“Mother, Ill get the sausages!”
Since Xiaoguo was going to take the rice herself, Zhuang Zhuang had nothing on his hands now.
He spotted the sausages hanging on the wall and wanted to get them down.
But Xiaoguo had placed them too high—Zhuang Zhuang could not reach the sausages even when he was standing on a stool.
He looked helplessly at Xiaoguo, requesting for help.
“Let me do it.”
Upon receiving Zhuang Zhuangs call for help, Xiaoguo walked to the wall with a knife and cut off two pieces of the non-spicy sausages.
When Zhuang Zhuang saw Xiaoguo walking over, he jumped down and brought the stool back to the stove.
Xiaoguo knew that Zhuang Zhuang liked to watch her cook, so she let him hang around her.
Zhuang Zhuang carried the stool and stood in front of the table to watch Xiaoguo wash and cut the sausages.
There were two sausages in total.
Xiaoguo sliced them diagonally and filled a large basin with the sliced sausages.
She arranged the sausages neatly on top of the rice, leaving an empty space in the middle for her to put in eggs.
Xiaoguo took the two eggs that Zhuang Zhuang had passed to her and cracked them above the rice.
“Alright, Ill just have to add a sauce!”
With Zhuang Zhuangs help, Xiaoguo quickly mixed a savory and sweet sauce and poured it evenly over the sausages.
“Okay, we can start cooking!”
Zhuang Zhuang helped to light up the stove.
Xiaoguo placed the clay pot on top of the stove.
It should be done in an hour.
While waiting for the rice to cook, it was time for the mooncakes to be brushed with the egg mixture.
The task of beating the eggs was left to Zhuang Zhuang.
Xiaoguo went to the oven to take out the mooncakes.
Because it was very hot, Xiaoguo used a wipe cloth and wrapped it around her hand.
Then she pulled the metal mesh swiftly out of the oven.
The surface of the mooncakes had started to color and there was fragrance wafting out.
Zhuang Zhuang happened to come over with the egg mixture.
As Xiaoguo was afraid that the heat would scald Zhuang Zhuang, she did not let him brush on the egg wash.
The purpose of the egg wash was to enhance the color of the mooncakes.
It just so happened that one egg was enough to use on all the mooncakes.
Xiaoguo handed the bowl back to Zhuang Zhuang and pushed the tray of mooncakes back into the oven with her cloth-covered hands.
She placed the lid back.
The heat in the oven could last for another hour, so there was no need to add more firewood.
The fragrance of the claypot rice had wafted out from the kitchen.
Zhuang Zhuang paced around the courtyard.
Tempted by the two different food smells, he shuttled in and out of the house restlessly.
Xiaoguo reached out and grabbed Zhuang Zhuang, who was running towards the courtyard.
“Alright, lets eat.”
It just so happened that the food was ready.
Looking at Zhuang Zhuangs hungry face, Xiaoguo felt that she should let him eat something first.
It would keep his restlessness in check.
While Zhuang Zhuang was setting the table in the house, Xiaoguo went to the vegetable plot to pick some vegetables.
She returned to the house and blanched the greens in hot water.
After they had softened, she placed them in the claypot.
The claypot rice was now ready.
Xiaoguo brought it into the house.
Zhuang Zhuang was already sitting at the table, waiting for Xiaoguo to feed him.
Xiaoguo was amused by Zhuang Zhuangs greedy look.
She put down the clay pot and said to him,
“Dinner is served.”
After dinner, Zhuang Zhuang went to wash the dishes.
Xiaoguo came to the oven.
It was about time to take out the mooncakes.
“Zhuang Zhuang, Zhuang Zhuang, the mooncakes are ready.”
Xiaoguo knew that Zhuang Zhuang was waiting for this moment, so she didnt go ahead and open the oven.
Instead, she summoned Zhuang Zhuang to come and check out the mooncakes with her.
Zhuang Zhuang gave a shout from the room.
Xiaoguo wrapped her hands with the wipe cloth and waited for Zhuang Zhuang to come out.
Zhuang Zhuang quickly ran over, he was so afraid of missing out.
As Xiaoguo lifted the lid, hot steam and the fragrance of mooncakes invaded her nostrils.
“It smells so good…”
Zhuang Zhuang could not help but exclaim.
The mooncakes were all dressed in a layer of golden pastry skin.
Xiaoguo saw that every single mooncake was evenly colored.
There wasnt a single mooncake that was not golden brown.
