Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sunday Dinner with our Soul Sisters, Part One


"DINNER INGREDIENTS STILL LIFE ON ROOF LADDER"

Clockwise from top left, this is what is going into our Sunday evening dinner:

clams, fish (looks like halibut), prawns, squid, I Don't Know #1, lemongrass, I Don't Know #2, Tom Yum Paste, oyster mushrooms, tamarind seeds.
I think we are making soup, but Thuy likes to remain a little bit mysterious about these matters, so I don't ruin her fun by asking.

Here is a close-up of the second "I Don't Know #2": Can anyone identify this? I pass it every single morning an
d would have no idea what to do with it...but today I get to find out. The white part, it's spongy.
(Just learned from commentor "Bach" : #1 is Morning Glory - which I am familiar with in its cooked form, and #2 is Water Mimosa - cool.)
You know who will be at The Castle dinner tonight? Thuy, Thanh, Katherine, Tarn and me - no one else. The other morning when we were planning our cooking date, Thuy pauses and says, firmly, "Just you, Katherine and Tarn." She puts her finger and sweeps her head down in a strong gesture. "No friends." Like either it's my way, or I don't do this anymore. I love this about Thuy - she is sure about what she wants - but I have not mentioned anything about having friends join us.
Thuy must fear that since I shared them as our fabric suppliers, maybe my next step would be to share them as our cooking instructors. She has become comfortable relating to the three of us - think of how far she has come since the "I go now" of October, minutes after cooking was over. And I am so happy that Thanh feels comfortable joining us now, too; she stayed out of it for so long. Maybe the events of last Saturday are as simple as that: they don't want to share us. To be honest, I don't want to share them, either.
While we are shopping, we run into an older woman she knows... Thuy introduces us and tells me she teaches at an English school. The woman asks if Thuy is my student. "No," answers Thuy, "we are sisters." The comments softens me even more; no, I don't want to share them, either.
In the videos, you can see how the fish is hacked right in front of us (and how the squid eyes are gouged out and thrown into the squid eye bowl) and you can hear the background noise that has become so familiar to me.
We run into someone else during our shopping trip: My Mom. Thuy and I are at the Clam Lady's stand when I sense Nam standing next to me. Of course he wants to go through my bags - a family pasttime. He makes a comment to Thuy about each item, and they talk a bit. I wonder if my food crazy driver is trying to get an invitation to dinner. I would be, if I were him.
Two people Thuy and Thanh may be OK cooking for besides us are Katherine's parents, who fly in tomorrow night; they are excited to meet her family. I just told Tim I would post Dinner, Part One so they could read it before getting on the plane. As for Dinner, Part Two, they can hear about it in person. And maybe taste some leftovers. We will have a castle-full this week: my friend Sue Stangl, firefighter from Seattle, also arrives tomorrow. She has been traveling through Cambodia and Laos.
OK, check in for part two, about eight hours from now.

6 comments:

Bach said...

Your "I Don't Know #1" is the infamous Morning Glory (aquatic convolvulus), and "I Don't Know #2" is Water Mimosa (Neptunia oleracea). Both are popular Thai/Viet vegetable.

marjie said...

Bach, thank you. Wow, I have eaten morning glory in its sauteed form many times, but didn't realize this is it!

Water Mimosa, have you cooked with it?

Where are you from?

Bach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marjie said...

I had no idea that anyone read my blog in Vietnam! Ho Chi Minh City? Are you Vietnamese?

Bach said...

You're welcome Marjie. I used to eat raw water mimosa dipping to boiling hot-pot, similar to the one you and your friends are preparing. Bon appetit!
Btw, I'm from Vietnam, and your blogroll is one of my favourite daily reading ;-).

Mungo said...

I'm ready to move to Viet Nam now.