Chapter 4 –
Translated by Prosperousfood dot com
Re-Host at kitchennovel dot com
Michael turned on the tap and gulped down several mouthfuls of water. Then he supported himself on the basin and panted as he slowly recovered. When he woke up, he did not drink any glass of water, and his mouth was very dry. The pancake logged itself in his dry throat and almost choked him to death. Even though he had dislodged the piece of pancake, his throat still felt painful and inflamed.
If it was in his previous world, he would immediately come up with a thousand ways to criticise the food. He would make sure the shop close down with his scalding comments and criticism! This food is unfit for human consumption!
Michael did not notice when Amy did ran over.
He looked down to see Amy’s concerned face as she pulled his shirt and enquired. “Papa, are you all right?”
“En, I am all right, just that I choked just now.” Michael reached out his hand to stroke her hair. His expression changed from one of panting and gasping to grinning. The feeling of being shown concerned by someone and having someone being dependent on him warmed his heart. Somehow, any ill-will he had towards the pancake and the pancake maker had dissipated a bit.
Right now, he is just a normal father. It is time for the food critic in his past life to stay buried; he does not want to be reborn again as someone else.
Amy heaved a sigh of relief upon learning that Michael is all right. But she did not seem at ease, and finally gave Michael a lecture. “Papa, you should eat slowly. Although the pancake is tasty, you should not gobble and take big bites. You should slowly take small bites so that you will not choke on the food.”
“En, you are right.” Michael looked at Amy in the eyes and nodded his head in agreement. Amy, finally satisfied, made her way back to the seat, and enjoy her meal.
Michael did not go out with Amy, but rather, he stayed back to examine the kitchen.
The kitchen design is like a long stripe, and is about 10 square meters. It can be considered rather spacious. There are 4 embedded gas stoves in the kitchen, and a silver color suction hood. On one side of the kitchen is a large refrigerator with 4 doors.
This is a really standard modern kitchen, but a lot of the s.p.a.ce is still empty. The knife rack has only one Chinese chopper, and there are no pots and pans in the kitchen.
“[System], did you forget to include the electrical appliances and kitchen wares into the kitchen? As well, the fridge is also empty.” Michael looked into the empty refrigerator and sighed. All his thoughts of cooking something for dinner tonight has disappeared into dust.
“You have not unlocked these electrical appliances yet. Once you have finished your tasks, they will be unlocked. As for fridge, I will only provide the ingredients that you need to cook during your training. If you want to use the food for other purposes, including for sale, you need to purchase these ingredients.” The [System] replied.
“The [System] really goes overboard in forcing me to learn to cook…..” Michael was momentarily stunned and helpless. Looks like today he had to go hungry and there is nothing to cook. But the [System] had mentioned that ingredients could be purchased. Does this means that there is no need to find a supplier to procure ingredients, and whatever ingredients I need, I can purchase it directly from the [System]?
After walking around the kitchen and confirming that there is really nothing to eat, Michael turned on the tap and filled two bowls with water. He then made his way back to the dining area. It is imperative that he completes the tasks that the [System] has assigned him as soon as possible, lor he would really starve.
After trying the disgusting pancake in this world, Michael was really looking forward to cooking and eating Yang Zhou fried rice. It is his desire to let his daughter, Amy, try the finest cuisine in his home world. Also, the thought of using Yang Zhou fried rice to conquer this world is a very interesting idea.
Michael could not help but to sneak a peep at the memories of Michael McGonagall. Due to the 1000 years conflicts among the various races, there was a lesser emphasis on the cooking arts. Therefore the cooking styles of humans in this world are fairly primitive, and consist of boiling or roasting only.
There is no seasoning involved in cooking, apart from the occasional salt and pepper. The long wars had left many people impoverished. As long as the commoners can fill their stomach, they are contented.
Although there had been 100 years of peace, and food production has been ramped up to feed the growing population, the chefs of previous eras had left their mark on the old ways of cooking. Even if a new chef wants to make changes to the food, the changes are often simple changes that did not sufficiently differentiate itself significantly from the dishes of the past.
The lack of cooking variation is not unique to humans. The elves have a love of natural cuisine that focused on fruits and vegetables – they would eat raw fruits and vegetables and seldom cook. The dwarves are less picky about their food, as long as the food is cooked in some way, they will eat it. As for the demons and orcs, they eat whatever they hunt, raw or cooked.
