Chapter 59: All Sold Out, Again
Holdmydonuts: It certainly looks like it
Please enjoy the translation.
“Rou’er, it’s money, ah. These are all money, ah! Look at these, even I can’t eat so much. What if…” Wen Shouchai did not have a chance to finish his sentence when he was glared at by Wen Rou.
“Yo~, what’s this thing, this great fragrance so early in the morning!” The voice of a woman floated over.[Yo~ is actually ‘you’, in pinyin, but since it’s kind of misleading, I chose to write it as ‘yo~’, which is just how you’d pronounce it.]
At these words, a woman in her 30s appeared, a basket at her arm, a smile on her face as she approached.
“Madam Zheng!” Sir Song Tao greeted, Chang Sheng also nodded.
“Auntie Cao!” Shui Mo said.
Ren Yue stood at the back, a mild smile on his face. This could be considered a greeting.
“Madam Cao Zhen? What a lovely name! Hei-hei, hei-hei.” At his thirties, Wen Shouchai stared intently at Madam Cao’s intelligent face, his lips hooked into a smile.
“Yo~, what’s everyone doing here? Are you selling some snacks? It smells really great!” After returning everyone’s greeting, Madam Zhen approached Wen Rou.
Black skirt swaying, an emerald green blouse tight over her chest, a bright round face and generous lips. Madam Zhen figure was soft around the edges. Her right hand rose to tuck a stray piece of hair behind her ear, revealing a dangling silver bracelet that drew eyes to her pale wrist. A woman of experience, exudes a different fragrance.
Wen Shouchai’s eyes nearly fell out, this little lady was just to easy on the eyes!
“Looks like Madam Zhen is too late, today’s grilled bread has been sold out!” Sir Song Tao said casually, his eyes drifting over to the bunch of skewers on Wen Shouchai’s hands.
“Yo~, that’s just too bad. I actually got up a little early today and was busy cleaning up the house and haven’t had breakfast yet. I’m actually a little hungry now!” Madam Zhen smiled.
“Hei-hei, since I don’t actually eat a lot, let me share some of these with this lady!” Wen Shouchai said, not waiting for Wen Rou’s input and handed over half of the skewers to Madam Zhen. His face fairly blooming with smiles.
“Yo~, this uncle, didn’t you buy these? You family members must be waiting to eat these at home, how could I take them. I’ll buy them tomorrow, ba!” Madam Zhen tried to refuse.
“No problem, no problem, the girl selling these grilled bread is my niece, we have plenty to go around, nobody goes hungry in our home. Hei-hei, just take it, ba! Just one copper coin per stick, if madam wishes to compensate me!” Wen Shouchai urged, inadvertently blurting out the truth.
“What great family relationship you have, if that’s the case Madam Zhen thanks this good uncle!” Madam Zhen smiled, a dimple on each cheek. She could certainly read the situation at hand.
“Hei-hei, we’ll be back tomorrow. If you feel that it’s good, I’ll make sure to reserve some for you!” Wen Shouchai said, acting as though he was the boss.
“How embarrassing, Madam Zhen thanks you in advance!” Madam Zhen took the grilled bread, paid her copper coins, and slowly swayed away.
“This person here, since you’re willing to sell those bread to Madam Zhen, sell the rest to this old man, ba!” Sir Song Tao demanded after seeing how enthusiastic Wen Shouchai was about selling the bread. He swallowed.
“Apologies, Sir Song Tao. My uncle and I have been busy all morning and haven’t eaten anything yet! Since half of it had gone to that auntie, there won’t be enough for us both!” Wen Rou, seeing that Sir Song Tao was still trying to get his hands on the bread immediately grabbed the remaining skewers from Wen Shouchai’s hands.
“This little brat, this is clearly revenge! Petty, narrow minded brat, hmph! I don’t want any!” Sir Song Tao flicked his sleeves and left. [Wow, and this old man is so magnanimous. He must be senile.]
“Master,” Ren Yue gave Wen Rou a helpless look and shook his head as he quickly chased after his master.
