Pork Slices in Gravy
It’s said that a greenhouse is the ultimate dream of every flower enthusiast. Generally, for a semi-enclosed greenhouse to ensure proper sunlight exposure for the plants inside, it doesn’t require a large area and can be constructed in the front or back yard of a house.
After searching for related information, Su Mu felt that building two glass-structured greenhouses would be more suitable. The cost of a glass greenhouse could range from one to several thousand yuan, depending on various factors, all of which depended on her choices.
The greenhouse she needed didn’t have to be too large, around 500 square meters would suffice, as rare plants aren’t easy to cultivate. Su Mu had a rough budget in mind, and the cost was well within her means. However, the prerequisite was the successful negotiation of buying or renting the land; only then could she proceed to the next step.
While pondering over this, the ringing of her phone interrupted her thoughts. The words “Guo Guo” were dancing on the phone screen, and a smile crept onto Su Mu’s face as she answered the call.
“Hey, Guo Guo, you’re finally awake?” Hearing her friend’s teasing words, Chen Guo awkwardly rubbed her round apple-like face.
“Um, what did I say this morning?” Normally, her temper was good, but if she was disturbed while sleeping, she could turn into an “irritable” female warrior.
Actually, she had scolded her mentor at the law firm a couple of times while half-awake… If her mentor didn’t know her well, who knows what kind of misunderstanding could have arisen.
Su Mu cleared her throat twice. “Who is it? Disturbing someone’s sweet dream is as bad as killing their parents. It’s a criminal act… I’m gonna…”
Chen Guo let out a wail, burying her face in the soft pillow, and her toe-scratching of embarrassment.
“I can’t change this habit. I’m sorry, Mu Mu.”
Su Mu chuckled lightly, “It should be me apologizing for disturbing your sleep.”
“Oh, by the way, I carefully reviewed the contract you sent me. No issues. For The client (Party A) is really, really fair.” Talking about business, Chen Guo’s tone turned serious in an instant.
“Could it be the boss is interested in you and is finding various ways to send you money? Also, sweetheart, are these vegetable prices really this high?” It’s not that she didn’t believe Su Mu, but the price seemed excessively high that anyone would naturally doubt it.
Su Mu scolded playfully, “I unintentionally did a small favor for Party A’s father. The vegetable prices aren’t high, they can only be considered fair for the quality. I’ve sent you a box this morning; it should arrive in two to three days. Remember to check.”
Chen Guo shook her head vigorously, “No, no, Mu Mu, you’d better keep them and sell them. If it were regular vegetables, I would have accepted them without hesitation. Now that I know the price is this high, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to accept them so easily.”
“Alright, they’ve already been sent out. Besides, with our friendship, what’s a box of vegetables? You’ll understand how reasonable my pricing is once you taste them yourself.”
“Alright then, my dear, I’ll take care of your contracts from now on. Boss, feel free to give me any orders.”
Chen Guo’s playfulness had Su Mu bursting into laughter, “Boss? Something like facing the soil and facing the sky?”
(Note: “Facing the soil and facing the sky” is a colloquial phrase in Chinese that means someone is very casual and down-to-earth.)
The two chatted away for quite some time. When they hung up, Su Mu still felt a bit unsatisfied. Just now, it felt like she had gone back to her university days, even though her memories of that time weren’t very deep. After all, she had spent several decades in the interstellar realm herself.
With the phone call over, it was now noon. Mother Su was holding scissors, pruning damaged fruits under the grapevine. The grape harvest was plentiful this year, and the quality was good, attracting nearby birds to come and peck at them, which worried her.
Leaving the bad fruit on the vine would steal nutrients from the good fruit, so trimming off the damaged ones was like thinning the crop.
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
Chen Mengzhi supported her head, feeling drowsy and wondering if it was due to the ease of getting sleepy in the summer. She always felt like she didn’t get enough sleep.
Seeing her like this, Su Mu closed her laptop and whispered to her mother, “Mom, I’ll go make lunch. What do you feel like eating?”
“Just make something simple. But I soaked some wood ear mushrooms and dried bamboo shoots this morning. Xiaowei likes them.”
“In that case, should I just take care of it?”
“Sure, Mom believes in you.”
Rural kids grow up quickly. Many of them start learning how to cook even before they’re as tall as the stove. Su Mu was no exception. Although she always felt her cooking was not as delicious as her mother’s, she had learned to cook at an early age.
Once in the kitchen, she started by steaming the rice and then proceeded to cook a pot of corn porridge. The corn had been ground into rice-like grains, meticulously stripped of any remaining husks, leaving them clean and golden, just like millet.
In the humid and hot southern weather, many people enjoy eating porridge due to the climate, not because of poverty as some might say. In fact, there are many variations of porridge derived from simple rice and water, like in Guangdong Province where it’s not just a matter of mixing rice and water.
Boat Congee, Jidi Congee, Shenggun Congee, and Pot Congee, among others, are all quite intricate and complex in their preparation, with high nutritional value.
Although she didn’t grow up in Guangdong Province, her culinary habits were also influenced to some extent. Generally, in the hot summer afternoons, people drink porridge, reserving rice for their meals in the morning and evening.
She had another reason for cooking porridge. In the morning, it seemed like Gu Shi liked corn porridge quite a bit. Su Mu poured some corn and rice into the pot, cleaned them, and had a clear idea of how much water to add.
Considering the weather, she didn’t prepare anything greasy but instead planned to make more cold dishes, like marinated lettuce with dried tofu, three-silk cold salad, and others. She could include dried bamboo shoots and wood ear mushrooms in these dishes, which would undoubtedly meet Wei Liu’s preferences.
However, all of these were cold dishes, and even though Gu Shi and the others were important guests at home, it was still a bit informal. She needed to prepare some main dishes as well.
Su Mu checked the ingredients in the refrigerator and found lean meat, spare ribs, and chicken wings.
Her eyes lit up as she knew what to do next. The lean meat could be used to make a traditional delicacy from Fujian Province called “Fuding Pork Slices”. Its unique and delicious flavor made it a favorite among many.
The required ingredients were simple, and the cooking process wasn’t too difficult. Su Mu was confident that she could make it well.
As for the spare ribs, she decided to make them into sweet and sour spare ribs, a dish that was both tangy and appetizing.
For the chicken wings, she planned to make cola-flavored chicken wings—just the right balance of salty and sweet, with tender meat that wouldn’t be too heavy during the summer.
With her goals set, Su Mu sprang into action. The most crucial step in making Fuding Pork Slices was to chop the lean meat into a paste and then to find the right ratio of meat to starch. She hadn’t actually made this dish before, but she had seen the process online. The way that food blogger effortlessly handled it had left a deep impression on her.
She felt that Fuding Pork Slices were somewhat akin to the hand-beaten beef balls from Chaoshan, although the seasonings were much more elaborate in the former.
In the kitchen, she worked methodically while the tasks on the hillside came to a close. The leader of the work team wiped the sweat from his forehead and smiled at Father Su, “With the final stake hammered down, the job is done.”
Father Su smiled genuinely, “You’ve worked hard.”
“No trouble at all. Since we’ve taken this job, I assure you we’ll finish it in style!”
“Haha, thank you, Master Chen. If I need anything in the future, I’ll give you a call.”
“Alright, my brothers and I will head back now.”
Father Su had paid them generously for their work, so they weren’t provided with meals. They completed the job efficiently and wouldn’t be delayed for lunch while returning to the city.
At this moment, Su Chen was carrying the cut branches outside the fence. Wei Liu and Gu Shi, who were idly wandering around, emerged from somewhere. Excitedly, Wei Liu exclaimed, “Su Chen, there’s actually a waterfall at the foot of this mountain. Can you guess what I found there?”