We finally have a real snow day in NoVA. The kids are home from school, the husband is home as the DOD is closed for the day (I know, it sounds funny) and the fireplace is on–literally, because with just a flip of a switch–it is on. Nope, no kindling, no lugging messy logs through the house and no wasted time spent trying to find matches nor trying to light a fire.
So, what to do after the dishwasher is empty and the laundry done? I made myself a delicious cup of coffee and sat myself on the couch with my laptop to search for healthy recipes. Healthy, because I’m supposed to be working very hard to lose some weight. Did you read about my neighborhood’s diet club yet? Ugh, another weigh-in Wednesday tomorrow morning and I seriously doubt I’ve lost an ounce. It would be a miracle if I did being that in the past week I’ve eaten no less than a pound of Valentine chocolate, six brownies, probably what is equivalent to one pound of pasta, 3 pounds of various meats and cheeses and had my share of soft drinks. I’ve dreamt of exercising rather than actually doing it, and almost every moment I’ve worn something other than pajama bottoms heard myself cursing about how smothered, restricted and uncomfortable I feel while wearing such tight pants. So, while searching for healthy recipes, I remember how much the kids and I love Phó (Vietnamese Noodle Soup).
It is so yummy delicious from a nearby restaurant. We found the place when we first moved here, when it was just okay, but about 12 years ago, a new owner scoffed up the place and since then we consider it to be the best Phó on earth. Okay, so maybe in NoVA–because Lord knows, we have tried a few other places and Phó Bowl is the only one we find truly delicious. In the winter, the restaurant is like an extension of our own dining room. The owner has witnessed the kids grow up from mere toddlers to the teens they are now (actually, the first time we were there–with our wonderful neighbors at the time–Gigi was an infant in a car seat sitting on top of the table in front of me). More importantly, many, many, many dinners were had here together with my dear friend Kathleen and her two girls. Ironically, her husband and mine just don’t seem to have the same addiction to the soup as we do. Kathleen and her family moved away from NoVA about 5 years ago (I’ve been lost ever since), but when we talk or see each other, we pick up exactly where we left off. The other irony is that both of our husbands were simultaneously deployed (though hers was deployed much longer than mine was) or throughout the years, seemed to be away on TDY at the exactly the same time. So, needless to say, we had to feed the kids dinner during those times, and we managed to hit Phó Bowl sometimes twice a week. We had so much fun together, and of course the kids never failed to enjoy the company.
Which leads me to this: While searching for a recipe to recreate this wonderful elixir, I realized that I do not have to because the restaurant is so darn close to Post that it is nonsense to even try to cook it AND, I got sidetracked and accidentally found this Phó inspired tattoo which I think Kathleen and I both need. Check out #16 here: 27 Tattoos To Show Your Dedication To Food. Nah, neither of us would endure the kind of pain required to get such a thing emblazoned on our body, however, I think we’d wear it proudly on a t-shirt. Oh, and I can’t forget the photo of my kids “playing” in the snow: