Making Hot Sauce
Li Yu saw that Zhaodi had washed the peas and was still washing the vegetables in the courtyard. Li Yu went over and brought the washed vegetables to the kitchen. She cut them into chopstick-sized vegetable strips and poured them into the sun pad to dry them in the courtyard.
Li Yu touched the chili and realized that the water had already dried. She went back to get a large wooden basin and placed the vegetable board in it. After cutting the chili into sections, she filled half the wooden basin and began to chop the chili into thin pieces.
At first, she didnt feel uncomfortable. After a while, Li Yu felt that her hands were burning with pain. She endured the pain and chopped up a few pots of chili. Li Yu quickly got a bucket of well water and soaked her hands in cold water. After a while, she felt a little better and went to scoop a bowl of salt. There were also some big ingredients. She weighed 50 catties of chopped chili. According to the ratio of one catty of chili to one or two catties of salt, she poured the salt into the chopped chili and stirred it evenly with long bamboo chopsticks.
She went to scoop out another bowl of peanuts and half a bowl of sesame seeds. Then, she stir-fried the peanuts in the pot and poured them into the spittoon. After drying them, she rubbed the skin off the peanuts and poured them into the stone mortar. After crushing them, she placed them in the bowl for backup.
Li Yu took the machete and went to the back of the house. She found a quiet place and took out a few wild rabbits from the space. Just as she walked into the backyard, she met Laidi coming out of the toilet. Laidi saw Li Yu carrying a few dead rabbits and thought that Li Yu had just gotten them from the forest at the back of the mountain. She pouted. “Cousin, why are there dead rabbits again”
Li Yu smiled awkwardly and walked into the house. “I didnt find them alive. Ill get live ones for you next time.”
Li Yu hung the rabbit on a long nail nailed to the outer wall of the wing. She peeled off the rabbit skin and placed it on the stone slab. She scraped the fat off the skin with a knife and hung it on the wall to dry with bamboo slices. After carrying the rabbit meat to the well to wash, she used a dagger to shave all the rabbit meat and cut it into buttered water. She marinated it in salt and large ingredients for a while before frying it in boiling oil. She fried the rabbit until it was the color of caramel and used a bamboo colander to scoop it out of the pot and pour it into a pottery pot.
Li Yu placed the ginger, garlic, and scallions in and fried them. Then, he poured the chili peppers that had been mixed with the seasoning into the hot oil and fried them. After the water had evaporated, Li Yu extinguished the fire in the stove. She crushed the rabbit meat, peanuts, sesame, and white sugar, poured them into the pot, stirred them evenly, and poured a small bowl of white wine into it. After it was cold, she placed it in the clay pot.
When Li Yu came out of the kitchen, she felt spicy all over. When Zhaodi saw Li Yu come out of the kitchen, she smiled and asked, “Cousin, what delicious food did you make It smells so good!”
Li Yu smiled. “Hot sauce! Well make noodles tonight.”
“Sure!” Zhaodi agreed happily.
At this moment, Madam Li entered the courtyard from the door with Li Yus title deed. She saw that the courtyard was filled with chili peppers and peas and vegetables. She smiled and said, “Xiaoyu, are you planning to sell dried vegetables”
“Auntie Li, come in and sit down.” Li Yu hurriedly brought over a stool and got Madam Li to sit down.
Madam Li handed the title deed to Li Yu. “The title deed has been settled. Keep it well. After youre done harvesting the grains, your uncle and I will help you reclaim the land.”
“Auntie Li, you cant work for free. It costs money to hire someone else. Ill pay you the usual price.”
“Alright, that saves your uncle the trouble of looking for work in town.” Madam Li agreed heartily and pointed at the dried vegetables in the courtyard. “Dried vegetables dont taste good when dried. Ill go back and pick some fresh ones for you.”
Li Yu hurriedly rejected her. “Theres no need, Auntie Li. I took these back. I wanted to make some food and sell them. If you have extra peas and beans, you can sell them to me.”
