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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cooking School

Yesterday we all went to a Thai cooking school. We’d been recommended it by quite a few people all saying it was fantastic and this proved to be very true! We had a fab day!

We got picked up by Sammy (Sammy’s organic cooking school) and firstly headed to a market where we were shown the different kinds of rice used for normal rice with the curries and the one used for sticky rice. We were also shown how coconut milk used to be extracted by hand and how now a machine is used. We were given a few minutes to walk around the market, again we saw a pig’s head on the side which Dave and Mister Al posed for a photo next to.

Sammy then took us to his farm about 30 minutes out of Chang Mai city. Sammy and his wife were such good hosts, greeting us with Jasmine tea and coffee and rice cakes. He showed us all the different plants and spices grown on the farm that we would be using to cook later and also spent a good five minutes raving about his toilet (apparently the best in Chang Mai!!).

We had five dishes each to cook during the day- a curry, soup, stir-fry, appetiser and desert and each dish had 3 different options so with there being 3 of us we were able to make every dish available between us and then try them. So we put on our matching aprons and picked up our chopping knives and got started. Firstly we made our own curry paste using a mortar and pestle (mister Alex and I were the slowest with our chopping) and then moved to our own individual stove to make the curry. Then came the soup followed by the stirfrys so by lunch time the 3 of us had 9 meals to munch our way through- mister Al’s green curry, hot and sour prawn soup and stir fried chicken with cashew nuts, Dave’s jungle curry, hot vegetable soup and stir fry minced chicken with holy basil and my yellow curry, chicken in coconut milk soup and pad thai. So it’s needless to say we were stuffed to the brim after lunch but Sammy had this all considered and we had an hour or so to chill out in his hammocks in the shade.

After a little snooze we went on to make the appetisers- spring rolls for mister Al, papaya salad for Dave and chicken in Pandanus leaves for me (chicken wrapped like origami in a leaf and then deep fried). Followed by the deserts- mango with sticky rice for Dave, pumpkin custard for Mister Alex and banana in coconut milk for me, which was dead simple but tasted gorgeous!

All the food we made tasted beautiful (I know I’m biased but we were all so impressed and proud of the outcome of every dish). Sammy you and your wife managed to get the girl who has been known to burn packet noodles in the pan, live off a diet of chicken nuggets and potato wedges at uni and even managed to set fire to chips in the oven make five Thai dishes from scratch! Sammy also gave us a recipe book to take home so Thai diner party at ours when we get back!!!!

Last night we had a few drinks and watched the football (Liverpool lost to Sunderland) and today we are having a proper chilled out Sunday, as I write this the boys are doing press ups in the other room and later we are going to the Sunday market and getting an early night as we are doing a big trek with elephants and an overnight stay in an elephant camp tomorrow!!! Very excited for this!

Lots of love to everyone at home xxxx

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