Chapter 5: Dried Bayberry
Translated by Fairy godmother Rara of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
TianHua Mountain was flooded with people coming in and out of the bayberry garden. Bayberries were in season at this time of year, each of them were packed with a tasty sweet and sour flavor. The countryside scenery was quite beautiful as well, thus many people came to visit and enjoy the place.
Bayberries weren’t exactly cheap, but this was an exceptional case because S city was abounded with them. Since it was in season, the price was much cheaper, they could be eaten fresh after being picked, or could be brought back home for a very cheap price.
The whole bayberry garden was full of people. The red purple color of the bayberries could be seen on top of the tall trees. There were many different varieties of bayberries planted in the garden but the price was the same, that was why so many people visited this place.
“Xiao Yi ah, come here and try some. Bayberries are the sweetest during this time.” Old man Yang picked one and gave it to Lin ShuYi. This was the first time he had ever seen this type of fruit. It was round, purple red color, and it was very delicious and sweet.
Lin ShuYi ate it with smile all over his face, after that, he quickly put all the same color ones inside his basket.
Old man Yang was a bit surprised, then he laughed loudly.
“Why do you look like someone who has never tried a bayberry before? Are you going to pick only this type of bayberry and not the others?”
Lin ShuYi was also stunned, others? There are something else better than this one?
As the matter of fact, even though they were all called bayberries, there were many varieties of it. Lin ShuYi tasted every kind of bayberry, but in the end he still felt the one old man Yang gave him was the best. By lunchtime, Lin ShuYi was so full with bayberries that he didn’t feel hungry at all.
Down the mountain, there were a lot of farmer families so a lot of people who came here for the bayberry garden would also come go there to eat. Old man Yang was no exception, he brought Lin ShuYi to one of the houses.
Although it was just a farmer family, it wasn’t shabby-looking at all. The exterior decoration was traditional with a blueish black brick tiled roof, while the interior was decorated with rustic wood. It looked like an ancient building.
Lin ShuYi felt at home, as if he went back in time in front of the Lotus Tower.
“Sir, what do you want to eat?”
“Roast chicken.” Lin ShuYi subconsciously blurted out.
t/n: He said 烧鸡 Shao ji, this is an old way of preparing roast chicken. The different is that the modern roast chicken uses an oven, but this traditional style used oil all over the skin to make it crispy before boiling it in special made sauce.
The lady who took their order was surprised a bit, she looked at Lin ShuYi who blushed.
“Sorry, we don’t have that type of dish here.”
Lao Yang Tuo was also stunned, roast chicken? Did he mean oven-roasted chicken?
“It’s ok, Xiao Yi, do you want to eat chicken? Then, can I order a spicy braised rooster instead?”
The lady nodded, wrote down two more orders before going to the back.
After the meal, they walked around TianHua mountain a bit before heading home. After all, people who drove had it easier than people who had to take the bus. If they missed their bus, it would be very difficult to find another one in this wilderness.
Lin ShuYi couldn’t stop grinning while holding on to the box full of bayberries. His house didn’t have a fridge, and with this weather, the bayberries wouldn’t last very long. However, he could bring them back and make them into dried bayberries instead, with its sweet and sour flavor, the taste probably wouldn’t be as bad.
But his happiness was interrupted when someone bumped into his box causing them to fall down and scatter all over the ground. Some passersby accidentally stepped on them. Seeing the bayberries becoming inedible, Lin ShuYi immediately frowned and was fueled with anger. When he looked up, in front of him was a man. The man was looking at the bayberries on the ground, and then looked at him with a smile.
“I’m sorry.” Even if that man’s voice was quite soothing, his face handsome, Lin ShuYi couldn’t be happy.
The man thought for a moment, then turned his head around to the woman sitting inside the black car, “Anna, help me take out the box of bayberries in the back.”
Very soon, the woman put down a box of bayberries in front of Lin ShuYi, not until then did his mood become a bit better.
Shen Fu furrowed his brows and laughed, what a funny little thing. His expressions were written on his face and he was so much fun to tease. “I’m sorry, I really didn’t mean to. Let me compensate you with this box of bayberries.”
Lin ShuYi squinted his eyes and answered in a deadpan manner, “Then I won’t excuse myself.”
Shen Fu chuckled out loud.
When old man Yang turned around, he saw Lin ShuYi was standing beside a stranger. The man was putting his hand in his pocket. Old man Yang didn’t know what he was talking about with Lin ShuYi, but when he saw the bayberries were scattered all over the ground, he became startled and thought something had happened, so he rushed over, “What happened?”
Lin ShuYi picked up the box of bayberries on the ground and stood straight up, “Nothing, he just knocked my bayberries all over the ground. This box is his compensation. Grandpa, let’s go.”
Old man Yang looked at him with suspicion in his eyes. The man gave him a smile, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s alright.” Old man Yang hurriedly waved his hand, and then left with Lin ShuYi.
Both of them soon left with this incident in the back of their minds. By the time they got back home, it was already evening and the sun was about to set. Lin ShuYi poured the bayberries inside a pot, soaked them in salt water for a while and then took them out to dry. All that left was to sun dry them the next day.
He had never made dried bayberries before, but back then he had done some preserved fruits, so there was probably not that much difference.
The next day was a sunny day. After a day of drying outside, at night, Lin ShuYi brought them in to steam for a little bit inside the steamer. During which he added some sugar so that once the sugar dissolved, it would seep into the bayberries and enhance the sweet and sour taste. These were tricks that Song Yan had taught him.
On the third day, he continued drying the steamed bayberries under the sun, so that they could be preserved for a little longer. The dried bayberries were very tasty, the sweet and sour flavor was delightful.
Lin ShuYi took some of his homemade dried bayberries to XiQin restaurant, it was like last time with dongpo meat, it was unanimously praised by everyone.
“Xiao Yi ah, how come you can do anything when you are so young?” The woman threw a dried bayberry into her mouth, and then continued, “You should see my little spoilt child ah, he is as big as you and yet he can’t do a single thing. He can not even eat on his own. If only he was as sensible as you.”
Old man Yang beamed and backed up her words, “That’s right. Our Xiao Yi is very sensible.”
The woman was a real chatterbox, she couldn’t control her mouth, “That’s right, Old man Yang, this grandson you picked up is such a good child, much better than your own grandchildren.”
Old man Yang was stupefied, he then reached out to pat Lin ShuYi’s head, “Yeah.”
Lin ShuYi frowned at the woman and thought that she must have touched on old man Yang’s sour spot.
Old man Yang didn’t care much. When the last guest had left, old man Yang called Lin ShuYi over.
“Xiao Yi ah, do you like cooking?”
Lin ShuYi nodded, but he didn’t know why old man Yang would ask him this.
Old man Yang pondered for a while, “In the future, grandpa will leave this restaurant to you.”
Lin ShuYi widened his eyes, “Grandpa, are you going somewhere?”
“No, it’s just that this restaurant, except you, no one would want it.”