Chapter 414: Aunt (1)

Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator

Chapter 414: Aunt (1)

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Instead, Chu Lian changed the topic. "Since the border troops have come out victorious, there’s even more reason to celebrate. I've thought of some foods we can have for New Year’s. Go and discuss it with Wenqing, then put all the ingredients we need on this list and hand it over to Manager Qin."

After all that had happened ever since they had come to Liangzhou, Wenlan was very happy to see that her mistress had finally recovered the mood to cook up some good food. Chu Lian had just mentioned the food offhandedly and Wenlan was already bubbling with questions about what she was going to make this time.

Although they were stuck out here in rural Liangzhou, Chu Lian didn't want to just make do for this New Year. Anyway, they weren't going to make it back to the capital in time for New Year's Day, so why not make their own preparations here and have some nice festivities with He Changdi?

Thus, for the following days, Wenqing, Wenlan, and Chu Lian made spring rolls, dumpling skins, then the actual dumplings, new year cake, and all sorts of assorted snacks...

Time passed so quickly that, in the blink of an eye, it was already the night of the Kitchen God Festival. Chu Lian and the maidservants prayed to the Kitchen God before they sat down with Urihan and her sons for a hearty dinner. At first, Wenqing and Wenlan weren't willing to sit at the same table as their mistress, but after Chu Lian shot them a warning look, the two of them sat down awkwardly.

The table was filled with all sorts of food. A huge hotpot was placed right in the center with plenty of ingredients next to it. There were thin slices of beef and mutton, tofu, clean sheep intestines, dried vegetables, beancurd skin, beef meatballs...

Chu Lian and a whole group of maidservants had been kept busy the whole day in order to prepare this authentic 'Chongqing hotpot'.

Other than the lack of fresh vegetables, it was pretty much the same as the modern Chongqing hotpot.

There was some weak yellow rice wine, especially suited for women to drink, warming over the brazier. Chu Lian waved her hand to signal the maidservants to start cooking.

The He Estate in Liangzhou was filled with people making merry and enjoying the festivities. Even the outer court was no exception, with Li Xing and the old soldiers leading the celebrations.

However, it wasn't so peaceful and lively back in the capital’s Jing'an Estate.

At the end of November, the estate had been greeted with the news that Heir Jing'an's servant concubine, Miaozhen, was pregnant.

On the very same day, the heir's wife, Madam Zou, had burst out in a fit of temper and broken the teacup in her hand. She had even brought Senior Servant Qiao and her handmaid, Jinshui, to Miaozhen's courtyard to make a fuss.

Miaozhen had almost been force fed some herbal medicine to make her miscarry.

Luckily, her maidservant had been quick-witted enough to run away and report the situation to Countess Jing'an, Madam Liu.

When Madam Liu had heard what was going on, she flipped her lid and pushed her sickly body out of bed to stop Madam Zou.

Following that, she had brought Miaozhen back to her side so that she could have a peaceful pregnancy.

However, after forcing herself out of bed and having her blood pressure shoot up from her anger, the efforts that Great Doctor Miao had put into strengthening her body were completely wasted. The state of her health was back to where they started.

Since Madam Zou had no other outlet to vent her anger on, when He Changqi returned to the estate, she had another huge quarrel with him.

He Dalang had been feeling guilty about the whole mess at first, but after what Madam Zou put him through, that little bit of guilt instantly disappeared.

Madam Zou took her two daughters with her back to her maiden home, the Dingyuan Estate, for a week. After both getting persuaded by her mother and being invited back by a messenger from Matriarch He, she finally returned to the Jing'an Estate.

The new year was almost here. The estate couldn't do without a woman in charge of the household, and there was no one else who could take the post.

It was around this time that Madam Zou suddenly started playing up her helplessness. Her belly was still boiling with anger. Furthermore, the stores in House Jing'an's name weren't earning much. They had to spend lots of money to keep up their dignity as a noble house while visiting friends around the capital.

On this day, she brought her two daughters over to Qingxi Hall to give their greetings to the matriarch.

Madam Zou pulled the six-year-old Little An and the four-year-old Little Lin close to her and whispered in their ears, "Hurry up and greet your great-grandmother."

Little An and Little Lin ran over to the matriarch on their little legs and called out sweetly in unison, "Great-Grandmother!"

The matriarch patted the two girls' heads with affection.

When she had a good look at how the two girls were dressed, Matriarch He's expression turned grave.

"It's almost New Year’s now; why haven't you let the children dress up a little? At such a young age, they should be wearing brighter and livelier colours. They should have their golden lock amulets and pearls on, too."

After Matriarch He mentioned their state of dress, everyone in the parlour directed their gazes to the two youngest misses of the house. They showed all sorts of expressions after doing so.

The two young girls were wearing some worn, plain short dresses today. There wasn't even a single kind of decoration on their little heads. Even the pearl-inlaid gold collars they usually wore had been taken off. They didn't look anything like the precious noble ladies they were. Instead, they looked no different from the daughters of commoners.

It was going to be New Year’s in a few more days, yet the legitimate misses of their estate were dressed so poorly. No wonder the matriarch wasn't pleased.

Madam Zou had been waiting for Matriarch He to say something like this. She gripped the handkerchief in her hand without saying a word, as if she was embarrassed to speak. Senior Servant Qiao couldn't stand seeing her mistress like that, so she spoke up.

"Matriarch, please pardon us. The two young misses are our madam's dear children. How could Eldest Young Madam bear to treat them shabbily? It's just that our Eldest Young Madam has found it hard to make ends meet as the lady-in-charge, especially since we're preparing for New Year’s. Eldest Young Madam still has to spend an appropriate amount for gifts to other estates so that our estate won't be looked down upon. Since the two misses are Eldest Young Madam's daughters, the two misses have to share a little of the burden now that the main branch has cut down on spending."

Senior Servant Qiao immediately kneeled down right after she finished speaking, as if she knew she had done wrong by explaining all that and was prepared to receive any punishment for speaking out of turn. This made it hard for the matriarch to say anything else.

TL Note: How can we celebrate the Kitchen God Festival without some food porn~?

Chongqing hotpot is famous for being really spicy! I found an article talking about how Chongqing hotpot started if you want to know more:

And of course, some pictures to help illustrate the tasty food~

[caption id="attachment_102925" align="alignnone" width="337"] Chongqing hotpot[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_102924" align="alignnone" width="335"] A nice spread of hotpot dishes[/caption]

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