Accompany by a Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 29: 油条
(Deep-Fried Bread stick)
After a good night’s sleep, Zhong Ziqi woke up the next day to find the sky outside was dark. It looked like it was going to rain. He hurriedly took all the mushrooms and cucumbers that were drying outside back inside and covered the firewood in the courtyard so that it would not get wet.
In the morning, Zhong Ziqi had no appetite, so he made a pot of porridge with bamboo shoots in oil. When Zhao Zheng’an came over to eat, Zhong Ziqi swore he saw a hint of disgust in his eyes. Now, thinking proudly of it, he was the chef, so no matter what, he (ZZA) had to eat whatever he cooked.
Zhao Zheng’an scratched his head, he hadn’t had congee for a long time, since he was living with his wife he had three meals of white rice and at least one meal of meat every two days, so he was really surprised to see congee all of a sudden, but he still sat down and ate obediently. Although he was a picky eater, that was only if there was meat, if not, he could eat anything.
After eating, Zhong Ziqi sent Zhao Zheng’an away. He made a small bowl of flour, mixed it with salt and yeast, covered it with a lid and put it aside to wait for the flour to rise. To make it quicker, he went back to the room and took some clothes to cover it.
Then there was nothing else to do, it was about to rain as the sky was getting too gloomy,he also couldn’t do much.
“Zheng’an, stop playing and get the chicks back, it’s going to rain!” Zhong Ziqi shouted out into the yard.
Zhao Zheng’an, who had been playing happily with Da Hei and Xiao Hei, went inside the chicken coop to catch the chicks gladly and diligently. The chicks were now almost the size of a man’s palm, they ran in circles (unafraid) before he could catch them all. He put them in the nest and brought them inside. Two small dogs woofed behind him.
Before noon, the sky was filled with rain. First it drizzled then it clattered.
(Tl: the original raw one actually using the sound/ onom.patter of rain then the crashing sound of the heavy rain falling down)
Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Zheng’an sat in the house listening to the rain outside. No one spoke in the house except for the barking of the dogs and the chattering of the chickens, but the silence was better than the sound since they did not need to speak to prove their presence (existence) because they knew in their hearts that the person (beside) was there. It was a strange feeling, however it made them enjoy this moment.
The rain comes and goes quickly in summer,so after an hour it finally stops. The air has a different kind of freshness after the rain. The dark clouds cleared before the sun peeked out from the clouds with a warm glow.
After the rain, the roads were wet and grimy so Zhong Ziqi gave strict orders to Zhao Zheng’an together with his two restless dogs not to go out and run around. Zhao Zheng’an nodded his head feeling depressed.
“Be good, I’ll cook you something delicious tonight.” Zhong Ziqi coaxed him.
As a result, Zhao Zheng’an’s eyes lit up again. In an instant, he was rejuvenated. Food was indeed a strong substance, it worked well for whoever tried this method.
It was always good to feel lazy on a rainy day. Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Zheng’an eat when they are hungry.After eating, they lazily take a nap. In the blink of an eye, the afternoon was almost over.Zhong Ziqi remembered the dough he had made in the kitchen so he left Zhao Zheng’an to his own amusement, while he fixed his clothes and went into the kitchen.
What can you do with flour? There are many things that can be done with it, such as steamed stuffed buns(bao) and steamed rolls (mantou) and many other things.
The fried chinese breadsticks are a little tricky to make, mainly because they need to be made into a leaven dough, which Zhong Ziqi had only made once before because he thought it would be better to buy rather than make it himself so he didn’t make it again. The reason he picked it up again was that he wanted to make it as a new and original kind of food.
If modern people love it so much, he was sure it wouldn’t be any different in ancient times.
Carefully avoiding the small puddle, he entered the kitchen and opened the tightly covered dough bowl which was the dough already bubbling and gone up.
Zhong Ziqi washed his hands before started kneading and rolling the dough, after that Zhong Ziqi cut the dough into small long strips about ten centimetres long and one centimetre wide, stretched them together two by two and put them aside, and so on, making a total of thirty or so of it.
“Zheng’an? Zheng’an?” Zhong Ziqi shouted at the door of the house.
“Wife?” Zhao Zheng’an came running over in a flash.
“Come over and help me light the fire.”
Zhao Zheng’an nodded and sat by the stove to skillfully start the fire.
Zhong Ziqi poured a third of the oil into the pan. If too much, it was a waste, so he poured less.At best, he poured it a little slower, a few at a time.
When the oil was hot, Zhong Ziqi put the dough into the pot.The dough instantly changed colour, followed the oil, rolled around, up and down, sinking and floating, they became golden brown in no time. Zhong Ziqi fishes it out and puts it in a pot to dry, then continues to fry the rest.
Although a heavy rain had brought the heat down considerably, the hot temperature of a kitchen could never be rivaled.
“All right, Zheng’an, it’s enough! Take the bottom one and try it whether it’s delicious or not.”
Zhao Zheng’an washed his hands and immediately picked one up, not caring if it was hot or not,he took a bite.
