Those Years I Opened A Zoo
Chapter 54 Farmer God’s Five Grains
After a long silence, Bai Suzhen said, “Director, I can admit that you are the greatest, but this name is too…”
Xiao Qing: “It’s too old-fashioned. Let’s change to another name.”
Duan Jiaze: “…”
Did they think that I was willing though?!
Since he saw that Luya and You Su were about to fight, he came up with a name that had his own. Those people did not boast of his wit, but said that he was old-fashioned instead.
You Su said regretfully, “Director, you should hesitate about it again.”
Was it tolerable or unbearable? Luya, the narcissist, was not even embarrassed to mock him? The director has a temper as well!
Duan Jiaze slapped the table, “I don’t care. I will never change. Never! I’m calling it Jiajia!”
Duan Jiaze, who was originally a little bit ashamed and hesitant, was also furious at that time. With the authority and dignity of a zoo director, he decided to end the case by not changing the name.
Everyone else looked at Duan Jiaze with ineffable words, as if they were looking at a foolish gentleman.
You Su said, “I don’t know why, but I feel that this scene seems a little familiar.”
Duan Jiaze: “…”
Duan Jiaze said in a weak tone, “We are forbidden to discuss further about name-changing. As the zoo director, I have already decided. Now, let’s make arrangements. We have only one room left. Before the new dormitory is built, there may be a colleague who will be sleeping in the exhibition hall.”
After Duan Jiaze finished speaking, he saw that everyone smiled mysteriously.
Maybe people like Zhu Feng and Jingwei could go out at night and never needed a room at all, but it was different from not giving them a room. Everyone was a person with status, so who would be willing to live in the exhibition hall?
Duan Jiaze: “Uh… any two are sleeping together?”
As he said, he looked at Bai Suzhen and Xiao Qing.
Xiao Qing: “Director, don’t look at me, I’m a boy now, so I can’t sleep with this Big Sis.”
Duan Jiaze: “…”
Duan Jiaze glanced at You Su again.
She held her cute face and said, “Director, my room is small enough now.”
She looked like she was saying “I’m already very sensible enough to not let you build a deer terrace pavilion. Aren’t you ashamed to let me squeeze in a place with others?”
Duan Jiaze: “…”
No matter where he looked, it seemed that those people were very difficult to speak to, especially Luya. He did not even dare to ask him, so all he could do was bully the bear. Duan Jiaze put his arm around Xiong Siqian’s shoulders, “Xiao Xiong, I will have to squeeze a place with you this time.”
Xiong Siqian wanted to refuse, but Luya had Duan Jiaze’s back, so he dared not reject him. At least he did not drive him to sleep in the exhibition hall alone. Knowing that the director of the zoo would sleep in a place with him, he nodded aggrievedly.
It was really not easy to offer necessities to a bunch of great gods.
Duan Jiaze packed up some daily needs, took them to Xiong Siqian’s room, and made some space for his room for others.
After Duan Jiaze washed up, he lay on the bed and played with his mobile phone. After a while, Xiong Siqian also came up. Duan Jiaze felt that the whole bed sank.
Although the bed in Xiong Siqian’s room was a double bed, Xiong Siqian could fill up two spaces on the bed alone. Once he fell asleep, Duan Jiaze felt breathless and he could fall down anytime and anywhere.
If it was not for Xiao Qing’s history of being able to switch genders and Duan Jiaze not wanting to make the atmosphere awkward in the future, he would have squeezed Xiao Qing with him…
At that moment, Duan Jiaze had a faint regret, “Can you magically create a bed again?”
“Of course,” Xiong Siqian’s spells were still cultivated very well. He stretched out his hand and pointed before a single bed grew out of thin air in the open space on the side, like a mushroom.
Duan Jiaze heaved a sigh of relief, went to lie down on the single bed, and fell fast asleep without his knowledge.
