Chapter 38: My Boyfriend’s Friend
Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Millman97
When Ye Shuang returned home, it was almost noon. Ye Shuang thought this was the perfect opportunity to improve her cooking skills, so she took a detour to the mall to buy some cooking ingredients.
The country’s fishery and farming industry had actually greatly improved over the past few years. As long as one didn’t go for the discounted goods, one could often find the freshest ingredients at the mall. Of course, this was only possible at the national chain supermarkets. For local mini-markets, incomplete stock or lack of freshness was unavoidable…
Some believed cooking required talent, but after the memory inheritance, Ye Shuang had gotten used to approaching every skill with a logical and rational method. From her point of view, cooking was nothing more than an amalgamation of various skills, like memory, focus, hand-eye coordination, chemistry, and observation.
Those who have attended cooking class know the very first step to making a dish is to memorize the recipe. None of the steps can be missed, for example, if one skips the blood-letting process before making chicken stew, the taste will be ruined; when one is making buns, whether one uses cold water or hot water to mix into the dough before leaving it to rise will decide the softness of the crust. What is the perfect oil temperature to stir-fry and to deep dry? Should one mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients or vice versa when baking a cake?
None of the details could be missed or else the finished product might be completely unpalatable.
Next came the knife skills. Dicing and slicing need training, holding and flipping the wok also needs training. If someone wanted to be a chef without a few years of training, they could consider themself lucky if the main chef didn’t reward them with a slap to the face.
How strong should the fire be, how long should the food cook, what is the perfect ratio of condiments? If one moves outside of the tradition recipes, one has to learn the different chemical reactions between all types of ingredients. Certain ingredients, like pears and crabs, can’t go together because they cause stomach aches.
Of course, normal citizens wouldn’t pay so much attention to everyday cooking, so most families only satisfied themselves with home-cooked meals. But what are home-cooked meals? After the ingredients are roughly prepared, they are all tossed into the pan, with the addition of sugar or salt, and it can be served; that is a home-cook meal. Families who are more particular might add some garnish like spring onions, but that’s about it.
The homemaker of each family would memorize several recipes for the big holidays like Chinese New Year when families and friends would come to visit. If she could serve some palatable dishes during that time of year, then she could be considered a ‘good cook’ already.
Even the chefs from 5-stars hotel had their specialties. Due to the limitations of human memory, it was impossible to expect them to memorize all the small details of their inherited recipes.
However, Ye Shuang didn’t have this limitation. Furthermore, her hand-eye coordination was such that she was able to mimic any action that she saw with just one glance. Therefore, after several glances at the cooking video that was playing on her tablet, the cooking counter flashed with the glints and shadows of the knife. Mother Ye watched as a complete potato was filleted into slices as thin as a butterfly’s wings in a matter of minutes.
Jesus Christ! Do you need to do this for a simple stir-fry potato strips‽
Indeed, even with her inhuman talent, Ye Shuang was merely making a simple dish. This was not because she didn’t feel confident enough to challenge more difficult recipes but there were limited ingredients at home. Then again, which family kitchen would have those unique ingredients, herbs, and spices required to make complicated dishes‽
It was already quite good that the Ye family had chili, anise, onion, ginger and garlic. Newlyweds might prepare something extra like salad dressing or olive oil to spice up the married life, but after years of marriage, who had the energy to do that anymore? The wife was already tired from dealing with the children all day and managing the family budget.
Mother Ye, the experienced housewife of many years, felt strangely defeated. She turned around to nod surreptitiously at her husband and son, who were waiting in the living room. Ignoring the anxious expressions on their faces, Mother Ye wandered off to her room to nurse her broken heart. Even with Mother Ye’s approval, Father Ye and Little Brother Ye still felt incredibly nervous, but they didn’t dare poke their heads into the kitchen, afraid that they might see stuff that they didn’t want to.
Therefore, they waited patiently until a delicious smell wafted out of the kitchen. Just as Little Brother Ye wanted to slink into the kitchen for a sneak peek, the doorbell rang. When Ye Shuang came out to serve the dishes, she saw Fang Mo, who was standing outside the door.
“Brother Fang!” Ye Shuang welcomed with a great smile. “Your timing is perfect, come join us for lunch!”
Of course, Fang Mo didn’t come uninvited. After all, he did help Ye Shuang deal with the housing business; Ye Shuang couldn’t treat him to a meal at a restaurant or gift him any worthwhile present, but at the very least, she could treat him to a home-cooked meal.
If not for the guest, Ye Shuang wouldn’t have needed to cook in such a hurry. She would have taken longer to prepare by reading more recipes. Naturally, Ye Shuang had faith in her cooking skills or else she wouldn’t have arranged thusly. Of course, if the dishes she made couldn’t be served, she would drag the person to the nearest restaurant and spend a good deal.
For one, it would be good for her palette, and two, it was still worth it; the price of a meal for a house, of course, it was worth it.
Father Ye was initially cautious of this man who said he was invited, but after listening to Ye Shuang’s explanation, everything was fine. Ye Shuang hadn’t had time to inform her family of the fact that Fang Mo had helped her secured a house, but that didn’t stop the Ye family from welcoming him.
In fact, Mother Ye pulled Ye Shuang into the kitchen with her eyes glowing. As she ordered the two men of the house to serve and ‘distract’ the guest, she tried to gather information from Ye Shuang. “What is this man’s family background‽ What about his personality‽ Have you decided that it’s going to be him‽ How long have you known him already? Was this relationship cemented that night you shared with him in the hotel‽”
“…” Ye Shuang suddenly felt like she was talking to the spirit of Grandmother Luo, the master spy.
Mother Ye looked at the blank expression on Ye Shuang’s face, and she tutted. “Why are you acting dumb with your own mother‽ Didn’t you say that if you want to stabilize your gender, you need to have… cough you know, that thing‽ So, finding a boyfriend to get married should be your main mission… or is this man your boyfriend‽ Although I feel it’s still quite early for you to get married, from how I see it, this man is not bad, quite stable-looking…”
Ye Shuang suddenly felt like being hit in the head by a mallet. Indeed! Why am I busying myself with earning money and learning how to cook‽ Mom’s right; the main mission right now is to find a good man to settle down with…
Looking at the closest and best candidate who was sitting in the living room, Ye Shuang suddenly felt her heart break.
She turned back with tears in her eyes and lamented to Mother Ye, “This one is a no-deal; he… is my boyfriend’s good friend.”
“What‽ You have another boyfriend‽” Mother Ye gasped. However, she quickly accepted it; after all, birds of a feather flock together. If it was a friend of this Fang Mo, then he couldn’t be so bad either…
Before the thought settled in her mind, her daughter continued her explanation. “I mean, he’s a friend I made when I was in my male form…”
So, if I hit on him, the relationship score will probably drop instantly from positive into the negative abyss. Just imagine the impression I’ll make if I make a move on him!
Mother Ye was speechless…