Chapter 112 Mooncake
Inside Bamboo Pavilion, Shang Xin silently
faced the two slave contracts and the seventeen silver liang on the table.
The disguising scars on her face had been washed away with water by Ji Danqing. She returned to her pretty and elegant appearance. Her hoarse voice was caused by screaming too much and drinking too much ice water afterwards. Her voice couldn’t recover in a short while and had to drink the herbal tea to moisten the throat and brighten the voice that Ji Danqing had prescribed for her.
Shu Huan sat down, looked at her and also didn’t say anything. She only pushed the slave contracts and money in front of her.
“Second young mistress…,” After Shang Xin came back, she had cried for a while. Her voice became hoarser. She had to use much effort to speak in order to make some sounds. She pushed those things back and said, “I already said that I want to stay here. Don’t drive me away.”
Shu Huan looked seriously at her. Seeing that she didn’t have the slightest hesitation, she (SH) nodded. She tore the slave contract that she got from the owners on spot. She put the other one in her sleeve, but she didn’t touch the money on the table and said, “Take this money. You have no one to rely on anymore at home, but the future road is still very long. Keep it as safeguard.”
“I can’t…,” Shang Xin still wanted to refuse. At a side, Gu Xiran took up the teapot and poured water. He said, “She let you take it; just take it. This money is a present from those owners and your shameless uncle; could it be that you are embarrassed to take it?”
“That is not it…,” Shang Xin shook her head.
Shu Huan poked the money and said, “In fact, this money was what they defrauded from your family in the past. Just take it as the dowry your father left for you. Keep it.”
Since she said that, Shang Xin had nothing else to say. She could only accept the money with tears. She knelt in front of them and kowtowed. Then, she stood up and said, “My father once said that one couldn’t express gratitude of a great grace in words. I will remember second young master and mistress’s kindness in my heart.”
Shu Huan shook her head and said, “It was just a slight effort. You don’t have to put it in your heart. When you follow me, just take away some of my burden. If you want to leave in the future, just come with five silver liang to redeem your slave contract. I will also not suffer any losses.”
Shang Xin knew that Shu Huan was joking. Half of it was consideration towards her to not let her regard this matter as a great grace and just take it as a transaction. In fact, under such mutual beneficial relationship was hidden a warm heart. She also felt her heart get warm and couldn’t help but smile with tears.
In a blink of an eye, the Mid-Autumn festival was approaching. On this day, Shu Huan saw the purchase order from the housekeeper. On it was written, ten boxes of exquisite mooncakes and hundred scattered mooncakes. She couldn’t help but wonder what the difference was between the exquisite mooncakes and the scattered mooncakes that would be scattered for everyone.
Naturally, like her, Gu Xiran didn’t know. Shu Huan asked Meijing. Meijing only thought that her family was poor and that they didn’t buy these kinds of food to meet the festival. Moreover, seeing how Xu shi was, even if she (X) had bought them, she (SH) may not get to eat them. She (M) couldn’t help but sympathize with her (SH) very much and answered, “The scattered mooncakes are only made from malt sugar and oily and flaky pastry. Those who came in boxes have fruit stuffing.”
- Shi: clan
As she talked, she laughed, “I don’t know what kind of fruit stuffing second young master and mistress like. Why don’t I let the housekeeper prepare those you like?”
Shu Huan asked two more question before she got to know that the mooncakes of here was different from those that she had eaten before. They didn’t have the pine rosin and flaky skin. Here, they were only steamed pastry with fillings. They were made exquisitely and pleasing to the eyes. Many people would buy them because of the festival.
She thought with lowered head for a moment and then said laughingly, “I want jujube filling.”
Meijing was about to go pass the message when she saw that Gu Xiran had woken up from the nap. He leaned lazily on the inner door frame and laughed, “I don’t love sweets. I want egg yolk mooncake.”
“Second young master, is there such stuffing?” Meijing was extremely puzzled.
