Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
This is a teaser requested by Claire Lilly-san from Novel Updates.
This is not a new project, but only a teaser.
This is not a new project, but only a teaser.
Please note that this will not disturb my other projects.
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Online Grammar Editor
As soon as I arrived home, I was shivering from the cold.
A house where I was living alone was cold. It wasn’t simply cold as a physical sense but was also psychologically for some reason.
If I was told that I am lonely since I am an unmarried woman that had long passed thirty years old, I have no words to refute them.
(I don’t really feel any discomfort, but it will be lying if I say that it is not lonely. Even so, I don’t want to get married just because……)
In the past, I might be referred as a loser woman, but I don’t think that I am losing anything. I am satisfied with my life where I can freely do the things that I love.
Inside the dark house where no one answering me, I fumbled to find the light switch, and then I turned it on.
There was the unfinished recipe on the table, in the same condition as when I went out this morning. Writing recipes is quite difficult. Unlike a memo for ourselves, I need to express it in a way so that anyone could made the same thing.
(It’s not that difficult to explain about the quantity, but the problem lies in the explanation of the procedure, right?)
It would be ideal if even beginners with the knowledge on par with elementary school’s students in home economics could make the same thing using the written recipes. But no matter how I had written it properly, there were points that would be unexplainable, so it was difficult
(For now, let’s continue after meal)
「Hot water, hot water」
I decided to put off the recipe for now and then turned on the switch of the electric kettle. It was my routine, to drink something warm to warm my body as soon as I returned home.
「What shall I have for today?」
To suddenly speak out for when doing something, might be the peculiarity of living alone. Though I also unconsciously speak out even when nothing happened ―― even when there would be no one who answers me.
In the basket on the table, there were the collections of jars of handmade yuzu tea, variously flavored ginger tea powder, and a can of my favorite white peach oolong tea that I bought from the net. As long as I have hot water, I can always drink it to my likings. Since I’m enjoyed choosing and I believed I have modest financial leeway in my daily life, I always try to prepare many kinds of tea inside the basket.
There were multiple black tea shops that I frequented and not only real-physical stores but I also bookmarked some internet stores. Although I am not really versed in flavored tea, I had a profound fascination on tea. Black tea, Japanese tea, Chinese tea…… Last year I attempted to cultivate a Japanese tea by myself. I acquired two tea trees from a grower that I acquainted with and planted them in the garden.
In leaf buds from the two tree could only be made into three servings of tea in the house, but the taste was quite pleasant. It was definitely pesticide-free and since it was a tea that I made by myself, I felt that it was 30% more delicious. When it was brewed, its color was quite pale, rather than green, it was a pale golden color. Its scent was strong and its refreshing aftertaste was left a deep impression.
Of course, I will make another attempt this year and increase the number of the trees, I also was interested in trying to make black tea and oolong tea.
「Since it will get chilly today, let’s use lemon-sama.」
Take the jar with red lid. This was sliced lemons and gingers soaked in honey.
It was something that I made last year, but unless it was exposed to air, the lemon won’t rot. The trick for this long-term preservation was because I wasn’t stingy on the honey. If I melt this in the hot water, I could have a hot ginger lemonade that is perfect for the winter that is pleasant to my throat and warms my body. If it was summer, drinking it with cold ice is also delicious.
There was an air conditioning unit in the room, more or less, but I decided refrained from using it unless it was very cold. Because this house was a 22-year old old-fashioned house, the draft was terrible, and so the cost performance of the air conditioner unit was not so good. As a frugal person, I would like to save the utility fee as much as possible.
While the water was being boiled, I took off my coat and head towards the bedroom.
「Just like I thought, I forgot it here ...」
I discovered a handphone that was still being plugged to the charger on the bedside and I felt a bit relieved.
The pale pink gold handphone was an old model I bought three years ago. The young ones from my workplace had often said that a handphone this thick was out of date. I was hesitating whenever a new model was released, but since I couldn’t find a model that I was completely interested with, I hadn’t replaced it yet.
When I looked at the screen, there were seven incoming calls. Whether or not seven incoming calls at a half-day period was a lot or too few would depend on the individual, but for me who didn’t have relatives, this was a considerable amount of call.
「Are? It’s Sakisaka-senpai……」
Since I rarely got a voicemail from her, I played it.
『Maya-chan? This is Sakisaka. Since you didn’t mail or call back, I think you have forgotten your phone…… If you have returned home, please call me. There is a work for you.』
「……I'm sorry. You are correct~.」
That I ended up talking like this with television or voicemail, perhaps because this was the habit of a person who lived alone for a long time.
