On Me-Time and the Simple Pleasure of Moving Slowly

Dear reader, how has your weekend been? Did you finally get round to shopping for Christmas after sleeping in until 12 noon? Did you manage to try out that Instagram-worthy brunch place people have been raving about? Or did you stay at home in your pj all day, eat leftover pasta for lunch then attempt to whip up a proper decent dinner? Because if you did, high five! I did too. Continue reading

September and My Xôi Memories

Autumn. September. Time to get back to school. Streets are full of motorcycles with students in uniform at the back seat carrying colorful backpacks. School entrance is a battleground of various sounds demanding to be heard: lively music celebrating the wonderful student life and how exciting it is to learn new things, chattering from breakfast vendors whose trade relies entirely on a bicycle, gas buzzing from the pump of balloon sellers (my primary school requires each student to bring a balloon to release to the sky so yes balloon business thrives on 5th September), and of course the first-school-day encouraging and motivating conversations between parents and their children. That is the picture you can paint for any primary schools. When students grow older, 5th September seems less of a fun fair and more of an orderly unloading bay, where parents drop children off and then leave for work. Continue reading

Bánh bột – My childhood favorite

Boc boc boc…that sound keeps playing on my mind whenever I remember my mom at the stove stirring and stirring continuously, preparing bánh bột (savory coconut cake).

A family rooted in Bến Tre where there is an abundant supply of coconut, we’ve always had this crazy love for the wonder fruit. We make no excuse to let coconut make its way into our cooking: fish sauce made with the juice instead of plain water gives it a natural sweet taste while the milk in chè (sweet soup) acts a flavor enhancer. When it comes to bánh bột, coconut milk is absolutely a must. Continue reading