The years are quiet, and the years are speechless. The hometown is still the same, the long Lili old street, no hustle and bustle, no glitz, the simplicity and vicissitudes it remains, you can still imagine her original appearance.
Lili Old Street
The sugar shop at the head of Meilan Bridge, the blacksmith stove under Xiangjia Bridge, the counter of Hengfeng Taibu Shop, the tiger stove in Wanyuntai Tea House, the tofu shop in Rujia Bridge, the Chinese medicine shop in Wenxintang, the window of Mulan Shop… They are all the memories of a generation of Lili people, and as the years go by, please allow me to slowly search for the old streets in my memory from east to west.
The sugar mill, located in the easternmost part of the town, Meilan Bridge South Wei, the impression of the sugar mill is very dim, its work is like a large gallery, a small field placed several large jars and small jars, and there is a stove room with a large wok in the middle. Later, I learned that these things are the most basic tools for making maltose.
Maltose fermentation steaming tank
Maltose, also called sugar sugar, our small town people call it Qin sugar, usually cold and cold sugar factory only at the end of the year to lively, when I was a child, my family lived in the east of the town, sometimes by the east wind will also smell the sugar fragrance wafting from the sugar factory, thick, sweet, at that time, the New Year, every household in the town is indispensable to Qin sugar. We took the pot or pot containing the sugar, went to the sugar shop to line up, and bought back the Qin sugar, which was hot and sticky and paste, and often the adults had not yet started using it, and the children could not wait. We took two bamboo skewers and began to wrap the sticky Qin sugar, accidentally fell to the ground, around and around, for a long time, the dark yellow sugar turned milky white, the originally viscous liquid sugar also gradually hardened, lick, sweet, reluctant to take a big bite, otherwise the baby in the hand will accelerate to become smaller. The biggest use of the Qin sugar bought back is to make New Year snacks. The sweet and fragrant winter rice cake, the crispy sesame slices, and the transparent zongzi candy mixed with melon seeds are all masterpieces based on Qin sugar. The little Qin candy contains how much of our childhood laughter and happiness.
The blacksmith shop, the fiery red stove, and the clanging sound of iron, I am afraid it is difficult to see it except for film and television dramas now. But when we were young, we had the privilege of witnessing a real blacksmith shop. The blacksmith shop on the old street is on the lower bank on the west side of the Xiangjia Bridge, facing the city river, passing by after school every day, you can always see the scene in the shop, the stove burns red, baked so that the ground of the street outside is very hot, even in winter, the blacksmith is naked, holding the iron that needs to be processed in one hand, holding a hammer in the other, knocking for a while, entering the stove for heating for a while, when I was a child, I only knew how to watch the liveliness, I didn’t know that the temperature of the iron heating was as high as nearly a thousand degrees, or even higher, you can imagine, How much hard work and sweat of the master blacksmith was soaked in each iron artifact before!
The most lively and popular place in the east of the town is the Wanyuntai Teahouse. It is the first shop in town to open its doors, and many old tea customers visit early in the morning. The teahouse is a large hall with several tables of eight immortals, always filled with old men from the countryside in the nearby town, drinking tea while the gods of the east, west, south and north. It is said that for a dime, you can make a pot of tea, take a water bottle in the tea house and put it on the table, the water is gone, and the shop Xiaoer will continue to refill the water bottle until you don’t want to drink it. Some old men from the countryside selling vegetables, they often unload the burden of vegetables, casually put the dishes on the stone steps along the street of the teahouse, then lift their feet to drink tea, as for the dishes, people passing by can buy how they want, put down a few money and take away, unless they meet a very calculating buyer, then they have to temporarily put down the teacup and go to Zhang Luo.
There is a large tiger stove in the teahouse, which specializes in boiling water, and provides boiled water for nearby residents in addition to drinking tea. For a penny, you can fill a hot water bottle with boiling water, or you can fill up the soup in winter with two cents.
