Chapter 398: Highly Nutritious Pork & Beans
Translated by Zzonkedd
Edited by Gumihou
Gumi: Provide the nameless Adventurer Orphanage Director a voice since he seems like an interesting person. Note 4. Also, addressed him as ‘Director’ instead of ‘the old man’.
“Here’s how things are at the moment,”  said the Director.
 “Management-wise, well, I do my best, you know. We have some rules around here and, basically, all children must leave this place at 14 as apprentices to some kind of job or other. However, we have been getting more kids coming in than kids moving out.”
 “Where do these orphans come from?” I asked.
 “Eh, we get all sorts. Some lost their parents due to monster attacks, accidents, what have you. But we also get kids whose parents could not afford to raise them. So, they aren’t technically orphans, but, regardless of their origin, the best and most efficient way to deal with the matter is to start the children on vocational training at 11 or 12 years old. We have kids who went on to become merchants, cooks, craftsmen et cetera. Some became church messengers, and well, others sold their skills in various ways.”
 “I- I see,” wow, these kids really have it hard.
 “For kids who aimed to be Adventurers, this old man does his best to help them. I still have some contacts from my days as an A Ranker. To supplement the orphanage, some of the more adventurous ones will go and gather herbs around the city. Little baby missions that even regular people could do. Of course, the remuneration they get from the Guild is not as high as a registered Adventurer, but they still get something.”
 “Missions? Isn’t that, well, dangerous?”
 “Hah! Didn’t say these are baby missions? It’s safe enough around the grasslands within sight of the city gates. The kids could quickly escape from outside threats and the guards are always prepared to respond. Naturally, places like the forests are strictly forbidden. Half of the money earned from these missions goes to the orphanage, the other half would be saved as funds for their future when they reach 14. That way, they will have a little saving to support their independence.”
 “Sounds like a good system,” I said approvingly. “What about education?”
 “Mm, for that, the church sisters would come and give simple literacy and mathematics lesson. Enough to help them get by. These sisters are generally nobles with complete education who choose to devote their lives to helping the less fortunate,” said the Director with some emotion.
 “Do any of the children here aspire to become teachers and return to the orphanage to teach?”
 “We don’t have any of those yet,” he said a little grudgingly. “However, we do have kids who went on to become very promising apprentices and are well received regardless of their career choices. In fact, some were so promising that they were signed in even before they reached 14.”
Finished the Director with some pride.
 Then, he sighed, “Well, our success may actually be the source of our trouble. More and more parents are just leaving their children here, knowing they could get food and lodging as well as a good career later in their lives. For now, I’m doing my best to just keep them all properly fed.” 
 “So, food expense is still the greatest issue, huh.” 
“These little mites tended to eat a lot, especially those who had just hit their growth spurts. We prioritize food that fills the stomach, such as potatoes and bread. The children didn’t like it. Hell, I don’t like it either, but there you go.”
Ah, the ‘sad’ potato soup and hard bread mentioned by Cornet earlier.
I guess it really is sad to eat those every day. There is not much I can do, but I do have plenty of meat from Rosendal and still have plenty of bread I bought from the orphanage.
 “Actually, before we proceed, is it alright if I provide a meal for the children first? I will be making a donation as well, of course, and I’m a pretty good cook. I’d like to borrow your kitchen for it…” 
 “Truly? That would be excellent. The children will enjoy the treat. Please, let me show you the kitchen…”
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~
The Director led me to an old fashion kitchen  with an old fashion charcoal-fuelled stove.  I managed to convince the Director to leave me alone here.
 I surveyed the place and sighed, “Well, since it’s an old building, I guess it can’t be helped….”
I took out my favourite Magic Stove  and opened up [Net Super].
“Now, what should I make? I guess it should be something nutritious and plentiful since kids tended to eat a lot at that age.” 
“Well, how about Pork & Beans?”
Pork & Beans is a typical American home-cooked dish that often appeared in old-style Western movies.  I think they even sell Pork & Beans in a can.  After seeing it on TV, I wondered what it tasted like and tried making it.
That’s when I found out that Pork & Beans is basically a tomato stew with pork and… well, beans.  It is actually a very good dish for children, especially the poor who could not afford to buy a lot of meat. Beans are a good alternate source of protein and I could sneak a lot of vegetables into a stew.
Yes, let’s make Pork & Beans.
“Now that I’ve decided on the dish, let’s see, for the beans…”
I picked a few large cans of chickpeas. Mostly because chickpea-like beans exist in this world. Just about any kind of beans could be used. In America, they use navy, pinto or cannellini beans. However, in Japan, soybeans are often used, so I bought a few cans of soybeans too.
While I could buy dried chickpeas and soybeans, they would take a long time to boil, so canned ones would do.
Other ingredients included onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic, several cans of whole tomatoes and dungeon pork
“Right, let’s get on with the prep work.”
I cut up the pork into 1.5cm cubes, sprinkled salt and pepper over them and set them aside.
Next, I diced the onions, carrots and potatoes into 1cm cubes and minced the garlic. Then, I drained the beans, both soy and chickpea, saving the brine water for cooking. It would add flavour to the stew later.
Now that the prep work was done, I took out my largest pot and oiled it with some olive oil. I put in the chopped garlic first, once the garlic was fragrant, I poured in the cubed pork, stirring the pot and making sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
Once the pork has browned a little, I added the onions, carrots and potatoes. When the vegetables were slightly translucent, I added the whole tomatoes, crushing them now and then as I stirred the mixture.
