Saturday, January 31, 2009

Incredibly True

Day 324
When I was in college there were two cooking incidents, I set off the fire alarm cooking bratwurst and once set a fire using grilled cheese. During the 4 years I lived in Manhattan if I used my oven at all it was just once to make brownies. I am simply not a cook

One of the most popular things to do in Thailand is to take a cooking course. I had wanted to do this because I really like Thai food and wanted to see just how difficult it was. The cooking school that I picked was right across the street from my hotel so I was able to leave pretty much at the same time it started.

After a brief lecture on different types of rice and how to cook them we headed to a local market. There were all sorts of fruits and veggies, some I had seen, some that I had not. Some were a variation of things that we have at home. The oranges are much smaller, but there are about 6 different types of ginger. As our instructor discuessed each item he through some into each of the baskets that we were carrying. We had a few minutes on our own and I made sure to take pictures of everything.

Back at the cooking school we sat down for a short break. There were three dining rooms where we would eat what we cooked in the scattered classrooms. While the ingredients from the market were being sorted we were given plates of veggies and candies to try. It was a really good breakfast.

We were then off to our first lessons. I was learning how to make pad thai. After cutting up the ingredients we took them to the skillet. Everything was going fine until it came time to break the egg. A large part of the shell fell into the pan. I wasn't able to find it to take it out. When I ate the food I tried to look for it, but it never reappeared. It was really good.

Next up was more of a group effort. Together we cut and mixed the ingredients for spring rolls. The individual part was the rolling of the rolls. I did a pretty good job if I must say so. Some people had some really weird looking rolls. We didn't eat these right away though, instead we moved onto soup. This meant another cutting board and another big knife. There were a few things that were added for taste and not for eating, it was weird picking them out of the soup later on, but it was still good.

After a bit of a break it was time to make dessert. I had picked fried bananas. This didn't take long to prepare, but it did take some time to fry, so we quickly split off into our last groups of the day. I was making green curry paste. A group of about 8 of us spent a really long time cutting up veggies as small as possible. We then were given a mortar and pestle and had to smash everything into a paste. This wasn't a lot of fun. I think I will stick to store bought curry paste.

It did feel really nice to eat a meal that I had prepared that didn't taste bad. I was pretty impressed with myself. The best part was not having to clean anything up! I don't think I'll make a habit out of this cooking thing, but perhaps I will give it a try on occasion.

I got back to the hotel just in time to say goodbye to Nicole. She's headed to Laos and we are going to try and meet up in a few days time.

I was so full from the food I had eaten all day that I didn't feel hungry until the next morning. I spent some time in an internet cafe and then wrote in my room until I fell asleep.

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