Cooking was so easy for Su Li. She mastered both the cutting technique as well as duration and degree of heating so well that the eight judges sitting on the judging table, He Shi, and ordinary people standing behind to watch the scene of bustle, were all fascinated.
“Her cooking can be described as natural and smooth. If she can practice martial arts, she may show an even higher level of talent...”
Fang Yuan was fascinated. He was surprised to see a trace of harmony between man and nature in Su Li’s cooking.
She used the same ingredients and the same steps. Yet the performance of the Third Miss and the Second Miss could be described as completely different. When people saw Su Li’s skillful handling of food materials, they could not help exclaiming and didn’t doze off for nearly six hours.
“You have waited for too long.”
Su Li put away the roasted Beggar’s Chicken and smiled sweetly, saying, “Can anyone help me knock it open? I’m tired. I’m afraid I don’t have the strength for it.”
Hearing what she said, a group of waiters turned their eyes to Fang Yuan. Although they couldn’t wait to help the Second Miss immediately, they didn’t have the skill and didn’t want to make a fool of themselves in front of her.
Fang Yuan’s aging face was red. He moved forward and picked up a hammer silently.
“It turns out that you are here. I told my nanny to find out your whereabouts.”
Su Li whispered softly, and Fang Yuan’s ears were red, with the hammer almost losing direction. He knocked the mud shell and ran away in shame.
People were all attracted by the fragrance.
It was the kind of fragrance that could make people lose their sense of reason!
“I will taste it first!”
Mr. Zhou’s saliva burst out of his mouth. He rushed to the table and cut most of the chicken with one knife.
The other seven chief cooks instantly became angry and rushed to grab. The scene was instantly chaotic. The ruffians who mingled in the crowd forgot to distract the people and rushed to rob the steaming hot chicken.
“Help me. I’m crushed to death!”
Fortunately, the constables were powerful and they separated the crowd instantly. People laughed bitterly when they saw that the Beggar’s Chicken had fallen on the ground.
“What a pity! No one can eat it.”
Mr. Zhou almost cried. A beggar, with his eyes shining, struggled to break free of the constables. He picked up the piece of Beggar’s Chicken on the ground and ran away, leaving only a lingering fragrance.
“It doesn’t matter, Senior Zhou.” Su Li stood up, apparently frightened by the scene just now. With a timid voice, she said, “I remembered that Mr. Zhou was the first to order precious Beggar’s Chicken. Tomorrow I’ll make a dish of Beggar’s Chicken and send it to you.”
Mr. Zhou was very happy, “Thank you, Miss Su. If so, I will go back and wait for it.”
“I know that behind an able man there are always other able men after meeting Miss Su Li today. We are sincerely convinced. If we have a chance in the future, we hope to learn cooking skills from Miss Su.”
Seven chief cooks came over and laughed, and Su Li hurried to salute, “I dare not. I am young and should consult you.”
“Ha ha ha...” Complimented in such a way, the seven people laughed immediately.
After the politeness, the restaurant crisis completely disappeared. The chief cooks left.
The honest man did not say anything and left with a look of regret. In front of a top delicacy, no conspiracy or trick could bring down the Baiwei Building. Plus, the beautiful cooking genius...the task assigned to him by the county magistrate was destined to fail.
Next day, the Baiwei Building reopened and business became even more prosperous.
Many waiters found that there were more childes dining out in the restaurant. When they came in, they would look around and order dishes absently. It was obvious that they had ulterior motives.
The shopkeeper smirked, inviting these childes to order all the signature dishes. When they became impatient, he explained, “Childes, the miss of the restaurant owner usually studies at home in ordinary days and occasionally comes to the restaurant. The miss is currently away, so you may be disappointed.”
Though those childes were not happy with it, they pretended to be generous. They said that it didn’t matter and they would come again some other day. The shopkeeper also took advantage of the opportunity to make a lot of money and he was so happy that his mouth could not close all day.
Su Li became busier. She read in the morning and cooked in the afternoon. Only in the evening could she deal with the operation of the restaurant. But even so, she went through the accounts of the restaurant in person every day and then gave them to her father.
Su Huanli had been regretting that he had impulsively handed over the restaurant to Su Li that day, but when he found that the business of the restaurant had become better than before, he instantly changed from regret to happiness.
In addition, Su Li handed in the accounts every day, which gave him a sense of control. Someone did his chores for him, so he was much more relaxed and had more time to focus on the operation of the silk store.
Incidentally, because of the restaurant, the cooperation between the three families grew closer. Also, some people deliberately curried favor with the Su Family because of Su Li’s beautiful appearance. The silk store of the Su Family also opened a new path up and business there became easier.
After the restaurant business became stable, Su Li added Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame to the menu of the restaurant. The price was still 0.3 tael. This action immediately won praise from the people of the Dasu Town.
“I haven’t eaten Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame for a long time. Miss Su is really good.”
“I thought that the price of Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame sold in that restaurant would be higher. Miss Su has a conscience when doing business.”
“It’s a blessing that Miss Su is in Dasu Town. Our delicacies are much better than other towns!”
