Home Post 1766-chapter-4


Wang Mama is the servant of the Wang family. Her ancestors have served several generations of the Wang family.  

When Wang Xi’s mother married into the family, she only had two newly purchased maidservants by her side. Wang Mama was chosen from dozens of suitable maidservants to serve Wang Xi’s mother.  

Later, she gained the trust of Wang Xi’s mother and became Wang Xi’s wet nurse, and also recognized Wang Xi’s cousin Wang Xi as his milk brother.  

She temporarily did not mention that Wang Xixi would definitely follow Wang Xi to her husband’s family in the future, and at the very least, she would become the manager in charge of managing the dowry for Wang Xi. If Wang Xixi could do more, she might even become the steward of Wang Xi’s son in the future.  

Wang Xi and her family share a relationship of honor and disgrace.  

This time, when they came to the capital, Wang Xi’s mother entrusted her daughter’s safety to Wang Mama.  

Wang Mama naturally became very attentive when she entered the Marquis Yongcheng’s Mansion. In just a few days, she took care of everything that needed to be taken care of in the mansion.  

If there was any movement or commotion in the mansion, even if she couldn’t know it immediately, she couldn’t hide it for long.  

When Wang Xi asked about Dowager Marchioness, Wang Mama immediately replied with a gentle smile, “She only drank half a bowl of porridge, half a steamed bun, and a small dish of cold mixed vegetables this morning, and then went back to rest. She still hasn’t woken up.”  

It is said that the Red Spiral Temple in the outskirts of Beijing is the most effective place to pray for marriage.  

Dowager Marchioness took Wang Xi to the Red Spiral Temple yesterday. Maybe it was because they rushed back and forth that day, Dowager Marchioness felt very tired after returning. She let the maidservants notify everyone in the house this morning and exempted them from their morning greetings.  

Wang Xi nodded and said, “Send a maid to check. If Dowager Marchioness still has a good appetite, make a soup with two fresh shad fish and tender ginger, and send one to Dowager Marchioness. If Dowager Marchioness doesn’t have a good appetite, steam the Xuanwei ham that the head steward sent a few days ago together with the spring bamboo shoots. We can have dinner together with Dowager Marchioness later.”  

Since she entered the mansion, Dowager Marchioness has been having dinner with Wang Xi every night and then talking for a while.  

Wang Mama smiled and agreed, praising Wang Xi, “If it weren’t for this trip, I wouldn’t have known that Miss is so capable. The Marquis, Lady, Master, and Second Master will definitely be pleased to see Miss like this.”  

She was indeed very surprised. When she was at home, Wang Xi didn’t take care of anything and didn’t get involved in any family affairs. This was also because the Marquis and Master thought that Miss would get married sooner or later and would have to take care of household chores in the future, so they intentionally indulged her.  

She had been worried about what to do after entering the mansion, but who knew that Miss would be Miss, with a serious expression and somewhat similar to the Marquis, able to control people.  

Then she showed Wang Xi the recipe that the two kitchen maids had compiled in the past few days.  

One of the kitchen maids was good at making pickled and preserved vegetables, and the other was good at stir-frying.  

Wang Mama said, “Should we also hire a chef who is good at making Suzhou-style pastries?”  

Wang Xi liked to eat pastries, but the pastries in the Marquis Yongcheng’s Mansion were either pea yellow or donkey rolls, dry and rough, not as delicious as the famous Guishunzhai in Beijing, let alone the Ji Xiangzhai and Qiaojiapu that made Suzhou-style pastries.  


Wang Xi never compromised herself.  

“Then let’s hire a chef who can make Suzhou-style pastries.”  

When the time comes, thet can send a few plates to each room in the Marquis Yongcheng’s Mansion to let them know what real pastries are.  

However, talking about them, the people in the Marquis Yongcheng’s Mansion are quite pitiful. The cooking skills in the kitchen are so poor. She don’t know how they have survived all these years.  

