Pho Realz

so, cold and flu season is the best.  thankfully we haven't been hit with a flu, but we've definitely had our share of colds.  i called my Lola this morning and did my best not to cough because i knew the second she heard me coughing i would be told 10 remedies and 10 preventative measures that have already been drilled into me since i was a child.  honestly, having children that are in school makes getting colds a norm.  in the days before kids, getting colds were far and few between.  nowadays, it's just a way of life.  honestly, the worst part of being sick is dropping your kids off at school when they are sick.  THEY GOT IT FROM SCHOOL ANYWAY!  if i kept them home every single time they were sick, my Asian compulsion to SAVE MONEY would send me into a seizure.  I can't let $260 a month go to waste.  If they are in good spirits and past the worst part, then they go.  If they are truly unwell, then yes they stay home.  So there you have it, i am THAT mom…

i have only attempt to make pho once and i think it was back in 2007/2008 when we were living on Babcock, renovating and flipping a house with my inlaws.  It was AWFUL.  i was also a way worse cook at the time.  i was inspired by a few things.  we just started watching a new Gordon Ramsay show: Ultimate Home Cooking on BBC.  (we have a very basic cable package).  he did an East Asian soup and of course, he did it super fast and made it super easy.  i also received a recipe from another girlfriend on Facebook after googling and finding this recipe from Viet World Kitchen.
i bought a large organic chicken breast, boiled then simmered it for 20 in a carton of stock before removing.  i added the following ingredients, a mix of my 3 inspirations:

red chilli pepper
cilantro stems
lime leaves (so deliciously fragrant)
2 lemongrass stems
1 shallot
2 cloves
2 star anise
fish sauce
sugar & salt
 simmer simmer simmer simmer.  the one carton of stock was not enough.  i added some water, hoping all the ingredients would stretch.  next time i will probably do 2 or 2.5 as the simmering evaporated pretty fast.  the first taste of the broth was delicious!  i was SO excited!!!!  it was pretty damn good!!!  hot, bold, sour, and bursting with flavour.
 added our chicken, broccoli and carrots and topped with basil leaves, lime juice, bean sprouts, hoisin and sriracha.  the kids were super excited when i told them i would be making pho.  the kids watched Fantasia while i was cooking, and it made me so happy when chloe piped up "what are you making mama?  it smells gooooood!"
 need to buy more Asian spoons.  we only have 2.  i wonder if there is an entire family or group of friends that are part of this set, or if it's just the same Ping Pong champion on all the spoons.
 the kids had a massive blowout fight before eating.  they screamed pinched and cried at one another until they saw me sit down with my giant bowl of noodles.  they quickly apologized and ran to the table.
 being with kevin for so many years, i had a lot of time to wonder what our kids were going to look like.  it still blows my mind when i stop to really look and observe them and realize THESE ARE MY CHILDREN.  i am not just some sadistic lady that looks after these two children for free 24/7.  wait, on second thought...
normally these two are pretty good eaters.  they have been a lot pickier these days, so it was a huge relief to see them ploughing through their giant bowls without any complaints and long faces.

BONUS.  kevin arrived home.  he never orders pho when we go out for Vietnamese.  he usually orders one of the bun bowls.  to both our surprise, he really enjoyed it!  that is saying a lot coming from him because he doesn't give me too much in the way of compliments on my cooking AND it was something he does not normally enjoy.  YAY!  WINNING!!! 


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