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barrierwatching ([personal profile] barrierwatching) wrote in [community profile] ghostsugar2016-03-09 06:18 pm
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Every Fox Needs A Den, Every House Needs a God

Nao was busy in the small kitchen of the Kasuga home. She was putting the finishing touches on lunch, the trays laid out for five. She'd made cabbage rolls, a simple but homey, tasty dish which consisted of spiced ground pork and vegetables wrapped in a cabbage leaf and a slice of bacon, secured with a toothpick, then boiled in broth to cook.

She lined up the cabbage rolls on each plate and then added homemade pickled cucumber and carrot salad. A bowl of chilled silken tofu, a glass of iced buckwheat tea, and a sliced orange from the garden finished off the meal. Nao switched the plates and bowls around a bit! Trying to figure out how to best arrange them. Then she shrugged and picked up her grandmother's and mother's trays, balancing them carefully.

The two women were out in the family's fruit and vegetable garden, clearing weeds and tending to the plants.

"We need to get a chicken or two," Grandma was saying, bent over the tomatoes. "A hungry hen'd make short work of these tomato worms and grasshoppers."

"Find out where to get one, Mother, that's fine with me," Nao's mother replied, from where she was pruning and picking cucumbers. "Though how would we keep the wild animals from eating them? There's all sorts of foxes and badgers around."

Aha, a segue. "Speaking of eating," Nao spoke out, setting the trays on the veranda.

The two adult women stopped and straightened and began heading over, removing gloves and hats. "Oh, Nao," her mother said. "You've brought lunch for us! How thoughtful."

"Trying to butter us up, are you?" Grandma quipped. "Are you still on about giving House God-sama that gift? I already said yes. So, you've made us lunch for no reaso- Oh, what perfect cabbage rolls you've made, Little Girl. Just look at those, so perfectly uniform! You'll make a man very happy and proud someday.

Nao plastered a fake smile on at that compliment, which didn't feel like a compliment at all by her way of thinking. Grandma could be horribly old-fashioned in her way of thinking.

"Cabbage rolls are my favorite, Nao. Thank you for cooking." Nao's mother patted her shoulder and smiled. "House God-sama is coming to lunch, isn't he," she asked, a strained smile on her face. "Do... Do give him my regards. He is welcome, really. It just... brings back old times to see him about."

Nao blinked and nodded, clueless as to what that was supposed to mean. "He is coming, I hope! I have to go get ready, so please excuse me."

"Have a nice time," Nao's mother said with that same mysterious, sad smile.

"Don't eat all of the coconut cookies I made," Grandma announced. Then she added in a grumble, "He can have five."

Nao hurried off to the kitchen again and delivered the tray for Grandpa, who was taking a nap in the study. That left just the trays for herself and Shichiro.

Hmmm. Did they look unbalanced? Maybe she should have put more leaves and flowers around the food! Or some kind of sauce. Kimchee?

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