Have you ever gone to a restaurant with the healthiest intentions -- a salad followed by grilled fish and steamed vegetables -- only to find yourself halfway through a bacon cheeseburger and onion rings?
I recently had a tussle on a comment thread of a Huffington Post article. First Lady Michelle Obama, as part of her "Let's Move" campaign, the article explained, had hosted a State Dinner for Kids at the White House.
These seem to be the earliest vehicles that drove the phrase into our public consciousness here in America. Fast forward many decades and the literal meaning has manifested itself in a very unappetizing way: People are eating their own trash.
I love the fact that M.F.K. Fisher, author of The Art of Eating, sings the praises of eating alone on a couch. Am I the only one who loves that kind of meal? I like eating alone on a hill side, too, but that's a bit harder to pull off.
Like the country whose history is one of being conquered by foreign powers and whose people must constantly adapt to survive, the soup has roots in so many heritages yet retains a distinctive Vietnamese taste.