It's the Year of the Horse! I hope you and your family enjoy a year of good health, wealth, and happiness. Last night, I put together a few collages from my recent trip to Southeast Asia and from the VWK archives.
The collage above captures part of my visit to Singapore, where as soon as December 25 passed, they set up for Chinese New Year. Lots of adorable little horses were on sale.
This next collage is from the week and a half that we spent in Vietnam. On the left are the following: the Saigon skyline at night and a few of the great people. People are overall, very happy. Maybe it's a Tet thing but I think not. Things are relatively up in and around Saigon.
In Cholon (Saigon's Chinatown), I saw Tet "trees" made of heads of garlic, hence the "Chuc Mung Nam Moi" banner. The Tet garlic trees are crowned with a golden ingot. The entire thing was about 18 inches (half a meter) tall.
On the right are images of me and a couple of friends we traveled with. That's me at a giant wok-like bowl in the kitchen of the Reunification Palace. My friend Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books (an amazing cookbook bookstore in San Francisco) took the photo; she's in the next photo holding a banh xeo sizzling rice crepe.
Then it's me again at Notre Dame cathredral lighting two candles for my parents who got married at the church. Finally, photographer David Hagerman posed with the Vietnam Airlines paper figure. Dave and I worked on an assignment in Vietnam and Celia and her partner met us in Saigon.
Today, I'm contemplating lots to eat. I've got the banh chung sticky rice cake and pot of pork riblets simmered in caramel sauce. They're ready to go. I found a bit of Viet charcuterie in the freezer from the banh mi photo shoot. Those items are part of a traditional Viet Tet meal.
But I'm also contemplating boiling a stash of dumplings in the freezer (I didn't throw those away!) or frying up spring rolls; the former evokes old Chinese ingots and the latter resemble gold bars. And the big hug dumplings filled with kimchi — for the Korean side of Lunar New Year. So much to eat, so little time and limited calories.
Wishing you a delicious food-filled year!