Gu Shi couldn’t help but chuckle at her satisfied smile and asked, “Are you this excited?”
“Of course! A greenhouse is the ultimate dream for anyone who loves plants,” she replied confidently. She had already made up her mind to use one room for displaying ordinary yet somewhat precious greenery, while the other would house Golden Crystal and future newly cultivated species.
Once the greenhouse was constructed, she would start cultivating various plants such as orchids, violets, and wild plants. All of these would serve as materials for cultivation.
Oh, she also planned to plant two Gatekeeper’s Trumpet flowers at the entrance of each greenhouse.
This type of flower wasn’t related to plant fairies; she would nurture them with spiritual energy and imbue them with defense consciousness. If anyone tried to enter or damage the greenhouse unauthorized, the vines of the trumpet flower would entangle them. The more they struggled, the tighter the vines would wrap around them.
During her time in the interstellar, she had used these vines to guard her house. Their effectiveness surpassed any traditional security measures.
Glancing at Zhao Lei, Gu Shi asked, “Did you understand?”
Zhao Lei looked at Gu Shi, recognizing his distinguished demeanor and his surname Gu. He presumed this might be the rarely seen Second Young Master Gu.
Rumors had it that he was in poor health, but now it seemed those were just rumors. Apart from being slightly thin, he had a healthy complexion and a vigorous spirit. There was no trace of illness in his appearance.
Various speculations flashed through Zhao Lei’s mind, but he maintained a composed expression as he stood up respectfully and replied, “Understood.”
Since he had come here, no matter how difficult the employer’s request, he had to complete it. The Gu family was not to be trifled with, and he couldn’t afford to change his mind now.
Gu Shi looked at Su Mu and said, “Aunt is preparing lunch. You should help her. I’ll entertain Mr. Zhao here.”
Su Mu didn’t oppose him and nodded, saying, “Sure, I’ll head to the kitchen. Mr. Zhao, after lunch, I’ll take you to inspect the site.”
Zhao Lei naturally agreed verbally, but he felt a sense of bitterness inside. He didn’t dare to let Second Young Master Gu personally entertain him.
After Su Mu left, Gu Shi’s demeanor returned to its cold appearance. The two of them sat in awkward silence, with only the occasional rustling of leaves in the wind breaking the stillness.
Luckily, Mother Su worked quickly. In no time, the meal was served.
Heard that He Fu and Tang Hui, who had been strolling around the village, were back as well, and they helped bring the several large pots of dishes onto Father Su’s three-wheeled cart.
The construction team that came from a distance to build the house was managed by Su family, as they needed to be accommodated and fed. There wasn’t enough space at home for dozens of people to stay, so they were arranged to stay in villagers’ houses. They were charged 20 yuan per night, and the cost was covered by Su family.
Originally, Su Mu planned to let Grandma Li and others prepare the meal, but her mother took care of it.
Once Father Su took away the food and soup, the Su family’s lunch began. Everyone took their seats, and Mother Su warmly greeted Zhao Lei, asking him not to feel restrained.
The meal was still sumptuous today. In consideration with Gu Shi and Tang Hui’s health, soup was an essential component of every meal. Today’s soup was to nourish the liver and improve eyesight – three fresh ingredients with Wolfberry Leaves.
The main ingredients are lean fresh meat, pork liver, sausage, and wolfberry leaves. It’s very simple and easy to make, and it tastes great.
Knowing that Gu Shi doesn’t like to eat meat bought from outside, Su Mu proactively served him half a bowl of soup and said, “This soup is delicious, without a hint of gaminess.”
Everyone at the table pretended not to notice and focused on eating.
However, Mother Su’s mood wasn’t that great. No mother would be happy to see her daughter making such an effort to be kind to another man.
Fortunately, what followed from Gu Shi somewhat eased her emotions.
Gu Shi picked up a bite of vegetables and said, “These greens are delicious. Auntie has excellent culinary skills; they’re both crispy and sweet.”
