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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Boat People, My Friend Don, and His Mom's Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

Boat People, My Friend Don, and His Mom's Pho Bo 1

Thirty-three years ago today, the Fall of Saigon ended the Vietnam War. A new regime is in place. America has returned. More than 3 million overseas Vietnamese are scattered around the world. While many Vietnamese have moved on -- built lives in new countries, learned new languages, started families -- vestiges of the war still remain for a few hundred Vietnamese in the Philippines. These stateless refugees, the last of the "boat people," have been in limbo for more than a decade.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Loquat 1

My brother stopped by after a visit to the Farmers' Market - Alhambra with a bag of what he said was an "unknown" Asian fruit.

They're loquats, I said, surprised that he hadn't had one before.

Especially because our oldest uncle's neighbor has this magnificent loquat tree. Alas, the neighbor trims his tree so thoroughly that no branches lean over the fence for us to pick. :(

Monday, April 28, 2008

Goi Du Du Kho Bo (Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky)

Goi Du Du Kho Bo 1

Are you sort of figuring out how my brain works now? I show you pictures of papaya trees with green papaya, then I present a recipe for Goi Du Du Kho Bo (Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky). Although, the salad actually came before the papaya. This salad was made back in January.

Green papaya is not sweet, so it's more like a vegetable than a fruit. Very Atkins, low-carb, South Beach Diet-friendly. If that's your thing. There are actually two types of Vietnamese green papaya salad. The kind you see pictured here with beef jerky, and a shrimp and pork version that's a little bit more similar to Thai papaya salad.

You can find kho bo (Vietnamese beef jerky) at most Asian grocery stores, or substitute with a good quality fresh beef jerky. I'm using the jerky I bought from Vua Kho Bo (New Jerky Mfg. Inc.) - San Gabriel. Another option is to serve this with fried liver slices, but that's never quite appealed to me.

You can peel and julienne green papaya for this dish. Or cheat, like I did, and buy some pre-shredded at most Asian grocery stores. :P If you are using fresh papaya, make sure you soak the shredded papaya in salty water for about 15 minutes to remove any lingering waxiness. Drain into a colander and squeeze out excess water before using. You don't need to do this if you buy the pre-shredded papaya as it is already soaking in water. Pre-shredded papaya spoils quickly so make this salad within a day of purchasing it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Papaya Trees

My oldest uncle's papaya trees. Pretty cool huh?
Papaya Trees 1
Papaya Trees 2
Papaya Trees 3
My aunt saw me snapping photos and asked if I wanted to cut one down. I said it's OK, they weren't ripe yet. A few days later, I got a little baggy of ripe papaya. She said they weren't very sweet but they tasted perfect to me. Of course, I can easily eat a whole papaya by myself (and have!). :P
Papaya Trees 4
You can use ripe papaya in my sweet, sour, salty, spicy tropical fruit salad. And green papaya, of course, goes in Goi Du Du Kho Bo (Vietnamese Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky). You can see what else my uncles grow in Garden Updates. ***** 1 year ago today, leftover citrus baked chicken became chicken and dumplings.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Can You Identify My Rose?

That lifeless cane? Turned into a gorgeous velvety red rose. Do you know what it's called? It was here when I moved in so I don't know its name like I do my other roses.
Identify My Rose 1
I liked this angle with the other bud in the background.
Identify My Rose 2
Two days later, it bloomed.
Identify My Rose 3
Update May 12, 2008: Thanks to Nikki Polani, I think this rose might be a Papa Meilland. It certainly looks similar to all the Papa Meilland roses on Google images. Very veiny. Black-red velvety petals. So this is what I shall call it, unless someone tells me different? Other garden updates. ***** 1 year ago today, lil' sis made insalata caprese (Italian Capri tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad), I made citrus roast chicken and roasted golden beets.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Celery, Bleu/Blue Cheese, and Walnut Salad

Celery, Bleu Cheese, and Walnut Salad 1

Since we're on the subject of bleu/blue cheese, another simple salad that's been sitting in my queue is this celery, bleu cheese, and walnut salad.

I was initially inspired by a recipe by Russ Parsons in the Los Angeles Times, except his recipe required 1 bunch of celery, 1 cup bleu cheese, and 3/4 cups walnuts with a shallot vinaigrette. I'd link to the original recipe except the Times has a habit of moving links.

Anyway, I wasn't cooking for anyone except me so the portions in that recipe were way too much. Also, if you're not a fan of celery, bleu cheese, or walnuts, this salad won't be for you. Each of the three components comes through strongly but complement each other rather well. The original recipe called for toasted walnuts but I found that increased the oiliness of the salad and I didn't much care for that.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Iceberg Wedge Salad with Bleu/Blue Cheese Dressing

So you know I made a simple Salad of Iceberg Lettuce, Radishes and a Carrot, but what did I do with the other half of the head of iceberg?

Another American classic - the wedge salad.

Wedge Salad 1

Now, you can be lazy and use store-bought dressing for this, but why would you do that when you can make the best bleu cheese dressing ever? (Hmm. Which spelling do you prefer? Bleu cheese? Or blue cheese?) I found a lovely wedge of blue cheese on sale for only $2. It was probably because it was close to the expiration date but blue cheese is already moldy so how bad can it be? This dressing is so great, you can even use it as a dip with my Sriracha Buffalo wings. Or save a bit for my upcoming recipe of Stuffed Potato Skins.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Iceberg Lettuce, Radish, and Carrot Salad