Liliwan Yuntai Teahouse
Walking through the old teahouse, passing through Rujiawan Hall, we soon arrived at Rujia Bridge, Rujia Bridge, and there is a tofu shop on the lower bank of the city river, which is where we often pass by in elementary school. The impression is that the workers in the tofu shop are always busy, taking out square wooden molds containing tofu from it, each square wooden tool is always covered with a white cloth, milky white pink tofu through the white cloth bubbling hot, loaded on the board car that comes to transport goods, sometimes moved to the boat parked at the head of the river, water droplets flow down the mold to the car, the ground, the road, the boat. At that time, the townspeople called it bean vegetarian cuisine, in that era, life was tight, bean vegetarian dishes were frequent customers on the table, braised tofu, boiled tofu, raw oil mixed with tofu, there were many tricks.
Ask Xintang Chinese Medicine Shop
To the west along the old street is the famous Wenxintang Chinese medicine shop in Lili. The Chinese medicine store in my memory belongs to one of the more magnificent shops in Lili Town, sitting north facing south, three-bay façade, the threshold of the pharmacy is high, the floor is wooden, and it creaks when you walk up. There are several cabinets in the store, each cabinet is lined with dozens of small drawers, at a glance it looks like a rectangular mural, one by one small drawers make us feel very mysterious, I really want to go up and open them one by one to see what happened. The counter of the pharmacy is so high that short children have to tiptoe to get to the counter and see everything inside. The prescription prescribed by the doctor was handed to the dispensing master of the pharmacy, the master took the prescription, browsed it, and then spread a few pieces of paper on the counter, generally Lang Zhong prescribed a few doses of medicine to spread a few pieces of paper, the paper is square, slightly coarse yellow, I saw the master holding a delicate boarding scale, take a look at the square, open a small drawer, grab a handful, pour out in several parts evenly, look at the prescription, open a small drawer, grab a handful, and then pour out, and then wrap each pile of prepared Chinese medicine in a pack, usually three or five servings, That is, three or five packs, and finally use a paper rope to tie several packages of medicine cleverly together, neither scattered nor easy to take, the whole process is only about ten minutes, the master’s skilled operation makes you dizzy.
Wooden Gate Shop
Muyan Store, located in the center of Lili Town, can be said to be the star store in the pastry industry in Lili Town, and customers come to the door every morning. Osmanthus cake, bite into a mouth full of fragrant, pink Dingsheng cake, both sides are concave, a bit like an axe, very attractive, eat fluffy and soft, not greasy and not sweet, wrapped in a variety of stuffing green balls white dumplings, glutinous and sweet, and the soup is overflowing with delicious and delicious buns that make you want to stop (similar to Wuxi Xiaolong steamed buns), according to the change of seasons, malt cakes with seasonal and local characteristics, wine cakes, etc. often appear alternately in the window, and the settlement in the window is the father of my classmate Linghua, An amiable uncle, the uncle always greets customers with a smile, which makes people feel close. Although the Muyan store has not been passed down and entered into the Zhenzhi like Ziyang Guan, its pastry dumplings are definitely one of the few delicacies in the Fangyuan area.
Ye Watch Shop & Chen Family Photo Studio
Further west, there is a watch shop surnamed Ye on the old street, the walls are hung with wall clocks of different sizes, and several glass counters display a number of exquisite and shiny watches, as if hiding treasures in the old street, suddenly showing its rich and brilliant side. Not far away is the Chen family’s photo studio, a shelf, a black cloth, Master Chen first got into the shelf covered with black cloth, aimed at the camera, and then came out to hold a rubber ball, gently shouted “laughter”, snap, a photo completed, the wonderful process, deeply imprinted in the hearts of a generation.
