February 10, 2010 § 20 Comments

Tết is upon us & saturday we are hosting our second annual party. Nothing screams we know nothing like western Caucasian parents trying to learn as much as possible about Vietnamese holidays! Since Little Man is so young, we have decided to do a bit more in the way of ‘tradition’ each year. 2009 was all about getting a grip & figuring out the basics. This year feels a little more organized thankfully.

Last year our invitation was ‘anytime after 3’. Sure enough, there was wave after wave of people & me freaking out in the kitchen trying to keep up with the food. Apparently it was all delicious- it wasn’t until 10 that night that I realized I had not eaten anything & by the time I got the fried bananas out I was pretty tipsy from only drinking wine throughout the day. Hmmm. This year the invite is 3. Food goes out & when it’s gone, that’s it!

This year what I am *not* doing is making a million summer/spring rolls. We have ordered them from a local Vietnamese restaurant! Last year was springroll chaos times a million. I also gave up my dream of trying out banh chung {minus the pork}. I’m enthusiastic but not crazy ;) And as far as making my own mut tet weeks in advance…no. Here is where I am forever grateful for the few small Asian markets in Utrecht & the plethora of mut tet, snacks, spices, noodles, & everything else they carry.

Last year I also made vegetarian Pho, which is fun for a family dinner but *not* 50 guests! So…I came up with a very simple, easy & relatively painless menu:

banh mi..Back in Philly I lived in an area that was predominantly Vietnamese & Cambodian. There was a tiny shop run by an elderly Vietnamese couple who made the most incredible banh mi. Every saturday my housemate & I picked a few up. Heaven!

dau hu chien xaspicy fried tofu with lemon grass

xoi va…sticky rice with mung beans

for sweets:  banh chuoi nuong…banana cake & avocado shakes! mmmm.

Tomorrow I’m headed out in search of  a small kumquat tree & pink blossoms.

So we shall see. Wish me luck!

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