Chapter 196: Winter Begins
Ye Lulu found out more about the food here. It turned out that this was the only hotpot available. The stewed pork ribs they had made previously were already considered to have a hotpot flavor.
Ye Lulu said, “Hotpot is a little different from pots. It’s more like the stewed mutton and pork ribs accompanied with vegetables that our family ate before… However, I have to think about the ingredients for the hotpot. Let’s cook it in the future instead. I’ll do it for everyone later…”
“Are there any pickled vegetables at home? There’s fresh fish, and fish meat is good for the body as well. Why don’t we eat pickled fish?”
Mother Rong clapped her hands. “We’ll eat fish! I’ll get Linniang to kill a Northern snakehead! Then, we’ll kill a crucian carp to boil soup with and you can add milk.”
Mother Rong kissed the babies happily. “It must have been tough on you to feed the children.”
“Our family doesn’t have pickled vegetables. We’re busy doing business this year and didn’t pickle any, but it’s very easy to make pickled vegetables. I can just ask the Huang family for some.”
Basically, every family in the mountains knew how to make pickled vegetables, or else there wouldn’t be any vegetables to eat during winter. The Guan family had also made pickled vegetables in the past, but there were too many things to do this year and they really didn’t have the time to do so.
But it didn’t matter if the vegetables weren’t pickled.
The principle of heating the newly dug fish pond at home inspired Mother Rong. Even without Ye Lulu’s suggestion, Mother Rong thought of planting vegetables in the greenhouse.
The house was big, and there were many people in the family. It was impossible for them to plant vegetables in the greenhouse to sell them throughout the city during winter. At most, they were barely enough for their family to eat, but that was not bad.
The vegetable problem in winter was solved.
Mother Rong was already preparing the seeds.
After discussing what to eat that day, Mother Rong happily turned around and left. She wore a thick layer of clothes and went to Auntie Huang’s house to ask for pickled vegetables.
As soon as she left, she found the village filled with snow. It had only been a night, but the snow was already thick enough to cover their ankles. It was obvious how heavy the first snowfall was. It had probably been snowing the entire night.
Moreover, this place in the mountains was very cold. It was so cold that it drilled into the bones. This was also the reason why very few people in Yunwu Village would come out during winter once the snow fell. It also saved some energy for them to stay at home and not eat so much.
Mother Rong asked for three heads of pickled vegetables. The heads of pickled vegetables in Yuan City were very big, so three was enough.
At home, Second sister-in-law Guan was killing the Northern snakehead cleanly.
Linniang was Second sister-in-law Guan’s first name. Her surname was Gan, and she was a farmer from the foot of the mountain who had married into Yunwu Village.
When Ye Lulu heard her second sister-in-law’s name, she almost burst into tears. Gan… Linniang?!
Ye Lulu did not cook today. It was Mother Rong who made it. She first washed the pickled vegetables that she had just scooped up and cut them into pieces. The Northern snakehead was sliced. The bones of the fish were cut off piece by piece, and the fish head was left behind.
After the pot was heated and the oil was added, Mother Rong stir-fried the seasonings so that it was more fragrant. Then, she added water. After it was boiled, she added the fish slices, fish segments, and pickled vegetables.
Mother Rong did not know that stir-frying some pickled vegetables in advance would be even more fragrant. The fish meat cooked very quickly, and once they were all cooked, Mother Rong added the seasoning.
In the end, Mother Rong sprinkled a lot of onions and coriander on top of it.
Finally, she added chili and drizzled it with hot oil.
This cooking process was originally for Spicy Boiled Fish. However, because it was cold, Mother Rong also added chili to the pickled fish she made. Actually, it was almost no different from Spicy Boiled Fish. It was just that there were no bean sprouts or other vegetables available. Instead, there were pickled vegetables.
She brought out the steaming hot pickled fish and two side dishes. The whole family could finish them.
Even the children were craving it. They surrounded her while drooling. As children, they ate whatever was at home. The children were also not picky and could eat spicy food well.
The bowls and chopsticks were set up, and the soft rice was loaded up. The family sat around the table. In the thick snow and the overwhelming cold, they ate the rich and spicy pickled fish in satisfaction!
This was what the family had been looking forward to the most! They had worked so hard to do business just to have a peaceful winter!
