Chapter 83: The Ugly Ger’s Farming Story
Li Changfeng went to inspect the crops in the field after having lunch at noon.
Even though he anticipated the weather to be different from the previous year, he felt uneasy as a farmer if he skipped a day without going to the field.
After waking up from his nap, Xu Qing laundered the quilt covers and clothes, taking advantage of the pleasant weather to hang them out to dry.
He then checked the sky and estimated that Li Changfeng would return from the fields in an hour.
He shook off the water from his hands and headed into the kitchen.
Yesterday, while cutting hogweed in the back mountain, Xu Qing stumbled upon a valuable discovery – jelly grass.
Jelly grass is a significant resource both as a medicine and a food.
Its entire plant contains polysaccharides that have various benefits such as relieving summer heat, detoxifying, clearing heat, and cooling blood.
People often boil the stems of this plant in water and add the thin starch to create a frozen dessert, commonly known as “jelly.” This frozen treat is excellent for relieving summer heat and quenching thirst.
Xu Qing rinsed the rice that had been soaking overnight several times before putting it in a pot.
He then headed to the nearby stone mill next to the well to grind the rice into a slurry.
This bit of manual labor was nothing for Xu Qing, who always took good care of his health, making him stronger than the average person.
That was why Li Changfeng never really regarded him as a “weak” ger.
Translated on hololonovels.com
In the scorching heat, Xu Qing completed grinding the rice into a slurry, causing his back to be drenched in sweat.
After washing his face, he carried the rice milk to the kitchen and poured it into a wooden tub.
He soaked the jelly grass in clean water and washed it before placing it in the pot of boiling water until it softened.
Xu Qing found starting the stove the most unbearable chore during such hot weather.
It was simply torture, especially since there were no fans or air conditioners to alleviate the heat, leaving him with no other option but to fan himself with a palm fan.
After cooking the jelly grass, Xu Qing separated the juice from the pot and removed the cooked jelly grass.
While doing so, he made sure to scrape off any jelly-like substance that was stuck to the grass and added it to the pot.
He extracted a second round of water by using the juice.
After taking out the jelly grass, put it aside and let it cool, then put it in the water and rub it out, rub out all its essence, the juice that it has not been boiled will flow out, the gelatinous substance on the jelly grass is the essence, and then the jelly Grass can be thrown away.
Xu Qing set the jelly grass aside to let it cool before immersing it in water and squeezing out all its essence.
The juice that wasn’t boiled came out, leaving only the gelatinous substance on the jelly grass that represent the essence.
Once he extracted all the essence, Xu Qing disposed of the jelly grass.
Next, Xu Qing combined the second batch of water with the reserved juice from the previous pot, and then used the slag separator bag made by Li Changfeng to filter out any remaining solids from the juice.
The leftover solids in the bag were useless, so Xu Qing decided to dispose of them by feeding them to the pigs later.
As the juice was boiling in the pot, Xu Qing constantly stirred it using a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
In addition to the jelly grass, another crucial ingredient for making jelly was sticky rice flour.
When Xu Qing was young, his aunt who raised him explained that sticky rice flour was a powder made from the seeds of the graminaceous plant, also known as rice flour or indica rice flour.
It served as the raw material for many kinds of food and was the least glutinous among all types of rice, but it played an irreplaceable role in making glutinous rice flour.
Xu Qing added water to the sticky rice flour and mixed it before pouring the mixture into the pot when the juice was almost done.
While stirring, big bubbles began to appear on the surface of the juice.
Xu Qing stopped stirring when no more bubbles formed in the pot.
As Xu Qing was transferring the juice from the pot to the basin, he heard the little one in the room starting to make babbling noises.
He smiled, placed the basin on the table, washed his hands and face, and then went into the room to pick up Tuan Tuan, who was already in bed with his chubby little legs kicking around.
Tuan Tuan’s small mouth kept spitting out small bubbles as Xu Qing held him on his lap.
The child was fidgety, unable to stay still.
“Ah ah ah!”
Upon seeing Tuan Tuan’s lively demeanor, Xu Qing planted a kiss on his cheek and carried him outside to let him pee.
Afterward, he cleaned Tuan Tuan up with warm water, gently wiping with a damp cloth soaked in spiritual spring water.
Despite his small size, Tuan Tuan had ample baby fat, which made him prone to heat rashes that were slow to heal.
Xu Qing rubbed the cool spiritual spring water on Tuan Tuan, causing the little boy to make continuous gurgling sounds with a smile on his face.
Xu Qing teasingly commented, “Acting like you just took a shower, look at that big smile on your face!”
Upon entering the courtyard, Li Changfeng noticed Xu Qing holding Tuan Tuan and wiping him with something while the baby was gleefully grinning.
Li Changfeng knew that their son only had such a happy expression when he was either taking a bath or eating.
Xu Qing explained to Li Changfeng’s curious look, “I’m just wiping him down since he has a lot of heat rash.
I used a little something to help soothe it.” Xu Qing dressed Tuan Tuan and waited for Li Changfeng to finish washing up before handing him over.
“I have something to do in the kitchen, you take him first.”
“Okay, come Tuan Tuan.
Give your father a hug.”
Li Changfeng showered Tuan Tuan with kisses on his face several times before finally letting go.
Xu Qing went back to the kitchen and tied the pot to the table with a rope.
Then, he went to the well and lowered the pot inside.
The well was cool and the juice would cool down and solidify after leaving inside for a while.
Li Changfeng held Tuan Tuan and approached Xu Qing.
