Brother Le, I’m proud of you
After the scorching sun had subsided, Mi Ge’er came over and brought them good news.
Red bean paste mooncakes. Old Master Cai and Young Master Cai both liked to eat them. Old Master Cai and Young Master Cai preferred the baked ones, while Madam Cai preferred the steamed ones.
Yu Qingze and Chang Le were delighted upon hearing this. With this, they didn’t have to worry about the taste.
“The old master asked when you can make them for sale. My master wants to send some to Yunzhou for our masters (Governor’s family) to taste before the Mid-Autumn Festival,” Mi Ge’er said.
Yu Qingze replied, “How long does it take to get to Yunzhou?”
“If using a fast horse, it would take about a day and a half. If by carriage, it would take two to three days,” Mi Ge’er answered.
Yu Qingze pondered for a moment and said, “If it’s just for family members to eat and the quantity isn’t much, we can have it ready by tomorrow morning. If you need them for gifting, then it will be the morning after tomorrow. Tomorrow, I can also make some other flavors if needed.”
Mi Ge’er thought for a moment. Since Old Master Cai didn’t mention whether it was for gifting or not, he said, “I’ll go back and ask. I’ll come to pick up some tomorrow morning, and if it’s for gifting, I’ll let you know, Boss Yu.”
Yu Qingze nodded and said, “Okay.”
Mi Ge’er continued, “If possible, Boss Yu, please make more flavors tomorrow. I’ll let my masters taste them when I go back. If they find them delicious, they might want to order more for gifting as well.”
Yu Qingze smiled and replied, “Okay, thank you for the reminder, Mi Ge’er.”
“You’re welcome. Then I’ll go now,” Mi Ge’er said.
After Mi Ge’er left, Yu Qingze handed over the stall to Chang Le and Brother Chang. He immediately went to buy mooncake ingredients without wasting any time.
He planned to make several varieties with shorter preparation time and simpler methods, such as red bean paste, mung bean paste, lotus seed paste, black sesame paste, and mixed nuts. These were quite common in his previous life. Additionally, he could use glutinous rice flour to make the pastry for snow skin mooncakes. Although there was no refrigerator for chilling, the taste should still be good.
As for the most popular salted egg yolk and lotus seed paste mooncakes from his previous life, they took quite a long time to make, and he wouldn’t be able to introduce them before the Mid-Autumn Festival. He also decided not to consider making fruit mooncakes, which were more popular among children but would be troublesome to prepare without a blender.
On the other hand, he could take the opportunity to pickle some salted duck eggs. The process was simple, and they tasted delicious.
Since there were many things to buy, Yu Qingze emptied the bag that contained the dough skins and carried it with him directly.
He walked and pondered along the way.
He needed to buy various mooncake ingredients, a few types of molds, and some packaging materials. Some mooncakes could be sold singularly, while others could be packaged in gift boxes specifically for gifting. The gift boxes could also be graded to differentiate them.
He asked Mi Ge’er, and he learned that wealthy households like theirs would need to give many gifts during festivals and holidays, and they often included these pastries.
He had seen dedicated vendors selling these gift boxes in the market, and several renowned pastry shops would also purchase them there.
Hmm, perhaps he could even customize the gift boxes and have the name of their snack stall written on them as a way to promote their business.
After spending some time, Yu Qingze had almost traveled all over half the city and finally got everything done. When he returned, the sun was almost setting. Chang Le and the others were waiting for him to come back so they could close the stall and go home.
“Sorry for the delay, keeping you waiting for so long,” Yu Qingze apologized as he put a large bag of items on the cart. Then, he said to Brother Chang, “Brother Chang, after dinner, can you and your father and mother come to Brother Le’s house? I have something to discuss with you. We’ll be making mooncakes, and I would like your help.”
Brother Chang immediately agreed upon hearing that they would be making mooncakes. “Sure, we’ll come after dinner.”
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
In the evening, after dinner, Brother Chang arrived at Brother Le’s house with his father and mother.
