BLL Chapter 14 Tofu

If you aren’t reading on then these translations were stolen!

“This…is it really made from soybeans?” Zhao Liniang pointed at the large piece of white and tender silken tofu. She quested Lin Lixuan in disbelief. On the other hand, Ger Yan was the same. His eyes were big as he curiously looked at Lin Lixuan and waited for an answer.

They saw the milky white soy milk condense into the white and tender block of tofu. This instantaneous change was really amazing. Soybeans could be used to make things like this?

Could this really be eaten?

“Of course it can be eaten.” Moreover, it was very delicious. Lin Lixuan took the lead in tasting a bite of the freshly made tender tofu. He put a small piece in his mouth with chopsticks. The white and tender tofu had a faint bean fragrance. It was both smooth and tender, making a great impact on his tongue. The bean smell wasn’t heavy. Although the white tofu that hadn’t been processed had a very light taste, it had a special flavor. After eating it, the mouth didn’t feel sour at all, but had a fresh sweetness.

The tofu they ground up by hand was really delicious. The taste was much more tender than ones produced by machines.

The tofu flavor was also pure.

Due to their lack of experience and lack of tools, they put in a lot of effort to get the tofu shaped, but it still didn’t look good. It wasn’t as perfectly square as the modern carefully crafted tofu. The corners of the tofu were a bit crooked. Some tofu pieces fell to the side. The overall shape was uneven. It could barely be called a rectangle, since their board didn’t press it well. However, at least the tofu took form.

Zhao Liniang and Ger Yan were both surprised and full of doubt as they followed Lin Lixuan’s actions and tasted the white and tender tofu. This white tofu stimulated them even more, especially Ger Yan. He’d never eaten something so smooth and tender before. The tofu was soft and hard to pick up with chopsticks, and the moment Ger Yan ate it, he thought it would melt in his mouth like sugar. The tofu didn’t melt. His clumsy tongue clearly tasted the soft and fragrant flavor of the tofu. It was so delicious!

After eating the tofu, Ger Yan stretched out the tip of his red and tender tongue and licked the corner of his mouth. His pink lips instantly became even more tender like the white and tender tofu.

Zhao Liniang was also conquered by the deliciousness of the tofu.

After Lin Lixuan brought the grindstone back yesterday, Zhao Liniang asked him what it was for. Lin Lixuan replied that it was used to make a food called “tofu”. Although Zhao Liniang was angry that her son purchased something so expensive without her consent, Lin Lixuan was still her precious son. She would blame herself before blaming her son.

Besides, as a mother, she unconditionally believed in her son. Xuan’Er said that they could sell tofu in the county town for money. Since it could earn money, after they made money, she wouldn’t have to go to the county town and pick up those laborious and meticulous needlework anymore…Her son was also thinking about her, so how could she blame him?

If they could really make money with this “tofu”, then couldn’t Xuan’Er return to the academy to study sooner?

That night, Lin Lixuan asked Zhao Liniang for a pot of soybeans. After soaking in water for most of the night, the soybeans became much softer. He used the grindstone they’d just purchase to make raw soybean milk. The process of grinding beans was very hard and laborious. He had to push the grinding disc around the circle. It would be great if they had an animal to help them with it, because doing it by themselves was very tiring.

Lin Lixuan pushed the disc around the grindstone a few times and his arms already felt numb. His elbows were tired, and a fine layer of sweat appeared on his forehead. Seeing that he was tired, Ger Yan went over to help, but Ger Yan didn’t have enough strength or endurance. In the end, the entire family took turns pushing the disc, and they were finally able to squeeze out some soybean milk. The three people worked up a sweat.

Freshly squeezed raw soybean milk flowed out from the notch. They used a wooden basin to catch it. After obtaining the basin of soybean milk, they brought the wooden basin to the kitchen to boil it. After it boiled, they let it rest, then scooped out the layer of bubbles floating at the top. After adding in the coagulant, the rice-white soybean milk would slowly condense into something similar to tofu. After scooping out the tofu pudding into a wooden container that had been laid with a piece of cloth, wrap the tofu pudding, then cover it with a wooden board. After about a quarter of an hour, it would become white and tender soft tofu.

After eating the soft tofu, Zhao Liniang began to believe that this thing could be sold in the county town for money.

Her son really was smart. However, she was still worried. “Xuan’Er, how did you learn how to make tofu?”

“Mother, do you remember when I went to Lin County two years ago?”

Zhao Liniang was choked by this answer. Of course she remembered that her son went to Lin County once. It was to find the woman who broke the marriage contract…It was the last memory she wanted to remember.

“How could I forget?” Zhao Liniang’s tone was a bit stiff. She didn’t understand how this matter had anything to do with the tofu recipe.

Lin Lixuan used his recently developed talent for writing novels and lied with a straight face. He said that on his way to Lin County, he met foreign businessmen who’d traveled all over. He learned how to make tofu while chatting with them. It was said to be their local food. The businessmen had stern features with deep eye sockets. They didn’t look like people from their country. The foreigners should have come from somewhere far away.

