... I finally said good-bye to my cousin's little house that I'd been living in for the past five years.
It's the end of an era! (Bonus points if you caught the pop culture reference.)
It was bittersweet to leave the family compound, where my aunts and uncles literally all bought houses next door to each other. After living so far away for several years, I really enjoyed having my oldest uncle or youngest aunt drop by to chat, the frequent egg rolls and dumplings that my oldest uncle's wife sent over, seeing my cousins walking their dogs, and just in general basking in having family around. Even though I've only technically moved a few minutes away, it's a world away in daily interaction.
Most of the blog took place in this kitchen -- the cooking, the eating, the gatherings with friends and family. Funny how spacious it seems now when it's not stuffed to the rafters with food and dishware.
The blog has taken a backseat for the past year, but especially so in the past six months with the house hunt, renovations, and moving. But mostly, I've struggled with what to do with it -- how much to write, how personal to get, whether to get out old posts because it's a food diary too, or talk about the newer stuff before I forget the details.
The house has never looked so empty. No books anywhere!
Too bad I won't be around to eat these pomegranates.
Nor the longans either.
And the dragon fruit haven't even started blossoming yet.
Bye cousin's little house that always seemed so small, yet made me so happy. I have several rooms of this to unload.
As I was hosing down the driveway after moving 27 clay pots of dirt, I saw my second-youngest uncle walking my cousin's dog and my oldest uncle's wife come out to ask him about fixing the foundation of the pillar on my other cousin's porch. As day faded into night, my aunt gave me an orange and I was reminded of all the other times she gave me food. Back at the new house, my dinner was the orange and a Vietnamese pudding she had given me the day before.
The end of an era!
Even without the house stuff, sometimes, it seems like too much work to bother blogging at all. And then I get an awesome email like today, from a Spanish reader living in The Netherlands who's learning to cook Vietnamese food from the blog, which spurred me to ask my Facebook fans to chime in with who they are and where they live. I love that my readers come from and live all over the world!
The house still isn't done, and yet I decide to take my first real vacation in seven years. I'm writing this from Washington Dulles International Airport and my flight is boarding. I forgot my travel-sized toiletries and couldn't find three travel books, but squeezed in my favorite cowboy boots. And if you've been reading for a while, perhaps you can figure out where I'm headed.
Gotta go! Last call for boarding.
1 year ago today,
2 years ago today, Chinese Five-Spice and Honey Ribs.
3 years ago today, Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant - Coalinga.
4 years ago today, How to Start a Food Blog... Or What I Wished I Knew When I Started a Food Blog.
5 years ago today, Fried Green Tomatoes.