i know what you mean!

canh bắp bò rau răm

Posted on: December 18, 2019

For about 1 year before we left Việt Nam, my mom made canh thịt bò rau răm quite frequently, which was a luxurious food.  I liked it initially, until one day, I went to a writing competition prep course (in the US kids do spelling bee, in VN kids did writing and math competitions back in my days) and got lost for 3 hours in Sài Gòn on my way home.  As I was walking around, I distinctly remember feeling sicker and sicker, I just thought I was getting tired.  When I got home in the afternoon, I just found a corner and went to sleep.  Much later, when lunch was all done, my mom had to wake me up because I didn’t stir. She left me a huge bowl of canh bắp bò rau răm in the kitchen, but I ate it without any appetite.  I was supposed to be ravenous by this time, because I was 10 at that time, a growing age.  Mom left intentionally left me a huge amount of beef, a very special treatment, so I ate and ate and the beef seemed never ending.  After I ate that bowl of soup, I went upstairs and slept again until evening, when my mom woke me up and said, “If you are going to sleep, put up your mosquito net.”  I my mosquito net was up for nearly the whole week.  I slept most of the time for the next 3 days, feverish or not I can’t remember, strange enough for my dad to notice and said, “Watch her, it seems like it’s a serious illness.”  Then one side of my jaw swelled up and that was when everyone figured I got the mumps.

It was interesting to see, after missing schools for one week, friends came rattling our front gate, asking if I was OK, because I was like the steel warrior never been known to be sick.

After that incidence, and many years later, I made the same soup as a grown up.  I think I tried it twice, just the way mom used to make it, and I concluded that I never wanted to eat it again after that one time I got sick.

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