Food blogging is great. So many foods to try. So many flavors. But really, I don't always eat like that. Sometimes, what I eat isn't really that blog-able. Or is it? I was recently reminded of how much I liked very simple salads when I stopped off at Super-A Foods. I usually try to get my fruits and vegetables at the Farmers' Market - Alhambra to support the independent farmers, but every once in a while I need to hit a chain store for something. I had forgotten how cheap Super-A produce can be. Two heads of iceberg lettuce for $1. Five bunches of radishes for $1. Carrots, I don't remember how much but they're almost always cheap.
Iceberg Lettuce, Radish, and Carrot Salad 1
So after chopping up half of a head of lettuce (25 cents), slicing 3 radishes (6 cents), and shaving slices off 1 carrot (pennies really), added a few drizzles of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing and I had enough salad for three meals. That's less than 10 cents a meal! Who can beat that for cheap eats?
Iceberg Lettuce, Radish, and Carrot Salad 2
What are your some of your favorite simple salads? If this is too bland for you, some of my other salad recipes: Cobb Salad Coleslaw Cucumber Salad Croutons with Garlic and Seasoning Fava and Garbanzo Bean Salad Four Color Carrot Salad Goi Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Salad) Goi Xoai Xanh (Vietnamese Green Mango Salad) Heirloom Tomato Salad Hibiscus Leaf and Pomegranate Mixed Greens Salad Insalata Caprese (Italian Capri Salad - Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella) Waldorf Salad ***** 1 year ago today, old-fashioned mochi (Japanese rice cakes) pounded by hand at Fugetsu-Do Sweet Shop, the oldest business in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo and possibly the inventor of the Chinese fortune cookie.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)

The first leaves of my jungle red hibiscus came out earlier this month.

Jamaica/Hibiscus Tea 1

Remember the jungle red hibiscus blossoms last November?

I made both a hot and cold hibiscus tea. I think most people are familiar with jamaica (hibiscus tea) when dining at Mexican restaurants, but did you know the Chinese also have a hibiscus drink? Just look at the lovely color of my hibiscus iced tea at Tea Station - Alhambra.

Monday, April 21, 2008

WC's Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) by Mary Ruth

Who knew my Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) recipe would be so popular? Have you made it yet? Because yet another reader has. She did a great job too.
Ca Ri Ga by MaryRuth 1
The second submission for Readers Cook WC Recipes comes from MaryRuth of Where's the Bubbler?
"As you requested, here is some feedback on one of your recipes. I made Ca Ri Ga. This was delicious! I even had the leftovers for lunch today, and I think the flavor even improved. This is a pretty straightforward recipe, I followed it to the letter, except for the quantities. I used 6 thighs, 3 large-cut potatoes, 1 small-cut potato and 4 carrots. I ended up using 1.5 cans of coco milk/water. That was mostly because I wanted to make sure that all the food was submerged. Next time I will stick to 1 can and just make sure the meat is covered...the other veggies can steam to cook on top of the meat. I used 2 Tbsp Penzey's Madras curry. This particular curry is a little hot, so I didn't want to go overboard, but next time I would add another tbsp. Fish sauce...I put in 4 good "shakes", but that too could be increased. I served it with brown rice, but the baguette option looks pretty good too. I noticed in your photo and the other posters photo you serve it with a lot of the sauce....do you end up using a spoon to get it all? I just added enough to my bowl to get everything moistened pretty well, but still used a fork to eat it.
Ca Ri Ga by MaryRuth 2
My house smelled so good while it was cooking! Four forks! I will definitely make this again. My photos turned out kinda crappy, but here they are anyway, You definitely don't have to post them or even use this feedback--I just wanted to let you know that yes, people DO use your recipes! =) Thanks for a great recipe!"
Wanna hijack my blog? Check out Readers Cook WC Recipes for guidelines on how you too can participate. ***** 1 year ago today, my oldest uncle's wife's banh xeo (Vietnamese sizzling crepes).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yong Tau/Tow Foo (Chinese Stuffed Tofu)

Yong Tau Foo 1

Don't see any tofu you say? Well, yong tau foo (Chinese stuffed tofu) was created in the 1960s in Chew Kuan restaurant as a dish of only stuffed tofu, and now can mean any of a variety of stuffed vegetables. It is a popular dish in Malaysia and Singapore. The stuffed tofu and vegetables may also be served with a clear soup and noodles.

I had frozen the cha ca (Vietnamese fish paste) my youngest aunt had given me a few months back. For the recent death anniversary dinner of my ba noi (paternal grandmother), I decided to defrost the cha ca and stuff it. But instead of making my usual Dau Hu Nhoi Cha Tom voi Sot Chao Ot (Vietnamese Shrimp Paste-Stuffed Tofu with Fermented Bean Curd Chili Sauce), I remembered Rasa Malaysia had stuffed okra and chili peppers. It was so gorgeous that I decided to prepare it that way as well, but substituting the chili peppers with sweet baby bell peppers. I also had some Brussels sprouts sitting around, so I halved those and stuffed them as well.

I haven't made cha ca since I was 12 years old, so you'll have to wait for that recipe. Or maybe that's just as well because I remember adding baking soda to fluff up the fish paste. Then I got clever and added more baking soda because that would make the fish paste even fluffier right? Well, it did, but it also made the fish paste incredibly bitter. So for now, you can either buy from the store, or use my recipe for shrimp paste. You can find fish paste at most Asian grocery stores either in the fresh seafood counter or frozen. Depending on the variety of fish, the paste may be either pink, pale gray, or gray.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chao/Doufu Ru (Fermented Bean Curd)

Fermented bean curd, called chao in Vietnamese and doufu ru in Chinese, is a type of pickled tofu. It is sometimes called "Chinese cheese" because of its similarities in smell, texture, and taste to softened bleu cheese. The dried fermented tofu may be pickled with salt, rice wine, or vinegar. Red fermented bean curd has chili peppers. The fermented bean curd is sold cubed with brine, in jars or clay pots.

Chao (Fermented Bean Curd)

It is popular in Vietnamese and Chinese cooking. Fermented bean curd is very strong in flavor so a little bit goes a long way.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How to Chop and Prepare Sugarcane

For Blondee47, who asked for directions after a many-many-months-long search to find sugarcane in Canada just so she can make my recipe for Chao Tom (Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp Paste Wrapped Around Sugarcane). And also because she always leaves such nice comments after she tries one of my recipes. :)

Sugarcane 1

OK, so go into your backyard and cut down some sugarcane. What? You don't grow sugarcane in your backyard you say? You mean everyone doesn't do that?! If you don't grow your own sugarcane, I've seen them sold at the Farmers' Market - Alhambra, and in some Asian and Latino grocery stores.

