It's a cold winter day.
We were groaning in front of something that had been bothering us for a long time.
A thing with a flat shell, four legs, and a long neck.
Yes, a spoon.
Fortunately, we were able to transport it alive, as reptiles are not subject to the magic bag regulations, and it took us several days to remove the mud.
The only thing left to do is to cook and eat it. .......
No one has ever cooked a spoon before, have they?
"No! Natsuki is the only one who's ever eaten it.
Of course I don't know how to cook it either.
I don't know how to cook it either. It looks pretty awful, but it's Japanese people who have the guts to eat it.
I only have a hazy knowledge of the subject, but ...... let's give it a try.
Natsuki removes the spoon from the vat and places it on the cutting board with a 'thump'.
The width of the shell alone is more than 40 centimeters, but our cutting board is also big enough for our spacious kitchen, so there is no problem.
Normally, if it were too big, it would be too heavy and inconvenient to wash, but Haruka and his friends are strong enough and have 'purification', so they made it a custom-made size for ease of use.
It's pretty big. Wouldn't it be better to start with a smaller one?
No, I thought it would be easier to see the internal organs.
Oh, that's true.
It is said that most parts of the snapping turtle can be eaten, but since it is not a mammal, it is difficult to understand the parts. Especially when they are small.
The other one is just a little smaller.
"I see. After all, we only caught two.
I didn't go out to catch any sponges, I just happened to find two.
If they are tasty, we should consider catching them in earnest.
Well. Now let's get to work. ...... Nao, please hold the sponges for me.
I'll hold the shell of the spoon on the cutting board for Natsuki.
He took out a knife and grabbed the threateningly outstretched neck of the snapping turtle and pulled it out.
Despite the cute voice, the head is cut off with great force.
Blood spurts out.
I'm not sure what to say.
I'm not sure what to make of this.
It's more graphic than mammals.
"You don't want the blood, do you? I'll just throw it away.
"You don't need the blood, do you? I'll just throw it away." It was Toya who stopped Natsuki from turning the sponges upside down in the sink.
I've heard that you can drink the blood of sponges.
I've heard that you can mix it with alcohol, but we don't drink alcohol, and it doesn't taste very good. Would you like some?
"What, it's not good? Then I don't want it.
No, what kind of blood tastes good? ......
Blood smells fishy and it's not something you eat.
Even when you kill something, it's important to know how to drain the blood.
However, blood is sometimes mixed in with sausage making, so it may not necessarily taste bad. ......
Some people say that breast milk is blood without hemoglobin.
Breast milk: ......
It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're doing.
What? Nao, are you interested?
"I'm afraid I don't have any yet.
I'm sorry, but I don't have any yet. - Oh, no, I just thought, ......, I don't remember tasting breast milk! Yeah.
When Yuki looked at me with a smirk on her face and Natsuki laughed, I hurriedly made an excuse.
It's true that I didn't have any unpleasant feelings.
The reason why my eyes fell on Natsuki was because she had the largest bust among the three.
Yuki's is a bit more modest, and Haruka's is a bit smaller than Yuki's, probably because she became an elf.
Haruka is a little smaller than Yuki, probably because she is now an elf, but she doesn't seem to mind, because she said, "It's easier.
I don't remember what breastmilk tastes like, but it doesn't seem to be very tasty. I don't remember what breast milk tastes like, but it doesn't seem to taste that good. It seems to contain a lot of lactose, but even though it's called sugar, it's not very sweet.
No, Haruka, if you explain it calmly, it's .......
If you can get it to come out, I'll let you have it.
You'll have to take responsibility then, though, won't you?
You'll have to be responsible for ...... that, no! We're talking about sponges now!
I'm not sure what to do, but I'm going to do it.
I almost said something funny.
I'm sure you're right. Now that the blood is gone, let's continue.
Natsuki laughed and put the spoon back on the cutting board.
Since it had already stopped moving, I stood back and watched from behind.
Next, we'll remove the shell. Next, we'll remove the shell.
Tommy's knife seemed to be sharp enough, and it sliced into the carapace in a roundabout way.
"This should get it. ...... Good. It's done.
When Natsuki removed the shell, she saw the spoon's internal organs.
There was so much in it that I couldn't understand what it was.