Su Mu’s face immediately turned bitter. While the vegetables she grew tasted good, she was an avid meat eater. That’s why she persuaded her father to raise chickens and ducks in the lychee orchard, just to have plenty of meat to eat.
Gu Shi didn’t pay attention to her expression and finished his soup. He slightly raised his bowl, indicating that he had finished the soup and it was her turn to eat the vegetables.
Mother Su said indifferently, “It’s just a mouthful of vegetables, not medicine. Is it really that serious?”
Hearing this, Su Mu didn’t dare to hesitate anymore and quickly finished the vegetables in her bowl.
Meanwhile, the other guest, Zhao Lei, who had been eating diligently, couldn’t maintain his table manners anymore. He couldn’t fathom why Miss Su disliked vegetables so much. Green vegetables tasted much better than meat!
After the meal, Su Mu planned to take Zhao Lei to the location for building the flower house. Gu Shi, Tang Hui, and He Fu also expressed their interest in going, turning the two-person outing into a group activity.
The chosen site for the flower house was by the pond, covering about five acres of land, which was quite spacious.
The pond was located behind the house. The lotus roots Su Mu had planted earlier had already grown, and large lotus leaves stood on the water, occasionally revealing pink flower buds, though they hadn’t bloomed yet.
“This location is excellent. There are no large trees blocking the sunlight, and the lighting conditions are good,” commented Zhao Lei. With a pond nearby, once the flower house was built, they could directly draw water from the pond for irrigation and watering.
He walked around the area, evaluating its suitability. The location was appropriate. The next step was to discuss the size of the flower house, its design, and the choice of construction materials, among other things.
Su Mu explained her ideas and requirements to him one by one, and Zhao Lei carefully incorporated them into his creative design. Two days later, he presented the final draft. Using computer technology, he transformed the envisioned flower house into a 3D image and showed it to Su Mu for confirmation.
After looking at it, Su Mu expressed her delight. The flower house had a semi-enclosed elliptical design. Of course, through technology, it could be fully enclosed, turning it into a greenhouse. This design effectively combined the concepts of a flower house and a greenhouse.
However, it would be more costly to build in this manner. But Su Mu didn’t mind the extra expense and instructed Zhao Lei to proceed with his design.
With the confirmation in hand, Zhao Lei soon left Huayuan Village. After returning, he needed to customize the building materials for the flower house. Once the materials were ready, it would probably be around mid-June before construction could begin. This was already the fastest speed his company could manage.
After seeing Zhao Lei off, Su Mu noticed that the bamboo segments next to Grandma Li’s house were slender and smooth. This triggered a memory of a dish related to bamboo.
Without delay, she changed direction and walked into Grandma Li’s house.
Grandma Li was currently shelling corn. Seeing Su Mu, she smiled and said, “Mu Mu is here, have a seat.”
Su Mu sat on a small stool and picked up an ear of corn. As she slowly removed the kernels, she spoke, “Grandma Li, can I cut down some bamboo from your place?”
In reality, when she was a child, she wouldn’t inform the owners when she cut bamboo from their yards. The villagers would occasionally cut some bamboo themselves since bamboo had strong vitality and grew quickly. If left unchecked, it would gradually spread and damage the foundations of houses.
But now that bamboo could be sold, she couldn’t cut it without notifying the owners.
Grandma Li’s hands didn’t stop as she replied, “Sure, why not? Your Grandpa Li was even saying we should cut some down in a few days to use as firewood.”
Su Mu asked, “Why not wait for it to grow bigger and sell it?”
“Bamboo isn’t worth much these years. When it grows tall and its leaves become dense, it blocks the sunlight. My yard still needs sunlight for drying things. You can go ahead and cut it. The knife is here if you need it. Do you want me to help?”
Su Mu waved her hand, “No need, I’ll do it myself.”
“Alright then, be careful and stay safe.”
“I know, Grandma Li. You can rest assured.”
With a knife in hand, Su Mu walked to the bamboo grove and chose two evenly sized bamboo shoots. They weren’t very large, and after a short while of chopping, they fell down. She trimmed off the side branches and the ends.
