“Absolutely amazing, this craftsmanship is amazing.”
His daughter was rather shy. Bai Jiandong took a sip of the beer poured by his wife and then took a bite of pork head meat. He slapped on the tabletop very satisfactorily.
“Just when I smelled it, I felt that this braised food was almost the same as others, but when I truly ate it, I felt that the expectations in my heart just a moment ago were not enough. It was the first time I had eaten such delicious pork head meat in more than 40 years.”
The Bai family’s conditions were good, and the elders on both sides of the husband and wife were in good health. In addition, they had pensions, so they did not need much support from their children. And also, they had four or five brothers and sisters, and many people shared it if there was anything. Therefore, when working in the factory before, the small double-earner family saved plenty of money, unlike the Yan family, who owed debts everywhere. Speaking of which, the Yan family had borrowed a lot of money from the Bai family when they bought the house.
Bai Jiandong’s hobby was drinking wine. Whether it be beer, Baijiu, or Huangjiu, he must drink a little every day when eating. He was a regular customer of several deli restaurants in the nearby food market, and he must have those side dishes for drinking at home.
After eating the braised food from Yan Chu and taking another sip of beer, Bai Jiandong felt that his 3.5 yuan per bottle of beer could not match the taste of the braised food and spoiled the yummy meat.
“Wife, hurry up and get my old Shaoxing yellow wine. This meat deserves good wine.”
Bai Jiandong took another piece of pig cheek, which was crunchy. The more he chewed, the better it tasted. He could not bear to swallow it down his throat.
“It’s just you.” Jiang Yahong glanced at her man, “If your uncle doesn’t drink this beer, your aunt will drink it with you, Little Chu.”
Speaking of which, Yan Chu was also an 18-year-old boy. It was very usual to have some beer. When the two families had dinner together, all the men in the two families, including Yan Chu, drank anyway. Even women would come to have a drink.
“Auntie, I’ve eaten it. These are specially delivered here for you.”
Yan Chu waved his hand. It was almost ten o’clock, so it was embarrassing for him to remain in the Bai family’s house.
“Don’t be polite with us. Talk to Lingling on the way.” Jiang Yahong turned around for the kitchen to get Shaoxing yellow wine for her man and took three more cups. She and Yan Chu drank beer, and Bai Ling only had a cup of juice.
“Are there any good movies these days? You young people shouldn’t stay at home every day and go out more. It’s also said on TV that learning in a good mood can get twice the result with half the effort. It’s not good to study too hard.”
The parents of other families were strict about the puppy love problem, which was not a problem in the Yan and the Bai family.
When there was a rumor in the class about Yan Chu and Bai Ling’s love affair, the teacher called the parents of both sides to the school as if they were facing a big enemy. Who knew Yan Chu’s parents and Bai Ling’s parents also persuaded the teacher, saying their children had a set engagement since childhood? These two children were well-behaved and would not do what they should not do, but they played well since they were young. You could not stop them from playing because they grew up. Parents were happy to see the two children find a marriage partner in each other. First, there was no delay in learning, and second, there was no bad influence. Let the teacher turn a blind eye to them and not take them to heart.
In the end, it was not the teacher who criticized Yan Chu and Bai Ling for education. In turn, they almost got brainwashed by adults on both sides.
Jiang Yahong thought she was somewhat open-minded. It said they had already found a suitable marriage partner at 17 or 18 in their era. Many people married and had children at the age of 20. On the contrary, the times had progressed, and children at 17 or 18 were not allowed to find a partner. There was something wrong with this idea.
However, the school was strict, and Jiang Yahong thought there was a reason for it. After all, every child was like a clever and naughty person now. Who knew that with one wrong eye, they would eat the forbidden fruit on the sly2eat the forbidden fruit on the slysex between young men and women? This kind of thing could be big or small, so they should be strict.
So when the teacher called their parents over, Jiang Yahong did not think the teacher was meddling but felt that the teacher was very responsible. As long as the communication was over, it would be okay to start talking about it.
“I heard from my classmates that there seems to be a new set of textbooks recently, which is very specific to mathematics. Lingling and I are not very good at mathematics. Tomorrow, we should go to a nearby bookstore to look for it. I don’t know if there are any for sale.”
Yan Chu’s words were very pleasing to the future mother-in-law. Parents also attached great importance to their children’s education, no matter how open-minded they were. It was also that Yan Chu and Bai Ling’s academic performance was pretty good and very promising to attend the undergraduate course. Otherwise, the parents of both sides would not be so relaxed and happy now.
Jiang Yahong nodded repeatedly and put a chopstick on her daughter’s ear: “Mom will give you the money later, and you will go to the bookstore with Little Chu tomorrow to study.”
Bai Ling was about to eat the pig ears her mother gave her when she heard her mother’s sudden exclamation.
“Is this braised pork made by your family?”
