Chapter 105: Sweet green rice ball/Mugwort rice ball
Translated by -Crystal- Rara- of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Few more days had passed, big brother Shen’s affair was just barely settled down and Alan had to leave.
Aunt Shen’s belly had shown quite clearly. Sometimes when they were cuddling, Alan would rub her belly while showing a very reluctant look. Everyone agreed through their eyes to give them some personal space. The departing moment always left a somewhat heavy atmosphere.
Then, on the second day of Lin ShuYi’s arrival to H city, Alan had finished sending regards to everyone and was ready to fly to Los Angeles.
Everyone accompanied Aunt Shen to go to see him off. Alan held both Aunt Shen’s and Mother Shen’s hands, he lowered his head and said in proper chinese, “Big sister, I have to trouble you to take care of ShiMan.”
“Don’t worry, we will take care of her.”
Alan nodded lightly. In fact, he knew that the Shen family would take a better care of Aunt Shen than anyone. Alan looked down at his wife, laid a gentle kiss on Aunt Shen’s reddened eyes. “Be good and take care of yourself, I will be back soon.”
Alan wasn’t going back to Los Angeles permanently, he had to go back because there was an important business at his company that required his presence, so he needed to go back to Los Angeles for several months. He would come back as soon a possible once things had settled.
Aunt Shen nodded at him. When the gentle female voice reminded passengers to board the plane, Alan gave Aunt Shen a final kiss on her face, waved his hands toward everyone’s gaze and then turned around and went through the boarding gate.
Mother Shen went forward and held Aunt Shen’s shoulder, but she didn’t comfort her. Aunt Shen turned her head and said, “Let’s go back.”
Obviously, she was a little sad, but she didn’t need everyone to tend her, and not to mention, Lin ShuYi still had two children to take care of.
Throughout the trip, Taotao was happily looking from east to west until he got tired. Shen Fu held him and he was sleeping with his tiny blushing face leaning on Shen Fu’s shoulder.
Xiao Yu’s hand was being held by Lin ShuYi. When he saw Alan leave, he went to Aunt Shen’s side and pulled her hand. “Grandaunt, don’t be upset, we will be by your side when granduncle is not here.”
Aunt Shen was stunned, she protected her belly while squatting down, a smile slowly appeared on her face as she touched Xiao Yu’s head, “Thank you Xiao Yu.”
And then the family drove back.
Ever since old master Shen approved of the relationship between big brother Shen and Jiang Cheng, Jiang Cheng escaped to the Shen family more often. He simply regarded Shen family as his own home. He hadn’t returned to China for very long and the business hadn’t fully stabilized domestically, and also because the Jiang’s parents were unwilling to compromise, everyday had been very busy for Jiang Cheng. Nevertheless, whenever he had time, he would go to Shen family’s home and totally didn’t see himself as outsiders at all. When Shen Fu saw his brother become more and more expressive, he sighed, love really can soften the heart.
But in the end, busy was still busy. Jiang Cheng might have come but every time he came he couldn’t stay for long as he would get interrupted by various phone calls and had to leave.
Recently, Brother Shen seldom came late and left early. Probably because since he got the approval of his family, his head became clear and Shen Fu’s workload immediately became significantly less.
Shen Fu used the rest of his time to accompany Lin ShuYi.
Lin ShuYi thought to himself, by the time when Tang Shuang could completely take over Xiqin restaurant, he would hand over the main business of Xiqin Restaurant to him. After all, Tao Tao and Xiao Yu were getting bigger and bigger, there would be more things he needed to care about.
However, this didn’t mean that Lin ShuYi would become an arm-flinging shopkeeper. Xiqin Restaurant’s definition had been very clear since the reopening. As a private diners focused on the exquisiteness and taste, it carried Lin ShuYi’s desire to never stop innovating. His original idea was to add some fresh dishes to the restaurant from time to time, and this was undoubtedly something only Lin ShuYi could do.
t/n: arm-flinging shopkeeper = sb who asks others to work but does nothing himself/ to count money without doing anything.
