Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 11
Chapter 11: To continue to pretend or not?
Translator: Kats Editor: Perriemix
Ye Jiayao slept until the sun was high in the sky, and when she woke up, Xia Chunyu had already left. A bunch of women’s clothes was next to the pillow and they seemed all new. Are these the clothes Peng Wu brought here?
Ye Jiayao rummaged around the pile of clothes before settling on a silver and red halter-neck top, a piece of moon-white flowery Beizi (traditional Chinese gown), and a scarlet shirt. She took off the loose gown she was wearing and put the new clothes on. She got off the bed and was surprised to see eight colorful embroidered shoes neatly lined up for her.
What kind of woman doesn’t like beautiful clothes and pretty shoes? Ye Jiayao’s mood was suddenly lifted and she felt extremely giddy as she looked them over.
Ye Jiayao decided to forgive him for his viciousness and brutality. After all, he did the sorcerer’s dance for her and she used him as footstool last night. He had also prepared so many beautiful new clothes for her today.
It certainly looked like anyone could change!
There was food spread out on the round table and the first thing she saw was a bowl of red, wild strawberries. Ye Jiayao smiled unconsciously. That man liked to talk tough but he had a kind heart.
After eating two wild strawberries, Ye Jiayao opened the nearby basket and found white porridge and buns inside. Surprisingly, the meat inside the buns has been taken out.
Wow! Who knew that he had such a caring and thoughtful side? She was so moved that she almost teared up. She ate the porridge and thought over on whether to keep pretending that she was sick or not. She wasn’t sure if it was Mr. Liu’s medicine or her good mood that cured her fever, but she would definitely deny that calling the ghost worked. She had received higher education in the 21st century, and she couldn’t just blindly believe in that weird theory.
It was obvious that third-in-charge’s patience was running thin and by continuing to challenge him, Ye Jiayao knew that it would eventually start to annoy and frustrate him. She knew that if she pushed him too hard, it wouldn’t work out well.
Ye Jiayao finished her food and left the house. She spotted the open kitchen doors, the scent of medicine wafting over from it, and she went in to take a look. There, she found Song Qi squatted in front of the stove, boiling medicine for her.
“Song Qi,” she called
“Sister-in-law, you’re up. That’s great! You are finally okay now,” Song Qi said happily. Maybe now that she has recovered, third-in-charge would quit being mad all the time. Also, that meant there would be great food for them soon.
“Where is the third-in-charge?” Ye Jiayao asked.
“The third-in-charge left early this morning but he didn’t say where he was going. Peng Wu took the brothers to practice and left me here to boil medicine for you,” he said and continued on afterthought, “Oh, are those wild strawberries enough for you? I can go pick some more if you like. There are still plenty on the hill but they will be gone in a few days, so we should probably stock up.”
“Did you pick those wild strawberries?”
“Yes! I thought you liked them so I went to pick some earlier.”
“That wasn’t what the third-in-charge requested?”
“It was such a piece of cake, there was no need for the request from the third-in-charge.” Song Qi laughed.
Ye Jiayao’s mood dampened. She felt a bit disappointed as she thought third-in-charge had done everything for her.
“Thank you, Song Qi.” Ye Jiayao smiled reluctantly.
“No worries, you are my sister-in-law! You can ask for anything that you want!” Song Qi said cheerfully.
Ye Jiayao thoughts drifted and she asked, “Did Peng Wu buy the realgar powder that you talked about before?”
“Yes, wait here and I will fetch it for you.” Song Qi handed the fan to her and ran to get the realgar powder.
“Here, he bought a huge bag of them. Should I pour it out now?” Song Qi asked as he came back. He hastily opened the paper package and the realgar powder burst out, fanning to his face and making his eyes tear up.
Ye Jiayao frowned. “If you pour it just like this, it will be gone soon. Do we still have wine here?”
Song Qi nodded, his eyes still streaming.
“Bring a jug of wine here and stir the realgar powder in it evenly. We’ll spray it around the courtyard, doors, and windows,” said Ye Jiayao.
Song Qi hesitated and said, “There is only one jug left and that one is third-in-charge’s favorite high-grade Shaoxing wine.”
“We can buy more wine after this,” Ye Jiayao said, thinking that it was definitely more important to keep insects and snakes away.
Song Qi wanted to protest and say that this wine was not that easy to buy. Last time they robbed a caravan, they only got 5 jugs in total and the third-in-charge was not willing to drink it. However, big sister asked, and Song Qi didn’t want to disobey her. He would just have to blame her when third-in-charge asked. Song Qi went ahead to spray the mixture of realgar powder and wine to the surrounding of the house.
Meanwhile, Ye Jiayao opened the medicine jug and poured the medicine out. She could not stand the smell of that horrible concoction.
Xia Chunyu came down from the hill and gave the basket he had on his shoulder to Uncle Jiang. “Uncle Jiang, can you give this to Song Qi? Tell him to plant it in the backyard.”
Uncle Jiang smiled. “Yes, sure.”
“Oh, and ask Aunt Jiang to do me a favor.”
“Understood, I will get her now.”
Xia Chunyu looked in the direction of his yard and wondered how the woman was feeling. Her fever was gone when he left but still, he didn’t know if she felt any better.
After Song Qi sprayed the realgar wine around the front and backyard, Ye Jiayao deemed it was safe enough and brought a basin near the well to wash clothes. Just as she was pulling a bucket of water out of the well, she heard someone call her from behind, “Third Madam, put it down, I will do it.”
Ye Jiayao turned around and saw Aunt Jiang. “Aunt Jiang, what are you doing here?”
“The third-in-charge told me to come. You are still sick and you can’t do chores by yourself.” Aunt Jiang took the water basket from her, and poured water into the basin, folding her sleeves up to start working.