Jiang Yahong covered her mouth and said indistinctly. She did not dare to open her mouth too much. Perhaps the fragrance in her mouth would jump out with her words. It was too fragrant, and the taste was indescribable.
She was not a woman with high requirements for the taste of food, but with such a very insensitive tongue, she could tell this braised food had an exceptional taste. The meat flavor was rich, the spice ratio was perfect, and every bite could have a further aftertaste.
She was now eating a piece of pork meat. Usually, in braised food, the braised food of this part would be somewhat lean, which was not as good as the fat part, nor not as chewy as the pork head.
Initially, Jiang Yahong wanted to eat these large pieces of meat herself, leaving the good parts for her husband and daughter. But when she tasted this meat, she found that she had guessed wrong.
This meat was not lean and tasteless. It was so delicious. The more you chew, the more fragrant you would taste. You could not bear to swallow it.
Could pork be so delicious? Considering her cooking skills, Jiang Yahong felt she had lived in vain all her life.
“My mother and I figured it out together. I thought the food in the deli was too expensive.” Yan Chu did not say anything about the recipe.
Jiang Yahong gave a thumbs up, then grabbed her husband’s wine cup and a sip of his Shaoxing yellow wine. Like Bai Jiandong, she suddenly felt that the cheap beer wholesale in her small supermarket was not worth this braised food.
Bai Ling had just smelt the fragrance in her room, and she was already trembling. However, the little girl at this age was just about to look good. She had some resistance to this piece of fat in her heart, but now her parents were so amazed that she could not help but pick a pork ear and put it in her mouth.
The pork ear bone was exceptionally crisp, and the stewed pork skin was fragrant and slightly spicy. It stimulated the taste buds.
One piece, two pieces, and Bai Ling could not help speeding up the movement of chopsticks.
The Bai family quickly wiped a plate of braised food. Yan Chu only drank the half-cup of beer in front of him throughout the whole process without moving a single chopstick.
Jiang Yahong’s mind was very flexible. She put down her chopsticks and spoke to Yan Chu, “Auntie can promise you that if your parents change their business to sell this braised food, your family is guaranteed to make a fortune. It has already seduced most greedy worms in our community. Choose a shop and put the pot near the window, then fan it, and people in the whole street can smell it and buy it.”
Jiang Yahong and Jin Xiujuan were good sisters for half a lifetime. They were more close than their biological sisters. Before, she wanted to lend money to Jin Xiujuan to let them rent a small shop to sell breakfast. Jin Xiujuan was timid and thought that if the expense increased, she might refuse to pay the cost when her income did not grow. This time, she was not free from Jin Xiujuan’s willfulness and would encourage the other party to open the braised food shop anyway.
“Auntie, do you think it’s a good idea to open a shop?”
Yan Chu actually came here this time for this purpose. The Yan family’s parents were too timid to consider opening a shop. They thought about taking their sweet time, but Aunt Hong in front of him was different. The other person was more enterprising, and her words were more effective than his. As long as the Bai family’s couple was involved, his parents probably got persuaded to open a braised food shop.
“It’s alright. This shop is a more reliable business.”
After drinking the last sip of wine, Bai Jiandong patted his chest and said, “I’ll talk to your parents early tomorrow morning. This idea is great.”
On the one hand, he really hoped that his good brother’s family would have a better life. On the other hand, Bai Jiandong felt that he had eaten such delicious braised food. It would be tasteless when he ate the food from the deli in the food market in the future. His days would be unendurable.
It would be different if the Yan family started a shop selling braised food. He did not want to eat his brother’s food for free. He would pay money immediately. Money was not just for spending but also for making himself happy.
After agreeing to invite the Bai family’s couple to be lobbyists tomorrow, Yan Chu went home with a plate that had been wiped clean by Bai Jiandong with steamed buns left over from his dinner.
“Lingling, I’ll come at nine o’clock tomorrow morning. Then we’ll go to the bookstore together.”
Yan Chu did not forget to turn to Bai Ling when he left. The little girl was getting up to see him off, and they almost ran into each other.
“Alright, I’ll definitely be ready at that time.” Bai Ling nodded. After that time of shyness, she was still a natural and unrestrained girl.
Young people’s love should be in such a lovely place as the bookstore.
“Did you smell that fragrance last night? My little grandson cried for half a night. I ordered his favorite crispy chicken drumsticks from Chicken Deken, but he threw it on the ground after a bite, saying it was not that delicious and would not eat that disgusting thing. My son was so angry that he pulled down his pants and beat his bum.”
The elderly exercising in the community garden, today’s topic of conversation was related to the pot of braised food that the Yan family made.
“Who’s not? My daughter ordered takeout in the middle of the night last night, and she didn’t eat it sincerely. She opened the window to take a breath and took a bite of the barbecue. However, it was really delicious. I don’t know who was cooking. If it was something to sell, I really wanted to buy one back.”