What part of it do you eat?
Basically, you can eat most of the internal organs. I thought the bladder and gallbladder were off limits.
The bladder can be dangerous if you're not careful.
When we dismantle our prey, we have to be careful with the digestive organs, especially the bladder and intestines.
If you hurt them by mistake, urine and feces will leak out. .......
In the beginning, when we were not used to disassembling, we made mistakes and discarded a large part of the body.
However, since our usual prey is large in size and mammals have an easily understood digestive system, we soon got used to it. .......
I'm sure you'll be able to find something that works for you. You can trace it back from there. ......
Is that it?
Maybe that's it. Let's get rid of the intestines, too.
The intestines are supposed to be edible. ...... Well, I'm a little concerned, so let's dispose of the digestive organs. Cut a slit in the empera .......
It's hard to say what a beautiful girl like Haruka and the others are saying as they stand forehead to forehead, pointing at the somewhat grotesque internal organs of the snapping turtle, but it seems that the bladder has been confirmed.
Thanks to his advanced [dismantling] skills, Natsuki was able to remove the bladder and intestines without any particular failure, and put them in the leftover food container.
Next is the gallbladder.
The gallbladder ...... is where the bile comes out. That's the organ connected to the liver. ......
That's the liver. It's big. The gallbladder is ...... this one. It's a different color.
What Natsuki took out was a smaller organ than he expected. It's round and black.
The rest is edible, so let's cut it up.
"We can eat the rest, so let's cut it up." Crunchily, she cut off the legs, the empera, and sorted the organs.
A lot of unfamiliar things are lined up on the cutting board.
After that, we'll wash it with water and ......, and we won't need the claws. I'll throw those away, too.
While rinsing the pieces, Natsuki also trimmed and discarded the toenails.
Yuki points to one of the organs and asks a question.
What's this yellow thing?
"That's probably eggs. I guess it's the time of year they were caught, but they're pretty tasty. They are good as they are, but they are also pickled in salt.
"Oh, so they're eggs. ....... So all we have to do is cook them?
No, the shells and legs need to be boiled and the skin removed. If you don't do this, they smell bad.
Is that so? But you know so much, Natsuki. You've never handled one before, have you?
No. Yes, I know a little bit about it, but I can still do it well thanks to my dismantling or cooking skills.
Boil water, put the shells and legs in it, and quickly run it through the water.
If you pull up the shell and pull the skin off, it will peel cleanly.
Even so, it doesn't look so good.
Now the preparation is complete. The next step is cooking. First, an earthenware pot. This is important.
What Natsuki took out was a slightly large, slightly shallow earthenware pot.
It was at least a size larger than the one we used at home.
We were a family of three, and considering that there were five of us, plus Toya who was a big eater, we would need something like this.
Do you have a clay pot?
I did. I bought it at the same store where I bought the jar of instant sauce and some plates. There's not much demand for them, but they're available.
Why can't you just use a regular pot?
I heard that by using the same earthenware pot to make sponge casserole over and over again, the flavor soaks in and becomes more delicious. That's what they say.
"I see, so you have to nurture the pot.
It is impossible to do this with the iron pot we usually use.
It's like that. They say that a well-grown pot tastes good even when you just boil the water. ...... Is that true? I've got my eyes sealed, so I don't think it will soak in too much.
What's the point? I'm not sure what you mean by "eye patch".
I'm not sure what to make of it.
Before using an earthenware pot, you cook porridge or something to fill in the gaps in the pottery. To prevent cracking. But we don't have any rice...
Natsuki nodded and responded to Haruka's gaze.
This time I used flour.
It's supposed to last longer. I haven't really experienced it myself. I've never bought an earthenware pot before.
I'm sure most high school students don't have the opportunity to buy an earthenware pot, and I'm sure they don't have the experience of 'I forgot to seal the eyes and it broke easily.
I'm going to make soup from the shell and bones.
"Let's make soup from the shells and bones," said Natsuki, filling an earthenware pot with water, putting it on the fire, throwing in the shells and bones, and simmering them.
I heard that it's good to make the soup hot. They use coke, but fortunately, our stove is a magic tool, so we can make it very hot. Fortunately, our stove is a magical tool, so we can make it super hot.
We waited for a while.