“Miss Wen, you’ll be here again tomorrow, right?” Sui Mo said as he raised a delicate and pretty face.
“Perhaps, ba?” Wen Rou said vaguely.
“Second uncle, let’s go home, ba. My feet are so cold I almost can’t feel my toes.” Wen Rou returned the handful of skewers back to Wen Shouchai, rubbed her hands together and blew at them, all the while stomping her feet to stay warm
“This?” Wen Shouchai just could not understand what was happening, he just continued to stand there with the skewers in his hands.
“Let’s go second uncle, we can sell them on the way back, two coins each, that way you can made up for the ones you’ve eaten!” Wen Rou said with a grin, already packing up.
“Hei-hei, Rou’er really knows how to think, tomorrow I’ll help you advertise again!” Wen Shouchai nodded happily when he heard that he did not have to pay anything.
It was another clear cold day, and they were at the South Street again.
“Grilled meat skewers for sale! Freshly grilled meat on skewers, delicious meat skewers! After one stick you’ll want two sticks, after two sticks you can’t stop!” Wen Shouchai once again was put to work advertising.
“Second uncle, yell louder!” Wen Rou was swiftly flipping the meat skewers on the grill.
“I say Rou’er, why is today meat skewer and not bread skewers?” Wen Shouchai asked curiously.
“Yesterday dad brought a lot of meat scraps from the Drunken Immortal, since there’s a lot I took some as well. Relax, nobody will find out! With dad’s secret marinade, hei-hei, second uncle here, have one.” Wen Rou was just too happy, to the point that she felt generous.
Fresh lamb, beef, rabbit and that bright red Chinese sausage, all different kinds of meat skewers, grilling away on charcoal flames.
Wen Rou dexterously swayed and flipped, making the skewers danced. On the skewers, aside from lean meat there were also something white and fatty on the sticks.
Dark lean meat and white fat were lined up alternately on the stick.
As the meat moved and skipped, Wen Rou took a slender bamboo stick, and without any wasted movements, started to poke holes on the lean meat closest to the fatty bits.
As the fat started to ooze and melt, she tipped the skewers back and forth, making sure the fat juices seeped into the newly made holes. Wen Rou was extremely dexterous as she flipped and tipped the meat skewers, fairly making them dance on the charcoal fire.
Along with the winter wind, the smell of sizzling fat followed.
Wen Shouchai could not take his eyes off the dancing skewer sticks, his Adams apple seemed to bob up and down with Wen Rou’s hand movements as he swallowed and swallowed.
“Second uncle, come and try some!” Wen Rou immediately offered up a freshly grilled stick of lamb meat.
“Oh, my heavens, this is just to delicious, ba!”
Wen Shouchai’s first bite happened to be a piece of fat that had been grilled to a golden, semi-transparent hue. It was hot and steamy, the melted fat coated his tongue and disappeared into his throat leaving only the fragrance of fat in his mouth without being greasy.
The second bite tore off a chunk of that wonderful lean flesh, drenched in fatty juices. When he properly sank his teeth in, there was an indescribable sensation of deliciousness that seemed to shoot right into his brain, bypassing the mouth.
Lean meat has the advantage of being chewy. With every bite, the meat juice spilled out, spreading it’s flavour into the entire mouth, drenching each and every single taste bud.
Before such grand deliciousness, Wen Shouchai tried to slow his eating pace in order to properly enjoy the sensation. However, it was almost impossible to refrain from gobbling up the whole stick in one go.
When the meat was all gone from the skewer, Wen Shouchai felt tears welling up from his eyes.
This is what delicious to the point of tears meant!
“Second uncle, is it good?” Wen Rou happily asked.
“Good! Good!” Wen Shouchai nodded his head repeatedly.
“Everyone come! I told you it’s from here!” A very familiar voice cried out.
When they looked up, it was Madam Cao Zhen along with tens of people behind her, old, young, male and female. It looked like the entire village had turned up.
“Madam Zhen, it smells so good!” One of the housewives cried out.
“Miss, why don’t you have any grilled bread today?” Madam Zhen asked, a little disappointed.
