The stove of the author’s old house
In the twelfth lunar month of winter, on the second floor, I used the cinnabar-red electric pot like a “gui” to cook some dumplings and drink some spicy wine, and talked about the skills my father had unlocked in the past sixty or seventy years.
His old man will certainly proudly rank Erhu as the number one. Ten years ago, he took his mother to Nanning and stayed at my younger brother’s house. He could only rattle a pair of “parallel imports” erhu that I gave him, kill chickens and drive ducks, and barely compose a tune. He persevered despite his mother’s protests and complaints, went to the park to find his master, searched for videos on the Internet, saw the huqin by himself in the basement of his younger brother’s house, and pulled his “Two Springs Reflecting the Moon” in the small courtyard to the Brazilian turtles and turtles in the pool. A caged Dutch rat listens. The younger brother’s two sons learn piano, painting, football, basketball, Olympiad, Go and so on. Grandpa quietly cultivated and became the chief musician of the community. Now he is playing the erhu in the gazebo of the community, passers-by can’t help but stop in the elegant and smooth string music like a small river, and the old people gather by the Yongjiang River at 90 o’clock in the morning to sing operas and contest songs, and they all have to count on him. Use the erhu to set the tone and accompaniment.
Although he “brilliantly shined” in the urban community in his later years, his father often complained about his “rural household registration” status, thinking that he had been farming all his life, “farmers are old-fashioned”, “mud legs”, “the mud on the legs was not washed clean “, this one is sad, compared with the sages, I am afraid that I am a little bit like Confucius. Father’s “mud” complex is a heart disease, but Confucius’ “mud” is engraved in his famous name. In the new issue of “Duoshu” magazine, some scholars said that Confucius’ name is Qiu, and the word is Zhongni. Qiu is a hill with high sides and low center, and Nitong “mud” is the wetland in the center of the hill, which happens to be a good field for farming. In “The Analects of Confucius”, Fan Chi recklessly asked Confucius to learn crops and gardens, explaining that his “Niba” teacher should have been a great expert in farming and growing vegetables in his early years, but only later embarked on the metaphysical path of learning rituals and music. . Confucius said again: “I am also humble when I am young, so I am able to despise many things.” My father is probably the same. In his early years, he was the deputy captain of the production team in charge of technology. He was good at planting rice, sowing wheat, and planting cotton. All hands “Uncle Zhao is poor. As for the application of pesticides, the use of chemical fertilizers, the breeding of hybrid rice, the development of water conservancy, the drilling of wells, and the use of tractors to plow the fields, these new agricultural technologies and machines were also introduced into the countryside by their generation.
It is not enough to earn food and clothing by farming the land, but it is not enough to send us four brothers and sisters to school one after another if we want to earn money. The way the parents deal with it is to go to the Golden Temple every spring to catch two piglets, raise them until winter, and have them weighed by the butcher next door. Walk. In spring, old hens open their nests and hatch 20 or 30 chickens. At the end of the year, they can return to various markets to sell for money. During the slack in autumn and winter, my father and the male generals in the village jointly set up a sugar workshop, chopping malt, cooking japonica rice, and making caramel. On frosty and snowy mornings in the cold winter, my father would push his bicycle out to the sound of cocks crowing across the ground, cross the Li River, and sell maltose in various villages in Dougang Town. In the villages of Renhe, Wuai, and Gexin in the north of our town, because they are close to the train station on the Beijing-Guangzhou line, wholesale vegetable sellers can take the morning train to sell vegetables to Hankou, so there is a trend of growing vegetables. This north wind usually blows into our alley, and my father also set aside half of the dry cotton and wheat fields at home, about one mu of land, to open up a vegetable garden. As the tastes of Wuhan people change, these fields take turns to produce vegetables such as cucumbers, eggplants, beans, potatoes, garlic sprouts, cabbage sprouts, and bitter gourd. When irrigated the garden, we went to fetch water from the small pond next to it. We could scoop the pond up to the sky, and the loaches burrowed in. When the garden was closed, we used digging hoes to plow the ground, and picked up the “cut tigers” that came out and brought them home to feed the chickens. . The cocoon on my right finger is what I wrote with a pen when I joined the small town as an inscription writer. The row of “hill fields” in my palm are the result of digging the ground. Compared with the “hands of Chen Bingzheng” of grandpa and father, it is still far behind.
