Harvest Moon Anton’s Diary: Year 2 Winter Part II

Day 16
Elli continues to steadily fall for the old Anton charm, for after today’s gifts she had reached yellow heart level with me- I almost wish I could take her as my second wife (it pains my heart to know the doctor will almost certainly steal her away). Aside from this development, the day proceeded much as normal, although I was able to cook up some greens with the newly harvested spinach- I would have given it to Popuri, but I was unsure as to whether she would like a salad dish.

Day 17
After tending to the animals this morning, I went back indoors to cook some scrambled eggs for Popuri- as the daughter of a poultry farmer, I can always be sure that she will love the egg-based dishes I make. Afterwards, I headed into town to charm the girls once again; hopefully I can get Elli up to red heart status before winter’s end, and then devote spring to visiting Mary.

Day 18
The villagers are so pathetic- at the first hint of snow they bundle up and do not dare to go out, even as I trudge around trying to get everything done. Despite this, I was able to catch Elli on her way home (from where? Did she spend the night with the Doctor?) and hand over some flowers, as well as chat to Mary and Ann.

Back at the farm, the long awaited first crop of Pumpkins was finally ready, and so I shipped it and planted a fresh plot of Pineapples. I think I must create a more efficient layout in the hothouse if I am to get the most out of my Pineapples, however.

Day 19
The second crop of Pumpkins was ready today, so I took them indoors to store in the fridge (aren’t pumpkins meant to be orange? Why are mine an unattractive dark green?) before planting pineapples in their place. Afterwards, I tended to the animals before heading down to town to charm the girls. Since I have run out of Blue Magic Red Flowers to give to Elli, I have switched to Moondrop Flowers, which met with such a good reception that her heart status was upgraded to orange. She is now truly head over heels in love with me, and all because I gave her flowers every day. How simple these villagers must be to be so influenced by useless flowers.

Day 20
The pineapples are beginning to sprout in the hothouse, and so more profits beckon on the horizon, although I have little use for all this money I continue to accumulate- for where are the shops to spend it in (the few places of commerce in Mineral Town can hardly be counted)? Anyway, after seeing to the animals this morning, I cooked up a rice omelette for Popuri before heading into town to chat to all the other girls. Elli’s affections for me remain strong, but I am beginning to worry about the fact that she spends all day with doctor- could he still usurp me in her affections?

Day 21
What a fool I have been! All this time I thought one had to take food out of the fridge and put in one’s rucksack in order to cook with it, but such a step is unnecessary! Why didn’t I realise this earlier?

Anyway, today I tried my hand at Fried Rice, and made a rather delicious dish, if I do say so myself. With my cooking instincts fired up once more, I made sure to pop into the supermarket after flirting with the girls and pick up some more oil and rice balls. Buying food in bulk at the supermarket is nigh impossible, since one must go through the same discussion with Jeff every time one wants to buy a single item!

In other news, I bumped into the mayor today and he asked me if I had gotten used to farming yet. Surely the 700,000G I have made over the last two years renders such questions unnecessary? And yet what if the villagers are becoming bitter and resentful because of my immense wealth? I must blind them with pointless gifts.

Day 22
The barn has been largely manageable for a while, but today going in to feed the animals was nothing short of a nightmare! The cows were all milling around the entrance, making it nigh impossible to get inside and milk them all, and once they were done, the sheep had spread out and made themselves impossible to access!

Nonetheless, when the animals were finally dealt with, I nipped inside to cook up some grilled fish before heading down to town to charm the girls once more. Elli must move to red heart status soon, for my stocks of flowers are draining fast.

Day 23
The barn animals seemed better behaved today, but the continuing snow only brings to light another issue- the rotting of lumber. The fact that I continually have to replace rotted stumps is something of an annoyance, although arguably it is my fault for wanting a fence in the first place, whilst the discovery that my hammer will smash even perfectly good lumber is slightly depressing.

After the farm tasks were complete, I had a go at making sashimi in the kitchen, before going one step further and turning it into sushi. Then it was off to town to charm the girls once more, and to my delight Elli reached the fabled red heart level. Unfortunately, this means she has started talking about marriage- does she expect me to leave Popuri and Tony for her? What have I done?

