.”

Father continued eating, almost teary-eyed in exaggeration. If only I had started doing this sooner, seeing my parents so happy.

“Leafa made lunch too. That turnip soup was divine.”
“I envy you, Natal! I’m starting to feel jealous of you for the first time.”
“I’ll make it again, so please get along. Father, Mother.”

I earnestly intervened, worried that my words might lead to an argument, but the two just smiled at each other.

“We’re looking forward to it, Leafa.”
“Yes, I’ll hone my skills to meet your expectations.”

Phew. Even when I was Glass, I cooked, but I only did ridiculous things like baking moldy bread.

What I learned yesterday and today is that if you follow a recipe, you’ll get exactly what it says, and once you understand the basics, you can freely experiment with variations. This applies to alchemy as well, and surprisingly, it’s enjoyable.

In my previous life, if I had known the pleasure of food, I might have come closer to understanding happiness. In that sense, Glass didn’t know anything. No matter how close I got to the truth through alchemy, I didn’t understand anything about happiness.


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