Shu Huan laughingly casted him a glance. She wanted to eat ice cream mooncake, but there wouldn’t be any here! However, it let her hit upon an inspiration. Why doesn’t she make some mooncakes herself as a nostalgic?
It was just, she didn’t understand cooking at all and also didn’t know how to make the mooncakes of modern times. She could only go ask mother Du to see whether she could make a similar one.
Waiting for Gu Xiran to drink two teas and go find Ji Danqing to occupy the leisure time, Shu Huan went to discuss with mother Du. When mother Du heard that she wanted to personally make mooncakes, she (D) was also happy and said, “It’s nothing difficult. In the past, when times were difficult to go by, I had even made some to sell. However, I have never heard about this kind of mooncake with egg yolk stuffing.”
“It’s a kind of salted egg yolk,” As Shu Huan talked, she described the flaky mooncake that she had eaten before. It made mother Du waver and she said hesitatingly, “I haven’t seen such a way of making. We can try.”
The moment, she said to try, they truly went to try. After all, the ingredients of the kitchen in the resort was complete. However, after mother Du made it two times; whether it was the appearance or the taste, it was still biased towards the mooncake of this era. Shu Huan could only give up with a sigh.
Sure enough, there was a high chance of failure when one did something one was not good at. Moreover, it was very difficult to let mother Du make a similar one from only a description. She could only call Meijing and Shang Xin to come have a taste as comfort. They felt that these mooncakes were a bit different from those that they had eaten before and felt that it was novel and unique.
The cook specialized in dessert of the resort had been looking at them with interest when they tried to make mooncakes. Seeing that Shu Huan was about to give up, he suddenly said, “Hearing from second young mistress, it seems like pastry with a flaky texture. Why don’t I give it a try?”
Shu Huan picked the more traditional mooncake for mother Du to make because she felt that with the kitchen utensil and ingredients of this age, they could make it. However, she had forgotten that mother Du’s financial situation was limited. She was only good at home cooking and wasn’t very good at things like desserts and pastries. Now, that she heard the cook say that, she immediately said, “Alright, come try!”
The moment the cook came into action, it was different from mother Du. He made an oily and flaky dough very fast. The technique was very good, and he was very skilled at it. At a side, Shu Huan recalled the feeling and the fillings of the mooncake and told the cook in detail. Finally, she improvised and let the maid go pick some sweet-scented Osmanthus, bring some malt sugar and oil. A mooncake filled with Osmanthus was born. She let the cook put less sugar and oil. When it was done, from the appearance it looked seventy percent similar to the ones in the modern times. When it was eaten, it was very fragrant and not oily.
Seeing Shu Huan nodded repeatedly after having tasted the mooncake, Meijing curiously took a bite. She felt that the feeling was much better than the steamed mooncake and couldn’t help but say laughingly. “Was second young mistress talking about this kind?”
Shu Huan said, “It’s still a bit different, but it’s almost the same.”
It was just, the mooncake of her memory probably wouldn’t be considered mooncake for those who were used to eating steamed mooncakes. It could only be regarded as a new pastry with some similarities to mooncake. However, what does this matter? She only wanted to taste the taste of her memory. Presumably, Gu Xiran also had such expectation.
At this point, she smiled slightly and said to the cook, “Make this kind of pastry on Mid-Autumn. Make some with the different kinds of stuffing that I had mentioned.”
Meijing reminded, “Second young master and mistress aren’t going back to spend the festival. Why don’t we make one batch first and send it to the residence to let old madam and master have a taste? It could also be considered showing filial piety.”
“Alright,” Shu Huan nodded. “You reminded me that there are many people at home. Make some more of every kind. Put the different kinds in one box and let someone bring them back cleanly.”
As she talked, she let Meijing gave the cook some reward money. When she came out of the kitchen, she suddenly remembered something. She went back and asked for that cook’s name and remembered it. She thought that after those people from Gu household had tasted it and felt that it was delicious, she could discuss with Gu Xiran to open a pastry shop. It was also a way to make money.