In my family we don’t show our love explicitly. Feelings are shown subtly and with caution. The words “I love you” aren’t spoken very often and when they are, it’s like a mumble jumble of nonsensical sounds, said very quickly to get the icky foreign taste of American emotions off our tongues.
So we look to other methods of showing our love and appreciation to one another, my favorite being through the form of food. Delicious, warm, welcoming, home-cooked meals of the Vietnamese variety. It is the yummiest kind of love there is, and one that is best enjoyed when everyone gathers around to help cook and comes around again to help devour.
Pho is the quintessential Vietnamese soup dish. There are about a million different restaurants all claiming to be the best, and at an average price of $5.50 for a piping hot bowl of soup with tons of meaty goodness and flavor, each of them are worthy contenders for the title. But when it comes down to basics, you can’t beat the bowl of pho that’s taken a whole day to cook and prepare. From simmering the ox tail to cleaning the broth to slicing up the thin flank steak and even to the presentation of the basil and bean sprouts, nothing compares when family does it.
My mama and grandmama are number 1 when it comes to making pho. And as such, I asked them to make me some for my last dinner at home before driving back to San Diego after the holidays. It was so delicious that I forgot to take a picture. But that’s okay, the memory of my family and family friends all gathered around the table for dinner needs no photo. Like the way my family shows their love, I don’t need physical evidence like a photo to fondly reminisce about the last supper that closed off Christmas 2011. I just need some pho to-go, which is what my mom did. She prepared me and my boyfriend some broth, noodles, and basil leaves to take back with us.
Only my boyfriend ate the whole thing.
And now I don’t have a photo or the actual pho to remember the yummy goodness of it all.
GOSH DARN! Joey doesn’t share food!!
Okay fine, I’ll let it slide this time. But next time I will not live it down. You don’t just eat all of your girlfriend’s mom’s home-cooked pho. You just don’t.