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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lunchin' with Ma

Ma invited me to her house for lunch last weekend. My husband, William Throckmorton the III, as I like to call him, declined the invitation in order to stay at home and wrestle with various things in the garage, the goal being that we could keep the car in there this winter.

It’s a crazy dream, but he’s a crazy man.

Ma gave me detailed directions to her house, some of which I actually wrote down; and I found her place easily. It began raining as I arrived.

There’s actually no reason for me to tell you that it was raining other than the fact that I have an aversion to rain. Don’t know if it’s the fact that I wear glasses that get wet, that my hair frizzes at even the steam rising off a bowl of pho or the fact that I’ve been told I’m made of sugar – awwww! – but I’ve never liked being rained on.

But that’s not important. What’s important are my take-aways – as we say in the corporate world – from lunch with Ma and Toua:

1. Ma does not know how to cook for three people. Ma cooks for 12 people and sends the rest home with you.

2. The food was aromatic, flavorful, home-y, and uses – except for the big fat completely luscious shrimp – inexpensive ingredients.

3. The aromas coming from her home will make you dream about Marco Polo, the Spice Road, and tiny women serving enormous platters of food.

4. Ma has more pots and pans than anyone I know, some of which are large enough to bathe a child in. If you know of any small children that need bathing, I suggest you bring them to Ma’s kitchen.

5. Ma said that the cooking time on the four main dishes that she made – which does not include the side dishes that she made – took less time than she expected because, and I quote, “I didn’t have to kill a pig”.

After lunch, we sat at the table, nibbling on the plentiful leftovers and sipping beers. We talked about the Little People in the shadows, about tiger spirits, about how much scarier European and Asian films are than American. Toua said that the Hmong believe that there aren’t as many spirits in the U.S. because it is too light, and that even in Asia the spirits are leaving because of the light. I told him that the U.S. doesn’t have any spirits; and that even if there were any someone would probably pull a gun on them…

Please note that I do not advocate violence of any kind, especially where both guns and spirits are involved. I was just playing. Everyone knows you can’t shoot a spirit – you have to trap it in a glass of water.

It was a good time, and I went home with so many leftovers that I didn’t have to cook for two days.

Ma? Toua? Everything was lovely.

Ua tsaug.


Salil said...

Hi Pearl,
I catch the spirits in bottles. Works just as fine as a glass of water :-)
I hope you did not melt in the rain as you are made of sugar.

Lilly's Life said...

Oh what a sweet post. I bet youare made of sugar and spice and all things nice. I have had dreams about the car in the garage too - funny that. Sounds like a lovely lunch and time spent with friends.

Kavi said...

Seems like you had a great time ! Sweet & sound post !

Pearl said...

Funny, Salil. :-)

Hi, Lilly! Glad you stopped by. I so enjoy your writing and am pleased that you are enjoying mine.

Hi, Kavi! Thank you!


Adrian said...

OK, I have to admit, I read the first couple of paragraphs and then had to go back for a 2nd look. I kept thinking, she doesn't know where her own mother lives??? Hmmmm.

Then I caught up and realized you were talking about a friend named Ma, not your actual Ma. Made for interesting reading though...