It is said that when the old Marquis was in charge, he was even more “simple”.  

As long as the food was hot and the pastries were sweet, it was enough.  

He liked to make clothes and made new clothes for the whole family every year.  

Fortunately, her mother married into their family. They have seven or eight kitchen maids just for making Suzhou-style pastries, and five or six for making Cantonese-style pastries.  

Speaking of this, she thought of their flaky lotus seed buns and water chestnut cakes. She added, “Let’s also hire a chef who can make Cantonese-style pastries.” 

Wang Mama smiled and gracefully left with the two cooks.  

Wang Xi continued studying the layout of Princess Baoqing’s Mansion with Baizhu.  

After a while, Baiguo returned, saying that Wang Xixi had already gone out to meet their family’s major shopkeeper in the capital.  

She also brought back two boxes of hawthorn cakes, saying he had tasted one when he was out drinking with a steward from Marquis Yongcheng’s residence.  

They were selling well at a pastry shop in Dongshi Dazalan, so she brought two boxes back and would buy more if Wang Xi liked them.  

Wang Xi took a bite.  

The hawthorn cakes were sweet and sour, with a soft texture, not overly sweet or sour. They tasted good.  

She rewarded a box to Baiguo and others, saying, “These are the best hawthorn cakes I’ve had since coming to the capital.” 

Baiguo and the others laughed.  

Hongchou, especially lively, said, “Who knew the kitchen staff in the Marquis’s residence were so bad?” She started talking nonsense as soon as she stopped paying attention for a moment.  

Baiguo looked at Hongchou, sighing helplessly. However, Baishu still had the patience to talk to her, “You can say these things in front of us, but don’t be so casual outside.” 

“I know!” Hongchou had an instinctive intuition about dangerous matters. She quickly ran off, saying, “I’ll go check on lunch!” 

Baishu and Baiguo both wore helpless smiles.  

Hongchou bumped into Qingchou when she entered the room.  

Qingchou quickly supported Hongchou and asked, “Why are you in such a hurry? What are you going to do?” 

“I’m going to check on lunch!” Hongchou mumbled vaguely and ran away. 

Qingchou shook her head, then came in and bowed to Wang Xi, saying, “Dowager Marchioness is preparing lunch for one person. I don’t know if she’ll want your company for dinner as well.” 

“In that case, I’ll just eat something simple for lunch,” Wang Xi, who was still thinking about the swordsman, said. “Prepare some cold noodles with shredded chicken.” 

Originally, this was a summer breakfast in Sichuan. However, she wanted to eat it, and who cared if it was breakfast or dinner?  

Baiguo and the others cheerfully agreed. Some went to the small kitchen to pass on the message, some rearranged the table for Wang Xi, and some accompanied her to the dining hall.  

They began helping her remove her makeup and change into the regular clothes for dining.  

Various tasks were performed, and by the time Wang Xi sat at the table, Qingchou had already prepared a bowl of cold noodles with shiny strips of chicken, sliced cucumbers, wood ear mushrooms, and a small bowl of clear chicken soup sprinkled with fresh green onions. She placed it in front of Wang Xi, the noodles glistening with oil and a vibrant red color. 

Wang Xi took a bite and said, “The cucumbers in the capital are pretty good.” 

Qingchou and the others suppressed their smiles.  

After serving Wang Xi’s lunch and allowing her to take a nap in the afternoon, Wang Xi planned to continue staying in the study.  

They handed the responsibility over to Baishu and then retired for their own rest.  

In the evening, Wang Xi received a letter from Wang Xixi, saying that the major shopkeeper had inquired but couldn’t find the telescope she wanted in various major stores. However, they all promised to keep an eye out and try to find a solution.  

The family also sent letters to various branch stores, instructing them to help with the procurement. 

Wang Xi nodded, feeling that the afternoon’s gains were quite substantial.  