My ba noi (paternal grandmother) planted this patch of sugarcane on a 1-foot wide strip behind my second-youngest uncle's house about 20 years ago.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pomegranate Blossoms

The very first pomegranate blossom on my tree. I can't wait until I can taste these incredibly sweet pomegranates again.
Pomegranate Blossoms 1
Pomegranate Blossoms 2
Pomegranate Blossoms 3
For your viewing pleasure, Garden Updates are now all cataloged and sorted with a list of what flower, fruit, or vegetable pictures can be found in each post. Enjoy! ***** 1 year ago today, a discussion on "authenticity" during lunch at Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen - Orange.

Monday, April 14, 2008

World's Smallest Mangoes?

I was at my second-youngest uncle's house recently when his wife gave me some mangoes to take home. I think they may quite possibly be the world's smallest mangoes? Ignore my fat fingers for a minute, but aren't the mangoes so very cute? I think they're champagne mangoes.
World's Smallest Mangoes 1
World's Smallest Mangoes 2
World's Smallest Mangoes 3
Look at the skinny seed! My aunt kept giggling every time she ate one and got to the center with the oh-so-thin seed.
World's Smallest Mangoes 4
She bought a whole case of them. Second-youngest uncle said they were more work, but I guess he just doesn't appreciate the absurdity like we did. :) ***** 1 year ago today, my oldest uncle's wife's nem nuong (Vietnamese grilled pork patties). And mine too!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate DrizzleCorn

Last Thanksgiving, my brother brought me a bag of peanut butter and white chocolate drizzled popcorn from Dale and Thomas. I had completely forgotten about it until now.
Peanut Butter and White Chocolate DrizzleCorn 1
It doesn't look like much...
Peanut Butter and White Chocolate DrizzleCorn 2
...until you look closer. See the drizzles of peanut butter and white chocolate? Mmm.
Peanut Butter and White Chocolate DrizzleCorn 3
They were a little stale after having sat around for six months, but my brother says that's how they normally taste. I think my brother said he bought it from Whole Foods. I'm not a huge popcorn fan so I've always been satisfied with a $1 bag of freshly popped kettle corn from the farmers' market in Alhambra. After typing up this post, I now have such a craving for Garrett's buttery caramel popcorn. I hope my Chicago readers will eat some for me! ***** 1 year ago today, my second-youngest uncle's wife's bun rieu (Vietnamese shrimp and crab noodle soup), packed to go.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Southern Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes with Cream Gravy Redux

Mashed Potatoes and Southern Fried Chicken

"Who just wakes up and decides to make homemade fried chicken?" asked my cousin's cousin's daughter who was over that day. Evidently, I do.

Later on when their mom came to pick them up, my cousin's cousin's son said, "Mom, she even makes her own gravy." They sounded so perplexed.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Calbee Seaweed and Salt Potato Chips

They look like sour cream and onion potato chips, but they're not.
Calbee Seaweed and Salt Potato Chips 1
Seaweed and salt potato chips from Calbee, the same company that brought you shrimp-flavored chips. If you like eating strips of toasted seaweed, then you'll like these. Yes, there were bigger chips in the bag, but *burp* I ate them all before I remembered to take photos. :P The "new BBQ" flavor actually tasted like Chicken in a Bisket, remember those? Not bad but at $1.89 for a 2.8-oz bag, once for the novelty factor was enough.
Calbee Seaweed and Salt Potato Chips 2
Care to see other wacky "fun food"? It's now all categorized! San Gabriel Superstore 1635 San Gabriel Blvd. San Gabriel, CA 91776 626-280-9998 ***** 1 year ago today, oh how the mighty have fallen. One of my favorite dim sum restaurants is now lackluster at best - NBC Seafood Restaurant in Monterey Park.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ta Prohm - Cambodia

Ta Prohm 1

This was my favorite. Here's a map to Angkor Archeological Park again so you can get an idea of where Ta Prohm is in relation to other buildings.

Ta Prohm (ancestor Brahma) was built by King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Previously called Rajavihara (royal temple), Ta Prohm was built in 1186 as the first in a series of public works constructions when the king ascended the throne.

The French decided to leave the trees alone in order to retain the romantic feel of Ta Prohm when they began conserving the temples of Angkor at the beginning of the 20th century. The two trees are the silk cotton and strangler fig. I think the pictures speak for themselves.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Angkor Thom: Victory Gate, Bayon Temple, Prasats Suor Prat, Terrace of the Leper King, Terrace of the Elephants, and Phimeanakas - Cambodia

So after our very early morning exploring Angkor Wat, we went back to the hotel for breakfast and a nap. Then it was onto to Angkor Thom (great city). Here's a map to Angkor Archeological Park so you can get an idea of where buildings are in relation to each other. And this is a close-up map of Angkor Thom grounds. Again according to Wikipedia, Angkor Thom was the last and most enduring Khmer capital. It was built in the 12th century by king Jayavarman VII. Former state temples Baphuon and Phimeanakas, built centuries earlier on the site, were incorporated into the Royal Palace. Statues on the bridge to the Victory Gate entrance into Angkor Thom.

Angkor Thom 1

The statues appear to be engaged in a tug of war, perhaps a recreation of the Churning of the Sea of Milk? If you notice, the statue in front appears well-preserved. Too well-preserved. Throughout the years, many of the original heads have been stolen and sold on the black market.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Angkor Wat - Cambodia

Angkor Wat 1

Angkor was the capital of the Cambodian/Khmer empire from the 9th to 15th century, according to Wikipedia. The word Angkor comes from the Sanskrit word nagara (city). The Angkorian period began in 802 AD, when Jayavarman II declared himself "god-king" of Cambodia, and ended in 1431, when the capital was sacked by the Siamese. Apsara dancers, priests, and artisans were carted off. The Khmers then abandoned Angkor and moved the capital to Phnom Penh.

Today, the Angkor Archaeological Park administers about a hundred major temples and other buildings in an area 15 miles wide by 5 miles long, but also includes sites 30 miles away such as Kbal Spean. There were an estimated 1,000 buildings, but many of them are lost to the jungle or reduced to rubble. During Angkorian times, the area around the temples was approximately 1,150 square miles (3,000 square kilometers), about the size of Los Angeles, making it the largest pre-industrial complex of its kind. For comparison, the next largest sprawling complex is the 50-square mile Mayan city of Tikal. At its height, Angkor had a population of 1 million people. Again for comparison, at the time Paris only had 50,000 inhabitants.

