2013/08/16

If I could go back... (French Fridays with Dorie: Make-up - Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)

Making up.

A do over.

A chance to go back in time and do what didn't get done the first time.

There are times in life that I would love to have a chance to go back in time and do things differently.

But life doesn't work that way does it?


I can't go back to the mid-1980's and relive those awkward junior high years.

I can't take back the crazy perm, the bangs that were teased to stand up straight, the tinted glasses (man, that was such a thing back then) and the plastic jelly shoes.

I can't un-wear some of those cra-azy plaid skirts that I favored back then.


No do-overs there. Life was just so stinking awkward in those days.


If I could go back, I would try to be less sensitive to the drama that encompasses the world of junior high peer-to-peer interactions. I would spend less time crying - with the understanding that in 10 years almost every single one of those people would no longer intersect my Universe. The bullies, the cliques - they just wouldn't matter.  

If I could go back, I would have tried to be a better friend to those friends I did have - with the realization that if we kept a united front, some of the other "stuff" would be less permeating.

Oh, and if I could go back, I would totally make sure that my junior high self backed away from the blue eye-shadow. Seriously... Who ever thought that frosted blue eye shadow on a girl with braces and eye glasses with a brown lens tint was a good idea. I would SO stop that from happening...


It was make-up week on the French Fridays with Dorie project this week - giving each of us a chance to go back and catch up on a recipe that we may have missed over the past few years. This left me with the choice of 1) something I had made before, but have yet to document (Gerard's mustard tart) or 2) the lone back recipe that I hadn't made yet (the Vietnamese chicken soup).

Of course, I went for the chicken soup - because making soup in August TOTALLY makes sense, right?

Once I warmed up (no pun intended) to the thought of making soup in August, I read through the ingredients and realized that this one had some real potential.

Chicken poached in a coconut milk/ broth mixture? Ginger, dried chili, lime & cilantro? Noodles (I used lo-mein nooodles) tossed in at the end?

This soup ended up being a total winner in our house - even fussy Mr. "I don't like soup" went back for seconds and the girls have already requested a re-make.



In other news, this is the week that we ship everyone off to school. It's been a whirlwind of activity. I thought that sending one kid off was crazy - trying to get two kids ready to go in two different directions has brought that craziness up to a whole new level.

I am pretty sure that everyone around me should be questioning my level of sanity right now.

Peace out.


This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.The French Friday's group originally posted this soup  October, 14 2010 - the LYL for that week can be found here. It was fun to go back through the posting for that week and check out what faces changed and which ones stayed the same. Patty of Patty's Food posted a version of this for Food Revolution Day - and Liz over at That Skinny Chick Can Bake posted a version for FRD as well.

21 comments:

  1. Yeah, this is a winner..one of the few recipes I've made twice! Congrats on "almost" catching up with Mardi. There are a couple recipes I just can't bring myself to make!

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  2. I haven´t made this soup yet, it´s on my list of new adventures in cooking. Looks so so good Cher! The comment about the eyeshadow... still killing me!

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  3. Blue eye shadow, braces, jelly shoes, perms. Yep, I'd redo all of that, along with the plaid jumpsuits I wore in elementary school (I think I can blame parents for that though since the did the shopping). And, if I could do it again I would have a lot more confidence in who I was and have vocalized my voice more.

    I'm wanting to do every recipe I've missed and have had a hard time narrowing my selection down - this soup looks terrific!

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  4. If I could go back to the mid-80's I would made sure I wore less pink and lavender (together in the same outfit!) and I would worry less about fitting in. Your soup looks great!

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  5. I loved this soup too Cher! Nice one!

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  6. I loved this one too Cher - nice choice!

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  7. I remember also skipping this! Maybe I'll try it this time around.

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  8. So this one of my favorites to date. I've made it several times now for different groups and each time it gets talked about. Ditto on the jr. high. man that was a painful time that is just so unimportant in hindsight. If I only knew I'd have people begging for chicken soup someday.