“I was so scared hearing him that I became so sweaty. He turned his back on me and complained that I was doing a bad job…”
Duan Jiaze was suddenly awakened by the sound of Xiong Siqian singing “Catch and Release Cao”(a Chinese opera), making him felt exhausted. He was wearing headphones while singing along with the middle-aged man in the video, deeply involved in it.
Duan Jiaze: “…”
When he looked at the phone, it was already more than one o’clock in the morning. However, time did not make much sense to Xiong Siqian, because it did not matter if he did not sleep for a few days.
Duan Jiaze thought about it, picked up the blanket and sat up. Xiong Siqian had that kind of hobby. Since he could not sing during the day, Duan Jiaze felt that he should just let him be and make him sleep in the exhibition hall alone. Anyway, he had long envied the animals for their better living condition. He did not want to have a strange mentality like those people.
Duan Jiaze went out holding his blanket. Xiong Siqian was still immersed in the opera world, so he just ignored him.
The cold moonlight spilled over the entire Ling You Zoo, bringing a little light to the darkness.
Duan Jiaze was about to turn on the flashlight of his mobile phone when he saw Luya’s room door at one end suddenly opened by itself, revealing a room of light. Luya’s voice was colder than the moonlit night, “Come in.”
Duan Jiaze hesitated for a while. Feeling drowsy, he looked back at the exhibition hall in the dark then carried the blanket and stride into Luya’s room.
Luya was sitting on his bed watching TV. When Duan Jiaze came in, he did not raise his head to look at him, as if no one was there.
However, Duan Jiaze could see that there was an extra bed in Luya’s single-bed room. He sneered and said, “Thank you, Taoist.”
Luya gave no hum or ha. He was still peculiar as usual.
However, Duan Jiaze noticed that it seemed like he did not deserve a beating as much as before. Although the Taoist’s mouth was slightly bad, his heart was quite kind (Xiong Siqian would want to hit someone after hearing this).
Duan Jiaze held the blanket and climbed onto the bed next to Luya. Since the room was not big, the two beds were separated by less than two meters. Luya’s TV volume was not loud. As Duan Jiaze lied on the bed, he sleepily said, “Thank you, Taoist,” to Luya before falling into deep sleep.
What did it meant by ‘to go through hell for the sake of keeping up appearances’? Duan Jiaze had already deeply experienced that.
Huang Qi, “…What, what did you say?”
He looked at Duan Jiaze strangely.
Duan Jiaze’s head was almost buried in his chest, “Just, you know, I’m going to open a restaurant called ‘Jiajia’…”
Huang Qi solemnly commented, “Is it… the ‘Jia’ from Duan Jiaze?”
Duan Jiaze: “………………Yes.”
In all fairness, the two words Jiajia Restaurant were not that bad. They were just a little cheesy, but they were catchy and easy to remember. And their biggest reputation was Ling You, and the restaurant was just an add-on. They relied on the zoo to attract people to the restaurant for consumption, but they did not use the restaurant to attract people to the zoo.
As a native of the human world, Huang Qi was not as picky as Luya and others. On the contrary, he thought that the name was very down-to-earth.
However, after knowing that the name came from the name of their director, it became difficult to take in.
To be honest, the director did not seem like that kind of person…
Duan Jiaze’s face was already red, so he covered his eyes with his hands, “Don’t look at me! Blame Luya!”
Huang Qi looked at Duan Jiaze with some pity. That made sense. That was the name that Luya used to call the director of the zoo. The director really did use it…
Huang Qi shuddered suddenly. Thinking of the previous details, he immediately felt that Xiao Su’s idea might be somewhat reasonable.
Duan Jiaze had not notice what Huang Qi was thinking, so he quickly changed the topic, “The oceanarium will be completed next month. You can contact us to introduce freshwater aquarium fish and recruit professional veterinarians. The headhunting company sent a few resumes, so you can help me with the interviews.”
Huang Qi nodded, “Director can rest assured.”
Duan Jiaze said in his heart that he still had to recruit a few more employees like Huang Qi, who could be in charge on his own, but how could that kind of people be easily recruited? Even Huang Qi’s arrival was accidental.
It might be possible to attract such talents when Ling You Zoo expanded a bit more. Duan Jiaze felt that it was better to train Liu Bin and the others.
While Duan Jiaze went to go through the formalities, he asked Liu Bin to contact the construction team and continue work at the same time, because he was more confident that once the formalities were done, it should be no problem.
With the help of Linshui View and Sun Aiping, Duan Jiaze’s dealings with relevant departments went smoothly. After the last national cross-religious exchange forum, everything went smoothly. From top to bottom, no department would trouble him. He ran around several times in the city, completing the necessary procedures for increasing the building area and restaurants.
In addition, he had to rent land in several villages, such as Tongxin Village. That was also very simple. That kind of land transfer was actually extremely popular. The farmers in the village only buy the land, because many people are more willing to go to the city to work. Concentrated planting for one family was actually good for everyone.
Duan Jiaze also talked about the supply of vegetables, fruits and meat. After his restaurant opened, he needed other food. Duan Jiaze had been buying fruits and vegetables from people there before, and felt that the quality was very good. Since the supplies were fresh and the location was close, he immediately thought of them.
In the end, Duan Jiaze negotiated with the village to contract a nearby barren hill. It did not matter if the land was not fertile. After the poplar twig nectar was irrigated, it would immediately have fertile soil.
He first found a time after getting off work for Xiong Siqian to come over. They tried to plant a few acres of grains with a higher concentration of poplar twig nectar. They grew out in a while, and were immediately harvested.
Duan Jiaze intended to take those five grains back to taste, which was also used when recruiting chefs.
When the wheatgrass was growing, Duan Jiaze harvested several crops. Soon, they grew out again, which were packed in a basket before bringing them back together.
When he went back, the construction team that Liu Bin had invited also came. They were negotiating with Zhu Feng with a look of suspicion.
Liu Bin was also slightly awkward. He was not professional and could not understand the conversations between those people. The zoo director told him that the construction team could listen to Mr. Zhu’s instructions on how to build their building. From then on, Mr. Zhu would arrive to supervise the team every day after his work.
However, the construction team seemed to have some doubts about Mr. Zhu’s words, saying that he was uttering nonsense.
Seeing Duan Jiaze’s return, Liu Bin was also relieved and asked for Duan Jiaze’s opinion.
“Just listen to Mr. Zhu. You can tell them that we will bear the consequences ourselves, and they can just do everything as said,” Duan Jiaze informed very calmly. If he did not trust the owner of the encampment mansion, who else could he trust?
“Oh, oh.” Liu Bin watched Duan Jiaze carrying a basket of wheatgrass on his back, while Big Bro, Xiong, was still holding a rice bag. He asked curiously, “Director, what are these for?”
“Trying new recipes for the new restaurant. We’ll cook some for you tomorrow.” Duan Jiaze said, “Alright, you can leave the rest to Mr. Zhu here. You can get off work soon. Thanks for your hard work these days.”
The next morning, Duan Jiaze saw that he was about to get off work, so he took out the wheatgrasses and a few bags of five grains in the kitchen, ready to try them.
After the monks came, there were more manpower, so more people had to eat. Xu Chenggong who originally cooked rice was replaced by two monks. They both used a large iron pot to cook food. Otherwise, dozens of people would not be able to eat.
The laymen names of the two monks were Liu Xi and Yan Zhen. Yan Zhen was the little monk who studied in the elite place. They knew that Duan Jiaze also appeared in the kitchen from time to time, so they cooked at a small stove for his friend. However, they mostly cooked meat and vegetable dishes in the past and had never cooked whole grains.
“These grains are really fragrant!” Liu Xi grew up in the countryside and ran all over the fields during the child days. After smelling once, Liu Xi felt that they were good. The monk glanced to find that the grains were plump, and even the rice had a crystalline and moist feeling. Though, it was unsure what variety they were.
