At 93, Can Tho woman works hard and saves for a rainy day

By Di Vy   December 17, 2018 | 02:10 pm GMT+7

Ho Thi Chuoc makes snacks from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m, saves what she earns so she doesn’t have to depend on anyone.

At 93, Can Tho woman works hard and saves for a rainy dayHo Thi Chuoc makes snacks from 5am to 5pm, saves what she earns so she doesnt have to depend on anyone.

Photos by Nguyen Thinh 

Chuoc, 93, was born to a poor family. As the oldest child, she began working early to help her parents. Today, she makes crepes and waffles in an open porch and does not have signboards or seats for guests. But people have been finding their way to her shop for 40 odd years, enticed by the fragrance and taste of her snacks.

At 93, Can Tho woman works hard and saves for a rainy dayHo Thi Chuoc makes snacks from 5am to 5pm, saves what she earns so she doesnt have to depend on anyone. - 1

From mixing the flour to frying and/or baking, she does everything from scratch. She does not speak much, but the snacks sell real fast. They are priced low, "because it's just a snack, if the price is too high, sales will be slow."

At 93, Can Tho woman works hard and saves for a rainy dayHo Thi Chuoc makes snacks from 5am to 5pm, saves what she earns so she doesnt have to depend on anyone. - 2

Every day, she uses about 3 kg of flour, 1.5 kg of sugar and 25 eggs. The ingredients cost her VND200,000 ($8.6).

At 93, Can Tho woman works hard and saves for a rainy dayHo Thi Chuoc makes snacks from 5am to 5pm, saves what she earns so she doesnt have to depend on anyone. - 3

The street crepe master does not mix all the flour at once, waiting for orders to serve the snacks fresh.

At 93, Can Tho woman works hard and saves for a rainy dayHo Thi Chuoc makes snacks from 5am to 5pm, saves what she earns so she doesnt have to depend on anyone. - 4

She sells many kinds of snacks, but her bestseller is the Vietnamese waffle. Making it is not difficult, but requires patience and meticulousness. The price for one waffle is VND1,000 (4.3 US cents).

Chuoc cooks on a charcoal stove. When the mold is hot enough, she applies some oil inside and turns it over so that it spreads evenly. She skips this stage after a few cakes have been made because there is no need for more oil.

At 93, Can Tho woman works hard and saves for a rainy dayHo Thi Chuoc makes snacks from 5am to 5pm, saves what she earns so she doesnt have to depend on anyone. - 5

When the mold is hot, she fills it with just enough flour. Before this stage she has to stir the flour stored in a plastic bucket. The waffle is ready in three to five minutes.

At 93, Can Tho woman works hard and saves for a rainy dayHo Thi Chuoc makes snacks from 5am to 5pm, saves what she earns so she doesnt have to depend on anyone. - 6

Despite her age, she excels at her craft. The cakes come out of the grill with a golden hue and slight fragrance, and are rarely burnt. They have a soft texture and a creamy flavor. Hot or cold, crisp or soft, they taste delicious.

At 93, Can Tho woman works hard and saves for a rainy dayHo Thi Chuoc makes snacks from 5am to 5pm, saves what she earns so she doesnt have to depend on anyone. - 7

In the front of the small house on Nguyen Van Cu Street, the sounds of Chuoc setting up her stall and the fragrance of her cooking wafts into corners and alleys of Ninh Kieu District. Most of her customers are people living nearby.

At 93, Can Tho woman works hard and saves for a rainy dayHo Thi Chuoc makes snacks from 5am to 5pm, saves what she earns so she doesnt have to depend on anyone. - 8

Her oven and "hot plate" are fired at 5 a.m. every day. She sells her snacks non-stop until 5 p.m. Some of them are readymade pancakes and wrapped in bags. Despite working all day, Chuoc does not earn much: only around VND80,000 ($3.4).

But she is happy and content with her life. "What I earn I save for a rainy day. I can use that and not have to borrow from anyone."

 
 
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