When the stew began to bubble, I added the brine water, a little more fresh water and let the stew come to a boil. If the stew tasted a bit bland, just crumble a couple of consommé cubes into it.
Finally, I added the canned beans.
After the stew came to a boil, I lowered the fire and let it simmer until the vegetables become tender.
Wow, it’s actually pretty fragrant.  [5a]
““Master~ Sui wants to try it~~”” 
Ah, I had forgotten about Sui.
“Just a little bit, alright? This is for the children. I’ll make more later.”
I set out a plate of Pork & Beans for Sui.  “Well?”
“”It’s yummy~ the meat is not much but the beans are delicious~~””
“I’m glad to hear that,”
 I thought of putting lots of meat into the dish, but considering the price of meat and nutrition level, it would be a good idea to introduce beans as an alternative protein source and to add more vegetables to bulk up the food. While it takes a long time for beans to cook, in winter, the fire had to be lit all the time anyway, so it would be fine to have a pot of beans simmering somewhere for meals.
I found the Director in his office and informed him that food was ready.
 “That soon? Well,” he opened his door and yelled, “Time to Eat!”
Children came thundering into the largest room in the house, filling up the long tables and benches. This must be their dining room.
“Ou, this is Brother Mukouda. He has made something delicious for everyone. Be sure to thank him!”
Children rushed to the serving table with their bowls, but as soon as they reached it, they slowed down and properly held out their bowls for the food.
It was like seeing a school lunch cafeteria.
Also, I could not help but noticed that lunch was being served by a pair of very beautiful girls about 16 or 17 years old. They were dressed in outfits appropriate to nuns, but because of their youth, they looked very cute and pretty.
 “Ahem, you have, ah, other staff here?” I asked.
 “Hm? Oh, them? They’re from the church. They give general lessons to all the kids and extra lessons on accounting to those who aimed to be merchants,” said the Director.
 “I see, wow, that’s very kind of them.”
 “Eh, I guess. Look, there are your familiars.”
Indeed, Fer and Dora-chan came slinking into the dining room. They both looked exhausted as they flopped to the ground. [5b]
“”Feed me,”” Fer’s voice grumbled in my mind.
Dora-chan merely grunted. [5b]
“Ah, sorry, but this is meant for the children so it’s filled with vegetables…” [5b]
““Meat… gimme meat…””
“Now, now, I’ll feed you a proper meal when we get home, alright?” [5b]
“”Nuu, so long as it is meat.””
“Yes, yes,”  looks like the children had really sapped their strength. [5b]
Meanwhile, the children had all started eating their Pork & Beans.
“Yummy~ it has potatoes and, and lots of other things~!”
“This… this is meat!”
“Meat? Oh, oh, you’re right, there’s meat in this~!”
Ah, the children looked really happy eating the Pork & Beans stew. The pair of nuns were also enjoying their meals cutely…
 I wonder if they would like the recipe…
“Oi, what’s going on in your head? Keep your hands to yourself,”  the Director was staring at me sternly.
 “Wh-what? I was only wondering if they, you know, want the recipe for the Pork & Beans…”
The girls were really pretty, of course, I acknowledge that. While I could admire their prettiness, they were only 16, 17 years old high school kids to me. High schoolers are strictly outside of my strike zone. 
“Hmm, is that so?”  the Director narrowed his eyes at me. “Well, I guess that’s fine.”
“Ahem, anyway, why aren’t you eating?”
“Hmm, I’ll eat when they are done.”
“Well, I’m afraid it’s disappearing very quickly.”
I had made two pots of Pork & Beans, but I underestimated the children’s appetite and more than a few of them were asking for seconds too.
“It’s fine, I feel full just seeing them eat so happily.”
This old man… even though the Director looked stern, he’s really a softy inside…
[Gumihou: I’m going to do the Director and the familiars justice by keeping to their set characteristics and pulling them away from being butts of lame jokes.]
 Structural Change: Combine 2 paragraphs
 Structural Change: Combine 3 paragraphs
 Structural Change: Combine paragraph & dialogue
 Structural Change: Change passive sentence to dialogue
 Delete Repetitive or Pointless Information… starting to delete pointless scenes now
[a] Deleted Sui’s approval of the food. Like, the kids would probably be happy with whatever is served.
[b] Deleted Dora-chan and Fer’s mood moments demanding meat, meat. Rather long and kind of pointless. I think it’s meant to be funny?
 Additional Information for Aesthetic Purpose
 Add Dialogue Tag
 Creative Licence Taken – Plausible dialogues to nudge the story realistically into the set plot line without it looking too forced.
 Okay, I have no idea if the author realise the social problem he had created with this ‘successful orphanage’ where kids are ‘so promising they are hired before they are 14’, but this is more like a foster home than an orphanage. Naturally, this is not addressed since the aim of the chapter is to highlight Mukouda’s cooking and generosity.
However, I wish to give credit to this nameless Director-san for creating this system. In fact, it could be made more successful by having alumni of the orphanage/foster home ‘give back’ to their halfway home either through donations of money, food or other services.
At this point, it’s more of a small sustainable management issue rather than money.
 Proper reasoning to make Pork & Beans aside from ‘I thought it’d be great, yeah, also vege good’.
 Reworked the cooking method. Added trivia about common beans used in America for this dish
 Mukouda salivating over the young nuns. However, since it is unlikely for people to openly acknowledge their own lechery, disguised it as ‘I was only wondering if they want the recipe’ thoughts.
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