Yields Six Servings

WORDS WORDS WORDS
themocaw
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Yields Six Servings

Post by themocaw » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:59 am

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, one tablespoon canola oil, 2 tablespoons chili paste.
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I sigh as I stare at the recipe, then over at the various ingredients I have arranged on the kitchen floor. This might be somewhat problematic.

Uncapping the sesame oil and canola oil turns out to be fairly simple, but getting the lid off the jar of chili paste is more difficult. I've had practice at this, but there's only so much leverage you can get using toes and feet. This isn't working at all. I'm going to need some help.

I turn the jar of chili paste over on its side and roll it to the door of my dorm room, then walk across the hallway, where I kick the door of my neighbor's room a few times. There is a sleepy yawn from within, then Emi emerges from her room, rubbing her eyes and yawning. "Rin? What is it? Need some help with the bathroom?"

"I need you to open this jar."

"This jar?" Emi leans down and picks up the jar curiously. "Chili paste? Why do you need that?"

"Chili paste is the soul of the oil blend. It's like. . ." How do I put it? What are the words? "Fireworks."

"Fireworks?"

"They explode and they're loud and they're bright, but you can't have a festival without them because otherwise you miss it because it's not complete. Fireworks."

I see Emi's eyes glaze over, and she shrugs. "If you say so, I guess." She takes a deep breath and works the jar of the lid a bit: it pops open with a sudden jolt. "There you are."

"Thanks, Emi." I take the edge of the jar in my teeth and walk back to my room. It tastes really spicy, and the spice stings my nose, but it should be worth it.

"Whatever. Let me know if you need any more help," Emi says. She closes the door behind her.

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2 cloves chopped garlic
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Chopped garlic could be problematic too.

I look down at the little clove of garlic, then over at the knife, and the cutting board. I imagine myself being taken to the nurse's office with my big toe missing. That doesn't sound like fun at all. Alternative methods are required.

Ah. There we go.

I take down my hardcover dictionary, place the garlic carefully on the cutting board, and then rest the dictionary on top of the two cloves of garlic. I then take a deep breath and stomp down hard.

One of the garlic cloves gets smashed into pulp. The other one slips loose like a greased pig and flies across the room. It bounces against the wall and flies behind my bookshelf.

Damn.

I pull a third garlic clove out of the bag of pre-peeled (why bother peeling them when you don't have to?) and repeat the procedure. Soon, I have two smashed bits of what used to be garlic cloves stuck to my dictionary.

They look like smashed bugs. Smashed bugs are not good. But smashed garlic is good.

Maybe I should have cleaned the dictionary before I did this. Oh well. Too late now.

Garlic is on the dictionary. Garlic is in the dictionary. So are a lot of things.

I scrape the garlic off the book and into a small bowl.

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4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch cubes.
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This should be a bit easier. I hope.

I remove the plastic wrap from the styrofoam trays of chicken and rest the breast halves on my cutting board. I carefully toss the empty trays into my trash can. A few drops of juice splatter on the hardwood floor. Something to clean up later.

I wipe my feet off on the damp cloth I have laid out next to my cutting board and very carefully arrange the chicken breasts on the bamboo surface. Holding one of them down with my left toe, I very carefully pick up the chef's knife between the toes of my right foot and begin sawing away at the raw meat.

It's slow going, and the first two attempts are nothing pretty, but eventually I have the meat cubed into roughly one inch cubes. Now my feet are covered in chicken juice, though.

Time to wash them again. I dip them in the tub of water I have nearby and wipe them off on the dishcloth. Not exactly sanitary, but it's the best I can do.

I transfer the chicken into another big bowl. A few pieces fall on the ground. Not good.

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1/2 cup soy sauce. 1 onion sliced lengthwise into eighths.
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The soy sauce isn't hard. The onion is a little tougher. I carefully peel it, place it on the cutting board and cut off one end, standing it up. Then I take the apple corer I bought at the kitchen supply store, arrange it over the center of the onion, and press down. The onion falls apart into six radial pieces and one core.

Not perfect, but it should do.

Onion goes into a bowl. Do real chefs use this many bowls when cooking? Washing up must be hard.

