Luo Huai Yuan invited them all to begin, and told them the eating method.
Overall, the Grand Xi had hot pots, but it was more like cooking a pot of food. It was different from Luo Huai Yuan’s shabu shabu style.
The large round table was filled with various fresh vegetables. It was extremely difficult to get so many fresh vegetables during such weather. There were also plates of thinly sliced raw meat. Yan Yan couldn’t tell by just looking what sort of meat it was. There were also shrimp, mushrooms and a few strange things she hadn’t seen before.
For example, there was a plate of light yellow weirdly shaped objects. It was cut into slices and looked a little prickly. She had no idea what it was. There was also another plate of milk white objects sliced into strips. Another plate contained triangular objects with white skin wrapped around pink meat….
Yan Yan didn’t realize that Luo Huai Yuan had spent quite some effort on this table of food.
For example, tofu skin was a hot pot delicacy but the Grand Xi didn’t have such things. They only had tofu and soy milk, but not tofu skin. Luo Huai Yuan didn’t know how to make tofu skin, and only knew that it was fished out from the top layer of soy milk. Only after having people experiment many times did they come up with this tofu skin.
Another example was the shrimp dumplings. This was a little easier to make. They just used fresh shrimp and wrapped it in a thin layer of dough.
As for the weird prickly looking object that Yan Yan saw, those in the modern world would recognize it as beef tripe. But the Grand Xi didn’t have this thing. Furthermore, the Grand Xi was a farming nation and cows were good partners who tilled the fields. They were strictly protected.
The citizens weren’t allowed to slaughter cows themselves. Farmers needed to register with the authorities to raise a cow, and when it died they had to report it to the authorities. Under the Grand Xi’s laws, slaughtering a cow would result in being caned a hundred times, locked up for a year and a half and exiled a thousand li. Unless they were about to starve, wanted to revolt or felt like being locked up, no one would eat beef.
Of course, since ancient times those of higher status had quite a few privileges. It wasn’t difficult for the nobility to eat beef. However, it had to be eaten secretly and couldn’t be discovered by imperial censors. It must be known that even if Emperor Xi suddenly felt like eating beef, he had to do so secretly. This was a lot of trouble for the sake of a meal, so people in the Grand Xi rarely ate beef. They mostly ate pork or lamb.
For the sake of getting this beef tripe, Luo Huai Yuan endured the smell and supervised the servants in washing it for half a day. He had been afraid it still wasn’t clean enough and put it in a pot to try it out in advance.
A minute’s performance on the stage was the result of ten years’ work off the stage. This situation was similar. Yan Yan would never know that for the sake of letting her eat well and contentedly, someone called Luo Huai Yuan had spent a ton of effort.
However, Luo Huai Yuan felt sweet in his heart at the moment. Looking at the little consort heartily eating the food he helped her cook, his heart was sweet as honey.
But when he saw the little consort giving some of whatever was tasty to her little brother, his heart was suddenly flooded in envy.
Why don’t you see me? Why don’t you see me? Actually, I am quite in need of being looked after by you as well…..
Yan Yan seemed to sense the person next to her “muttering” and looked at him in confusion. “Little fatty Luo, why aren’t you eating? It’s pretty good. I’ve never eating something so good before.”
She’s not even calling him big bro Luo anymore. It’s all that dunce little second Shen’s fault, giving him such an ugly nickname. The glory of being called “big bro Luo” would never return.
Yan Yan continued speaking: “Also, this dipping sauce is really tasty. I would never eat garlic in the past, but it’s pretty good.”
Being complimented a couple of times, Luo Huai Yuan immediately shed his burdens and basked in the warmth of spring and blooming flowers. If one had to choose a matching picture, it would be one of a fat dog with its tongue out, panting and smiling.
“Little sis Ah Yan also thinks the sauce is good? It’s a secret recipe I came up with myself. It’s the first time I’ve brought it out for people.”
As he spoke, Luo Huai Yuan grabbed a piece of lamb meat and swished it around in the pot before dipping it into the sauce and putting it in his mouth.
The sesame paste’s fragrance mingled with the taste of the garlic. What a wonderful flavor. People in ancient times truly squandered there resources. They didn’t even have sesame paste! Sesame was called linseed in the Grand Xi. Apart from being used a little in flat bread, it was mostly used as a source of oil.
In the modern world, Luo Huai Yuan loved eating shabu shabu. He had a special fondness for this sesame paste. There was a sort of breakfast in his city called hot dry noodles, which was entirely seasoned with sesame paste.
In the past he was a lazy fellow without much money. At his poorest, he ate instant noodles as his meals. When he grew tired of it, he would get a jar of sesame paste and mix it with some noodles. He could eat a huge bowl at a time. Afterwards, he wasn’t willing to eat the instant noodles filled with preservatives anymore. He started making this simple version of noodles mixed with sesame paste.
Because the sesame paste in the stores were mostly not authentic and contained countless unknown ingredients, he started buying sesame and looked up the method to make it online. He cooked the sesame and ground it up to make sesame paste.
It was his favorite in the past, so how could he not bring it out to share with the little consort? Therefore, “Luo Huai Yuan’s sesame paste brand” was born into the Grand Xi!
The glutton little second Shen couldn’t be bothered to talk. He swept up all the food in front of him. Seeing that he was out of the thing called “tripe”, which he was especially fond of, he secretly stretched his hand out towards the plate in front of Luo Huai Yuan.
He didn’t expect Luo Huai Yuan’s eyes and ears to be so keen. The moment his hand reached the edge of the plate, it was accurately slapped away.
Little second Shen was extremely aggrieved and raised his complaints. “Why are there less plates in front of me and little Ah Mo compared to you and little sis Ah Yan? Furthermore, why are all my plates stuffed with lettuce leaves on the bottom?”
Who said little second Shen was a dumb fellow? Isn’t he quite observant?
Hearing his words, Yan Yan looked in front of her and then at little second Shen. Err, the plates in front of him were completely empty. She then looked in front of Yan Mo. Although his plates were a little smaller, there weren’t that many lettuce leaves.
Little fatty Luo said righteously: “Little second Shen. You can’t randomly accuse people just because you have a large appetite. Where did I stuff lettuce leaves?”
This fellow had used the crafty trick hot pot restaurants in the modern world used. Back in the day when this unfortunate little fatty went to eat shabu shabu in a rare display of extravagance, he had ordered a tripe platter. It looked like a significant portion but once he got down to it he realized the bottom was stuffed with effing lettuce leaves.
While he spoke, Luo Huai Yuan secretly thought that there was only this much food so he definitely had to favor himself and the little consort more. Then came his little brother-in-law. As for little second Shen, the freeloader, he should just stop bickering.
Luo Huai Yuan seemed to have forgotten that this restaurant belonged to little second Shen. For the sake of coming up with this weird meal, the grand General Manager Zhou had been annoyed to no end.
Shen Qi pointed out the lettuce leaves in his plate. “I didn’t touch these lettuce leaves.”
Luckily he had been focused on eating the good stuff and didn’t touch the lettuce. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have any evidence to complain about.
“You must have dropped some into your plate accidentally when grabbing lettuce!” Little fatty Luo accused craftily.
Shen Qi’s little face turned sluggish. Could such an excuse even be used?
Although he was a little lively, it didn’t mean he was stupid.
Little second Shen this brat put on a posture of “the immortal points the way”, his pointing chopsticks still dripping with oil.
“I’m going to fight it out with you!”
The cute and helpless looking Luo Huai Yuan shrunk behind Yan Yan and said shrilly, “Little sis Ah Yan, looked how he’s bullying me.”
Yan Yan stepped forward to mediate. “Enough, enough. Stop messing around. Big bro Qi, I’ll share some of mine with you.” She paused and added. “I’ll give you half!”
