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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Year of the Cat! (Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!)

A New Day, a New Year... a New Post.

After much contemplation, consideration and the general consensus among many of my friends: I will continue posting on this blog. David was sure to be loud and clear in his opinion that: I can still write on this blog and work on my own writing at the same time--which is true. However, as foolish as it may be, I sometimes need to see for myself that, in fact, the grass is not always greener on the other side. Overall, what David said that impressed me most was: "You're not a writer unless your writing is being consumed by the public... otherwise, you're just writing in a diary."

So, Public, here's your first post of Tết, the Vietnamese (Lunar) New Year!

almond cookies, red-bean mooncakes and sesame balls

After finishing my lunch shift, late, yesterday afternoon, I called David to see if he'd like to go out, to celebrate Tết with me, or if he'd rather I pick up some Vietnamese food to celebrate Tết at home with. Having had a bit of a late start to his day, he opted for the latter. I walked the short walk into Chinatown and stopped at the first bakery I saw which was selling mooncakes (a Chinese cake traditionally eaten on the new year) and while there, also picked up sesame balls and almond cookies--two of my favorite childhood desserts.

Next, I stopped at Phở Pasteur, our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown (quite possibly the best) and picked up two orders of chả giò, Vietnamese fried spring rolls.

chả giò from Phở Pasteur

About thirty minutes later, the A train depositing me in Inwood, I stopped at PJ Wine and picked up two bottles of bubbly: Marques de Gelida, brut cava, 2006 and Riondo, "Pink," spago argento rosé prosecco (for the dessert course). I also stopped at Fine Fare and picked up, upon David's request, lemons, garlic and maraschino cherries--with which he used to rouge our drinks "for good luck."


Tết "champagne cocktail" with elderberry flower syrup and maraschino cherries

With the lemons and garlic, David made homemade nước mắm lal (special fish sauce), Vietnamese dipping sauce, for the spring rolls. He also made homemade fried rice with egg and scallions and we were sure to not to do any sweeping (otherwise we'd be sweeping up our good luck)! At midnight, we covered ourselves in a red blanket, went outside, came back inside--ensuring for ourselves, we'd be the first to enter our home in the new year, bringing with us, good luck...


So far, so good!
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