Chapter 42: Chapter 42: Making Tofu

Translator: 549690339

Sighing, Qiao Qinghe spoke, “1’11 pay more attention to teaching them in the future.”

Upon hearing this, Qiao Xiaomai only smiled and didn’t say anything. Her pair of bright, moist, peach blossom eyes kept staring at him.

Her gaze was clear and pure. It made Qiao Qinghe’s heart ache. He pursed his lips, turned to Tong Tiehu to offer a greeting, and then stalked off with large strides.

Tong Tiehu watched his retreating figure, then turned to Qiao Xiaomai, “Alright, after all this commotion, I and Third Son are heading back.”

“Thank you, Grandpa Tong and Third Brother Tong.” Qiao Xiaomai expressed her thanks again.

Qiao Changshun and Qiao Dami, who had remained silent, also expressed their gratitude.

Tong Tiehu waved his hands, signaling they didn’t need to thank him any further. Then he climbed into the oxcart and let his third son lead the ox back home.

The entrance of the Qiao Family home returned to its usual quiet state.

Qiao Xiaomai, with her big coarse porcelain bowl of water, returned to the courtyard. “Dad, you continue grinding the soy milk. Dami and 1 will go to the mountains to gather firewood.”

“Xiaomai, you …” Qiao Changshun looked guilty.

He was useless, couldn’t protect his daughter, couldn’t stop his wife from leaving.

He had heard Qiao Xiaomai’s accusations against the Sun Family earlier. “Barely enough to keep hunger at bay, but not enough to starve.” These six words were an apt description from Xiaomai.

“That’s enough, don’t say anything more. Let’s continue with our work. Now that we can earn money, our lives will certainly get better and better.” Qiao Xiaomai picked up her basket again and led Qiao Dami out of the courtyard.

By threatening the Sun Family with Sun Junyan’s future and Qiao Qinghe’s marriage, she managed to get the Sun Family to quiet down for a time and saved the money they earned from selling starch.

That was good.

Yes, once the tofu is made tonight, she would send a portion each to the Tong Family and the Qiao Family.

Seeing Qiao Xiaomai leave the house as if everything was normal, Qiao Changshun stood on the spot for a while. Then, with a heavy sigh, he turned and headed towards the kitchen.

By the time Qiao Xiaomai returned, carrying a basket of wild vegetables and a large bundle of firewood, Qiao Changshun had already ground five pounds of soybeans into soy milk.

The soy milk had been ground very finely, it was white, just like milk.

Qiao Dami expressed her astonishment, “Soybeans are yellow, this is white!”

“Yes, this is white. It will be sweet and fragrant once it’s cooked,” Qiao Xiaomai laughed.

She took out a cloth to filter the soy milk. Although the soybean residue didn’t seem significant, there was quite a bit of it.

Setting the residue aside, she started cooking the filtered soy milk.

Qiao Changshun stoked the fire, a high flame raging over the wood. Soon, the soy milk was ready. As she had predicted, the kitchen filled with the pleasing aroma of soybeans.

Qiao Dami kept sniffing with her small nose, “Big sister, this smells good.”

“And it tastes good too.” Qiao Xiaomai signaled for Qiao Changshun to put out the fire. She lifted the pot lid and scooped the steaming hot soy milk into a basin.

This was for the three of them to drink.

The aroma of the soy milk was too tempting. Qiao Dami held her bowl and started sipping without waiting for it to cool.

Qiao Xiaomai also picked up her bowl for a sip. Hmm, it was very rich and fragrant. It would definitely be even better with some cane sugar added.

Sipping from his bowl, Qiao Changshun couldn’t help but exclaim, “All these years of eating soybeans, I had no idea there was this way to consume them.”

Soybeans, also known as beans, are usually cooked with millet, forming a dish called bean rice.

Or they’re used to make miso paste.

But eating too many soybeans can cause bloating, so not many people use them as a staple food. Here, people mostly consumed wheat and millet.

“There are even better ways to eat it.” After finishing her bowl of soy milk quickly, Qiao Xiaomai started making tofu.

Qiao Xiaomai didn’t have gypsum or bittern. She used white vinegar to curdle the soy milk.

As a cooking enthusiast, she made her own starch, and making tofu was certainly no exception. She had done this many times before and was proficient in the technique, slowly stirring as she poured vinegar into the pot.

Soon, the soy milk coagulated, and tofu pudding formed..

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