Although Lin Dan specially cooks more food for the evening meal, but everyone still doesn’t eat enough, mainly because the three strong men have good appetites and fast speed of eating pancakes. They have already stuffed three pancakes while others just finish eating one. It is really irritating to watch them.
Lin Dan still eats very little. At the begging of the night, her cough will get worse. After taking medicines, she gets into the carriage and sleeps. Everyone moves around lightly and consciously, for fear of disturbing her.
The three strong men find a place with wide field of vision to sit down and keep watch at night for the fleet. They seem to have become accustomed to this kind of life. While all the people in the fleet are asleep, they are still very energetic.
“It is no wonder that when Boss Shen left, he was so reluctant to leave Shopkeeper Lin. He also said that Shopkeeper Lin was ill and he had no taste for anything to eat. It explains the matter.” Luo Tietou lies flat on the ground, patting his stomach casually, “The roll-up pancakes made of three fresh delicacies of spring were too fucking delicious just now, but it was a little bit less. I didn’t eat enough.”
“Are you hungry again?” Zhao Liu fiddles with the bonfire with a stick.
“Yes,” Luo Tietou turns over, smacks his lips and murmurs, “I don’t know what to eat tomorrow morning, I also want to eat roll-up pancakes.”
At the thought of the taste of the roll-up pancakes, Zhao Liu secretly swallows a mouthful of saliva. He also wants to eat roll-pancakes. The roll-up pancakes are so fresh that he will never get sick of eating it for three months in a row.
“Stop it, get some sleep, I’ll watch.” The handsome man says in a low voice.
Their leader has always been uncompromising. Zhao Liu and Luo Tietou do not refuse, and soon fall asleep. Later on, in the dark night, there is a sound of belly singing. Fortunately, everyone is sleeping soundly and nobody hears it.
The next day, Lin Dan’s illness is much better than yesterday. She gets up before dawn to make breakfast for everyone. Since the shopkeeper gets up, the servants naturally can’t be lazy. They get up one after another to fetch water and light a fire.
"Did you watch all night?" Lin Dan is slightly surprised, seeing a handsome man sitting by the fire.
The man nods and opens his mouth, but doesn’t speak.
Lin Dan sees his hesitation and asks, “What are you doing?”
“I’m doing nothing.” The man hesitates for a moment, but can’t help asking, “What will we eat this morning?”
Lin Dan can't help smiling and says, “In the morning I will cook a pan of rice porridge, some noodles, and some casual dishes. You can have porridge or noodles as you want, it is all your choice.”
The man nods and stops talking. The two strong men lying beside him wake up and grunt, “Shopkeeper Lin, why don't you eat roll-up pancakes? Are pancakes more delicious than porridge, aren’t they?”
Lin Dan smiles and shakes her head and says, “No matter how delicious things are, they can’t be eaten every day. Every meal must have a different taste.”
Peony walks over and grins, “Master, dough is ready and porridge has been cooked. You can go and cook.” At the end, she looks at Zhao Liu and Luo Tietou and jokes, “You two elder brothers are really in a state of bliss without knowing it. My master can cook different dishes for hundreds of days in a row. We can’t wait to eat them yet, how dare you to dislike them.”
"No no, we eat what Shopkeeper Lin cooks." Two strong men stared by their leader dare not comment again, but they are especially missing last night’s roll-up pancakes. Porridge and noodles are the same flavor. Can they be more delicious than roll-up pancakes?
But soon, Shopkeeper Lin tells them with practical actions that simple rice porridge and noodles can become supreme delicious as long as the cook is skillful. She takes out the fat residues sealed in the jar, chops it up, puts it into the pan, stir-fries it, then cuts the blanched Chinese toon into cubes, and pours it into the chopped fat residues. The juice of the Chinese toon and the grease of fat residues permeate each other and turn into a pan of thick soup. With the explosion of every boiling bubble, the aroma bursts out from it. After the fat residues are soft and glutinous, and the aroma of Chinese toon is thoroughly stimulated, Lin Dan quickly pours in seasonings such as light soy sauce, salt, black pepper and so on, stir-fries it for several times, and takes it out of the pan.
“It smells good!” Peony and Cuckoo carries away the pottery basin filled with minced ingredients (to be added to noodles or other food before serving), inhaling with their noses while lifting it.
Zhao Liu and Luo Tietou, who don’t want to eat noodles originally, can hardly hold their mouths full of saliva at the moment.
Lin Dan still feels that it is not enough. After stir-frying minced ingredients, she steams a large bowl of salted fish, makes an aster salad, and takes out some pickled vegetables from the jar and puts them into plates. Only then does she begin to cook hand-made noodles. When the hand-made noodles are cooked, the rice porridge is almost done. Everyone hurriedly takes out their bowls and chopsticks and waits for the meal.
“Come on, eat quickly, we can hurry on with our journey after eating.” Lin Dan washes her hands and slowly puts down her sleeves.
The three strong men, worthy of the name of people who practice martial arts, gain three bowls of hot noodles in the blink of an eye, stir them evenly with the minced ingredients, and begin to eat with big noises. Chinese toon and fat residues are both ingredients with rich aromas. The combination of the two makes them more and more aromatic. The tender and fresh Chinese toon combines the scorching and glutinous taste of fat residues, and the taste can claim wonderfulness. Noodles are also very tough and chewy. Each noodle absorbs the juice of the minced ingredients, so when each of the three men chews one mouthful of the noodles, their taste buds are instantly conquered by the soft, elastic and salty taste.
Yummy, yummy! The eyes of the three men become bright instantly, and they can’t help accelerating their speed of eating noodles. They are fast; others naturally dare not to be slow. Nothing can be heard in the camp immediately but eating noises.
