My aunt and uncle live a few minutes from my parents. Another pair of aunt and uncle live a few minutes the other way. And yet another aunt and uncle actually live in the same house as my parents. It’s a cozy house for sure. Because of their proximity, there are often large family gatherings on the weekends at one of their houses where lots of food is prepared. Lucky for me I’m only an hour’s drive away and I come ready with Tupperware.
Last weekend my aunt and cousin-in-law (is that a thing?) made bo kho, a beef stew, and had everyone come over to eat. As usual it was a pretty social event with all the cousins, parents/aunts/uncles and some family friends. My sister, her boyfriend and I spent our time in the backyard trying to pick high-hanging avocados from the neighbor’s tree (with their permission, of course).
After eating and while waiting for our cousin to wash our cars (we paid him a handsome amount), we wandered around the house. In the garage, I noticed there was a cabinet full of vermicelli and pho packets and cans of coconut milk. On an adjoining wall there were Sriracha and hoisin sauce in crates. It was amazing. These were all the things that I couldn’t find at the big Asian grocery store. I ended up asking if I could buy one of the bottles of hoisin sauce to save myself another trip and was told to just take it.
If I had more room in my studio apartment I’d probably have some kind of stock pile as well, but for now I’m happy with my loot and will eat my next bowl of homemade pho in honor of my generous aunt.