Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Sunday and yesterday were beautiful days in Bangkok, weather wise.  The sun shone brightly and there were just a few white puffy clouds in the sky.  Of course, it was still quite warm but it was nice not to be under cloud cover for a couple of days.  This morning, we are back to the usual gray skies.
An update on basketball games from the weekend... Caitlynne's team played both Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  Friday's game ended in a close loss and Saturday's game ended in a crushing loss.  However, the great news is that Caitlynne scored 4 points and she had some great offensive and defensive plays.

Christopher had a game Saturday afternoon and his team had an impressive win.  The other boys are really developing as players and everyone gets along quite well.  Yesterday afternoon Christopher had his first BISAC game at school and they won 42-11.  Christopher did not think he would get to play because he was a 6th grader but he ended up playing about half of the game and had some great moves and scored a lot.  The difference between the 7th grade and 6th grade boys in size and athletic ability is amazing.  It is hard to believe that one year can make such a big difference.  Both of the kids each have BISAC games on Thursday at a school on the southern side of Bangkok.  Caitlynne has forbidden me to ride with them on the team bus, so I won't be going along to watch and cheer.

My water lily had its first flower bloom yesterday.  This plant has surprised me with how quickly it grows.  New leaves seem to pop up out of the water overnight.  The flower looks very similar to a peony but doesn't seem to have a scent.  After the flower petals die and fall off, the green center remains on the stem. 
Our dinner last night...Pad Thai, heavy on the tofu!  Please excuse the empty space in the lower left hand corner.  I was SO hungry!   
I have loved Pad Thai ever since a former neighbor in Fairfax, VA (Lorne, are you out there?) first made it for Kevin and I MANY years ago.  He followed a recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY (http://www.moosewoodrestaurant.com/) and it was amazing!  He made me a copy of the recipe and that is what I use whenever I make Pad Thai (not all that much).  Having now tasted many plates of authentic Pad Thai, this recipe, in my opinion, truly is just like the real thing.  So, from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home cookbook, here it is...

Moosewood Pad Thai (vegetarian)
Yields: 4 servings
2qt water
¾lb Mung bean sprouts
6oz Rice noodles (¼-inch wide)
3T Fresh lime juice
3T Catsup
1T Brown sugar
¼c Soy sauce
3T Peanut oil or vegetable oil
3 to 4cloves garlic; minced or pressed
1T Fresh chile; minced OR
t Crushed red pepper flakes
2c Carrots; grated
4lg Eggs; lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
c Peanuts; chopped
6 to 8scallions; chopped (about 1 cup)
In a covered pot, bring the water to a rolling boil. Blanch the mung bean sprouts by placing them in a strainer or small colander and dipping it into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Set aside to drain well. When the water returns to a boil, stir in the rice noodles and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but firm. Drain the cooked noodles, rinse them under cool water, and set them aside to drain.

Prepare the remaining ingredients and have them near at hand before you begin to stir-fry. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the garlic and chile, swirl them in the oil for a moment, and stir in the grated carrots. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Push the carrots to the sides to make a hollow in the center. Pour the beaten eggs into the center and quickly scramble them. When the eggs have just set, pour in the sauce mixture and stir everything together. Add the drained rice noodles and mung sprouts, and toss to distribute evenly. Stir in the peanuts and scallions, and serve at once. 

So very delicious!  In Thailand, tofu, dried shrimp, cooked shrimp and cooked/shredded chicken are also tossed in at the very end. 

Below is a photo of a dipping sauce PeePorn usually makes to serve with noodle dishes.  I think it is some kind of vinegar with chili peppers.  It looks so pretty but packs a bit of a punch!  She also leaves a little bowl of dry spices to sprinkle on our dishes if we want more heat.  Needless to say, that doesn't get used much. 
Pee Porn also made the Som Tum again so we had my two favorite Thai dishes for dinner!  And lots of leftovers!
As a fundraiser for the school, the ISB PTA offers a variety of continuing education classes for parents, including Pilates, Yoga, Tennis, Thai Language, Thai Culture, Cooking, and many more.  I signed up for "Interior Design 101" which is taught by an interior designer who lives in Nichada.  The class is made up of seminars and field trips (to furniture manufacturers, fabric shops, etc.) so I hope to get some good ideas for our house.  I also signed up for the "Thai Popular Dishes Bootcamp" and will attend five classes (4 hours each) and learn to make noodle dishes, curries, stir frys and salads.  It should be fun.  I try to watch PeePorn when she cooks but she doesn't use recipes nor does she measure or weigh any of the ingredients (and most of the time I don't know what the ingredients are) so I really haven't learned much from her. 

I am beginning to plan for our first trip out of Bangkok.  The kids have a week off from school near the end of October so we are thinking about going to an area in Northern Thailand known as the "Golden Triangle".  I will have more to post on that tomorrow! 

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