Salut Summer

IMG_2612.jpgDear reader,

Summer is in full swing in Toronto at the moment. People rejoice in the sun, flaunting their collection of tank tops, shorts and yoga pants, while sipping cups after cups of iced tea blissfully. The city is alive, with flowers in their multitude of colors and trees at their prime. Occasionally there are heatwave warnings – temperature could reach 40 degrees with heavy thunderstorms – but hey I spent the last two months in Vietnam! The humidity, the untimely rain when you’re about to go out, the scorching hot sun – all will be a breeze. Continue reading

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Home is where the kitchen is

Dear reader,

Home is where the kitchen is. Are you with me on this? It’s not just any kitchen, it’s your kitchen, where fancified ramen cups and leftover takeouts exist peacefully with elaborate dinner plans, filled by organic grass-fed beef and leafy greens, without judgment.

And with that I welcome you to my new home. Continue reading

No-Recipe Beef Stew Recipe

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Dear reader,

For a long time, I thought bò kho (beef stew) – the type my family makes in Vietnam, was impossible without the pre-mixed little pouches of spices found in every mom-and-pop groceries store. You want bò kho? Grab a bò kho kit. Phở? Here are your phở cubes. We took shortcuts because shortcuts were always available, and it would be a crime to spend more time than necessary on something so basic, so ordinary like cooking. Continue reading

Happy New Year

Happy New Year dear reader,

How did you bid farewell to 2018? Did you have a good feast with your loved ones before departing for the countdown? Did you stay up until midnight and live vicariously through random strangers on your screen just to secretly laugh when they hustled back home after the fireworks? Or were you like me, watching a good movie and sleeping at 11:30, feeling reassured tomorrow the alarm clock won’t ring – a day free of all worries and obligations. That is pretty much the best feeling in the world. What can I say, I’m a party pooper. Continue reading

Dear Future Children

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Lately I find myself drawn to observing babies/toddlers/children everywhere I go. Some are adorable with their chubby little toes and fingers, their high-pitched voice, their enthusiasm and excitement at all things in their sight. Some are just a bunch of nuisances (for lack of a better word). They cry; they kick; they make scenes. So dear reader, what are the perks then, of being a parent, besides speaking in silly voices to your baby without being judged? I wonder how my parents felt when I was growing up. Was I a bundle of joy or was I a nuisance?

Continue reading

Security Blanket. Comfort Food for the Lost Soul

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8am. It’s raining outside. My hair is a frizzball. My body too lazy to move for its own good. Still obligations await and (other people’s) business to settle. With all the willpower that I have, I get out of the house swimming in a shirt so loose you can barely see my body. On top of it is a shawl/scarf/blanket/rug (fashion police can sue me). Hide me hide me. If I have to get up and present myself to the world, the least I can do is be comfortable wearing whatever I want and not giving a damn about how hideous it looks. Continue reading