The nearby feeding fang, writing the years of the old street, was also once a place where children lingered. It is not far from Jianxin Street Primary School, every day after school walk across Xiajia Bridge, soon to the gate of the feeding fang, to be precise, the feeding fang is not completely facing the street, a large part of it is in a lane house deep from the street entrance, we often see a lot of chickens and ducklings along the street façade of the feeding fang, yellow velvet, hot, flocks of chicken cubs or duck cubs and goose cubs, in a large round bamboo basket, twitter, rubbing back and forth and squeezing, you can see that they have just come to this world, a picture of ignorance and cuteness, Whenever this time, we will stop to go home, squat down, and secretly touch this fluffy chicken with our hands, the round ball duckling, but once seen by the adults of the feeding workshop, they will be reprimanded and stopped, it should be the cubs successfully bred by the feeding house, their vitality is not strong enough for us to play in the palm of our hands.
West of Xiajia Bridge
Liu Yazi’s former residence is also in the center of Laojie, which is a well-known business card in Lili, and there is no need to repeat it here. West of Xiajia Bridge is the west of the town, under the bridge is Lilijian Xinjie Primary School, going ashore is facing the tiger five-spice bean small shop, primary school students walk across the bridge after school, buy ten spiced beans wrapped in sharp horns for a penny, divide and eat, the impression is quite deep. To the west is the more prosperous area in the west of the town, Hujing Alley, around the Temple Bridge, there is Nanxin Street Primary School on the lower shore, Zhou Gongfu Ancestral Hall, there is a Kuaijia Lane bookstore on the shore, night falls, make a cup of tea, there are quite a few people who listen there, the storyteller in a Chinese-style robe, when it comes to the critical place, he is shocked, “I want to know what happened, and listen to the next decomposition”, which caused the audience to be reluctant to leave for a long time. And the famous time-honored Ziyang Guan, is a star on the old street, its tea food, snow dumplings, loquat stalks, rose cakes, sesame cakes, wine cakes, cloud cakes, etc., every New Year festival must be the first choice of Lili people, go to relatives and friends, take one or two strings of Ziyang Guan “bandage”, it is also very face-saving.
Walking through Yangjia Bridge, the old street began to form a “D” shape, with Yangjia Bridge as the center point The old street is divided into two parts, north and south, the south is called Nanzha, the north is called Beizha, there are no lively shops, shops, only quiet residents. In a deep alley in Nanzha, there is a pair of brothers, burning delicious five-spice beans, no shops, no advertising, really “the aroma of wine is not afraid of the deep alley”, eaten, bought, word of mouth, people who go to buy beans still can’t stop it. No one knows the process of five-spice beans, large and full, not hard or soft, not salty or light, eating in the mouth has a milk aroma, every part of the bean meat is saturated with a delicious taste, because this pair of brothers have pockmarks on their faces, so this delicious five-spice bean is called hemp beans, but unfortunately for unknown reasons it was lost.
Shi family bungalow
Beizha is worth mentioning the Shi family house on the west bank of Qingfeng Bridge. It is a Western-style bungalow that is unique in the old street of the town, with a bit of mystery. In the late seventies, my family moved from the east of the town to live nearby, and I was half a neighbor before I had the opportunity to go in and take a closer look. The bungalows sit west facing east, with three wide faces and a total of three entrances. There is a pair of square fine-milled stone door pillars in front of the gate along the street, clear water red brick cement caulking wall, high stone gate tower marked with the word “1929”, the room is paved with beautiful floral floor tiles, there are buildings and halls, and the buildings that enter and enter seem to be connected around the patio. From the shabby appearance of today’s Shi family bungalow, you can still imagine her luxury and domineering back then.
From the east of the town to the west of the town, from Meilan Bridge to Yangqiaotou, from Nanzha to Beizha, Sanli Long Street, there is no end to walking, and there is no end to writing. Meet once, miss once, indulge once. Every grass and tree, mountain and water in the hometown is an inseparable concern in this life, and it is an eternity that is cherished in the bottom of the heart.
Lili Ancient Town blends ancient and modern
The author of this article: Zhu Jianlin
Responsible editors: Shen Yao, Wu Ying
Technical Editor: Wu Ying
Image source: Zhu Jianlin, Collection and Internet
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Ask Xintang Chinese Medicine Shop
Shi family bungalow