Madam Li stood up and said with a smile, “Alright, there are peas and vegetables. Ill send them to you when I return from the market tomorrow. Ill be going back then.”
“Alright, take care!” Li Yu sent Madam Li back to the courtyard and dried the vegetables that Zhaodi had washed. Then, Li Mei and Liu Changmin returned with a cart full of soy sauce jars.
Li Yu helped unload the soy sauce vat and placed it in the courtyard. Liu Changmin sent away the deliveryman. Seeing that the two of them had washed the vegetables and dried them, Li Mei said to Li Yu, “Yuer, we got a price of 80 copper coins for the big soy sauce vat and 50 copper coins for the small one. The Taoist family said that they will charge us 3 copper coins for one catty of small jars. Two for two catties of five copper coins and two for seven copper coins for five catties.”
Li Yu felt that the price was still very cheap. She nodded and said with a smile, “Aunt, as long as you think the price is cheap, its fine. Auntie Li sent the title deed over just now. I want to go to the forest and dig some fertile soil back while its not hot. After plowing the ground, Ill scatter the soil and other fields. The nutrients in the ground will be enough. I want to plant a season of wheat in winter.”
Li Mei looked at Li Yu in surprise. “Yuer, you have so many ideas now. Who taught you”
After thinking about it, Li Yu said to Li Mei, “Aunt, let me tell you, when I was in the Zhang family, Chen Zhaodi and her daughter forced me to break off the engagement. After beating me up, they didnt give me food. When I poured a bathtub for Zhang Guixiang at night, Zhang Guixiang pushed me into the bathtub.” Li Mei was so frightened that she held Li Yus hand with tears in her eyes and looked at Li Yu blankly.
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Li Yu continued, “I choked on the water and fainted. When I was in a daze, I saw Father and Mother. Father and Mother said,Yuer, this isnt a place you should be. Hurry up and bring Little Brother home to break off the engagement with the Zhang family. After Mother finished speaking, she touched my head twice and Father pushed me back. When I woke up, I realized that I understood everything that I couldnt understand in the past. My mind was still filled with many things that I wouldnt have understood in the past.”
Li Meis heart ached as she hugged Li Yu and cried. “Yuer, it was your parents who protected you and saved your life. Its all my fault. I didnt have a good life and even threw a tantrum at a child like you. Ive let your mother and father down. I caused you and Ah Qing to suffer in the Zhang family!”
Liu Changmin, Zhaodi, and Li Qing were standing at the door. Their faces were covered in tears as they listened. Li Qing clenched his fists and secretly made up his mind to work hard and not let anyone bully his sister again.
Li Yu smiled and comforted Li Mei. “Aunt, dont cry. These things have passed. Look, Ah Qing and I are fine.”
Li Mei cried for a while, wiping away her tears. “Its all Zhang Defas fault. Just you wait! Theyll get whats coming to them.”
Zhang Defa was so angry that he was circling the house. Zhang Decai went to the county to tell him that Li Yu had bought dozens of acres of wasteland and a lot of things in the village. She was also buying vegetables in the village to eati
Zhang Defa felt that Li Yu was using his silver. He was so angry that he pounded his chest and stomped his feet. “This b*tch. She wont be happy until she spends all that silver.”
Zhang Decai looked at him and frowned. “Brother, look, shes almost finished spending the silver. Theres no movement from that Chun Sheng you found. Do I still have to watch the Li family”
“That bastard Qi Chunsheng said that he wanted to seduce that slut, but even if he went, he wouldnt be able to seduce her. He wanted me to give him money to buy clothes. He thought that I didnt know what he was thinking. I scolded his mother and there was no movement from him and his mother.”
Zhang Decai recalled that Mrs. Zhaos hands still hurt from time to time. He gritted his teeth in hatred and said to Zhang Defa, “Brother, now that Li Meis family is living in the Li family, its not easy for us to make a move. Why dont we wait for Li Meis family to go back before we hire a few hooligans When its dark, well sneak in and destroy that bitch.”
Zhang Defa laughed when he heard that. “Alright, lets do that. Wait for me to vent my anger one day.”