Lin Dan has her own restaurant to run. Of course, she can't be kept in this restaurant. She makes ten tables of dishes in a row, washes her hands and cleans her face when the meal is almost over, and she is ready to leave. The dry goods soaked with the secret method given by her can be used now. Although the little cook Qiu has only learned 30% of cooking skills, he has also made 100% delicious food and won everyone's praise.
When Lin Dan leaves, the little cook Qiu hands over two recipes and says gratefully, "Shopkeeper Lin, this is the secret recipes of our Qius. Take them." He wants to buy Lin's specialties with money, but he feels that Lin Dan may not value money. He is better to trade things for things, which seems more sincere.
Lin Dan thinks that the two pieces of papers are silver notes. She wants to push the notes away. But she immediately accepts them after hearing what he says. She takes a look at those papers in a hurry. Her attitude becomes softer. "Thank you; I’ll come to teach you how to make Golden Lion Fish from 1 pm to 3 pm every day. I won’t leave before 3 pm. This will last until you can cook this dish. If the Yans’ Restaurant produces a new specialty, I’ll teach you another dish until you can cook it. Which means that I’ll teach whatever comes out of the Yans’, and I guarantee that you can cook it. "
The little cook Qiu looks incredulous and speculates, "Shopkeeper Lin, are you at enmity with the Yan's restaurant?"
"I originally wanted to open a restaurant of Shandong Cuisine opposite the Yan's restaurant, but they maliciously messed it up. Is it enmity? Sure it is."
"Well, fortunately, they messed up your plan; otherwise you would have won the business of the whole street!" The little cook Qiu is outspoken, and as soon as he finishes, he cries in his mind, "bad," with his eyes full of apologizing.
Lin Dan touches him with her finger and says with a faint smile, "I take it as a compliment. If anyone asks, you can only say that you are apprenticed to a master, don’t mention my name." She leaves through the back door after saying.
The little cook Qiu agrees at once. He also knows the Yans are very dirty and used to use some dishonest competition means. But what is the benefit of being dirty? Cooking can't be fake, delicious or not, the taste of dishes will be honest, and diners can tell, they are not easily deceived. He hides behind a screen to observe the situation in the front hall, and finds that the two lords are ready to leave, and they also ask servants to take the leftover dishes away. The imperial family loves extravagance and waste, and scenes like this are rare.
"Wait, I have to meet this new chef and ask her how to make that dish with a monkey head fungus. The little cook Qiu can't make this taste." Walking to the door, Lord Cheng changes his mind again, he lets the old shopkeeper call out the chef.
The little cook Qiu has no choice but to run out to plead guilty and apologize, saying that his master has already left and will not come back until tomorrow afternoon. Moreover, his master will not stay at the Qiaoyuan Restaurant to cook regularly. It is up to luck.
"Then when will she come?" Lord Cheng pursues the matter relentlessly.
"Come at 1 pm, leave after 3 pm."
"1 pm will be too late for my lunch!"
"She just comes to teach me how to cook, and she doesn't cook at my Qiaoyuan Restaurant." The little cook Qiu answers cautiously.
"All right, forget it, it doesn't matter for me to have a late lunch, it’s not a big deal, I’ll put off my lunch. 1 pm, right? I will come back tomorrow!" Lord Cheng, carrying a food box, goes away with his stomach bulging. Other diners prick up their ears to listen in on the talk between the two men. They are all planning to come back at 1 pm tomorrow. The delicious food is worth waiting for, so wait till later.
The little cook Qiu respectfully sends the two lords away. At a glance, he finds that the shopkeeper of the Yans’ Restaurant is secretly hiding around the corner to check the situation in his shop. The Yans’ Restaurant has few visitors and little business.
Little cook Qiu raises his head with a snort of disgust and his heart that has hung up since his father's death finally lands steadily.
When Lin Dan and Brother Tang return to the south district, it has already been evening. Flaming clouds stretch across the sky, making faces glowing red with warmth and serenity. The two who don't talk, just walk in tandem, and walk into the depths of the lane, they come to the door of Lin Dan’s shop, seeing a middle-aged woman dressing in a quite coquettish way is pestering Xiao Zhu to talk, trying to get fresh with him from time to time with a frivolous attitude.
Seeing Lin Dan, Xiao Zhu finally breathes a sigh of relief and says urgently, "My shopkeeper is here, please talk to her!" He runs away after saying these words like ghosts were chasing behind.
The middle-aged woman stares at his back and laughs. Then she looks at Lin Dan and begins to say, "I'll give you ten taels of silver and you’ll sell me this shop." Before Lin Dan can answer, she simply goes on, "I heard that when you bought this shop, you spent twenty taels of silver, so if I ask you to sell it to me for ten taels of silver, you’ll certainly refuse. But you need to think this way, who can find your shop hidden in such a deep alley? If you sell it now, you can at least keep some of your money, and if you sell it later, you may lose blood."
"If I sell it to you, aren't you afraid of losing money?" Lin Dan walks slowly to her.
"I do prostitution business, how can you compare with me? As long as my girls spread their legs, my guests will know where to find us. Unlike you, if your shop is opened here. Can guests even find the door?" The middle-aged woman speaks very rudely. Even though Lin Dan has a good temper, she can’t help frowning.
