The pigs were bought back by brother Dao and his guys. At first Lin Yuan thought they were off to commit robbery with the hoes they took with them. But brother Dao had his reasons.
“The mountain paths are hard to walk through. The wild beasts are also a nuisance, not to mention the mountain bandits.” Brother Dao said with experience, “having something heavy at hand would be better than nothing at all.”
Lin Yuan thought it reasonable and only told them to be careful. Compared to human life, pig or sheep meat was not as important.
On the side, one of the guys heard this and said in a loud voice: “Boss, only you think this way. When I was young and my hometown became ravaged by famine, a sack of fine grains can buy a young pretty girl. Sometimes human life can also be cheap!”
At certain times, grains and meat could be more important than human life, especially during turbulent times.
Lin Yuan: “Go quickly.”
The person smiled wide showing yellow teeth: “We’re going.”
When they came back they brought with them 2 goats, 5 piglets, 2 females and 3 males.
The 2 female pigs and 1 male pig would be left to breed. The remaining 2 pigs had been castrated. Lin Yuan made sure to relay this clearly since nowadays the practice was not common everywhere. And since no one in the farmstead knew it was better to have the seller do it just in case. Once they were raised a bit then they could be killed and eaten.
The goats were rather large in size, just a bit skinny. These days humans couldn’t even eat their full let alone livestock.
Brother Dao: “The seller lives on the mountain and only asked for some old grains in return, saying that livestock can’t be sold for a good price anymore. But they don’t want to sell cheaply so they kept it themselves.”
Nowadays people with money all bought grain, those who bought meat were very few.
One goat was killed that evening, the goat head was used for soup while the meat was salted and made into bacon which would be used for rewards.
Li Da heard that there would be goat head soup that evening so he finished his work very early and sat in the field to wait. The cold wind blowing on his face even seemed as if it had become warmer.
Someone struck up a conversation with him: “What’s with the foolish smile?”
Li Da said quietly: “Tonight there’ll be goat head soup, there might even be some pieces of meat!”
The person was surprised: “How do you know? There really is goat head soup!”
Li Da laughed: “The head cook in the dining hall told me that there is goat head soup tonight and also goat feet, everyone will get a piece of bone to gnaw at.”
The mention of meat had everybody swallowing their saliva. All people had a craving for meat.
The human body needed energy. The source included carbohydrate, fat and protein. White buns had carbohydrate, soybeans had protein as for fat——now even Lin Yuan craved fat meat, let alone others.
Although there wasn’t any fat meat, but on the flavor and tastiness, beans could not even compare with lean meat.
If there was meat to eat, who would eat beans instead?
Now, the snack eaten in the farmstead was sauteed beans which were chewy and filling. Except, it caused a lot of gas so for those living in a dormitory, if someone ate too much beans then the rest would suffer the whole night.
At dinnertime, everyone cleaned up and headed towards the dining hall. Poor people only ate two meals a day, one in the morning and one at night, having never even heard of lunch. In order to improve his workers’ physical strength so that in the future they would be assests Lin Yuan changed it to three meals a day.
Although the food was simple and crude, it was filling. Indeed the physiques of the people have already begun to improve.
At least during this winter there were not many people who came down with a cold. Though it could have also been related to proper warming conditions as well.
Recently the women had been busy with sewing. At first they were hesitant, poor families must cherish a single needle and couldn’t even buy a roll of cloth in a whole year. So their skills in making clothes coukd only be called average, being able to be worn without it splitting apart was already very good.
Lin Yuan had them make long sleeves and long pants, which was rather easy, just cut along the lines drawn on the cloth and then sew the pieces together.
This of course could only be worn as under clothes, and there was no cotton to be added but the women thought of a solution. They separated into several small groups with three to four people focusing on rubbing dry grass which would then be stuffed into the seams of the clothes.
This actually improved the warmth of the clothing, though it was not too convenient to move around in them.
Lin Yuan also had them make the clothes in the same size, known as uniform size in the modern times. A piece of cloth was used as a belt and attached at the waist so if the size was too big they could just tighten it up. As for if the size was too small…..everyone was just skin and bones and likely wouldn’t even grow too much width in the coming years.
Rubbing dry grass was something Gou zi taught them.
First dry the grass by the fire then rub each of them until it was no longer hard on the outside. Then use a rock to flatten, repeating the process all over again. Although it was slightly troublesome but it was still effective.
Without cotton or wool this was already the best solution.
As for the goat fur and down, Lin Yuan did not know how to process it so he left it for now.
Lin Yuan wanted to raise goose next year, maybe by the end of the year there would be down-filled garments to wear. But likely there won’t be enough cloth, so he could only wait until then to consider.
“It smells really good!”
“It’s too fragrant, I’m almost drooling.”
“I can even eat two more buns just by smelling this scent.”
When they arrived to the dining hall, they lined up the way Lin Yuan taught them, there was no choice since they wouldn’t be allowed to fill their bowls with food if they didn’t line up properly.
The bowls were all on the side and each person took one to fill with rice. Once finishing, all the cutlery must be placed in the same place.
“Add some more, add some more for me!” Someone moaned, “I saw some meat pieces, move your ladle in that direction!”
“Hey, I got a piece of goat brain!”
“Me too, me too!”
Aside from goat head soup, there was also cut up pickled vegetables. And combined with mixed grain buns, everyone ate without lifting their heads. The female cooks already ate but they still felt a craving for more. If there were any leftovers it would then belong to them.
Though they also enjoyed the tastiness when they were eating but looking at the men eating like they were hungry ghosts, they couldn’t help but feel hungry again.
The head cook hollered from outside: “Tomorrow evening we’ll have goat organ soup.”
The weather now was good for storing animal viscera as it wouldn’t spoil so quickly. The head cook prepared the goat head today, and planned to prepare goat viscera tomorrow. The day after they could have blood sausage.
First clean the goat intestines then fill it with blood, a crude version of blood sausage would then be made.
And then cook it with pickled vegetables; it would be considered a rare delicacy.
Lin Yuan and his family also ate simply, only cutting a small piece of goat meat, enough for each person to have two bites, to stew with pickled vegetables. With a side of rice it was fairly savory and a rare delicacy.
Lin Yuan wondered privately if there were any starch vegetables in the area since rice flour was too expensive…..he dared not even think about it.
Mung beans could be made into mung bean flour too, only it was a question whether there were any mung beans in the current time.
Its origin land seemed to be India and Myanmar.
When spring arrived he planned have people ask around, maybe there would be some result?
When the pig grew a bit the pig meat could be stewed with vermicelli, what a happy prospect.
Thinking of pig meat reminded Lin Yuan of the foul smell of pigs.
As for the smell, he needed to also think of a good solution.
And a way to have them grow fatter.
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