Chapter 61 – A Dish that Could Cure Anorexia
Tsuru: I know right, how nice to see a cute mom and a loving dad in a Chinese novel. Let’s hope it stays fluffy.
Lots of love,
“Mother, didn’t I say it before, Ye Chui would definitely not let you down!” Lin Wei sat down next to Wu Haimei, and hugged her mother’s arm in a spoilt manner. “He’ll definitely cure your anorexia.”
For Wu Haimei, who had already lost all hope of ever getting rid of her anorexia, had also completely lost any interest in any kinds of food and drink. However, in just one afternoon, Ye Chui had managed to change her view. Looking at the jar of mysterious sweet-sour, crunchy pickles, Wu Haimei smiled and nodded at Ye Chui. “I really look forward to what Ye Chui would be bring on your next visit.”
“Well, well, well, this has really open our eyes to something incredible.” He Chengfei suddenly said. He had recovered from the previous shock. So his first attempt failed, no big deal. Though He Chengfei was still considered quite young, he was nevertheless very intelligent. He had always thrived under high pressure social situations where wits were exchanged and tongues sharpened to razor points ever since he was a boy. He smiled at Ye Chui, “It is my luck to visit auntie on the very day that Ye Chui decided to come. Surely you would not mind making us a feast for lunch, ba? I very much look forward to it.”
The way He Chengfei worded it, he made it sound like Ye Chui was a mere chef who was only there to cook for him. This was his way of getting back.
As a professional chef, Ye Chui did not feel offended or belittled by this remark. Nevertheless, he disliked He Chengfei’s manner of speaking. He had actually planned to cook something and show off his culinary skills to this future mother-in-law of his, but with He Chengfei showing up, those plans had been upset. He made some quick changes to his plans and smiled, “I’m afraid today would be impossible.”
“Why is that?” He Chengfei’s brows furrowed, “Unless you have no confidence in your skills?”
“In order to create top notch dishes, all the ingredients have to be carefully prepared. That is why I said today would be impossible.” Ye Chui did not rise up to He Chengfei’s provocation. His voice remained perfectly neutral. He looked at Wu Haimei’s thin, emaciated body and dried up face, and allowed a smile to sneak up. “To create a banquet that would cure auntie’s anorexia for good, only careful selection of ingredients and detailed preparation would suffice.”
Ye Chui’s words stunned everyone around him. Lin Wei was the first to recover, delight bright on her face she said, “Ye Chui, you.. you’re saying that you could make dishes that would cure mum’s anorexia?”
“That’s right.” Ye Chui confidently nodded. “Anorexia is basically a sickness of the mind and spirit, in short, it is a phobia or hatred towards food. Bearing no expectations towards delicious food, believing that no food would ever live up to her expectation or satisfy her. The best way to get rid of anorexia is to make a dish that would renew her interest in food, and allow her taste buds to once again enjoy the sensation of delicious flavours.
Ye Chui’s explanation left Wu Haimei, Lin Wei as well as He Chengfei completely flabbergasted. Each of them could not help thinking: Does such a dish really exist?
Wu Haimei’s slightly dispirited eyes suddenly brightened. “Can you really make this kind of dish?”
Ye Chui smiled and nodded, “Yes, I can.”
”What kind of boast is that?” He Chengfei finally couldn’t keep his criticism to himself any more. “While in Yan Jing, lots of famous chefs have made countless number of dishes, even some newly invented delicacies; not one of them could cure Auntie Lin’s anorexia. How dare you make this kind of joke, just what can one jar of pickles do?”
“I believe in Ye Chui!” Even before He Chengfei was able to finish his rant, Lin Wei pounced in eagerly. This young lady was now Ye Chui’s number one fan, “Since Ye Chui already said he can make this dish, that means that he can absolutely do it!”
“Wei-wei, you’re to naive…” He Chengfei tried to reason with her.
“I trust my own opinion.” Lin Wei firmly interrupted He Chengfei. There was some hostility in her eyes as she glared at him. It was clear that He Chengfei was trying to pick a fight with Ye Chui and this made her a little angry.
He Chengfei was a little stunned by this. From the moment he had known Lin Wei, this was the first time he had seen her angry. More importantly, she had lost her temper over a man other than himself! He had heard about the relationship between Ye Chui and Lin Wei from Cao Kang before and felt that there was nothing to be concerned about. He had thought that Lin Wei was merely attracted to the Ye Chui’s cooking.
