Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pho, Pho, Pho! Merry Christmas!

This year, instead of baking cookies and scones and whipping myself into a flour-dusted, sugar-crusted frenzy, I decided to take a cue from my globe-trotting colleague L, who is in Mexico for the holidays. Why not do something a little different? Edgy? Unexpected? Thus, I decided to make a warm, fragrant Vietnamese Pho for dinner on the Eve of Christmas Eve.

What’s a Pho? Well, a pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup with noodles, sprouts, basil, baked tofu, and a spicy broth flavored with ginger, garlic, mushrooms, and spices aplenty. Since it was featured on the cover of Vegetarian Times this month, I thought I’d give it a shot.

Mr. Riley, despite his skepticism, was a good sport. He ate a whole bowl of Pho, making his “I dream of a wife who enjoys beef” face the entire time. (Uh, ignore the innuendo there.) “It tastes like cinnamon-flavored water,” he concluded. “Can I make a pizza?”

So, this will be my phirst and last time making pho. It’s not very phlavorful OR philling. Here’s a photo of my pho:

What the Phuck is This?

Uh, yes. Pink Human Who Distributes Food Items, I’ve got just one question: Why does it smell like napalm in the morning?

Before I could make my pho, I ran to the local grocery store in the middle of a blizzard to stock up on the necessary ingredients. And as I carried my canvas sacks loaded with foodstuffs from the trunk of my car to the house, I slipped on a patch of the slipperiest ice formed since water first met 32 degrees Fahrenheit, fell in love, and changed it’s previously familiar way. This ice was sprayed in Pam cooking spray, Teflon, and WD-40. Naturally, my sensible hiking boots were no match for such a slippery-ass surface, and I pitched forward onto my sacks. (Alright, who’s giggling? Get your mind out of the gutter!) Luckily, my fall was cushioned by a plastic carton of arugula and a bag of rice noodles—for the PHO!

My heroes.

So I took one of my annual winter spills, and ended up with a bruised hand, hip and knee. But I didn’t cry this time! This can only be a sign that I’ve finally reached adulthood.

And finally, as promised, a selection of Student Journal Entries from Everyone’s Favorite Professor. This is my Christmas gift to you. Enjoy!

--"Journal assignment: What am I passionate about? I am passionate about sex. I have had sex with 33 girls now and I just love it."

--"I have no idea who I am even. Oh yeah, I got my belly pierced today!"

--"Mom picked me up and on the way to the Clarks she told me she might have lung cancer. She's not trying hard enough to quit smoking ... Anyway Halloween was good. I was a cereal killer."

--"I was just thinking today about one way that I changed since I've been in college. I don't hate gay people anymore...Most women like gay guys so they can hook you up fairly easy."

--"College would be so much better if an education wasn't involved."

--"Studying seems to pay off."

PS: I’m at the Debs again on Friday, writing about holiday traditions. Just in case you’re wondering where I am on Friday.


  1. even if it didn't taste great, the Pho looks great! It's so pho-togenic! Looks just like the magazine cover!

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

  2. Someday when we get you out to Vancouver I'll take you out to a great Pho place. Very tasty. Pho-nominal. HA!

  3. Anonymous1:04 PM

    I think you (or maybe only Mr. Riley) might enjoy pho IF you made it the non-veggie way with BEEF BROTH and strips of BEEF! Tucker the cairn terrier agrees.

  4. That must be a crap pho recipe because normally it is just divine.

    And yes, Vietnamese usually love the beef pho. Many Vietnamese places advertise their "Beef 7 Ways" in the window.

  5. I would pay handsomely for a picture of Mr. Riley making his “I dream of a wife who enjoys beef” face. Can you have the camera ready next time please?

  6. Anonymous8:31 PM

    The journal entries are priceless. Is that the highlight of his job? How could it not be?

    PS: I killed a bowl of Raisin Bran this morning even.

  7. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Merry (belated) Christmas! I hope you're recovering nicely from your fall. Last year I fell on the ice that had covered the front walk at work. Nothing like an audience for such a stunt.

  8. Oh, dreaming of a wife who enjoys beef. Now that's a sentence!

  9. Sorry the pho was a bust. Must have been a bad recipe, because normally that stuff is awesome!

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas. Also, I am beginning to think that writers are more inclined to fall down and go boom than non-writers because I have fallen A-on a grocery bag full of yogurt (which ended badly for both the yogurt and my coat)and B-Face-first onto my driveway, nearly taking myself out on the shovel in the process.

    Winter can go away now....

  10. I hate putting a ton of work into a dish, only to have it come out pho-pho. Oh well.

    Those student journal entries are hilarious!

  11. Because of those journal entries, I'll resist the urge to comment on the pillow-like fall breaking capacities of ground beef :)

    I started reading the entries to my husband, who said, "Oh, so these are people just learning English?"

  12. I love meat.
    I always wondered what professors did with our journals after we handed them in. My psych 101 prof "lost" my entire journal one year. Yeah right, he is probably still making fun of me.

  13. Thanks for giving me my first laugh of 2008. You're too funny. If I wasn't hung over, I'm sure you'd be even funnier.

    Happy New Year!

  14. I agree with the comment above.
    Great post, made me laugh!
    Ouch! My head... Clearly no writing will get done today.

  15. You pho phunny!

    Priceless jounal entries. These are the future leaders of our country??