Since it's pretty much impossible to sum up everything into one post, I'd encourage you to read the History of Cambodia for a better understanding of the pre-Angkorian civilizations of Funan and Chenla, and post-Angkorian history including French colonialism and the Khmer Rouge era. For more descriptive details about each building, The Angkor Guide is a translation of Maurice Glaize's 1944 guide. The buildings were built with a combination of brick, sandstone, and laterite, which you can read more about in architecture of Cambodia for a discussion of building materials, techniques, and styles. I hope the quick summary gives you a glimpse into the importance and majesty of Angkor.

In trying to write about my trip, I found it really hard to describe the immense scale of the whole complex and how the buildings related to each other. I took a couple of pictures of illustrations from the May 1982 and August 2000 issues of National Geographic so you can get a better idea of what I'm talking about. To sustain such a massive population in the pre-industrial world, the Angkorians built countless canals that redirected water from nearby Tonle Sap Lake. The Western and Eastern Barays were man-made reservoirs with temples in the center that can only be visited by boat. The Eastern Baray, which once held 50 million cubic meters of water, is now dry, but the Western Baray is still intact. The bottom square in the illustration below is Angkor Wat. The square in the middle is Angkor Thom, which I'll get to in the next post. Driving around, I can remember seeing water everywhere. Despite the crowds of tourists, the fact that this was all man-made more than a thousand years ago, and seeing that it yet still survives today was simply awe-inspiring.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Khmer Classical Dance at Koulen Restaurant - Siem Reap - Cambodia

I'm not sure when I first heard of Angkor Wat. I think it was probably an issue of National Geographic from the early 80s. I remember an article about various conservation efforts. Different temples were doled out to different countries, or was it the other way around? One country merely flecked off weeds and roots, cleaning the surface but removing fine details of temple faces along the way.

Angkor Wat National Geographics

Years later when I lived in London, the BBC aired a documentary featuring the temples of Angkor with computer recreations of what the ancient city might have looked like at its peak. Reality is that by the time Cambodia was safe enough for me to travel, it was also safe enough for tons of other tourists as well. My inner Indiana Jones had to contend with crowds of obnoxiously loud tour groups. Still, that was a minor annoyance in order to explore ancient ruins I'd been anticipating for years.

My friends and I only had a weekend free so we tried to pack in as much as we reasonably could. We flew from Saigon to Siem Reap on a Friday in the late afternoon and left on Sunday. After very long lines to get our landing visas processed and checking into the hotel, our tour guide suggested a buffet dinner and show of Cambodian classical and folk dance.

The 2005 price for dinner and show at Koulen Restaurant was $10 USD. The food was unremarkable, but most people weren't there for the food. This was prior to blogging so I didn't take pictures of the unremarkable food anyway.

According to Wikipedia, Khmer classical dance, is also referred to as royal ballet and court dance because during French colonization it was mainly performed by concubines, relatives, and attendants of the palace. The dancers are called apsaras. Khmer classical dance goes back as far as the 7th century. Apsaras can be seen on various Angkor temple walls. (Keep this in mind because I'll be pointing this out in the next post.) Temple dancers served as entertainers and messengers to the divinities.

During the 15th century, the dancers, priests, and artisans were taken away when Angkor fell to the Siamese (Thai) kingdom of Ayutthaya. But the worst blow was between 1975 to 1979 when the Khmer Rouge killed 90% of all classical artists because dance was thought of as aristocratic. Survivors somehow managed to find each other to keep alive this ancient tradition. (I'll interject here for a little bit in regards to my previous post. I realize that when traveling some people don't want their enjoyment marred by reminders of human cruelty. While that's understandable, for me, sometimes there is no separation. Take for instance the above paragraph. I'm sure for many of the tourists there that night, all they saw were pretty costumes. What I saw was a ancient art form that had to struggle to even survive. Knowing that, did I enjoy the show more than the other tourists? I don't know. But I do know that I appreciated the dancers for more than their pretty costumes.) Apsaras use elaborate gestures and movements in order to tell a story. I think (?) they're performing the Reamker or Ramakerti, the Khmer version of the Ramayana (an ancient Sanskrit epic that's part of the Hindu canon).

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Dith Pran and the Killing Fields Memorial in Siem Reap, Cambodia

WARNING: If you're just here for the food, you may not want to read this post. If, however, you're here for me, then carry on.

For those of you who requested more travel stories, well, it's not always about the pretty pictures. Oh, don't worry, you'll eventually get the pretty pictures but later. Later. Perhaps this post will signal the beginning of more random musings. Perhaps not.

I had intended to post more travel stories, but wasn't quite sure where to begin. And then last week, three things converged. It began with a discussion with Oanh of Halfway Between Ca Mau and Saigon about Cambodian influences on Vietnamese cuisine, and vice versa. My cousin's Cambodian friend, whom we consider an honorary family member, came into town. And Dith Pran, New York Times photographer and Killing Fields survivor, died on March 30 from pancreatic cancer.

But this story, for me anyway, really began almost 30 years ago. In first grade, the only thing I knew about Cambodia was what my friend told me. It was a poor country. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge killed many of her family members. And when the milk went sour, she still drank it because food was never wasted. I never really questioned these things. Afterall, Vietnam was also a poor country, my family had also survived a war, and food was a luxury for us too. We probably gravitated toward each other because we were the only Asian refugee kids in the class. (At the time, I was the only one of my cousins in school, and their cousins were in different grades.) She moved away after that year.

In 1984, when the film "The Killing Fields" aired on television, Cambodia meant countless atrocities and sadness. The Khmer Rouge killed 25% of Cambodia's population, an estimated 1.5 to 2 million people died from starvation, forced labor, or were massacred. Cambodia's population in 1975 was about 7.5 million. The movie is the reenactment of Dith's story, of his escape from Cambodia, and the horrors he witnessed. He coined the term "The Killing Fields." I was honored to meet him in 1997. I'd encourage you to read the New York Times' obituary and special section on Dith to gain more insight into this remarkable man.

