The Weiyuan Marquis is nearly 40 years old, but due to his excellent martial arts and proper maintenance, he looks only in his early thirties. He is emaciated and of high temperament. His body is imbued with the talented and romantic characters of a scholar. He has no vulgarity of military commanders.
However, when he raises his eyebrows and his eyes are radiant with cold, a momentum that no one dares to disobey pours out involuntarily, making one’s blood freeze. Madam Qin Er is trembling with fear. She hurriedly tugs at Lin Dan's sleeve and whispers, "Don't be stubborn with him, little boss. He is a man of great power and he kills people like flies!"
Lin Dan naturally knows this man is the Weiyuan Marquis, but she only slightly raises her jaw and looks at the marquis, her smile has no change.
Brother Tang steps forward and stands in the way of the two. He cups his hands and says to the Weiyuan Marquis, "Lord, there is really no Thousand-Day Wine in the shop."
"Son, you are a son of the marquis, you come back from the north?" The Weiyuan Marquis glances at him casually, and there is a hint of hardness in his gentle voice. "Hu Feng tells me that the liquor is made by her. If there is no liquor left, I can wait, but she refuses to sell to me when she still has some. What is the reason?"
"He is a son of the marquis?" Lin Dan doesn’t respond to the Weiyuan Marquis's heckling at all. She walks to him and looks at Brother Tang carefully. She can’t help asking, "Are you a son of a marquis?" The family name is Tang, and he ranks ninth. She should have figured out that this person is Tang Cheng, the youngest son of the Yongding Marquis. No one knows what he has experienced over the years, and he has unexpectedly grown from a beautiful young boy like spring flowers into now this stalwart man, facial features are still beautiful, but with a very strong masculinity, a scar on the end of his eyebrow adds his ruthless character, close-fitting clothes can't wrap his strong muscles, he now is completely different from the engaging young boy before.
Even if the original Lin Dan who loves him deeply comes, she can hardly recognize him, let alone the present indifferent Lin Dan.
Brother Tang freezes and he hurriedly explains, "Lin Dan, listen to me, I was going to tell you..."
Before he finishes speaking, Lin Dan smiles first. It is not a fake smile that she pretends to be magnanimous or a wry smile that shows she is deceived. It is a real joy to see an old friend. "Your highness, I haven't seen you for years. Have you been all right? Is your father in good health?"
Brother Tang suddenly loses his voice, and then he says vaguely, "Yes, we are all very well." Lin Dan isn’t angry. He should have breathed a sigh of relief, but why is his heart filled with disappointment?
"I’m not here to listen to your nostalgia. Shopkeeper Lin, are you selling the Thousand-Day Wine or not?" The gentle voice of the marquis has been completely replaced by cold voice. Several of his guards press their hands on hilts, as if they will take violent actions in the next moment.
They block the door. The diners in the shop are too scared to decide to run or to stay. Each of them looks ghastly pale.
Lin Dan, however, still looks indifferent, cupping her hands and says, "Calm down, your highness, have you ever heard of Peng Ya?"
"As Shi-Tzu (a book name and also a name of a famous man in Qin Dynasty) goes, ‘Chi Prefecture is the ruins of Kunlun. Its bittern grows sprouts called Peng Ya. Red fruits grow. One eats it and will be drunk for three years." The Weiyuan Marquis looks surprised. He once treated it as a legend.
"Thousand-Day Wine, once one drinks his fill; he will remain drunk for three years, what kind of the materials used to brew the liquor to make the delayed effect so big? I followed this clue down and finally found Peng Ya, which also restored the brewing recipe hundreds of years ago. But does your highness know that Peng Ya floats once a year and bears a hundred fruits at one time, and one jar of wine needs a thousand fruits. It took me three years to make one jar, but it had been ruined by bandits. How can I make another jar of it for you? What I said just now is only one thing, and there is another. Your highness comes back to the capital for recovering, but do you know what kind of illness you have? In my opinion, your face is red and your lips are white, eyes are red, you are prone to dryness and irritability, it should be the manifestation of liver damage, while liquor is toxic to intestines. And the hot character of liquor tops every other thing; it is especially harmful to liver. If I sell you another jar of such strong liquor, who should be blamed when you have an aggravating illness? "
Lin Dan says slowly, "I can't sell any more for the sake of your health. I hope you can understand it."
Hey! After all, it has become my fault. The Weiyuan Marquis turns the jadeite ring on his thumb, but his cold and hard expression is somewhat relaxed. The bodyguard leader who comes with him hurriedly runs up to him and whispers, "Your highness, the imperial physician keep telling me that you should be kept from drinking too much. Please follow his instruction. This Thousand-Day Wine is too harmful to your health, shall we not buy it? "
The bodyguards are aggressive; one wrong word can result in crush of the shop. But now they are all at ease. It is right not to sell the liquor, they still want to wait for the marquis to recover and follow him back to the southeast military station as soon as possible.
"It's okay not to buy," says the Weiyuan Marquis, who knows that his subordinates are doing his own good. However, his mood has been ruined and can’t help sneering, "I’m having a meal here. Just now I heard your waiter saying that you can cook any dish and make the guests satisfied. Well, I'll order a table of dishes made with wine, can you cook that? If you don't do a good job and don't satisfy me, I will ruin the shop. "
Speaking of which, the seemingly charming Weiyuan Marquis finally reveals some of the rugged and domineering characteristics of military commanders.
