Jordan's Lunch Box was featured in an article called "Young food lovers break into blogging" which appears in The Journal News, LoHud.com, and LoHudFood.com. The article will appear in the print version of the Journal News as part of the Life & Style section on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015. Thank you to Megan McCaffrey for including Jordan's Lunch Box in her piece!
This is the second blog post about my family’s trip to Vietnam. After we had spent a few days in Ho Chi Minh City, we took a three-hour drive down to the Mekong Delta. We drove over cool bridges and saw a lot of motorbikes on the drive there. The hotel we stayed at was called The Victoria. It was beautiful. When we got to the hotel, they sat us down and massaged us. While they were massaging us they gave us a fruit drink that tasted like mango. It tasted so good! After the massage, we went upstairs and changed into our bathing suits to go to the pool. While at the pool, we ordered shrimp toast and spicy Vietnamese chicken wings. When the food arrived, we dug in. The shrimp toast was creamy and crunchy at the same time. In America, chicken wings are usually either sweet or spicy but not both at the same time. These were both!
The next morning we ate breakfast and headed out to the dock outside for a tour. There was a boat there ready to take us to three stops and to give us a tour of the famous floating markets. The first stop we went to was a noodle factory. When we got to the first stop, we had to walk down a path to the actual location. On our way down, we stopped at a stand that sold thin banana pancakes. The pancake was a thin circle made out of bananas in an old fashioned pancake maker. She was outside over a campfire and was flipping it in a colonial looking pancake maker. It looked thin and crunchy. We saved it for later in case we got hungry. After a few minutes of walking, we finally got to the noodle factory. The first step to making noodles was to make a thin batter. Then you put it on this pan and put a cover over it and flip it from side to side, and then you let it dry and then you shred it in a hand machine to make it into strips which look like pasta. It seems like an easy task, but it isn't. The batter was a beige color and in the room there was traditional Vietnamese music playing. There was a garden in the backyard and dogs in the room. After watching the workers make noodles, we got back on the boat and headed to the next stop.
On our way to the floating market my grandma said, “I’m thirsty.” So, we saw a boat with drinks on it so we hooked our boat with their boat and asked for a drink. When we asked for the drink they wanted to sell it to all of us. So, they got closer to the boat and started to put drinks in our faces. They were there for a couple of minutes, but we were able to get them away from us. Just when we thought we had escaped another boat hooked onto us and wanted to give us all sorts of things, and put them in our face to try to get us to buy it. We finally got away and got to see the amazing view of all of the boats in the floating market selling fruit. Some families lived on the boats and others had a house on land. Each boat was pouring with amazing fruit. That was the ripest I’ve ever seen fruit. There were some fruits I’ve never heard of. It was an amazing sight.
Once we passed the floating market, we were getting close to our next stop -- the fruit orchard. When we got to the fruit orchard, we went inside. Inside they were selling jewelry and drinks. My mom and I went over to the jewelry table and looked at the options. There were really pretty necklaces, and bracelets, and these cool hair things. We decided to get the hair thing and a bracelet for my cousin. The orchard had tons of exotic fruit. While we were walking, we got to feed the fish. When we fed them they would stick out there heads and gobble it up. The orchards didn't just have fruit and fish, it also had flowers. We learned that you can tell if a dragon fruit is red or white inside. You can tell it’s red when the tips of the leaves are red. We were nearing the end of the orchard when we saw this bridge and our tour guide said we can go on it. So, I went on the bridge. I had flip flops on and I was playing with them on the bridge. Suddenly, my flip flop fell into the swamp below, which was not good. We had to get a huge stick to fish it out of the swamp. Plus, my grandma was on the bridge pushing it to the shore. Meanwhile, my mom and I were cracking up. We finally got it out of the water and it felt good to put it on. When we ended our tour, we got to pick out a few fruits to try. We had mango, dragon fruit, milk apple, pineapple, and jackfruit. My favorite fruit was the dragon fruit. After everyone finished we got back on the boat and headed to our last stop the rice factory.
When we got to the rice factory, we got to see the different types of rice. The factory was big and had tons of machines, but no one was in there besides us. The rice was all different colors and sizes and there was enough rice for a lifetime. After we finished with the rice factory we headed back to the hotel where we got our stuff and went back to Ho Chi Minh City. My next Vietnam post will be about the cooking school we went to in Hoi An.
Tonight is the first night of Passover. Passover is a holiday to celebrate the freedom of the Jewish people from Egypt. The Passover seder is a festival meal. Sometimes it can be boring for kids at the seder, so to make it more fun, grown ups throw special kid seders. At my Hebrew school, they make it more fun by throwing a chocolate seder for kids. The seder is all about chocolate. Chocolate prayers, chocolate matzah, chocolate seder plates, chocolate everything. To start off the seder, we said our first prayer about chocolate, then drank our first sip of chocolate milk. After we said our prayer, we had the dipping of the strawberry in the chocolate sauce. Then we broke the chocolate covered matzah in half the bigger half of the chocolate matzah would get hidden for the afikoman. The smaller piece of matzah we would eat. So, everyone at my table just started grabbing at the matzah and just handed it to everybody. After the chocolate matzah, we told the story of the four different kids and their opinion of chocolate. Then we tried all of the different types of chocolate: white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate (my favorite type of chocolate), and baking chocolate. When I tried the baking chocolate, it tasted so bland. It was terrible, I think everyone who tried it would agree with me. Next, we did the chocolate four questions and four kids read them aloud. After the questions, we made s’mores and we were allowed to take candy from a different table so everyone went crazy. People filled their plates with candy and and put chocolate seder plates in their mouths. It was really nuts. While everyone was being crazy, they went around with raffle tickets. Then, everyone got settled down and we did the raffle. The prizes for the raffle were two giant gummy bears on a stick, a giant rice krispie bar, and a five pound Hersheys chocolate bar. One of my neighbors Josh won the giant chocolate bar. After the raffle, we did our last prayer and left. I can’t wait to go again next year.
My name is Jordan. I am a 12th grader and I love food!