Brother Tang steps forward and tries to throw the woman out in the alley, but Lin Dan gently pulls his sleeve. She says gently, "I'm sorry, I don't sell this shop, please go check another place." Friendliness is conducive to business success. Lin Dan will not get angry no matter how bad one's attitude is or how ugly one’s speech is. Her mood seldom fluctuates because of some people or some things, as if she has been born with less worldly desires than others.
The middle-aged woman seems to be frightened by Brother Tang's eagle eyes. She hurriedly walks out, but turns back after only a few steps and says, "I have a brothel that is located at the corner of the street ahead. It's called Cui Hong House. If you change your mind, come to me. You can call me Madam Qin Er. But I need to tell you in advance that I will not pay such a high price if you come to me." She gets two famous prostitutes from the south of the Yangtze River. They are very beautiful, so she plans to keep them in a deep alley and rent them to others as mistresses living outside so as to make more money. Lin Dan’s shop is the most secluded, and is chosen by her at a glance, but Lin Dan refuses to sell it.
Don't sell, all right, open a restaurant in the deep alley, it will be strange if you don’t lose money! Thinking those, the middle-aged woman is finally relieved, being glad to wait for Lin Dan to beg her.
Lin Dan will never take her words seriously; she just lets the thing go with a gentle smile. Brother Tang says worriedly, "Why don't you go to the west district to find a shop? I have several shops in my hand, which can be sold to you or rented to you. The Yans will definitely not dare to make a scene."
"Thank you for your kindness," Lin Dan turns to look at him with a soft voice. "Brother Tang, what dish do you think is the most delicious in the world?"
This problem has puzzled Brother Tang who is a gourmet. He has eaten all over the world and loves all kinds of tastes, but he can't do it if he has to rank the things he ate. Each kind of cuisine has its own characteristics and strengths, and also has its own fans. Even the imperial cuisine is not everyone's favorite. Some people say good and some say bad, which is difficult to cater for all tastes.
Seeing he doesn’t answer for a long time, Lin Dan points to the plaque on the beam and says, "I can make the most delicious dishes in the world, why should I worry about anything else?"
Brother Tang looks up and suddenly understands. He sees a brand-new plaque with three words written in regular script, “Cuisine of Hometown”. There is no doubt that this is the most delicious dish in the world. No matter where one goes, no matter what kind of delicacies one has eaten, when one dreams at midnight, what he or she misses the most and remember the most with a fear of loneliness is the taste of childhood or the homesickness in one’s bones. Especially in the south district, everyone is a stranger, everyone is a drifter, and the more accustomed they are to the capital, the more they dream about home cooking.
Lin Dan spends ten years traveling around the State of Chu, learning the most authentic folk cuisine. How can she lose money in opening such a restaurant?
Seeing Brother Tang figures it out, Lin Dan just chuckles, "If it is in the west district, I will open a restaurant of Shandong Cuisine; if it is in the east district, and I will open a restaurant of Huaiyang Cuisine. If it is in the north district, I will open a noodle shop; I wouldn't have no business anywhere." Because she believes in her skills, she is always more confident and calm than others.
The west district is full of high-ranking officials and noble people, so there is Shandong Cuisine as official dishes. The east district is rich, knowledgeable, extravagant and arty, so Huaiyang Cuisine is popular. Huaiyang Cuisine pays attention to artistic conception, harmony and elegance. Almost every famous dish has an allusion, which is the most suitable for rich people. The north district is mostly home to the local poor, so only a small noodle shop is enough, selling several bowls of Yangchun noodles and miscellaneous sauce noodles every day, money can also be earned. Not to mention this hometown restaurant in the south district... how can the Yans’ sneaky tactics cause trouble to Lin Dan?
Brother Tang walks all the way to think about the moneymaking proposition, he knows more about Lin Dan through this.
"It seems that I am worried for nothing." He sighs in a complex tone.
"But thank you for your kindness." Lin Dan goes into the kitchen, moves the three pots of soup into a big crock, continues to stew with small fire, and picks up a kitchen knife to cut cabbage leaves. She uses different knife skills to cut cabbage leaves into different shapes, such as centipede flower, peony flower, wheat ear flower, etc., which slowly unfold after being put into water, with different shapes of flowers blooming.
Brother Tang stares at her superb knife skills for a long time before pointing to a frying pan filled with sand and asking, "Are you cooking chestnuts with brown sugar?"
Lin Dan shakes her head, "After practicing knife skills, I have to practice turning the pan with a spoon. If there is no weight in the pan, how can I practice wrist strength? If I don't practice for a day, my skills will become rusty, my strength will fade, and I won't be able to cook the same taste when I go to the stove. "
Brother Tang sighs, "Those who practice cooking are no easier than those who practice martial arts."
"It's not surprising that every craft is practiced like this." Lin Dan puts down her kitchen knife and goes into the kitchen. She lifts the lid of the large crock for the gravy and slowly stirs it with a long spoon. After taking out the cooked whole chicken, duck, trotters, streaky pork and other things, she puts in the newly slaughtered whole chicken, duck, trotters, streaky pork and other ingredients and continues cooking. Finally, she covers the crock well, blocks the surrounding space with a wet towel and presses a stone slab on it to prevent the smell from escaping.
The moment the lid is lifted, Brother Tang almost faints from the smell, not because it is bad, but because it is aromatic, too aromatic, which is absolutely heady!