All to­gether now

FOR NGOC MINH NGO, IT IS A SHARED LOVE OF VIET­NAMESE DISHES THAT BRINGS HER SCAT­TERED FAM­ILY BACK TO­GETHER

The Simple Things - - LIVING - Recipes, words & pho­tog­ra­phy: NGOC MINH NGO/TAVERNE AGENCY

My mother’s great­est joy is to see her ex­tended fam­ily gath­ered to­gether for one of her Viet­namese feasts. Noth­ing gives her more plea­sure than to see her Amer­i­can-born grand­chil­dren slurp­ing her noo­dle soup or de­vour­ing shrimp on su­gar cane.

De­spite our in­creas­ingly busy lives, and fam­i­lies spread far apart across the US, my sis­ters and I have made it a point to get to­gether as of­ten as pos­si­ble. We have be­gun to pay more at­ten­tion to our mother’s cook­ing with the hope of pass­ing on that knowl­edge to our own chil­dren one day.

Viet­namese cook­ing can be time con­sum­ing to pre­pare, but the process gives us the chance to catch up with one an­other, at ease in the kitchen. Talk con­tin­ues at the ta­ble, where all the dishes are put out at once, and ev­ery­one passes ev­ery­thing around. There are chop­stick-wield­ing hands go­ing ev­ery­where, to the sound of laugh­ter and un­ceas­ing con­ver­sa­tion. This is how I re­mem­ber my child­hood – al­ways a joy­ous oc­ca­sion and the food, in­vari­ably de­li­cious.

Ngoc (in pur­ple) with her fam­ily: mum Phi Truong (sit­ting), and sis­ters (from left), Anh, Trang, Hieu and An­nie, and Ngoc’s daugh­ter Lily

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.