Friday, December 17, 2010

2010, Day 350 - Chiang Mai, Day Two

This morning we awoke to the sounds of rain pattering down on the roof. It wasn't a hard rain, more like the light steady rain that we're accustomed to in Portland, but it was magnified by the trees that collected the fine droplets and melded them into much larger drops.

Today our only scheduled activity was cooking classes at the Chiang Mai Cookery School so we ate breakfast and then were picked up by a driver to be taken to meet with the rest of the students. Before starting our classes we were taken to a market to see all the ingredients in their raw form and to get a better appreciation for their differences (for example there are three types of basil - holy basil, lemon basil and sweet basil all with distinctly different flavors).

I love markets, they are exceptional places to see the local people, to get an understanding for how they live and to gain a better appreciation for their culture. People stop and chat while doing their shopping, take a few extra moments out their day to tell a story or to catch up on the events of the last few days. Then there is the fact that people go to the markets almost daily to pick up what they need for that day's meal is enviable not only because they have fresh ingredients to work with but also because food is not priced such that it is unreasonable to buy a day's worth at a time. It seems as though one must buy huge quantities to pay an affordable amount per serving and I really dislike that, plus I don't like feeling obligated to eat something for days and days for fear that it will spoil before I can finish it.

Teeny tiny fish.

And much larger fish.

Selecting the perfect eggs.

Breakfast in a bag.

Delicious cow's head to munch on while you shop.

After getting time to explore the market on our own we headed over to the cooking school. When all was said and done I liked the other cooking class better. This one had more people and less hands-on instruction. A lot of the steps were done for us and I liked doing everything for myself, it gave me a better understanding of what to do when and how long it takes to complete a dish from start to finish. Nevertheless, this is good experience and I am more confident that I can produce at least decent Thai food when I get back. Perhaps my little sister will play the part of my assistant and we can prepare a Thai meal for everyone when I get back from my trip...

One of the assistant instructors.

The owner and chef of the cooking school.

Yet another assistant istructor.

Our final dish was bananas in coconut cream that was steamed. It was very tasty.

And what blog post isn't complete without some kind of live animal?

After the cooking class was completed we were taken back to our hotel where we had a relaxed evening of reading, reviewing the day's photos, and general laziness.

1 comment:

  1. I can skip the cow's heads. lol

    I loved the Charlie dog on a previous page...meant to say...bring him home too!