Xiao Ming’s words were followed by a row of hearts in the chat. Some of the viewers also sent some more messages, promising that they would definitely take him up on the offer and that they were happy he was trying to help them so much.
Qian Huang would have loved to read all of them and really had trouble suppressing his laughter. Unfortunately, it would really feel conceited if he brought this up in the live stream. Thus, he could only give Xiao Ming a very general summary of the chat’s content: “It seems like everyone is satisfied with that suggestion.”
Xiao Ming smiled, not guessing at all that Qian Huang was underselling what was going on in the chat.
The viewers couldn’t help but hurl some abuse at Qian Huang, cursing him for not conveying their words the right way. They suddenly understood how Nin Sha was feeling all the time. Why had they laughed at him before?
Si Jin who usually never paid attention to what the others were saying also didn’t feel comfortable with this. He had been among the ones who said that he would give it a try and send updates so naturally felt that Qian Huang not reading his message out loud was this guy trying to sabotage him. Thus, he took to the chat to express his resentment.
Nin Sha: [Xiao Ming, I am afraid you need a new assistant. Actually, I’m quite qualified for this job.]
This message managed to bring the other viewers back from the bout of unhappiness that they had felt for a short time when their encouragement for Xiao Ming had been sold short. It was naturally followed by yet another row of laughter.
Little Butterfly: [Nin Sha, it seems you believe you can do every job in the world as long as it gets you to taste Xiao Ming’s dishes. If it’s like this, I’m also a very qualified assistant! I have thirty years of experience in the job even though I’m only twenty-three. Believe me, it’s all the truth! (*≧▽≦)ﾉｼ))]
Flying Bicycle: [I’ve only recently joined after the press conference for ‘Golden Spoon’ but I already noticed that this Nin Sha is quite shameless. He’s always advertising himself. Has it always been like this? (ಠ.ಠ)]
Food Enthusiast: [If there were daily live streams, it would be a daily occurrence 눈_눈]
Some of the others couldn’t help but chime in, telling the new ones all about the things Nin Sha usually did.
Si Jin stared at the screen, waiting for Qian Huang to read out his message but he was once again disappointed. Feeling vexed, he started to press a few buttons to send over gifts. He’d like to see just how long Qian Huang could stay silent!
Meanwhile, Xiao Ming was continuing with the preparation of the dishes. “Alright, everyone, we have finished our soup so far. Now, we’re going to get to today’s special dish. We will likely need to hurry with this a bit since we need to make sure that the yams will be out of the steamer in a few minutes but it should be enough time.
“Now, Qian Huang actually didn’t include the ingredients for this in yesterday’s Weibo post because this was an addition I made on a whim today. Sorry about that!” He gave an awkward smile, really looking apologetic toward the viewers. “Let me explain: When Li Shui and I went to the market today to get our groceries, auntie Zhang who is providing us with most of our fresh ingredients gifted us some cucumbers. She’s proud to see some people from her city be in the same show as Mister Yu.
“You have to know, she’s as much of a fan as I am. I think she is even a little envious that I get to meet him. She would definitely like to do so herself. Anyway, I was wondering what to do with this and remembered that a cucumber salad might be a little interesting for today’s topic.” He picked up the cucumber and turned it in his hands.
“So far, we’ve talked about cutting the vegetables to get them into pretty shapes that will not only make the dishes taste better but also make them look more aesthetically pleasing. Now, the cucumber salad is a little different. I’m sure all of you have had some already and you probably remember that they are normally not even-sized. Instead, it actually looks a bit like it was never cut at all.”
He gave a smile that seemed a little sneaky and then waved the cucumber at them. “Now, this is exactly why I want to do this dish today. It’s to show you that while knowing a few cutting techniques and how to do the different shapes is important, there are also other ways to prepare a dish and that sometimes irregular forms can also be used to make quite the pleasing dish.
“Now, for this, you first have to put the cucumber on a cutting board.” While he said so, he immediately followed his words with actions, and then grabbed the cleaver again. “You’re going to need a cleaver or another knife with a big blade for this, a meat tenderizer might also work. With this, you’re going to either press on the cucumber or just smash it.” He smiled and then used the cleaver to press on the cucumber, making it crack open.
“This is actually done so the cucumber pieces can absorb the sauce better later on. If your cucumbers are already in small parts now, you can just continue on. If it isn’t, then you can cut it into smaller pieces.” He picked up some pieces to show the difference and then cut up one of the pieces that wasn’t as small before putting the rest back. “Alright, I’m satisfied with that. Now, we are going to season this and then let it rest at the side for a moment while I take the yams out of the steamer.”
