I have noticed a pattern in life. There are many different phases and stages and being a sentimental person I frequently look back on these different phases with nostalgia, remembering my favorite moments and the small things that made me happy, that created an atmosphere that made this stage unique and enjoyable and special. I am always a little bit sad when a stage in my life ends, even when I am excited about the next one, or even when that time has been a difficult one. There are always beautiful moments that will never exist again. I don’t want to forget those things. I want to hold onto them. They may not seem very significant. But they make up my life and they are special to me. And I never want to lose them.
This past stage we have been in for the last year and half with Vu in grad school and me being a “full time crafter” has been pretty quiet, kind of uneventful. At least for me. Vu has been very busy with work and school. But right now, from this stage in my life, these are things that I want to always remember.
-Quiet afternoons sitting in the living room, listening to the rain or enjoying the sunlight streaming in through the windows, reading a book/studying French/brainstorming décor ideas
-seeing how dedicated Vu is to school and work, seeing how hard he works
-being able to try out new, time intensive recipes
-laughing with Rachel as we relive our youth playing Mario Brothers 3 on the Nintendo (thanks Christian for finding it for us)
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The first time that I had Pho was at a restaurant with Vu. I did not like it. I could have cared less if I ever went back. A few years later Vu and I were engaged and Vu’s mom invited us over for dinner and she made Pho. And it was amazing. I LOVED it! I figured that maybe I just didn’t like the way that particular restaurant made it. Vu’s mom made if for me a few more times after that. Then Father’s day came around and she was out of town, so Vu wanted to take his Dad out to a Vietnamese restaurant. When he got there Vu suggested that I order the Pho (because he didn’t think I would like anything else there). And I was really excited about it. And then I ate it. And I was reminded of my first experience.
Fast forward and we are married and we just bought our house, that was going to take 9 months to build. Our apartment lease ended and the rent increased significantly. Vu’s parents generously offered to let us live with them for free until our house was finished being built. I had come to the realization at this point that I don’t like most Vietnamese food. Except Pho. I asked Vu’s mom why hers was so much better than any that I had at the Pho restaurants. It’s because the proprietors have this idea that Americans like their food bland. And they cut out a bunch of the flavor. So taking advantage of the temporary living situation I asked Vu’s mom if she would teach me how to make Pho. And let me tell you, it is a process. It takes 2 days. It also isn’t an exact recipe, it’s a “taste and add this” kind of deal. I did nothing except watch her and take notes.
So over a year later and I finally got ambitious enough to try it on my own. It took me 2 days. When Vu came home he said it smelled like Pho. When I poured it into the bowl it looked like Pho. But when we ate it, it did not taste like my mother–in-law’s Pho. The restaurant Pho was better than this. Which was very, very sad. Vu said it was inedible. For all of that cooking down and simmering, there was still no flavor. And the noodles were undercooked. My noodles were better than Vu’s, but still not cooked enough. And as we know from “Top Chef” if you serve something undercooked, “please pack your knives and go.” Before Vu’s mom taught me she was a little bit hesitant because she was afraid if I learned how to make it for myself, then I would never want her to make it for me. There is absolutely no danger of that happening. Maybe in a long while I will try again. As long as my mother-in-law comes to my house and watches me do the whole thing. It may take me my whole lifetime to achieve her perfection. Or I may give up and never try to get there. It’s a lot of work for a dish that is “inedible.” We shall see.
Also. It’s possible I love cilantro. And put way more in than is normal.
Also. Vu’s favorite Vietnamese dish is a spicy beef soup and he doesn’t love Pho. When we lived with Vu’s parents and his mom found out I liked Pho she made it all the time and not the spicy beef soup. 🙂
So Vu believes that our society thinks that anything that is miniature or oversized is adorable. I am not quite sold on the oversized portion of the theory, but I fully support the mini-sized portion. Because I absolutely love anything that is mini. I mean come on. How can you not love something that is tiny. The word adorable is pretty much in the dictionary definition of mini. So when I saw this mini food party on “Oh Happy Day” I knew that I had to host one too. Because I pretty much thought it was the most adorable thing ever. Also. I pretty much copied everything, except I used different recipes. Because did you see it? Adorable! And I had these little tiny bottles of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider. That I found at the dollar store before Christmas last year. I am pretty much obsessed with them. I had to find these ones online because apparently they are a seasonal item. But this year I am going to the dollar store and I am going to stock up.
So do you want to know what we ate? Continue reading →