Hey there! I'm Vivian. Sometimes I write about life and sometimes I write about teaching.

This evening we hosted a casual dinner at home for another couple. I had jokingly promised to make mapo tofu for the wife a few weeks ago. I thought tonight’s meal would be a perfect opportunity to make good on that promise. Buuuuut, I didn’t want to commit making a bunch of other dishes, especially if a restaurant could do it better. I ended up doing what my own mother would do: I made rice and my mapo tofu, along with mixing up some citron honey tea. Then I went online and ordered our favorite Taiwanese “small dishes” and a side of vegetables to round out the items I made myself.

Is this something other people do–make hybrid meals? My mom is an amazing cook, but she will often invite us over for meals like this, part homecooked and part take out.

At the end of the night, if there’s enough leftover, she’ll pack us lunches. Not just containers of leftovers. She’ll pack containers ready to go for our work lunches, ready for the microwave. So at the end of the evening, that’s exactly what I did for our guests.

Of the habits and traits I have of could have inherited, this is one that I won’t complain about when someone says, “You’re becoming your mother!”



  1. I would never think to make some of the food and order the rest, but that’s brilliant! How thoughtful to leave each of your guests with tomorrow’s meal. I think you’re absolutely right that this is a way of turning into your mother that everyone will appreciate.

  2. arjeha says:

    I have never done this, but what a time saver and anxiety reliever.

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