He sent Erwang to talk to his mother, asking if they could make some noodles for Xiaowang.
If he didn’t like noodles, gnocchi(1) would be fine as well.
(T/N: The more accurate translation would be something like a lump-shaped pasta that’s slightly chewier.
Added in soup dishes, it can substitute noodles.
For easier identification, I will use gnocchi as the term as they are similar in size and feel)
When it was time for dinner, Lin Lan found that not only Xiaowang’s supposed noodles or gnocchi was nowhere in sight, the cornmeal cakes that they once had as a staple were now replaced with charred and rough bits of cornbread(2).
(T/N: Denser texture than dumplings, usually made from flour.
To depict an image, this was made out of coarse stems and bears a similar texture as eating dried clay)
She tried tasting one of the cornbread. This was clearly something that wasn’t meant for humans; it may even be flour mixed with sweet potato leaves and coarse stems that are fed to the pigs This was like eating the bran of the grains!
It’s only been two days since the family was separated and the food had already plummeted to such dire states.
Perhaps they didn’t want them to come home to eat or something
And this meal had no technical culinary elements in the slightest.
For breakfast, they would have some cornmeal cakes, proper cornbread and even some boiled sweet potatoes.
If there was only congee for lunch, the cornmeal cakes would at least be added for dinner along with some other simple vegetables.
At the very least, there would also be some porridge made.
Even if Lin Lan didn’t like to cook in her previous life, she knew that these meals had no culinary input at all.
But, why was the eldest sister-in-law’s dishes so difficult to eat
It wasn’t just unpalatable— these days, ever since the family split up, she found that the food at home was really getting worse and worse.
She could now relate to the things that Sanwang said a while ago, something like, “No sweet potato rice or sweet potato soup; three meals a day was never a loop.”(3)
(T/N: Tried my best to translate it whilst rhyming, but basically it means that they never had anything to fill up their bellies.
Three meals a day was also a pipe dream and never a routine.)
This tough cornbread could practically kill a dog if you threw it at one!
This kind of solid was probably mixed with sweet potato leaves and sweet potato stems, only eaten in desperation during the three-year period of famine by using ‘starch’ as a meal replacement.
However, those who ate it would be met with constipation problems and in worse cases, the body would swell to the point where the stomach would be bulged to no end.
The Han family were practically going back to the state of the night before their country’s liberation!
Lin Lan was angry— even adults wouldn’t be able to eat this, let alone a child with such a weak stomach.
Xiaowang was also sick and wasn’t in his best condition!
She glanced at the old lady, saying that she didn’t have much of an appetite.
The men, however, didn’t say anything.
The Han family’s eldest sister–in-law also ate silently, but the second sister-in-law merely drank a few sips of the sticky porridge and left her cornbread untouched
As for the children, most of them drank the sticky porridge; only Dawang was nibbling on the cornbread that was difficult to eat.
This child was stubborn and did not like to talk.
He was very sombre, but he never complained and was never a picky eater.
Thinking about her past life, he later mingled with bad influences and was shot dead… Lin Lan’s heart skipped a beat at the thought.
Erwang and Maisui took two bites of the cornbread and forced them down their throats.
In the end, the remaining lumps were left uneaten as they were undesired.
As soon as Maisui placed the cornbread down, Old Lady Han looked at it and immediately scolded, “Why are you wasting the food; you think it’s not good, don’t you I’m not starving you guys, am I When I think about those three years where we were in absolutely dire times, we always ate such things.
There are so many out there who have to starve themselves or eat things that were less than this, yet, here you are being ungrateful for the food that is given and also silently complaining that it’s not good enough”