ICRAB – Chapter 76
The teammates of Meng Nanmu basically finished the making of their own breakfast quickly. The process was rough but simple, but the result was a bit unbearable to look at directly.
After these big brothers finished wrapping the rice balls, half of the fried dough sticks were unpretentiously exposed outside the rice balls. Some even got the rice balls on their military uniforms, and one didn’t know how he made it, the glutinous rice ball couldn’t be held with one hand. It was wrapped in a super-large ball shape, so it took two hands to hold it together.
Liu Weiwei looked at it for a while, and simply walked away, pretending she didn’t see it. But she could also understand. After all, it was difficult for everyone at the beginning. It would be more difficult for the guys who were used to drinking nutrient solutions to cook their own breakfast. But over time, if they became proficient, the rice balls would naturally be quickly made and good in shape. She saw that robots in the dormitory were also helping to fold the quilts.
Even some quilts were made of advanced materials. They became neat carry-on baggage like dried tofu, the kind that could be used on the battlefield at any time and didn’t need any work by the soldiers at all. The good hands-on virtues of the past had evolved into things like wiping weapons and maintaining mechas. The soldiers were only accustomed to reorganizing hard and cold things, so when suddenly they started to pinch a soft, tender, and easily concaved shape of rice balls, they were all weird, and all kinds of moths came out.
Liu Weiwei glanced at the time, and the slowest one took five minutes to wrap up one rice ball. But this speed wouldn’t yet waste the soldiers' eating time or delay their training plan. She dragged a stool comfortably, sat in the cooking room, and started to get on Skynet.
The soldiers in the cafeteria outside were all stunned by the taste of the food they made themselves.
Meng Nanmu was the first to complete the rice ball, although the appearance was ugly. He hadn't eaten high-level cuisine of the cafeteria chef, so he was disappointed and sad, but he couldn't help being hungry. In the morning, his team did a one-hour stretch and then came to help. Now he was so hungry that his chest was attached to his back. He hesitated for ten seconds, took a picture of his ugly work, opened his mouth fiercely, and bit down the rice ball.
Soldiers should be bold and unrestrained. Either not eat at all or eat with big bite!
Meng Nanmu was mentally prepared for his creation to be unpalatable. After all, he followed the robot's instructions but almost spilled the spoonful of sugar outside the rice. But, when his cheeks were filled with rice and his teeth were chewing hard, his eyes slowly straightened. The rice was a mixture of glutinous rice and normal rice in a certain ratio. It was chewy but sweet. When biting, it had a firm texture. The rice grains that had not melted gave a chew more and more.
The rice was also rich in explosive taste. A large mouthful of glutinous rice, angrily mixed with the strong and tenacious golden fried dough sticks, bursting with a gorgeous sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Meng Nanmu only realized it afterwards, the spoonful of sugar he put in was fragrant, too fragrant. Obviously, the outermost rice wrap was completely underestimated by him. It looked bland and tasteless, but after biting and chewing hard, he finally encountered the spoonful of sugar, and finally its sweetness diffused. Every grain rolled over, and the rice grains also gave a bit of sweetness.
It was just like when they ran long-distance weight-bearing exercises every morning. When they reached 20 kilometers, they started to sweat profusely and gasped, but finally the exciting finish line and the sound of whistle signaling the end of the training were ushered. The golden fried dough sticks were like rolling under the shower after training, scouring the exhaustion with refreshing water. And the mouthful of sugar was like falling on the dormitory bed, like a dream that came after an exhausting day of training.
Meng Nanmu really wanted to work in the cafeteria for another whole year. But soon, the top 25% of sergeants who had finished training poured into the cafeteria, shattering his dreams.
Meng Nanmu looked back, looking for the chef in the cafeteria, but he didn't see her anywhere. He hurriedly swallowed his rice ball in a few mouthfuls, drank his soy milk, and organized his team to maintain order. "Please choose any robot, line up, and keep quiet."
Wearing a uniform apron in the cafeteria, Meng Nanmu and his teammates looked after each other on the side of each rice bucket. They were on duty, but they didn't expect that soon as they became a pioneer in making rice balls, they turned into instructors and even critics.
"Second Lieutenant, the mustard has fallen on the ground, please be careful not to waste food."
"Private, flatten the rice more, so it can cover the fried dough sticks."
"Comrade, the sweet taste is sugar, and the salty taste is mustard. You want to add both? Are you sure?"
"Lieutenant, all the materials are for one person. You want to make two? Then there is an additional charge."
"Commander, if you press that way, the fried dough will break. Be a little softer, yes, that's it."
"It should be in the shape of a ball, after all, the name is rice ball, right?"
The whole cafeteria was full of guidance sounds of this kind.
