Li Du and his friends embarked on their return journey on Sunday morning.
When they had first entered the national park, there had been three of them. When they departed, they left in a group of four, together with a deer, wild boars, a variety of birds, hares, and so forth.
When they reached their cabin, Li Du arranged for Big Quinn and Godzilla to handle their game. He then called Rose to confirm that the dinner party would be taking place that night.
Hans was not interested in eating game. "Who knows?" he said. "These things might contain some parasite. Or they might carry some mysterious virus or bacteria. I dont think we should touch them."
"It wont get complicated," assured Li Du. "At most I will soak the meat in alcohol. Then consider if we should steam, boil, fry or roast it. It will be clean and free from any virus or bacteria or whatever."
Hans was taken aback. "What? Use alcohol to soak it?" He sounded dismayed. "How can you eat something that's been soaked with alcohol?"
Li Du tried to calm him down. "Relax, Im using either brandy or cooking wine to soak them," explained Li Du, "In any case, this method will rid them of undesirable bacteria, viruses and the like. At the same time, it improves the meat quality, removes the bloody smell, and the meat tastes so much better."
Hans poked Lis chest a few times and said, "I have to warn you, bud. Today you're going to treat a bunch of cops. If there's any problem with the food, I bet they'll arrest you on the spot."
Li Du remained composed and smiled. "Okay, let them come get me."
The venison was cut into pieces, which he used basins to hold. Then he poured brandy on them to get rid of the smell.
Big Quinn took out a sharp knife and began to skin the wild boar. He was the expert in this aspect. Li Du looked on in awe as Big Quinn single-handedly skinned, chopped, and sliced up the small wild boar with ease and skill.
Li Du praised, "Youre good with knives."
Big Quinn smiled. "When I was six, I caught a hare with a broken leg at my grampss farm. After that, I started to learn how to handle them."
"So how did you handle the hare?"
"Oh, I bandaged its broken leg, nursed it back to health, and let it stay on the farm."
Li Du was surprised to hear that answer. "I thought you were gonna say that you barbecued the rabbit or stewed it to make a soup," he laughed. "Im sorry."
Big Quinn shrugged his shoulders. "Why apologize? In fact, I bandaged it because my gramps told me that the hare was pregnant. For a long period of time, I had rabbit meat for food, as all the hares babies stayed on the farm."
"You actually adopted a plan to secure food for a long time?" Li Du was amazed and burst into more laughter. "You understood the meaning of long-term sustainability at such a young age?"
Big Quinn answered, "YesI thought of doing the same thing with a wild boar, but I got a bashing from my gramps instead."
"Because the wild boar I freed ruined his watermelon field." Big Quinn shook his head as spoke. "Heavy losses, pal."
Li Du laughed loudly as he left. He got in the Hellcat and drove to his neighbor, Tomassons house. He happened to meet the Amish man while he was sitting in the buggy, ready to leave.
"Hello, Mr. Tomasson."
Tomasson smiled and said, "Hello, neighbor, what brings you here today?"
Li Du said, "Its like this: I went hunting for game in the woods yesterday and I got some venison. Do you like deer meat?"
Tomasson licked his lips and said, "My wife makes great venison steak with black pepper sauceI cant stop eating it every time she makes it."
Li Du showed the deer meat and said, "Well, Ive brought you some. And I have two kerosene lamps that look pretty good. If you like them, you can have them."
The two vintage kerosene lamps were from a storage auction. They were in great condition, surrounded by a round crystal glass. Once lit with kerosene, they would emit bright golden light.
Tomasson was exhilarated after seeing them. "These are good, but I may not have suitable items to exchange with you."
Li Du answered, "Of course you do: your vegetables and fruits. I want to entertain a few friends today, so I came to you to get some vegetables."
Tomasson waved him over and declared, "What are you waiting for? That vegetable fields your territory nowyou can take whatever you want."
The Amish loved to eat deer meat. But they abided by the teachings that they should not engage in unnecessary killing. In addition, as they did not own cars, it was not easy for them to get to the national park, so most of the time they did not have many opportunities to get hold of deer meat.
Li Du had figured Tomasson would be happy to make the trade. His organic vegetables and fruits were rare in the market. Both parties could get what they wanted.
When Li reached the vegetable farm, the first thing he picked was two big watermelons. Tomasson gave him another two more and said, "There was a large watermelon harvest this yearyou can pick more without worry."
Besides the watermelon, he also picked many other fruits like pears and apples. The delicious red fruit was not ripe yet, so he could only drool while looking at it.
For vegetables, Li Du swept through the field for some cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, purple cabbages, green beans, lentils, bitter chrysanthemums, curly endives, and so on. He took a little of everything.
Returning to the cabin with fresh vegetables and fruits, this time Hans drove off to get some drinks. He bought beer and wine to entertain the guests.
Although the Hellcat belonged to the range of powerful muscle cars and had a spacious car trunk, Li Du still felt that he had bought the wrong vehicle. He should have bought a pickup.
The fruits were washed, cut, and placed in plastic bags. The cut fruits were then lowered into the nearby well, as the refrigerator in the cabin was too small to accommodate so many things. Li had to adopt the ancient method used in his hometown to chill the fruits.
The tenderloin of the deer was cut into slices. He used cooking wine, soy sauce, and vinegar to marinate them. He could make them into fried venison slices during the evening, which was much more delicious than fried pork.
The belly meat had more fat so he skewered it, together with vegetables like peppers and cabbages to barbecue.
The deer steak was untouched. "I could make that into smoked venison steak," Big Quinn offered. "Im good at making this disheverybody will love it."
Li Du nodded and said, "Okay. Smoked venison steak it is."
He prepared all the other vegetables as well. The lentils, for example, he lightly fried with oil. Later in the evening he could heat them up in the oven, and then they would be ready for serving after mixing in some meat sauce.
The eggs and zucchini could be mixed together to make a zucchini omelet. The yellow egg omelet and the green zucchini were an appetizing match.
Around noon, Rose drove to the cabin. She wore a bluish-gray long-sleeved sweatshirt with a green collar and white sweatpants, which made her look athletic. But at the same time, the outfit looked too warm.
Li Du asked, "Youre wearing so muchdont you feel the heat?"
Rose smiled and replied, "If I wear too little, Im worried you might get heated up."
Hans chuckled, popped his head out of the doorway and asked, "Im feeling a bit cold, why not let me get heated up?"
Without a word, Rose dashed in and grabbed Hanss arms. His hands were now behind his back, which was a typical police officers move to handle thugs. She then dragged Hans under the hot sun.
Hans was screaming in pain, "Sh*! Wha-wha-what are you doing? Let go of me!"
Rose smiled. "Didn't you feel cold? I'm helping you to get some heat!"
Big Quinn exclaimed, "This girl has a fiery hot temper!"