It was probably because of his nature, but he didn’t have much ambition in this life. Back then, he took over the Xiqin restaurant just so that he could make old man Yang’s life become less difficult. Later on, because of his relationship with Shen Fu, he decided to expand the restaurant, big enough so that he could stand equally to Shen Fu. Yet, after having two children, Lin ShuYi stopped having these thoughts.
In fact, he knew long ago that both of them had never really cared about other people’s opinion. He worked hard because of Shen Fu, but now because of his two children, he wanted to lead a simple life.
Shen Fu had no opinion on this. He liked the Lin ShuYi who strived his best to become his equal, but he liked the Lin ShuYi who just wanted a simple family life together even more.
The weather was getting warmer and warmer. The Qingming festival happened to fall next to the weekend, so Xiao Yu had a total of four days off from school. Shen Fu drove to Xiao Yu’s school to pick him up before bringing them to H city to worship the ancestors, and also to take the two children on a spring trip.
When Shen Fu arrived at Xiao Yu’s school, classes had yet to dismissed. Xiao Yu’s school wasn’t that far from home, but Shen Fu was more than willing to pick him up. Judging from Xiao Yu’s personality, he would be overjoyed at his return.
There were many adults waiting for the children outside the school. Most of them were grandparents but occasionally there would be a few fathers and mothers mixed among. But Shen Fu definitely stood out from the rest. A man as beautiful as jade leaned against the car, who was wearing the jacket he bought together with Xiao Yu last time, paired with a thin v-neck sweater inside, Shen Fu’s overwhelmingly handsome appearance attracted lots of attention. However, he kept stroking his phone subconsciously while looking up from time to time, because his son hadn’t come out yet.
So when Xiao Yu came out with his classmates and saw Shen Fu standing at the door, the little kid’s eyes suddenly lit and he started waving nonstop, “Dad!”
Shen Fu walked over to him with a bright smile.
Xiao Yu rushed into Shen Fu’s arms and was lifted up by him. He hugged his neck and laughed. “Dad, why are you here?”
“I’m here to take you to see your grandparents.”
Xiao Yu smiled happily, “Awesome!”
Standing behind them was Xiao Yu’s classmates, they had been all eyes on Shen Fu since the beginning. There were two girls among the group who kept looking back and forth at Xiao Yu and Shen Fu with a slightly blushing face, “Lin Yu’s dad is so good looking, no wonder Lin Yu is also good looking.”
Shen Fu put Xiao Yu down. Xiao Yu took his classmates to front and briefly introduced them. Shen Fu smiled and said hello. Finally, Xiao Yu proudly pulled Shen Fu’s big hand up and introduced him to his classmates. “This is my dad!”
The classmates greeted him, “Hello uncle.”
The children stood there and talked with each other for a while before being picked up by their guardians. When there was only one child left, he stood beside Xiao Yu, took a peak at Shen Fu and whispered to Xiao Yu’s ear, “Xiao Yu, I thought the one I saw last time was your father.”
Xiao Yu paused for a while, he then looked at Shen Fu and said, “En, they are both my dads, our family is quite special, I will tell you about it sometimes later.”
Since they were good friends, so even though the boy was full of shock and surprise, he didn’t ask much. Then he left after nodded his head and said goodbye to Xiao Yu.
Shen Fu drove Xiao Yu back and picked up the other two before heading back to the Shen family.
Xiao Yu was very happy and talked continuously about what happened in his school with Shen Fu along the way. Shen Fu smiled and listened, he could see that Xiao Yu really liked his school.
Speaking to this, Xiao Yu suddenly stopped and asked earnestly, “Dad, can I tell my friends I have two dads?”
Shen Fu was slightly shocked, he said, “You don’t have to tell them if it troubles you.”
Xiao Yu quickly shook his head. “No, he is a good friend of mine and I want to tell him, I have two dads and they love me more than anyone!”
He spoke as he raised his chin in pride. What’s wrong without having a mother? He already has two bestest dads in the whole world!
