Synopsis: A novel adapted drama about food and romance follows Hua Xiao Mai as she falls in love with a mercenary for hire. Through her passion for the culinary arts, Hua Xiao Mai starts small and slowly makes her way up in the food business. After being saved by Meng Yu Huai, who heads a mercenary agency, in the hills behind the Huodao village where she has just moved in to stay with her elder sister. Hua Xiao Mai falls in love. She does her best to attract his attention but he just doesn’t get her feelings. But as Xiao Mai shows her intelligence, her culinary skills and her boldness in professing her love for him, he slowly realizes he will not be able to escape from her. But success in love is not her only ambition, her goal in life was to show the world that any edible food can be delicious if made properly. From a small food stall to a famous restaurant in the city, she slowly builds her way up, improving her skill in the process before finally realizing that the best part of life is simply a simple delicious meal with the ones you love.
Ancient chinese weddings: Despite China’s long history and different geographical areas there are essentially 6 rituals generally known as the 3 letters and 6 etiquette. The six etiquettes are:
- Proposal (where the man’s family finds a matchmaker whose job was to settle any conflicts of interests between the families and discuss the needs of both families especially if they don’t know each other well)
- Birthdates: or the exchange of the Bazi of the potential bride and groom. These were the combination of 8 characters which represent the year, month and hour of birth of the bride and groom. If the parents did not oppose the match the matchmaker would find a fortune teller to see if these birthdates would bring any calamity or good fortune to the families if a union occurred between the owners of the birthdates. If they were a good match then they would proceed to the next step, if not the betrothal will be called off.
- Bridewealth: The bridegroom’s family would ask the matchmaker to deliver the bride’s family with betrothal gifts including a betrothal letter/certificate.
- Wedding gifts: Next the bridegroom’s family would send the bride’s family an array of cakes, food and religious items to the bride’s family.
- Wedding date: Before the ceremony, the two families would ask a fortune teller for an auspicious day to hold the wedding as they believed an inauspicious date would bring bad fortune to the couple.
- Wedding ceremony: This consists of an elaborate process which usually lasts through the entire day. When in the morning, the bride would get up to have the hair on the side of her face removed and an female elder (usually her mother) comb her hair and recite lines of good wishes like “May you have a harmonious intimate marriage until old age”. Then after the wedding procession arrives, she will have to cry to her mother/elder sister to show her reluctance to leave home before being led to the sedan chair by her elder brother/paternal cousin or a male relative if she doesn’t have one. Then they would leave to head to the bridegroom’s home along with her maids of honor and her dowry. On arrival, firecrackers would be lit, there would be music and the bridegroom would lead the bride to start the traditional wedding ceremony rituals (this includes paying their respects to the Heaven and Earth, to the ancestors and to each other). The couple would head to the bridal chamber and perform other rituals such as eating a semi raw dumpling, a tea ceremony, offering gifts to the bridegroom’s female relatives and lifting the veil. Meanwhile the guests are treated to a feast and drinks with the bridegroom when he comes out. At the end of the day, the couple’s friends and family may banter with the married couple to try and help the couple get to know each other better.
- After 3 days, the married couple were expected to visit the bride’s family and they would be received with yet another feast with relatives on the bride’s side of the family.