This morning after our cuppa's, we found a beautiful bunch of flowers and thought we'd try all the filters that are a feature of our cameras.(Jan and I have the same camera which has worked a treat this trip as we just grab the one closest and know how to use it (or think we do anyway!) We were snapping away when Jan looked more closely to see if she could figure out what flower it was...Joke was on us as it was a bunch of artificial flowers that someone had popped in several of the bushes...we laughed so hard, we couldn't believe we didn't notice earlier!! Wonder what the people around thought....
Today we had signed up for a cooking class to learn how to cook Thai. Here is a person who hates anything spicy or hot learning to cook Thai!! But I have been trying lots of different dishes while here and have been amazed that I like the flavours! As we gathered at the table (6 of us) Noi told us about Thai food: sweet, salty, spicy and sour and how they all work together. Off to the markets, with a spoon in one hand and a skewer in the other and pen and paper close at hand with our cameras around our neck! We stopped at so any stalls and sampled so many things...favourites were the black bean cakes, banana that had been tossed in rice flour, coconut and tapioca before shallow frying and the many fruits (mangosteen, longan, rambutan etc).
We tasted all sorts of herbs and spices and compared them. We were at the markets for two hours. What an education! Technology is everywhere. At the markets I saw these two kids playing with a mini iPad while their mum had a food stall...business must be good!
Back to Apple's Retreat (where we are staying as well) to start cooking! First dish of the day was a Pork Salad which had pork that had been marinated with pineapple juice to tenderize it, then grilled or baked. The salad is made with the pork, spring onion, celery, shallots and tomato wedges that have been slightly cooked in a salt, sugar, palm sugar, fish sauce and lime mixture to which some chilies have been added (then taken out when the flavour has been reached!
Next was Phad Thai with fresh rice noodles, shallots, egg, bean sprouts, sweet radish, spring onion, carrot and pork in a sauce made with tamarind sauce, fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice, chili powder and peanuts. We then all sat down to eat these two dishes! Delicious!
We then started on the Kang Massman Kai or Massaman curry that was made with a beautiful curry paste cooked with onion, sweet potato, carrot and coconut milk. We then added palm sugar, tamarind sauce, fish sauce, peanuts and chicken.
Last was Tom Kha Kai (chicken and coconut milk soup) that had ginger, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, straw mushrooms and chicken, all cooked in coconut milk with fish sauce, crushed chilies and sugar.
The kitchen was purpose built and had heaps of bench space and 6 burners to work on. All the dishes were very easy to fix as we cooked and ate all four dishes in 3 1/2 hours (a little of the prep work of cutting had been done. Great for us...no washing up!! Cost was $52 for over 6 hours and a recipe book. What a treat!
Managed to get a sunset tonight but nearly missed it as I had walked across the street to look at the river!