“My wife and I were reluctant to turn on the air conditioner last night. We opened the window to ventilate. Because of the smell, we had to re-lock the window and turn on the air conditioner, so we barely managed to sleep.”
The elderly were talking all over the place, and finally, someone who knew what was so fragrant spoke up. And it was Uncle Jiang who lived in the same building as the Yan family and was fortunate enough to get a pot of braised food.
“You don’t know? It’s Little Yan’s family downstairs in my building. He’s the son of Technician Yan, who took over his shift and used to be a welder in the factory.”
Uncle Jiang said, “Their family made a pot of braised food last night and brought it to my house in the middle of the night. That taste, tsk tsk, I have never eaten such delicious meat in my life.”
The old uncle gave a detailed description of what the meat was like, how fragrant it was, and how soft and glutinous the pig trotters were. He could chew even without teeth. Hearing this, a circle of elderly swallowed their saliva.
“Isn’t it just braised food? Can it be as good as you say?”
Those who questioned Uncle Jiang’s words thought that he might be exaggerating and bragging.
“Oh, then tell me, have you smelled such a gravy that is so appetizing and can wake people up from their sleep before?”
Uncle Jiang’s words stumped those who were skeptical. Other braised food tasted delicious, but the aroma had never been so appealing, making people feel that they had to eat it. It was conceivable that if that thing’s taste was really like its fragrance, how mouth-watering it would be.
“It’s a pity that several people in my family licked the soup clean last night. Otherwise, cook a bowl of noodles and a spoonful of gravy poured on it. That taste…”
The scene described by Uncle Jiang made the elderly present swallow saliva again, sniffing the faint aroma of braised meat that could still be smelled in the garden, only to feel even more hungry.
Yan Zhonghua and Jin Xiujuan hurried home from the booth at nine o’clock today.
The peak of business was around 9 o’clock, but their son had an appointment with Bai Ling to go to the bookstore later, and no one could watch the simmering pot of braised food at home.
Last night, they relieved the greedy worms in their stomach a little bit. The couple was still waiting to eat more flavorful braised food. For this reason, it seemed that it was not so unacceptable to miss an hour of business.
When they got home, Yan Chu had been gone for a while, and the couple quickly turned on the stove again and let the pot of braised food boil slowly.
If he did not return before eleven o’clock, they had to exchange a package of spices for the braised food in the pot according to their son’s request.
Today, Jin Xiujuan went back to buy some ingredients to marinate in the pot and added new soup stock. The previously cooked package of spices was probably already tasteless, so she had to replace it when the time came.
Sniffing the smell from the pot, Jin Xiujuan and Yan Zhonghua became more energetic.
“Xiujuan, you are back.”
The iron gate of the Yan family’s fence was not closed tightly. A few elderly pushed the door and came in. Most of them had eaten the braised food sent by the Yan family last night. The leader was Uncle Jiang, followed by several elderly who were unfamiliar with the Yan family but lived in the old community together.
“Uncle Jiang, you, this is?”
Yan Zhonghua could not figure out their purpose.
“It’s the braised food you sent last night. It’s really delicious. My grandson remembered it after eating it and wanted to eat it today. If I don’t give it to him, he’ll cry. If there are more, I will pay for it.”
“That’s right, that scent is so appealing. I thought about it all night last night. If you have more, please let me buy some. I’ll pay for it.”
Yan Zhonghua and Jin Xiujuan were caught off guard by the elderly’s words. Unexpectedly, these elderly came for the braised food at home.
“All of you are elders. What money are you talking about? I’m going to get some for you.”
Jin Xiujuan’s mind had not turned around for a while. Although she felt a little distressed, she thought they were all close neighbors, so it was okay to give them some braised meat.
“That’s no good. How can I take yours for nothing?”
Uncle Jiang firmly refused. Last night’s meal was a friendship between neighbors. He would be shameless if he had the cheek to take it for nothing.
The Yan family also had a hard time, and they finally got better in these years, but Yan Zhonghua and his wife earned this by getting up early and selling breakfast at twilight. It was all hard money.
These retired elderly had no place to spend their money. They did not need to take advantage of others.
As soon as the old uncle opened his mouth, those elderly, who were happy to have free meat were also embarrassed, nodded and said something. They all paid for it and asked Jin Xiujuan to sell it at the market price.
When the rest of the community heard the news and arrived at Yan’s house, they could not buy anything. One by one, they asked Jin Xiujuan to go to the food market to buy meat, try to make more pots, and sell them.
Because they had not purchased it, they heard those who bought the braised food describe how good it was and even put the price up. After a while, each braised food was six or seven yuan more expensive than the ones sold outside.
It was still in the group of elderly who were generally savvy and economical. If it was young people who spent money without restraint, it was possible to double it several times.