Ye Lulu came out as well, but there was a bowl of clear water in front of her. She needed to breastfeed, so she couldn’t eat spicy food for the time being. Hence, she would eat the pickled fish only after dipping it in water.
However, she could eat the other side dishes.
The Guan family was extremely satisfied with this meal. In the past, they had to save on food during winter. Furthermore, they did not have to go out to work during winter, so everyone tacitly agreed that they did not need to eat so much. They usually ate porridge with black noodles pancakes…
Not only would they not be full, but it was also unpalatable!
They did not expect their family to be able to eat such a sumptuous meal this year. Furthermore, there were dozens of fish in the fish pond at home and various wild ducks, pheasants, and hares in the backyard.
They had never felt so at ease!
On this cold day, the Guan family ate and drank to their heart’s content, and they slept soundly without any worry.
Ye Lulu returned to the house and after taking care of the babies and started to plan things out logically.
Now, the Guan family had built a tall outer wall. There were also sharp tiles on the wall as protection. It was also snowing, so there were few people who could step foot into the mountains. While it was getting colder, the snow would become stronger and seal the mountain, making it impossible for anyone to leave.
It seemed that it was safe to stay at the Guan family’s house.
Ye Lulu thought to herself that she could cross out the item of personal safety.
Then, the Guan family had sufficient food now. The snow in the mountains was very clean, and there would sufficient water no matter what after the snow melts. Guan Chibei had bought enough cotton cloth in the city, so her living environment with the three babies was considered stable.
She also crossed out the item of sense of security and guarantee of life.
When Ye Lulu transmigrated, she was still a university student. She was in her third year and was about to graduate. She was just twenty years old. She was much older than the original owner, Ye Lulu.
The modern Ye Lulu came from an ordinary family. Her parents and most of her relatives were workers. Only her aunt and uncle had opened a restaurant, her cousin had opened a pet shop, and a relative from her grandmother’s side had opened a supermarket.
The students in the ivory tower should have relatively little experience in society.
However, the modern era was an information age after all. Children had seen too much on the Internet since they were young. News, outlook on life, and values were half instilled and half activated relatively early. In other words, children matured early.
This was especially true for some young people who had their own ideas and self-awareness. They were more inclined towards mature development from a young age. They were fundamentally different from those children who pretended to be adults.
Ye Lulu was not boasting. Compared to her studies, she was more sensitive in this aspect. It was not that she was talented, but people always had certain talents. Ye Lulu was just born to have more feelings and judgments on things. She had long formed her own opinions on certain choices and values.
Hence, she knew very well in her heart.
High education had its merits. Ye Lulu’s knowledge level in business management was not high enough. In ancient times, she could not do much. At most, she knew about marketing and human resource management. However, it was not comparable to other subjects. For example, learning agriculture could improve the level of farming. Mathematics, physics, and chemistry could create new things like glass. Architecture could manufacture and design different objects. In other words, Ye Lulu’s knowledge was not very useful.
However, there were people who had good senses. At the very least, Ye Lulu had matured early on and was not like some college students who were easily cheated by boys. In ancient times, she had the ability to protect herself and could analyze and make effective judgments based on the environment.
Even though she was just a student in the modern era, Ye Lulu still had the ability to handle the matter of her transmigration to ancient times.
For now, she must continue to stay in the Guan family because she had three children. As for the original ‘husband,’ with the three babies around, she could make up an excuse and there wouldn’t be a problem of intimacy in the short term.
But what else did she have to do?
She could be considered to have already gained the trust of the Guan family, mainly because of doing business. She had improved the Guan family’s life and broadened their horizons and courage.
Ye Lulu guessed that she should have some say in the Guan family now. The Guan family would probably loosen up on her words and decisions.
This was not entirely her own strength. She was lucky that she had transmigrated to a dynasty that was considered tolerant towards women.
Therefore, Ye Lulu was thinking that after spring, her body would be able to move again and she would have to go out and do something.
Currently, her best choice was obviously to open a restaurant.
That’s right. Many people who transmigrated from different fields relied on delicacies to become rich in their hometowns. It was not without reason. It was indeed a very advantageous thing and it was also something easier to handle.
Ye Lulu planned to do the same. As long as it was effective, that would work.