I put my hand in front of the cell phone in an apology gesture and slightly apologize.
My name is Izumi Maya. My main occupation was a pâtissier, but I also had a side job as a temporary chef at a wine bar.
Because I am a woman, perhaps it should be called pâtissière instead. However, since my title in the shop’s business card was chief pâtissier, I always refer to myself as pâtissier.
For my main occupation, I worked at a shop specialized in fruit tart located in the side street of Ginza, which was a popular shop often featured in the magazines.
I was one of three chiefs. Including the apprentices, there were 12 pâtissiers in the shop, which are divided into a team of four. The chief's privilege was that I didn’t have to look after the customer. It was nice to hear the honest opinions of the customers, but since I like cooking more, I was happy when I get promoted.
I didn’t dislike this job. Rather, I love it. But, there was a point that is unsatisfactory for me.
It was obvious, but at the store, the recipe had been strictly decided before, so there was no room to improvise by myself, and though there were some variations depending on the season, to make the same thing every day, the stress was building up.
Hence, I had another workplace to compensate this point.
I would work in the kitchen of the wine bar operated by the husband of Sakisaka-senpai’s, she was a senpai who had worked at my store before. But I only work in the night before my rest day, once or twice a week in a rotation. The shop had a menu for the alcohol, but it had no dishes menu.
It was one of the shop selling points to provide impromptu cooking using the ingredients provided at that day, which match the palate of the wine selected by the customer, while listening to customers' demand.
Since the open kitchen counter was constantly in the customers’ line of sight and the lack of menu inversely grant too much freedom, this job was difficult.
Deciding what to cook with the material available on that day while listening to customers' wishes was a really tasking for my communication skills. Furthermore, because the kitchen was visible, even though I was only cooking, it was a serious sword clash with customers! Or so that how it felt like. But I like that just-enough tension very much.
I couldn’t say it with a loud voice, but my salary was cheap for a late night job like this. But since I could learn the wine taste while being coached by customers who was fastidious about the taste, I feel that my skill has strengthened, or rather I felt that my arms were strengthened for real, working in this place was a precious time for me.
If you work on your rest day, then won’t you not be able to rest? This was often asked to me, but in my case, cooking was a job and also a hobby. In other words, I think that it was a good way to spend my rest day on my hobby.
In my case, to receive a side income for doing things that I like, even though it was a bit tiring, it was two birds with one stone.
The ringtone at the other end of the phone didn’t stop.
「…… Perhaps senpai is a bit busy?」
I had called Sakisaka-senpai back, but she didn’t pick it up..
‘When is the work?’ I just send a mail and stood in the kitchen.
People work in cuisine business often do not want to cook at home, but in my case, I still do the cooking at home.
Because it also serves as a research, it wasn’t unusual that it became a new menu. Of course, it was the basic etiquette to be responsible and eat everything cleanly…… Though, there were some that were inedible no matter what.
It is said that this house, which was away from the landlady’s house, was the residence of the landlady's grandmother who likes cooking.
It seems that the grandmother’s height and mine weren’t that different, so the height of the sink and the gas range were just right, and the kitchen arrangement was designed with considerations, so it had a good user-friendliness. More than anything, the kitchen had an oven, which was the best point. A rented home with a kitchen that had a genuine oven like this was unusual.
This oven became the biggest factor of why I rented this house. As long as I had this, I didn’t care about a little draft at all.
Because the kitchen was very cozy, I often cooking dishes for myself.
Today 's dinner would be an oden, which was very nice on cold days like this.
I believed that oden was a dishes that reflect the taste of a house. In a certain convenience store, they would change the dashi depending on the regional area and there were stores that also sell a Western-style tomato dashi. So there were various base flavors. There was also a wide-ranged variation of the ingredients that were put into the oden. The reason why the oden of convenience stores was so rich in variety, was because everyone might be seeking the taste of the oden from their own house that they had used to eat.
The oden that I made is a Kanto-style oden with a katsuo dashi base, putting octopus legs and whole small onions were its signature characteristic. In order to boil it, I used an earthenware pot.
After the oden ingredients had been boiled for quite some time, I wrapped the pot in a newspaper and then covered it with a blanket to keep it warm. Since I had done this in the morning, I would have a tremendous delicious soup when I came home. In another word, this was a thermal cooking. There seems to be a dedicated pot for this type of cooking, but I didn’t need such thing at all. With an earthenware pot, I could cook rice for meals and it could be used for a variety of purposes, so I believed that a largish earthenware pot is a necessity if you live alone.
