There wasn’t much to do in the academy, any labs that Monokuma and his so called children gave them access to eventually lost its charm. It still meant they were trapped no matter how often they could honed their talents. Not that Kaede could ever grow tired of playing the piano, but her lab wasn’t the outside world no matter how much she pretended she was somewhere else.
Even with the possibility of anyone of them attempting to commit murder to escape that Monokuma loved to remind them about, Kaede refused to be a hermit and lock herself away in her dorm or lab. To keep her boredom at bay she took to spending time with her fellow ultimates. After all, they had to stay united if they wanted to escape together. So if she wasn’t playing piano, she was spending her free time with someone.
Whether it was enjoying tea with Gonta, who wanted some help on learning how to serve tea like a gentleman, trying to converse with Kirumi over the phenomenal and plentiful desserts the maid could make with ease, joining Shuichi for lunch, and even attempting to talk to Kokichi over a couple bottles of his favourite pop brand. Spending time and getting to know everyone definitely kept her boredom at bay and gave her the motivation she needed to keep going.
Right now would be a good example of that, Kaede decided to spend her free time with Korekiyo. They somehow ended up on the topic of Norway, Kaede mentioned she once performed there while on tour and Korekiyo asked her if she had a chance to try krumkake (thank god Miu wasn’t around to make some perverted joke) when she answered no, Korekiyo offered to make some.
“Krumkake basically means bent cake.” Korekiyo explained as he put the finishing touches on the batter. “Its a Norwegian waffle cookie, rather popular with not only those in Norway, but also Norwegian immigrants in New England and the American Midwest.” he informed. Kaede watched as he went about checking the iron griddle that reminded her of a waffle iron, but more elaborate with a decorative pattern rather than the typical waffle grid design. “I do believe it’s ready. Now, it’s been awhile since I made these and I’m doing everything by memory, so my apologies if it doesn’t turn out perfect.”
“It’s fine, looks complicated anyway.” Kaede reassured, looking at some cone shaped tool Korekiyo had brought along.
Korekiyo added some battle to the griddle and pressed it shut, after a few seconds he flipped it over and waited another few seconds before opening it. Revealing what appeared to be a golden brown circle.
“This is where things get rather difficult.” he warned and collected the odd cone shape tool. “We need to wrap the krumkake around this to achieve the cone like shape.” from there Kiyotaka used a knife to scrape off the baked good and wrap it around the cone.
He briefly used his fingers to assist in getting it to wrap perfectly around the cone shaped device, although flinching briefly from having his fingers touch something fresh off the griddle.
“Are you alright?” Kaede asked.
“Yes, burning yourself just means your doing it right.” Korekiyo reassured. “Now once it cools we slide it off and...” he slipped the cookie off the tool with ease, revealing that it was now a perfectly shaped cone. “Here we have it, a krumkake.”
“Wow!” Kaede’s eyes sparkled at the dessert. “That’s pretty impressive.”
“Would you care to try?” Korekiyo offered.
“Sure, looks fun!” Kaede mused excitedly, going about adding a bit of batter to the griddle before closing it. Though unlike Korekiyo who managed to get it to bake to a golden brown on the first try, Kaede’s first attempt resulted in it being overcooked. “Aw come on!” she huffed, looking at all the dark burned spots on her krumkake attempt.
“Do not fret, we have plenty of batter.” Korekiyo reassured as he scraped the burn krumkake off the griddle. “Try again, it takes awhile to get it right.”
And he was right, two tries later and a couple burned fingers Kaede managed to not only properly bake the krumkake, but also wrap it around the cone with minimal burning her fingers.
“There!” she announced as she slid the cookie off of the tool. “I finally did it!”
“That you did. Takes awhile to get the hang of it, but once you do it’s fairly easy.” he said and fetched a piping bag filled with white cream. “Now we add the filling.”