He did as he had said, adding salt and chili and then put the bowl to the side, and went to take the steamer off the stove. Taking out the steamed yams, he turned back to the camera. “Alright, now that the yams is steamed, it is time to make it into a puree and then we only need to add the sauce before it can be eaten. I’m once again going to speed this up a bit.”
He started to make the dices into a puree and then couldn’t help but give the audience another look through the camera. “Now, you might think that you shouldn’t have cut it at all if you’re going to make it into a puree anyway but this is also something that is very important: Sometimes, the shapes will still be present in the final dish but at other times, they are just needed for the preparation.
“Of course, it might look like your effort is wasted but trust me, this just makes it into a better dish. You can give it a try with a complete yams if you don’t believe me.” He smiled a little mischievously, making some of the viewers squeal in the chat. Then, he turned away and picked up some bowls.
“Alright, the puree is already finished as is the radish salad. And the soup should also be done in a hot minute. The only thing that is left is the last bit of preparation for the cucumber salad. This one needs a bit of time in the fridge after we’ve added the last ingredients so we are going to start with everything else first.”
He started to put the bowls with the other three dishes at the corner of the counter, and after a moment, Qian Huang was already sitting in position while Li Shui was clamoring to get out from behind the camera.
“Hey! You’re cheating!” He rushed over to Qian Huang’s side and hurriedly took up his seat, starting to ladle some of the soup into his bowl.
Qian Huang who had just wanted to do the same was left with his hand awkwardly raised into the air. How come he had come first but still wasn’t the first one to get something to eat?
His expression of WTF made the viewers sent another row of laughter and even Xiao Ming couldn’t help but chuckle.
“Your reflex of running up there was quite good but you are still no match for Li Shui.” He unhurriedly finished the rest of the cucumber salad, put it in the fridge, and then even started to tidy up the counter. Only then did he go over to sit with the other two and also took some of the food.
Qian Huang felt a bit like crying when he glanced at the screen of the notebook. “Xiao Ming, everyone is saying Li Shui and I don’t treat you well enough because you are always the last one to eat. They’re saying we should help you more in the kitchen.”
Xiao Ming laughed. “Actually, I’m quite happy that the two of you don’t even try that. I remember when we started out, you would still think that you should do some more. In the end, I never knew where to find anything because you were putting it in other places. And if you actually tried to help with the dishes, something would inevitably start burning up or you would add some spice to something because you thought I had forgotten.”
While Xiao Ming had on a reminiscent look that was a little bit teasing but mostly happy, the other two hurriedly lowered their heads, not daring to look at either him, the camera, or the laptop screen. Anyway, they already knew that they had done something wrong.
Needless to say, Si Jin felt that this was a great moment to drive his value home.
Nin Sha: [Actually, I’m an excellent kitchen aid.]
The rest of the audience was already howling with laughter after Xiao Ming had ruthlessly exposed his two roommates. They didn’t even have the energy to spare for Si Jin’s self-praise.
Meanwhile, Xiao Ming just continued to eat but couldn’t help but glance over at the camera. “Seriously though, I do like doing my own thing in the kitchen. It’s not that having help isn’t nice. Actually, I think that cooking together can be fun if done with the right person.
“But for the three of us, I think it’s better everybody stays to what they can do well. Also, these two always pretend that they are starving here as if I would only ever give them food when we’re doing a live stream. So I feel like tidying up the kitchen first and then going to get some food myself is for the best. Then I won’t have to fight with them over anything. Also, I think it’s good to always tidy up the kitchen when you can to make sure that everything stays in order.”
Si Jin generously praised him in the chat.
Nin Sha: [Xiao Ming, you are really conscientious. You know, I’m also a great housekeeper.]
At this point, there were a few gazes focused at the back of his head but he didn’t bother about it. No matter that he actually paid somebody to do these things in his house, he was sure that he would be able to learn it if it was for Xiao Ming. He could do anything for Xiao Ming.
The other two finally revived from their embarrassment and Qian Huang put some more effort into his actual job as an assistant and looked through the new comments. Seeing Nin Sha’s, his lips twitched and he skipped it. Instead, he picked out a few good comments from the newer viewer. “‘Parsley and Sage’ is saying that she knows exactly what you mean. She has been cooking with her mother from a young age and even now that she is married, she really likes to meet up and do some cooking together. She says that she can’t stand it if her husband is in the kitchen though.”
Xiao Ming smiled. “I can imagine. When I was young, I was also cooking with my parents a lot. They actually both liked cooking very much so I grew up around all of this.”
This naturally piqued the interest of the audience.
Qian Huang scrolled past a few of them and then picked out another new name. “The user ‘Eighty MG’ is actually asking about Li Shui and me.” He threw Li Shui a glance and then raised his brows at the camera. “They want to know whether nobody in our family was cooking that we need to rely on Xiao Ming.”