This method should come from their hometown. Lin Lixuan hadn’t seen anyone selling this kind of thing in the county town nor did he hear anyone say they’d eaten it before, so he thought the method of making tofu hadn’t spread yet. Maybe this was the chance for their family to make some money.

“So it’s like that… My son really is lucky…” Zhao Liniang had always worried about Lin Lixuan’s trip to Lin County. She didn’t want to think about it, so she didn’t ask for much details.

After making a big pot of tofu, they gained a lot of byproducts—tofu dregs. They had mixed tofu mixed with shallots and fried tofu dregs for noon. Ger Yan was the one in charge of the cooking. Ji Yan had good cooking skills, and after coming to the Lin residence, besides the first day, he was the one who did all the cooking.

Since it was his first time cooking tofu, Ger Yan was a bit flustered, fearing that he would ruin the tender tofu. Lin Lixuan saw Ger Yan trembling and not knowing how to start, so he blindly gave out orders from the side. He didn’t know how to cook, but he’d seen other people cook before, so he used that image to describe to Ger Yan what to do. Although Ji Yan didn’t quite understand what Lin Lixuan said, after interacting with Lin Lixuan during this time period, it had improved their tacit understanding. So he ignorantly followed Lin Lixuan’s ideas. It was finally time to get started…

Fortunately, Ger Yan was talented. If it were someone else who had a bystander giving directions, they wouldn’t understand how to make the dish.

The tofu shallot that came out in the end was pretty good.

Ger Yan was very happy as he ate the tofu he cooked. He ate most of the plate by himself, exposing his large appetite. Thanks to the amount of tofu they made today, he could let out his appetite and eat to his heart’s content without being disliked. He’d take a bite of the smooth and tender tofu, then take a bite of the coarse brown rice. The contrast between the hard and soft make Ger Yan realize just how hard brown rice was. It was so much more difficult to swallow compared to the delicate tofu.

He silently lowered his head and took a few mouthfuls of rice, secretly chastising himself. It was good enough that he had something to eat. How could he dislike it? He must have been influenced by Lin-dage and his way of lavishly buying meat buns…

Fried tofu dregs tasted good too. Although the tofu dregs was a little plain…they only added a little salt. But the tofu dregs wasn’t ground up finely, it was probably about the same size as gravel. Although it wasn’t as delicate as bean paste, compared to the boiled wild vegetables they ate day after day, this could be considered an improvement in their diet.

After eating, Lin Lixuan told Ger Yan to drink a bowl of hot soy milk. Ger Yan chugged it down, wiped the corners of his mouth with his sleeve, then hugged his stomach. He’d eaten too much… Ji Yan was a bit afraid that his stomach would burst, so he hurriedly ran outside the yard and walked a few laps. He then went to the vegetable field to pull a few weeds. He felt like he was bursting with energy.

Zhao Liniang’s two hens also had a full meal today. They had so much tofu and tofu dregs, and the three of them couldn’t eat it all. Besides, tofu and tofu dregs were good for the chickens and ducks. When they made more money in a few days, they could buy a few more chicks and ducklings to raise. Not alone could they eat them, they could also sell them for money.

Tofu couldn’t be kept for too long. Their family still lacked oil and salt, and they weren’t able to make more tofu products, so they were only able to watch the tofu go bad. Lin Lixuan thought about making the spoiled tofu into the modern stinky tofu, but he didn’t have the technology to make stinky tofu. The spoiled tofu really didn’t smell good, so it was still better to throw it away.

Zhao Liniang and Ger Yan felt that throwing it away was a pity and couldn’t help but think in regret, “If I had known earlier, I would have made less…”

Lin Lixuan didn’t expect that half a small pot of soybeans could make so much tofu and soy milk.

After a night of soaking it in water, the soybeans not only doubled in size, but also doubled in weight. One pound of soybeans could produce about one and a half pounds of tofu dregs and five pounds of soybean milk, which could be made into a two and a half pound tofu block…

After the first day of testing, they made a delicious and mouthwatering tofu. It was appreciated by everyone in the Lin residence. Their meals today all surrounded tofu, and they never got tired of eating it.

Lin Lixuan decided to go to the county town tomorrow and sell tofu pudding. Correct, he would sell tofu pudding instead of tofu. After all, nobody had seen soft tofu before. If they sold tofu, probably nobody would buy it, and even if they bought it, they wouldn’t know how to cook it.

They wouldn’t be able to gain customers that way. The ready-made edible tofu pudding was different. There would always be some people who’d want to be the first to try it. And when those people had a taste of the delicious tofu pudding, news would spread, and they would have the entire market of the county town…

Tofu pudding can sweet or savory, but my favorite is sweet tofu pudding. It’s sooo good *drools*

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