Dith Pran

In college, I volunteered to tutor Southeast Asian (mainly Cambodian) kids at a drop-in center in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. Many of the kids came from dysfunctional families. Their parents had gambling and alcohol addictions, and untreated psychological trauma from enduring the Killing Fields firsthand.

Years and years later, during the summer of 2005 when I was in Vietnam, I and two friends went to Siem Reap, Cambodia for the weekend to explore the Angkor archaeological ruins. (Don't worry, I'll show you see the pretty pictures of Angkor Wat and other temples in later posts.)

I knew about the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh and asked if there was something in Siem Reap as well. On the last day of our trip, our tour guide took us to a Buddhist monastery where skulls and bones of victims of the Killing Fields were laid to rest.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Che Dau Trang (Vietnamese Pudding with White Beans and Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk)

Since we were vaguely talking about che (Vietnamese dessert soup) (We were? Have you so quickly forgotten?), now was a good a time as any to post my recipe for Che Dau Trang (Vietnamese Dessert Pudding with White Beans and Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk). Unlike my recipe for Che Bap (Vietnamese Dessert Soup with Corn and Tapioca Pearls in Coconut Milk), there are no tapioca pearls in this che. Which was a good thing because when I made it, I had a craving for the coconut milk part of the dessert, but ran out of tapioca pearls. The white beans I used for this recipe are actually black-eyed peas, which was the way my ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother) made it.

Che Dau Trang 1

But before I get to the recipe, do you wanna hear a story? This is one of my sooo SoCal anecdotes that make living here so fun sometimes.

Years ago when I used to work in Orange County, I'd occasionally stop at the Banh Mi & Che CALI Bakery - Westminster (Little Saigon) to grab some sandwiches on the way home. At buy-2-get-1-free for $3, I always bought three sandwiches.

Every once in a while, if I saw a homeless guy sitting in front of the shop, I'd ask if he wanted a sandwich. To make it easier, I probably should have just offered one of my sandwiches on the way out. Because one time, one of the guys requested a #4, which was not the dac biet (special) and not eligible for the discount. Hmph! Man, I'm much too frugal to buy a sandwich that doesn't get me a discount, but I did ask, so I had to get it for him.

Anyway, another time, a different guy said another customer had already given him a sandwich but he'd love it if I bought him the che with the white beans and sticky rice. The amusing part? Both homeless men were white. :P

Friday, April 04, 2008

About and FAQs

Updated June 20, 2014:

Vietnamese Top 100 Foods to Try 2
100 Vietnamese Foods to Try


When I originally started Wandering Chopsticks in June 2006, I imagined the blog would serve up a handful of recipes and restaurant reviews. Just an index with some pictures. Rather devoid of personality actually. Sounds boring, right? But somewhere along the way, a little bit more of me crept in with each post. Then a little more. Then I started making friends, in real life and online. Then I started getting subscribers. (Who are all you regular lurkers anyway?) Then I started getting asked the same questions over and over again. Sooooo...since I'm coming up on my 1,000th+ (!!!) post, I guess it's time to write a "proper" "About and FAQs" page. I'll keep this link at the top of the navigation bar and update this page if necessary. Drop a comment if you'd like to ask anything that I haven't covered.

And in case you missed it, my Vietnamese food biases can be found on my original "About This Blog" post. My first year anniversary post answers "How and Why I Started Blogging."

Questions are a compilation of actual frequently asked questions, or just some points I wanted to make about the blog. I'll try to make this as readable as possible. Apologies for the rather stilted format.

Who is Wandering Chopsticks?
I live in Southern California. I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to share both with others. I also sometimes blog about where I've been, what's growing in my garden, or what quilt I'm working on. Occasionally, I have not-so-deep thoughts on all of the above, which you can find under Random Musings. If you're new to this blog, nose around there and you'll get a better sense of me.

Beyond that, if you're a faithful reader, you'll eventually fill in the blanks. If you're not a faithful reader, then I'm sorry, but I'm not answering personal questions from absolute strangers.

How do I navigate this site?
You can click on Directory to see links to major categories. The top of the navigation bar includes links to the Recipe index with (as of now anyway) more than 600 original recipes by yours truly; Restaurant index with more than 400 reviews; and Random Musings which are now separated by thoughts on blogging, family, food, and travel. The main directory link, however, also includes my Copyright and Attribution Requirements, Coupons and Discounts, Fun Food, Gardening, Quilting (and Some Crocheting and Knitting Too), Readers Cook Wandering Chopsticks' Recipes, and 15 Seconds of Fame.

On the sidebar, you'll also see my archives. Titles for the current month's posts are shown. Just click on the little arrow and previous months or years will drop down and show titles of each post too.

Or if you just feel like browsing through a subject, you can type a keyword into my searchbar or scroll down to my tag cloud and click on any subject. Hold your mouse over the categories and you can see how many posts I've written about that subject.

Also, if you haven't noticed, my Flickr widget includes random photos from the blog. So if a particular picture strikes your fancy, you can click on it, and it should include a link back to my original post so you can get more info on the recipe or restaurant. Consider it a random snapshot of my archives. If there's no link, then I uploaded the photo but haven't gotten around to blogging about it yet.

Bun Bo Hue 28
Bun Bo Hue (Vietnamese Hue-Style Beef Noodle Soup)

Why "Wandering Chopsticks"?
I originally answered this in my "5 Things About Me" post, but here it is again.
"I chose the name Wandering Chopsticks because I was thinking of something along the lines of traveling and eating.

Wandering Chopsticks is also a translation of the Japanese word mayoi-bashi, which is frowned upon by many Asians because it is considered rude to let your chopsticks hover over the dinner table while you decide what to eat. My momma taught me to eat what's in front of me, and to never appear to choose the best morsels for myself.

Wandering Chopsticks is also the title of an episode of a 1990s Japanese series called Baian the Assassin, Vol. 3: Wandering Chopsticks/Early Summer Rain. The very hunky Ken Watanabe stars as Baian, popular acupuncturist by day, professional assassin of villains at night. Hehe, and no, I didn't know about the Watanabe connection until after I had already chosen my alter-ego."
Why are you so mysterious? How come your real name and picture aren't on here?
I'm sure you're nice, but have you heard of stalkers and identity thieves? I'd rather not have exact details of anything easily available online.

