Day 21: Cooking Laos Style

Trip Start Dec 26, 2012
Trip End Jan 29, 2013

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, Louangphabang,
Thursday, January 17, 2013

We decided to opt out of seeing the monks giving alms at 5 am this morning as Tori was still sick and we needed to get up early for our cooking class anyway. We woke up and headed off to class at 7:30 and grabbed a bagel at an overpriced bakery on the way.

Our cooking class comprised of three German men and two Chilean girls. After intros we were given a cook book with multiple Laos recipes, some specific to Luang Prabang. We were each asked to pick one that the group would cook and eat that day. Me being the only vegetarian meant I was the only one who chose something I could eat, which was a bit of a bummer at first.

After we all chose our recipes, we piled into a tuk tuk and drove to phosy market where fresh vegetables, meats, herbs and spices are sold. A lady from our class toured us around the market telling us the names of different things, letting us smell and taste new vegetables and herbs, and explaining what you would use each for. It was really interesting. At the market me and Marty bought the sticky rice cookers made of bamboo that are used here. We were so excited about the prospect of cooking sticky rice we didn't think about how hard it would be to carry the cooker in our packs without breaking it.. Oops.

We all headed back to the kitchen. First we learned how to make basic presentation decorations, which were making a rose out of tomato skins with leaves of cucumber- trust me, about as difficult as it sounds. Then we learned how to chop and prepare all of the ingredients we would need.

Once done we all put on our provided chef hats and aprons and headed to the kitchen to cook. Luckily for me, the staff had picked a bunch of vegetarian options that I could cook and eat while the others ate meat. It was really nice of them and made the experience much more enjoyable for me. We all took turns adding ingredients and cooking the recipes we picked. After each was done we all had tasting spoons out and ready to try bits of each dish. Once we were all done we sat down for a hearty lunch of all our cooking plus some fruit wines from the staff. It was delicious and I'm pretty sure both me and Marty almost exploded when we were done.

After the cooking class me and Marty went for a nap since I'm still not feeling well, then we headed to a bar across a rickety bamboo bridge. The bar which we already forget the name of, was filled with little bamboo huts with low tables and couches along the river. It also had a plethora of board games. Me and Marty had a flash from the past and played battle ship over cocktails.

Marty started to feel quite ill (we are wondering if the meat may not have been cooked properly at lunch because his stomach is so upset) so we headed back to the room. And trust me it wasn't the cocktails. I ended up grabbing dinner alone at the cheap pest restaurant which was super good while Marty watched Laos tv. Then we spent the rest of the night in.. Both of us slowly dying of illness. Looks like this trip is catching up to us finally.
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gdonovan on

Sorry to hear you're both not feeling well. Taking it easy for a day or two is definitely the way to go so you can enjoy the rest of your trip!

elva&ian on

I hope it was someone else's cooking and not your own that made you ill! Hope you feel better tomorrow.

Aunt Sandi on

Listen to your mother Tori. A couple of days spent resting with plenty of fluids will do you a world of good. Hopefully you will both then be feeling much better and be ready to charge full speed ahead. Take care.

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