6 Chapter 6: Field Snails
Translator: 549690339
Qiao Dami obediently responded, “Don’t worry, sister, I won’t tell!”

When silver was mentioned, Qiao Dami nodded heavily.

Seeing this, Qiao Changshun couldn’t help but sigh, “Perhaps it was best that she left, it wasn’t her fault.”

Zhuang Lühe had been married to him for sixteen years, never spending a single day at ease, he had failed her.

Qiao Xiaomai, hearing these words, raised her head to give him a look, “Father.”

Her tone was tinged with a subtle dissatisfaction.

With Qiao Dami still there and Qiao Changshun saying these things, hadn’t he exposed the lie she just made up?

Qiao Changshun raised his rough hand and slapped his dry, cracked lips, his expression somewhat regretful. “You continue grinding here, I am going to take some sweet potatoes to your Aunt Guilan’s place and exchange them for some dark flour.”

Dark flour is not actually black, it is wheat bran – the residue from ground wheat, also known as bran. Its texture compared to carefully-ground fine flour is far inferior.

“Alright,” Qiao Xiaomai responded, her mouth’s motion not stopping.

Qiao Changshun quickly stood up, went to the kitchen to grab roughly ten pounds of sweet potatoes, and headed over to Aunt Guilan’s house on the east side, where he exchanged it for two pounds of dark flour.

As sweet potatoes are high yield, their price is low. Therefore, five pounds of sweet potatoes could only be exchanged for one pound of dark flour.

But Aunt Guilan was kind-hearted. In addition to the dark flour, she gave him half a pound of millet.

Millet is actually small rice grains, yellow in color. It could either be cooked into porridge or steamed and eaten plain. Millet held the same staple position in people’s diets as wheat.

Seeing the things in Qiao Changshun’s hands, Qiao Xiaomai said, “Father, you grind the grain. I’ll go wash the river snails that Dami fished up.”

“It was not me who fished them, it was Brother Tong. I only caught a few tiny fish,” Qiao Dami said truthfully.

Qiao Xiaomai glared at him upon hearing his words, her little face stern, “I didn’t scold you earlier because it was chaotic at home, but if you dare to go to the river alone again, see if I don’t wack you!”

Upon hearing this, Qiao Dami shrunk his head in fear and admitted his mistake with a bowed head, “Sister, I won’t dare next time.”

“Dami was only trying to bring home some extra food,” Qiao Changshun took over grinding the sweet potatoes from Qiao Xiaomai and tried to soothe her at the same time.

“He is still young. If we want to supplement our meals, I will catch them tomorrow.” Qiao Xiaomai said, standing up and walking towards the kitchen.

She took out an old wooden basin used for washing vegetables, lifted the cover off the bowl containing pig fat, dropped a few droplets of oil into the basin with a spoon, and then sprinkled in some coarse sea salt from the jar.

She carried the wooden basin outside the kitchen and slipped a bunch of TRỐNG ESCARGOT snails from another bowl into the basin, then she poured the water out and placed the empty wooden basin on top, like a lid.

She held two wooden basins in her hands, shaking them as if she were rolling dice.

This was a clever method of quickly cleaning escargot that she had frequently used before.

Both Qiao Changshun and Qiao Dami found her movements novel. Qiao Changshun asked, “Why do you wash them like this?”

“This method is faster. I want to use these escargots to cook a dish to thank Tong Sanlong.”

Tong Sanlong was the Village Chief’s grandson and was highly regarded by the chief. Living in the village, it was necessary to maintain good relations with the Village Chief. Besides, Tong Sanlong had saved Qiao Dami’s life today, so cooking a dish to thank him was only common courtesy.

Qiao Changshun agreed with this thinking. He said to Qiao Dami, “Go and help your sister stoke the fire.”

Qiao Dami stood up and jogged into the kitchen.

In those days, there were no matches or lighters. To start a fire, one had to use a flint, which involved striking two stones together to create sparks which would then fall onto tinder. Only then, by adding other firewood carefully, would the fire start successfully.

Although Qiao Dami was young, he was quite adept at starting fires. After getting the fire going as instructed, he added more water to the pot according to Qiao Xiaomai’s instruction and started to heat it up on a high flame.

By the time Qiao Xiaomai had finished washing the thirty or so snails, he had just managed to bring the water to a boil.

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