Shrimp 'N Sweet Potato Fritters and Avatar
Or "Banh Tom," as they're known. I was finally able to drag The Good Doctor out to see the movie that has topped the box office for 6 straight weeks and revolutionized the way films are made, while simultaneously making blue the new hot sexy skin color.
My parents came over to babysit Emmy, because unlike at least two other couples in the Avatar Imax 3D audience, we didn't think it would be a good idea to take our 9 month old baby to a 3 hour long film. Plus, her attention span is all short and she's not allowed to eat popcorn for like, 3 more years.
So, like good First Generation Vietnamese Parents, they brought food. And this is the thing about FGVPs. They don't bring over KFC, or something they picked up on the way over from that new little Indian place down the way. They bring over ingredients. Raw ingredients. Like shrimp, sweet potatoes, flour, oil, herbs and leaf lettuce. And all the accompanying pots and pans and colanders and mismatched tupperware. It's like a Food Network cooking intervention when those two visit.
They took over the kitchen for an hour and whipped these banh tom together. Julienned sweet potatoes, peeled fresh shrimp, mixed in a fine flour batter and fried to orange perfection. Break the fried cakes into pieces, wrap with mint and basil inside a leafy piece of lettuce, and dip in nuoc mam. If you don't try one of these before you die, you have not lived. And if my dad ever takes my advice and pursues something he is truly good at, i.e., cooking, I will point you straight toward his food cart.
An aside, Avatar was everything you've heard and more. I was a total non-believer at first, but after it made a billion dollars in record time, my curiosity was like, "You know, go share in this global experience." Because normally, sci fi alien movies are really not my thing. But The Good Doctor was SO anti. He was drinking the Hatorade big time. "It will be a total waste of time!" "Three hours?" "I SO do not need to see that movie. You go without me." But he is, above all, a good husband and when I played the "Are you saying you don't want to go on a date night?" card, he was putty in my fangers. Yes, fangers. I guilted my husband into seeing Avatar.
But I don't regret it. He gave it a 92.54 out of 100 stars. He doesn't use the traditional 4 or 5 star rating system. Not accurate enough. This from the same man who came across the last half hour of a horror movie on HBO about killer sheep and just could not stop watching. He said part of the reason he didn't want to see Avatar originally was because he thought it was an all-animated film. Like Toy Story or something. That's what I was up against, people.