Monday, August 24, 2015

Bien manger à Montréal...

Visits to Montreal are never short of great eats. And its not about eating out in the wonderful city, but the home-style kind with family and relatives... It's been two years since we've back to see my husband's family, and our kids are older making the drive much easier. I've always looked forward to the trek and the smorgasbord of food to come, especially Vietnamese home cooking. The weekend was short but lovely-- a nice reunion over conversations and food, watching the family cook together and the kids getting along with their "sprouted" cousins, picking plums and snipping fresh herbs in my sister-in law's bountiful garden and toting homemade food in tofu containers home (Vietnamese spring rolls, my mother-in-law's chicken curry and sausage and dried shrimp sticky rice).

Vietnamese lacquer paintings-- base is wood, painted and inlay with mother of pearl or egg shell. 

Vietnamese-style chow mein, fried battered spicy shrimp and pork, fried shrimp chips, deli roasted duck, corn on the cob, mixed vegetables and steamed rice grace the dinner table.

Morning breakfast of Vietnamese-style pork and shrimp wontons (slightly sweet profile) in chicken soup.

It never fails that with every single visit to great aunt's house in St-Laurent, their kitchen is always bustling with cooking activities. My husband's cousin chopping up a big batch of chicken legs to marinate in soy sauce, garlic and wine for soy sauce chicken. Here is my version double soy sauce chicken drumsticks. Their door is never locked-- siblings (there are seven) and their families drop by unannounced all the time, to stop in to say hello, to drop off food, to stay and eat, and thus... there is always something cooking and ready at a moment's notice to nibble and nosh on. This is what I would love when my children are older-- invite their friends and eventually their families to my house any time they please... my kitchen will always be an open invitation! 

Uncle drops by with homemade cassava cakes-- a Southeast Asian dessert favourite. I couldn't believe it when I heard how simple the recipe was-- just three ingredients to bake up and the result perfectly sweet and not dense (as I usually know it). Recipe to come in my next post :)

Some photo-takings are worth bending backwards for... such as my sis-in-law's fruit tree bearing tons of precious plums.


What a beaute!

And snipping fresh herbs from her lush herb garden with my absolute favourite-- rau ram (Vietnamese cilantro), purple shiso, mint, rosemary and chives....

Their little pooch Bishan is adorable! The kids were all over him!

Our last night with some good ol' fashion BBQing with fish sauce and lemongrass in the meat marinades!

Plain vermicelli noodles is often served as an alternative to steamed rice on the Vietnamese table.

Love seeing these cousins get together to play some ol' fashion board games.... 
a rare kodak moment nowadays!

We loved our family visit to La Belle Province! Jusqu'à la prochaine fois...

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