Luo Huai Yuan’s heart ached so much his face was twisted. “Little sis Ah Yan. You like eating these things and they are extremely hard to come by. Don’t share any with him.”
As his voice fell, Luo Huai Yuan looked helplessly as half of the little consort’s plate was given to Shen Qi.
Little second Shen gave Luo Huai Yuan a cocky smile. He waved his chopsticks and continued eating.
Luo Huai Yuan could only say sorrowfully, “Little sis Ah Yan. If you don’t have enough, you can eat mine.”
Although he said this, there was actually a large table of food that was still uneaten.
Yan Mo was also eating very happily. However, his appetite was small and Yan Yan also kept an eye on him. Right as he started getting full, he put his chopsticks down. Even though Yan Yan could eat a lot, it was relative to other girls. When she felt she could eat no more, she also stopped her hands. As for the rest, it was left to the gluttons Shen Qi and Luo Huai Yuan to clean up.
After they were done, everyone held their stomachs and sat paralyzed in their chairs, too lazy to move.
Yan Yan felt her breath was full of garlic, but it had to be said it was truly delicious. She had never placed much emphasis on food, so it was extremely rare for her to eat to this extent.
“Delicious. When can we eat it again?”
Luo Huai Yuan harrumphed and couldn’t be bothered to speak.
“Big bro Qi, don’t talk about food anymore.” She wasn’t able to swallow another bite, even if it was meat from the heavens.
Yan Mo looked around and started laughing.
He was the only one who wasn’t that stuffed. It was truly delicious, but he wasn’t able to eat too much. Yan Mo made up his mind to quickly improve his health. In the future, he could also try eating until he was stuffed.
After resting a little while, they had people serve tea.
The group moved to the other room to sit and drink tea. There were two burning charcoal basins in the room, and it was warm and cozy. There were two chairs and a table by the window, and a sofa by the wall.
The moment they entered, Shen Qi went and occupied a chair. Luo Huai Yuan went to the sofa, and after sitting down he enthusiastically waved Yan Yan over.
“Little sis Ah Yan come over here.”
Yan Yan didn’t think too much. She had her little brother sit with Shen Qi and went to sit next to Luo Huai Yuan on the sofa. The sofa was extremely comfortable. It had pillows and cushions. There was a small kiln table in the middle with tea and fruits.
It had started snowing outside at some point and the snowflakes came down in a flurry. The atmosphere in the room was tranquil as the people gazed idly out the window. Shen Qi was someone unable to sit still. He ran over and opened the window, looking at the snow outside. Luckily it wasn’t windy today so they didn’t feel cold.
Luo Huai Yuan looked idly at the jade-like little face next to him. The high nose-bridge and slanted brows gave her a woman’s beauty along with a heroic air. Although it wasn’t clearly visible at the moment, she would become peerless in the future.
He recalled how his father bestowed her hand in marriage in his past life. He only knew she was the principal daughter of the Weiyuan Marquis Estate, and never expected his own consort to be so dazzlingly beautiful. The night of the wedding, he had lifted her veil and was stunned. He wondered how such a wonderful person was given to him.
He understood later that her reputation was very poor outside. It was said her temper was very bad and that she was fierce as a tiger. Despite being over sixteen, no one had been interested in marrying her.
At the time he had thought it was no wonder she was matched with him.
After slowly getting to know her, he realized she was tough on the outside yet fragile on the inside. She was like a prickly hedgehog on the surface but was rather gentle on the inside.
Everyone had their own difficulties. For her, she had to protect her little brother and that foolish mom of hers despite only being a teenager. How could she succeed without being a little more capable? Especially with that pack of wolves and people with ulterior motives. Every household had their problems, but they would usually keep them hidden. Only when it came to her did the rumors spread far and wide.
However, things should be much better in this life, right? Yan Ting no longer had secure backing. What qualifications did he have to hop around? He could only remain low-key for the moment.
However, based on his nature there was no way he would be resigned.