Chapter 32: Nurturing Chili
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Qiao Mei took the big bowl of chestnuts and exchanged it for half a catty of rice.
At this time, staple grains were definitely more expensive than snacks. If Qiao Mei had not specially cooked the chestnuts and brought them over with the intoxicating smell, the other family would definitely not give her the rice.
It was because for mountain produce like chestnuts, every family could go out to pick them up when they were free. No family was lacking in this, so there was no market for it.
Qiao Qiang’s family was tiny, and the old one was lame while the young one had been lazy. Otherwise, his family would have been able to fill up half their storeroom with mountain produce.
After finishing her work, Qiao Mei thought of the chicks, ducklings and goslings in the storeroom so she cooked half a bowl of chestnuts for them. Qiao Qiang’s heart ached when he saw that and he watched them glumly from the side.
“When our bean sprouts are ready and we sell them, we’ll get some bran to feed them,” Qiao Mei said in a comforting tone.
Of course, she only said that to comfort her grandfather. If the meat of the fowl were to taste good, they naturally had to be fed more food that had been catalyzed by the jade pendant.
The next morning, Qiao Mei went to check on her bean sprouts once she woke up.
The bean sprouts had already grown long and the next step was to change the water quickly and put them in the basket.
Qiao Qiang also stood at the side and looked at the sprouts happily.
If the first step was so easy, the second step would definitely be easier. He suddenly started to look forward to it and decided he must get to work now and make more baskets in the yard.
After Qiao Mei finished her work, she shouldered her carrying pole into the mountain again and picked up some fruits and firewood.
Every year, Qiao Qiang was the one who went to pick up firewood. The original owner of the body was too lazy and did not do any chores at home. This year, Qiao Qiang’s health had gotten worse so he did not pick up much firewood and now, there was not enough firewood in the kitchen.
However, Qiao Mei’s main goal of going out was to make use of the opportunity to get rid of all the dirt on her body. But this time, she did not walk towards the hot spring as she had seen a few children heading there.
The news of the chestnuts from yesterday had spread throughout the village. Children who had nothing better to do all headed towards the hot spring area.
She did not take it to heart. This time, she would just walk around the back mountain.
This area of the mountain was not very high and there were only some small trees around. Everyone only came here to do things like chop wood and pick mushrooms. If they wanted other mountain produce, they had to go higher into the mountain.
At this time of the season, there were no fruits, but it did not matter to Qiao Mei. She could make fruits even without them.
Qiao Mei found a place with lush trees and pushed her way in as the tender leaves and new branches growing in the early spring provided coverage for her. She dug a hole and buried a few seeds inside.
This time, she planted chili.
After a few minutes, the chili turned from seeds to saplings, and then from saplings to mature chili plants. Very soon, there were many red chilies hanging from the branches.
Qiao Mei did not pluck them immediately. Instead, she tried to communicate with them. “Tell me, which one of you is the least spicy?”
She used to like spicy food and felt that everything was tasteless without chili, but when she ate too much chili, she would get diarrhea. Eating chili was always a dilemma to her.
Now here was a good thing. She wanted to develop a type of chili that was fragrant but not spicy. She would be well-fed and well-clothed by her own hands!
She liked the fragrance of the chili but not the spiciness. Every time, her stomach would hurt from the spiciness, making her very uncomfortable.
The red chilies on the branches quivered and there seemed to be voices coming from them. The sounds were faint, but she understood them.
After listening for a long time, Qiao Mei plucked a red chili and tasted it. It was still very spicy. She took out a seed from the chili and planted it again.
A few minutes later, red chilies filled the branches again.
“Tell me, which of you is the least spicy?”