08 May 2012

Cooking School

The cooking school people picked us up at 8:30 in song teu. Our first stop was the fresh market where we were given a quick tour of some of the ingredients we'd be working with. They they let us wander on our own for 15 minutes or so while they bought what we'd need.

We loaded up again for drive out into the country where the school and farm is. We started by putting jasmine rice in cookers and sticky rice in steamers to get them started then we took a tour of the farm.

The farm is organic and they grow many of the flavoring agents used in Thai cooking...kaffir lime, long bean, ginger, ginsing, garlic chives, lemon grass, Thai basil (a very anise-like flavor), shallots, peppers, etc.

In the kitchen, we made a soup with coconut milk, chicken, lemon grass and lots of other things. When it was done, we poured our soup into bowls (everyone made their own soup) and took them outside to long tables where we ate them. It was yummy! Even if I'm not a big fan of coconut.

Then we started our green curry paste with the pepper, garlic, shallot, etc all mashed up with a mortar and pestle. We put the paste into coconut milk with chicken, onion, Thai pumpkin and a couple types of eggplant. We poured that into a bowl and set it aside while we made stir fry sauce for the cashew chicken stir fry and combined them in a wok.

These, we ate with the rice we made earlier.

It was a LOT of food...I couldn't eat it all.

We then had an hour or so to wander around the farm or nap or whatever we wanted to do. Virginia and I took a walk down the dirt road the farm was on just to see what was there. We made friends with a couple Brahma calves that were on the road, with the bull and other members of the herd tethered in nearby fields. When we got to a paved road, we turned around and headed back.

Then it was time to make spring rolls. While those steamed, we made a mango sticky rice dessert.

Did I mention it was a LOT of food earlier? That was before the spring rolls and mango rice...I can't help but feel very self-conscious about it. In this country,, the amount of food I made for just me would have fed at least 4 or 5 people. It seems like supreme gluttony to eat it all (which I couldn't anyway) or incredibly wasteful to throw any of it all.

What to do?