“I noticed that you brought back a lot of grass yesterday.
Is this related to that thing you just did?”
Xu Qing responded with a puzzled expression, “What grass? Even if it is grass, it’s still good.”
“Yes yes yes! It’s good grass, it’s good grass.” After speaking, Li Changfeng felt that it was quite awkward, so he didn’t say much, and went back to the main room with the little ball in his arms to avoid getting him sunburned in the heat.
Xu Qing also returned to the main room and said, “It’s been a while since we’ve seen Brother Xiaoyu.
I’ll go visit him tomorrow!”
Upon hearing Xu Qing mention Xie Yu, Li Changfeng suddenly became more alert.
“Didn’t you just go there last month? Why are you going again?” He remembered how Xu Qing seemed to have a fascination with Xie Yu, often staring at him.
Li Changfeng found it strange.
How could a ger be so obsessed with another ger? He thought to himself, “My wife, if you want to look at someone, just look at me.
I mean, not that I want you to look at me…I mean, you shouldn’t look at anyone with fascination else except me!”
Xu Qing responded with a hint of humor in his voice, “What do you mean by ‘going again’? When I was pregnant, he would come to visit us from time to time and bring so many delicious and useful things.
Don’t you think I should go and return the favor? If you’re not going, I’ll just go by myself.”
Translated on hololonovels.com
“Go, I’ll go of course!” Li Changfeng immediately agreed when he heard that Xu Qing intended to go alone.
His wife was looking at that person with those intense eyes even when he was around.
If Xu Qing was really allowed to go alone, He couldn’t imagine what would happen!
Xu Qing smiled and noticed that Li Changfeng looked tired, so he suggested, “It’s quite warm today, let’s take a nap.” Tuan Tuan was causing a commotion last night, Li Changfeng didn’t let Xu Qing get up and instead held the boy and paced back and forth for an hour to put him to sleep.
Then, the family of three went to the Li’s house early in the morning and returned only after the sun had set.
“Sure, I could use a rest,” Li Changfeng agreed as he was feeling drowsy.
After taking the lively Tuan Tuan over, Xu Qing placed him on the cart and headed to the shop.
On sunny days, most peasant families would stay indoors to avoid the heat.
However, there were still some who ventured out to buy goods.
Xu Qing didn’t know how well the Zeng family’s business was doing, but he knew that their own business was not affected.
When there was no customer, Xu Qing kept himself busy by making shoes for Tuan Tuan.
He learned from Xie Ama that babies need shoes for walking.
Xu Qing knew he needed to make more pairs of shoes for Tuan Tuan.
The harvest season was approaching, and Xu Qing anticipated being busy with farm work, so he wanted to finish making the shoes while he had the chance.
In the evening, after having dinner and spending some time with the family in the yard, Xu Qing went to the well and lifted the lid of the basin.
What he saw inside was a transparent and bouncy jelly-like substance.
“Hey, this looks like tofu,” Li Changfeng exclaimed as he leaned in for a closer look.
“But why doesn’t it have any smell?”
“It’s supposed to be tasteless.
Do you want to try it?” Xu Qing replied as he carried the basin of jelly into the kitchen.
He then proceeded to cut it into small pieces with a knife, adding sugar and crushed peanuts on top before serving a bowl for both of them.
After taking a bite of the dessert, Li Changfeng found it delicious.
Meanwhile, Tuan Tuan was clinging to his arm, drooling over the dessert.
“This is quite tasty!” he remarked, and noticing Tuan Tuan’s eagerness, he asked Xu Qing, “Do you want to give some to Tuan Tuan?”
As Li Changfeng spoke, Tuantuan let out a loud roar, clearly eager to try the jelly.
Xu Qing savored the cool, smooth jelly in his mouth and looked up at Tuan Tuan.
“I’ll scoop some up for him.
He shouldn’t have too much of this cold food.” Xu Qing was concerned that Li Changfeng might give Tuan Tuan too much.
After tasting the sweet jelly for the first time, Tuan Tuan’s eyes squinted with a smile of satisfaction.
The next morning, after breakfast, the family of three rode on the donkey cart to the Lin family’s house.
Xu Qing took Tuan Tuan and Xie Ama inside, while Li Changfeng was sent to the clinic.
Despite feeling reluctant, Li Changeng knew that since there were only gers in the room, it would not be appropriate for him to enter.
However, he still felt uneasy and kept looking at his wife.
So, with an uneasy glass heart, Li Changfeng still went to the pharmacy.
Coincidentally, he saw Chen Qi’s wife as he was leaving the clinic.
“Changfeng, you’re here.
Come in quickly! I haven’t seen you in a few days.
How’s my godson doing?” Lin Fangliang, who had just finished seeing a patient, saw Li Changfeng entering the door, and greeted him with a smile.
“He’s very good, except for the heat rash.” After sitting down, Li Changfeng talked about Tuan Tuan, with a wide smile on his face.
Hearing this, Lin Fangliang became a little anxious about Tuan Tuan’s condition but noticed that Li Changfeng did not appear to be worried, so his tone also contained some doubts.
“Is everything alright? What’s wrong?” he asked.
Li Changfeng responded cheerfully to Lin Fangliang’s question, “It’s just because he has a lot of meat, and where it folds, it’s not well-ventilated and a bit slow to heal!”
Thingyan: So I just started using this good thing called ChatGPT, which has been immensely useful in editing poorly translated raws from Google translate.
Anyone wanting to try their hands on translating should give it a try.
The more translators there are, the more translated novels, and the more the happier readers like me hehe
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