Chapter 106: The Wild Chinese Cuisine
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The neck of the pheasant twisted off. Ah Meow immediately began dragging the bird with him. It took the pheasant to Mr. Li, joyfully looking for the reward.
The pheasant had grown beautifully with its red crown and blue neck. There were mixed colors of feathers on its body: yellow, dark and light brown, and purple. Its body was dotted with various spots and it had a long, brown-yellow tail.
Hans saw it and laughed, "We are lucky. We have grilled chicken for our lunch later. This is a rainbow-colored pheasant. The flavor of the wild meat is very delicious."
Li Du threw the pheasant into the bag with the shoots and said, "I am not going to grill it. I will cook you all stewed pheasant with bamboo shoots. Ah Meow, you did a great job! I will give you the drumstick later."
"Meow meow!" Ah Meow pushed its head in front of Li Du’s hand and wanted him to pat on its head before it was willing to leave.
The five people dug the bamboo shoots together. They were able to dig a lot up within an hour.
Although there were many of them working together, Li Du was the only one doing any real work. Hans took advantage of this opportunity to flirt Natalie. Stephen and Hannah were snuggling up together.
They dug until the afternoon. Then they found a mountain spring and decided to camp here.
Li Du poured out the full bag of wild bamboo shoots and the pheasant. He asked, "How much did you all manage to dig?"
Hannah’s bag was only half full. Stephen’s bag was empty.
"You didn’t get even one?" Li Du asked with a gloomy face.
Hans teased and said, "Well, my bag is filled with spices, pots, and lunch boxes. I’m worried that the bamboo shoots would press down on them. That's why. Haha."
Looking at Natalie's flushed face, and how she was gasping angrily, Li Du knew that Hans was just making an excuse.
But Hans realized he should offer to help now, so he took over the work of peeling the bamboo shoots. Stephen helped to clean the pheasant while Hans peeled the bamboo shoots obediently.
Li Du looked at the stream. There were some small fishes swimming joyfully, indicating that the river water was very clean; they could directly use the water for cooking.
Stephen said, "The source of the river is not far away—a little pond—and the water quality is good. I came here very often to fish with Hannah and friends when I was in high school."
Li Du walked up along the streams and he saw a small pond. A few people were fishing there.
Stephen also went to have a look after cleaning the pheasant and returned with two common American river pikes.
"I caught two fish with chicken intestines and organs. We are so lucky. We can make grilled fish," he smiled happily.
Li Du nodded and said, "These pikes look good. You clean them and I will stew the chicken."
He asked Hans to bring a small pressure-cooker. There was a lot of firewood on the mountain. They put some timber together so they could set up a fire easily.
Li Du cut the pheasant into pieces and stewed it. He had bought fennel, star anise, dried tangerine peel, pepper, onion, ginger, and also garlic from the Chinese supermarket.
Howevers this was a pure, wild pheasant with fresh bamboo shoots; the stew did not require a lot of spices. Otherwise, the spices would affect the delicious pheasant and the bamboo shoot’s fragrance.
Hans finished peeling bamboo shoots so he came over. He asked, "Besides soup, what else we can eat? We cannot grill the food here and eat, right?"
Li Du smiled and asked, "Why not?"
He took out the prepared aluminum foil and sprinkled some olive oil on it. Then he put the bamboo shoots into it. He baked it on the grill after he wrapped it well.
After he finished preparing the dish, he took out a package of bacon from the bag. He cut the bamboo shoots into thin strips, wrapped them with bacon, and placed them on the same grill.
Not only that, he used a tin lunch box to boil water. He poured the bamboo shoots into it and boiled them. After that, he took them out and rinsed them with cold water. He then mixed the shoots with chili oil.
It was time for lunch. There was a pile of dishes on the ground. He made bamboo shoots salad, green bamboo shoot with vinaigrette sauce, bamboo shoots in soy sauce, and other simple—but special—dishes.
Hans watched with twinkling eyes. "Sh*t, you should work in a hotel instead of attending storage auctions. I bet it would be a Michelin 3-star hotel if you opened one!"
Li Du shrugged, "I will certainly become the king of treasure hunters through storage auctions."
Hans would have laughed if Li Du had said this when they first met. But now, after listening to his words, Hans nodded. "Indeed."
Stephen asked admiringly, "Li, can I learn how to cook from you? Hannah likes to eat Chinese food. I think I should be not only able to hold a wrench in my hand, but also be able to pick up a kitchen knife."
Li Du smiled and said, "Of course, I can show you later."
Stewed pheasant with wild bamboo shoots was the main dish. Each person got a bowl of soup first. Meanwhile, a drumstick was given to Ah Meow.
Ah meow was sitting next to Mr. Li. It was using its paws to grab the drumstick, wolfing it down joyfully. Its eyes narrowed in elation. From time to time, it would "meow" to show that it was over the moon.
The combination of wild pheasant and the pesticide-free wild bamboo shoots went together very well. The meat fragrance of pheasant and bamboo shoots were the perfect combination. It was definitely a delicacy.
After finishing a bowl of soup, Natalie said to Li Du, "Hey, Li, do you have a girlfriend at the moment?"
"No," Li Du laughed.
Natalie nodded. "Great. From now on, you are taken."
They all looked confused.
Seeing their expressions, Natalie suddenly laughed jokingly, "What I mean is Sophie—I hope to pair you and Sophie together—but there is a condition that you must keep a seat for me on your dining room table. "
Hans laughed and said, "As long as you’re together with me, there is always a seat for you at their dinner table."
Li Du was a humorous person. He said, "If you can help me with this, you won’t only have a place at our table, but in our bed as well."
"This is crazy, my god! A foursome!?" Hannah exclaimed.
Stephen grabbed the lunch box, pretended to leave, and said, "We should leave. We are too innocent for this topic."
The wild bamboo shoots were not heavy after they were peeled. So they dug a few more after the meal. Li Du filled up three backpacks worth before they left the mountain.
Hans said to him when they were about to separate, "Yes, Flagstaff city is going to organize a job fair this weekend. Aren’t we trying to recruit a porter? Let's go and have a look."
Li Du nodded and said, "Well, you have to pay more attention to warehousing information. We did not earn much this time. Next time we need to make big money."
When he was about to leave, he suddenly thought of something. He whispered, "In fact, what do you think if we ask Stephen to be the porter?
Although the title of ‘porter’ did not sound the best, this was an opportunity to start the warehouse auction business. Stephen could later create his own business with help from them.
Besides that, they can give him dividends during this period, so that he can make a lot of money.
Hans shook his head, "No, he is too honest for this industry. He will be cheated. He loves cars and repairing cars is his hobby. When he is skilled enough, I will loan him some money to open a garage with Hannah. "
Li Du said, "You are such a good brother, but what do you mean by your first sentence? Am I not an honest person?"
Hans snickered and said, "Other than being honest when facing a woman, at other times I don’t think you are an honest person. The number of people that you deceived in these past three months is more than what I have cheated in the past thirteen years! "
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