“Alright. I’ll be back before you know it; so help me keep an eye on the stove!” Sang Wan sighed to herself and hurried back to the small garden.
Once she handed the keys back to Shi Fengju, she hurriedly headed back to the kitchen. Knowing that she had to prepare the dishes for tonight’s dinner, Shi Fengju remained silent and let her continue with her cooking.
On the route back to the kitchen, Sang Wan gradually slowed down her pace.
The flame strength and duration, for both dishes on the stove, were different; the distance between her stove and Liu Ya’s stove were far apart; and Zhide had already promised to look after her stove when she was away… under such circumstances, she could not request Liu Ya to help keep an eye on her stove—– it would definitely embarrass Zhide! Moreover, the winter melon soup had already left her sight for such a long time. And since Zhide isn’t her, who is extremely wary of her surroundings due to her past life experiences, if someone were to tamper with her soup, that person would have had ample time to do so during her absence.
Regardless whether that soup was actually tampered, she cannot afford to take that risk!
By any chance, if Wang Shi were to develop red rashes after eating the soup she made, the result was not something she’d like to experience again!
The winter melon soup must not be served.
So what should I do?
Sang Wan lifted her head to look at the vast empty sky as the sun gradually sets in the west, emitting a bright orange glow across the horizon. The view was like a beautiful dream and yet, all Sang Wan could feel was the coming of a nightmare.
Her gaze fell suddenly onto a large flourished tree. With that, her eyes glistened. That was a Chinese mahogany; she remembered that her mother-in-law not only loves winter melon soup, but also bean curd with Chinese mahogany. Unfortunately, the leaves on that tree were no longer young; the season to eat bean curd with Chinese mahogany was already over!
However, her face gradually brightened and the will within her firmed up. Her lips hooked to a side and she sneered; tonight, she would make bean curd with Chinese mahogany!
There was no Chinese mahogany scions to be used, but the bark of that old Chinese mahogany tree can still be boiled. Once boiled, the water is then filtered before soaking the scions of the Chinese leafy vegetables for around two minutes. After soaking the scions, chop the Chinese leafy vegetables finely and it should look similar to when the Chinese mahogany scions were used. As for the bean curd, boil it in the Chinese mahogany flavored water before taking it out and mixing it together with the chopped Chinese leafy vegetables. With the significant Chinese mahogany taste, the dish could be confused as an actual dish of bean curd with Chinese mahogany.
In her past life, Gu Fangzi also made this dish for Wang Shi when there was no Chinese mahogany to be used. And once Wang Shi tasted it, she was delighted and praised Gu Fangzi for being skillful in her cooking. Today, she shall follow her example, which did not seem like a bad idea.
Sang Wan mind was set. She immediately called for a strong maidservant to peel two big pieces of bark from the old Chinese mahogany tree before taking the two pieces to the kitchen herself and prepared the dish in accordance with her memory of how Gu Fangzi explained to Wang Shi regarding the method to prepare it; which attracted the gaze filled with amazement and curiosity from Lady Jian and several other kitchen staff.
When it was time for the winter melon soup to be served, Sang Wan swiftly stepped and release her foot from a kitchen staff’s long skirt before quietly dodging from the eyes of the kitchen staff. The kitchen staff gasp and knocked into the maidservant who was about to serve the winter melon soup onto Wang Shi’s table. Losing her balance, the winter melon soup in her hand fell and splattered onto the floor.
The commotion alarmed the people within the kitchen and they gazed in the direction of the commotion. Their face instantly changed and they worriedly looked at one another.
“Nubi should be punished! Nubi should be punished!”
“Nubi didn’t do it on purpose. Nubi——”
The maidservant and kitchen staff were both scared out of their wits. One pleaded guilty and the other tried to justify herself; both were not in the right frame of mind. That dish was not any ordinary dish; it was a dish prepared as a newlywed daughter-in-law by their Ma’am which was to be served to her mother-in-law as a sign of competency. No words could let them off easily; knowing so, the two immediately kneel on the floor.
Sang Wan remained silent and her eyebrow was raised slightly. Pursing her lips up, she displayed an indifferent expression.
She was this family’s new daughter-in-law. With the use of her position to reprimand them would certainly look arrogant; but if she were to let them go too easily, she’ll lose her dignity. As such, remaining silent to express her dissatisfaction and displeasure would be the most appropriate.
In her past life, she was too gentle and kind, and was thus stepped on by people. Many people are like that; fear comes before respect.
But once all authority is lost, recovery would never be easy!
Anyway, someone would definitely voice out if she remained silent.
Lady Jian secretly winced. She was the head staff; if the servants beneath her were to stir up trouble, she would also have to bear the responsibility. Stepping up quickly, she gave the two a scolding before turning to Sang Wan and bowed as she apologized. With a smile, she spoke, “These two servants will not go unpunished; rest assured Ma’am, this old maidservant here will punish them severely till satisfactory! Still, things have ended up this way and the winter melon soup ——hēhē, if I may, luckily, Ma’am was foresighted and made bean curd with Chinese mahogany. Laonu suggests serving the steamed mandarin fish together with the bean curd with Chinese mahogany! Ma’am, at this moment, dinner is of importance; dinner will commence shortly! These two wretched maidservants will definitely not be let off easily!”