Wang Qing and Wang Nizi stopped, then Wang Shijing spoke out: “Go wash your hands since you are done eating.”
The two children quietly washed their hands and left the kitchen. Only then did Wang Shijing answer Shao Yunan’s question. “I can do it. Do you really want to give it to fourth aunt’s family?”
“Mm. Haven’t I already talked to Boss Xu? Fourth aunt and Wang Zhuanghua will open a small stall outside Yizhang Xuan restaurant. This way Yizhang Xuan restaurant can protect them, while they can give Yizhang Xuan restaurant additional business, it’s mutually beneficial. Help me wash the dishes later. I will make skewers tonight. Let’s see how these two families will want to share these snacks.”
Wang Shijing bent down and kissed his wife on the cheek. “Thanks for your trouble.” This were all his favors, but they were all returned by his wife. Shao Yunan glared at him. “Crazy, hurry up and work!” Wang Shijing hurried to bake more bread.
In the evening, fourth aunt Wang’s family and Wang Zhuanghua, together with his two fathers, a total of six people, arrived at Wang Shijing’s house just in time. The Sun family’s chrysanthemum tea has made a lot of money and now that the chrysanthemums were wilting, they could still smell it. Fourth aunt Wang’s family and Wang Zhuanghua’s two fathers, Wang Duoqiu and Li Shuyin, could not help being envious. But Wang Shijing already told them that he would give them a way to make money after the farming season ended, plus many things had happened in their clan, so they were too embarrassed to ask again. Today, Wang Shijing invited them to come over for dinner, so they had high hopes.
As soon as Wang Xing and Wang Zhuanghua entered the courtyard, they shouted, “What are you cooking again? People outside said they smelled meat all day.”
“You will know when you eat it later?” Shao Yunan smiled and brought everyone to Wang Qing and Wang Nizi’s room, where a big kang table was set up on the kang.
Wang Shijing brought in a large pot of fragrant millet porridge from this year’s rice. While Wang Qing was carrying a plate of shredded potatoes in vinegar. The tableware and chopsticks were already set. Wang Xing and Wang Zhuanghua were going to help, but were stopped by Shao Yunan. Shao Yunan held Wang Nizi and did not let her work. Fourth aunt Wang saw Wang Nizi’s flushed little face, with a smile. She was all clean, with small white jade earrings in her ears and seemed to be enjoying the blessing as she smiled sweetly in her nest in Shao Yunan arms. Fourth aunt Wang was sincerely happy that Wang Shijing had found such a good wife and mother (small father) for his kids. After Wang Shijing remarried, she was worried that the two children would have more bad days in the future, but now not to mention worry, many children in the village envied them.
Wang Shijing and Wang Qing came in again, this time, Wang Shijing had a large pot in his hand. Inside there were pre-made meat sandwiches. Seeing them, Wang Xing and Wang Zhuanghua began to swallow. “Brother, what is this? It smells so good!”
“Look at you two.” Fourth aunt Wang slapped each of them. Wang Qing put a small stove in the middle of the table and lit the fire while Wang Shijing went out again. Wang Qing got on the bed and sat next to his little father. Fourth aunt Wang couldn’t help saying, “Yunan, look how much Qing and Nizi like you. You and Shijing need to put more effort in giving them both a brother or a sister.”
Wang Qing and Wang Nizi immediately looked at their little father, pursing their lips a little. Without looking at their expressions, Shao Yunan said, “Qing and Nizi are already enough, I don’t need any more.” Fourth aunt Wang was surprised. “You don’t want children?” She looked at Wang Qing and Wang Nizi thoughtfully. “It’s not because of these two children, right?
Wang Qing bit his lips. “Little father, if we have a younger brother or sister, Nizi and I will take care of them.” Is it because of him and Nizi? Shao Yunan’s head began to hurt as he shook his head violently. “I’ve agreed with Shijing to not have children. There are already ready-made ones at home, so I would be crazy to ask for more.”
Fourth aunt Wang, “…?” What does it mean? Wang Qing and Wang Nizi also stared at their little father, while Wang Shijing came in with a small iron pot. Fourth aunt Wang asked, “Shijing, you and Yunan don’t want more children?”
Wang Shijing put the iron pot on the small stove and only then said, “Yunan is afraid of pain. Whether it’s a man or a woman, giving birth is painful so if he doesn’t want it, he doesn’t need to do it.”
“Little father…” Wang Qing tugged at his little father’s clothes. Shao Yunan gave the back of his head a gentle slap. “Children don’t need to think about such heavy topics. Even without you and Nizi, I wouldn’t give birth. I am too afraid of pain and don’t like big bellies.”
Fourth aunt Wang, “How could childbirth not hurt?”
Shao Yunan, “Anyway Shijing already has children, so I don’t need to suffer this kind of pain. Fourth aunt, let’s eat. Don’t try to persuade me anymore. I won’t have a baby. I am very determined not to have a baby.”
Wang Xing and Wang Zhuanghua stifled their laughter, as fourth aunt Wang helplessly shook her head, but also laughed. However, the most vocal was Li Shuyin’s voice. “You two have agreed. After I gave birth to Zhuanghua, your aunt no longer persuaded me. It’s indeed painful to give birth.”
Shao Yunan picked up his chopsticks, “Let’s not talk about giving birth anymore, come and eat. This is called ‘Bai Ji Bun’. To put it simply, it is called a meat sandwich. This one is called a skewer and despite its spicy taste, it’s very addictive to eat. It should be eaten together, but since I didn’t have bamboo sticks at home I didn’t dare to cook it.”