Yu Qingze invited them into the main hall and got straight to the point. He sincerely said, “Uncles, Brother Chang, the business for cold noodles has been affected recently. We don’t need as much noodles every day, and Brother Chang is aware of this.”
Brother Chang nodded. His father and mother glanced at each other, and his father asked, “So, should we make less every day?”
Yu Qingze nodded and said, “Yes, how much inventory do you have at home?”
Brother Chang’s father replied, “There’s still some left to dry, plus what we made today. There should be around eighty to ninety catties.”
“That should be enough to get through these next few days. We also have a bit left here,” Yu Qingze nodded, understanding the situation. Seeing a hint of disappointment on their faces, he smiled and said, “Next, we are preparing to make mooncakes, and I would like to ask for your help. This time, it will be as helpers. Both of you will be the same as Brother Chang, earning sixty wen a day. Are you willing?”
Both of them brightened up. They had just thought that they would lose an income source if they stopped making noodles. However, Brother Chang’s father furrowed his brow and asked, “Brother Chang mentioned it to us, but neither of us knows how to make mooncakes.”
Yu Qingze said, “That’s okay, I can teach you. However, Uncle, you don’t have to make mooncakes yet because tomorrow I will specifically make them at home. So, I would like to ask you to go with Brother Le and Brother Chang to take care of the snack stall. With the two of them, it will be more stable.”
“Alright,” Brother Chang’s father said without hesitation, immediately nodding. Then he scratched his head, feeling a bit embarrassed as he smiled and said, “To be honest, I’m a bit worried about making pastries. I’m not very delicate with my hands. But going to the snack stall should be fine.”
Then, Yu Qingze turned to Brother Chang’s mother and said, “Uncle, please help me make mooncakes at home. Just come over after breakfast.”
Brother Chang’s mother nodded and said, “Okay.”
“Also, uncle, can you bring the iron plate and stand for baking tuan yuan bing? We only have one at home, and it’s not enough.”
“Sure, I’ll find them and clean them up when I go back.”
After finalizing the arrangements, because they needed to make some mooncakes tonight, Brother Chang’s mother stayed behind to learn, while Brother Chang and his father headed back home for the time being.
Red bean and lotus seed both need to be soaked first. Fortunately, they had soaked red beans in the morning, so they could only make red bean paste mooncakes and mixed nuts mooncakes today.
Earlier, when Yu Qingze and the others were discussing matters, Chang Le toasted black sesame seeds and took them to the village chief’s house to grind into powder. Now that he was back, he started helping to roast peanuts, walnuts, melon seeds, and almonds. Along with the previously roasted sesame seeds, after roasting them well, he removed the red skins from the peanuts and crushed all these nuts into small particles, waiting for Yu Qingze’s further instructions.
Yu Qingze taught Chang Le and Brother Chang’s mother how to make red bean paste mooncakes, which was relatively simple, and both of them learned it quickly.
Once Brother Le finished making his part, Yu Qingze prepared the batter for the snow skin mooncakes and put it into the pot for steaming. Since he couldn’t find any milk, he made one batch without milk. Additionally, he used the juice of red amaranth to add color and made another batch that was purple.
They worked tirelessly throughout the night and didn’t sleep until midnight. They finally made 22 snow skin mooncakes (11 white and 11 purple), 15 red bean paste mooncakes, 15 mixed nuts mooncakes, and 13 black sesame mooncakes.
Not all of them were baked; some were steamed.
Brother Chang’s mother also left very late. Yu Qingze gave him six mooncakes as a token of gratitude. There were six people in Brother Chang’s family, so everyone could have a taste.
Early the next morning, Yu Qingze went with Brother Le to set up the stall. Grandpa Chang and Brother Chang’s mother stayed at home to do other tasks, such as roasting mixed nuts and cooking red and green beans and lotus seeds.
Yu Qingze also waited for Mi Ge’er to come and pick up the mooncakes. They had a brief chat and confirmed that this batch was to be sent to Yunzhou. Yu Qingze directly put them in gift boxes and instructed Mi Ge’er to consume the snow skin and steamed mooncakes as soon as possible, while the baked ones could be stored for a few more days, and the taste would be even better after a couple of days.
