Our fourth night as evacuees was spent at my mom's house. This night was special because she was hosting a prayer session in honor of my grandparents and great-grandparents. When she told me this, I was expecting a group of about 10-15 close friends over for dinner and prayer. But oh did I underestimate my mama. Her guestlist included over 70 guests and she prepared the feast for all the guest virtually single-handed.
It wasn't until the 11th hour did she ask for help, i.e., the event started at 7pm and she didn't call on us until 10am that morning. She bought all the groceries herself. The night before the event, she was up until 4 am preparing ingredients for sausage, two types of sticky rice, congee (rice porridge), stir-fried noodles and more. By the time we arrived to help, she had gotten most things to the point she just needed to combine items and put over fire. However, she did need me to grate the cucumbers. The problem was she didn't have a grater. So instead, I had to use a peeler. Yes, one of those things that peels the skin off potatoes and carrots, I used that. To effectively grate 20 lbs of cucumbers for the Vietnamese salad called goi. Yes, 20 lbs!!! I've never hated cucumbers more in my life.
Since I was busy grating cucumbers, I didn't get any fotos of the prep work. But here are some of the results:
Clockwise from the purple rice: purple sticky rice, peanut sticky rice, goi (Vietnamese salad, yay me for grating 20 lbs of cucumbers), stir-fried beef noodles, eggrolls, and fried shrimp chips. The coloring of the purple sticky rice is just for show. Sometimes it made red or just left as plain white. The peanut sticky rice is white sticky rice mixed with peanuts boiled soft so that it almost serves as a creamy compliment to the sweet rice. Because I grew up eating it, I never really knew what it was, but wikipedia can tell you more about sticky rice. The beef noodles are similar to what you'd find at a Chinese restaurant, except my mama's dish is much better. It's not drowned in sauce, not too salty and with a good balance of beef, veggies and rice noodles.
For those of you a bit squimish, you may want to skip to the next foto. Here are platters of all things pork not served in 99% of restaurants. In no particular order (because it's all mixed together), there's boiled pork intestine, stomach, tongue, belly, ear and liver. These tasty tidbits were added to the congee made with coagulated pig blood. If the previous 2 sentences sparked more intrigue than indigestion, consider yourself a foodie.
Here's the home-made sausage. Well, technically my mama only prepared the filling and had the sausages stuffed by professionals, though I'm sure she seriously considered doing it herself. As you can see that unlike the sausage at the store, which is comprised of evenly ground meats, this sausage is purposedly chunky. Though I'm unsure why we wouldn't just leave the meat chunks out for eat as is, it sure tastes good.
Though there were many other food items, I didn't get more fotos because with over 70 on the guestlist, once the food is laid out, no one waits for the cameraman to get a shot. I'll end this post with some words of wisdom: NEVER get in the way of a woman with a huge pot of boiling soup.