The man and the woman who entered the store are talking in a low voice. The man says with concern, "I thought there was no decent restaurant in the south district, but it turns out that it is me to wrong this place. Sister, you haven't had much for two consecutive days. You should eat something today anyway."
The woman covers her chest and nods reluctantly, "I will."
When the man comes near, he sees Lin Dan stirring a basin of marinated meat. He can't help showing a surprised expression. "Hey, you can make marinated meat with Guizhou taste. What a coincidence, we are from Guizhou. We want some please."
Lin Dan shakes her head and says, "Sorry, my dear guest, the marinated meat has been sold out. Can you order something else? We also have noodles and rice porridge. "
The man frowns as if displeased, "But I just want to eat the marinated meat and nothing else."
"Then I can only say sorry to you. If you want to eat, you can come early tomorrow." Lin Dan smiles and says.
She doesn't know who the man is, but Madam Qin Er knows and motions with her hand and says, "It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter, I'll give him mine, I won't eat it." Then she wipes her cold sweat on her forehead with a scared expression. If not mistaken, the two should be the legitimate son and the legitimate daughter (they were born by the wife not the concubines) of the Duke of Yunnan and Guizhou. The Duke of Yunnan and Guizhou is the only duke with a different surname from the State of Chu. He is stationed in Yunnan and Guizhou plateau all the year round and has a troop of 800,000 soldiers in his hand. He is a man whom even the emperor should fear.
In order to show loyalty, the Duke of Yunnan and Guizhou sent his legitimate son to study in the capital city very early, and the treatment for him was no worse than that of the son of the emperor. The year before last, he also sent his legitimate daughter to the capital, who was over 15 years old; she seems to be a concubine in the palace. In a word, the brother and the sister are both people on the top and one can't afford to offend them at all.
The man's eyebrows are relaxed and he seems very satisfied with Madam Qin Er's understanding. But Lin Dan says, "First come, first served. Madam Qin Er has been waiting all the morning. This dish of marinated meat should be for her. "
Before the man shows his angry expression, Lin Dan raises her head and looks at the little pale girl carefully. She continues, "Besides, I think this young lady has been covering her chest all the time. She seems to feel dizzy and vomiting. She can't adapt to sea sickness, can she? You can't eat these greasy things when you are sick, can I make some refreshing food for the young lady? "
The woman doesn't want to eat meat very much, so she nods, agreeing with Lin Dan's words, "All right, please make some tasty dishes for me. I really don't want to eat meat very much now." She timidly gives his brother a look.
The man thinks of his sister's fate in the future, and feels pity for her, so how can he refute her words? He nods and agrees. He turns around and finds that Brother Tang is also here. He is surprised naturally, "Tang, do you also come to this restaurant for dinner? What a coincidence."
Brother Tang nods, "This shop is opened by my friend. Thank you for coming." By saying this, he means--you can play games anywhere, but please don't make trouble here.
In his early years, the man was given the title of duke by the emperor. He seems to have a higher status than the marquis, but in fact he has to be restrained in front of the emperor's close ministers like Brother Tang. His disdainful look immediately fades away, and his smile seems approachable.
Seeing that he is well-behaved, Brother Tang hands Lin Dan ten coppers. After saying goodbye, he repeatedly tells her to go to the Ministry of War to take a message to him if she needs him.
Lin Dan promises well, but in fact she doesn't intend to bother him. They are not people in a same world, why they try to gather together so hard? She is a cook, he is a diner, and the relationship is so simple. After handing the mixed marinated meat to Madam Qin Er, who is shaking, she fills a casserole with rice porridge and puts it on the stove to heat it. After that, she takes out a handful of green peppers and throws them into the fire.
Green peppers are scorched by the charcoal fire, making a crisp sound of beeping and bleating, and a choking hot smell quickly spreads. Xiao Zhu and other servants are choked, they repeatedly sneeze, and the handsome man and the petite woman show an expression of half surprise and half nostalgia.
"Are you cooking peppers cooked with charcoal fire?" The woman walks to the hearth and stares at the green peppers that are getting soft in the fire, with tears in her eyes, "My mother loved to cook this dish for my brother and me in my hometown. You must don't know, when we were young, we separated from dad. My mother took my brother and me to hide in the countryside. We had no money and couldn't eat good meals. The best dish in my memory was peppers cooked with charcoal fire, because it was enough to feed us well. "
The poker face of the man also cracks and his eyes are slightly red.
Lin Dan looks up and smiles at the woman. Her eyes are full of reassurance. After that, she puts the peppers and some garlic into a bowl and beats them to pieces. Then she drenches them with soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, litsea oil and other seasonings.
"Taste it and see if it tastes like your hometown?" After the salad is ready, Lin Dan hands the dish to the woman, who tastes the peppers carefully. Her eyes blink and tears come down, "Yes, that's the taste." She quickly wipes away her tears and smiles, "Brother, come and try it."
Since she was found by her father, she has never eaten this dish, because her mother has been long gone and there has been no place for them in the mansion. She and her brother are just two items that can be sacrificed and used at will.
