Back to Stirring the Pot

Hi Globetrotters,

Happy Labor Day Weekend! I hope you all have some thing wonderful planned, whatever brings you joy. Enjoy this precious time to reconnect with yourself or others.

Lately, I have been cooking for Vietnamese food at home. I made Bún Bo Huế (my favorite Vietnamese dish of all time), Vietnamese coffee (for Mr. Lumberjack) and Bún Rieu. There are more on the cooking list, to be cooked in the near future. It has brought me immense happiness to be able to do this for many reasons.

First, I like sharing my cooking with my family. I want Mr. Lumberjack to learn about Vietnamese food. Here in Chicago, Mexican food is more accessible than Vietnamese food. I have tried many more Mexican dishes than he has tried Vietnamese food. So if I have to cook it, I will.

Second, I usually freeze some for my mom and then I bring it over on the weekend. She loves it. She usually doesn’t have to cook when she comes home from work, which makes her life easier. She loves the Vietnamese food too, of course. It reminds her of home.

Third, I think overall Vietnamese food is one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. There are a lot of herbs and it is very easy to substitute meat with vegetables. At restaurants, sometimes chefs season with a lot of sugar, MSG (it isn’t poisonous to you as once publicized but it isn’texactly healthy either) or salt. I want to control what goes into my food.

Lastly, I don’t like the thought of forgetting your heritage, so I make a personal effort to learn. My mom never taught me family recipes. The only thing I really learned is to skim the fat off of everything, which is very helpful.

I identify as American first and foremost (which some people forget American doesn’t mean white. That’s another topic for another day). On the other hand, I am ethnically Vietnamese; It is part of my identity.

That is what I am working on for my personal growth. Hand in hand, I try some Mexican dishes. I did marry a Mexican, so that means learning and accepting his culture as well. I made Birria and I brought it over for his parents.

Side note: I am not going to lie, I was pretty worried it was going to be different from what they are used to. They did 🙂 .

Well, something lately sparked in me and inspired me to start cooking more traditional food. I guess that this stay-at-home has given us a little something we may all need-to look within yourself. I have never been happier.



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