October 2008

I’ve decided to extend the deadline for this round of Hay Hay It’s Donna Day for a couple more days until the end of the week, I’ll be away from the net for a few days doing some island hopping, so its only fair. So if you’ve been obsessing too much about the US elections or the global financial crisis recently, take a break and send me an entry before the end of the week. It’s good to get your mind of the bigger things every now and then!

This past week saw me doing a lot of walking all over Bangkok as part of a new freelance job. I’ve been taking pictures of various sights and points of interest in the city, spending whole days on my feet. I forgot how sprawling this city is.

My legs and feet are tired, I think I lost a ton of weight and I saw some parts of the city I did not exactly care to see. On the upside I saw some parts of the city I have not been to before and stumbled onto a really pretty temple.

Wat Ratchabophit lies somewhat east of the palace grounds and is therefore not nearly as visited and popular as the wats around the palace. I arrived here late in the afternoon and the grounds were virtually deserted except for a small group of devotees congregated in the main viharn. The temple was built in a circular style with vibrant tiles adorning its walls.

I know I’ve been terrible with blogging and reading blogs and keeping things up. Blame it on all the walking. We’re heading south today though and hopefully I’ll get a little more time to update again. And remember to send me you entries for HHDD#23.

The Ho Chi Minh alleys proved just as fascinating and colorful a place to wander around in than the ones I so love in Hsinchu.

And being slightly wider, they provide the ideal spot for setting up an informal cafe, or passageway-market.

I was a bit thrown off finding out that I was to host the next round of Hay Hay its Donna Day!, what with me not having access to a kitchen and traveling at the moment.

Suzana was darling enough to offer hosting on behalf of me, something I was considering as I really had no idea how I was going to manage. Still, I thought it would be fun if I could host from Vietnam and searched for a recipe that did not require a fully equipped kitchen (our friendly hotel management said it would be fine to use theirs).

The recipe I found, mint yogurt from the book Flavors, seemed perfect. It required only a stove top and a few ingredients, including the ubiquitous mint found in so many Vietnamese salads. So I set out to a local grocer and then the market to collect the ingredients and proceeded to make the yogurt.

To make Donna Hay‘s mint yogurt you need to gather:

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup shredded mint leaves

1/2 cup water

1 cup chilled plain yogurt

1 cup chilled cream

And to make it:

Prepare a syrup by placing the water, sugar and mint leaves in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Let it simmer for another 4 minutes and then let it stand for another 5. When the syrup has cooled, add it together with the other ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat until light and creamy.

Serve on its own or with some fresh fruit or muesli for a refreshing breakfast or snack.

Of course the process was not without its hiccups. The kitchen was lacking a little in measuring cups and of course there was no beater, so I had to estimate a little with the amounts and ended up whisking the ingredients together with chopsticks instead of beating it with a mixer. But it came out very well in the end and I served some to Alexander and my friend Christel, who traveled with us for a few days, with that very tropical of tropical fruits, mango. Delicious!

For the challenge you can either make the same mint yogurt, or create a different yogurt using any other ingredients. I know the recipe is really simple, but in that lies the challenge to create something really exciting. Have fun!


Hay Hay Its Donna Day is open to all food and wine bloggers.

Entries submitted for HHDD must be made specifically for this event, although photos may be submitted to Does My Blog Look Good In This.

The host will select, make and post the original Donna Hay recipe without any changes. Participants may make the same recipe as is, or put their own spin on the recipe by altering the ingredients whilst remaining with the theme or if they prefer to share a well loved recipe within the theme. Entrants must include a link to the host in their post.

Entries can be made at any time once the event has been announced but must be posted and emailed to the host by the closing date.

Deadline for all posts to be up and submitted is October 27, 2008. I will be posting the round-up a week later (November 4) and voting will then begin!

Please email all your entries to bordeaux76@gmail.com. In your email, please include the following information: your blog name, your name, your location, your recipe name, and the permalink to your entry.

Hay Hay Its Donna Day is a food event created by Barbara from Winos and Foodies and now under the wing of Bron Marshall.

Can’t wait to see your entries!

Wandering around some of Saigon’s alleys reminded me that I still have plenty of pictures of the alleys and doorways around Hsinchu. The red doors are often adorned with good wishes on either side of the entrance. These ones were a bit different than what you’d usually see, having images of angels on the doors.