Yan Zhen had not much emotion. Isn’t it just the smell of grains? He thought that the wheatgrass looked good instead.
Duan Jiaze smiled without saying a word and had some expectation in his heart. He used a cup to scoop out the grains in proportions and soak them for a few minutes. The white and shiny rice, yellowish-orange corn, golden millet, light brown wheat and plump soybeans were mixed together. At the same time, that color combination made people feel comfortable at first glance. There were no bad or flat ones in the mixture, as if they were specially selected.
The so-called five grains were called “rice, broomcorn, foxtail millet, wheat, and soybeans” in ancient times. They were formed by combining those five foods, which were selected by the Farmer God from various weeds and taught to the human race. Since then, they had become the staple food of the human race for the past thousands of years.
Modern humans ate rice, wheat, and beans most often. They cultivated various varieties, such as husked rice, Japonica rice, and Indian rice. Some had a soft taste, while some were loose and not sticky with different shapes and colors.
However,owevrHhhhhhikmnknkl Duan Jiaze was also unsure what kind of variety they were that were planted by Farmer God, and what they would taste like. He secretly called them Farmer God rice, Farmer God beans, etc., from the bottom of his heart.
After washing, they grains were put it in a rice cooker. After adding more water, they were cooked into porridge.
While the porridge was cooking, Duan Jiaze washed the wheatgrass again. Although the wheatgrass was left aside overnight, it was still watery, as if it had just been harvested from the ground.
After the wheatgrass was chopped, put in the juicer and added with some boiled water, Duan Jiaze hesitated before cutting a slice of lemon and put it in. He began making juice. The wheatgrass and lemon were minced together to become a very attractive green.
It was a pity that there was no soymilk machine. Duan Jiaze originally wanted to make soymilk, which would taste better.
After the wheatgrass was juiced, Duan Jiaze filtered the dregs and found a glass bottle to fill it with juice. He poured a glass and took a sip.
The taste of fresh and tender grass permeated the mouth. It was incredibly sweet, but very refreshing, with a hint of lemon sourness. There were fine fibres in the delicate juice, but they were not too rough at all.
In fact, it was very common to make wheatgrass juice without adding fruit. Duan Jiaze only added a slice of lemon, yet it had a unique fragrance, which was sweet and delicate. The juice was not inferior to many drinks that Duan Jiaze has drunk, but even more flavorful instead.
The employees of Ling You sat in the renovated restaurant from an unused exhibition hall and waited for lunch. Now that there were more tourists, they had to adopt the system of taking turns eating. They were all discussing the construction of a new building in the zoo. After all, it was closely related to them.
It was said that they were building offices, dormitory buildings and restaurants. The uses of the office buildings were not needed to be mentioned. According to Huang Qi, dormitory buildings would be provided for employees to stay in, as long as they paid a nominal rent and utility bills. The restaurant also provided employee meals.
“Director is so generous. The exhibition halls are all so tall, and the animals eat very well. Will we recruit a few particularly awesome chefs here? By then, we will always have a good meal!”
Someone faintly said, “Who knows what kind of director he is? Don’t just think about the animals living well, but look at the old office building.”
That being said, the director’s state was really unstable. He was being generous for a while, yet became stingy as well.
Liu Bin said, “I got off work late yesterday and saw the zoo director brought some raw materials back. It seems that they are going to be sold in the restaurant and will try it out today…”
While Liu Bin was talking, he saw Duan Jiaze coming in with a glass bottle, “Hey, I’m coming.”
Duan Jiaze put the glass bottle on the table and said, “Wheatgrass juice.”
Everyone stared at the bottle of wheatgrass juice. The atmosphere was strangely silent. After all, what Liu Bin said just now made them think that Duan Jiaze would bring back some signature dishes, but they did not expect it to be just wheatgrass juice.