When she went to the Dowager Marchioness’s place, she told Baiguo, “I followed the directions Second Brother gave me earlier, so now I know which way is northeast and which is southwest.” 

“Congratulations, Miss!” Baiguo sighed inwardly.  

Ever since Second Master told Miss that the top of the blueprints was north, Miss could distinguish between east, south, west, and north. However, if someone stood in the courtyard when the sun’s direction wasn’t clear, guiding Miss would still require saying, “This way” or “That way.” 

The two of them chatted along the way and soon arrived at the Jade Spring Hall wherethe Dowager Marchioness resided.  

The stewardess, Shi Mama, who managed the Dowager Marchioness’s room, was waiting at the door.  

She immediately came forward, saw Baiguo carrying a food box, and her smile deepened. Her manner became more respectful as she said, “Dowager Marchioness hasn’t seen Miss all day and was just thinking about you. Please come in!”  

She personally lifted the curtain for Wang Xi. 

Marchioness had come in the morning to talk to the Dowager Marchioness, and they knew that Marchioness had sent two shad fishes to Clear Snow Courtyard.  

Dowager Marchioness certainly wouldn’t covet Wang Xi’s two shad fishes, but since Wang Xi entered the Marquis’s residence,the Dowager Marchioness treated her as if she might melt in her mouth if she wasn’t careful and might fall if she wasn’t held carefully.  

Even her own biological granddaughter had to stand back.  

If Wang Xi thought about the Dowager Marchioness, knowing how to be grateful, wouldn’t it make everyone feel even more delighted? 

Wang Xi went to the east chamber to see the Dowager Marchioness. A few maids were setting the table.  

Dowager Marchioness’s face was already full of smiles upon hearing the footsteps. Seeing Wang Xi, her happiness increased.  

She smiled affectionately and said, “Did you rest well today? Your elder aunt found a new cook, and today that cook made her signature twice-cooked pork and spicy chicken. See if they suit your taste.” 

Dowager Marchioness was from Baoding and didn’t eat spicy food.  

Wang Xi had mixed feelings about this. Kindness had its causes and effects. She didn’t want to get too close to the Marquis’s family. However,the Dowager Marchioness’s white hair and the cloudy eye prevented her from refusing such kindness.  

She reassured the Dowager Marchioness, saying, “I’m sure it’ll be delicious. I often ate these dishes at home.” 

“Really?”the Dowager Marchioness smiled even more broadly upon hearing this, quickly asked Wang Xi to sit down, and inquired, “Does your mother like these dishes? You mentioned last time that your mother can make pickled vegetables. How did she learn to make pickled vegetables? When I invited a master to teach her and her sister kitchen skills, she always found excuses not to attend. I never expected that after not seeing her for more than twenty years, her temperament…” Or maybe her nature changed.  

It was during those years when she didn’t know where she had wandered that she learned to bow her head. Tears welled up inthe Dowager Marchioness’s eyes again. 

Wang Xi sighed inwardly, had Baiguo bring up the food box, and said, “My elder aunt sent me two shad fishes this morning. They’re still fresh. I had my cook steam them. Please also taste my maid’s cooking skills and see if they suit your taste.”  

Dowager Marchioness no longer dwelled on those sad matters. She kept saying “good” and had maids with discerning eyes help place the fish on the table.  

Shi Mama served beside her, handing chopsticks to the Dowager Marchioness. 

Dowager Marchioness took a bite. Without salt, the fish retained its tender texture. The smoky flavor of Xuanwei ham enhanced its freshness, while the new aroma of spring bamboo shoots masked its fishy smell.  

This was the most delicious steamed shad fish the Dowager Marchioness had ever eaten. 

“Delicious! Delicious!”the Dowager Marchioness nodded repeatedly. The conversation unconsciously shifted back to Wang Xi’s mother. “Can you often eat shad fish where you’re from? Do the maids in your house also have this kind of skill?”