Although Hans was not interested in the roasted peanuts, he became a little interested in the potatoes when Li Du took them out and roasted them.
Americans could not live without potatoes. Mashed potatoes and baked potatoes were practically a type of staple food.
The rat had stolen a few large potatoes. After the potatoes had been roasted, they looked very ugly with their charred black exterior. However, after the outer layer had been peeled, there was yellowish-white roasted potato meat inside.
In the freezing cold weather, the potatoes, which had just been roasted, gave off thick hot steam. The fragrance of the potatoes themselves continuously went into the noses of everyone, who couldn't help but feel hungry.
Li Du shoved a piece to Ah Meow. Even though Ah Meow was not too fond of eating vegetarian food, he was able to eat two bites after taking the fragrance of the roasted potatoes into consideration.
Godzilla, who was fond of eating this type of food, peeled a roasted potato and devoured it.
Hans took a small potato. "Looks like it's good, let me try."
Li Du said, "Don't force yourself. Don't eat if you don't want to. There's a feast at noon."
Hans nimbly peeled the potato skin and took a bite before laughing, "The taste is still acceptable. Well, it's still edible."
The last item to be cooked was the mud-covered sweet potatoes, which Li Du took out using a tree branch. As the mud covering the sweet potatoes was filled with plant and wood ashes, the color of the sweet potatoes looked unpleasant and they smelled very bad as well.
Hans detested this even more. "Is that thing still edible?"
Li Du knocked off the outer mud layer from a sweet potato and revealed the skin inside, which was wrinkled from being roasted.
The skin of the sweet potato maintained the same level of cleanliness that it had before being roasted. After he peeled off the sweet potato skin, thick hot steam, which was thicker than the steam from the roasted potatoes, was released. Of course, the fragrance that was simultaneously released was more aromatic and sweet than that of the roasted potatoes.
Hans, who had just been made hungry by the roasted potato, became thrilled and snatched the sweet potato over before taking a bite of it and laughing, "This thing is really delicious."
After the peanuts, potatoes, and sweet potatoes had been eaten, Hans rubbed his belly and sighed, "I'm really full. D*mn it, I might not be able to eat anything at noon."
Li Du asked, "Do you want me to roast something else for you?"
Hans shook his head. "No, no, noI'm stuffed. I can't eat anymore."
"Really not eating?"
"Really not eating," Hans replied in a determined manner. "In fact, what's so nice about these? I must have been too hungry earlier. How else could I have eaten things from a rat?"
Li Du smiled. "That's good."
He put out the fire by covering it with mud before shoving the plant and wood ashes aside and burying an egg inside.
Hans was shocked. "Eggs can also be roasted? Truth be told, man"
"Say no more," Li Du interrupted. "It's fine if you don't eat it."
Godzilla and Big Quinn continued laboring and dragging the plow at a very fast speed. Even though the speed might not be as fast as a cultivator, it was much faster than a cow dragging a plow would be.
After waiting for a while, Li Du brushed the plant and wood ashes aside and took out the egg.
He peeled away the eggshell, revealing a snow white egg.
Ah Meow, who played with pieces of mud by himself, sniffled before suddenly lifting his head and looking into Li Du's hand. After seeing the egg that had its shell peeled off, Ah Meow hurriedly sat down quietly and swung his tail while waiting for Li Du to feed him.
Li Du divided the egg into two halves and fed them to Ah Meow. Ah Meow devoured the egg in two bites and gave an expression of longing for more.
The farm work, which Mr. Li had initially planned to spend more than three days doing, was completed in one morning by Godzilla and Big Quinn.
They had plowed the land back and forth twice, during which they worked non-stop and did not rest at all. They also did not need to rest as this type of labor-intensive work was a walk in the park for them.
Both of them dragged the plow through the field as if they were leisurely walking. When Godzilla was dragging the plow, he looked like an ordinary man pushing a stroller.
Just as they were prepared to stop work, Mrs. Li came back and shouted at them to come back for lunch.
Li Du asked, "What are we eating today?"
Mrs. Li replied, "Considering what you said, I bought a bunch of beef and mutton. Since it just stopped snowing the last few days and the weather is cold, how about we have hot pot at our house?"
As it had been a very long time since Li Du had hot pot with his parents, he happily said, "Of course, that would definitely be great."
Besides the few of them on the edge of the cropland, there were still the villagers who were looking on in the vicinity. Everyone had yet to leave and the ten plus people had stayed here to smoke and chit-chat.
Li Du invited them out of courtesy. "It's already noon, why are you guys still staying here? Come, let's go to my house and have a meal."
His uncle, who was from his father's side of the family, smiled. "Has your house prepared that much rice? Just treating these few colleagues of yours to a good meal will do. They worked hard today."
Mrs. Li beckoned, "I bought 40 catty of beefyou asked if my house has prepared enough? I also bought quite a bit of mutton. Come, come, comehave lunch at my house."
Once they heard that so much beef and mutton had been bought, the old men became interested.
Although winter was the right time to eat beef and mutton hot pot, their current prices were not low. As no one would casually buy beef and mutton to eat if there was no occasion to, they were lying if they said that they didn't crave them.
Mr. Li understood what his neighbors were thinking. He waved his hand. "Come, stop dilly-dallying here. Let's go over together and drink as much as we want. However, you guys will have to go back and bring your own electric hot pot cookers. My house doesn't have so many cookers."
Everyone was a fellow villager from the same village. Even though the village had merged with the county town, the villagers were still very close with each other like before.
As such, with the numerous invitations from Li Du's family, the crowd was no longer standing on ceremony and a few of them promptly said:
"Alright, you guys go back first. I will go home and take the cooker."
"My brother-in-law has made a bottle of pure rice wine for me. I will go back and take it."
"Big Mountain's house doesn't have enough stools, right? I will bring a few over."
After returning home and washing his hands, Li Du helped his mother cut the meat.
Since Mrs. Li had initially planned on eating hot pot, half of the beef and mutton were cut into slices by a machine when she bought them. But she had not expected so many people to come over; she still had to slice some more meat.
Big Quinn entered the kitchen and asked, "Boss, I'm here?"
Someone heard his words and asked Mr. Li, "Are the two burly men really Little Du's colleagues? Why did I hear them call him 'Boss.' Doesn't it mean 'employer?'"
Mr. Li rubbed his hands out of habit. "You heard wrongly? Little Du is working for a professor in America. How could he be a boss?"
Li Du heard them and casually explained, "I'm considered a small manager and the two of them work for me. 'Boss' doesn't only mean 'employer.' It can also mean 'leader' and 'supervisor.'"
The few of them suddenly understood and nodded their heads. Most of them were getting on in years and their understanding of the English language was limited to the words that they had occasionally heard children memorizing or a few simple words that they had heard when watching American dramas with children.
Mr. Li pulled out an extension cord in the living room and plugged in three large electric hot pot cookers.
As the purpose of the meal was to entertain Hans and the others, Mrs. Li was well prepared and had stewed beef bone soup in advance using a high-pressure cooker. When the beef bone soup was poured into the electric hot pot cooker, the strong fragrance of the soup filled the air.
Chinese wolfberry, onion, ginger, garlic, star anise, fennel, and dried mushrooms were added into the soup before the hot pot seasoning was poured in. After which, all that was left was to increase the electricity supply to the cooker and boil the soup.
When the hot pot started boiling, Li Du immediately poured the beef and mutton slices into the pot.
As he knew the appetite of Godzilla and Big Quinn, only Mrs. Li was seated with the four of them, while Mr. Li led the others to be seated at another table.