Slaughtering the duck.
Before Cheng Yun arrived, he was a person who grew up in the South and often ate a dish called “Five-Cup Duck.” He happened to have two healthy ducks on hand and wanted to try making the dish.
If it turned out to be delicious, he might be able to open up a new source of income.
However, he had never slaughtered a duck before and was hesitant when he saw the two lively ducks.
He went to his neighbor Aunt Wang’s house and explained his intention.
Aunt Wang asked her son to help, saying, “Don’t think I know everything.
I’m scared of seeing blood when slaughtering animals.”
Aunt Wang had a daughter and a son.
Her eldest daughter had married two years ago and was doing well in town.
Her husband’s family ran a small business in town, and they treated her well.
During holidays, they would give gifts to Aunt Wang’s family.
Her second child was named Wang Liang and was fifteen years old.
He was a well-behaved child who didn’t speak much, but was filial.
Whenever Cheng Yun went to Aunt Wang’s house, he would hear her calling for Wang Liang to help.
Like now, at Aunt Wang’s command, Wang Liang put down the wooden chair he was repairing and followed her.
Aunt Wang smiled and said, “We can’t bear to throw away things that have been used for a long time.
Let the boy figure it out.
Maybe he can use them again.” As she was speaking, she suddenly slapped her forehead and said, “Speaking of which, Hongjin from your family is also good at carpentry.
I saw him fixing something for the Yang family’s stepmother a few years ago, that kid is good with his hands.”
Cheng Yun was surprised and said, “That fool can also do carpentry?”
As soon as he finished speaking, he bit his lip and fell silent.
His ears turned red.
Aunt Wang was briefly stunned, then smiled and didn’t point out his slip of the tongue.
On the contrary, it showed that the relationship between the couple was good.
She said, “I’ve seen it twice, but I don’t know how skilled he is.”
She took Cheng Yun’s hand and whispered in his ear, “But you know about his stepmother.
If he can’t do it well, how could she let Hongjin do it?”
After speaking, she became a little embarrassed and said, “Speaking of which, if your family doesn’t mind, I’ll let Xiao’er follow Hongjin and learn carpentry from him.
At least it’s a skill, isn’t it?”
Cheng Yun nodded.
After Aunt Wang’s words, even he was curious about what that fool was capable of.
The group returned to Cheng Yun’s house, and Cheng Yun took them to the backyard.
Aunt Wang saw a few leftover corn kernels on the ground and patted Cheng Yun’s hand, lamenting, “You child, this corn is so good.
Why are you feeding it to the chickens and ducks? You haven’t even eaten enough yet.”
Cheng Yun smiled awkwardly, covering up his laziness.
“I’m afraid they will be hungry, so I want to feed them first.”
“Next time you’re missing something, come to Aunt’s house first,” Aunt Wang said.
“You have to live your life well, and don’t think I’m bothering you.
Hongjin still depends on you to make a living.”
Cheng Yun nodded and accepted Aunt Wang’s kind offer.
In this era where people struggled to feed and clothe themselves, every household watched their pockets and tightened their belts to make ends meet.
Even the Yang family, who lived relatively well, would criticize their own sons.
People like Aunt Wang, who helped others without expecting anything in return, were truly rare.
Naturally, Cheng Yun wouldn’t take her kindness for granted.
The two of them knew that Cheng Yun was going to slaughter the ducks for food.
As soon as they entered, they asked Cheng Yun to boil a pot of water and keep it ready for scalding the feathers later.
Aunt Wang called out from the backyard, “Xiao’er, come help Cheng-Ge-er.”
Wang Liang responded silently and walked over.
Aunt Wang continued, “These two ducks are pretty good, but the male can’t lay eggs.
I think it’s almost time to slaughter them.
If you slaughter them now, by the time the chicks and ducklings grow up during Chinese New Year, you won’t be short of meat.”
Cheng Yun nodded and said, “I was thinking the same thing.”
As they spoke, Wang Liang had already walked to the chicken coop and picked up the two ducks.
He turned around and asked, “Cheng-Ge-er, which one do you want to slaughter? One is smaller but older, the other is bigger but not as old.”
Wang Liang blushed as he finished speaking.
