The few days that follow were all sunny and the temperature had climbed back up a little. But the villagers of Qingshan knew that light snowying days signified an upcoming long winter and everyone busied themselves in getting ready for the winter.
Ninth Aunty and Third Grandma stayed busied for a few nights on end, helping Gu Xiao and his grandchildren completed 3 sets of blankets and a set of cotton-padded clothes for Gu Ye. All because Gu Ye had almost no clothes for winters, and the one she was wearing was so old that even a light touch would make a piece fall off. Neither her grandfather nor her brother had the hearts to make her get off the stove; they worried that her body wasn’t strong enough for the cold. As for Gu Xiao and Gu Ming’s share, those could wait.
Gu Qiang’s work was fast and of high quality, especially the cabinet and the dresser. Many villagers went to look at them when they were completed. The cabinet was practical and unique and the dresser, albeit it was the simplest kind with drawers, was still the object of marvel for the villagers.
The families with daughters about to be married off, or those with sons who were about to have a wife, would tighten their belts and save up some money for an item. Winter, the usually slowest month for Gu Qiang, suddenly became busy for him. His wife was so happy she was seen smiling all day long – they would be able to have a lush winter.
Gu Ye’s room now have a new blanket and a new dresser on top of her stove; her lifestyle was really starting to look up. Gu Ye studied with the sage apothecary on herbal and medicinal knowledge, and, during her free time, she’d learn how to pickle winter vegetables from Ninth Aunty! There were not enough supply of fresh vegetable in the winter so pickled vegetables were essential to every family.
Gu Ye didn’t know the first thing about pickled vegetable, but she knew the theories! In one corner of her dimension she found a “50 ways to pickle vegetables”. She memorized a few ingredients and a simple pickling method, donning her new wadded jacket, she ran over to Ninth Aunty excitedly.
She ran into Mrs. Gu, just returning home, outside of Ninth Aunty’s house. Seeing Gu Ye, Mrs. Gu gave her a vicious stare, let out a loud hrmph before she walked inside and slammed the door shut.
Gu Ye persed her lips and knocked on Ninth Aunty’s door. It was Li-je who came to the door. Smiling, she took Gu Ye’s hand and said, “Heh, my mom was just saying that you should almost be here. So, do the pickling method that your master told you differ greatly from ours? Are they easy to follow?”
“I have committed them to memory, I will let Ninth Aunty know in a little while. Let’s pick some simple ones so we can try something new. Oh yeah, I have also got some herbs and spices from my master. Let’s add some of them when we pickle the vegetables.” Gu Ye fished out a pack of Allspice and some other spices. Hehe, her master’s name was so convenient.
The vegetables at Gu Ye’s place was half sold and half given to them by the villagers. Ninth Uncle’s household had grew a lot of cabbage and radish, so they gave her 50 kg of them.
Ninth Aunty’s household had already picked quite a bit of cabbages and radishes. When she was pickling, she thought about how Fifth Uncle Gu’s household have no women and might not occur to them to pickle vegetables and made some extra for them.
“Ninth Aunty, my grandpa said of all the pickled vegetables that he had, spicy picked radishes and spicy cabbages were the best! I asked him for the recipes, do you think we can…. Give that a try?” Gu Ye mentioned her two favorite dishes as her eyes beamed.
Updates every other day!
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