She didn’t cut them into individual sections because it would be difficult to carry them back home. Carrying the bamboo shoots back to Grandma Li’s house, she returned the knife to her. “Grandma Li, I’m done, here’s your knife.”
Seeing the bamboo shoots she had selected, Grandma Li immediately smiled, “Are you planning to make bamboo tube rice?”
Su Mu nodded with a smile, “Yes, it’s been a while since I had it, and suddenly I started craving it.”
Grandma Li responded, “That’s right, the kids in the village nowadays aren’t like you were when you were young.”
Back in her childhood, food and entertainment were relatively scarce. Su Mu and her friends would go up the mountains and down the rivers, making their own food. Bamboo tube rice was something she used to make frequently, and she loved the crispy outer layer of rice, especially when it was nicely roasted.
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
Su Mu said, “I’ll use some to roast and some to boil. Once it’s done, I’ll bring you some.”
“That’s wonderful, I’m looking forward to your bamboo tube rice.”
“Alright, then I’ll head back now.”
It was still a bit of a struggle to carry the two bamboo shoots. Su Mu tied them up with vines from the roadside, making it easier to carry them back home.
When she arrived home, He Fu and the others were still in the process of dealing with the grapes. They were planning to turn the grapes into grape wine.
Seeing her come in with two bamboo shoots, Tang Hui curiously asked, “Mu Mu, what are you planning to do with those?”
Su Mu used a knife to cut the bamboo shoots into sections and answered, “I’m making bamboo tube rice.”
Now, the three of them couldn’t sit still. They left the grapes and rolled up their sleeves, indicating that they wanted to help. Su Mu handed them the knife. However, after seeing the clumsily cut bamboo sections, she shooed them away and decided to handle it herself. It seemed that no bamboo tubes would survive intact.
The outer skin of the cut bamboo sections was quite thick, so she had to carefully thin it out. After thinning about thirty or forty sections, it took her a considerable amount of time. The glutinous rice that had been soaked in warm water had expanded significantly and was ready for use. Su Mu then diced sausages and preserved meat, mixed some of the rice with them, and prepared a savory version of bamboo tube rice.
For the sweet version, she added crushed peanuts, crushed nuts, and raisins. Since making bamboo tube rice was a spur-of-the-moment decision, she didn’t include red beans because they required too much soaking time.
While mixing the ingredients, she added a bit of salt to the savory version. For the sweet version, she added some white sugar.
She filled each bamboo tube with the mixture and sealed them with banana leaves.
Cutting bamboo sections might have been a challenge, but filling bamboo tubes with rice was something a group of grown men could manage. With his keen observation, Gu Shi quickly noticed the difference in the bamboo tubes.
“Mu Mu, why are there a few sections at the bottom without holes?”
Su Mu answered, “The ones without holes are for roasting. When we roast them, if they run out of water, we can add more inside. The ones with holes are for boiling. During boiling, water will seep into the bamboo tube so that the rice doesn’t dry out.”
With assistance, they quickly filled all the bamboo tubes with the mixture. Su Mu neatly arranged the bamboo tubes in a pot, added water until it covered the tubes, covered the pot, and turned on the heat. Boiling over high heat for about two hours would result in delicious bamboo tube rice.
Next, she moved the firewood outside the courtyard and started a fire.
Tang Hui asked, “Don’t we need a grill?” He thought that roasting bamboo tube rice was similar to barbecuing, done on a grill.
Su Mu shook her head, “We’ll wait until the firewood turns into charcoal. After adding water inside the bamboo tubes and sealing them, we’ll bury them in the charcoal heap. Of course, we’ll need to turn them occasionally, or else the bamboo tubes will burn. So, who wants to watch over the bamboo tubes now?”
The sun was quite intense today, but Gu Shi and the others hadn’t experienced anything so fun before. They all expressed their willingness to stay.
As a result, the three grown men put on straw hats, sat on small stools, fanned themselves, and stared at the fire intently, surrounding the charcoal heap.
Thankfully, there was a patch of shade overhead; otherwise, they might have suffered from heatstroke.