Title -Culinary Curiosity
Series - Either would work
Disclaimer - Arakawa owns all
Characters/Pairing - Ed, Al, Izumi, Sig
Timeline/Spoilers - set during the boys' apprenticeship
Warning -does pig's blood need a warning?
Summary - Sometimes the boys are just a little too curious
Author's Note - Sig's homemade sausage bears a strong resemblance to sanguinaccio, a Lenten sausage once popular in the regions of Italy my family is from. This recipe borrowed from ' La Cucina di Tradizione in Abruzzo' produced by the Provincia di Chieti.
"This is really good!" Ed waved a sausage around on the end of his fork before popping the dark brown bite into his mouth. Slicing off another bit, he chased the sunny river of egg yolk around his plate. "I could eat ten more."
"Ten?" Izumi's lips quirked up. "That many?"
"Brother exaggerates," Al said, carefully putting a bit of egg and sausage on the point of his toast before eating it.
Ed glowered at his brother. "Nuh-uh. I could eat ten."
"That's what I'm afraid of." Izumi shook her head. "Growing boys, you'll eat us out of house and home."
Ed shrugged. "So? You have a meat shop."
"Teacher is afraid you'll eat that up, too." Al sipped his milk. "On Yock Island, he looked at me like I was dinner."
"I keep telling you that was a joke!"
Al rolled his eyes.
"It's a good thing for boys to have a hearty appetite," Sig said in what the boys knew might be his longest speech of the day.
"I've never had anything like the sausage," Al said.
Izumi leaned over and patted her husband's arm affectionately. "Sig made it. He's studied various ways of curing meats and making sausages from around the world. Something that might be perfectly normal everyday food in Southern Creata might be completely unknown and exotic in Drachma. We have a lot of the usual stuff, but we make things for the more adventurous eaters."
Ed speared the remains of his sausage, holding it up. "Does this make me adventurous?"
"Edward, the one thing we never have to fear is you not being adventurous," Izumi replied, clearing her plate off the table.
"Do you know anything from Xing? That's the most far away place I know," Al said. "I saw pictures of it in one of Dad's books. It looks so different. I want to see it."
"What about the sea monsters between here and there?" Izumi teased.
Ed snorted. "No such thing."
"I have some Xingese recipes," Sig replied. "From some of Izumi's distant relatives."
Al eyed his teacher as if he'd never seen her, but Ed ignored the statement.
"How do you make the sausage? What's in it? Can we help?" Ed asked.
"Curiosity, Edward. Sometimes it can get you into trouble," Izumi said.
"I can show the boys. They fended for themselves on the island. They come from farm country. It might not be too bad," Sig said.
"They don't need to go to the slaughter house with you, but the rest, I don't see why not. I'll let you have them for the day." Izumi leaned in and kissed her husband, missing Ed gagging at the show of affection.
Sig had put two blocks near the counter where he worked so the boys could stand on them. He put the stock pot nearer to them, then went to the ice chest for the container he'd picked up from the slaughter house. "It doesn't necessarily need to be in sausage form. It can be a pudding, but it's easier in our shop to sell it as sausage. Alphonse, hold the strainer over the pot please."
Al put the metal strainer over it and Sig opened his container, swirling it so the boys could see.
"Fresh pig's blood." He started straining it, trying not to laugh at all the flavors of revulsion that twisted up Alphonse's face as the young boy tried not to look at the sanguine flood filling the pot. Ed watched intently. Sig set the empty container aside and pointed to the bowls near Ed's elbow. "Pass me those please."
Ed complied. "What are they?"
"Orange peel and nuts. Alphonse, go to the ice chest and take out the red container."
"It's not more blood, is it?" Al pouted, hopping off the block.
"No." Sig sprinkled in the orange peel.
Al brought the container to Sig then opened it when the butcher asked him to. Brown chunks rested inside.
"Creatan chocolate. Go ahead, put it in," Sig said, reaching for some cinnamon. He gave it all a good stir. "That's it. At the end, I'll put in some rum, but now it has to cook down and thicken. Come on, you boys can help me get the casings ready."
Seating them at the table, Sig got the bowl of casings out. "We need to inspect the intestines for holes."
Ed took the offered pig intestine, but Al made another face.
"That's what holds sausage together," Sig replied.
"Yeah, look." Ed slapped the intestine against Al's check, and his brother swatted him before rubbing his wet cheek.
"Don't play with them, Edward," Sig said.
Ed sighed. "But this is kinda boring. I thought it would be more interesting. Why did you want to show us anyhow?"
Sig put a hand on Ed's shoulder. "To remind you of what you learned on the island. Everyone should know where their food comes from, Edward."
"I can't believe something that good tasting was blood and pig guts," Al moaned. "I might have been happier not knowing."
Sig snorted then set the boys to work, satisfied their enormous curiosity had been momentarily sated.