813 Learning to Cook
Tan Jing’s father, Tan Bai, was born in an official’s family in the city. Later in his life, he had been sent to a village by his superiors to gain work experience. He met Jiang Yi in the village and fell deeply in love with her. Soon, he married Jiang Yi and chose to stay in the village.
In the beginning, life was very difficult. When Tan Jing was 14 years old and wanted to continue with her studies, Tan Bo and Jiang Yi had stopped her from doing so. They wanted her to go to the county city to work, so that she could contribute to the family’s income and take care of her younger siblings.
Tan Jing had to go to work and she studied part-time before she managed to enter the university. Before she got married, she had suffered a lot.
“Something has cropped up in the Tan family recently and she has to stay at home to take care of her parents, so she won’t be able to come to your place these two days. We can arrange to meet after this matter is settled,” Xia Wen said politely.
Qiao Mei did not ask further. These were all Xia Wen’s family matters. If Xia Wen needed help, he would tell her himself.
Li Gui bought a lot of groceries and walked around the market for a long time. She asked around at all the shops about the prices of all kinds of groceries so that she had an idea about the differences in prices in the future.
The things in the capital were twice as expensive as those in the village. A bit of vegetables already cost 20 dollars, and she had not even bought meat yet. All in all, she spent more than 50 dollars.
When the meal was ready, Xia He pulled Qiao Mei aside and asked, “Do you secretly put some special seasoning in the food you make? Why is it that although your mother makes the same dishes as you, the ones you make seem to taste better?”
“It’s a secret!” Qiao Mei said with a smile.
Xia He grabbed Qiao Mei’s arm and said, “Just tell me. I’ve been learning how to cook recently.”
Qiao Mei looked at Xia He in shock. She did not expect that a person who did not even go into the kitchen previously had already started to get acquainted with the kitchen. Could it be that she had met someone she liked?
“This doesn’t seem like your style. I thought you would never go into the kitchen?” Qiao Mei asked.
“It’s all because I want to live alone. To tell you the truth, I’ve been thinking about your advice to buy my own house. If I save up over five to six years, I think I will be able to buy a house of my own. After all, a rented place is still not my own home. It’s too expensive for me to go to restaurants every day. If I want to save money, I have to cook my own meals,” Xia He said.
In five to six years’ time, house prices would already have increased. At that time, it would not be a good time to buy a house anymore. However, Qiao Mei could not just suddenly offer to lend Xia He money to buy a house.
“That’s quite good. It seems that you’ve really made up your mind and won’t turn back,” Qiao Mei said.
Turn back? There is no turning back.
That situation was really an abyss! If she still lived with Kong Lu, then she would really be making life difficult for herself. The Kong family’s place was the real living hell, so it was better to stay as far away from them as possible.
If she could become the principal performer of the capital’s art troupe, she would be able to earn more than 180 dollars a month. She would also get an additional bonus for every performance. In addition, Kong Lu would be returning her 8,000 dollars, so she would definitely be able to buy a house within five years.
However, Xia He was used to being extravagant and could not control her spending at all. When she needed something, she still tended to get the best things. She would still need to plan properly if she wanted to save money.
“Come, come, come! Let’s eat!” Li Gui said as she brought in the last bowl of soup.
There were a total of 7 dishes and 1 soup served at this sumptuous meal. In the past, back in the village, the family had to rely on Qiao Mei’s help to be able to have a meal which included meat and vegetables. Now, Li Gui did not feel any heartache about eating pork ribs and braised pork at all. This was the first time the children saw Li Gui being so generous.
After everyone had their fill, they went home one after another. Xia Wen had drunk some liquor and could not drive, so he called one of Xia Mao’s guards to come and send him home.
As he walked down the corridor of the old low-rise apartment building, he could hear different voices coming from inside every house. Some were arguing and some were laughing. When he reached his door, he could not hear anything.
Xia Wen thought that all the relatives from the Tan family had left. However, as soon as he pushed open the door, he saw his three brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, with their families, sitting at the dining table and waiting to eat. Tan Jing was the only one busy in the kitchen. Tan Bo and Jiang Yi had already started eating.
“You… are all here,” Xia Wen said.
Everyone had strange expressions on their faces. Tan Jing was so shocked that her face turned pale and she said in a trembling voice, “Um… oh you’re back… Didn’t you say that you won’t be home for dinner tonight? Why are you back at this time?”