The Herring Fair and the Secret Dessert
Volume 3 — The Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife’s Village, Great Renovation Plan!?
Today, we went to the herring fair being held at the port near the village.
Mother, Sieg, Arno, all of the family went.
I had Arno wrapped in a cloth hanging from my neck and held him under my arm.
A baby is warm and cute and the best!!
It’s the first time I’m going to the herring fair. It’s an event with a long history, being opened once a year.
They usually sell processed herrings there. Other than those, there are also delicious breads, vegetables, spices, among various goods.
Until now, I have been living alone, and it was enough to fish in the lakes and rivers. It seems that mother frequented this fair every year. Every time she came with father, he would get lost. What a troublesome person.
“Huh, then, did I go to the fair when I was young?”
“Grandpa said that you shouldn’t go since Ritchan would be lost in the crowd.”
Mother’s father, my grandfather is much stricter and more earnest than my paternal grandfather.
However, after hearing more stories about him now, I could tell that he wasn’t all just draconian.
It would have been nice to know more about grandfather.
While we were talking, we arrived at the port.
Maybe because it’s still early, there weren’t many people. According to mother, it seems that this period is time is right. If there were many people, she was planning to wait with Arno, but it seems that it would be alright to go with Arno.
The main item of the fair is the pickled herrings that the fishermen are proud of. Depending on the store, there are many different kinds of seasonings.
Mother seemed to have a shop that likes to visit, so she proceeded without even glancing at the other stores.
It’s been a decade since mother came here, but the store she had in mind was still there.
She looked happy to see the shopkeeper again after many years.
When I glanced at Sieg, she was making a strange expression as she was looking at the stores around her.
“Sieg, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, I just thought that the atmosphere of the city is different from usual.”
“Since there are so many fishermen opening stores.”
It’s not rare to see fishermen betting everything on the herring fair that opens once a year. Everyone brings out their prized pickled herring and competes, or so I heard.
Mother bought herrings from the first store she visited. The goods were packed and then placed into the bag I was carrying.
She bought three kinds of pickled herrings, one with carrots, one with herbs and one with pickled onions, in large quantities.
After we bought what we wanted, we strolled leisurely around other stores.
We also bought cheese, processed salmon, tomato sauce, canned fish, among many other preserved foods.
“Ritz, will you be alright with the luggage?”
The bag I have was bulging now. Sieg and mother also had luggage in their hands. We might have bought a little too much.
“This could be sold at the pub! Thinking that, I ended up buying a lot.”
Well, there’s only a few times a year when we can shop this much. It’s good sometimes for a change, I thought.
Our stomachs are empty, so let’s go eat! I wanted to say, but we decided to load the luggage onto the carriage first. Today, I splurged a bit and hired a carriage for the day.
Sieg decided to change Arno’s diaper and breastfeed him inside the carriage.
When I was about to get on as well, mother said, “Ritchan, you can’t~,” softly rejecting me. I was ordered to standby in front of the door.
To protect my family, I stood guard in front of the carriage door.
The carriage can be locked from the inside, though……
After we finished shopping, it was time to eat.
Only during this period, a special restaurant opens, or so I heard from mother, so I was looking forward to it.
However, upon arriving at the restaurant, my eyes opened wide.
“Mother, this is?”
Sieg looked a little surprised as well.
Mother led us to a large fishing boat.
The special store was an on board restaurant.
When we went inside the ship, there were many tables like a restaurant. Maybe because it was before lunchtime, there weren’t many people yet.
The shop lady had lent us a cradle for Arno.
Possibly because we were on a ship, Arno went off to sleep though I rocked the cradle for a bit.
I placed my coat over him so that it won’t be cold.
“Now then, what will we have?”
When the menu paper arrived, I told mother and Sieg that they can look first.
“Linde-chan, Ritchan, you can have whatever you want~”
The other day, mother received her share from her traditional handicrafts, so her purse was filled.
It seems that the bracelets and the hair decorations mother makes are popular among tourists. The shop lady was happy too.
Sieg and mother seemed to be done with deciding their dishes, and handed over the menu to me.
“Ahh, this is hard to choose……”
Befitting an on board restaurant, there were many different kinds of seafood. Since it was a special occasion, I wanted to have something that I usually could not have.
“Shrimps…… Shrimps, I guess.”
To share, we ordered many different dishes.
A while later, the dishes were served.
First, an assortment of cheeses was served.
It was rare to see cheese with nuts or herbs in them.
There were aperitifs as well, but Sieg is breastfeeding so she can’t have them.
Mother can’t drink either, so I ended up having to drink it.
It was a free service from the store, so I couldn’t waste it.
The drink was strong, like how fishermen like it, I drank it as tears formed in the corners of my eyes.
Now, the long-awaited food was served.
Mediterranean shrimps blanched with herbs, round slices of boiled eggs, salmon (lohi) grilled with herbs and butter, an assortment of vegetables, herring gratin, mackerel in tomato sauce, the staple salmon milk soup and sliced rye bread.
There were many fish dishes.
After praying, we started eating.
I picked up a shrimp and an egg slice with a fork and dipped them in tartar sauce. The shrimp was chewy and went well with the mild flavour of the sauce. The boiled egg was nice too.
The salmon grilled in herbs and butter was being served at the stalls too, and the delicious smell was unbearable. I could finally have it. The surface was crispy and some oil had risen so it was delicious. The taste of butter and herbs was just indescribable. The herring gratin is also called ‘the alluring gratin’.
It’s made with herrings pickled in salt and oil along with potatoes. It is said that these are tasty enough to tempt vegetarians.
The surface had crispy potatoes and there was cheese melted inside. The savoury flavour of the herring went well with the thick white sauce. It might go well with alcohol too.
Mother liked the mackerels in tomato sauce. The salmon milk soup was a stable favourite.
The herring salad tasted light so it was good. The spices were nice, and went well with bread.
Everything tasted nice.
With full bellies, we returned home.
After we returned home, we all went about our work.
I went to the outdoors kitchen behind the house.
What I was going to make was the snack I was going to bring out at the pub.
I am using the apples and the crackers I received from father-in-law.
For many days, I pondered how I should bring out the sweet flavour.
The problem of not being able to use eggs and butter in the middle of the polar nights will be solved with the crackers. I hadn’t made any yet, so I’m not sure yet.
The seeds were removed from the apples and then candied.
The caramels made by boiling condensed milk, along with crackers, were heated in a pot until they became soft, after which they were placed at the bottom of a plate.
Apples, crackers, apples and crackers were placed on top, along with some bread crumbs, and baked in an oven.
The apple pie was finished.
I took some home, thinking of asking Sieg and mother how it is.
I prepared some tea and served the pie slices.
“How is it?”
The moment she put some pie in her mouth, mother’s eyes glistened. The corners of Sieg’s mouth had curled up slightly too.
Even without hearing it, I could tell it was delicious.
I decided to have some as well.
The surface was crispy, and the inside was moist. The sweet and sour flavour and the chewing texture of the apples were good too. The crackers soaked in caramel was a little too sweet.
Well, for making this for the first time, it was quite good.
“Maybe I should tone down the sweet flavour?”
“Don’t worry. Women like sweet things.”
“It might go well with coffee too.”
I noted down what the women said.
Unexpectedly, the apple pie received amazing reviews.
It seems like I could take care of the sweet snacks for the pub. I felt relived.
What a coincidence, I had mackerels in tomato sauce for lunch today.