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  9. We were planning to make this one as our make-up, too! But, alas, the week just got away from us. I still have the silly Fish Sauce from the first time we missed it...one of those days. Have a fabulous weekend!

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  10. Ugh, the 80s - never going back there. Your soup looks great.

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  11. I remember unexpectedly enjoying this soup. I'll have to redo soon. I did make the mustard tart again this week. Love it. I didn't end up making up any recipes this week. The five I skipped were uninspiring for August. Or maybe I'm just being lazy. Good luck getting everyone off to school. Then take a deep breath.

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  12. This one was so delicious! I've made it several times, in fact I've probably made this one more than any other! Just wait a few more years Cher and you won't even remember junior high school. I'm not sure if that's something to be happy about or not!

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  13. Good luck getting everyone packed up and out. The chicken soup sounds like a great send-off. I loved that recipe and it has made repeat appearances at my table many times since. So fun to read through these make-up posts, it's like a little trip down memory lane.

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  14. Your soup looks so delicious! Junior high girls could be unusually mean! They are so not worth remembering or going back to. Great make up, Cher!

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  15. Blue eye shadow, jellies and teased bangs. Only to be replaced shortly into the first jobs of the late '80's with the weird tie/scarves that business suit ladies wore with 3 inch heels and shoulder pads that had us looking line defensive linemen At least there was no Facebook to document it. And yes, I need to go back to in time on our blog to see the evolution- has been one indeed. Soup looks great and I missed it too (not sure we had joined at this point) so I am encouraged that your family did like it. And only missing like one - jeez. Awesome but hardly a surprise - you juggle it all. Good luck getting the ladies back to their respective new spots- I am with you on what a circus it is. My boys had back in late Aug, early Sept. Tired just thinking about it ~

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  16. Blue eye shadow, jellies and teased bangs. Only to be replaced shortly into the first jobs of the late '80's with the weird tie/scarves that business suit ladies wore with 3 inch heels and shoulder pads that had us looking line defensive linemen At least there was no Facebook to document it. And yes, I need to go back to in time on our blog to see the evolution- has been one indeed. Soup looks great and I missed it too (not sure we had joined at this point) so I am encouraged that your family did like it. And only missing like one - jeez. Awesome but hardly a surprise - you juggle it all. Good luck getting the ladies back to their respective new spots- I am with you on what a circus it is. My boys had back in late Aug, early Sept. Tired just thinking about it ~

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  17. I am back again because I just now got to your Duck post from last week (yup- running behind big time). Great job improvising as usual and glad to hear this went with pork too. No shock there. I loved that you were reading Eat,Pray Love via Julia Roberts voice- that is hilarious. Not sure if you know but Elizabeth Gilbert lives in Frenchtown...up the river from Philly on the Jersey side in an amazingly charming area of greater Bucks county. She opened a shop with the guy at the end of the book (spoiler alert but you saw the movie.....). I got my mother in law a cookbook that Elizabeth wrote, comprised of wonderful recipes her grandmother came up with and Liz found in her attic. I am also due to take my mother in law up to visit there in early autumn, where Liz has a shop called "Two Buttons"...and we will also hit someplace local and uber charming for lunch. Check out Liz's Facebook page and also her website for more info and holler if you ever get down here. It is about 50 minutes from Nana and I .......http://twobuttons.com/

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  18. I love Tom Ka Gai, and Dorie's version is delicious. Some soups do make sense in the summer!

    I'm not sure I would want to erase that awkwardness that shadowed me through most of my childhood and even through my twenties. Lessons were learned, tears were shed, but that makes the little victories now that I'm a grownup so much sweeter.

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  19. Your "do-over" looks wonderful and sounds delicious. Good luck with the weekend departures.I hope everything goes smoothly. Blessings...Mary

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  20. Your do-over soup is something that I would enjoy during any season of the year.

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  21. Too bad you didn't post photos from your junior high days! I'm so glad I never have to re-live junior high or high school....Thanks for the reminder about this soup. I need to make it again.

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