Clean is good. Too clean is not good. Life is messy.

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1/2 medium head cabbage, coarsely chopped. 2 carrots, coarsely chopped.
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This is why I bought the slicer from the kitchen store: it's a long piece of plastic with an inset cutting blade. I cut the cabbage into wedges, then the wedges in half, then place each of the pieces into the hand guard, one at a time, and run it down the length of the slicer. Soon I've got a big pile of shredded vegetables sitting in a big plastic bowl.

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8 ounces soba noodles, cooked and drained.
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This part I took care of before I began the entire process. The noodles are sitting in a covered strainer right now.

I had to drain it in the bathroom.

I hope that no one minds the noodles in the sink. They look like earthworms.

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In a large skillet, combine oils and chili paste. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add garlic and stir fry an additional 30 seconds.
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I fire up the hot plate and place the skillet on top. I pour in the oils from the small bowls I've measured them out into, the drop in two tablespoons of chili paste from the jar. I loop one toe under the handle of the skillet and begin to shake it back and forth until the chili paste sizzles, then drop in the garlic.

It smells like fire. Fire is warm. Warm is good.

Hisao is warm. Warm is good, but cold is good too. Rain is good because it's cold and wet. Hisao is warm and dry.

Hisao is the opposite of rain.

I should concentrate on cooking.

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Add chicken and 1/2 cup soy sauce and stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink.
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A couple of cubes of chicken fall onto the floor as I try to add it in: I let them sit where they lay. I'll clean it later. The soy sauce isn't too hard either. I pick up the spatula in my left foot as I shake the skillet in my right, sitting in a chair over the hot plate, carefully stirring.

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Remove from pan, set aside and keep warm.
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I dump the cooked chicken into a pan I've put aside for this purpose. A few more pieces fall on the ground. That's not good. Wasting food is bad.

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Add vegetables. Stir fry until cabbage begins to wilt. Stir in remaining soy sauce, cooked noodles, and chicken mixture to pan and mix to blend.
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Some of the cabbage winds up on the floor too. I keep going anyway. More of the chicken goes onto the floor when I try to add that too. Getting the noodles in is a pain in the neck. They flop all over the place like dead fish.

Dead fish aren't fun. They don't swim much. Live fish are better. But you can't eat live fish, so dead fish are better in that one regard.

I remove the pan from the heat and put it onto a hot pad to cool down a bit, and then start looking for the plastic containers.

-----

"What's this?" Hisao asks.

"It's yakisoba, Hisao."

"You made this?"

"Yeah," I say. "They're like fireworks."

Hisao smiles at me and picks up some of the noodles in his chopsticks. He closes his eyes and takes a bite. "They are," he says. "It's really good."

"Yakisoba is the best noodles," I tell him. "Because they're cooked twice they have twice the love."

Hisao nods to me. He picks up another chopstickful of the noodles and holds them out to me. I can eat on my own, though.

I'm about to tell him this, but decide not to. I take a bite of the noodles from his chopsticks.

They taste like my feet.

Maybe my feet are fireworks.

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Serve and Enjoy!
Last edited by themocaw on Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:09 am, edited 4 times in total.

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LoveTl
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by LoveTl » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:30 am

Thanks for great Rin fanfic. I'm happy to see this.

Tezzeret
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by Tezzeret » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:05 am

Many d'aws were had.

Awesome fic man.

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scott1and
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by scott1and » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:33 am

Awww, so cute. "They taste like my feet" has me loling as well :lol
You're really firing out the fan fictions, aren't you
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GG Crono
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by GG Crono » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:16 am

"Maybe my feet are fireworks" is just so undeniably Rin. Very nice story. :)

themocaw
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by themocaw » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:08 pm

Rewritten slightly with more Rinisms.

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CNB
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by CNB » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:15 pm

I'm not the biggest Rin fan in the world, but this is pretty charming.

