Hi All! I’m so excited to start blogging and sharing my recipes with you. I want to introduce myself so you can get to know me a little.
I was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States in 1979 with my mom, oldest sister, and younger brother. I was seven years old at the time. My mom was a single mom, trying to raise three kids by herself in an unfamiliar country with no understanding of the language and culture. We left behind my father and two older sisters. They have since emigrated here and we are now all together.
Growing up in the United States was a little confusing for me. I straddled the two cultures. I still do. I’m still fluent in Vietnamese. My mom taught me the basics of the Vietnamese language, but I taught myself to write and read. My writing and reading…eh…not perfect, but I can get around. As for food, my mom is a terrific cook. How that woman juggled owning a Vietnamese grocery store and cooking for us is beyond me. She always found time to cook not only for her own children but for my cousins as well. So, at home, Viet food. In school, school food.
I regret that I wasn’t by her side when she cooked. She did most of the cooking at the grocery store (she had a kitchen in the back) and brought food home for us. She would always tell us “Just study hard! I will take care of the rest!”. But every now and then, I was able to see her cook and watched her…from afar. (She didn’t like us in her kitchen.) As I got older and started college, I found that I would crave home-cooked meals. I would call her and ask her how to make a certain dish. She’d give me a rundown on how to make it. Not so much a recipe. She would tell me, season as you go and taste until it’s to your liking. The only recipe that she gave me was for egg rolls. That recipe, I follow. Otherwise, I’m a lot like her in my cooking. A pinch of this, a dash of that, taste, and voila!
I married a Caucasian man, who has a gluten intolerance. When we were first married, he did not know he was gluten intolerant. I used to make a lot of pasta dishes and made my own pasta. But since finding out that he has a gluten issue, I’ve had to learn to read labels and modify/adjust recipes accordingly. I’ve had to find ways to make certain dishes that he loved and make them gluten-free. I’m so glad that the market is now full of gluten-free options. My husband grew up in the midwest. They didn’t care for ethnic foods, which is unfortunate because Vietnamese food is 98% gluten-free. He likes his pasta and steak and potatoes. It has been a challenge finding gluten-free options, but I think I have it down. He doesn’t trust anyone else to make his food. It’s…awwww and grrrrr at the same time.
Our daughter, on the other hand, loves food so much!!! She is from my previous marriage to a Vietnamese man. She is full Vietnamese. She’s been around Viet food her entire life. But of course, she’s been around a lot of other ethnic foods. Let’s just say, she loves FOOD! She is not a picky eater whatsoever but is a bit of a food snob. I know I’ve made something delicious when her eyes open wide and she tells me it’s YUMMY! She has degrees of yumminess…so when she says it’s ‘good’, it’s eh. When she says it’s ‘YUMMY!’, then you know you have a great dish. One of the reasons I want to start a blog is so she has access to my recipes. She’s studying in Phoenix while we live in Portland, OR. I wanted to be able to give her recipes in one place so she can reference them when needed.
As for me, I love food. I love Asian food. I make a lot of Asian food, mostly Vietnamese. But I also make other dishes (Remember my husband? The one who doesn’t really care for Asian food all the time?). Well, I will be posting recipes from dishes that I make at home for my family. I don’t usually measure the ingredients. However, I have been working to measure out what my pinches and dashes are. I hope that you will find my recipes helpful and that you will give them a try.
Good luck and thanks for reading!