“This is like is a virgin food paradise, waiting for me to explore.” Michael thought. As he saw the sight of Amy enjoying the pancake, Michael could not help but to beam. He is not a saint, and had neither desire nor intent to spread new cooking skills and methods across this planet. But he really wants his daughter, Amy, to be able to enjoy great food and have a comfortable life. Thinking about Amy, the thought of being forced to learn cooking is not so bad after all.
As Michael is really starving, he had no choice but to dunk the pancake into the bowl of water, and wait until the pancakes had turn mushy before he eat it. With great difficult, he managed to swallow a few bites.
Amy’s teeth are in good working order. She could bite off pieces of the big pancake, making a large cracking sound as the pancake spilt into smaller, bite size pieces. In no time at all, she finished the pancake. She then used her tiny hands to cup the bowl of water and drank all the water in big gulps. Finally, she let up a burp of contentment. Looking at her father, who was still trying to turn his pancake soupy, she grinned as she remarked, “Papa, isn’t the pancake tasty?”
“No, this is barely pa.s.sable, almost inedible. Amy, in future I will cook the Qing Han Imperial Feast  for you and you alone to eat. You can eat until you are full.” Michael shook his head, and gently pinched Amy’s nose as he smiled and replied.
“Qing Han Imperial Feast? Will it be more delicious than the pancake?” Amy’s eyes lit up. But looking at Michael, Amy’s face has a hint of scepticism – after all, the food that her father used to cook for her ended up tasting weird. Can her dad really cook up something that taste a hundred times better than pancake?
“Of course it is real. As well, the Qing Han Imperial Feast is not just one dish. It is actually made up of 108 dishes, comprising of items from the mountains to the deep sea, and is served over a period of 3 days.” Michael nodded his head. He could second guess Amy’s doubt. In her mind, the pancake is the tastiest thing she had ever eaten. The cooking skills of Michael McGonagall was really horrible, just like his current cooking skills, and have left a shadow of doubt in Amy’s heart when it comes to eating the food that they cooked.
“108 dishes using ingredients from the mountains to the sea?” Amy used her fingers to count, and her small brain tried to imagine what it is like to fill all the tables in the restaurant with food that is tastier than pancakes. And she can eat all she wants for 3 days! Her eyes begin to light up, and her face smiled as she drooled in happiness. She jumped down from the chair, swing Michael’s hand as she cried, “Horray! I want to eat the Qing Han Imperial Feast! Please can you cook the Qing Han Imperial Feast for me? I want to eat it now!”
“Err…..” Michael took a glance on Amy’s face, which was full of antic.i.p.ation, and he felt very awkward. Right now, he does not know how to cook even the most simple food such as Yang Zhou Fried Rice, let alone the full Qing Han Imperial Feast. But the good news is that he had the [System] that will slowly raise his skills in cooking, and in the future, he will be able to prepare the full course of Qing Han Imperial Feast. Looking at the young lady’s face that revealed her overwhelming desire to try the full Qing Han Imperial Feast immediately, it seemed that he had bragged too much, too soon.
“Papa also wanted to make Qing Han Imperial Feast for you. But right now, our restaurant had not even open. Our kitchen does not have any ingredients for me to cook.” Michael stroked Amy on her head, offering his apologies.
“Oh…” Amy seemed a bit disappointed, but she quickly raised her head, and grabbed Michael’s hand. Then she patted Michael on the back of his hand, and consoled him, “Papa, it is all right, I felt that the food that you used to cook is also tasty. When I grow bigger, I can go out to earn money. Then I will buy all the tastiest food for you, and let you cook the Qing Han Imperial Feast.”
Looking at Amy’s earnest expression, Michael suddenly felt touched by Amy’s declaration. He breathed in deeply to stop himself from crying, and forced himself to smile as he shook his head, “Right now, I am much better. The duty of earning monies and feeding our family is my responsibility. As for the Qing Han Imperial Feast, I will definitely cook it one day for you. This is an agreement between the two of us, and also my promise.” Then he let out his little finger towards Amy.
Amy look at Michael, and blinked in surprise. Today, her dad is really strange and is really different in some ways. It looked like he had grown much bigger and taller, and became more approachable. Looking at the little finger, she cheerfully hooked her little finger to his, and happily replied, “En, I believe you can definitely do it!”
Notes Qing Han Imperial Feast and Manchu Han Imperial Feast are referring the same thing. When the Mongols conquer China, they established the Qing dynasty. For this reason, the words Qing and Manchu may be used interchangeably. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchu_Han_Imperial_Feast