Ye Jiayao thought about the underwear in the pile and was mortified. She could not let others wash her underwear! “It’s fine, I can do it.”
Aunt Jiang held up a hand to stop Ye Jiayao. “Third madam, you should be resting. Go, I will be done with this soon.”
Ye Jiayao saw Aunt Jiang twist her red lingerie and felt extremely mortified. She decided though, to just let it go since she couldn’t really take it back. Instead, she sat on a small stool and started chatting to Aunt Jiang. It was a good thing that Aunt Jiang was chatty and there were no awkward silences at all.
“Third Madam, I heard you were intimidated by a snake.”
“Yeah, it was really scary. Have you seen snakes before?” Ye Jiayao asked.
“Oh, yes. It is usual to encounter snakes because I live on the mountain. I am not scared though, my husband grew many Sargasso grass in the backyard and snakes are afraid of the smell of Sargasso. The third-in-charge went with my husband to pick some of it this morning. My husband will come and plant some in your backyard later,” Aunt Jiang said.
Ye Jiayao was surprised that third-in-charge would really go out in the early morning just to pick Sargasso grass.
“Sargasso grass is very hard to obtain because they grow on the cliffs. It seems that the third-in-charge loves you very much,” Aunt Jiang said, smiling warmly upon seeing the surprise on the third madam’s face.
Ye Jiayao smiled, abashed. She told herself that he really didn’t care about her and just felt stuffy when the windows were closed.
“Aunt Jiang, why did you and your husband wanted to come up the mountain?”
“It’s a long story but the gist is, we were forced to come up here. I mean, who would like to become bandits, right? My old man is a carpenter and makes bows, arrows, and gears for the mountain stronghold. At least, he is safe because he doesn’t need to go down the mountain to rob.”
Ye Jiayao nodded. “Does the third-in-charge go down the mountain often?”
Aunt Jiang said, “Before the third-in-charge came, the best fighter in the village was the second-in-charge. He took people down to have fights. Now that third-in-charge is here, the second-in-charge barely goes down the mountain.”
“You see, it is said that they will fight Xin Yi town and that is really hard to take. The second-in-charge tried multiple times to attack it and didn’t succeed. Now it’s up to the third-in-charge. If he can take it, it is a great merit.”
Ye Jiayao felt worried. I thought bandits only has to rob? Who knew they needed to attack towns? Aunt Jiang said that town was hard to conquer and she could not help but worry if Feifei would encounter danger. She just arrived at the mountain fortress and her position was not yet stable. No matter how bad Feifei was, he was her ally and if something happened to him there would be no one she could rely on.
Aunt Jiang saw the worried look of Ye Jiayao and knew that she was thinking of third-in-charge’s safety. “Third Madam, you don’t need to worry. Ever since the third-in-charge joined the fortress, there have been no defeats yet. They even took over the hardest Ju Xian Heights, and only a few people got killed. People in the village say that the third-in-charge was born at a wrong time, otherwise, he would’ve been a head general.”
Ye Jiayao wondered where could this head-general be found.
As they were talking, Song Qi came over with an old man carrying a basket of grass.
“Why are you here so late?” Aunt Jiang demanded when she saw the old man.
The old man smiled and answered, “I have been here early. The Sargasso grass has already been planted outside and in the backyard.”
Aunt Jiang smiled and told Ye Jiayao, “This is my old man.”
Ye Jiayao smiled up at him gratefully. “Uncle Jiang, thanks for the hard work.”
“It was no bother. The herbs were picked up by third-in-charge, I only planted them.” Uncle Jiang laughed.
“Sister-in-law, where is the medicine in the kitchen?” Song Qi asked.
“I already drank it,” Ye Jia Yao answered.
Song Qi scratched his head in bewilderment. So fast?
Two people started digging a hole to plant the grass at the corner of fences and Ye Jiayao looked over them, still dubious. “Does that really work?”
“Third Madam, don’t look down on this herb. No snake will dare to go anywhere near this. It also has an amazing effect on getting rid of snake venom. If you get bitten by a snake, put a few leaves on the bite and you can be cured immediately,” Uncle Jiang explained.
Ye Jiayao decided to trust his judgment and relaxed. Realgar wine plus this supposedly amazing herb was a double protection for her, so she should be very safe.
After washing the clothes, Aunt Jiang went to clean the room and Ye Jiayao started to plan what to cook for lunch. Aunt Jiang brought a piece of fresh marbled meat, some new lotus root and bamboo shoots in spring. They still have killed chicken, some leftover mutton, mushroom, cucumbers, and carrots in their kitchen. She could cook stewed pork ball in brown sauce, braised bamboo shoot, chicken stew mushrooms, fried lotus cake, and cold cucumber and garlic burst lamb. Six dishes should be enough food to feed six people.
Ye Jiayao then set to work, taking a piece of marbled meat to chop into meat mud. Then, she peeled and washed a piece of lotus root and cut it into small pieces. The best way to cook stewed pork ball in brown sauce was to use crisp water chestnuts, but soft lotus roots could be good too. It would be sweet, delicious and would have a special taste. She then sliced the onions and ginger thinly before soaking them both in water.
Next, she cracked an egg and mixed it with the meat mud and lotus root pieces. She added many flavors and starch, as well as ginger and water, then mixed it all together. This technique would make the meatballs smoother and more tender.
Ye Jiayao was almost finished with preparing the dishes went Aunt Jiang came in. “Third Madam! Why are you busy with work again? Let me do it.”
Ye Jiayao smiled and waver her away, “I have fully recovered and plan to make a good meal. You and uncle Jiang should stay for lunch!”