Some people use blogging as their personal journals online. While I do share some details, I am not one of those people. Please respect that.

Why do you have "Wandering Chopsticks" watermarked on your pictures?
Unfortunately, far too many websites have repeatedly stolen entire posts, all the writing, the step-by-step photos, and the recipes and republished them on their websites. I know the watermarks don't look very nice, but not only do these websites steal and republish my entire content, they also cut off my peripheral watermarks and slap theirs on my photos. So I've had to resort to putting my watermarks in more central locations in the pictures in an attempt to subvert that from happening.

Not only are these thefts disheartening and bothersome, but Google ranks duplicate content lower in search results, which affects my overall blog traffic. It's a Catch-22, lower blog traffic means the blog appears lower in search results, which in turn lowers my blog traffic even more.

I put a lot of work into developing these recipes, photographing the process, editing the photos, and writing the posts to let someone else benefit from my hard work. I'm not talking about other websites taking a photo or snippets and linking back, these websites are stealing entire posts and pretending my content is theirs and making money off of it. This has happened fairly frequently. I hope readers can understand and deal with a slightly intrusive watermark in order for me to prevent such thefts from repeatedly happening.

Bun Rieu Cua Tom Oc (Vietnamese Crab and Shrimp Rice Vermicelli Noodle Soup with Snails) 2
Bun Rieu Cua Tom Oc (Vietnamese Crab and Shrimp Rice Vermicelli Noodle Soup with Snails)

Why are you so obsessed with food?
I've got some thoughts on this that will probably turn into a separate post at some point, which I'll link here if/when I do. On a deeper level, food connects me to my culture, my family, my history. Superficially, it's my primary means of socialization with my family and friends. Plus, I'm Asian, isn't being obsessed with food genetic? ;)

What do you hope to do with this blog?
I believe food is the most accessible way to learn about another culture. I may not be able to travel the world, but I can at least attempt to eat or cook every cuisine available to me. There's no deadline, it's a lifelong process. Through my recipes or restaurant reviews, I hope to encourage others to venture out and explore for themselves. As for the traveling and gardening stuff, I could talk about the interplay between travel/culture/cuisine or gardening/eating the foods you grow/eating local/eating organic/composting to reduce your impact on the environment, but I won't. The connections are there if you want to think about them.

How did you learn to cook? Where do your recipes come from?
I originally answered that and my philosophy about food in "How I Learned to Cook and My Ba Noi (Paternal Grandmother)'s Death Anniversary Dinner." Many of my Vietnamese and some of my Chinese recipes, I learned from helping my ba noi or my mom in the kitchen. As they didn't cook from recipes, I have since incorporated my own techniques and tastebuds. So while the initial cooking instruction might have come from my ba noi or my mom, the recipes are uniquely mine.

Sometimes I try to recreate a dish I ate somewhere, sometimes I get inspiration from other blogs, sometimes I just play around with my food. After I started the blog and explored more recipes or restaurants, I began cooking by taste. I rarely cook exact recipes. More likely, I glance at the list of ingredients and start mentally calculating what I'd like to adjust when I make it. If I used someone else's recipe entirely, rather than re-printing it here, I provide a link back to the original source. I also link back if I've adapted someone else's recipe. While I love sharing my recipes, they're written based upon my tastebuds. So please adjust recipes to suit your tastebuds.

If you're Vietnamese or Chinese and my recipe isn't exactly the way your momma made it, that's because I'm not your momma. So unless you're from my family, chances are you've got a different way of doing things. In some cases, you may be unfamiliar with some of the dishes I grew up with. In other cases, what you call something, in my region we call it something else. Just because you've always eaten a particular dish in a certain way doesn't mean that's the only way to do so. Please be respectful of regional diversity even within one ethnic cuisine.

Mainly, I cook for me, and for family and friends based upon what ingredients I have on hand or in my pantry. Substitutions exist. Because frankly, unless you're paying me, I'm not going to spend a lot of money for one ingredient if I'm not going to use it for any other dishes.

Recipes are written in the order I would do each step. I often tweak my recipes, adjusting measurements, clarifying steps, or updating with better photos. Many times, I just go ahead and make changes to the original post. Sometimes, I'll post a short note. If you wish the most current version of a recipe, then please check the original post again for any adjustments. My recipes are sorted alphabetically, by category and by cuisine. I also have a page with more than 100 of my Vietnamese recipes, sorted by category. If you're using my exact recipe and wish to blog about it, I really, really would prefer that you simply link back to my original post. If you're adapting my recipe, please be courteous and give me credit. I talk more about this below.

Hu Tieu Saigon (Vietnamese Clear Noodle Barbecued Pork and Shrimp Soup) 1
Hu Tieu Saigon (Vietnamese Clear Noodle Barbecued Pork and Shrimp Soup)

What are your restaurant recommendations?
Restaurants are sorted alphabetically, by city, by county and by cuisine. My recommended restaurants are located on my sidebar. In most cases, you can figure out what particular dishes I liked from each restaurant or how much I liked the restaurant based upon my post. I don't have an overall favorite restaurant since I go to different ones for different dishes. If you're searching for a particular dish, then please utilize the searchbar. You can then look through the various reviews and reach your own conclusion about which restaurants you would like to try.

Also, with an estimated 650 Chinese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, and 650 Vietnamese restaurants in Little Saigon, please do not ask me to suggest a "Chinese" or a "Vietnamese" restaurant in Southern California.

Can I give you a restaurant recommendation?
Sure. I always like getting tips, but can't guarantee I'll try it. Keep in mind, though, that if you're a complete stranger, giving me just a restaurant name doesn't do much. Providing details about what dishes you liked and why would be much more likely to encourage me to try an unknown place.

What is your restaurant review policy? Who pays?
I don't consider what I write "proper" restaurant reviews per se. They're snapshots of what I ate, sometimes with whom, sometimes a compilation of multiple visits. In short, my experience. Yours may be different. I pay for all my meals. "I," meaning me, my family, or my friends.

Free meals paid for by someone else or given by the restaurant will be stated as such.