Furthermore, she indeed had a strong foundation in this aspect. Although she did not cook all day in the modern world, she had received the teachings of her aunt and uncle. Not only did she have the ingredients of the dishes in her head, but she had also cooked them. At the very least, she had cooked them when she was learning.
The taste was not the best, and it was incomparable to her aunt and uncle’s. However, it was enough for ancient times.
If she were to open a restaurant, how should she open it? What dishes should she sell?
Ye Lulu rubbed her chin. These were things to think about.
It was too much to think with just her brain. Ye Lulu was used to writing with a pen, so it would be much clearer after she wrote it down. However, she was very careful. Paper and pen were not a problem. It was not a problem for her to write very ugly words with a brush either. The problem was—were the characters in the Shang dynasty different from the modern ones? If she wrote different characters and this was seen by the Guan family, what trouble would there be?
Writing was different from cooking. It was a very dangerous thing.
At this thought, Ye Lulu thought that she should first look at the Shang dynasty’s characters. That’s right, she should know about them. If she wanted to survive in the alternate world smoothly and did not plan to rely on the Guan family forever, she had to have a complete understanding of the characters before she could act.
“What’s wrong?” Guan Chibei heard her call and pushed the door open.
His eyes were deep and his skin was fair.
… Even in the modern world, he would be quite handsome. It didn’t matter if he was rich or not. Very few men in the modern world could be so good-looking!
Ye Lulu looked at Guan Chibei and asked, “Has anyone at home studied before?”
Guan Chibei paused and looked at her calmly.
From the looks of it, someone in her family had studied before?
Was her family background not low, or was it common for her to study wherever she came from?
Guan Chibei replied calmly, “No. Almost no one in Yunwu Village has read before.”
Guan Chibei said calmly, “Yuan City is small. Although there are many shipping routes, this also means that those who go out can only take a boat. It’s a winding route to the imperial city, which is very far away. It’s even worse to walk on the long mountain road. Only by detouring two cities can one reach the main road to the imperial city. Just based on this point, there are very few scholars in Yuan City.”
… One had to know that the two biggest conditions that hindered ancient students from studying were paper and pen, and travel expenses.
Ye Lulu understood now. It was no wonder. It was not that they could not take a boat out. It was just that the road was long and difficult. Many commoners would take a step back easily.
“However, it’s not like there aren’t any in the entire Yuan City. There are also many rich families. The entire Shang dynasty is prosperous, and Yuan City is no exception. It’s just that there are fewer people studying from the villages in the mountains and the farms at the foot of the mountain. Some students live in the city, and their families are richer.”
Ye Lulu didn’t show any surprise. She nodded to show that she understood and asked, “So none of you can read and write, right?”
Guan Chibei nodded quietly.
The original Guan Chibei would not know, but the God of the Netherworld would.
“However, most people in Yuan City know how to calculate simple numbers because there are many transactions.”
Ye Lulu understood again. It was interesting. This geographical location could be said to be special.
“Actually, perhaps everyone who often goes out of the city would know some common words. After all, they are all possible to come into contact with.” Guan Chibei looked at her and added on to pave the way for his literacy so that he would not be exposed in the future.
Ye Lulu said bluntly, “I understand. There aren’t a lot of learners. However, there are many people in Yuan City and there are many opportunities. Therefore, many people might be influenced by this, right?”
It meant that it was prosperous and active.
Guan Chibei nodded.
Ye Lulu asked the key question, “Then are there poems, books, pen and paper to buy in Yuan City?”
Guan Chibei’s eyes darkened. He had been thinking about why she would suddenly ask about this matter. Now that he seemed to have a clue, he said, “Of course.”
Yuan City was not isolated. It was just that the objective conditions made many people willing to transact goods and earn money, thus giving up on their studies and the imperial examinations.
Ye Lulu sized Guan Chibei up.
Then, she said something surprising, “Learn how to write. Go out and buy some paper, pen, poems, and books. Then, read.”
Guan Chibei slowed his breathing and looked at her quietly.
Ye Lulu had also just thought of this. She had originally wanted Guan Chibei to buy some poems and books so that she could see the words of the Shang dynasty. She wanted to use Guan Chibei as a cover. However, she suddenly felt that it was better to let Guan Chibei study instead.
If she wanted to leave the Guan family in the future and take away three children, letting Guan Chibei walk the path of studying and become a scholar might be considered as compensation for him, right?