Every sergeant who queued up found out that they had to make something for themselves and they were shocked. But no one dared to complain. They used to drink nutrient solutions. Now they could have good food, who would dare to say nothing to the chef? If they didn't want to eat, there were still 75% of people waiting behind. So they could be thrown out of the cafeteria in seconds, okay?
Even Lin Renhu, who was clumsy and usually very hot-tempered, was now as obedient as a primary school student. He had sweat on his forehead. He was very patient and very studious. He had been walking around No. 1 robot. "If I use less glutinous rice, can I make two? I will make a small sweet rice ball, and then a small salty one. Ah, I will also split the fried dough sticks in half."
When the people in the line heard it, their eyes lit up.
"Lin Lieutenant, this is a good idea."
"Wait, I'll wait for Lieutenant Lin to try it first. I will pack which flavor is delicious!"
"Why didn't I think of that? It makes sense!"
Lin Renhu didn't even pay attention to the discussion. He was simply raising the idea to eat some delicious food. He found that the cook in the cafeteria liked to give them some horrible multiple-choice questions from day one. For example, for Chuan Chuan Hot Pot, there were options like spicy or non-spicy, oily dip or dry dip. He didn't understand these options at first, so he had suffered a big loss. The dry dip was spicy and refreshing, while the oil dip was incredibly fragrant. The two mixed together was… unforgettable.
Later, it was stinky tofu. Again they needed to choose tomato sauce or chili sauce. And Lin Renhu almost got caught up by the chef’s tricks again. The non-spicy tomato sauce was sweet and sour. After training, eating a piece of stinky tofu covered with sweet and sour sauce was extremely delicious. But the chili sauce, a drizzle of chili oil could make him as cool and happy as if he had been shot three hundred times. Finally, he found that eating them together, first spicy and then sour and sweet... Wow, he felt that after he had eaten stinky tofu for so many days, he finally unlocked the correct way of eating. Now... the chef was giving options again!
Multiple choice question, this was simply a multiple choice question! Sweet or salty, Lin Renhu couldn't miss any. He took all his energy to split the one-person rice portion into two abruptly, and then he made two balls with great care. Finally, he first had a bite of the sweet rice ball.
"How about it?"
"Old Lin, just say it!"
"Yes, it tastes okay." Lin Renhu, a tough guy, nodded frantically while talking.
The people still on the line waited anxiously, "How about the salty one? Hurry up!"
Lin Renhu bit the salty rice ball without hurry, and his eyes flashed again in an instant, "Yes, this is also okay!"
A group of people in line looked up at the sky. Will kill you to say something other than okay?!
"Little Lin, just say, which one is more delicious?!" Someone with a high rank couldn't help shouting.
"Yes, yes, you have to choose, which one is better?"
Lin Renhu took another bite and chewed a few bites. "I have to say – eat the sweet first, then the salty!"
In the end, Lin Renhu was almost beaten by the group. "F*ck! Everyone has different tastes! I like both, can't I?"
Liu Weiwei didn't expect that her idea last night to let the sergeants made their own food was so successful in the end. After she went offline from Skynet, she came out of the cooking room to see that all the rice buckets outside were empty, and there were no fried dough sticks left. Even the mustard tubers were completely clean.
According to Meng Nanmu, who was left to clean, the rice balls were very well received and very popular. Everyone explained that they would like to continue eating it tomorrow.
Liu Weiwei was quite happy. She glanced at the time and remembered that the Major who had worked hard. So she went back to the cooking room and made a bowl of rice soup with the leftover dishes from last night for the Major. She glanced at the ingredients in her space, and decided to add poached egg and pork cutlet.
The foods were all put in the temperature keeping box, and Liu Weiwei was going to send it to the Major. She couldn't enter the training building, so she could only hand the food box to the soldiers standing guard outside. As soon as the soldier saw her, he saluted and called her sister-in-law loudly.
Liu Weiwei blushed for a while. She watched the soldier standing under the scorching sun, his lips were a little dry and chapped. She didn't know if he had eaten breakfast, and felt a little sympathetic to this young man. It might be due to the excessive secretion of estrogen in her body recently, so she had become more and more motherly. Seeing anyone working hard, she felt a little pitiful and a bit unbearable.
Liu Weiwei looked into her space and took out a mango smoothie that she was going to drink herself. She put it in another temperature keeping box and put it on the window sill next to the young soldier. "Drink during break."
The soldier almost exclaimed with excitement, but he immediately remember that he should always stand guard and couldn't move around or talk to others, so he could only watch Liu Weiwei leave gratefully.
Liu Weiwei herself thought she had only done a trivial thing. It was just a mango smoothie, it was not a lot of trouble, and it also not worth any money at all. But she didn't expect that since this day, she would become the most popular military wife in the camp.