February 18, 2010

A Trip To Baltimore and a Vietnamese Feast

Last Sunday, February 14th, I traveled to Baltimore, Maryland with my good friend, Jane Heller and Jane's husband, Steve Gerard.  We had a leisurely early morning train ride aboard the Amtrak Acela.  The reason for the trip was to attend a very special Vietnamese luncheon, celebrating Tet, the Lunar New Year.   This year is The Year of the Tiger, symbolizing strength.  This holiday is regarded as the most important cultural holiday among Chinese, Vietnamese, and other Asian nations.  Our hosts for this delicious lunch were Mr. and Mrs. Phung Doan, originally from Vietnam, now living and working in the United States.  Their daughter, Trin, who also joined us, works at Bank of America with Jane in private banking.  It was a pleasure meeting this family including sons, Thinh and Trung.  I was very impressed with the traditional foods that Mrs. Doan artfully prepared, including goi cuon - shrimp spring rolls and banh chung - rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves and stuffed with mung beans and pork.