Intermission: Mochi Pounding
Satou's here. Speaking of new year's day, it's all about new year's food, mochi, and new year's gifts. Shrine visit and new year's card are also the standard of new year. As a child, I ran to buy toys and games while grasping the new year's gift tightly, but I only remember lazying around with sake when I had become an adult. Work? There's no work during the new year's day you know?
"Arisa's cheeks sure can stretch like mochi."
"Oufh, refease, mfee--"
I wonder how are they this springy even though they're thin.
"What is mochi nanodesu?"
Pochi and Tama who caught notice of 'mochi' word came asking.
"Mochi you see, is--"
"Umm, master, please Arisa's punishment is..."
Lulu interceded reservedly when I was going to explain about mochi. When I look below, Arisa is looking up with teary eyes. Sorry, I forgot.
I immediately prepare the wooden mallet, and the traditional mortar for mochi making. Unfortunately the glutinous rice has to be soaked in the water for one night, so we can't pound the mochi right away.
Even though there are ripening magics, there's no magic to speed up mochi soaking, I think magician bunch are negligent.
It's probably of water type magic, I'll try experimenting some things tonight.
Mia seems hesitant since she doesn't like memorizing, but if I let her eat some delicious mochis, she will most certainly help in making the magic for the sake of easier mochi-making.
The azuki beans and black soy beans for the mochi fillings also have to be soaked in the water for a night. I've already mass produced red bean jam for the muno roll back then, but I can't use it unless for mochi daifuku.
I continue preparing the ingredients while thinking about more ideas.
Adding things like cheese or strawberry sounds good other than traditional Japanese ones.
That's right, for this occasion I should try preparing various odd ones.
Since I don't know which ingredients would be well received after all.
When I was making the mochi, Pochi and Tama wanted to do it too, so I changed with them.
Nana is in charge of flipping the mochi beside them.
"Me too! I want to flip it over too!"
"Alright, you can change with me so use these."
Since Arisa and Mia looked interested in trying, I gave them thin gloves.
"Hm? What's with the gloves?"
"Your wrist would break if the mallet swung by Pochi and Tama hit it you know? These gloves are the same things Lulu used in the labyrinth, so it would produce a small magic shield to guard against the hit."
Its mainly to prevent the mochi from sticking though, however they probably won't be careful I don't make this much threat.
I can heal them in an instant even if they get hurt badly, but we wouldn't be able to eat the pink-colored blood mochi after all.
While watching Arisa and Mia who are nervously flipping the mochi, Lulu and I make the mochi into round shapes. We put the fillings that have been prepared beforehand during this process.
The little girl maids from the mansion are also helping rounding the mochi.
"Achichi, it's amazing that Lulu-sama and master-sama look fine."
<TLN: Exclamation for when you feel hot.>
"Ufufu, it'll be fine if you dip your hands on cold water beforehand you know."
"Uh, my hands are sticky."
"If you put this flour on your hand beforehand, it won't get sticky."
Well it is hot, but it's nothing compared to when I put my hand in the forge.
I continue working while feeling heartwarming from watching Lulu helping the little girl maids.
"Achichi, the mochi is the mochi isss"
When I look at the noisy screams, it seems that Pochi has failed something due to strange action she did during the mochi making. Apparently, the mochi on the mallet has coiled on her body.
Beside her, Arisa who has been covered in mochi from her head down looks terrible.
Lulu goes there to control the situation while saying some wife-like thing, "Ara ara, my my."
Their burns are healed with Mia's water magic, and the dirts are cleaned with Lulu's life magic, but Pochi who was doing careless thing with food and Arisa who instigated her are being made to do seiza and scolded by Liza.
Large quantity of mochi in four types, plain, sweet, staple and colored are lined up full on display.
I might've made a bit too much.
I guess I can just give the excess to the orphanage and the training school.
"Delish. Freshly made mochi is the best after all."
"Mo, mochi person is tough nodesu. It's sticking on my mouth~"
The youth troupe are enjoying the freshly made plain mochi.
"That's right! Mochi has to be roasted!"
"Liza is already fetching the tool now."
I calm Arisa who's stressing with mochi on one hand.
"There's guga in this mochi."
"It's smooth anko here nodesu!"
"Beans are delicious too~?"
"Nn, honey mochi, good."
"Ah, I'm full before the grill came--honey?!"
Arisa looks at me while eating the mochi, looks like she has something to say.
Honey mochi is a mochi that puts out thick honey when you chew them. If you chew on them further, the honey mixed with mochi tastes unexpectedly good. It's a bit too sweet, so I feel I've had enough with one.
"This one has cubed meat in it nodesu!"
"Here is teriyaki chicken~"
Most of them seems to be popular.
Oh? Arisa falls prostrating on the ground like orz.
Did she have a heartburn?
"J, Japan's culture is remodeled."
Food is something that's always evolving.
"Here comes one for the conservative Arisa."
I point at Liza who's come carrying false-brazier magic tool and wire mesh.
Arisa who's revived immediately puts the mochi on the mesh and begins the roasting.
Since the mochi didn't swell well, I tried doing various things like drying the surface, or adding cut on the surface.
"The mochi is alive nodesu!"
The youth troupe can't take their eyes off the swelling mochi on top of the mesh. Yup, it's worth the hardship.
Even though she's feigning to be calm, Liza's eyes has been chasing after the mochi since awhile ago.
I guess it's about time?
I hand the plate with poured soy sauce to Arisa.
"Kuh~ really, eating mochi has to be like this after all~"
However, it seems that the only people who enjoy the conservative soy sauced roasted mochi are Arisa and me, the other members are more receptive to the other mochis which I've prepared in jest.
"Cheese~ Can see the inside~?"
"This mochi is hiding the hamburg sensei nodesu!"
"This teriyakimayo tastes wonderful. The teriyaki taste is mixed with the mochi when I chew on it, it's as if I'm eating another kind of meat texture--"
Well, it's alright so long they like it.
I bite the soy flour covered mochi while looking at everyone who looks happy.
Right, I'll challenge myself by making mugwort mochi and green bean mochi next time. Having cherry leaf mochi during the Kingdom Spring Conference sounds good too.
"Oh, looks like the zenzai is complete."
<TLN: red bean soup made with Azuki beans.>
The pot with zenzai inside is being brought out from the kitchen by Lulu.
The mansion maids unit are following behind her while carrying the tablewares.
"Ah, the combo of salty-sweet mochi with the zenzai is dangerous! They can be connected even while hot, creating the infinite combo! I'm so happy it's scary!"
"Zenzai is also scary nodesu!"
While thanking Lulu and the maids unit, I add another new mochi for the girls.
While eating the zenzai, Ms. Miteruna whom I'm always troubling with, and princess Mitia with her maid have also mixed in, they're amazed with the sweet mochi that Mia's recommended, passing the enjoyable time.
After the party had ended, Nana carried the case with a lot of sweet mochis and went to share them to the orphanage. She must be watching over the young organisms and the mochi right now.
In the future, I ended up having to distribute mochis to my labyrinth city acquaintances who knew about this mochi party.
The little girl maids and the orphanage teachers who knew about the price of glutinous rice in the labyrinth city looked like the were going to faint. They're cheap though?
After eating the mochi, Arisa pestered me that she wanted to eat the food served in new year day, but unfortunately, I didn't know the recipe at all so I couldn't reproduce it.
I was good at sampling the new year food that my mother and grandmother made though.