Luckily this step was easier as it required no hot griddles or burned fingers, soon enough both cookies were filled. Normally Kaede would had watch Korekiyo eat and try to figure out how he does it with that mask of his. But the krumkake she had made had her attention at the moment, because as soon as she bit into that cream filled cookie she was in heaven. Letting out a long ‘mmmmh’ as her tastebuds were in sheer bliss from the sweet tasting cookie and the equally sweet vanilla cream filling. Without a doubt she polished off the Krumkake quickly.
“That’s so good!” Kaede mused loudly, licking a bit of filling off the corner of her lips.
“They are, aren’t they?” Korekiyo agreed with a nod of his head.
“I wished I tried this sooner!” she said.
“Well we have plenty of batter, it would be a pity if it went to waste.” he gestured towards the bowl of batter and piping bag filled with cream. “If you want to make more I would be more than happy to oblige.”
“Definitely, their so good!” she nodded eagerly, already adding some batter to the griddle.
Before long all the batter was gone and in its place were cones made out of cookies and stuffed with creamy filling.
“Wow, this certainly made a lot.” Kaede said, looking at the large amount of Krumkake they had managed to make. Admittedly she lost count when she and Korekiyo were taking turns making them.
“Yes, this recipe tends to make quite a few.” Korekiyo confirmed. “I also doubled it just in case.”
“We can just share them with the others, they really are good. I can’t imagine anyone not liking them.” she said and decided to help herself to a second one.
“I’m not on Kirumi’s level of the culinary arts, but homemade krumkake should be appreciate it.” he agreed. “Though in the meantime I don’t see anything wrong with having a few for ourselves. He pulled himself up a chair and also helped himself to a second one. “Theirs more than enough for everyone.”
Kaede also pulled herself up a chair and happily dug into the pile of krumkakes they had made.
It was roughly into her fourth krumkake that Kaede was forced to acknowledge the affects of all the bonding she was doing with the others. The button on her skirt that Kaede was completely oblivious to had finally given up on holding on for dear life. With a loud snap the button went sailing across the kitchen, sadly whatever dignity she had from that was gone when the pressure from her stomach managed to cause the zipper on her skirt to unzip. Though thankfully she didn’t expose her unmentionables, unluckily though that was because of the extra weight she carried in her middle she neglected to acknowledge before.
Kaede felt her face turn pink. She should had known that eventually all that lounging around with her fellow ultimates and snacking on sweets and drinking sugary tea and soda pop would lead to this. Why didn’t she realize it sooner? She certainly wish she noticed the sudden spike in her weight prior to this. Popping a button in front of someone was probably the most embarrassing thing to happen to her. Although she was slightly grateful it wasn’t in front of Kokichi or Miu, the teasing would be insufferable. But regardless this happening in front of anyone was embarrassing!
She worked up every once of strength to look back at Korekiyo, who unlike Miu or Kokichi in this situation remained completely composed rather than a teasing or laughing mess. Then again it’s not like she could tell if he was smirking under that mask of his...
“Don’t feel embarrassed.” Korekiyo spoke. “In some areas of the world larger women are often symbols of prosperity, wealth, motherliness and virtue. In fact there are actually places called fattening rooms where girls are placed in order to put on weight in preparation for marriage.” he explained all too casually.
“Uhh... good to know.” she muttered, unable to think of a decent response. “I... I should go get changed.” Kaede excused as she got up from her chair. “It was nice spending time with you.”
Korekiyo shoved the large platter of krumkakes towards Kaede. “Why not take these with you? I have no room for them and everyone here will most likely accept them if you were offering instead of me.”
Oh... she really shouldn’t. But they worked so hard on making them...
“Sure, I’m sure the others will love them.” she replied, taking the platter and briskly walking to the dorms.
Luckily no one was there to see her in such a state,so she quietly slipped back into her dorm room unnoticed. She set the platter of Krumkakes on her desk and sighed.
“Hopefully Monokuma has my uniform in a bigger size...” she muttered to herself and pinched the love handles that had formed. She could probably talk Ryoma into playing a few rounds of tennis with her to help lose it. Or maybe even Tenko to teach her about sparring. Maybe even-
Her eyes glanced at the platter of krumkakes on her desk.
One more couldn’t hurt?