Day 6, 24 Jan 2011. Day 1 of cookery school, and master class
Strangely, I woke up easily this morning. Earlier than my alarm. Dragged poor Matt out of bed and down to breakfast. He’s feeling a little sick this morning… Just a cold, but certainly not fun. Especially as we have 2 lessons today!
At breakfast, 2 new guests had arrived, older- middle-aged English ladies: Sue, who lives in France for 13 years now, and Barbara, who is quite talkative and sweet. Breakfast was the same as yesterday, too much, and they uniquely mentioned that they would simply ask for less in the future. Brilliant. It was Paola and Don’s last breakfast with us, too; they would be heading into the city around noon.
Here’s the fruit served this morning, rose apple, pomelo, papaya and oranges:
After breakfast, we went to the lesson area as students began to arrive. The place was crowded today, as it’s officially day 1 of the course: intro to Thai ingredients. Sompon had us all crowd into the demo room for a lengthy discussion.
Afterwards, we made:
1. Tom yam goong: Thai hot and sour prawn soup
2. Gaeng kheo wan gai: green curry with chicken
3. Tord man plaa: Thai style fish cakes
4. Phad Thai
5. Some kind of Laap, minced meat salad, but I can’t remember which, and it was not in the book.
6. Tab tim grob: water chestnuts with sugar syrup and coconut milk (my favorite today, surprising and refreshing!)
Then we took an hour break before it was time for the master class. I planned to just bicycle around the neighborhood, but instead I wrote previous days of lj, in the room. Matt slept.
At about 4:45, we headed back downstairs. Sompon was prepping with some of his staff, whether for us or for tomorrow I wasn’t sure. Turns out both. We waited for the other student, who arrived shortly with her boyfriend and Pon. Letitia is a tiny (what is the appropriate word these days? Dwarf?) woman from the Philippines. Her boyfriend John is a gigantic tall and also heavy American man, from… And this is funny… Port Orchard, Washington.
In case you are reading this and don’t know already, I’m from Centralia, Washington. Centralia is maybe 1.5 – 3 hours max drive to Port Orchard, depending on traffic. Same general area. But what makes this funny to me is that on my last trip, in November, I also ran into a Port Orchard resident in an unlikely place. My layover in Albuquerque from Seattle to El Paso was delayed 6 hours, and I was having a burger and beer in the airport bar. A young man joined me for a couple of beers. He was from Port Orchard, but traveling between somewhere east and Denver.
Also, the Philippine community in Washington state all pretty much know each other, and both my sister in law and my dad’s current girlfriend are Filipinas, but it turns out Letitia actually lives in the Philippines, and John visits her there.
We also learned that it was Chef Sompon’s birthday. Letitia and John had brought a nice bottle of whiskey. This was letitia’s last day of the course; she’d done 5 days beginner (day) lessons, then 5 days master classes.
We then proceeded to make 2 kinds of curry paste, which we ground in mortars. At home I usually do this in the food processor, but this way makes a much better texture, so I think I will endeavor to do so in the future.
A soup with large chunks of fish and seafood (squid, blue crab), which was amazing.
Red curry with pork, also good.
Spicy prawn salad, which involved grilling the tiger prawns and then removing their shells while piping hot – my favorite salad so far!
Eggplant/ shrimp salad – also good.
Galloping horse: oh my god, this is so delicious. You make a gooey sweet/savory paste using caramelized palm sugar, fish sauce, dried baby shrimp, peanuts, and I don’t remember what else. Then you carve up pineapple and oranges into flat pretty shapes. Then you arrange a little pyramid of the goo onto each fruit piece, garnish with slivers of chili and crispy fried garlic and shallots (we did that too). Yum.
We ate dinner with Chang (beer).
We will get all the master class names and recipes later, so I can’t say for sure what all of these things were. Also, we EACH made enough for a family of 4. Letitia had John to help eat hers, and had brought Tupperware to share leftovers with the staff at their hotel. matt and I barely dented ours. We took some for leftovers, although Sompon thought this was pretty funny.
Then we staggered into the house and up to bed, vowing to take it easy tomorrow, when we’ll only have the master class!
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