My Very Zen St. Patrick’s Day


I wake up with nothing green to wear today, but my reward for visiting my parents is starting the day with stuff that I usually eat at home (fruits, purple yam, fresh corn, etc.), except it gets served up like this:


That’s my version of a breakfast of champions. But my meal this morning quickly turns into a trade for manual labor…my mom is getting tired of the pattern in her zen garden, which by the way represents waves in the ocean. You are supposed to meditate on the waves and relax, but even this gets boring after a while:


So off I go with a rake her handyman made for her to clear the ground…


and practice with big circles that don’t look too great:



I find myself enjoying walking around and around in a circle a bit too much to be healthy:



This is what it ends up looking like–I know we have to find a real zen rake if we want to move from these amateur ranks:

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The circle represents a single drop of water that can have significant ripple effect on the entire ocean. You might say it is an analogy to the cause and effect in life from the action of one, resulting in the impact on many. And here I thought I was just working off my carbs.


Speaking of carbs (you didn’t really think I was done talking about food just quite yet, did you?), we are then treated to a lunch of banh tom, or fried shrimp and yam cake. You know the drill by now…lots of preparations followed by three happy tummies…


and of course closed out with something wet. This is my meatless pho bo (beef noodle soup):


But wait, there’s more! This brings us to dinner and yet another version of the spring roll!  For dinner we are having ca nuong, or grilled orange roughy:


The tapioca paper is softened by dipping it in warm water and they layered with food–do you see the slices of green mango and plantain banana?


then rolled like a Vietnamese burrito:


And if you fail to wrap it nicely the first time, try and try again till you get it right…and repeat till you are so full you need a nap.


And that was my very zen St. Patrick’s Day with not a single green beer in sight. Hope yours was a good one, too.


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