Chapter 39: Secret Talks with a Renowned Director (3)
Knife-tip Meatballs. A combination of lean and fatty meat that’s minced together with tofu and a variety of flavorings before being shaped in the palm of the hand into little triangles, which are thicker at one end than the other. The triangles are then laid out in a ring following the inside contour of a bowl, the thinner ends facing inward. Then, the center of the bowl is filled with layers of vegetables, such as dried lily petals, black fungus, and carrots, before it’s put in the steamer.
Dragon’s eye. Pork belly sliced thickly and spread with pre-cooked red bean paste before being rolled into meat rolls. Crushed brown sugar is scattered in a bowl, and into this bowl, the meat rolls are placed in three rows. Then, cooked glutinous rice is ladled onto the meat rolls.
The eight great bowls referred to eight different types of steamed food.
Savory and sweet.
Spicy and tart.
And so, the eight monstrous-sized bowls were laid out on the dining table. Under the lights, they looked enticingly delectable.
“Ma’am, did you and Tianxin make all this wonderful food? You must’ve worked really hard!”
Du Juan’s gaze fell on a plate of crispy peanuts. She concluded that Grandma was indeed a thoughtful person and that only someone as kind as Grandma was capable of raising a good, lovely girl like Ye Tianxin.
“No trouble at all. Please come and taste the food, you guys.”
Taking a seat beside Du Juan, Jin Xin poured a glass of beer and handed it to Grandma.
Grandma repeatedly shook her hand, saying, “Please help yourself. I don’t drink.”
“Yes, please help yourself, Sir. My grandmother doesn’t drink at all.”
Jin Xin picked up a piece of Dragon’s Meat with his chopsticks and placed it in the bowl in front of him. The meat was steamed to perfection, and it fell apart when he picked it up. In his mouth, he could taste the subtle, fragrant glutinous rice and the mushy red beans. The many perfectly-balanced layers of flavor and texture were amazing.
“Ma’am, you’re an excellent cook. You could stay and open a restaurant right here in Capital City.”
Hearing Jin Xin compliment her grandmother on her cooking skills, Ye Tianxin was over the moon, even more so than if she’d been the one Jin Xin had complimented. “Uncle, my grandmother couldn’t possibly open a restaurant,” she said. “Managing a restaurant is extremely tiring.”
Du Juan glanced smugly at Jin Xin as if to say, “See what I mean? The person I’ve set my sights on is a really good person.”
Grandma was very grateful to Du Juan for her kindness in letting her and her granddaughter stay at the shop. But, because she was simple and honest, she wouldn’t be able to rest easy until she repaid Du Juan’s kindness.
That was why Grandma kept persuading Jin Xin and Du Juan to eat the food, eight-great bowls full, that she’d made on her own. However, she didn’t use her own chopsticks to serve them, knowing that people in the city didn’t like to be too familiar with one another.
Jin Xin took a quick glance at the floor and noticed that the formerly dilapidated floor was now neat and tidy because of Ye Tianxin’s excellent job cleaning.
Ye Tianxin had moved a few pots of flowers and put them in every corner of the house. Under the brilliance of the lighting, these flowers seemed to come alive.
“Tianxin, what are your plans for the future?” Jin Xin asked.
“To get accepted into Capital University,” Ye Tianxin replied sweetly.
Stunned, Jin Xin looked at Du Juan and suddenly doubted Du Juan’s decision to cast her as the lead. If Ye Tianxin was determined to get accepted into Capital University, should they even consider casting her for the role?
“Do you have a profession that you’re interested in?”
At first, Ye Tianxin’s goal had simply been to get accepted into Capital University. She hadn’t given much thought to what profession she’d want to pursue, the reason being that, with her score, she couldn’t afford to be picky about what field to specialize in. However, now that Jin Xin had raised the question, she was suddenly reminded of someone she’d seen on TV. At the time she’d thought it’d be an excellent choice in career if she could do the job well and was given the opportunity.
“I want to be a foreign affairs officer.”
Ye Tianxin imagined herself as a representative of her country, standing in front of a press conference and elegantly and knowledgeably responding to questions from people about her country.
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