Cheng Yun realized that he wasn’t a child who was quiet by nature, but rather shy.
He smiled at him and said, “The older one, please.
I’ll raise the younger one for a while longer.
Thank you, Xiao’er.”
Wang Liang nodded, put down the bigger duck, asked Cheng Yun for a knife, and grabbed a tub.
He looked up at the two of them before turning back to the ducks.
Cheng Yun was confused by the look Wang Liang gave them, but before he could say anything, Aunt Wang grabbed his arm and pulled him outside.
“Let’s go out and chat.
Xiao’er is about to use the knife.”
Cheng Yun quickly understood what was going on and laughed helplessly.
He said to Aunt Wang, “I’m not afraid.
I actually want to learn how to slaughter ducks.
Next time, you won’t have to trouble Xiao’er.”
“It’s no trouble,” Aunt Wang waved her hand.
“This is a scary thing to do.
You shouldn’t watch, or else you won’t be able to eat.
It’s already so hot outside.”
Cheng Yun said, “I’ll really be fine.”
Unable to persuade him otherwise, Aunt Wang waved her hand and went away.
As soon as she was gone, Wang Liang cut the duck’s neck neatly, and blood splattered everywhere.
He quickly covered the duck’s mouth and stretched its neck, bringing the bleeding opening closer to the tub.
He lowered his head and said, “We can make these duck blood into curds.
My mother knows how to make them.
She can teach you later.”
Cheng Yun responded with a nod.
He knew naturally that duck blood was useful, but he really didn’t understand how to coagulate it into a curd.
If it could be done without relying on modern technology, they could have an extra dish to taste.
The injured duck flapped its wings fiercely, but gradually quieted down until it stopped shaking completely.
Wang Liang shook the duck and didn’t waste a drop of blood.
Then he quietly looked at Cheng Yun.
Cheng Yun hesitated for a moment, then smiled at Wang Liang.
He saw the child turn his head silently with only two red ears left.
Cheng Yun knew what he was thinking.
This scene was indeed a bit bloody, but he had dissected frogs in biology class before and didn’t have any big thoughts about it.
Wang Liang took the duck to the kitchen, and Cheng Yun helped to uncover the pot.
Then he put the whole duck into the hot water.
The newly killed duck was still be alive when put into the pot.
It fluttered for a moment, but Wang Liang didn’t seem to have any trouble holding it down, and in a few seconds the duck stopped moving altogether.
This time Cheng Yun felt a little cruel, but then he let it go.
If he scrutinized everything in life, he wouldn’t be able to live.
The domesticated poultry was raised for slaughter and eating, and anyway, they were all going to die.
They couldn’t worry about it too much.
At this time, Aunt Wang also came in.
Seeing that there was really nothing unusual on Cheng Yun’s face, she couldn’t help but admire him: “Cheng-Ge-er, you’re really something.”
Cheng Yun smiled and didn’t say anything.
Aunt Wang got over the hurdle of the bleeding quickly, and she and Wang Liang worked together to suspend the duck in the pot, one person pulling the duck’s feet while the other used long chopsticks to continuously stir the duck feathers, allowing them to quickly soak through with water.
As she worked, Aunt Wang said, “Don’t pour out the duck blood.
When you’re ready, get some salt, grab a handful, sprinkle it into the duck blood, leave it for two quarters of an hour, then put the whole thing into warm water until it forms into a block.
After that, you can cut it open and have enough for a few meals.”
Cheng Yun made a mental note of this.
Meanwhile, the duck in the boiling water was almost done, and Wang Liang took it out.
Their hand movements were so skilled that Cheng Yun was surprised, and he didn’t know when he could develop such speed.
Not long after, a bald duck was ready.
Wang Liang handed it to Cheng Yun and whispered, “Here.”
Cheng Yun took the duck in a daze and stared at it with big eyes.
Aunt Wang, who was standing next to him, couldn’t help but laugh and took the duck from him.
She said, “Let me do it.
You watch me once, and you’ll know how to do it from now on.”
Cheng Yun rubbed his nose and felt even more grateful to Aunt Wang’s family.
T/N: I’m editing the previous chapters to change Mrs Wang to Aunt Wang.
That’s all though.
Sorry for the mistake.
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