“Oh, it’s Auntie Cao, since today is such a chilly day I thought I’d grill meat sticks instead. Would you like to try some?” Wen Rou asked with a smile.
“Yo~, that actually looks pretty good! Oh, right, the thing I had yesterday was really good, so I brought my friends and neighbours over just to support your business!” Madam Zhen certainly looked like the easy going type.
“Miss, give me four beef skewers, not spicy please.”
“The four lamb skewers I ordered aren’t done yet? Please hurry, ah.”
“That thing, any more of that wild boar skewers? I want 10 more sticks.”
“You won’t know if you don’t try, rabbit is actually quite fragrant. Miss, another five sticks.”
“This pheasant skewer taste good too, four more please.”
For a while, Wen Rou’s stall was crowded with all the people brought over by Madam Zhen.
“Miss Wen, what are you grilling today?” Sui Mo, who had been lured by the smell, asked.
“Miss Wen, please reserve some for me!” Chang Sheng suddenly appeared out of nowhere also closed in.
Wen Rou stretched up her neck and stood on tiptoe, looking around.
However, having seen the crowd, Ren Yue opted to lean back against a willow tree, watching as Wen Rou tried frantically to look for him. When their eyes met, he smiled and nodded at her.
Within Great Zhou, not a single woman could with withstand Ren Yue’s smile.
Wen Rou felt her face heated up, and she frantically lowered her head. However, no matter how she tried, she could no longer focus on the grilling meat.
“Miss Wen, our young master also wanted to place an order, mild flavours please!” Sui Mo was busily eating as he talked.
“Haha, I’ve never heard of people wanting mild flavour meat!” one of the farmers nearby laughed.
Sui Mo rolled his eyes.
“I understand, I’ll make some.” Having said this, Wen Rou reached into a clean cloth bag, took out a stick with some odd looking pieces of meat on it, gave the ita quick grill before dusting some salt on it and passing the stick to Sui Mo.
“Miss Wen, this Sui Mo is very curious. Why do these meat sticks look different from the ones we are eating, ah!”
“It’s vegetarian meat made from soy beans. You tell your young master these are definitely mild!” Wen Rou smiled.
“Aiya, I did not know that soybeans could be made into meat! Miss Wen’s skill is too great, ah!”
“Looks a lot like meat, but I wonder what it taste like!”
“Really want to try some!”
The group started to chatter among themselves.
Envious eyes were cast at Ren Yue who was still resting under the willow tree.
Ren Yue accepted the stick of vegetarian meat and was a little embarrass about bringing it to his mouth. So he turned his back on them and pretended to look at the scenery.
“Give this old man one!” A voice called out.
Wen Rou smiled, it was that Sir Song Tao again. He always turned up last, ah!
“Apologies, Sir Song Tao, we’re all sold out today!” Wen Rou showed her empty palms.
“What? Sold out again! And who are those reserved for?” Sir Song Tao was very angry, he no longer cared about his identity, looked at the empty iron trough. Even the bag of raw meat was empty.
It looked like they really did sold out today!
“Hmph! You! You’re doing this deliberately!” Sir Song Tao once more flicked his sleeves and went away.
The crowd started to tsk and gossip.
“Just who is that old fart? Why is his temper so terrible?”
“If it’s all sold out today, just come tomorrow!”
Ren Yue leisurely leaned back against the willow tree, and began to slowly nibble at the vegetarian meat skewer that Wen Rou had especially prepared for him.
The texture of tofu, the fragrance of meat, a perfect combination.
This little girl was just too unique!
A spring breeze seemed to have blown through Ren Yue’s heart!
 Vegetarian meat [or mock meat, meat analogue] is thought to be invented in the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), we are now in Great Zhou Dynasty (1100 BS to 476 BC). Miss Wen is 250 years ahead of her time, very revolutionary. Or maybe not, soy beans have been in China since 1100 BS, but actual historical records of soy milk, tofu and mock meat are found on wall paintings dated to the Han Dynasty.
Here are some pictures of skewered bbq meats!
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