Category Archives: Vietnam

Vearing from Vietnam

Okay, so these past few weeks have literally been a bit more crazy than I like to live, so much so, that we finished Vietnam last Tuesday and I still haven’t had a chance to post. 

We also opted, as we had so many dinners and nightly engagements, to have a Vietnamese lunch…..this time at a restaurant.  It was delicious!  I do have some Opo squash that I purchased at our local Farmer’s Market to use for a Vietnamese soup and hope to still do that soon, but really, the chance to just sit and be served was quite enjoyable.

What's Pho Lunch 🙂

 
 
Phở is a traditional Vietnamese-style soup with various different fillings.  We have driven past this restaurant several times, but never had a chance to try it out.  In fact, it was our first time trying Vietnamese food (except for Brian who is a big fan of Phở).
 
Traditional Pho with Beef Meatballs
We also enjoyed some additional items:

 

Rice Noodle Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Thai Iced Tea (Not Vietnamese, but a personal fav)

Phở with Chicken

This pork dish was amazing!

Vegetable Stir Fry

During our last few days in learning about Vietnam, we also made some “rainbow rice”, using vinegar, food coloring and a plastic container to shake it in. 

Shake-it, shake-it!

We dried out the wet rice in the oven for about 15 minutes

 

So much fun for little hands!

Thank you, Vietnam!  We wish we had more time to spend and learn about your rice-patty filled country.  We loved listening to the zither as we did our artwork and we especially enjoyed the delicious flavors of your unique cuisine.

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Rice and Zithers and Different Tones of “Ma”

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Oh my goodness, I’m quite sure attempting to learn Vietnamese might take a lifetime for me as the difference in words isn’t so much spelling, rather tone, creating multiple words out of the same spelling.  Take the word “ma” for example, with a high tone it means “mother”, a low tone creates “rice plant” and a flat toned “ma” refers to a ghost.

Okay, so after our short-lived attempts to learn a bit of Vietnamese, we moved on to zithers and all things musical.  YouTube had lots of fun Vietnamese songs on the zither.  Click here if you’d like to listen to some yourself.

Of course we can’t learn about Vietnam without discussing the role of rice, which is commonly served with breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I love the “Ticket to….” series of books from different countries, particularly as my three are on the younger side, and this book has been a great help for us in learning about Vietnam.

A Ticket to Vietnam (Hardcover) ~ Karen O'Connor (Author) Cover Art

After learning about life in Vietnamese cities and countryside, rice and rivers, houses and hand-made items, cuisine and clothes we decided to attempt our own, super easy homemade Vietnamese clothing item.

Non Las

Hmm, well we came somewhat close to the actual sun-and-rain-protecting cone-shaped hats made of bamboo,  that people in Vietnam actually wear, and in just a few simple steps, too!

How to Make a Non-La

(if you want to try and think you might need some directions)

1. Fold a sheet of newspaper in half on the angle, forming a triangle

2. Fold again forming a smaller triangle and staple the open side shut, just along the edge, leaving about 3 inches at the bottom open.

3. Cut an arch shape at the bottom from the stapled side to the opposite edge. Voila!  Three Non las for my three sweeties.

Not quite as amazing as the ones in Vietnam.

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I think our next step could be some lacquerware-type designs.  And of course, we have lots still to do with rice.

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Valentine’s Day and Vietnam

What do Valentine’s Day and Vietnam have in common? Absolutely nothing! Except maybe the color red.  So, yesterday we went with that.  It was Valentine’s Day.  I didn’t have a lot planned except a fun Valentine’s Day breakfast,

our library returns that needed to be made and our travels to the next “V” country along our journey….Vietnam.  Hmm, and as we attempted to get a free Sprinkles Cupcake but were discouraged by the insane line, we decided to create our own cupcakes for Valentine’s and well, Vietnam.  This is the deal. The Vietnamese flag is solid red with a star in the middle, therefore, we could use our red frosting (which came out more purple-ish) and place a star on top, creating our first ever flag cupcakes.

First, the kids decorated the white cupcake wrappers for Valentine’s Day.

Then, they helped make a basic cupcake recipe I found on Martha Stewart’s website.

Addie brought her Sass

This was a fun “school” activity, as we are quite unconventional in our methods.  Tallinn read the directions and we went step-by-step together in the process.  He’s actually getting quite good with his technique as well

cracking an egg into the mix

adding the cocoa mixture to the eggs and sugar, scraping with a spatula

and, when the others had faded, he continued on with the process all the way to the reward at the end.

And Voila!  Some hearts, some stars, some red sprinkles to cover up the accidental purple icing for a proper Vietnamese flag.

So, we have some more geography to cover and there are lots of fun things we can do to learn about Vietnam.  At least we’re off to a start.

We also haven’t quite gotten to our verse this week and last night, God woke me up at 2 am to spend some time with him.  This was one of the verses he gave me and I think it’s perfect for our week learning about this “island”.

Listen to me, you islands;

hear this, you distant nations:

Before I was born the LORD called

me;

from my birth he has made mention

of my name.

Isaiah 49:1