Trip Start May 18, 2009
14Trip End Jun 15, 2009
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picked up at 8 am by a beautiful Thai girl who was to take us to the market to
buy a few ingredients and then to her organic family run garden in the hills to
learn to cook authentic Thai food. On the way we picked up an English couple
(peter and Lucy like narnia) and a man named Satiam who is just the sort of
person who you travel all the way around the world to meet. Satiam is a tall
scrawny man from Holland with wild blonde hair who lives in an ashram in India.
He is a Tibetan healer for a living, eats only raw incredibly healthy food and
was so side stichingly hilarious that I though the entire day was worth it just
to sit in the car with him for an hour. He is on a vacation from India because
it is "so fucking real" (slumdog millionaire style). When we went to
the market to get a few ingredients (like freshly pressed coconut juice) Satiam
walked around with Brian and I and told us which foods would help with which
problems in the body. Eat papaya leaf if you are having stomach problems and
ground some of this ginger too break down foods with lots of fat. He gave us
some algae to eat that was from the bottom of the mae ping river.
The farm was far
from the city and beautiful. Green like there should be a new word invented for
it's intensity in hue and tropical flowers decorating every tree like Christmas.
Nice (our Thai cooking teacher) gave us a tour of her lovely garden and let us
pick and taste all the ingredients we would be cooking with. We saw Galangal,
(one characteristic Thai root that is similar o ginger), Lemon grass (used in
tom yam and curry), Eggplant, sweet eggplant, Thai parsley, sweet basil, holy
basil and kafir lime. All those spices that make Thai food so miraculous and
multi faceted. Eating these leaves of the tree and grass from the ground made
me understand that any attempt we make at Thai food at home is a sad
impersonation. Also there were mango trees, pineapple, Guava trees, jackfruit
trees, Durian trees and many other sweet Thai fruits we sampled whose names I
cannot pronounce but whose taste I will never forget.
The first dish
we made was curry Brian yellow, I green. The only ingredient we did not pick
from the garden was the coconut milk which we got pressed fresh at the market.
We ground all the ingredients up in old-fashioned stone mortars. We then made
Tom Yam soup (the soup Brian and I always drop money for every week at orchids)
again only ingredients from the garden. When we tasted it was clear our soup
blew orchids out of the water (and that is saying something). Finally we made
papaya salad which may be my favorite salad, spicy sweet and salty. When we sat
down to our feast on the table overlooking the beautiful garden it was hands
down the best meal we have had in Thailand. The incredible layered spices
tasted like the garden we were looking out over, they tasted like we were
eating the country (which of course we were). After lunch we sat for a few
hours talking with satiam and the English couple about yoga, mediation, Ekhart
tolle, the power of now, love and god. As if I weren't full enough already.
We cooked two
more dishes; pad Thai and mango sticky rice, which we took home to eat for
dinner. On the way out one of the gardeners gave us a speech about Buddhism
that made me almost cry. He was so happy and full of joy that after each few
sentences he burst out in crazy hysterical laughter that made us all laugh crazily back.
He was so happy it was impossible to contain. There are no millionaires in the
united states with that kind of joy, I guarantee it.
Thailand, We love Thailand, We love Thailand. Maybe we will move here J