Zhao Zheng’an smiled contentedly and finished one in three or two bites before he took another one.
Zhong Ziqi sent him off to the side to eat,so as not to get splashed with oil. By the time Zhong Ziqi had finished frying all the fried bread sticks, Zhao Zheng’an was already full, sitting there with a face full of reminiscence.
Zhong Ziqi estimated that he had eaten at least six or seven chinese breadsticks. The two breadsticks were combined together, so actually he had eaten more than ten.Zhong Ziqi held his forehead, this was also the reason that the Zhao family were not happy to feed him because he did not work (since he become fool) , but his appetite was not small.
Zhong Ziqi also picked one up, carefully tasted it. Hmm… It’s okay that his cooking skill has not regressed. He ate three then he was full. He scooped the oil out of the pan and put it away. He cleaned up the kitchen afterward.
Zhong Ziqi took out a new pot, filled it with a dozen fried bread sticks: “You stay home and watch the house. I’ll go to Zhao’s house and give them a taste. Do not open the door for whoever comes! ”
“I know, wife. ”
Zhao Zheng’an answered.
Zhong Ziqi took out a piece of oil paper to cover the basin and went out of the door.
As soon as he reached the center of the village, he met someone.
“Oh, Qi Ge’er ah! Why aren’t you out doing business? Your business is booming, isn’t it? You are really different from us, the poor people.”
He was an Amu from a family surnamed Li. The villagers usually call him Li Amu. He was one of the few people who were close to Wang Cuihua, he was also one of the few people in the village whom Zhao Amu refused to accept, so it was clear how deep the resentment was.
Zhong Ziqi looked strangely at the person who was so proud of himself with a mocking look in his eyes. Had something happened that he didn’t know about? How could this nasty person be so savage?
Zhong Ziqi just called out politely to Li Amu then ignored him.
Li Amu looked at the distant back with jealousy and resentment in his eyes, everyone in the village basically earned dozens of wen, but their family was always rejected, how could he not resent? As he saw that his family’s share of the money was not available to them, his family member had given him a lot of looks. Li Amu, not knowing what he had remembered, spat out: “Now you have nothing to be proud of, right? You deserve it!” Then he turned his body before he left.
When Zhong Ziqi arrived at Zhao Amu’s house, the door was wide open, so he knocked on the door and shouted, “Is Zhao Amu home?”
“Yes,Qi Ge’er!” Zhao Amu’s voice came from inside the house.
It was Zhao Ning who opened the door and ran over to him in surprise: “What are you doing here, Ziqi?” If it hadn’t been raining he would have wanted to go and see him.
“Bringing you guys some good food.” Zhong Ziqi laughed as he followed him into the house.
“What is it?” Zhao Ning asked happily.
When they entered the house, the other three members of the Zhao family were also there, so Zhong Ziqi greeted them one by one.
“Qi Ge’er, just come, still, why do you need to bring something along?” Zhao Amu said grumblingly, but he was still happy. This showed that Qi Ge’er was close to his family.
Zhong Ziqi smiled and said, “It’s nothing extraordinary. I made it myself, you guys, try it!” Zhong Ziqi lifted the oil paper to reveal the golden deep-fried bread stick inside,it was still steaming hot.
“Huh, what’s this?” Zhao Ning curiously took one with his hand. Because of this, he was glared at by Zhao Amu. He took a bite: “Well, it’s delicious, and it’s still hot.”
Zhao Amu went into the kitchen to get the dishes before he handed the food to the others. No doubt, it won praise from everyone. Zhong Ziqi told them this was the new idea he had come up with. He would reopen his stall when the weather was good so he would have to ask help from Zhao Ning and Zhao Sheng.
Zhao Bao Gen didn’t say anything. Zhao Amu waved his hand, said if you don’t mind their ‘stupid hand and feet’ (笨手笨腳/ bèn shǒu bèn jiǎo: it mean clumsy), then it was okay to let them follow him.
Translator has something to say:
油条 or the Deep-Fried Bread stick which I called as ‘Cahkwe’ in my mother language is common food eaten at breakfast time. It was often eaten together with congee. (See Pic)
Actually after I finished translating and reading it myself several times. I immediately post it on the same day (since I am impatient to share, ???) so if you find some mistakes in grammar or typos, just mention it in the comment. ( I am open for correction)
Actually before I decided to translate danmei, I myself was a silent reader of it ( silent reader here mean I almost never comment) and never intended to translate any chinese bl novel since my mandarin is suck ( I could speak but not fluently, can write only several words, can read but not all words, able to listen and understand most but not exactly know all especially if it not often used in daily life= the same with my Nihon-go). It was just suddenly come to mind, at first I intended to continue translate the rest of ‘Who Dares Slander My Senior Brother’ (at that time it was on hiatus for quite a long time, glad the translator continuing it now) but I dare not since it difficult (I mean the cultivation terms and wu xia term) so I decided to choose ‘farming genre’ or slice of life kind of genre.