Shen Fu raised the corner of his mouth, smiled. “Well, Xiao Yu and Tao Tao are also my and Dad Lin’s favorite.”
Xiao Yu blinked, “Dad Shen, Isn’t dad Lin your most favorite person?”
Shen Fu was taken by surprise. He then laughed loudly, “Yes, but I also like Xiao Yu and Tao Tao most. These two feelings are different, you will understand when you get older.”
Xiao Yu was not very satisfied with this answer but it didn’t matter as long as Dad Shen liked him.
Lin ShuYi didn’t have to worry too much about the Qingming festival, since the current tradition had become less hassle compared to before. Tao tao didn’t go with them on the Qingming day and was taken care of by Aunty Chen. The rest of the family all left together.
When they were about to return home, Old Master Shen suddenly said he wanted to eat the Green rice ball. Lin ShuYi didn’t quite understand what Green rice ball was, but when he heard that the green rice ball is the must-have dish for the Qingming festival in H city, so he was fascinated.
“I remember that the Qingtang Botanical Garden seems to have some mugwort. Do you want to go check?” Dad Shen suggested.
Shen Fu thought about it and said, “I will go with Xiao Yi to pick some up. You guys should go home first, both Tao tao and Aunty Chen are at home, I’m afraid that Tao tao would cry if he doesn’t see anyone for a long time.”
So everyone split ways, Shen Fu drove Lin ShuYi to Qingtang Botanical Garden and the rest went home.
Dad Shen’s memory was quite good. There were really a small mugwort garden in the Qingtang Botanical Garden. There weren’t too many this time and some people had already picked some.
Shen Fu rolled up his sleeves and started picking. Lin ShuYi stood on the side and couldn’t stop laughing.
Shen Fu had no choice but to turn back, “What is so funny?”
Lin ShuYi pointed at the few aunties next to him, laughed, “Nothing, I suddenly feel that you are quite suitable for this.”
Shen Fu raised his lips and smiled, his expression was bright, “Not only am I’m suitable for doing this, I’m also suitable for doing you.”
Lin ShuYi blushed to his ears. He glanced at him and then turned his back to somewhere else and picked the mugwort on the ground without saying a word.
Shen Fu laughed out loud.
Even though the Green rice ball was a must-have dish during Qingming Festival, it was very simple to make.
Wash the mugwort leaves through boiling water, then cool them down in cold water. Add water to make mugwort juice, and then glutinous rice flour could be added in to make into a dough. Roll into each smaller dough and flatten them before stuffing in sweetened bean paste. Wrap and steam them in a pot.
The green rice ball was very easy to make, but as for the bean paste, it was quite a bit troublesome since everyone weren’t too fond of sweet treats. Thus, the bean paste filling was done by Mother Shen herself. After soaking the red beans for half an afternoon, it was cooked inside the pressure cooker for twenty minutes. When the water had almost gone, the bean paste was strained through the sieve and washed through clear water. Gave it a few rubs and then strained through cheesecloth. Through all the steps, the bean paste would reach the best softness with the bean skin completely removed.
The final step was stir-fry. Using lard was better, but since there was none, she used the clear and tasteless corn oil. The bean paste was poured into the pot, added in brown sugar to taste, stir-fried over low heat until the moisture evaporated slowly, and the bean paste began to feel sticky.
Tao Tao drooled at the green rice ball, but he couldn’t eat glutinous rice. Lin ShuYi broke one ball apart and fed him the bean paste.
The homemade bean paste tasted soft and sweet, and the green dumplings had the unique fragrance of mugwort leaves. Old Master Shen really liked it. He ate several balls all at once, and then was stopped by Dad Shen.
Glutinous rice was not an easily digestible food, it was better to eat less.
t/n: Mugwort rice ball: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/m/jiangsu/kunshantravel/2014-10/16/content_18747896.htm
Qingming Festival is a traditional Chinese festival and an important day of sacrifice for most people (including the Han Chinese and China’s 55 other ethnic minorities) to go and sweep tombs and commemorate their ancestors. On this day, tomb sweeping is one of the most important and popular activities to show respect to ancestors.