In Tongsan City, the Cai family also needed to send gifts. Mi Ge’er informed Yu Qingze about the approximate quantity and mentioned that he would come again in the afternoon to provide feedback on the taste of the new mooncakes. They might need to adjust the order.
After their communication was settled, Yu Qingze could return home.
Before leaving, Yu Qingze couldn’t help but worry and repeatedly reminded Chang Le.
“Brother Le, you know the process and everything, so I’m not worried about that. However, if you encounter any trouble or something you can’t handle, remember to go to Boss Liu, the owner of Liu’s Noodle House. I’ve talked to him, and he will help you. Got it?”
Chang Le nodded, indicating that he understood.
“Also, don’t work too hard. If you earn a little less money, it’s fine. Pay attention to finding time to rest, alright? When there aren’t many customers, sit down and take a break for a while. Don’t exhaust yourself.”
Chang Le continued nodding, obediently listening.
“Close the stall early today and go home early.”
Chang Le blinked and continued nodding, but he couldn’t help but make a gesture: I got it, you’ve said it many times on your way here.
Understanding his message, Yu Qingze sighed inwardly.
“Alright, I know you’ve remembered. I just can’t help but worry about you being alone. So, should I go now?”
Chang Le nodded, indicating for him to go back safely.
Beside them, Brother Chang, who had overheard the conversation, had an expressionless face: …Are my father and I not people?
Once Yu Qingze left, Brother Chang approached Chang Le and saw him still gazing at Yu Qingze’s figure. Unable to resist, he shivered.
When Chang Le finally snapped out of it, Brother Chang leaned closer to him and whispered in his ear, “Oh, do you have to be so reluctant? It’s just one day. You’ll see him when you go back in the evening. I can hear your inner voice saying, ‘Big Brother Yu, don’t go, come back quickly…'”
Upon hearing this, Chang Le turned his head, feeling both annoyed and embarrassed. He raised his hand, pretending to hit Brother Chang for his teasing words.
Brother Chang burst into laughter and quickly ran away.
Chang Le chased after him, determined to give him a good beating.
Brother Chang begged for mercy, “Oh, alright, I was wrong. I really was wrong. Brother Le, please spare me. Ah, I’m sorry. I promise I won’t eavesdrop on your inner thoughts again…”
Chang Le, feeling both embarrassed and angry, caught hold of Brother Chang and tickled him mercilessly. Brother Chang wasn’t afraid of being hit but dreaded being tickled. He laughed uncontrollably, tears welling up in his eyes.
You still can’t easily tease Brother Chang, as a cornered rabbit can also bite!
Brother Chang’s father watched the two of them, shaking his head and sighing while stringing tofu cubes. These two boys, they’re not young anymore, yet they refuse to get married and remain so mischievous!
Ah, it’s worrisome!
After the commotion settled down, Brother Chang caught his breath and then whispered to Chang Le, “By the way, Brother Le, what do you think about what I told you yesterday?”
Chang Le paused for a moment but didn’t say anything.
Seeing his silence, Brother Chang said earnestly, “How about it? Would you like to give it a try? Change your hairstyle, and who knows, you might feel different. And Brother Le, be brave and take this step. It can change your way of life, you know?”
Looking at Brother Chang’s sincere eyes and thinking about Yu Qingze, Chang Le pursed his lips and finally nodded gently.
“That’s great, Brother Le! After dinner, I’ll come find you.”
In the evening, the family busied themselves in the kitchen. Brother Chang came in with a spruce branch on his back, holding a wooden board and a pair of scissors. He said to Yu Qingze, “Boss Yu, can I borrow Brother Le for a moment? I have something important to discuss with him.”
Yu Qingze immediately understood upon seeing the scissors in Brother Chang’s hands and replied, “Sure.” However, what is the spruce branch for?
Thingyan: I’ve never had mooncakes before. Want~~~