With only one week left before the Lunar Year 4705 begins, there's still a lot to prepare. I need to finish everything by February 18, the beginning of a particularly auspicious Year of the Boar. Some of the more important items on my TO DO list...
- Scrub, dust, mop, and wash everything from floor to ceiling.
- Invite my first visitor of the year. Alex (my smart, successful, super-nice doctor friend) moved to L.A., so I'll have to find someone else to carry luck and prosperity into my home.
- Prepare banh chung from Andrea's hardcore, traditional recipe in her new cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. It's four pages long and includes instructions on how to make your own mold. We've already exchanged some notes on our favorite techniques and ingredients (remember the pork fat!) as well as some major no-no's (forget the green food coloring). If I'm feeling flush, I might even try making the more difficult shaped banh tet.