This afternoon I string red lanterns (purchased ages ago in Chinatown in Melbourne) around our verandah in preparation for our New Year's Eve party. We love entertaining our family and friends. With the house tidy and the food preparation completed I snatch half an hour to finish reading a fabulous Christmas gift from our friend, Alex (currently in India. Well-travelled. Lover of things Vietnamese).
Secrets of the Red Lantern is so much more than a cookbook. It tells the story of the lives of a family of Vietnamese refugees and how they make new lives in Australia. The story is gripping. The recipes outstanding.
I open the book and begin to read. It says...
"To raise a red lantern outside your home is a symbol of honouring good company."
I knew that.