My father also heard people say that growing mushrooms can make a fortune, so he immediately decided to vacate two of the six rooms in our house and go to the town to buy cottonseed husks the size of a hill and bacteria seed bags the size of a thermos bottle, and mix them in Together, flatten into a seven or eight-inch thick mushroom bed, water and moisten it to grow oyster mushrooms. The growth of Pleurotus ostreatus is an epic, a symphony. First, the hyphae stretched out on the mushroom bed, criss-crossing them, like spider webs in the fields in late autumn, and then gradually thick frost was printed on them. In the thick frost piles, groups of miliary-like protrusions appeared, like goosebumps growing out. The pimples grow rapidly and become clusters of gray-white ears. These ears become thick and dark, forming “mushroom mounds” with many mountains and hills. This mushroom kingdom has reached its heyday. In the early winter, we harvested this mushroom country with surprise and joy, and swept the mushroom beds into plains, and they will restore the second wave… The third wave will probably come in the early spring after the Chinese New Year. In these two wing rooms The mushroom drama can come to an end. The oyster mushrooms on the highest mushroom mound in the first wave taste the most delicious. Referring to the grade of cotton, it is “129” grade lint cotton. Sometimes parents are reluctant to give them to vegetable vendors, thinking that they will sprinkle too much water on the oyster mushrooms to gain weight and deceive the people of Wuhan. Without conscience, they each carry two large baskets of oyster mushrooms to sell in Hankou. It was around this time that my father and mother went to Wuhan for the first time. When they came back, they said that the hot dry noodles in Wuhan were unpalatable, as if they were mixed with plant ash, and they choked their throats. During my winter and summer vacations, I also read a lot of booklets such as “Oyster Mushroom Cultivation”. I told my father that when I came back from junior high school, I would try planting shiitake mushrooms. Almost none of our junior high school classmates were admitted to high school. After all, our family did not become a household with ten thousand yuan as the “Mushroom King”. One reason was that I, as an alternate technician, was unfortunately admitted to high school; the other reason was that my mother started coughing non-stop. “Fog”, “Oyster Mushroom Planting” identified that the mist is the spores of oyster mushrooms, which can indeed cause respiratory allergies.
The father obeyed the order to stop the mushroom field, handed over the vegetable garden to the mother, and concentrated on studying the craft of masons. I think my father must have had Hamlet’s hesitation when he chose to be a mason and a carpenter. He is dexterous, which is like grandpa. When grandpa was free, he picked up a pile of straw and weaved the bundles of straw into various straw ropes. He often lit a fire and roasted the branches of elm trees to make agricultural tools such as ox yokes. “Knead wood into Lei” as mentioned in “. My father can now make huqins by himself. What impressed me the most was that he often cut down the canopy of the big willow tree in front of the door, and twisted the branches of different thicknesses into large and small chairs, which are the same as the chairs sold by carpenters in the market. No difference. Is it better to be a mason? Earn more money? Or he wants to let me learn the craft of carpentry from Uncle Huai Ru next door after I graduate from junior high school, so that I can form a team with him? Once, he told me that senior masons, also known as “bricklayers” masters, who remove the word “mud”, are the leaders of the masters when they build houses for others. . Later, when I read Liu Zongyuan’s “Zi Ren Zhuan”, I immediately understood that what Liu Zongyuan referred to as a “du material craftsman” was probably what his father called a “brickmaker”. My father went to Jiayu County to build walls for several years, and then worked in our town for several years. Then he built new houses in the nearby villages. There are many two-and-a-half-story mosaic buildings nearby. Building a villa” is the masterpiece of him and his project team. When he retired from the arena at the age of nearly 60, he probably obtained the status of a “bricklayer” master who removed the clay characters. He could quickly build a wall straight without tools such as a hammer, and the chief of the beam was sitting too much. He has a very good capacity for alcohol after practicing, and there are endless cigarettes issued by the host, endless handbags and yellow soap. He also brought out three apprentices. The closed disciple is “Shui” from Hezhai. up.
