Chapter 3 (Part 2): The Culinary Tycoon

About to swallow the tongue

“What’s wrong?” Yu Qingze noticed the intriguing expression on the young boy’s face and asked.

Chang Hao wiped his face and shook his head, saying, “It’s nothing, please continue.”

Usually, sweet potato vines were mainly used as pig feed, and they would only cook and eat them when they were short of food. Recently, they had been eating sweet potato leaves quite often, and they didn’t taste good, similar to pig feed. But he didn’t say anything.

In fact, dried radish wasn’t tasty either. When there were no fresh vegetables from the garden, they often ate it at home. The young boy had a natural aversion to dried radish, sweet potato leaves, and oh, there was also luffa, which was soft and lacked any chewiness, with a bland taste.

But he was sensible and felt he had no right to complain. He never said anything, and he would eat whatever his brother made. He was very easy to please.

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

However, when the stir-fried sweet potato stems were ready, Chang Hao couldn’t find words to say. He felt fortunate that he hadn’t spoken earlier, or his face would have been swollen from being slapped.

With the intention of giving face to Yu Qingze, the young boy tentatively picked up a piece of sweet potato stem and tasted it. He was instantly astonished and couldn’t believe it. He quickly picked up a big chopstick full and put it into his mouth.

“Wow, Big brother Yu! It’s delicious!” Chang Hao’s eyes sparkled as if he had discovered a precious treasure.

Although he had watched Big brother Yu cook the entire time and had only added oil, salt, and a little chopped chili pepper, the taste of the dish was incredibly good. There was no trace of pig feed whatsoever!

It was super delicious!

Even though he used to dislike eating it, now he wished he could swallow his tongue!

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “It’s nothing. I’m glad you like it. Don’t eat it all, save some for Grandfather and your brother.”

They were just simple home-cooked dishes with limited ingredients. They couldn’t fully showcase his extraordinary culinary skills. Yu, the former chef, didn’t consider them anything special.

“Yeah, let me have another bite.” Chang Hao took another secret bite, reluctantly put down his chopsticks, and urged, “Big brother Yu, what you made is so delicious. Grandfather and my brother will definitely love it! Hurry, let’s cook the dried radish too.”

For the dried radish, Yu Qingze didn’t use chopped chili pepper. Instead, he stir-fried it with a green pepper. When it was ready, Chang Hao tasted it and gave Yu Qingze a thumbs-up.

“It’s even more delicious than what my brother made!”

Yu Qingze chuckled, “Your brother would be sad to hear that.”

Nervously, Chang Hao glanced outside, saw no one, then put his index finger to his lips and whispered, “Don’t tell my brother. Actually, my brother’s cooking is considered good. You don’t know, the dishes my uncle Wen Li makes are terrible, no flavor at all, just like pig feed.” He couldn’t hide his disgust on his face.

Yu Qingze laughed and took the opportunity to inquire about their daily meals. He learned that most of the dishes in the households here were boiled or stir-fried, and the main dishes were usually stewed. The cooking methods were relatively simple, and the way of eating was straightforward.

Yu Qingze’s eyes brightened. There was great potential here!

After experiencing Yu Qingze’s cooking only once, Chang Le’s culinary skills were easily recognized by Yu Qingze. No wonder Chang Hao had such a big reaction to these three simple home-cooked dishes.

Soon, the sun came up, and Chang Le returned with his grandfather, carrying a load of water. They were pleasantly surprised to see the three bowls of dishes on the table.

And unsurprisingly, their breakfast received a warm welcome too.

“I never expected your culinary skills to be so good!” Grandfather Chang praised without hesitation and went to get another bowl of porridge.

Yu Qingze smiled and replied, “I used to cook frequently, as long as it suits your taste.” A chef, by trade, wouldn’t survive if their skills weren’t good.

At first, Chang Le felt a bit hesitant about letting Yu Qingze, their guest, cook. However, after tasting his dishes, that hesitation turned into a feeling of extreme embarrassment.

How could the culinary skills of another man be so much better than his own? He was supposed to be the older brother!

A sense of competitiveness, fueled by the unwillingness to admit defeat, quietly took root within young Chang Le.