Is it your choice to decide whether you are satisfied or not? Brother Tang frowns and he stands up to argue. Others are afraid of the Weiyuan Marquis, but he is not afraid.
Lin Dan takes hold of him and nods and says, "I can cook."
"The little girl is not knowledgeable but crazy. You agree so easily. You should have listened to my request." The Weiyuan Marquis continues, "Don't think that pouring a few cups of cooking wine to make ingredients to have a smell of wine, this can’t fool me. What I mean is that you make a dish with wine itself; it will be full of wine without hurting my liver. Can you? "
As soon as the request is made, the whole restaurant is in an uproar. Wine can only serve as seasoning in cooking. No one ever heard of cooking with wine. That's wine, which is not equivalent to a handful of water, what the cook can only do is to put it in a pan to heat and then put it in a bottle. One has never heard of any cook who can make it into a dish. Besides, it’s hard to add sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty tastes into wine. It is the biggest problem to make it eatable in one’s mouth and stomach and to satisfy the appetite…
It is clear that the Weiyuan Marquis is not here to eat!
Brother Tang glowers and says word by word, "Lord, you are too harsh. If you have got so much time, you might as well go home and take more Chinese medicine to nourish yourself."
"Little son, when will it be your turn to take charge of my business?" the Weiyuan Marquis sneers repeatedly.
Lin Dan slowly ties up her turban and says gently, "Cooking with wine? Yes, your highness, please wait a moment." Words are finished; Xiao Zhu nervously carries out a jar he has treasured.
Seeing the jar with good mud seal, the Weiyuan Marquis smiles proudly, "Who said there was no wine, look, what is this? I tell you, if the jar of wine you give me is not as good as the Thousand-Day Wine, I will still smash your shop and it is useless to beg for mercy." He thinks Lin Dan can’t cook with wine, so she gives in first.
However, Lin Dan only smiles slightly and carefully fishes out one thing with a colander after breaking the mud seal at the top of the altar. The crowd looks intently, being surprised. The thing fished out is half an arm long strip, wholly glittering and translucent green, it looks like jade. It can jump slightly when it is put on the chopping board. It is very soft and delicate, and like a certain food. It looks good, even the aroma is very strong, as soon as it is fished out; the good smell of the marinade is covered by the aroma which is very domineering.
Even having tasted countless wines, the marquis can’t tell the origin of this thing at that time. He can’t help asking, "What is this thing?" He swallows a mouthful of saliva secretly and inhales with his nose again. Fragrant, this thing is really fucking fragrant, no worse than the Thousand-Day Wine.
"I learned the brewing method of this wine in Yanglin County. It is fermented with dozens of medicinal materials such as dangshen (root of hairy asiabell), jujube, tangerine peel, and clove and so on. It is mellow and has the effect of nourishing the body. Even if it is not mixed with water, drinking hundreds of jars of it will not make you drunk, which is the opposite of the liquor quality of that Thousand-Day Wine. This wine is called Fat Wine of Yanglin. Why is there a ‘fat’? Because there is another ingredient in the wine, that is fat meat. "
Brewing with fat meat is really unheard! All the people here are in an uproar, but they see the green object on the chopping board, they have to believe it.
The eyes of the Weiyuan Marquis are wide open and his displeasure is completely replaced by curiosity. He loves wine, and naturally loves to hear stories about brewing wine. Especially, Lin Dan seems to know all kinds of strange wines very well, which makes him more interested. He suddenly realizes that he has misjudged the little girl. She is arrogant not because she has little knowledge, just because she has seen too much and she is confident.
Lin Dan cuts the glittering, translucent, green and lovely meat strip into thin slices and slowly says, "This jar of wine has just been sealed for three months and has not yet been fully brewed. However, this meat has absorbed enough liquor and has become glittering and translucent, resembling jade. You shouldn't be surprised, but in fact there is a similar brewing method in Baiyue area called jade brewing, which is named after it."
She puts the meat into a basin, pours two spoons of aromatic marinade, and slightly grabs it with her hand to marinate it. After that, she takes out the sticky rice that has not been fermented enough but has been soaked for a day, she smashes it, and mixes it with seasonings such as soy sauce, black pepper powder and spiced powder for later use.
When everything is ready, she pours the pickled meat slices into the sticky rice and stirs them evenly. Then she steams them for three quarters of an hour in a steamer. After putting it in a dish, she sprinkles a little bruised ginger and chopped green onion in a leisurely manner. A dish is finished. Then Xiao Zhu takes out a jar of pickled vegetables and picks out some bean sprouts from it, one by one, she puts them in a small dish, dripping a drop of sesame oil as an ornament.
"Please enjoy it." Lin Dan gently puts the dishes on the table. Two rumbling sounds wake the Weiyuan Marquis, he stares at her intently, and he seems surprised.
Lin Dan softly explains, "This dish is called steamed pork with wine and flour. Although it is made of wine, it doesn’t harm the liver, but strengthens the spleen, moistens the lung, strengthens the heart, so it is very healthy. This dish is called mung sprouts with sticky rice. It can nourish the liver, calm the nerves, clear the gallbladder and promote blood circulation. It can relieve alcoholism and poison. Try it first. If it doesn't meet your requirements, you'll ruin the store. I’ll have no excuse. "
Because of the liver injury for a long time, the marquis has no appetite, but now he unconsciously picks up chopsticks.