Thursday, February 07, 2008
Happy Year of the Rat!!!
Happy Lunar New Year to all my blogging buddies and readers! May the Year of the Rat be filled with many good eats! I give fruit to my aunts and uncles for their Tet eve altar offerings, in return I get much better goodies. My oldest uncle's family game me lap xuong (Chinese sausage) from Quang Tran, Inc. (our family's preferred brand), banh tet (Vietnamese lunar new year sticky rice cakes), homemade Vietnamese head cheese with crunchy pig's ears (Yummy! I was totally craving this!), homemade sesame peanut candy, and dua mon (Vietnamese pickles). Last year, I wrote about my family's tradition of making and gifting banh tet. Hehehe. Look at the lovely crunchy cartilage bits in the head cheese. The two packages on the left are fish and shrimp paste from my youngest aunt (which I'll save for some recipes later on), the two big banh tet are from my youngest uncle's family, and the smaller banh tet and mangoes are from my second-youngest uncle. And cousin Q even made che troi nuoc (Vietnamese sticky rice dumplings). Check out my fellow Vietnamese bloggers for banh tet- and banh chung-making posts. Cathy of Gastronomy helped her great-aunt make banh tet in Saigon and then later gave instructions on how to store and eat it. Christine of Holy Basil has step-by-step photos of making banh chung. Yen of Viet Club helped her mom with the two-day process of making banh chung. ***** 1 year ago today, one of my comfort soups - canh bi voi tom (Vietnamese wintermelon soup with shrimp).