In any event, I decided to allay the doctor’s suspicions by pretending I had just come in for a check up, only for him to report that I was in such good condition he didn’t even think I could be working on the farm! Let him come over one day and see just how much work I have to do here.

Day 24
Since today is the Star Night festival, not only were all the shops and places of interest closed, but Popuri wanted me to have dinner with her to celebrate, meaning that I couldn’t go to bed before midday as I have been doing all winter. Instead, once the farm tasks were done, I was forced to occupy myself outdoors until 6pm, riding my horse, chopping lumber and just dozing in the snow when I couldn’t be bothered to do anything else.

After what seemed like an eternity, I was finally allowed in the house to eat dinner with Popuri and Tony, before the two of us left the baby inside and nipped up Mother’s Hill to look at the stars. It would have been quite romantic, if only Popuri had not said the exact same things that she did last year.

Day 25
With Elli at red heart level, today saw Mary take centre stage in Operation Secret Affair. A keen scientist, Mary has a love for botanical items such as mushrooms and grasses, and so the items I carefully foraged during the year will be perfect for winning her heart. After a gift of Poisonous Mushrooms today, her heart level remained at purple, but it no longer seems a puny small purple heart- instead it is a pulsating purple heart of hope and potential.

Of course, I also made sure to chat to Elli on her way to her grandmother’s house this morning, for I do not want her to suddenly feel neglected. Truly, only a man of my skill could successfully juggle so many women.

Day 26
Whilst in the hothouse today, I realised that I had not planted my Pineapples efficiently enough, which means I will have to rethink their planting and possibly buy more seeds from Won- although this is a task that can wait until spring. In the meantime, I shall continue with the usual tasks and early bedtimes.

Today I tried my hand at the complex Chirashi Sushi, a dish made from scrambled eggs, sashimi and rice. I was rather worried that such a recipe would be beyond me and I would end up with another Food Fiasco, but happily I was able to pull it off. Maybe I should enter it in the cooking festival this spring.

Day 27
Having run out of Poisonous Mushrooms, today I switched to Green Grass to give to Mary; I was slightly worried that she wouldn’t be as interested in it, but it turned out to be just the thing needed to upgrade her heart level to blue. She now seems interested in learning about farming from me, which is just the excuse I need to visit her every day.

Back home, I tried to cook up some tempura noodles, but sadly I ran out of flour after making the tempura. I will have to go down to the supermarket tomorrow to pick some up.

Day 28
The cows seemed oddly devoid of milk today- could it be that I inadvertently forgot to feed them yesterday? These lapses are most worrying, since they may mean that senility is setting in. Then again, this is truly a strange world, for now that I think about it, my produce is often comparable in size to the animal it comes from, which surely should be a physical impossibility? How can a yarn ball, for example, be larger than the sheep that was originally shorn?

In other news, I bought some flour from the supermarket today, although I accidentally threw one packet of it on the floor whilst trying to get it in my rucksack. Nonetheless, I successfully took four packets home and was finally able to cook up the long awaited tempura noodles.

Day 29
The cows are producing milk again, although many of them have lost a heart of love for me- why are the affections of animals so fickle? As always, after finishing up the usual tasks I went into town to work on Operation Secret Affair; Elli is continuing to discuss marriage, which worries me- what if she confronts Popuri and they end up fighting over me? Ah well, I will have to hope for the best- Popuri is still on red heart for me, after all, so she cannot know about my secret affairs.

I also cooked my first successful batch of cookies today, erasing the stain of the food fiasco I created last time and ensuring that I am prepared for spring thanksgiving. Unfortunately, chocolate is so rare that I will never be able to make chocolate cookies.

Day 30
My second year on the farm is about to draw to a close, and it has been a long and difficult ride. After completing the usual tasks and dropping in on some of the girls, I went up Mother’s Hill as I did last year and napped in the freezing cold snow until it was time for the Year End festival. Only then did I go to the top of the hill to see the New Year in with the same old crowd- Popuri was absent, but perhaps she was looking after Tony. In the new year, I must grow more crops, cook more recipes and get all the girls up to red heart level.