Zhuang Zhuang really wanted to eat them, but he couldnt eat them now.
He could only watch Xiaoguo put the mooncakes into a jar and place it on the kitchen cabinet.
It would take another night for the oils in the filling to be released into the mooncake skin.
The next morning.
After breakfast, Zhuang Zhuang was studying conscientiously.
Xiaoguo sat beside him and counted the days.
In two days time, it will be the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Maybe she should cut the mutton and marinate it
With that thought in mind, Xiaoguo left Zhuang Zhuang to study and went to the kitchen.
While Zhuang Zhuang was not around, Xiaoguo flashed into the other space.
After taking all the mutton out of the fridge, Xiaoguo looked at the meat that had taken up half the table space.
She had bought five catties of mutton previously and another ten after.
There were fifteen catties of mutton in total.
The eight of them would not be able to finish everything.
Xiaoguo was calculating how many skewers she should prepare.
According to her experience, she could make about 30 skewers out of one catty of mutton.
Zhuang Zhuang was still young and couldnt eat much.
Moreover, there were more girls.
Each girl can eat about twenty skewers.
Qin Anming and Uncle Xu were men, so they should be able to eat forty skewers each.
In addition to the lamb skewers, Xiaoguo was also preparing to grill some other items like sausages and vegetables, since she had so much vegetables at home.
There would be a good mix of meat and vegetables on that day.
After doing some calculations, Xiaoguo decided to marinate eight catties of mutton.
She would marinate slightly more just in case there was not enough meat to go around.
Any leftovers could still be stored in the fridge.
She placed the five catties of mutton she had first bought on the table, and then cut out three catties from the piece of ten-catty meat.
She placed the remaining mutton in the fridge and left the space with the cut meat.
Xiaoguo set the meat on the table and started sharpening the knife at a corner of the wall.
It would be easier to cut the meat with a sharpened knife.
Xiaoguo returned to the table with the knife and began cutting the meat.
Xiaoguo was just cutting the mutton into the required size when she stopped midway.
Her hands were getting tired—she had held the knife so tightly in the same position that her fingers hurt.
Xiaoguo rubbed her hands.
When the pain had subsided a little, she continued cutting the mutton.
When all the mutton was cut, the meat was enough to fill a large basin to its brim.
Xiaoguo added the spices she had bought and tried to mix them evenly.
It was not easy to stir a large basin of mutton.
Xiaoguo could not move the meat with her chopsticks, so she had to put down her chopsticks, wash her hands, and mix things up using her hands.
After everything was mixed evenly, she carried the basin back to the other space.
The basin was too big to be stored in the fridge, so Xiaoguo found two smaller basins and divided the meat into two portions.
These were then successfully placed in the fridge.
When she came out, she brought the big basin with her.
The longer the mutton was marinated, the more flavorful it would be.
After two days, the meat would have completely absorbed the flavors of the spices.
By then, it would definitely be delicious.
With the meat done, it was time to make the skewers.
Xiaoguo was preparing to go up the mountains to cut branches for the skewers.
She would shave them down when she returned.
Actually, why did she have to go up the mountains Xiaoguo was thinking about getting a fish.
Grilled fish would taste good.
She wondered if she would be lucky enough to catch a fish on the mountains.
Leaving Zhuang Zhuang to study at home, she carried the basket and headed for the mountains.
Zhuang Zhuang wanted to go with her, but Xiaoguo decided to go by herself.
The sooner she went, the earlier she could get back.
Zhuang Zhuang could wait for her at home obediently.
Zhuang Zhuang reluctantly agreed to it.
Xiaoguo carried the basket on her back and soon arrived on the mountains.
She arrived at the river based on the route that she remembered.
It had been a long time since she last came here.
She wondered if she could still find fish here.
She carefully approached the river.
After looking for a long time, she did not see any fish.
Xiaoguo was a little disappointed.
Just as she was about to leave, a fat fish swam into her line of sight.
Xiaoguo really wanted to laugh out loud.
This fat fish had walked right into her trap.
Now that it had bumped into her, it could forget about leaving.
Xiaoguo quickly caught the fish and put away the basket.
The fish was jumping about in the basket vigorously.
It was still filled with vitality.
Satisfied, Xiaoguo carried the basket and left.
The next thing she had to do was to collect some branches.
Xiaoguo cut down branches as she walked.
Very soon, she had filled up the basket.
With a basket full of branches, she quickly headed for home.
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