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The Year of the Dragon

Updated: Feb 27

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This is the main weekend for celebrating Tet, the Lunar New Year. Tet is also a celebration of spring and is the biggest holiday of the year. Many businesses are closed, though a lot are still open in the tourist areas. People are with their families, frequently wear traditional clothes and spend time at holy sites. Tet 2024 is the year of the dragon. The dragon is an extraordinary creature that symbolizes strength, good fortune and prosperity. Perhaps this will be a year of feeling the power of our inner light and love.



Paul and I went from Saigon's ungodly swarms of motorbikes to more manageable but still stressful numbers in Hoi An Central to relaxing An Bang beach just a few miles from central Hoi An.


Rainbow Sweets was a restaurant in Marshfield, Vermont with a gregarious chef-owner. He treated us like personal guests and introduced everyone in the restaurant to each other. Rainbow Sweets was not a place to have a quiet private meal. Kids had fun there. I had not come across another restaurant like Rainbow Sweets until we discovered Beach Village Restaurant in An Bang Beach, Hoi An. Mr. Dong, the chef-owner and fun host greeted us and kept us engaged in lively conversation until we were talking with our neighbors. One man was there with his two young children enjoying the atmosphere and food. He and his family live in a different country every few years because he and his wife are embassy workers.


Mr. Dong advised everyone to order grilled fish wrapped in banana leaf flavored with tamarind. Yum! He and his wife cook and serve traditional recipes taught to them by their Vietnamese and Indian families. The cozy restaurant is down a peaceful alleyway. Partway through the meal we noticed a cute dog at our feet. We also saw her on our beach walk the following morning.


Tuesday we learned to cook fish wrapped in a banana leaf grilled over wood from a wonderful chef named Van. We are fortunate that she has a gift for sharing traditional Vietnamese cuisine through her cooking class. She took us to an engaging open-air market where we learned how to expertly choose ingredients. Each of the eleven students then joyfully experienced preparing a dish with Van's guidance. Van is a warm delightful person with a great sense of humor. Everything we cooked was adaptable to different diet preferences. Van would seamlessly include various meat or non-meat proteins. 11:11: Eleven reasonably fit people lost control and ate eleven dishes of food because this was the most delicious food in a country where we thought we already had already eaten the best food ever. For my vegetarian curry dish, I got to make fresh coconut milk which added so much. Help, I may never be able to go back to using coconut milk from a can. I look forward to sharing my new recipes with all of you.


CLICK THE ARROW TO PLAY THE SLIDE SHOW OF OUR FABULOUS COOKING CLASS


My next blog post will begin with our afternoon at Marble Mountain where the mountains themselves are made of limestone, marble and sacred sites. Stay tuned.




Enjoy Paul's video of fascinating Hoi An!


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댓글 3개


Everything is so exotic and lush

좋아요

This blog made me hungry. Excellent. Now I hope you can do it at home.

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답글 상대:

Yes, you and your family are invited for a Vietnamese dinner! We were given the recipe book at the end of class.

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