Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cooking Class

Our gorgeous spread of veggies from the market.
The small chefs, distributing the ingredients to each of our cooking/prep stations
One of the incredible things about being in Thailand is of course eating THAI FOOD.  We thought it impractical (tho not unreasonable) to bring back a suitcase full of green papaya salad, a second one full of sticky rice and mangoes, and a third with piping hot Tom Kah Gai and Phad Thai Noodles.  Guessing they would not travel well we opted for a cooking class. A wonderful Thai Lanna woman who has lived and traveled the world over, Suwanee, returned home to Chiang Rai and opened an informal cooking school.
Suwanee and the boys, in action
Offering all-day experience for tourists, Suwanee fills the day with interesting activities including a trip to the market to buy all the ingredients for a select 5-course menu, explain all the unfamiliar fruits and veggies, sample some uncommon snacks, watch specialty foods being made, and meet some market vendors. We took a detour to visit a temple that is nearby the market.  And on the way back to Chiang Rai, we did a big detour to the White Temple (Wat Rung Kohn).

 PFPJ also carried on with his mission to locate and use all of Thailand's bathrooms.

A favorite of everyone: Green Papaya Salad.  Can't you almost taste it? 
Ingredients for another favorite, Tom Kah Gai (Thai lemongrass/coconut soup)
My cooking station -- I was trying to film and photograph so I think my dishes suffered a bit of neglect. We enjoyed sampling each-other's dishes.  We each had to make some choices about how much of different ingredients to add even tho we were all making the 'same' entrees.  We made a menu of things not only that we liked but that we thought we could make back in Zambia:  green papaya salad, tom ka gai, steamed banana cakes, ginger chicken, and something we are all forgetting right now.  We need to check the video clips to refresh our memory!
mashing bananas for our little, steamed cake packets
They could tell mine by the diagonal skewer.  I did not follow directions, apparently.

Taking a deserved break.  Cooking is hard work.

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