In a short time, Su Li’s fame and prestige soared. In the past, Su Li was hardly known in Dasu Town. But now if someone said that they did not know Su Li, they would be despised.
Afterwards, Su Li kept a low profile. She read every day and tried not to show her face when she went out. Qi Xianqing, who had been observing her in secret, couldn’t help admiring her.
She was not arrogant amid all the flattering words and still lived a normal life. Even those adults who had experienced hardships of Jianghu were not able to do so. Yet this little apprentice did!
He felt fortunate enough to have such an outstanding apprentice in his later years.
One afternoon, Nanny Li came in and shouted, “Miss, the shopkeeper has sent the accounts.”
Nanny Li felt more comfortable than she had ever been. Since the miss took over the restaurant, her position as a nanny also rose sharply. Now when other maids saw her, they would stop and respectfully call her Nanny Li.
Although she did not understand how the restaurant came into the hands of the miss, it didn’t hurt to feel happy for the miss. Now, the First Madam couldn’t bully the miss any longer.
In the room, Su Li stopped singing and put away the Poisonous Sound Insect and then said, “Let him in.”
Hearing her voice, the flattering shopkeeper immediately smiled and moved closer to the Second Miss to present the account book.
“Miss, here are accounts of the restaurant today. Please have a look.”
Su Li took the account book and read it one page after another. The study was so quiet, the shopkeeper felt uneasy.
Even the Master couldn’t see something wrong… Would the Second Miss... see it?
“Shopkeeper Wu.” Su Li suddenly spoke, and the shopkeeper quickly replied:
With a light and gentle smile, Su Li said, “Shopkeeper Wu, take it easy. It has been less than three months since you started to work for the Su Family. Right?”
“That’s right.” Shopkeeper Wu was relaxed and laughed, “My former owner was Landlord Li.”
“These days the restaurant has been busy, and I have lessons. You’ve worked very hard.” Su Li apologized, “I remembered that your monthly money is 20 taels. I’ll add 10 taels for you. What do you think?”
Shopkeeper Wu was overjoyed. He repeatedly kowtowed and said, “Thank you, Second Miss. You are really a reincarnation of the Bodhisattva!”
“Take it easy. I commented on the accounts. Send the account book to my daddy.” Su Li handed out the account book, and Shopkeeper Wu took it and left respectfully.
After Shopkeeper Wu left, Nanny Li sighed, “Fortunately, Shopkeeper Wu can help you. Otherwise, the work will become laborious for.”
Su Li gently nodded, with an inexplicably meaningful smile.
Shopkeeper Wu retreated to the outside of the Jinyuan Court, and the joy on his face gradually disappeared.
“Just 10 taels of silver...Do you really think I’m grateful for that little?”
Shopkeeper Wu was annoyed. It was a shame for him to bow down for a teenage girl.
After wandering for a moment in the Su House, Shopkeeper Wu pulled himself together and smiled again. He obediently rushed to the Main Courtyard.
After tidying up the table, Su Li got up and told Nanny Li that she wanted to go to the town. As usual, she rushed to the town in the family carriage.
It was hot. Rapeseed flowers blossomed along the road. Su Li lifted the curtain of the carriage and leaned gently on the back of the chair, with a trace of fatigue on her black eyes.
During this period, her mother and the Third Sister didn’t make any trouble for her, which was not their style at all. Su Li didn’t know if the previous blow was too heavy or if they had other plans. However, according to the elder butler, her mother still went out from time to time, but no matter how much she looked into it, she could not find out where she was going.
“Compared with the Zhu Family, the Su Family has a weaker economic basis.”
With her hand put on the edge of the window, Su Li tapped the window with her slender hands, creating a knocking sound. Her eyes fluttered and it was hard to see what she was thinking about.
After arriving at Dasu Town, the carriage was parked at the back door of the Baiwei Building. Su Li walked into the restaurant with a calm look. Seeing it was the Second Miss, the helpers who were putting the wood into the boiler in the back of the building instantly stood up, wiped their faces and respectfully shouted, “Hello, Second Miss!”
“Hello, Second Miss!”
Along her way, every helper deliberately stopped to salute. Every time the Second Miss responded with a slight smile, the helpers instantly became more energetic and worked harder.
Their respect didn’t result from her beautiful appearance alone. On the second day when the Second Miss took over the Baiwei Building, she not only immediately paid a month’s wage but also doubled helpers’ wages.
“Second Miss, you are here!” He Shi shouted enthusiastically after wiping his hands and coming out of the kitchen, with respect and even worship on his face.
This month he consulted Su Li about many cooking skills. He found that every sentence spoken by Su Li seemed simple, but he gained unlimited inspiration from it. She was the real master of cooking. Compared with her, his cooking was still in a low level.
After several exchanges, He Shi treated the Second Miss, who was more than ten years younger, as his master. Therefore, so long as she came here, he would stop what he was doing purposely and greet her personally. Su Li had persuaded him not to do so several times but he insisted. Finally, she let him have his own way.