“Your food is ready. Here is the Forest Hare Herb Grill and this is the Fried Forest Vegetables. And here we have today’s special, the Forest Boar and Wild Plant and Mushroom Meat Pie!”
The food arrived as we talked. The waitress talked in a leisurely manner, but her hands were quick as she placed the plates on the table. And she did not make any mistakes about who ordered what.
“Dessert will be served after you finish eating. Please enjoy.”
Ah, I did forget to say anything about the timing. My mistake. Though, I guess its normal to bring out the dessert at the end. A waiter would know.
“Let’s eat then.”
There was a steaming meat pie sitting right in front of me. A meat pie…I’ve never had one before. I suppose it was like an apple pie but with meat?
I slid my knife in to cut it open and heard a satisfying crunch. Ah, the texture of something freshly baked. Yeah!
“That looks good…”
Daniela looked at my dish with predatory eyes as she ate her forest hare with a fork.
“I’ll share it, alright?”
I chuckled as I cut the pie into eight slices like a pizza. The walls of the pie oozed with juices. This needed to be eaten quickly, or the pie crust would get soggy. I hate it when tempura and deep fried food get damp.
“You should eat it while it’s hot.”
“Mmm, thank you. I will give you some of mine as well.”
“Thanks. Ah, that’s good…”
Daniela offered me a bite off of her fork, and so I ate it. There was a smell of herbs, and something tangy? It was very good. I had ordered the meat pie but was eating the hare first…I needed to eat the pie. It was good manners to eat your food while it was still hot.
“Hmmm…mm! Mｍｍ, this is good…!”
I cut off a piece and brought it to my mouth. The crunch of the pie crust felt amazing. The filling inside had the strong flavor of the meat and the chewy texture of mushrooms, making it a joy to eat. And delicious. The wild plants inside burned just a little. I liked these kinds of hot spices. I had some spices in my hollow bag as well. There was one called akapiri seed powder. It sounded spicy. Daniela even sweated a little as she ate the pie. She was fond of spicy food, and so I often used akapiri powder while cooking.
Our hands didn’t stop as we continued to eat, and it didn’t take long until our plates were scraped clean. The fried forest vegetables that Daniela shared with me were seasoned with salt and also very good. This might be a stupid question, but I wonder if they have sea salt in this world?
“Here is your dessert! This is the Fruit of the Forest Berulu Sap Stew. And this one is the Forest Fruit Cake. Is that all you ordered?”
“Yes, thank you very much.”
The waitress smiled warmly and left us. The timing was perfect…but I guess it was her job to observe.
“Well, this looks quite nice.”
“So does this berulu sap thing. But it does remind me of that forest goblin…”
“You should not be bothered by such things. This is a delicacy. Let us enjoy it.”
“Yeah…I’ve been wanting to try this out, really.”
All girls light up when they see something sweet in front of them. A modern girl would have whipped out her phone and unleashed a storm of camera flashes. But Daniela only jabbed a knife into her plate. She seemed like the type who would realize with remorse, that she meant to take a photo only after she had mutilated her dessert…
The berelu sap stew had the fruit of the forest, while the cake had forest fruit. I wonder if there was supposed to be a difference, as I break off a piece of the cake with my fork. It’s not one of those cream-filled cakes, but more of a pound cake in density. The sweetness and tartness of the fruits are incredible. This diner was the best. Everything we ate here was excellent.
We licked our lips in satisfaction at our dinner, delighted in our dessert, and spent our first night at the Leaves in Sunlight inn. And as was promised, Daniela coddled me well that night.
Then our second day in Valdorf began.
I, of course, woke up in my own room. And of course, Daniela was not next to me. I’m not sure why I expected anything else.