Will you review my restaurant or product?
Maybe. If it's something I'm interested in. Contact me at wanderingchopsticks [at] gmail [dot] com and we can make arrangements. Just keep in mind that I make no guarantees that I will like what you give me. If I don't think it's relevant, I make no promises that I will even write about said product. I will only provide my honest opinion.

Canh Bap Cai Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Cabbage Soup) 1
Canh Bap Cai Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Cabbage Soup)

When do you post? How come the posts sometimes come in batches?
I try to blog regularly but am not always able to do so. I like to plan out a post a day. Many times the posts have a vague connection to each other or build upon a previous one. But then something comes up, which necessitates a newer dated entry, so I don't get around to writing what I originally intended until later. But the post is still dated for when I originally intended to publish it. Or I'll publish several posts at once. Which is simply my long way of telling you that sometimes just looking at the post at the top of the page may not necessarily be the most recently written entry. Most people don't care, but if you really don't want to miss an entry, just scroll down the main page. I keep the three most recent entries on the opening page. Why do I do this? I'm quirky like that. It's an organizational thing, which only makes sense to me.

When do you reply to comments? What's your comment policy?
I try to reply to all comments when I put up a new post. I get an email from Blogger whenever someone leaves a comment. So if you left a question on an older post, just check back in that thread and your reply will be there. You can also check the box to get updated replies by email.

I used to have a pretty open comment policy. After repeated Spam or rude commenters, I have taken off the anonymous option. If you're not a blogger but would like to leave a comment, you can create an account on Blogger or Gmail. I reserve the write to delete any Spam or rude comments. For more clarification on what caused this change, you can read my post "Musings on Tea Tree, Thank You Cards, and Meyer Lemons."

Why do you reply back on comments instead of email?
If you want a reply by email then email me. Otherwise, sometimes questions asked in comments may answer someone else's questions as well. Also, I view comments as an ongoing conversation with many of my regular readers.

Do you answer all emails?
Yes, unless you're rude or too nosy. I especially love complimentary emails. :) If you catch me online when I'm updating my blog, or if it's a quick question, I usually reply pretty quickly. Otherwise, it may take a few days or a week, or if I'm terribly busy, even a month. If you didn't get a reply, then send again. Your email may have never reached me or ended up in my Spam folder. Also, check your Spam folder, my reply to you might have gotten junked.

Goi Ga Bap Cai (Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad) 1
Goi Ga Bap Cai (Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad)

Will you answer my questions about... ? Do you have a recipe for... ? Where can I get... ? Why does this... ? Which one do you like more... ?
Depends. Are you sure I haven't answered it already? I spent a lot, and I do mean a lot, of time compiling my archive directory. It's quite extensive, so please utilize the directory or my searchbar. If it's something that can be found online, then please use Google or whichever search engine of your choice. If it's very clear that you didn't even bother to look through my archives or use my searchbar, I won't be very helpful.

If, after you've done all that, and still want to ask me a question, please make it as specific as possible. I've said it before, with 650 Vietnamese restaurants in Little Saigon, 650 Chinese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, and 650 Korean restaurants in Koreatown, DO NOT ask me for a "Vietnamese" or a "Chinese" or a "Korean" restaurant recommendation. The restaurant index is sorted by city, county, and cuisine. Please utilize it. Searching for a specific dish? Use the searchbar. However, if you have a very specific question, and want my opinion, then I might be able to help you.

Be very specific. What area are you looking? Type of cuisine? Price range? How many people? Etc. Otherwise, use my searchbar or look through my archives. I've been repeatedly getting questions from people that are easily answered if they had only bothered to do a simple search. If I sound annoyed, that's because I am. I'm trying to be nice about it, but if you're too lazy to click on my restaurant index or type in a search, why should I bother helping you? And if you do email me, tell me what you have looked at, so I don't waste time directing you to information you've already seen. Please be considerate of my time as well.

Do you really expect a "thank you" after you reply to my email?
Yes. An email after I've answered your question with a quick "thank you" is all I ask. If you don't have the courtesy of thanking me, I will ignore any future emails.

For more thoughts on this subject, you can read "Musings on Tea Tree, Thank You Cards, and Meyer Lemons" but to summarize:
"But after almost two years of blogging, answering a lot of emails, I'm tired of people who never learned manners. No. No. This doesn't apply to my blogging friends and regular readers. I'm talking about the random people who delurk to ask long, detailed questions. After I reply, they don't even have the courtesy to write a quick thank you. Now, I'm not saying you have to be Dave and thank me on your wedding day (Although, I surely did appreciate it Dave!).

You should always say thanks when you ask someone to do something for you. And emailing me to ask a question, which I take time out of my day to respond to, sometimes in very lengthy replies, constitutes as asking someone to do something for you. After I reply, all I ask is for a quick thank you. This has happened often enough that I'm seriously bothered by it. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least half a dozen other bloggers who have mentioned this same problem."
Yaki Udon (Japanese Stir-Fried Udon Noodles) 1
Yaki Udon (Japanese Stir-Fried Udon Noodles)

I love your blog, how can I support you?
Aww, shucks. Thanks for the compliment. If you tried any of the restaurants or my recipes, I'd love to get your feedback. Please leave a comment in the original post since others may find it useful as well.

You can also bookmark and share favorite posts so that others can discover it too. It's easy. Just use the handy little bookmark icon at the end of each post.

As for monetary support, your visits pay my advertisers, who in turn pay me. If you use my Amazon link to search for and then purchase products, I get a whopping 4% commission. I try not to make the ads too intrusive, but honestly, the money does help defray some of the costs of groceries and dining out. It's really a drop in the bucket though in terms of the amount of time I spend grocery shopping, cooking, photographing, sorting through photos, watermarking photos, uploading photos, and then writing my posts.

Can I be on your blog?
Glad you asked. I've started a series called Readers Cook WC's Recipes. Please check it out if you're interested.