The man tastes a bite of the dish and his voice is hoarse, "The shopkeeper once stayed in Guizhou, right? This dish is very authentic. "
"Yes, a few months." Lin Dan puts the casserole porridge on the table together with the small stove, and says gently, "The appetizer is a bit spicy, so it is better to eat less. I have cut you some raw pork slices and pork liver, and also served with vegetables with leaves, which can be directly placed in the porridge. It tastes fresher when cooked and eaten. "
"Thank you." The woman feels much better after crying. She picks up the hot pepper with chopsticks and eats it bit by bit. Her eyes are filled with the love for the dish. She didn't expect to be able to eat such authentic hometown food in this remote place of the capital.
The brother and the sister sit facing each other for a long time without saying anything, but their eyes are all red. Lin Dan gets to the kitchen with Xiao Zhu to avoid embarrassment. Madam Qin Er also dares not to stay in the same place with nobles, carrying a plate of marinated meat, following behind Lin Dan, pouring out all kinds of gossip in the capital. She likes Shopkeeper Lin very much now, not only because she is good at cooking, but also because she is nice. With her, one can feel her peace and tolerance everywhere, which is the most comfortable character.
After two quarters of an hour, the brother and the sister have already gone, but there are glittering golden leaves on the table. Madam Qin Er swallows hard and sighs heartily, "My darling, it is good to be skillful. Shopkeeper Lin, your shop will make a lot of money!"
Since this day, Brother Tang, the Weiyuan Marquis, the Duke of Yunnan and Guizhou and others have become loyal supporters of this hometown restaurant. They eat for themselves and often pack for their relatives and friends. With their oral advertisements, Lin Dan's business is getting better and better. Not only people from the south district come here, but also dignitaries from the west and the east districts will quietly change into the most common clothes and enjoy a delicious meal here. No matter how many delicacies one has had, the dish he loves most and misses most is still the dish of hometown cooking.
Two months later, Lin Dan has completely established her fame in the capital city. She is busy with her business in her shop in the morning, and in the afternoon she goes to teach the little cook Qiu how to cook. Qiu only learned cooking skills from his father for three years, but he didn't practice knife skills well, let alone went to the kitchen to cook. However, he is very clever and willing to study hard. Lin Dan enjoys herself teaching him, so she officially accepts Qiu as one of her apprentices.
One day, Brother Tang invites several Mongolian nobles to the shop for dinner. Lin Dan cooks a large basin of mutton with almond milk and mixes it with salted grass and leek flower to make sauce, which is served directly to the guests. Xiao Zhu wants to prepare chopsticks and dishes, she shakes her head and rejects.
How can guests eat without tableware? The officials accompanying Brother Tang immediately become angry, and a young man who looks quite similar to Brother Tang shouts, "Unbelievable, we come to dinner, why do you just bring out a big basin? Where are the chopsticks and bowls? Are we going to grab it with our hands? Brother Jiu (Tang Jiu, Jiu in Chinese means nine, he ranks ninth in his family, also Brother Tang), this restaurant is too unreliable. Let's go to the Yans’ restaurant. Sister Yan will leave the palace today and should be in her restaurant. She is good at cooking and the guests will be satisfied. "
The man's name is Tang Peng, and he is Brother Tang’s cousin. Now he also works in the Ministry of War. He is deeply in love with Yan Langqing and he naturally strongly advocates going to the Yans’ Restaurant. Unfortunately, his proposal is rejected by Brother Tang. He once intended to take advantage of the big mistake Lin Dan made to persuade Brother Tang to go to the Yans’ Restaurant.
"Knowing nothing, you should speak less so as not to embarrass yourself." Brother Tang says coldly with displeasure.
"Brother Jiu, I’d like to entertain guests. They come to Chu with great difficulty, and you take them to eat this? Can’t you see the faces of the nobles...?” He says and turns his head to look at the nobles, he plans to explain in a kindly manner, and then ask them to move, but he sees them put hands into the big basin, grab a piece of mutton with bones, wolf down the mutton while saying something, their faces are full of admiration.
A Mongolian-speaking staff member translates, "These nobles are very satisfied with this meal. This dish is called mutton eaten with hands, and it is eaten directly by hand. "
Next to him, another noble raises his voice and says something. The staff's face is more pleasant. He continues, "They said that the mutton in the central plains is too smelly for them to eat. They have been hungry for two months in the capital and lost several kilos. Today they can finally eat enough. The mutton cooked by this cook is very tender. It has no smell of the central plains mutton at all. It is exactly the same as the mutton they eat on the grassland. The restaurant deserves to be called a hometown restaurant. It is indeed worthy of its name! "
Brother Tang says modestly a few words, and then grabs mutton to eat. Those officials are anxious to get under the table, but they reassure themselves--it was good that these nobles can’t understand Chinese; otherwise they would have lost face today. Tang Peng flushes with embarrassment and can’t speak for a long time. He shouted and scolded back then, accusing Shopkeeper Lin of not being knowledgeable, but it turns out that this dish is a Mongolian specialty and is originally grasped by hand. Instead, he appeared to be short-sighted and even inferior to a cook.
Xiao Zhu and other servants were originally a little nervous, but they almost laugh out loud by seeing this scene. Bah! Dignitaries, knowing nothing!
Lin Dan pays no attention to the farce in the front hall, washes her hands and boards the carriage to the west district. In order to fight against the suddenly rising Qiaoyuan Restaurant, the Yans’ restaurant has launched two special dishes in a row in two months. It is said that the third dish will be launched today. She must go and see it.