It’s Valentine’s Day. My kids are playing, my husband is off at work (after giving me these lovely roses), so I’m spending my day doing what I love most — cooking! I started the day baking cinnamon rolls for the kids for breakfast, then quickly turned my attention to a recipe I found online a while back, for Crock-Pot Pho.
For those unfamiliar with pho (pronounced “fa”), it’s a Vietnamese rice noodle soup whose base is a slow-cooked broth. The noodles are placed in a large soup bowl with meat, then the broth is poured in. Bean sprouts, fresh herbs, jalapeno peppers, lime juice, and hot sauce can all be added to taste. There are many versions of pho (chicken, beef, tendon, beef ball, tripe); I prefer the one where rare thin-sliced beef is added to the noodles, then the hot broth cooks the beef right in the soup bowl. That’s the kind I’m making today.
My family-of-four has made pho its mission. Like most families, I assume, we rarely all agree on cuisine. My daughter and I don’t like potatoes that much, while my husband and son do. If my husband and I like the meat, one if not both of the children will hate it. And so goes dinner at my house every single night.
But when we roadtrip for pho — mostly to Lancaster or Harrisburg; on occasion to New York — it’s a different story. Everybody is happy:
So for Valentine’s Day this year, I decided to bring the happiness home as my gift to them. The broth is simmering as I write, the smell in the house … well for us, it’s heaven!
On a different note, my mom stopped in just before lunch. Valentine’s Day is especially hard for her. Not only has my father been gone a long time — 27 years in June — but he was a Valentine’s baby; today would have been his 80th birthday.
I know it weighs heavy on her, so when she called to visit, I knew I could engage her for a while by walking me through her “Escarole and Beans” recipe. I had purchased all the ingredients earlier this week; what a perfect way to spend some time together — making and then eating this relatively healthy recipe from my youth.
Of course, the surprise was on me. Look at this great cookbook she brought me as a Valentine’s gift!
Thanks, Mom! I love it!!
We did make the escarole and beans...
(Click here to view and print recipe)
Mom seemed to enjoy it…
And she just called to say she is taking us up on our offer for her to join us for dinner. Pho’s at 6; Mom’s bringing dessert.
Ăn, trẻ em…*
* That’s Vietnamese for “Mangia, Figlie…”!