Su Tang and Su Nuo were not very difficult masters. Su Tang had only a few rules and, while she was very strict with those rules, so long as they were obeyed there were basically no issues.
Even only a few days after being bought by Su Tang, Zhang Cuilan and Baohe realized that their lives were getting a little better each day.
However, around a month after Luo Xingchen left, some of her people arrived at the courtyard to pick up the next batch of soap before leaving again, and Su Tang suddenly realized that she didn’t seem to have enough money.
Because the method to make soap was too easy to reproduce, Su Tang had insisted on being in charge of all the raw materials and production, and the Luo family only needed to sell the finished products. It was something she had no choice but to do to protect her business secret and ensure that the Luo family wouldn’t cut her out of the process entirely but, unfortunately, she noticed one day that almost all the money she had earned up until then had been used up and it would still be some time before the Luo family paid her according to their contract.
Originally, she had wanted to open a grilled fish restaurant, but the investment required to open a restaurant was relatively large, and she didn’t have the ability to secure the needed raw materials. On top of that, she still couldn’t bring out the tomato sauce or the chili sauce for the moment because she had to wait until the Luo family started selling it first. In short, it would be some time until she would be able to open a restaurant.
Thinking of everything that needed to happen first, Su Tang realized it would be at least a few months before her plan to start a restaurant could go forward, but she couldn’t just wait around for that, so she began to put some thought into how she might be able to start making money right away.
Thus, when they got up one morning, Zhang Cuilan and Baohe went into the kitchen and found that Su Tang had unexpectedly got up before them and was busily working. When they looked, they found that Su Tang seemed to be boiling milk in a big pot, and the whole kitchen was filled with a strong milky smell.
“Young miss!” Zhang Cuilan hurriedly went forward and took the long wooden spoon from Su Tang’s hand.
Su Tang frowned and said, “Keep stirring it.”
Zhang Cuilan didn’t know what Su Tang was trying to accomplish, but she obediently used the wooden spoon the continue stirring the milk in the pot. As she stirred, the water in the mixture slowly evaporated and the substance in the pot became thicker and thicker.
Seeing that it was almost done, Su Tang asked Zhang Cuilan to stop stirring and transfer the contents of the pot to a big bowl.
At this point, Su Nuo happened to get up and see that his sister and Zhang Cuilan were all busy in the kitchen, so he poked his head in to see what was going on, “Sister, what are you doing?”
Su Tang replied, “Making some toffee.”
The mixture was just milk, water, and sugar, so after boiling for a while a sticky and relatively simple condensed milk product was created. As Su Tang answered Su Nuo, she began to add a strange white powder to the substance that had just been created.
From the scent, Zhang Cuilan and Su Nuo could tell that this mysterious white powder had the smell of milk, but they didn’t know what it was. In fact, when the Processing Plant inside the space had reached level 10, Su Tang had unlocked something called a ‘Centrifugal Spray Dryer’. At first, Su Tang actually had no idea what the machine did, but after a while, she discovered it was a machine for taking liquids and turning them into powder. Naturally, she was able to use it to make powdered milk.
So Su Tang had used the space to make powdered milk, which she was now adding to the substance she created with Zhang Cuilan.
Then, after having Zhang Cuilan wash her hands and adding milk powder, she asked the older woman to go ahead and knead the mixture she just created into a dough, roll it into large cylinders, and then cut the cylinders into small pieces.
Once that was done, she said to knead it into a round ball, add a thin coat of powdered milk on the outside, and finally put it outside in the cold to let it freeze and become a simple toffee.
“Is it done?” Su Nuo saw the little round white candies and asked his sister curiously.
Su Tang nodded and then picked one up and stuffed it into his mouth. Soon, his tongue was overwhelmed by a sweet and milky flavor. After savoring it for a moment, Su Nuo squinted happily and said, “Wow, so sweet!”
In fact, this toffee that was made in these crude conditions was not as sweet as some modern candies, but then again the candies in this era weren’t very sweet in the first place, so it was no wonder Su Nuo found it so delicious.
Su Tang also tried one for herself. She found that the taste was relatively light, but it was indeed the proper taste of toffee. Seeing that it came out properly, she signaled Zhang Cuilan and Baohe to try some as well.
tl note: Okay I’ve wrestled with this translation a lot and… well, it’s not right. She’s making “奶糖” which Baidu says translates to ‘toffee’ but looking at the steps for creation this definitely isn’t toffee, so I’m just gonna have to leave it like this for now and come back later if it’s ever more clear what exactly she’s making. Sorry for my ignorance of Chinese confectionaries folks.