Episode 6 – Saara’s cooking, a table for two



If we go shopping together at the supermarket, of course we go home together.
After all, we live next door to each other.
Since I was going to ask her to cook for me, I decided to at least take care of the ingredients, so I took care of all the belongings and came back to the front door of my apartment.

“A man’s help is great”
“In times like this, it would be less stressful for me if you relied on me.”
“That’s why I told you it’s okay to be like that. By the way, you’ve grown up, haven’t you?”
“What are you, some kind of a neighbor auntie living in the countryside? I mean, we’ve both grown up, haven’t we?”

Especially compared to the change in Saara, I haven’t changed at all.

“What are we going to do about the food? Should we take it to your house?”
“Well, the …… refrigerator doesn’t hold any more stuff. Can I use your place?”
“No problem, we’re going to eat together anyway.”

The room is not very big with personal belongings, so there is no problem at least to have more luggage.

Saara comes up, same thing as yesterday,…… but I still can’t get used to the situation of a girl being in my room,…….

“Hnn? By the way, if you can’t fit that much stuff in your fridge, don’t you have plenty of food?”

Saara scratches her head and looks away, as if she is having trouble answering the question.

“……I kept buying things in the fridge that I saw at the store that looked unusual or interesting, and before I knew it, it was full. ……”
“So you don’t have a plan or anything ……? If you don’t have food to handle, there’s no way to use seasonings.”
“But when you come to an upscale urban store, they have yuzu, sudachi and bosu separately. Don’t you want to buy them all and compare them?”

It sounds a bit laughable, but I know the feeling. It’s hard to tell the difference in taste unless you compare them.

I think I’m starting to understand Saara a little better.
I don’t think my taste buds have changed that much from Ayato back then to Saara now.
The problem is that the fat little boy who was eating onigiri has become a princess inside and out.

“I’ll use your kitchen, then.”
“Sure. Let me know if you need any help.
“I’ll leave you to it, ghost member of the cooking club.”

I sit down in the chair, smiling at the fact that I have been called by a title that is truly unreliable.
As this is a standard one-person apartment, the kitchen and living room are one.


Humming a song I don’t know what it is, Saara cuts the onions as she is accustomed to doing.
She put them in the pot, washed the carrots, and peeled the potatoes with a peeler.

“Wow, this peeler is nice. I like the knife and the cutting board …… I want to start cooking over here today.”
“I don’t mind if you use it as long as you do. I’ll take care of the maintenance.”

If she’s willing to use it for that much, then the tool is a blessing in disguise.
I don’t use it as much everyday

But still,…… that Ayato is cooking now?
I’m very moved by that.

“Where’s the soy sauce?”
“In the sliding door under the stove, I think.”
“Hello, hello, hello. ……Ah, there’s some mirin and sake!”
“They’re from my parents’ house. I’m underage and can’t buy either.”
“I’m very happy about this. I don’t know how to season it with cooking sake and mirin.”
“That’s right.”

Saara takes a bottle of hon mirin (Japanese rice wine) and puts it into the pot.
Ingredients are added one after another, and the ventilation fan is turned on and the stove is lit.
The sequence of her actions was one that made it clear that she was well accustomed to cooking.

I waited for Saara’s cooking, watching the back of her apron, which I never tired of.

“I think it’s almost ready.”

Good smells filled the apartment, and when the stove was turned off, the food was placed in a bowl.
The dish placed in front of the table was simmered chicken and lotus root.
There were many kinds of vegetables in the dish, making it a very healthy menu.

“Here you go”
“Thank you very much.”

After saying that, I put my chopsticks through the chicken.
When I put the chicken in my mouth, I found that the chicken thigh was well-seasoned and the burdock was tender and well-cooked.
These two ingredients alone are enough to tell that the dish is delicious.

“Great, straight up good, or better yet, delicious. I’m surprised.”
“Eh-he! It’s not me who can only make rice balls forever!”

Sitting in front of me, Saara chews her own dish and nods at how well it turned out.

This is too good to be true, isn’t it?
It really is an extraordinary good fortune.

“It’s not so much the ingredients, but the ingredients are good. Mirin and soy sauce are good, aren’t they? I felt a little bad about using them.”
“It’s definitely better than not using them at all. It is something that is valuable only when it is used, so as long as it is good enough for you, you can use it as much as you want.”

It’s been a while since I’ve had authentic Japanese food, and I’m getting hungry as if I’ve remembered it since I started eating.
I want some rice, too.

“Do you want some too?”
“Yes, I do. And some shichimi would be nice.”

Well, shichimi certainly seems to go well with it.
In response to her request, I bring a stand with lots of seasonings to the table.
Saara looks at that shelf, then at the rice, and then …… finally at me.

“Yuzu shichimi, sansho shichimi, ume shichimi …… rice with five grains?”
“Sixteen grain rice. I like to look for the best ones.”
“……. I’m just asking for advice, but if you don’t mind, can I come here every day to eat?”
“Yes, as long as it’s okay with you, Saara.”

When I told her so, Saara said, “Yay ……!” and took a small gut-punch and picked up the yuzu shichimi (seven spices yuzu).
I’m rather sorry that there are so many things I’m getting over here.
I’ll cook for you tomorrow.

But …… this could explode if the class finds out. ……

“By the way, Sora kun…”
“To be honest, Sora kun, are you also a fan of unusual foods and condiments?”
“Of course I do.”

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