“It’s really fragrant!”
Wang Xing and Wang Zhuanghua stretched out their hands to take one meat bun each, while Wang Shijing distributed one to fourth aunt and uncle, as well as Wang Zhuanghua’s parents, Wang Duoqiu and Li Shuyin. The meat bun was so good that even the most reserved fourth aunt Wang couldn’t stop talking about it. A layer of white sesame seeds floated in the sizzling soup, which was soaked with sliced meat and vegetables, like potatoes, mushrooms, etc…
After that, no one spoke. Everyone held their Bai Ji Bun in their left hand and stretched their chopsticks into the hot pot with their right hand. Shao Yunan didn’t let Wang Qing and Wang Nizi eat too much spicy food, so the plate of shredded potatoes with vinegar was just for them. The two children eagerly looked at the dish in the red pot, although they loved the shredded potatoes in vinegar, they still wanted to eat more of it.
When all the meat buns and the food in the red pot were finished, Wang Shijing picked up the red pot while Shao Yunan extinguished the fire before he spoke. “Fourth uncle, fourth aunt, Uncle Duoqiu, uncle Shuyin, do you think this meat bun and skewers can be sold?” The two families froze, then became ecstatic, all nodding their heads vigorously.
Shao Yunan said, “Now that the clan is unstable, if I took out a big money-making recipe, I am afraid I would only make a bigger uproar in the clan. Not to mention uncle and aunt, Wang Xing and Wang Zhuanghua are Wang Shijing’s good brothers. It’s only right that when one brother has a good life, he will think about his other brother. Now that it’s no longer so busy and these two foods can be sold even if it’s cold or warmed up quickly…”
“This business is just a small business, so if others eye it they will think it’s not good enough to grab, so I can also avoid giving you unnecessary trouble. I have already talked to the boss of the Yizhang Xuan restaurant. You can set up a stall at the entrance of Yizhang Xuan and use their source of customers to attract business. If you are tired, you can also close the stall. If you rent a store you will lose a day’s rent, but if you do rent a store you should consider directly buying it if you decide to open a store later.”
“Yunan, this, this…” Fourth aunt wiped the corner of her eyes not knowing what to say. Uncle Shuyin said in an unsteady voice, “Thank you, Shijing, Yunan. We didn’t help you much, so you guys doing this… it’s really a great kindness.”
“Uncle don’t say it. The help you gave our family was a blessing in disguise. The meat in this meat bun has to be stewed well. The key to making it is the ingredients. The key to this skewer is this pot of soup, it has the same key ingredients. The meat bun, stewed meat, and skewer all match the soup ingredients, so matching this style of dishes is not simple. What we eat today is not rich enough, and there is also tofu, chicken, duck, fish, pig, pig blood… many things can be used. These two kinds of snacks look simple, but they still take a lot of work. The two of you go back and discuss what to do first. After the discussion, I will hand over the recipe to you individually, and teach you how to make them.”
“Hey! Hey!” Fourth aunt smiled. Uncle Duoqiu said, “We will discuss it when we go back, Yunan and Shijing, sorry for the trouble.”
“Not at all. Our family is doing well, so Shijing and I want fourth uncle and aunt, uncle Duoqiu and Shuyin, to also do well. When we earn money, we will send our children to study.”
“Hey!” Both Wang Xing and Wang Zhuanghua had families and children, who were about the same age as Wang Qing. Who would not want to make money and send their children to study? They did not want to let them be like others who will spend their whole lives as simple farmers.
The four people who had enough to eat, left with gratitude, while Wang Qing and Wang Nizi took advantage of their little father’s inattention and tried the soup in the red pot with their chopsticks. So when Shao Yunan and Wang Shijing came back, they saw two children ‘eating.’
“It’s spicy, so if you eat too much you will have diarrhea. Little father will make you bubble tea to drink later. Next time, little father will make a less spicy one, so when you grow up you will have a strong stomach and can eat a lot.”
“Little father, won’t this taste better with sesame sauce?” Wang Nizi asked. “It will. But the sesame sauce can’t be seen by others yet, so let’s eat it by ourselves.”
“Hmm, got it.” Wang Qing and Wang Nizi would rarely talk about what was going on at home to the outside world, especially about the new food that their little father made. The two children were very tight-lipped about it.
After packing up, Wang Shijing left the soup in the red pot, to cook a pot of fresh vegetables in it the next day. Wang Shijing was making tea in the house and when he entered the room, he saw the two children sitting beside Shao Yunan, drinking tea. Wang Shijing felt a burst of warmth in his heart. Closing the door, he went over after taking off his shoes and received a fragrant Longjing tea from his wife’s hands.
Nizi, “Dad, why is that Tang monk always so stupid?”
“It’s called the compassion of the monks.”
“Well, I don’t like it.”
Wang Qing, “Little father, what happened later?”
“Later? Later after drinking tea you should go to sleep. You shouldn’t drink any more unless you don’t want to sleep.”
After digesting their food, Wang Qing and Wang Nizi went to sleep. Wang Shijing then took Shao Yunan back to their room and asked to go into the space. Shao Yunan hugged Wang Shijing and the two entered the space, but before he could react, a hand ripped open his clothes.
“I thought you were coming in to work.” Shao Yunan held down the lustful hand. “I missed you.” Pressing the man to the ground, Wang Shijing began his second big meal that night.
Edited by: Jaisland