Chapter 5: Cooking Standards
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Mag picked up Amy’s hand. “Let’s go upstairs. Amy is already yawning. Time for bed now,” said Mag, smiling.
“Amy is not sleepy, and can still help Father clear the table,” said Amy, shaking her head while yawning.
“Father will do it later. You can’t sleep here, baby girl. Father can’t carry you up…” Mag held Amy’s little hand, feeling a little depressed somehow.
She was such a cute little girl, but he couldn’t give her a princess hug, let alone lift her up. No, I have to recover as soon as possible! Mag told himself.
The stairs were on the other side of the kitchen. There was a door behind the counter. Separating the restaurant from the living area suited Mag just right.
The little thing had been running around looking for someone to check him up when he was unconscious. Now she had finished her dinner, and even though she said she was not sleepy, she almost closed her eyes while climbing up the stairs.
Mag took her to the main bedroom. Beside the big bed was a pink crib with rails, and it had everything on it—a small quit, a small pillow… and it also had a small staircase to climb.
Seeing the beautiful room and the little bed, Amy’s eyes brightened a little, but she was too sleepy. Taking off her shoes, she climbed into her little bed and rested her head on the warm and comfortable pillow, and then, tightly holding onto Mag’s finger, she said happily, “Father is so amazing. The bed is so soft and comfy, Amy loves it. And the Manchu Han Imperial Feast must be good too…”
“Right. Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, you will be able to try Father’s love breakfast. Now close your eyes and sleep,” said Mag, smiling.
“Love breakfast… it must be very good…” murmured Amy, and then she closed her eyes and fell asleep quickly.
Standing by her bed, Mag looked at Amy in her sound sleep and softly stroked the hair off her face, and then he pulled back his hand and tucked her up.
After that, he stooped down and softly kissed Amy’s hair. Don’t worry. Father will certainly make you the Manchu Han Imperial Feast.
Then, Mag sat on the big bed beside Amy’s crib and closed his eyes to look at the door in his head, thinking about how to open it. To his surprise, a little man that looked exactly like him appeared in his head, and he was under his total control just like his own body. Mag hesitated for a little while, and then opened the door that had the words “Yangzhou Fried Rice” on it.
Suddenly, Mag felt a white light flash across his eyes, so he closed them subconsciously, and when he opened them again, his whole spirit was already sucked into that little man. The door behind him vanished, and he was standing in an oblong kitchen just like his own. Everything was to the same scale.
Mag’s eyes brightened. Well, this is great. When I go out, I don’t have to familiarize myself with the kitchen again. When he lifted his leg to walk, he got surprised one more time—the body that had no strength before was able to move normally now! He couldn’t help jumping a few times. Although he still felt a little weak and feeble, he was clearly much better than his useless self before.
“System, what’s this?” Mag cried out, a little excited. Could it be that the system has kindly recovered my health?
“The host is now in the condition of strength +0.5. Please try your best to complete the mission. The strong body is waiting for you,” answered the system.
“Now I see.” Mag looked at the strength sheet that simultaneously appeared in his head: the strength of a normal person was two, and Mag’s strength after his treatment was one—half disabled.
Now his strength was 1.5, unable to lift a heavy sword, yet capable of holding the kitchen knife.
The strength limits of humans in this world were much higher than on the earth. When a human reached the strength of four, he could take on a normal orc, and when he reached 10, he could even knock down a forest troll with a single punch. Mag Alex’s strength at that time should have reached eight—a very powerful man among humans.
“Welcome to the test field for the God of Cookery.” The voice of the system sounded again. “System will provide you with experience of the authentic Yangzhou fried rice. Only when your cooking has passed the authentication of this system are you allowed to leave this place. The standard is all the requirements you’ve brought up when you commented the Yangzhou fried rice.”
“System, I think I have misheard something. What did you say the standard was again?” asked Mag tentatively.
