Saturday, August 13, 2005


The noodle-soup-with-everything seller we got lunch from at the Floating Market (we asked him to leave out the liver). Behind him, barbecued chicken and buckets of black Grass Jelly for sale.

I’ve been inspired by some of the luscious foodbloggers out there. Now, I’m not going to go all gourmet on you, but please indulge me for a while.

One of the things I miss when I’m away is food. The French people here crave French food. I’m more creative.

When I was in Manila, it was lamb souvlaki. In Zambia, it was fruit cake and shortbread (it was Christmas). In London, fresh fruit that didn’t come individually shrink-wrapped and zapped with ethylene or something.

Now, it’s couscous, prawn rice paper rolls, palak paneer, gyoza, and olive & fetta sourdough bread. Specifically, it’s Timbale, Mecca Bar, Pellegrini’s, the market on Saturday mornings near my old house in Richmond (which is still my picture of “home”, even though someone else is living there…), Thy Thy (no, it’s not Thai), Crust pizza, Soulmama...

Really, I’m not quite as down as I sound. I eat noodle soup with pork crackling for lunch, I have a pomelo waiting to be peeled, I can get green curry anytime I like (despite many “mai pet!”s, it still usual sets my sinuses on fire) and the fantastically named “pad ka pao”. I spent Sunday eating awesome fish curry and helping assemble flat breads with the neighbours and 4 local kids, and regularly get fed fantastic Mon food by wonderful colleagues. I can get great tomatoes, limes, pumpkin, sticky rice with mango, fresh lychee & mint shakes and the Instant Artery Clogger “pancake” – roti bread with generous slurpings of sugar, condensed milk AND chocolate sauce.

But I still have those cravings. And, already being a blog addict, I have discovered a way to accentuate and satisfy those cravings at the same time. Introduced to the genre thanks to augustusgloop, I now am a regular visitor to several sites that rave about food, with amazing photos and a local touch that have me going, Yes, I love that shop too! If only it didn’t take several minutes to download them…

One of the things that I’m sure most people knew already and I’ve only recently caught up on is the importance of good ingredients. Now, when a visitor from Bangkok asks if I want anything, I have a list waiting that goes beyond the usual wine, cheese and chocolate (although these are all still there). With my recent additions of olive oil, a pepper grinder, garam marsala and brown sugar, I’ve been having fun.

So, in what I expect to be my only venture into the world of food blogging, here’s my recipe of the day:

Homesick Friday Night Macaroni Cheese
- well ,Thursday, but it’s a long weekend. Cooking time – about 8 minutes.

Boil water & cook macaroni (from the local minimart, with the St Bernard and puppy, and the sullen teenage daughter watching Thai soaps as she types into the register).

Heat small splash of olive oil (Tesco Lotus superstore extravaganza, Kanchanaburi) and gently fry 2 cloves of finely-chopped garlic (freebie from laughing heavily-pregnant fruit seller at the market, as I only ever buy one cluster of garlic, not a kilo like normal people).

Mix cooked macaroni with oil / garlic and grate in generous amount of Vintage Cheddar (Foodland, Sukhumvit. Didn’t survive the trip back from Bangkok so well but is still very edible). Add freshly ground black pepper (also Foodland, my regular last stop before I head for the bus).

Mix a gin & tonic and eat whilst watching pirated Sex & The City dvds. As my colleagues determinedly speaking in English would say, good appetite!

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1 comment:

derek said...

Im surprised you dont miss my cooking, although when I think about it maybe not.