Among his “bricklayer” details such as building walls, installing pillars, painting, and laying tiles, what I admire the most is that he can cook well. The new house is completed, the main room has a sacred cabinet, the Eight Immortals table, chicken coop and barn, and the wing room has beds, toilets, sleeping cabinets and wardrobes, tables and benches, bottles and cans, these are not enough, only the kitchen has built The stove is connected to the chimney, and the cooking smoke rises between the black tiles on the roof and the orthopedic ridge. This house, which has been built iteratively with the hard work of the owner and his wife for half a lifetime, has a soul. The traditional writing of Zao character is “Zao”, which can probably read the reality of “Zao”. Red bricks and yellow clay are used to build the base of the reserved ash pit. The base of the stove goes up, and it is the hearth that separates different functional areas in the middle; entering through the stove door, there is a spacious front room and a slightly cramped back room. In the middle where the front and back meet, there is a small semicircular ear chamber slightly concave inward; there are slightly raised and flat palm mounds on both sides of the front chamber; Pass through the roof, reveal about three or four feet, and then wear a tile hat to prevent rain and snow from pouring in. The stove surface is laid upwards from the stove, the stove door is a fire-retaining wall, the front room is built on top, and a eight-seal (about 70 cm in diameter) iron pot can be firmly embedded, and the back room is a five-seal (about 40 cm in diameter) iron pot , the ear chamber can be set with an aluminum drum-shaped soup pot, which we call “drum”. Finally, the fire wall, stove, and a section of the indoor chimney are all inlaid with white mosaics, and an earthen stove with viscera is considered complete. Let it sit for a few days, and when it dries out, the housewife can try a new fire.
She stood in front of the stove, holding a spatula, frying and frying in large and small pots, turned around and scooped water from the water tank on the right hand side, poured the “drum” with a gourd ladle, and then went to the stove to hold firewood with tongs Stuffing the stick into the stove, all kinds of utensils beckon her, this is her first-hand world. She is like an ox, “whatever she touches with her hands, leans on her shoulders, treads on her feet, and bends her knees” all fit her figure and her habits. She can “dance” around the stove as she likes, which shows that the stove The size, height, depth, proportion, and proportion of the painting are all appropriate, and they are all made by a reliable master like my father. What’s more, inside the stove, from the stove door to the stove chambers, turning to the chimney, are tightly sealed by bricks and yellow mud. Emerging from the stove door, licking the stove door wall, most of the flames were led to the front room, ear room, and back room. dragged to the top of the roof, and would not return to the stove door. In half an hour, seven or eight pieces of firewood were burned, the food in the big iron pot, the pig food in the small iron pot, the hot water in the “drum”, and the “Diaozi” pot hanging on the wall of the stove door The boiling water in the stove, the chicken soup in the chuw pot in the stove, and the sweet potatoes buried by the children in the hot ashes of the ash pit, get different firepower and heat, respectively cooked, boiling, hot, and rolling , each has its own place, different burnt and tender, different soft and hard, different salty and light. The wind howls, the trees shake, the snow flutters, the mountains cover the river, and on a cold winter night, in the tile house, dinner is prepared, and under the oil lamp, the family has hot tea and rice, and the pigs in the pigsty also get a tank full of hot food .
The exquisite guidance and distribution of the combustion route comes from the fine grasp of the space of the stove and each crater. The yellow glue is used to seal or lead, or block or sparse, high or low, thick or thin, large or small , or twists or turns, this is the essence of “pan”, just like the word “jie” in Paodingjieniu. I am afraid that it takes a lot of back and forth before my father can reach such a wonderful state of grasping the spatial narrative of fire and understanding the physical properties of mud like Bachelard who wrote “The Psychoanalysis of Fire” ——Every winter month, people who invite him to cook the stove at home also have to arrange a schedule. Of course, the stove in our house was also made by my father himself. On the twenty-fourth day of the twelfth lunar month, the day of offering sacrifices to the stove, after dinner, my mother ordered oil lamps at the door of the stove, and according to the stove god, the old man went on his way to the heaven to give a year-end report. Although we already have “Caramel Freedom”, we don’t put a plate of candy cubes by the oil lamp to coax him to speak well. Uncle Kitchen God supported by people like us, what kind of bad intentions would there be?
I don’t know if my father will think of his “multi-functional despicable things” in “Erquan Yingyue”, “Jiangheshui” and “Honghu Water Waves” while holding his erhu now. He is very envious that my brother and I have professional titles. In fact, if his farming, vegetable planting, house building, cooking stoves, etc. can also be rated as professional titles, they can probably be rated as senior, special, senior, etc., although he can’t Because of the grain, vegetables, sugar piles, mushroom mounds he produced, and the hundreds of houses and earthen stoves he built, he applied for more pensions. These crafts and skills are now becoming dragon-slaying techniques, just like the smoke from the chimney of our house, with the fragrance of the world, has disappeared into the past world.
November 22, 2022, Nongsi Village, Xiaogan City
Author: Shu Feilian
Editor: Wu Dongkun
Editor in charge: Shu Ming
*Wenhui exclusive manuscript, please indicate the source when reprinting.
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