“All the requirements you’ve brought up when you commented on the Yangzhou fried rice,” answered the system with no emotion.
“I think the official standard that has been announced before is good enough. Maybe we can follow that one?” said Mag, trying to negotiate.
“The standard cannot be changed. Please complete the mission as soon as possible,” refused the system.
“Then what about other dishes?” Mag was a little worried.
“They will all follow the standard of your comments before.”
Mag almost broke down. He had thought the system had no malice and could be used as an assistant, but now he knew he’d been utterly wrong. Using the requirements he’d brought up as the standard himself was certainly full of malice.
Thinking that his viciously picky requirements would be used on himself, a “f*ck you” wasn’t enough to express his feelings.
I’ve definitely reaped what I’ve sown. Perhaps few people could meet that standard even if they’re the masters who specialize in the Yangzhou fried rice, Mag thought.
Sure enough, I can’t be too optimistic. This is a system God made for those cooks to specially mess with me, but now that I’m already in here, I can’t get out until the mission is finished… Mag looked at the glittering experience bag that had appeared in his head and took a deep breath to make himself calm down.
Since there were no two ways about it, he chose to face it. Besides, he had already promised Amy to make love breakfast for her. Thinking about Amy’s happy face as she ate the fried rice, Mag was filled with anticipation, and his face had become determined.
Mag tried to use his mind to touch the glittering experience bag, and then the experience of Yangzhou fried rice was infused into his head. The selection and processing of the ingredients and the procedures of cooking, etc., everything had fused with his mind as if he had known how to do it from the very beginning.
This simple? Mag was completely taken aback. He had thought the system would make things difficult for him, but instead of doing that, it gave such a big surprise straight to him. It was like he had inherited the skills of a Yangzhou fried rice master, so he thought he was able to make a bowl of first-class Yangzhou fried rice with good taste, color, and aroma right away. He had grown from a freshman in cooking straight to an old hand—it was simply cheating!
Mag sorted through the things in his head before walking to the fridge confidently. He opened it and found every ingredient in order—rice, tree mushrooms, ham, winter bamboo shoots, shrimp, green peas, eggs, and green onions. It had everything he needed to make the Yangzhou fried rice.
Cook the rice first, and then process the ingredients. Fry the rice at last. The procedures in Mag’s head were very clear, and watching the ingredients in the fridge, his eyes brightened.
He grabbed some rice with his hand—it was very fine and smooth. It had a bluish white color, was plump, and was glittering and translucent in the lamplight—much better than the Thai fragrant rice he had usually had. A sweet fragrance tickled his nose.
Then, he looked to the shrimp in the water. Their translucent bodies even had the uncommon striations of lilac color. They were swimming merrily, looking full of vigor and wildness.
Winter bamboo shoots still had a little black soil on it, the salt frosting on the ham was not removed yet, the gray mushroom should be some kind of tree mushroom, eggs were much bigger than the usual ones, a little earth yellow in color, and there was still some dew on the green onions.
That was the least judgment he could make as a chowhound that had tried almost all the Michelin starred restaurants. These ingredients were definitely high-class, but how high? He couldn’t tell exactly, but regardless of that, these things were for him to train, so he didn’t hesitate, and started rinsing the rice.
Mag had thought that, with this amazingly good and detail-oriented experience, it shouldn’t be too hard to handle that Yangzhou fried rice, but when he’d started processing the ingredients, he found it was not as easy as he had expected.
Although he was quite clear on how to wield the knife, when he started cutting, he found that his hands’ movements were nowhere near meeting the requirements and standards in his head.
In order to make the texture of the fried rice smoother, every ingredient had to be cut into the same size as the rice grain, so high cutting skills were a necessity, which was a very difficult challenge before Mag. He couldn’t even cut them into slices evenly, and had to repeat over and over again.
Mag looked at the slices of the bamboo shoot which were thin on one side and thick on the other, let out a sigh, and continued to work on another one.