But after a while, everyone still poured out a small portion of it and prepared to give it a try. Many of them sipped the wheatgrass juice, and then drank it without any halts. One after another, voices of exclamation rang out.
“…What kind of fruit is added here? It’s so sweet and refreshing. Even the taste feels so different.”
“It smells good, it smells really good!”
“What kind of juicer you used, Director? My vacuum juicer can’t produce this kind of taste.”
“Is this added with honey? It doesn’t taste like it though. My goodness, it’s delicious!”
“I don’t know why, but I think the place where the wheatgrass juice flows feel so comfortable. TAT ~ And I have gastric pain today.”
The employees or volunteers, who were frowning, were conquered in an instant. There were a lot of them, so the juice could only be distributed little by little to each person. At that moment, they felt that it was not enough and asked Duan Jiaze if he still had more.
“There are still some raw materials. Can someone come and help me squeeze them? We’ll also bring the five grains porridge I made later.” Duan Jiaze said.
Xiao Su stood up very positively, “I’ll go, wow. Director has prepared natural healthy food. Not bad, it’s suitable for us here.”
Yan Zhen and Liu Xi were simmering vegetables on the cauldron, while they squatted beside the rice cooker, drooling.
“How can Director’s porridge smell weirdly good? I didn’t feel it too much when you said it was so fragrant. Now that I’ve cooked it, I think its fragrance really too alluring.” It was almost noon, and Yan Zhen just felt his stomach was growling.
That was the aroma of grains, but it was more alluring than ordinary grains. It aroused their appetite. Nothing else was added and it was simply the grains’ aroma. However, the grains seemed to have transcended themselves. A pot of dishes with various seasonings beside also had a nice scent, but they could not help but squatted there, waiting for the porridge.
Liu Xi gulped too. He did not expect that the grains would be more fragrant when cooked. Where did the zoo director get the grains?
They were just making porridge. If they were to make rice, bread, pastry, stir-fry… What would it taste like? Liu Xi could not help but wiped the non-existent saliva on his chin.
Duan Jiaze came in with Xiao Su and took a look, “Ah, it will take another ten minutes to cook. In the meantime, we can squeeze all the wheatgrass.”
Xiao Su also smelled the unique aroma of grains faintly from the rice cooker, “Oh my God, I’m starving to death!”
The porridge reminded her of the bamboo shoots in the garden. They obviously looked like ordinary bamboo shoots and tasted like bamboo shoots, but it brought the sensation to the extreme that she had never tasted.
After the two of them squeezed the remaining wheatgrass into juice, the five grains porridge was almost cooked. Duan Jiaze opened the rice cooker cover. In the steam, a pot of jade white and light yellow porridge appeared in front of his eyes. Its color was saturated while its grains were plumped and thick. It looked like it had a layer of filter.
The strong fragrance was released. Duan Jiaze heard the stomachs of four people scream at the same time.
“I’ll take two bites for a taste-test first…” Duan Jiaze murmured. He could not wait to take the whole pot of porridge to the cafeteria. The four people, who were busy in the kitchen, were first served a small bowl each. They could not wait to taste it.
Duan Jiaze slightly blew the porridge to chill it, and scooped a spoonful into his mouth. The taste was sticky, without the slightest roughness. The five kinds of five grains were mixed together, but they were distinct. It was very easy to chew, the aroma of the grain spread in the mouth. There were thick, but not greasy, with natural sweetness and fragrance, arousing the most instinctive hunger.
Swallowing it into the mouth, the porridge slid across the throat, as if they could feel it warming the stomach and satisfying the body.
Duan Jiaze never thought that grains, with nothing else added, could be so delicious and satisfying. They were really not at an ancient era where there was nothing delicious.
Duan Jiaze: “I really… don’t know anything about the Farmer God!”
They have done it. With the presence of the Farmer God’s five grains, who would care about the restaurant’s old-fashioned name?