The water in the pot gradually becomes cloudy and fat begins to float to the surface.
When the soup is good, you can throw away the shell and bones. After seasoning with salt and herbs, add the meat and organs. ......I would like to have some sake when I cook.
That's right. You can't really use wine with Japanese food. ......
If it's just alcohol, you can distill it, but that's useless.
I think he makes good enough food, but he's not satisfied with the seasoning.
But I can't make sake, you know.
We have potatoes and barley, so I think we can get away with shochu. ...... Can shochu replace cooking sake?
I'm not sure what to do. Please prepare chopsticks and plates.
As we moved to the dining room to prepare the dishes, Natsuki arrived with a pot.
The earthenware pot was quickly placed on the potholder Yuki had laid out.
To be honest, it doesn't look very good.
The offal and the legs sticking out like a sinking wreck are a little off.
If you haven't heard that it's good, you might be a little hesitant to extend your chopsticks.
If you don't like the taste, you can add some soy-sauce-like inspiration sauce. Let's eat.
We agreed with the smiling Natsuki, but didn't reach for it right away.
However, it was a high class dish, and Natsuki made it.
I'm sure you can trust the taste. .......
I'll start with the meat.
It takes a bit of courage to start with your hand, so you choose an unidentifiable piece of meat.
Pick up the meat from the pot and snack on it.
"Mm-hmm, ......, pretty light?
"Yes, it is. Yes, it has a good flavor, but it's easy to eat.
I'm not sure what to make of it.
I'd like to have the emperor with vinegar and soy sauce ......, though I'd really prefer ponzu.
I'm not sure if they sell yuzu or sudachi.
What Haruka uses is a soy sauce-style inspirational sauce mixed with wine vinegar made from white wine.
In this area, where red wine is the norm, it's almost impossible to find, but I happened to find it and bought it, though it was a bit expensive.
I found it by chance and bought it, though it was a bit expensive.
After dipping the emperor in vinegar and soy sauce, Natsuki's cheeks relaxed.
I'm sure it's because I'm not used to it, but it looks a little delicate.
"Wow, this soup is really good!
Really! It's so simple. ....... It's a feast in itself!
After hearing what Toya and Yuki had to say, I scooped up a ladle of soup, transferred it to my plate, and drank it.
I scooped up a ladle of soup and drank it. "...... Oh, it's delicious.
If we had rice, it would be delicious as porridge. ...... Too bad.
It's a shame, but it's good enough to be a soup.
Yes, that's true.
But I'd like to try the porridge made with this soup.
"If it's this good, I'd like to eat it from time to time. ...... It's quite difficult to prepare, isn't it?
Yes, it's a bit of a hassle compared to the amount you can eat. You can eat a lot of meat more easily with orc or something.
You have to cut it up, remove the unwanted parts, boil it, and remove the skin.
It seems a bit troublesome compared to Orcs, where you can just split open the belly and throw away the internal organs.
Orcs also need to be skinned and the edible parts removed, but even a single liver provides more edible parts than this spoon. The time and effort required is completely different.
If you think of it as ......[dismantling] with Yuki and I helping, can Toya and Nao do it too? If we process it all at once and store it, we can ......
No, there's no point in worrying about it, right? You can't catch that many.
Sure, there's only one left, but ......
You're right, there is only one.
We stared at the dwindling pot with some disappointment.
It looks bad, but it tastes good.
d*mn that ...... guy.
Next time we go, why don't we get a trap for the sponges?
That's a good idea. They're reptiles, though, so we'd better be careful or they'll suffocate and die. ......
The trap we used last time to catch eels and crabs is completely submerged, so if a spoonbill gets into it, it will suffocate to death.
It's hard to imagine, but sponges do drown, don't they?
I've seen sponges sometimes rise to the surface and breathe, but that means that even if they are placed at the bottom of the river, they need to be placed in large baskets or nets with the tops above the surface. ....... It seems to be quite difficult.
And even if I try my best to make it, I don't know whether it will work or not.
Last time, I saw only one fish, and the other was a spoonbill that I caught because it was caught in my search.
--If it doesn't take one, should I try to capture one directly by using [Searching for enemies]? For the sake of a good suppon hot pot .
That's what I thought as I looked at the soup that had turned into nothing but soup in a short time.