材料： 無糖豆乳400毫升、砂糖20克、魚膠粉 5 克、水 1 大匙、 黑糖漿： 黑糖 50 克、蜜糖 1 小匙、水 25 毫升
5. 黑糖與水放進鍋子裡，煮至黑糖溶化變濃稠； 6. 熄火拌進蜜糖，就成為黑糖醬。
In the suitcase that Yuka placed near the door lie some clothes, a few pairs of shoes, and a small oil on canvas painting given by a friend. Her books, records, the full collection of Colors magazine, vintage chairs from England, tens of cups and plates from around the world — things that she once passionately moved into her flat — are no longer important. If she can forget about Hatuta, there isn’t anything that she cannot let go.
Yuka opened the fridge and tried to pour herself a glass of iced barley tea. July, who was lying on the floor and looking at her with his big round eyes, came close to the fridge with a wagging tail. Walking with a spring in his steps, July was expecting Yuka to bring him some beef jerky from the fridge. To his disappointment, she only took out a small cup of mild soy milk pudding.
Yuka returned the cup to the fridge. Looking at the soy milk pudding lying in the fridge, she wondered why did she still make dessert last night knowing her own departure today. Why was it so necessary to prepare a dessert?
Vanilla is Hatuta’s favorite ice cream favor. Yuka teased him saying it’s the taste of grannies. She likes any ice cream favor, Belgium chocolate, hazelnut, berry mix, sea salt and caramel, anything except vanilla. Therefore, she’s determined that vanilla is the taste of old people.
Back then, they took a stroll every night after dinner to get some dessert from a nearby convenient store. Yuka got to understand the subtle yet mystical sweetness of vanilla ice cream after spending many years with Hatuta. She once imagined Hatuta had opened up a new world for her to explore the beauty of the ordinary life; a few years passed, she found it as nothing more than a cup of ice cream. This world she was given was after all restricted to the small cup made of plastic.
Looking at July’s disappointed face, she said, “Hey, let’s go for a walk.” July’s eyes sparkled, and rushed to put on the collar himself.
July was taking the lead the whole time. Seeing him wiggling his bottom, Yuka instantly felt comfortably at ease. This furry animal was catching its breath while running in the prime summer time. The smile on his face is as soothing as the sun behind a thick layer of cloud. July stuck his face to the tiles once they arrived at the convenient store; he closed his eyes and enjoyed the heat being swept away by the cold breeze from air conditioner. Cold breeze during summer time, honey in warm water, bonito flakes and soy sauce on tofu… only a tiny bit can already add so much color to the mood.
All of a sudden, Yuka remembered it’s been a long time since she last took a stroll for dessert after dinner. In fact, it’s been a long time since they last ate together. She simply learned to make her own dessert since taking a stroll is no longer a habit.
She bought a bottle of water for July. From the long-forgotten fridge, she also picked a pack of tofu pudding. The two of them settled in the park; she poured some water for July, and opened the pack of pudding for herself. Having a taste of her dessert, she was shocked to find out it was almond tofu that she’s got. She always hates the taste of almond tofu, which is entirely irrelevant to almond or tofu. The phony name of the dessert only reminds her of her despise for ungenuine relationship.
Hatuta complained about the lack of sweetness in the dessert Yuka made. He expects dessert to be boldly sweet, an extremely sweet guilty pleasure of going against the principle of being healthy. Yuka told him, “You are what you eat,” any food you eat turns into part of your body, and she doesn’t want her body to be full of guilt.
Regardless of his complaints, Hatuta ate the dessert she made. The mornings after Hatuta was occupied by work at night, Yuka would count the number of desserts left in the fridge to know whether he had returned home the night before. She learned various dessert recipe. She made carrot cake, frozen yogurt, sweet potato soup, glutinous balls with red beans, soy milk pudding. Those were all desserts classified as ‘not sweet enough’. Making dessert was her way of easing loneliness to begin with; as time goes by, she began to appreciate being lonesome. The unsweet sweetness became the best company for her home alone days.
Yuka washed July’s feet and brushed his hair when they got home. The long gray hair dropped from his body and formed a silvery ball that can be disguised as a piece of wagashi under sunlight.
Yuka opened the fridge and slowly ate her soy milk pudding without using a spoon. Her mouth was embraced by the fragrance of beans and the gentleness of Japanese sugar. She didn’t even have the need for syrup as the genuine taste was all she needed.
One, two, three. The fourth one was in her stomach. The four soy milk puddings she made were all there, she knew Hatuta wasn’t home the night before. She had no idea if he would be home tonight, but what she’s certain is that, she would never come back again.
Soy milk pudding
400ml Unsweetened soy milk, 20g Sugar, 5g Gelatin, 1tbsp Water.
Brown sugar syrup:
50g Brown sugar, 1tsp Honey, 25ml Water.
1. Mix gelatin well with water.
2. Pour soy milk and sugar in a sauce pan, simmer in low fire to melt the sugar.
3. Pour gelatin mixture into the saucepan, whisk gently.
4. Pour soy milk mixture into cups; chill before refrigerating.
5. Melt brown sugar and water in a saucepan, cook until a thick sauce is formed.
6. Turn off the fire, add in honey to make the brown sugar sauce.
7. Pour brown sugar sauce on the firm soy milk pudding to taste. Dessert is ready to serve.
Utensil of the day: Teacup by Teppei Ono