From time to time, I invite others to write guest posts on my blog. Here's one from my brother, Ron, about our annual Pre-Labor Day BBQ celebration.
Thanks to Po's afternoon milk tea, I find myself still awake at 3am, so I decided to write about our fantastic backyard family and friends summer gathering that was inspired by Burmese food vendors serving traditional dishes at a Nibban Zay fundraising event held at a Burmese Temple in Manalapan, N.J. Back in early August, friends of mine, Mark Pochaw and Jenny Chin, forwarded a menu of Burmese foods that were going to be offered at the temple. It sounded delicious, so we decided to attend. After having eaten traditional Burmese foods, I decided to serve traditional Mohinga (Burmese Lemongrass Fish Soup), fried fritters, Lat Thoke vegetarian noodles paired with BBQ ribs, flank steak and curry yogurt chicken at our family event.
Mark's cousin Vera, one of the temple vendors, was kind enough to prepare the Mohinga fish soup, which we decided to pair with Pae Kyaw fritters from another vendor. Aunty Vera and Mark threw themselves into gathering and preparing the Mohinga ingredients, an endeavor that took on a life of its own. They used as many of the traditional Mohinga ingredients as possible including lemongrass, catfish, and rare young banana stem bark which is not available in New York. It was flown from Florida to Albany on Wednesday, transported to Queens, cooked all day Saturday, and on Sunday found itself in the stomachs of friends and family in Short Hills, NJ, people with backgrounds from the US, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Saint-Tropez, France, Thailand and Vietnam, among others.
We truly enjoyed Vera's Mohinga, which was amazingly, soulfully delicious and brought back memories of sitting on wooden stools eating the fish soup on street corners in Yangon, Burma. With a full stomach and a touch of insomnia, I'd like to thank my friends and family for coming to this memorable summer backyard gathering. Also again, thanks to Mark, Aunty Vera, Jenny Chin, my sister-in-law Yin Yin, Pae Kyaw Fritter vendor Daw Si Si Cho and U Michael.
What food adventures have you had lately? Send us your pics or recipes!