Lin Dan is still ill and has a poor appetite. She takes only a bowl of rice porridge.
The handsome man looks up at her with concern, “Shopkeeper Lin, are you unwell?”
"I’m already in good health, but I’m a little tired and I want to lie down in the carriage for a while. You can eat it and leave me alone. "
The man looks at her carefully. Her complexion is ruddy and her eyes are clear. It looks like that her condition is not getting worse. The man is relieved to see this. Zhao Liu and Luo Tietou, who are sitting nearby, eat three bowls of noodles. And they begin to slow down their eating speed. Although they already feel that it’s almost enough for them, they still scoop up a bowl of rice porridge to clear their intestines and stomachs.
Rice porridge is indeed nothing more than rice porridge. It has no special taste and is very bland when it is eaten. The two men take advantage of the opportunity to mix a little pickled vegetables into porridge, sip it slightly, and are immediately stunned. The pickled vegetables are made of chopped cress. It is mixed with bitter wine, sesame seeds and fennel. They taste crisp, sour and salty, and slightly rich. However, if it is accompanied by lightly sweet rice porridge, the taste will immediately be smooth with a fresh aroma. Taking a slow sip, the pores of the whole body seem to be unhindered, and the stomach is extremely comfortable.
Another dish with porridge is salted fish steamed with lobster sauce; nobody knows the secret method used by Shopkeeper Lin to cook it. Salted fish which tastes a little bit hard originally is now soft and glutinous after steaming, and rich juice slowly seeps out of the fish and it is mixed with the aroma of lobster sauce, making people salivate. Not only the fish but also the fish bone is soft and glutinous. One can put it in one’s mouth and chew it directly. The more one chews it, the more delicious it will be.
Salted fish tastes strong and rice porridge tastes bland. One can bite a piece of salted fish and drink a little rice porridge. The food in one’s mouth not only retains the sweet taste of rice, but also has the savoury and salty taste of salted fish. The two are perfectly matched.
Zhao Liu and Luo Tietou can’t stop eating, even after drinking two large bowls of rice porridge; they wipe their mouths with satisfaction. Seeing their frantic act of grabbing food, the handsome man naturally also won’t miss the delicious food. Seemingly elegant, but in fact he scoops up a bowl of porridge quickly. He takes half of all kinds of pickled vegetables and eats all the remaining salted fish. After eating, he still feels insufficient. He pours the soup of salted fish together with lobster sauce into a bowl of noodles and eats them all.
Xiao Zhu has been stunned by the scene. He doesn’t expect that each of these three men eats more than the rest of them. Fortunately, they don’t promise to escort the fleet, otherwise they will eat the fleet out of house and home.
“Fuck, easy life like this is too comfortable!” Zhao Liu and Luo Tietou are lying on a big stone after the breakfast, rubbing their stomachs, looking very satisfied.
“After a rest, we will set out and try to get to the capital the day after tomorrow.” The handsome man still stands upright, his lean waist and abdomen are flat, as if he had never eaten.
“Okay,” the two strong men readily agree. Meanwhile, they see a servant of Shopkeeper Lin running out of the woods with two rabbits and a hazel grouse, and the servant says gladly, “Shopkeeper Lin, the trap and net we set last night caught some game, so our lunch is assured.”
“What have you got?” Lin Dan lifts the curtain and immediately chuckles, “Well, let’s eat braised rabbits and stir-fried hazel grouse at noon. Hazel grouse is delicate in quality and is known as ‘dragon meat in heaven’. No matter how it is cooked, it is delicious. One can chop the hazel grouse, ginger, pickled pepper and pickled cabbages respectively, put them into a pan for frying, and then add half a bowl of water to stew for a while to get the dish prepared. The hazel grouse stir-fried with this method has a fresh and tender taste, and the thick and creamy bone marrow flows out of the chopped bones, which is completely mixed with the sour and hot soup. It is completely tasty without thickening. If it is mixed with white rice to eat, the taste will be extremely delicious.”
Accompanied by Lin Dan’s narration, those who have just had enough food soon begin to swallow saliva frequently, hoping that the time would pass quickly and the noon would come at the next moment.
“Lock up the rabbits and the hazel grouse. Let’s set off." Lin Dan turns to look at the three strong men and says gently, "Three elder brothers, let’s bid farewell and thank you for your care along the way.”
“You are welcome, Shopkeeper Lin.” Zhao Liu hurriedly swallows a mouthful of saliva, smiles brightly.
“Goodbye,” the handsome man who mounts the horse says, cupping his one hand in another.
Luo Tietou takes off his boots and looks at them. It seems that small stones have been inside them. Luo Tietou darts a sly sideways glance at the rabbits and the hazel grouse. What he plans to do is unknown.
Lin Dan bows her knees and bids farewell, and then slowly leaves.
Luo Tietou slowly puts on his boots, mounts his horse and seems worried, he says, “Chief, why don't we escort Shopkeeper Lin again? There are dense forests and dangerous terrains in front, there may also be bandits. Her servants are all southerners, short and thin, so how can they protect the goods in the five big carriages?”
“Tietou is right. Shopkeeper Lin is quite nice, but she is a weak woman. Since we have finished our task anyway, it's no harm to escort her.” Zhao Liu hurriedly echoes.
The handsome man wheels his horse back to look at the fleet, and after a few moments he finally decides, “Then let’s follow the fleet.”
The three men beat their horses with their whips, quickly overtake the fleet, and explain their purpose to Shopkeeper Lin through the carriage curtain. Shopkeeper Lin is naturally very grateful, but Xiao Zhu’s eyes seem to pop out. He is afraid of that the three gits want to be freeloaders upon seeing that they have caught two rabbits and one hazel grouse.