Giddy (or, Plans for Cooking Day!)

Have you ever been shopping for Kinh Gioi?  Rau Ram?


Neither had I, until last night.

Cross that one off on my Bucket List.

Just kidding.

I must say that I am absolutely giddy with anticipation of Cooking Day with my friend Kim.  We have never met in real life.  But, starting a couple of years ago, we began exchanging e-mails after “meeting” via a local Celiac listserv, and somehow we realized that we are both huge fans of natural birthing.  We both blog, too.  And, we’ve talked on the phone several times.

I’m not worried in the least about any awkwardness in real life.  We have great repoire every other way, and I expect the transition to be quite seamless.

Initially, I favored a Greek menu, but I’m glad that Kim rather steered us toward Vietnamese, her favorite ethnic food.  In many ways, Vietnamese is similar to Thai food, of which I’m a fan, and which I’ve cooked a number of times.  (With this fabulous and beautiful cookbook.)

Through a somewhat lengthy — and very fun! — process, we decided on this menu:

The kids — her two* and my five — will run wild as Kim and I work in the kitchen.  🙂

Kinh Gioi (Vietnamese Mint)

While we were hunting for just the right combination of foods for our menu, I noticed that almost all the recipes on this Vietnamese Recipes site called for mint and/or cilantro.  I simply refused to believe that these were the “normal” herbs with which I was familiar.  I did a little Googling, and found out that Vietnamese Mint is also known as Kinh Gioi, which looks very similar to the darker green spearmint with which I’m familiar, but has a distinct lemony taste and flavor.  Vietnamese cilantro, Rau Ram, tastes similarly to “normal” cilantro, but looks very differently.

Vietnamese Cilantro, Rau Ram

So, there I was, at the Asian market, scanning for leaves that looked like the ones I’d seen on my computer.  I knew that Lee Lee had a whole host of herbs of which I was completely unfamiliar, and I was hoping to find the right kind.  I honed in on them, both in the “mint” section.  I pinched a few leaves, tasting and smelling.  Voila!

I felt immensely victorious, in a nerdy-cook sort of way.

I can’t wait for Cooking Day with Kim.  😀


*She has three children, but the oldest will be in school.

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on October 28, 2010, in Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Friendships, GFCF, GFCF Recipes, gluten-free, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’m so glad you were okay with the switch from Greek to Vietnamese. I just checked out the link for the pumpkin. That looks incredible. That dish is unlike anything I’ve tried before so I think I am most excited about that.
    I’m so looking forward to meeting you IRL. Such a weird way to meet for the first time, don’t you think?
    See you tomorrow.

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