Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Buriram, Thailand

Last week, Brad and I were in Bangkok and Buriram, Thailand. We were working at an orphanage with a group of high school students and it was one of the most amazing experiences I have had to date. Experiencing Thailand for the first time, working at an orphanage and playing with the beautiful kids that live there, and of course, eating amazing food.
The experience was exciting, sad, overwhelming, and enlightening at the same time. The children were lovely. One little girl, Dtoy (pronounced like 'toy' with a soft 't'), absolutely stole my heart while were in Buriram (and I'm pretty sure she kept it there with her...) Her tender love for everything was something I had not seen in such a young girl. We played a game where I would hold her, count to three, then flip her upside down. Every time we would stand back up, I would have pieces of hair in my face. She would take her little fingers and gently move each hair behind my ear before saying, "One more" in a very soft voice. Her giggle when she was hanging upside down in my arms was enough to make anyone fall in love with her right then and there. Here she is:


Read more about our experience from our other blog here.

Before I attempt to make the dishes we had in Thailand, I wanted to share some photos of the food being made by the Thai woman who worked at the orphanage. Everything was simple and delicious. I was lucky that she did not get annoyed by my picture taking and question asking in the kitchen. I just had to learn!

One of the first dishes we had in Thailand was, of course, Pad Thai. I think it is like the Cheeseburger of America. You can find it all over the place and when it is made right, it can be the most satisfying meal. You might notice in the photos below that the cooking is happening outdoors. This is how they cooked the majority of their food. The prep happened in the kitchen, but the actually cooking (I'm assuming because it is too hot in the kitchen) happens outside on a patio.

We had fried chicken. Yep. And it was not KFC style. I tried to help with this but I guess I was too slow breading the chicken (keep in mind we were cooking for about 40 people every night- at least that's my excuse for being slow) because I got booted from my job... Anyway, along with the chicken we had stir-fried vegetables and fresh pineapple. The pineapple was my favorite part of the meal. Fresh pineapple is cut into chunks and a delicious, spicy-sweet topping of chili flakes, salt and sugar is sprinkled over the top. I made this immediately the first night we were back in Tokyo... not the same as in Thailand. Must try to get it right...

The next meal was Thai red curry with chicken. SO good! I love curry and this was possibly the best red curry I have ever eaten. She made it with sugar cane rather than straight up sugar. It gave the curry a softer sweetness and did not detract from the flavor of the curry paste.

Overall, the experience in Thailand was something I can only say is indescribable.

This week, Brad and I are moving into a new apartment, so I will not have much time for posting here. However, when I return, my posts will be full of Thai recipes! I hope you're as excited as I am!

Oh, I almost forgot... I am currently in LOVE with baby bananas. I don't know if that is their technical term, but that is how I will refer to them. We had them for dessert one night in Thailand and I think I may have eaten 4 of them... Baby bananas are lovely and delicious.


J. Fishler said...

Glad you wound this one up with the baby bananas; that precious child (Dtoy) had my eyes welling with tears.
Your Uncle Don & I still talk about a little angel we fell in love with in Mexico. Her name was Charlie, she was 5 yrs. old, begging on an Acapulco beach. She wasn't allowed on the grounds of the Acapulco Princess, so I took as much of the Princess as I could to her on the beach. Sadly, the roll of film her pics were on was defective but I can still see her clearly to this day. She crawled into our hearts & has stayed there.
That shared, I am very much looking forward to your Thai recipes!

Rachael said...

Isn't it amazing how experiences and people stick with you? I hope that even though I have photos of Dtoy and the other kids that I will remember them as they were at the orphanage- smiling, happy and full of energy and sweetness. Thanks for the post, Aunt J!!