Monday, April 12, 2010

Life with boys, or why my house smells like fishsauce...and the giveaway winner

My younger boys like to help. And while I appreciate their efforts, their 'helping' can often create more work than it alleviates. Take this afternoon, for instance. I had come home from the grocery store and asked children to help bring in the groceries while I nursed a baby. There I am, happily nursing, enjoying the fact the the grocery shopping is done for the week when two boys appear in the kitchen. One is crying and the other is holding a dripping bag, saying that the wine got broken. It takes a moment for my brain to kick-in and sort out the scene before me. A moment I might add, that the plastic bag continues to drip on the floor.

I was confused because I hadn't bought a bottle of wine, so there was no way the wine could have been broken. But I had bought fish sauce, which is in a similarly shaped bottle. Do you know about fish sauce? It is a key ingredient in Vietnamese cooking and is made from pressing the liquid out of fish that have allowed to ferment. Let's just say it has a somewhat unique...and potent...smell. And here were my two darling boys dripping it through the house. I managed to convince the boy holding the bag to at least put it on the table and then sent him up to wash his hands...with soap. The other boy was still distraught for unknowingly opening up the van door which I pile all the groceries against. (With the back seat in the van, there is not a whole lot of room for groceries.) I was also a little peeved because I needed that fish sauce. TM had been craving Vietnamese food and I had planned several Vietnamese meals this week. Since the bottle was glass, I couldn't just pour the remaining contents into the old bottle, but I could strain it! Using a colander and a paper towel I managed to strain out the broken glass and pour it into the old bottle. But let me tell you, having a large bowl filled with fish sauce in the kitchen does not help with the whole aroma-thing.

It could have been worse. The whole bottle could have broken in the house and there could have been other things in the bag soaking up fish sauce. And to think I was just feeling a little annoyed at the bagger at the store because she sometimes has a tendency to put single items in bags. I've never been so glad for her profligacy with bags. I'm also glad it's not freezing outside so we can leave some doors open and let the house air out.


The winner of my grand opening giveaway is: Rebecca I'll leave a comment on your blog to let you know, but if you see this you ahead and email me: thecurryseven at sbcglobal dot net

Thanks for everyone's ideas...I'll be putting more things in the shop as I find time.


April said...

Oh my. Yes, we know about fish sauce in our house as my hubby is Vietnamese. My standing order is that it gets cooked outside on the extra burner attached to our grill. I can just imagine the smell!! Poor you!

LawMommy said...

Oh my...

That has got to be...pungent.

I hope TM enjoys his food, though. What are you making?

I made Lana sauteed spinach with garlic, soy, sesame oil and just a small shake of fish sauce last night. That is one of her favorites. (I cannot find sweet potatoe greens, which is actually what she prefers, but she doesn't seem to mind if I substitute spinach instead of greens.)

Anonymous said...

Never cooked with fish sauce. My whole Vietnamese cooking abilities are making spring rolls and peanut sauce. Evan's favorite is Pho. We get it on special occasions. A friend did give me a seasoning packet and noodles for pho. I just need to find the herbs at a better price than 2.50 an ounce so we can all enjoy them.

Beth said...

I had friends who lived in Laos for a while and had a bottle of fish sauce break in the back of their moving truck. It was discovered only after they had traveled quite a distance from Vientiane to northern Laos...imagine those rough roads and all of your furniture mingling with the fish sauce!

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