“Grandpa, what do you think about setting his wages at 60 wen per day?”
“You can decide that.”
“Okay,” Yu Qingze agreed and then said, “Once we find the assistant, Grandpa, let’s send Xiao Hao to the school.”
Today, after hearing Old Master Cai mention the upcoming provincial examination, Yu Qingze thought that on Earth, it would be around the time for the new school year in September. Now that they were able to earn money, they could solve Xiao Hao’s education problem.
Going to school! Xiao Hao’s eyes lit up upon hearing that and immediately turned to look at his grandfather.
Grandpa Chang was taken aback for a moment and asked, “Are you hiring an assistant to send Xiao Hao to school?”
Yu Qingze nodded and said, “The situation at home is more relaxed now. Xiao Hao is already ten years old, and it’s quite late for him to start school. We can’t delay it any longer.”
Grandpa Chang didn’t know what feeling was in his heart. He hadn’t even thought about this question, so all he could do was nod heavily and say, “Okay, go to school!”
“Really, Grandpa?” Xiao Hao bounced over to Grandpa Chang, looking at him eagerly for confirmation.
Grandpa Chang patted his head and said, “Really, listen to your brother Yu. Go to school!”
Upon hearing this, Xiao Hao was as excited as a monkey on fire. He darted out while shouting, “Ah ah ah, I can go to school! I can go to school!”
Grandpa Chang and Chang Le watched him with joy and couldn’t help but feel emotional. In the past, they didn’t have any extra money to send him to school. It was already good enough if they could afford to feed the family for a year.
Now, their lives had improved significantly. Selling pickled long beans and pickled radishes during this period had earned them quite a bit. And before they formed a partnership, Yu Qingze had given them wages, which they had saved up. Now, after a few days of working together in the partnership, they would also receive a good share.
They could finally afford the monthly expenses for Xiao Hao’s education.
All of this was brought to them by this man by their side.
Grandpa Chang sincerely thanked Yu Qingze, saying, “Aze, thank you. We owe a lot to you.”
Chang Le also made a gesture of gratitude to Yu Qingze and thanked him.
Yu Qingze smiled and said, “Grandpa, Brother Le, this shows that we are destined to meet. If it wasn’t for Brother Le saving me, I might not have survived, and none of this would have happened. So, it’s our fate, it’s a blessing from heaven that I met Brother Le.”
As he spoke, Yu Qingze looked meaningfully at Chang Le.
Chang Le didn’t interpret the deep meaning in Yu Qingze’s eyes. He just felt a bit embarrassed and his face turned hot when Brother Yu looked at him during the last sentence.
So, he quietly lowered his head.
Grandpa Chang looked at the two of them, paused for a moment, and then smiled, saying, “Indeed, it’s quite fateful.”
The lively Xiao Hao darted back and asked cheerfully, “What’s fateful?”
Grandpa Chang playfully scolded, “None of your business, walk properly. Darting around like this, can’t stay still! You mischievous monkey, if you behave like this at school, the teacher will spank your palms!”
The mischievous Xiao Hao chuckled and said, “I won’t be like this at school, I’m just happy! Grandpa, I’m so happy!”
“You mischievous little monkey! You’re so easily amused!”
With laughter and joy, the group quickly returned home. The sun was just about to set.
Grandpa Chang took out a tobacco stick and headed to the neighboring house where Brother Chang lived to recruit him for the job.
The conversation with Brother Chang went smoothly for Grandpa Chang. After dinner, Brother Chang came to Chang Le’s house.
Yu Qingze casually asked a few questions. Seeing that Brother Chang spoke fluently, had a generous attitude, and a pleasant smile, he was quite satisfied. He told him to have a trial period of seven days, starting with a wage of 50 texts per day. After the trial period, if he continued to work, the wage would be 60 texts per day when they set up the stall.
Brother Chang readily agreed with a smile.
Yu Qingze then made an appointment with him for the next morning, asking him to wait at their doorstep.
