I adore the houses in the old town of Hoi An! They’re uniform in their antiquity but individually unique. They look ill-tended with their old paint and rustic wood shutters but charming because of that look. They’re zen but lively, simple but sophisticated. And because of that, I decided to have a series on this blog named Beautiful Hội An to share this town’s beautiful places that have inspired me.
There’s a video tutorial at the end of this post.
A few days ago, my husband joined some other volunteers for a non-profit program supporting deaf children. They drove the children from downtown Hoi An to an organic farm to learn how to plant vegetables. I was proud of Craig for his good will, and even more proud when he came home with cool tips and tricks on making compost. Now we’re both very excited about planting our (dead) garden again.
Before starting this blog, I had never used cooking measurements. I measured with my eyes and intuition, or as my friend put it, “all ingredients are to taste”. The “everything to taste” rule worked well for me, except for when I had parties or guests over. Cooking for extra people without a recipe rarely came out as well. My guests might not have noticed (thankfully), but I just knew that the food didn’t taste the same as when I cooked just for my family.
*The Vietnamese word for mangoes is xoài, pronounced soai.
If you happen to be in Vietnam in xoài season, you have to try them. Seriously!
The mangos here are one-of-a-kind. I remember that sentiment being expressed in an endearing scene from the movie “Indochina” where the main character, a French colonist, handed her adopted daughter a plate of mangos that looked so juicy and delicious. I don’t remember much else about the movie but that scene has stayed in my mind for years.
Goodbye European castles and cobblestoned streets!
Goodbye budding tulips and daffodils in chilly wind!
Goodbye giant plates of steak and potatoes, beer and sausages!
We’re back home to sunshine and beach, to mangoes and watermelons, and to vegetables and herbs!