Published on January 17th, 20124
Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures…
Foodie-wise that is. Though I don’t presume to be a consummate foodie like my dear big sister (blogger at the scrumptious “Good Deal Meals“), after nearly 3 months now of eating out for every blessed meal here in Southeast Asia – suffice that I am DESPERATE for a home-cooked meal.
And the good news is… upon my return to HCMC from Sumatra, I moved (temporarily, til I find my own private apartment) into a most lovely rental (owned by my new Vietnamese friend “Hang”) with no less than 4 large bedrooms (each w/ private bath) plus fabulous spiral staircase, huge dining room, and best of all a FULL KITCHEN! Presently the place is vacant until Hang rents out all the rooms, but she’s kindly agreed to let me stay here gratis until I find my own place.
Hang has also been a tremendous help in ever so many things here, taking me to the local (HUGE) supermarket (a short walk from the apartment), inviting me to join her at the “English Club” (a gaggle of expats and Vietnamese that meet at a coffee shop 2 evenings per week to babble in conversational English/Vietnamese – great fun), translating for me at immigration (whilst I struggled with getting my visa extended – long story, worthy of its own separate post) giving me tips on Tet, the culture, Buddhism, etc. Indeed, such a wonderful guardian angel here for this newbie expat in Vietnam!
ANYWAY, about that KITCHEN… So far I’ve only used it to dabble in rustling up some glorified Top Ramen (albeit creatively adding my own fresh cilantro, butter lettuce, fresh bean sprouts and lime.) But today I went to the supermarket all by myself (it was a MADHOUSE ‘cuz everybody here is scurrying around preparing for Tet (the Lunar New Year – a VERY BIG DEAL here in Vietnam), and…
I suddenly had an urge to try making myself some “Western” fare, good ol’ BACON & EGGS!
Somehow in the chaos of the supermarket, I managed to grab a half dozen eggs (hoping they weren’t the kind w/ the embryo chick in them!) and even a small package of bacon.
Ah but once back at the Vietnamese kitchen actually making an omelet proved a tad tricky. Oh I found a frying pan, and happily chopped up some green onions and cilantro, along w/ a sliced tomato. Whisked three eggs with a spoon (I’ve yet to see a Vietnamese home with a f-o-r-k), dumped the eggs in the frying pan, topped ’em with the veggies, and finally – in a reckless moment of inspired culinary abandon – globbed on a couple of wedges of “Laughing Cow” cheese (hey, it’s très French!). Simmered it all a bit, but then…
Uh, spatula? Apparently the Vietnamese likewise never heard of such an instrument. Indeed, though I searched high and low in the kitchen, I could find utterly NO utensils other than soup spoons and CHOPSTICKS!
Clearly chopsticks wouldn’t prove useful in flipping an omelet, nor getting it to the plate.
Oh yeah – about that PLATE…
Once again, I could find nary a single flattish dish of any size in the entire kitchen. Plenty of rice bowls mind you, but a plate? Nuh-uh. I was going to have to eat my omelet and bacon out of a rice bowl, with a spoon and chopsticks.
Ah but nonetheless, oh my – my 1st home-cooked bacon and eggs suuuure tasted good!