Before Tet I told Huyen's parents that I was going to cook them a meal during Tet. It occured to me one day that her parents have never eaten anything in their lives except Vietnamese food. That's such a bizarre concept for me since I've had days in Los Angles where I ate Dim Sum for breakfast, Mexican for lunch and sushi for dinner.
I debated for a while what I should cook them and decided that pasta would be a good transition dish for them. Pasta is noodle based (which they like), has cooked tomatoes (which they often eat) and could be flavored with other vegetables or chicken. The day before Tet I went to the supermarket and bought a big box of Barilla pasta and a large container of Italian tomato sauce.
When we arrived at Huyen's house we unpacked the ingredients and put them on the second floor of the house, right near the stairwell. Wellllllllll, the meal before I was supposed to cook my pasta Huyen's mother "accidentally" dropped the sauce down the stairs:
Meal canceled. Sheesh, I can take a hint.