In half an afternoon, little Fantuan has learned pinyin, and he has also recited “Ode to the Goose” and “Pity the Farmers.” He recited to his younger brother: “Goose, goose, goose. You bend your neck toward the sky and sing. Your white feathers float on the emerald water, and your red feet push the clear waves….”
Xiao Doubao thought it was very funny, and followed his brother: “Goose, goose, goose, goose, goose…” Then he kept giggling.
Xiao Doubao rarely laughed so happily, and he took the initiative to speak. Su Xiaoxiao felt very relieved.
For the first time in Su Xiaoxiao’s life, she realized the learning process was faster than the teaching process. Fantuan is a knowledge incinerator, and anything taught to him is absorbed by him in a blink of an eye.
Such a child really cannot be taught step by step, so Su Xiaoxiao had to assign writing tasks to him in the extra time. Every word he learns will be written together with pinyin. There is no shortcut to writing. He can only learn one word from the simple to the deep at such a small age. He must master the basic skills well. If he is still energetic, Su Xiaoxiao plans to let Han Cheng teach him to write in the evening.
Su Xiaoxiao also studied with him for nearly two hours before kneading persimmons.
Fantuan and Doubao also like to pinch persimmons. Since Doubao’s other hand was injured, he could only poke the persimmon with his uninjured finger. After two pokes, Su Xiaoxiao took the cub aside and let him eat the half-finished persimmon.
Xiao Fantuan had pinched the persimmons well. When he saw Xiao Doubao puncture the persimmons and was able to eat one, he deliberately poked two persimmons: “Mom, look, it’s broken!”
Su Xiaoxiao said angrily, “Baby if you want to eat it, you can’t poke it intentionally next time. This one will taste much better when it is dried, and it will taste better in the spring, so, let’s save it and eat it slowly.”
Little Fantuan smiled like a little fox: “I know, Mom, but I think it’s delicious now.”
Su Xiaoxiao shook her head and helped little Zhuzi, who was pinching the persimmons as soon as she came back from school.
When they were done, Su Xiaoxiao asked little Zhuzi to eat one, and told him not to eat too much, or else he would have a bad stomach.
Xiao Zhuzi shook his head and said that he wouldn’t eat. Before his voice fell, Xiao Fantuan stuffed half of a persimmon into his mouth, which, by the way, was the persimmon he was eating a while ago.
“Xiao Zhuzi, since you have eaten my saliva, you will listen to me from now on!”
Little Zhuzi: “… ” Not even eating it or swallowing it.
Su Xiaoxiao was speechless: “Fantuan, don’t bully Zhuzi.”
Xiao Fantuan blinked twice with big eyes and secretly said to his mother, “Mom, I lied to him. I tore the half. It doesn’t have my saliva, I just wanted him to listen to me.”
Xiao Zhuzi: “… I heard.”
The sun is almost setting, so it’s time for Su Xiaoxiao to prepare dinner.
Li Yufeng brought a lot of dried plum vegetables to Su Xiaoxiao. She soaked some of them at noon. Now she used half a catty of lean meat bought by Han Cheng in the morning, added a few pieces of rendered lard, and chopped it into meatloaf. Then she dices, soaks the dried plum vegetables, and mixes them with other ingredients. She beat it vigorously and made it into meatloaf with dried plums.
Dried plum was originally a local dish (the dishes that need a lot of oil or meat. In our hometown, they are all called local dishes, such as dried vegetables, dried bamboo shoots, dried beans, etc.). It is a dish that absorbs oil, and you have to use meat that is 30% fat and 70% thin to make a meatloaf. But the pork belly has been used for oil refining by Su Xiaoxiao. A few pieces of pork scraps are already very good, so she can’t do much about it.
Xiao Zhuzi and Xiao Fantuan worked together to set the fire. Su Xiaoxiao put the chopped meatloaf on the rice to steam, and then prepared the tiger skin pepper.
Su Xiaoxiao used a little oil to fry the two sides of the pepper until the tiger skin rose, then added a little lard and garlic to stir fry until fragrant; she drizzled the sauce mixed with sweet and sour salt afterward.
Su Xiaoxiao let it cook for a while, then finally used corn flour to boil a little starch water to collect the juice, and the barren version of the tiger skin pepper came out of the pot.
This dish was supposed to be deep-fried and seasoned with fermented soybeans and oil-intensive chicken essence to make it tastier. Due to the limited ingredients, it could only be made like this. With the addition of lard and garlic, the taste was almost the same.
In the 1970s, lard was a rare item. Su Xiaoxiao was forced to use lard as a seasoning because lard is so versatile that it can make whatever dish delicious.
When the food was out of the pot, Han Cheng came home from work, and Su Xiaoxiao came forward to take his briefcase as usual.
Han Cheng narrated to Su Xiaoxiao the decision of Grandma Zhang in Zhuzi’s matter.
“So, she has gone home this afternoon?” Su Xiaoxiao asked.
Han Cheng looked around: “Didn’t she come?”
Su Xiaoxiao shook his head: “No.”
She called little Zhuzi and said, “Little Zhuzi, grandma has come home from the hospital. Can you go back home to call your grandma and tell her to come over to eat dinner together?”
Little Zhuzi bowed his head and kept silent, then raised his head: “Aunt Su, we will cause you a lot of trouble. I’d better go home and eat with Grandma later.”
Su Xiaoxiao was surprised.
Then she said gently, “No, Xiao Zhuzi helped me do a lot of work today, right? You helped in taking care of Xiao Doubao, kneaded persimmons, set the fire, and fed the chickens. You have to help with the work in the family in the future, and Grandma and your food tickets will also be transferred to our family. You are not a freeloader. You and Grandma are also part of our family. Do you understand?”
Xiao Zhuzi bowed his head for a long time, and finally nodded: “Then I’ll go home and call Grandma.”
Su Xiaoxiao: “Go, be careful.”
“Mom, I want to go with him!” Little Fantuan wants to go out again.
“Okay, go with Zhuzi.” Anyway, with Xiao Zhuzi, Su Xiaoxiao didn’t have any worries about letting the baby go out for a walk.
As a result, the food was only put on the table here, and the two pups came back. When the little Fantuan arrived at the door, he shouted, “Mom, Grandma is not at home!”
Su Xiaoxiao and Han Cheng looked at each other. Grandma Zhuzi had been home for several hours since she was discharged. How can she not be home at this hour?
Hello, I'm Lucia, and I love novels with themes from the 70s, 80s, and ancient eras. Therefore, I will mainly focus on translating novels from these time periods. If you have any recommendations for novels you'd like me to read and translate, please don't hesitate to send me a direct message on my Discord. Thank you!