Food on a Rubber Tree Farm

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thailand is an amazing country that can provide so much food for itself.  Wherever you go there's coconut trees, banana trees, mangos, etc. - all just out in the open.  As a result, food is very cheap as there's not a high demand for it, most people can provide their own.  Especially as we were staying on a farm!  Even still, it's interesting to note that a hierarchy still exists.  Our hosts are considered 'labourers' as in many countries are on the 'lower end' of the scale.  But even here, they have people working for them.  Immigrants from Burma do most of the work on the farm for them for a share of the profits.  So many things are growing right outside the door:  banana, coconuts, papaya are some of the most prolific.  Today for lunch, Pipat's mother asked me if I would like to make a papaya salad with her.  Well, that was an easy answer!  I had heard about this salad in a Laotian cooking book I'd read, so I was anxious to give it a try!

Again, as in all Thai cooking, it's the 4 key flavours fighting for attention in your mouth.

    • grated papaya
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 3 chillies
    • 2 large spoons of fish sauce
    • tomato
    • 1 lime squeezed
    • 1 handful of roasted peanuts
    • chunk of palm sugar
    • sprinkle of baby salted shrimp
    • pound all ingredients except papaya in the mortar and pestle. Add papaya and bruise gently and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with additional peanuts.

Later in the afternoon we munched on thinly sliced mango with chilli paste. And then the main attraction of the evening: making pizza. Now when we left Scotland, I thought our pizza making days were over for a little while. Kind of a celebration that the week was over, Brian and I would make pizza on a Friday night completely from scratch. Pipat, who ate bologna and cheese sandwiches at every meal we shared was very eager to have us make pizza for him. He had even gone out and sourced some flour and yeast as well as cheese – not too easy to get I would imagine!  We were still a bit concerned about making it and had no idea how we were going to cook it (you can't cook a pizza over a single gas burner and wok)! Pipat came out with this strange round convection oven that gave you a shock if you touched it, even though it didn't get near to the temperature listed. Shrimp, onion, tomato and holy basil were the toppings of choice - topped further with a generous portion of Kraft mozza singles – yum!

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