104-103 rice cake

 Winter is in full swing.

 The blizzard is blowing and it's cold as hell.
 There are icicles hanging from the rain gutters.

 Well, people on my farm are enjoying the winter in their own way.

 I'm going to try to enjoy the winter in my own way.

 I buried the potatoes in the snow.

 Why did you do that? Why did you do that?
 The trick is to take them out before the snow melts and the potatoes get wet.

 And I heard there is a thing called "snow cabbage".
 I heard there are also snow cabbages, if you bury them at the bottom of the snow, they become very sweet.
 In this one, it's said to be left rooted in the soil, but I buried some cabbages in the snow without harvesting them to see if it's true.

 We'll see if they're really sweet or not.
 We'll have to wait until spring to find out.

 Also, there are plans in progress for the mountain dungeon in Vire, but they have yet to be announced.

 Let's focus on another winter event.

              * * * *.

"? Your husband? What are you doing?

 I've started something and people come up to me like they're curious.
 What I'm doing now is woodworking.

 I'm cutting down a suitable tree from the surrounding mountains to make a log of the right length.
 He hollowed it out from a section.

'Okay, done.'

 It was a mortar.

 That's right, the thing that makes the rice cakes.
 You mean....

"Let's make a rice cake!

 It's a winter tradition.
 Winter is New Year's Day and New Year's Day is making rice cakes.
 I don't know if they celebrate New Year's in winter in this world, but it's the perfect way to celebrate the serenity of winter.

''Huh? What are you doing? What are you doing?
'I hear the saint has come up with something interesting again.
I hope it's good for you.
Okay! We're going to hit each other with that hammer!

 Prati and her team of mermaids, and Okubo and his team of monsters. The elves, led by Elon, also gather around.

 They must have a lot of time on their hands in the wintertime after all.

''Listen! From now on, I'm going to play a competition called Mochi-tsuki!
A competition?
Anybody who feels like it, join in! I'll take anyone's challenge!

 The tension was a little funny, but it was to resist the cold.

 The sticky rice in the steamer was already steaming up in the kitchen.

 I had grown it separately from the regular rice before the winter for such an occasion.

 Gobukichi and the others, who had asked for help beforehand, brought the steaming basket of glutinous rice and dropped it into the mortar.

 Seeing is believing, we tried making the rice cakes.

Sore, flattened, flattened

 Since the pounder was already prepared, I pounded the rice without a hitch.

 The grains of the rice were crushed by the pestle and became a lump.

Oh my God! It's kind of going to be like bread dough!

 The first time you see it, it's the most impressive.

 After pounding it many times, it's starting to look more like a rice cake, but I still can only put it on in one direction without a kneader.

Does anyone want to take turns?

 He called out to the galleries watching around him.

'So, then I'll...!

 At times like this, the first thing that comes up is the oakbo.
 He takes the pestle from me and I move across the mortar to face him.

'My lord? What?
You know what? Now, every time you pound a rice cake, I'll turn it over with my hand and you'll have to repeat the process.

 That's how you get rid of the bias and create a rice cake with perfectly crushed grains of rice!

I see!
Then let's go! But before I do, I must warn you, don't accidentally hit my hand with a pestle!

 You don't have to promise me that!

Yes, I understand.

 Why did I pause for a response?

'Just for the record, you hit me in the head with a pestle! And definitely without any of that.

 I believe in you!
 I'm a believer!

Okay, flap, flap.

 I felt a strange sense of urgency, but the rice cakes were made safely.

 The rice cake was almost ready, so I just tore it into pieces and handed it out to everyone.
 It was hot and sticky because it had just been pounded.

Oh, my God!
Hahahahaha! Mouth-attack!

 As expected, it was very popular.
 I seasoned it with sugar and soy sauce. We haven't made soy sauce with soy sauce and sugar, so we don't have any choice.

 I wrapped it in nori (seaweed) or added it to miso soup.
 I tried it too.
 I didn't know that a freshly pounded rice cake could stretch so long.

It's amazing, it's like bread dough! It stretches well to nowhere!

 The first time I ate prathi, I was even more surprised.

'Sir! You're creating something so delicious again!
'The saint is God! How do you have such a wide knowledge?

 Just for the rice cakes.

But I haven't saved the best for last!
"What else is good to eat? What more delicious food do you have?

 Here's a bowl of pitch-black drink to be served.
 It's a warm and sweet drink made mainly of red beans.

 It's the perfect time to put freshly pounded rice cakes in it.

 Ihabua Zenzai. Aijabua Mochi.
 Mochi filled Zenzai.

It's a very good way to get a taste of the Ihabua Zenzai.

 There was a scream of delight from Prathi and the girls.
 A high frequency sound that seemed to pierce the eardrums.

''What is this! Sweet Zenzai and fluffy mochi!
A collaboration of black and white!
This is the golden combination of sweetness and texture!

 Be clear on whether it's white, black, or gold.

'I'm really glad everyone seemed to like it.

 There's still a lot of glutinous rice left, so I pounded a lot of it and stored the uneaten portions to harden.

 This time, not only me, but everyone else will try to pound rice cakes in turn.

Don't hit your hands or head on the rice cake. Don't hit your hands or your head, okay?

 After all, we all remembered to put on a front.
 Actually, it wasn't a front.

 And so the cold winter day passed by as if we forgot about the cold.

              * * * *

 A few days later.

 Veerle was furious.

'It's not fair, master! You all ate some good food while I was gone?

 Shut up.
 It's bad enough you're holed up in a dungeon, hiding out from the cold all by yourself.