Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Squirrel kept nodding, but Fangzheng didn’t have any hopes of him understanding a thing. The little guy was indeed satiated, so Fangzheng didn’t give him a complete bean bun as it would likely be a waste. But Fangzheng did get a tiny knife and sliced a tiny piece of the bean bun before stuffing it into Squirrel’s mouth.
When Squirrel took in the taste, his eyes immediately lit up. He exclaimed. “How delicious! Truly delicious!” In his excitement, he held his head in a dispirited manner. “Unfortunately, I can’t eat much of it.”
Everyone laughed when they heard that.
“Master, is there anything else?” Having Squirrel as a precedent, the other gluttons had their own thoughts. They asked first, planning to keep some room for other food if there was any. If there wasn’t, they could eat more without losing out.
Fangzheng smiled. “This is only the beginning. Let’s go, time to find a fire basin.”
There were too many people at Yang Hua’s place, with people both inside and outside. If Fangzheng wanted a fire basin or a heater, everyone would definitely be willing to give him one the moment he asked. However, Fangzheng wasn’t a selfish person, so he carried the bean buns and left Yang Hua’s place for Wang Yougui’s place.
Wang Yougui’s wife had run off to help make mantou while Wang Yougui was at home polishing his beloved motorcycle.
Seeing the motorcycle which had been polished to the point of glowing, Fangzheng could not help but laugh. “Patron Wang, how many times do you polish your motorcycle a day? Aren’t you afraid of spoiling it?”
When Wang Yougui looked up and saw that it was Fangzheng, he immediately laughed. “This is my baby, so how can I spoil it from polishing? By the way, why are the few of you here? Shouldn’t you be scrounging food at Yang Hua’s place?”
Indeed, every villager knew Fangzheng’s character. He had hit the nail on the head.
Fangzheng blushed as he said, “Ahem… Well, Patron Yang’s place is a little cramped. This Penniless Monk decided to take away and come here. By the way, is the fire basin you have heated?”
With that said, Fangzheng shook the bag of frozen bean buns in his hand.
When Wang Yougui saw this, he revealed a look of realization and said, “Good going, you didn’t even miss this? The fire basin is on the stove. Some corn pulp has just been added. It’s warm.”
Fangzheng hurriedly bade Wang Yougui farewell and led his disciples into the room. There was a huge fire basin on the stove, and it was glowing red. One could feel the heat from more than a meter away.
Fangzheng familiarly found the metal mesh in the kitchen and placed it in the fire basin. Then he took out the frozen bean buns and placed them on the mesh in a spaced out manner to prevent them from sticking together after they melted.
Monkey sat by the side while Squirrel stood beside them and held Monkey’s legs, craning his neck and watching with curiosity.
Red Boy sat across Fangzheng. He had an affinity with fire, so the roasting left him feeling comfortable.
Noticing that Wang Yougui wasn’t entering the house and that there was no one else around, Salted Fish immediately got up and sat by the fire basin to bathe in the heat. But this only served to spread his salted fish smell. To everyone’s surprise, it was actually quite fragrant! Everyone looked at Salted Fish in a way that left him shuddering. He hurriedly converged his smell and scoffed. “Take note. All of you are monks. You are not to eat meat or kill!”
Everyone curled their lips without saying a word as they watched Fangzheng lay out the bean buns again.
Lone Wolf was too huge, so there wasn’t any space for him. Hence, he stood up and placed his paws on the boundary of the stove as he looked up with his mouth open. He hung his tongue out as he stared at the few bean buns like they were his sworn enemy! It was as though he was saying, “This is mine. Whoever dares snatch them from me will be my enemy!”
With regards to this, everyone ignored his existence.
After laying out the bean buns, Fangzheng also sat down and waited.
“Master, will these bean buns be nice to chew?” Squirrel gulped his saliva and asked.
Fangzheng smiled. “Of course. When have I recommended food to you guys that wasn’t delicious? This was one of my winter favorites when I was young.”
“Master, how are these bean buns made? Why do they taste so good? The only thing is they stick to the teeth.” After Lone Wolf said that, he opened his mouth and indeed, quite a bit of remnants were stuck to his teeth. Everyone now also understood why this fellow had kept wagging his tongue while walking over. He was trying to clean his teeth.
Fangzheng said, “They’re made by mixing corn and glutinous rice in a particular ratio. There’s bean paste and sugar inside of the buns. After they’re made, they’re placed in a pot for steaming, and they are edible once they’re done steaming. If there’s some left, they can be placed outside to be frozen. The buns are still edible even after they are frozen hard. However, typically, only people who enjoy eating frozen bean buns or starving people chew on them directly. Most of the time, people heat the buns up by steaming them as a side dish for a meal.
“As for roasted bean buns, it’s the same concept as barbecue. It’s both fun and allows one to eat, so it’s quite interesting.”
As Fangzheng spoke, the bean buns on the mesh began to sputter. Their surface had turned a golden color due to the high roasting temperatures as they grew brighter. When frozen bean buns defrosted, they produced a gleaning surface like glutinous rice, but roasted bean buns were different. They looked like waxed gold! While being bright, they were also quite textured.
As the roasting continued, the bean bun nearest to the fire basin occasionally produced a bubble which wasn’t too big before vanishing.
Fangzheng constantly flipped the bean buns’ orientation and tried his best to roast the bean buns evenly.
However, the bean buns were ultimately made of glutinous rice, so they were still sticky after melting. Hence, every movement of the bean buns would cause a portion of them to stick to the iron mesh. Of some bean buns, even an entire layer got stuck. Squirrel said rather regretfully when he saw this, “Master, are you discarding them? It’s quite a pity…”
Fangzheng smiled. “This isn’t wastage. Have a taste of it.”
Having said that, Fangzheng retrieved the skin which had been roasted to a crisp. It was scalding to the touch, but the fragrance from the roasting whetted everyone’s appetite! Just as Fangzheng said, it really had the feeling of a barbecue.
Fangzheng separated a tiny piece and placed it on Squirrel’s paws. Squirrel found it so hot that his paws nearly failed to hold them tight. After looking at Fangzheng again, he popped it straight into his mouth as his teeth ground, producing a crisp sound. It didn’t seem like he was eating a soft bean bun but a cracker!
Upon hearing the crisp sounds, Squirrel hurriedly stuffed the rest into his mouth. It wasn’t as scalding once it entered his mouth, so he finished it in a few bites. He found the bean bun’s crust to be crisp and sweet, along with the fragrance of corn. The little guy wept right there on the spot.
Fangzheng was stunned. “Jingkuan, why are you crying?”