Brother Chang happily agreed and then went back home.
With everything settled, the next day, Brother Chang set off with them.
On the way, Brother Chang asked about how they sold cold noodles, liangpi, and jelly, secretly remembering the details. He also inquired about the various tasks involved in running a snack stall, getting an early understanding of them.
Yu Qingze answered each question, satisfied with his enthusiasm.
As it turned out, Grandpa Chang had a good eye for people. Brother Chang was indeed clever and hardworking.
After setting up the stall for a while, he observed Chang Hao making a few rounds and was already able to handle customers on his own. His movements were nimble, and within an hour, he could serve customers proficiently.
With Brother Chang sharing the workload, Chang Hao sometimes even had spare time to help his older brother.
At the end of the day, the three of them were significantly more relaxed than before.
As for Boss Liu, there was no response from him today, but Yu Qingze wasn’t worried. Cai Chenxi and the others had returned to attend the funeral, and today was the burial day. He thought that at the earliest, Jiang Tianrui would give him an answer tomorrow.
Meanwhile, at Liu’s Noodle House, Jiang Tianrui informed Boss Liu about his encounter with Yu Qingze at the Cai Mansion and praised Yu Qingze’s excellent cooking skills.
After explaining the situation, he cautiously glanced at Boss Liu and asked, “Father-in-law, from what Boss Yu said, he really wants to get to know you. What do you think?”
Boss Liu frowned and asked, “What did he say exactly?”
Jiang Tianrui repeated Yu Qingze’s words.
Boss Liu asked again, “Did he say there are many different ways and techniques to make noodles?”
Jiang Tianrui nodded, “His culinary skills are exceptional, so I believe he wasn’t just making empty claims.”
Boss Liu stood up and paced around for a couple of turns before asking again, “Did he really say he wants to get to know me?”
Jiang Tianrui nodded again and said, “Yes.”
Boss Liu continued to pace for a while longer before finally stopping. He looked at the unsuccessful liangpi in front of him, nodded slowly, and said, “Alright.”
Jiang Tianrui immediately asked, “They are about to finish and go home. Shall I go and invite him to the noodle house?”
“Hold on,” Boss Liu stopped his son-in-law and said, “I’ll go with you.”
So, when Yu Qingze and the others finished packing up and were getting ready to go home, they saw Boss Liu and Jiang Tianrui appearing at their stall.
Jiang Tianrui was about to speak, but Boss Liu raised his hand to stop him.
Yu Qingze looked at the two of them, initially surprised. He didn’t expect Jiang Tianrui to talk to his father-in-law so quickly. But judging from Boss Liu’s expression, he couldn’t tell if they had reached an agreement or not.
Boss Liu stood in front of the snack stall for a while, seemingly hesitant. Finally, he spoke up, skipping the pleasantries and getting straight to the point.
“I heard from Tianrui that you know many different ways to make noodles,” Boss Liu said.
Yu Qingze nodded and said, “Yes, I know a few. I found out yesterday when I met Tianrui at the Cai Mansion that you are his father-in-law.”
Boss Liu nodded and said, “I’d like to see some of those techniques you mentioned.”
Boss Liu was quite straightforward in his approach.
Yu Qingze sighed and said, “Alright.”
The group then went to Liu’s Noodle House together.
Once inside the noodle house, Yu Qingze first looked at their menu and the finished dishes they were serving to customers. It was mostly plain noodles in soup, such as plain noodles with shredded meat, noodles in vegetable soup, and egg drop noodles. They also had some options like spare ribs noodles, but due to their limited cooking skills, the taste was just average.
Yu Qingze asked them to make their best noodles, and after tasting them, he had a rough idea of their level. Seeing some of the ingredients and seasonings in the kitchen, Yu Qingze decided to make a simple dish of stir-fried egg and shredded meat noodles for them.
