I’m afraid that I have fallen into a humdrum routine.
I wake up to the now chilly autumn mornings, struggling to unravel myself off the toasty warmth of our blanket, jammies and cotton socks and peel myself off the comforts of our firm mattress. Wiping all morning glory of yesterday’s dreams of distant lands, of friends from a bygone time and of inconceivable circumstances, I get up, wash my face, kiss The Husband “see you later” and head into the kitchen.
With the burner up on high, the cast iron skillet sizzles with the flowery perfume of olive oil and the toasted notes of pungent garlic, fully awakening all my senses for the full day ahead. I eat like a king (Yes, I daresay a fully grown man) at breakfast with a mountain of pasta, my carbohydrates of choice, greens and the occasional side of meat. After breakfast, I take a short break on the computer, connecting with friends from another time zone and catching up with the world outside; then return to housewifely things such as the dishes, the laundry, more cooking and cleaning. I still have the energy to don my exercise leggings, pump up the volume on my workout of choice (Lately, it has been Insanity workout) and eat late lunch after; then its more housewifely chores, which does not stop until we hit the sack again.
Humdrum as it may seem, especially for those of you who crave the surprises that life brings, I actually am enjoying getting into that groove, that steady beat: the foundation of that infectious melody that keeps you on your feet…dancing. It is in this constancy that I find beauty in the ordinary, in the everyday.
Just as in the magic of the Vietnamese condiment: Nuoc mam cham, which we’ve adapted from our former landlord Mr. Trong, who had a gallon-sized jar of this golden, food pick-me-upper in his refrigerator. Since The Husband looooooooooved this condiment so much, I was forced to happily replicate it for his enjoyment.
- A container – preferably a small glass jar or as medium sized plastic container
- Spoon is optional
- 1/3 cup fish sauce – I prefer the Thai brands, which are usually less salty than the Filipino brands
- 4 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. white vinegar
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. red chili flakes – you may add more if you prefer the heat
- Place all ingredients in container and then shake until the sugar granules dissolve. Or use a spoon if you’re feeling dainty.
- Once mixed, place container in refrigerator and just pull out whenever needed.
When do you use Nuoc mam cham? Everyday! It can be paired with fried, roasted, grilled, steamed, fresh…Oh, why practically anything really! It is the fairy dust, rather fairy liquid, that makes everyday eating magical with a perfect blend of salty, sweet, tangy, and spicy. Just as this humdrum constancy just makes me look forward to the ordinary days ahead.
What everyday magic fuels your days?
Delirious about delicious,