The result of having excellent culinary skills was evident—the porridge was finished, the dishes were wiped clean, even the saltier dried radish was devoured. Then, the whole family successfully ate to their hearts’ content.

Chang Le looked at the empty pots and bowls, feeling a mix of emotions. It used to be that there would always be half a bowl of porridge leftover in the mornings, but now it was all gone! A single bowl of dried radish used to last for two days, but now it was gone!

Even Grandfather, who had never had a good appetite, drank an extra bowl!

And judging by their expressions, both Grandfather and his little brother seemed more satisfied than when they had eaten the newly harvested rice last night!

Chang Le felt a pang in his heart. Although he was happy that his grandfather and brother enjoyed delicious meals, he still felt a pang and once again realized his own culinary shortcomings and the importance of having good culinary skills!

If he wanted his grandfather and brother to eat well and be satisfied in the future, he had to work hard to improve his cooking skills!

From then on, whenever Yu Qingze cooked, he noticed that Chang Le would often discreetly observe him while tending to the fire, thinking he was secretly learning from the sidelines. Little did he know that his small, observant eyes had long been caught by Yu Qingze.

At that time, everyone was in a very joyful mood.

After breakfast, Chang Hao took the initiative to wash the dishes, while Chang Le went to feed the pigs.

Grandfather Chang took out a tobacco stick, filled it with tobacco, and sat under the eaves, enjoying his post-meal smoke. He also took out the herbs he had collected from the mountain the previous day, picked a few plants, washed and dried them, and then started pounding them in a mortar to make medicine.

The herbs were for Yu Qingze, who took them and chatted with Grandfather Chang while pounding.

As Grandfather Chang finished smoking his cigarette and Yu Qingze finished pounding the herbs, with the help of Grandfather Chang, they changed the dressing on Yu Qingze’s foot.

“Hmm, the recovery is going well. Two more days, and it will be fine. Young people have a strong foundation.” Grandfather Chang checked his ankle and applied the new medicine.

“Thank you, Grandfather,” Yu Qingze expressed his gratitude and added, “I exercise regularly. I used to rarely get sick.”

Before studying cooking, Yu Qingze served in the military for two years. He went through rigorous training, and even after his discharge, he maintained some habits he acquired during his military service. He exercised every morning, ran, practiced boxing, and had excellent physical fitness.

Grandfather Chang looked at Yu Qingze with surprise. People from the countryside usually didn’t specifically exercise; their daily farm work served as their physical exercise. But he soon smiled and said, “Exercising is great! Money can’t buy good health!”

Yu Qingze nodded in agreement and sighed, “Yes, my grandfather had poor health and suffered a lot in his later years.”

Thinking of his grandfather, Yu Qingze’s mood became a bit low. His grandfather passed away when he was 16 years old due to illness. He had heart disease and advanced lung cancer, and he was extremely frail when he passed away. It was because of his grandfather that Yu Qingze paid special attention to exercising and had good physical health until his last life.

Hearing this, Grandfather Chang sighed and consoled Yu Qingze, telling him to look at things from a different perspective.

Meanwhile, Chang Le finished feeding the pigs and the chickens, and Chang Hao finished washing the dishes.

Because they needed to sun-dry the harvested grain, several chickens were kept in cages, clucking and demanding to be let out to roam. Chang Le threw some sweet potato leaves and husked grains into their cage and filled an empty bowl with water. Then, everything was taken care of.

After finishing the household chores, the whole family set off to harvest the rice. This time, Chang Hao was also going along. Yu Qingze insisted on joining them and managed to persuade them.

It was during the process of harvesting rice that he found a good way to make money!

Stir-fried Sweet Potato Leaves



The author has something to say:

Small Theater

Chang Le: If we continue to eat like this, we will not have enough rice at home. #worried

Yu Qingze: … Blame me (I’m so good at cooking).

Chang Hao: Brother, do you think I have gained some weight?

Chang Le: Really? It seems that the cheeks are a little rounder, which is great! Eat more later!

Yu Qingze:  …

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the chapter! Sweetie wants to learn to cook better!

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