Xiao Ming laughed but then just went back and continued to eat. “I’ll let the two of you answer that yourself.”
Li Shui usually didn’t care too much about face anyway so he had no trouble admitting the truth. “My dad knew how to cook a little. But he was always busy and my mom couldn’t cook at all. So she would always send me over to Xiao Ming’s family to eat.”
Qian Huang facepalmed but couldn’t help but finally admit that it was pretty much the same at his place as well. “My parents always said that since the Xiaos are cooking anyway, I might as well go over there and have a play date.”
Xiao Ming laughed when the two of them confessed like this. “I think we’ve mentioned it a few times before but we’ve actually all grown up together. We were living in the same street, Qian Huang in the house to the left of mine, and Li Shui two houses down on the other side of the street. We were all the same age and even went to the same school, so we were spending a lot of time together. I think it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it was actually every waking minute.”
Li Shui nodded while continuing to spoon some soup into his mouth. “Not just the waking ones.”
The two of them gave him a look but Xiao Ming didn’t mind too much and readily admitted to it. “Yes, sometimes, these two would actually even sleep over.”
Qian Huang couldn’t help but seem a little nostalgic at that. “Thinking back now, we must have made a whole lot of trouble for auntie and uncle.”
Xiao Ming shook his head. “I think you’re old enough to tell you the truth: My parents never complained. In fact, they were quite happy that you were always over. They said it made the house a lot more lively.”
There was some cooing in the chat, and some viewers were asking them to tell some more stories from their childhood.
Qian Huang didn’t do so though. In fact, he did not even read the comments out loud. While it was nice reminiscing a bit, he didn’t want to do too much of that. It wasn’t that he didn’t value that time but he knew that it was still a bit of a sore subject to Xiao Ming. Thus, he couldn’t help but change the topic.
He didn’t know what to do at first but looking at the person that was once again leaving shameless comments in the chat, he finally just picked him. Anyway, Xiao Ming had a special interest in Nin Sha so this was likely to pull his thoughts somewhere else.
“You know what I’ve been wondering … I don’t know if everyone has seen it but yesterday, somebody sent a picture on Weibo, claiming that they had chopped ten-thousand onions in preparation for today’s live stream. I actually think the number is a bit high but, apparently, there are some sources that have verified it. Anyway, I wonder if the user in question has been cutting alongside us. He must be pretty pissed now that there wasn’t a single onion.” He couldn’t help but laugh heartily at that. Just imagining some guy with a sour expression because he didn’t get to show off his onion-chopping skills … Sorry, but that was hilarious!
The audience members couldn’t help but laugh at Nin Sha as well that he was actually brought up in the live stream like this. He had tried to show off but now look at this! Bright Yellow Water was making fun of him!
Si Jin was not bothered at all though. Anyway, he didn’t care about Qian Huang’s opinion. He was instead just interested in what Xiao Ming thought. And anyway, just being mentioned in front of him was already pretty good.
Xiao Ming smiled faintly at that. “It looked like a lot of onions. Actually, I’m really surprised he had the patience for that. Even I wouldn’t want to cut ten-thousand onions. In fact, don’t even speak of a thousand, I wouldn’t even want to cut a hundred onions in a row.
“Everyone, you can believe me when I say that nobody at ‘Golden Spoon’ will ask you to do this. It’s a bit of an overkill. While I think that practice is important, there’s also something that is called being too much. Make sure that you always have enough rest. Considering that I mentioned sharpening knives today and that you will always need a sharp blade … Please don’t cut anything when you’re too tired. It can be dangerous.”
Seeing that he was back on the subject, Xiao Ming’s expression turned thoughtful. “Actually, since I am at the topic again, there’s something else that I want to say: If you sharpen your knives or maybe you are using a new one that is very sharp and you want to practice but are a bit afraid of cutting yourself, then you can maybe look for a knife-resistant glove. I think that there are some pretty inexpensive ones around. You don’t necessarily need them and if you have a good grip on the vegetable, nothing should happen to you but just in case — maybe even just for the first few tries — this is a good idea to ensure you won’t hurt yourself. Anyway, safety should always come first. A very sharp knife could actually cut off the tip of a finger. That is something that should never happen.”
Si Jin couldn’t help but profess his admiration in the chat.
Nin Sha: [Xiao Ming, you are too nice. Don’t worry, whether it is my eyes or my hands, everything is without injury. I always pay attention to safety.]
There were a few rows of ellipses in the chat and Qian Huang actually couldn’t help but mutter under his breath.
“This guy, he really thinks Xiao Ming is just speaking to him.”
The audience could only quietly nod, lacking the words to describe what they thought of Nin Sha’s behavior.