While warming the oden that was thickly soaked with the dashi, I noticed that I had made a kinpira from daikon and carrot skins.
(There is no mustard ......)
Oden without a mustard is like a pudding without a caramel sauce. “I firmly demand a mustard!”, was what I said while holding out a ladle and talking to myself in an excited state. Looking at it, it was sad, but no matter what, I had no choice but to buy it myself.
(Oh well, not like there is another way.)
I decided to purchase it at a convenience store three minutes walk away. Of course, it would be cheaper in the supermarket, but it was quite a distance away. Naturally, I didn’t have the inkling to travel that far at this point of time.
I put on my coat, brought only my handphone, wallet and house key, before I went outside.
Lately, there were dangers everywhere. This area was close to the main street and there were lots of street lamps, so it was better. Even if a woman alone walks in the night like this, it wasn’t so scary. I thought how I was glad that I had lived in the city at such times.
Using the handphone in my hand as a substitute for a flashlight, I trudged through the night road, where only my shadow was the moving thing. It was very quiet and it made me felt a rather strange hunch for some reason.
(It was as if, I was taken by the night ... ...)
Everything felt cold somewhat and I couldn’t get used to this…… I felt an uncomfortable feeling that I was floating by myself.
(Perhaps, this is what they call ‘solitude’)
Hence why I was relieved when I saw the light from the convenience store.
Seeing that logo at the signboard made me feel safe somehow, perhaps because I had got used to living in Tokyo.
I originally hail from the mountains of Hokkaido and it had been more than ten years since I came to Tokyo.
There was nobody in my hometown anymore and my parents' house had been cleared, so this crowded city full of strangers was the only place for me to stay.
I could have a work that I love, colleagues that attuned to each other, and there are seniors who were angrier than me when something outrageous happened, comrades and friends that were like my true relatives.
Although I continue to feel loneliness from being alone, I believed that this was in itself, a happiness. Though I am not young anymore to shamelessly say 『I am happy』, but while I continue to ponder about this, as expected: I am happy.
I always thought that I would keep living like this for a long amount of time. I never doubted it even for a second.
The signal of the pedestrian crossing had become green.
The moment I made a step, I heard a harsh braking sound and someone’s scream.
As soon as my mind knew why it was so bright, my body was fluttering through the air and my consciousness blanked out to white.
Table of Contents | Next Chapter
Thank you for your hard work, Truck-sama!
 In Japan, you can refer derogatorily a woman above 30’s that is unmarried (and childless) as 負け犬女, which literally means: a loser dog woman. This term began from a writer and essayist Sakai Junko who write a book titled: 『The Howl of the Loser Dog』 in 2003, where she used the term Loser Dog for herself (she was over 30, unmarried, and childless). The term then become a buzzword and taken into the common parlance.
 Yuzu tea also known as Yuja tea. Although it was called as citron tea in English, citron (Citrus medica) and yuzu (Citrus junos) are different species.
 Flavored tea is tea that had been mixed with favoring agent, like jasmine, blackcurrant, lemon, etc.
 I don’t translate “あれ” from female characters. Deal with it.
 It’s a classic Japanese gesture. You often see it in Shoujo manga. Just search for a panel when someone ask forgiveness while saying: “Gomen”.
 和泉 麻耶 Izumi Maya
 As any French reader might attest, pâtissier is masculine, while pâtissière is feminine.
 Oden is a Japanese one pot winter dish consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in a light, soy-flavored dashi broth. Ingredients vary according to region and between each household.
 Dashi is Japanese signature soup stock, used in many cuisine. Each region had their unique recipe to make a dashi.
 Dashi made from Katsuobushi or dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna. Though, I usually only encounter the cheaper variants made from bonito.
 Thermal cooking is a cooking technique that uses thermal insulation to retain heat and cook food without the continuous use of fuel or other heat source. In the Medieval period, after heating over a fire, a hot, earthenware pot containing food was placed in another, larger pot, box or hole in the ground, insulated by hay, moss, dry leaves or other material, and covered. The heat conserved within would slowly cook the food inside, saving fuel and work. The modern incarnation would be a vacuum flask cooker.
 Kinpira is a Japanese cooking style that can be summarized as a technique of "sauté and simmer” with sugar and soy sauce. Usually used to cook root vegetable. I had cook an imitation of this before, it was quite tasty.