Jin Xiujuan and Yan Zhonghua were dizzy and went to the food market to buy plenty of ingredients with the money at home. They washed them and put them in boiled gravy at different times according to their son’s instructions. After everything finished, they realized what they had just done.
The two of them almost rounded up all the pig trotters and pork in the food market and bought a bunch of good ingredients for a spicy braise, such as duck intestines and aortas.
Seeing that a pot could not hold the ingredients piled up in the kitchen, the couple worried about whether they had done something stupid for a while.
“This textbook is excellent, and the questions above are very targeted.”
Yan Chu did not know that when he was away from home, his this-world-parents had already done business. He and Bai Ling stood in front of the bookshelves in the bookstore, and in front of them were booklets of college entrance examination strategies.
As a man who had experienced n times of college entrance examinations and rich experience in taking ones, he selected relevant exercises for Bai Ling.
When she came out today, Bai Ling had dressed up very carefully, with a white shirt and a gray plaid pleated skirt, and her long hair draped behind her. She looked like a very scholarly, neat, and gentle girl.
She took off her black-rimmed glasses and put on contact lenses she was not used to wearing. Before going out, she did not forget to put lip balm on her lips to make them look full and shiny.
Both of them were now in a situation where both parents acquiesced. But neither of them had to make things clear. Bai Ling undoubtedly wanted to show her best in front of the person she liked.
But she thought that she had overestimated this idiot. At this age, others bought books as an excuse. Who reads books seriously? But he was the only one who really chose the exercise booklet earnestly.
She wanted to be angry, but she could not get angry at that face at all. Don’t be mad. But she could not help being happy but unable to hold herself when looking at the other person’s temperament of being engrossed in learning and unintentional love.
While Yan Chu was helping Bai Ling choose the exercises, a sneer came from the corner of the bookstore.
A little girl, who wore ripped jeans, a suspender top showing her slim waist, permed hair, and nose studs, looked like a bad girl, walked towards them.
“Girl, with your reserved appearance, how can you find a partner, especially when you’re interested in an ignorant fool?”
Long Ruofei just got into this small bookstore to hide the talents sent by her father to follow her. Before she arrived, she also watched a youthful love between a boy and a girl.
Speaking of which, she still had an inexplicable pleasure in the male protagonist in this puppy love.
However, Long Ruofei did not want a man who had a girlfriend. It was a pity that she rarely saw a man pleasing to her eye.
The idiot she was talking about was naturally Yan Chu, and the reserved girl was undoubtedly Bai Ling.
Yan Chu would not have noticed that Long Ruofei was here if she had not spoken.
“Forget it. I won’t talk to you, little brats. If you want to fall in love, just read more textbooks.” She casually put the little words to relieve boredom towards Bai Ling, then whistled and swaggered away.
Those who chased her just now had gone far away, and she no longer had to stay in this small bookstore and smelt the sour smell of other people’s love.
Long Ruofei’s outlandish clothes could easily attract other people’s attention even in the developed modern times, especially the exposed white and slender waist. Some men with low willpower could not help staring at it several times.
“Are you Miss Long?”
While walking, a man suddenly stood in front of her, stretching his hand out toward her like a gentleman.
Zhang Zifan did not expect such a coincidence to let him see one of the male protagonist’s harems, the mafia boss’ eldest daughter Long Ruofei, who he had investigated for several days.
Was God truly standing in front of him now?
Who was this idiot?
Long Ruofei glanced at him, silently cursed in her heart, then walked around him and wanted to leave without thinking.
“Miss Long, I—”
Zhang Zifan tried to stop Long Ruofei, but he was directly thrown over the shoulder by the irritable eldest lady and fell to the ground heavily.
He immediately suffered pain and uttered a shrill scream. People around him stopped to watch the fun, and no one wanted to lend a helping hand.
Long Ruofei did not care what happened to the person she threw. She clapped her hands, turned her head, and left.
Zhang Zifan looked at the leaving Long Ruofei with his teeth clenched, but he was not angry. This woman was a rose with thorns. He was too anxious. She would be convinced and feel guilty for what she did today after the other party realized his ability.
He struggled to stand up again, but fortunately, apart from the pain in every part, there was nothing serious.
Zhang Zifan rubbed his buttocks and shoulders. The most important thing now was finding and buying valuable antiques at a very low-priced rate, soon. It was a serious matter to at least build his reputation known in the antique circle.
A man started his career before he got married. When he had his own career, would women be far behind?
He smiled proudly. The person next to him, who had just witnessed him chatting with a beautiful woman and getting beaten by her, saw him smile proudly, muttered a fool, and then hurriedly walked around him, fearing that he might get infected with his stupidity.
Zhang Zifan did not care about those ordinary people. He proudly raised his head and walked towards the antique street.
Ugh, my butt really hurt.