Can I come over for dinner?
I get that if you've been reading my blog for a while, you think you know me. However, I don't know you. If you're not a blogger, and you've never, ever commented on my blog or sent me an email, so as an absolutely complete stranger, your first contact with me is to ask if you and your husband can come over for dinner for cooking lessons, this is a guaranteed way to freak me out. No, I am not making this up. Yes, the person was completely serious. I should clarify that I was discussing dinner plans with online friends on another website. Maybe the person thought it was an open invitation, when it clearly was not. As a result, I was so rattled, I didn't blog for weeks. So please, do not freak me out and do not stalk me elsewhere online. So no, if I've never met you, if you aren't a blogging friend or acquaintance, if you aren't a reader who emails me regularly, if you aren't even a regular commenter, you cannot come over for dinner.

Can I link to you? Will you link to me?

Yes, feel free to add a link to me if you like my blog. However, my sidebar is reserved for blogs that I actually read. Please don't take it personally.

Crock Pot Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) 1
Crock Pot Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

How do you pronounce pho?
Pho is your friend, not your foe. Please do not pronounce it as such. The ? accent in Vietnamese sounds like a question, so say pho? as if it were a question and you'd be closest to its proper pronunciation.

How do you spell banh mi?
NH always. Nh. Nh. Nh. Is that clear? I cringe every time I see it misspelled.

When are you gonna post a recipe for com ga Hai Nam (Hainanese chicken rice)?
Not sure. Family recipe and all that. Plus, my aunties and uncles make it often enough to satisfy my occasional craving. And yes, the family recipe knocks the socks off Savoy Kitchen's version, or any other restaurant version actually. And no, asking me repeatedly won't get you the recipe, it only annoys me further.

Why is my Vietnamese coffee dripping so quickly? I tried screwing the filter tighter?
Sigh. Please read my recipe for Ca Phe Sua Da again. In detail. I've bolded the key points.

Ga Ro Ti (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken) 1
Ga Ro Ti (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken)

May I have your permission to use your photo or recipe on my blog or elsewhere online? Can I use your pictures for a presentation for school?
For educational, non-commercial purposes, I might say yes. I'd appreciate sending me an email request first.

For online usage, again, please read my recent post "Musings on Tea Tree, Thank You Cards, and Meyer Lemons" for my feelings on the matter. To repeat myself,
"I will say it again. I really, really do not like other people using my photos. If you must, then you need to attribute it to Wandering Chopsticks and link back to me. (But seriously, if you're already making my recipe, why aren't you photographing it and posting that photo? Too much work you say? Then think of the amount of work I put in to cook, photograph, organize photos, watermark, upload, and then blog about it.) If you're using my recipe in its entirety, then I prefer that you link back to my recipe post instead of posting it on your blog. If you're adapting my recipe, then have the courtesy to say it was adapted from Wandering Chopsticks and link back to me. If you have any ads on your blog at all, then republishing my photos or recipes violates the non-commercial terms of my copyright notice."
And so you can't say you didn't know, my full copyright notice is below.

Copyright © 2006-2014 by Wandering Chopsticks

I spend a lot more time than I should eating out, cooking, photographing, and writing about it for this blog. I love sharing my food finds and creations with all of you. However, that does not give you the right to steal my images or words. All photos and text on Wandering Chopsticks are protected under the 1998 United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act. You do NOT have permission to reprint my photos or text without my permission. You may republish parts of my text or photos provided you adhere to the following copyright and attribution requirements below.

Also, I spent a great deal of time gathering information, thinking up, and writing my copyright and attribution requirements. This is not a form. I did not cut and paste this post from somewhere else. It saddens me that I have to say this, but if you found this post useful, please write your own copyright and attribution requirements in your own words. Do not cut and paste mine.

Copyright © 2006-2014 by Wandering Chopsticks. All rights reserved. Do not copy my content without my permission or without attribution. It makes me angry. And when I get angry, I tell people about content thieves.

Attribution Requirements
You do NOT have permission to republish any of my posts or recipes in their entirety. What you may republish are excerpts of my text or recipes, or you may republish a photo to illustrate a post, provided that you adhere to the following requirements. That means you may reprint parts of my text or recipes, or a photo, but NOT BOTH.

For photographs:
If you reprint a photograph from Wandering Chopsticks, you must state, "Photo by Wandering Chopsticks." This must appear either directly above or below the photograph, and must be in the same size font as the rest of your text. You must also provide a working clickable link back to the post in which the photograph appeared. You also are not allowed to cut out my watermark.

For recipes:
If you are using my exact recipe, you do NOT have permission to reprint it on your blog. You may include the list of ingredients, but then you must write the directions in your own words and provide a working clickable link back to that post on Wandering Chopsticks. Example: "Recipe from Wandering Chopsticks"

If your recipe is an adaptation, it should say "Recipe adapted from or inspired by Wandering Chopsticks," you must also provide a working clickable link back to the original recipe on Wandering Chopsticks.
Example: Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage recipe adapted from Wandering Chopsticks
On linking back: All links back must be working clickable links directly to the exact blog post or the Wandering Chopsticks main page.

Example: Wandering Chopsticks not just typing out http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com

For text:
If you quote any part of Wandering Chopsticks, you need to place quotes or highlight the copied text in such a way as to make it clear that the quoted portion is NOT yours. You must also include the title of the post you're quoting, state "By or From Wandering Chopsticks," and provide a working clickable link back to the original post you're citing.

Example: From "Coq au Vin (French Chicken with Wine): the French Meal I Wished I Had,"by Wandering Chopsticks,

"He sends me an email in French a month later telling me how he'll always treasure the memories of our walk in Paris. He closes with a phrase that my fluent French-speaking friend insists isn't to be taken literally. But it's oh so lovely, that I choose to take the meaning as such.

"Je t'embrasse tendrement partout et surtout avec délicatesse,"which according to worldlingo.com means "I tenderly kiss you everywhere and especially with delicacy.""


You may not use this work for commercial purposes or advertising. Do not use any words or photographs from this blog in any way in which you make money. That means that if you are a business or have any ads on your website, you may NOT use any of my photos or text. Please link back to me and to the exact post instead.

No Derivative Works

You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work. You may re-size but you may not crop or edit my photos. You may not remove my watermark. If you choose to republish my photos, you must host them on your own server.

If you're unclear about any of this, please email me first at wanderingchopsticks [at] gmail [dot] com .

1 year ago today, dainty little Cucumber Sandwiches.