She was, after all, an adolescent girl and this was all perfectly normal. Just like Cao Kang, he believed in his heart of hearts, that this Ye Chui was a mere insignificant bug. However, he now realized that Lin Wei had never belonged to him, and was now on the verge of being snatched away by Ye Chui.
Ye Chui never imagine that Lin Wei would actually defend him like this. For a moment, he was extremely happy. He cast a pleased glance at He Chengfei—at this very moment, don’t say anything about 30 years worth of experience or past life sophistication, the feeling of getting an upper hand over one’s love rival was something that one would always enjoy, no matter what.
After a bit, Ye Chui cast a bright smile at Lin Wei, “Since Lin Wei put so much trust in my, I will definitely not fail.”
“Next Wednesday.” Wu Haimei suddenly said. There was a certain degree of expectation in her eyes. “It will my birthday. I remember that five years ago that that was the day I made the decision to lose weight, and eventually ended up with this sickness. If it is possible, I would like to end that episode in my life on such an important day. That special banquet you mention, would it be possible to have it ready on that day?”
Today was Monday, there were nine days between now and next Wednesday. Ye Chui muttered to himself for a while, then nodded and smiled, “Yes, it would be possible.”
“Then, I shall look forward to it.” Wu Haimei smiled. It had been a long time since she felt so happy. A long time since she had looked forward to a good meal.
“Ye Chui, if you can really cure mum’s anorexia,” Lin Wei suddenly said, her smile grew as she advanced slowly towards Ye Chui. This made both Ye Chui and He Chengfei tensed: Surely this young lady is not going to say that once Wu Haimei’s anorexia is cured, she is going to exchange this favour with her body? Then, in the midst of Ye Chui’s happiness and He Chengfei’s anger, Lin Wei smiled naughtily, “I will enter the same middle school as your sister.”
Ye Chui, “… …”
He was really shocked by this little lady. So it’s this thing, ah…well, to be honest, it had hardly been a month since their first meeting. To hope for something concrete was still a little early, ah. However, if Lin Wei really did enter Xizhou’s Thirty-Second Middle School, it was also a good thing for Ye Chui. After all, proximity is a major advantage when it came to war.
He Chengfei’s expression grew ugly, thankfully Lin Wei did not say anything about exchanging her hand in marriage which allowed him to breath a littler easier. However, to go to Ye Chui’s sister’s school? He had thought that Lin Wei would definitely enter Xizhou’s Elite Noble School. He was now in the middle of transferring to the Elite Noble School…He Chengfei was currently brimming over with the humiliation of defeat. How could he endure the feeling of his girl being snatched away by another man — by an impoverished little brat at that!
“In nine days it will be my aunt’s birthday…I will definitely not let Ye Chui get what he wants that day!” He thought silently in his heart.
In the next hour, He Chengfei remained silent while Ye Chui was invited to sit next to Wu Haimei. It looked like their relationship had gotten a lot more intimate. As for He Chengfei, Wu Haimei did not really talk to him beyond the initial greeting. Though she could be considered He Chengfei’s aunt on the maternal side, their family relationship was not something that could be connected even with a long bamboo pole. So there was no real need for her to pay too much attention on him.
Ye Chui also took this time to inquire about Wu Haimei’s previous eating habits. This would help him decide what delicious food to prepare on that special day — it would not be simple to create a deliciousness that could cure anorexia. However, though it was not easy, this kind of high grade dish was not something that was rare to Ye Chui. There are plenty of ‘imperial food’ within the Manchu Han Imperial feast that qualified as a super high grade type of dishes.
Ye Chui was not just talking out of his ass. In his past life, Ye Chui had actually cured somebody from anorexia using dishes from the ‘imperial food’ category.
After speaking a bit more to Wu Haimei for a while, Ye Chui finally made up his mind on what to make. “Auntie, you mentioned that you like eggplants. That’s great because I have a very excellent dish that uses eggplants as the main ingredient.”
“Ye Chui, Ye Chui, just what is it, ya?” Lin Wei hurriedly tried to get more information on it.
Looking at Lin Wei’s expression, Ye Chui extended his index finger and poked her on the tip of her nose. “All will be revealed on auntie’s birthday, ba. But, I can tell you a little bit about it — This is a dish that is mentioned in the <>.” I still can’t wrap my head around curing anorexia with super delicious food, but, this is fiction after all.  A Dream of Red Chamber – Ancient novel written in 1791 by Cao Xueqin, it’s filled with descriptions of recipes. There are complete English translations….I really want to read it…