Demoneq
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by Demoneq » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:24 pm

I like it, though for me the "more Rinisms" version feels a bit forced, as if someone would try to pretend to be Rin, or emulate her thinking, and overdo it a little. (though to be honest, I'm only in Act 2 of Rin's path right now, and besides, she probably has as many interpretations of her way of thinking, as there are KS readers ;) )

themocaw
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by themocaw » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:25 pm

Demoneq wrote:I like it, though for me the "more Rinisms" version feels a bit forced, as if someone would try to pretend to be Rin, or emulate her thinking, and overdo it a little. (though to be honest, I'm only in Act 2 of Rin's path right now, and besides, she probably has as many interpretations of her way of thinking, as there are KS readers ;) )
Honestly the more Rin-isms thing was basically just me turning off my personal censor and free-associating whenever I felt the urge to do so. I don't know if it works: if it's overdone I might tone it back down.

Demoneq
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by Demoneq » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:30 pm

themocaw wrote:Honestly the more Rin-isms thing was basically just me turning off my personal censor and free-associating whenever I felt the urge to do so. I don't know if it works: if it's overdone I might tone it back down.
For me it, err, works partially? Some of them seem to fit, some to be a little forced. I could try to make some sort of list of which are which if you want, but I might fail to reproduce my first, or rather second, impression of it, and not fully remember which ones were there in the first version.
Last edited by Demoneq on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

themocaw
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by themocaw » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:50 pm

Demoneq wrote:
themocaw wrote:Honestly the more Rin-isms thing was basically just me turning off my personal censor and free-associating whenever I felt the urge to do so. I don't know if it works: if it's overdone I might tone it back down.
For me it, err, works partially? Some of them seem to fit, some to be a little forced. I could try to make some sort of list of which are which I you want, but I might fail to reproduce my first, or rather second, impression of it, and not fully remember which ones were there in the first version.
I'd certainly appreciate any feedback. I of course reserve the right to take it or leave it, but a second perspective is always good.

Demoneq
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by Demoneq » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:32 pm

themocaw wrote: I'd certainly appreciate any feedback. I of course reserve the right to take it or leave it, but a second perspective is always good.
I just went through it again, and what mostly felt somewhat overdone, was some stuff repeating sort over and over out of context/nowhere, like "Fireworks" or the parts about life being messy. (though first Fireworks part, when having the jar open by Emi was good imo, it's just the latter ones seeming odd or something)

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CrimsonKing
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by CrimsonKing » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:50 am

Oh hey, I was totally in the /vg/ thread when you first posted this.

Your stuff is great, bro. Keep it up.

Bagheera
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by Bagheera » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:34 am

This is awesome, though I also thought the first draft was a bit better; as with cooking, Rinisms work best in small doses IMO. Some specifics:

The first fireworks bit was great, but the others just felt forced.

I like the bit about the garlic cloves looking like smashed bugs (not in the original draft I think). I don't like the bit about garlic being on and in the dictionary. It's something Rin would say, but she already did a funny with the garlic so just move on.

The "Sanitary . . . cleanliness" bit is out of place; it just interrupts the flow of things at that point. Same with "I'm not perfect . . . " and "Clean is good." (with that last one in particular the bit about real chefs is funny, and feels more like something she would say).

The extra parts in the cabbage section are just random additions that don't seem to fit. Same with the noodle bits (again, the bit about "I hope no one minds the noodles in the sink" is already pretty Rinnish, so just run with that).

And again, same with the cooking bit (and it would be bad for her to think Hisao's the opposite of rain anyway, since she likes rain).

When she drops chicken on the ground and says "that's not good. Wasting food is bad."? Perfect Rin.

The dead fish part seems like it should interrupt the flow of things, but I think it's awesome anyway so keep it.

"Food is love . . . yakisoba is love." Bleah. Again, feels forced.

"Maybe my feet are fireworks." See, this works; it's a single callback to the fireworks bit at the beginning, and it's very effective. It's diminished by throwing fireworks bits in throughout the fic, though.

So, short version: original edit was really, really good! Extra Rinnisms version, not so much.
Girls: Emi = Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Shizune = Rin
Routes: Rin = Shizune > Emi > Lilly = Hanako


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CNB
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Re: Yields Six Servings

Post by CNB » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:14 pm

Only addition I liked was the bit about "real chefs." The rest seemed pretty forced.

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