He boiled the noodles until they were 80% cooked, then removed them and drained the water. He heated the wok, stir-fried the beaten eggs until cooked, then set them aside. Next, he added the shredded meat to stir-fry until it changed color, followed by the ginger and garlic. He then added the vegetables and the cooked eggs, stir-frying them briefly before adding the noodles. Finally, he added salt, soy sauce, and a little chili powder, stir-frying everything together until well mixed.
“Because of the limited ingredients, let’s start with this dish: stir-fried egg and shredded meat noodles. Boss Liu, would you like to try it?”
Yu Qingze placed the noodles on the table and handed the chopsticks to Boss Liu.
Boss Liu looked at the bowl of noodles in front of him and his eyes widened slightly.
They had never thought about stir-frying noodles before. Just this alone made Boss Liu think that Yu Qingze had some innovative ideas. Of course, he wouldn’t admit it!
He took the chopsticks, picked up a strand of noodles, and put it in his mouth. As he chewed, his eyebrows furrowed tightly. The taste was excellent!
Yu Qingze watched him eat mouthful after mouthful and said, “Boss Liu, forgive me for being direct, but the method of making noodles in your noodle house is too simple. You can’t compete with Wang’s Noodle House across the street.”
Upon hearing the mention of Wang’s Noodle House, Boss Liu immediately lost his appetite and said, “Their method isn’t that great either!”
Yu Qingze calmly said, “They have also introduced cold noodles. Why don’t you do the same? I believe you can make it too.”
Boss Liu glanced at him and said, “Trying to imitate someone else’s success won’t work. If you can’t reach the level of your cold noodles, there’s no need to showcase it.”
Yu Qingze smiled, not being humble at all, and said, “I have a secret recipe that others can’t compare to.”
Boss Liu snorted, unable to refute, and changed the topic, saying, “The key to your stir-fried noodles is your excellent cooking skills. If our staff can’t stir-fry dishes well, we can’t achieve the same taste.”
Yu Qingze shook his head and said, “It’s actually quite simple. Practice makes perfect. You can use other ingredients to stir-fry as well. You can sell stir-fried vegetable noodles separately, add an additional price for adding eggs, and another price for adding meat. You can also offer different sizes, such as large, medium, and small, to give customers options. In addition, you can develop dishes like tossed noodles, fried sauce noodles, braised noodles, clay pot noodles, seafood noodles, etc. With more variety, your business will definitely improve.”
“Fried sauce noodles? Braised noodles? What are those methods?” Boss Liu was amazed by Yu Qingze’s business ideas and was curious about these new techniques.
“With the limited ingredients you have here, I’ll teach you another time. It’s getting late today, and I have to go back before it gets dark,” Yu Qingze replied.
“Wait.” Boss Liu hesitated and asked, “Why are you willing to share these techniques with me? If you open your own noodle house, you would do well.”
Yu Qingze smiled and said, “Because my ambitions don’t lie in noodles. Besides, if your business thrives, I believe Boss Wang will be very displeased. And I want to see him fuming in anger and helplessness.”
After saying that, Yu Qingze turned and left.
Boss Liu was dumbfounded. This Yu Qingze…
He then recalled some of the things that happened to Yu’s Snack Stall before and grew even more angry.
That fatty Wang used some underhanded methods to deal with others again!
Yu Qingze was in a good mood all the way.
Chang Hao asked him why he taught Boss Liu how to make noodles.
Yu Qingze replied with a smile, “What could be more despairing than seeing your competitors making money while your own customers are dwindling?”
Chang Hao and the others couldn’t help but shiver slightly. They felt that Big Brother Yu seemed a little wicked today.
But when they returned home, Yu Qingze couldn’t laugh anymore.
Inside the main hall of the house, a middle-aged ger dressed in festive attire, with a mole on the lower right side of his face, was smiling at them.
“Oh my, it’s the matchmaker!” Yu Qingze exclaimed inwardly.
Thingyan: matchmaker for grandpa Chang? XD