Fresh ground coffee, fruit, eggs and toast started our day on the back patio of the chef’s house. We had to be careful not to eat too much since our second day of cooking class was starting in about an hour. We chatted a bit with the chef’s wife who is from China, finished breakfast and walked next door to the cooking school. We found two cooking stations and put our aprons on, we will be cooking all new things today.
Our instructor called us all over to a big table for the morning activity. He gave us each a carving knife and we all started with a tomato. He led by example…cutting into the tomato in a precise way, carefully slicing all the skin from top to bottom without ever cutting the skin off. Once the super thin layer of skin was completely off the tomato all in one layer…it was wrapped around itself to create a rose. We also worked on a pepper and a carrot with different flower carving techniques.
Once our vegetable flowers were ready to be plated, we went into the classroom to watch our first dish being cooked. We made clear soup with minced pork, spring rolls, red curry with roast duck, chicken with ginger, chicken in pandanus leaves and mango with sticky rice today. As we watched our instructor and re-created our dishes…we both found ourselves becoming more and more confident in Thai cooking.
Once our bellies were full and we had cooked our way through the six different dishes…we walked next door to our room and relaxed for a few hours before leaving to walk through Chiang Mai’s night market.
In honor of the King’s birthday…Chang Mai had the streets blocked off to celebrate…there was entertainment, decorations and tons of street vendors lined up selling their goods in what they call the “walking market”. They had one large square area with a picture of the king and an area to pray. Giff and I walked up and down the jam-packed streets looking at all kinds of crafts made by locals at really great prices. The crowd was crazy but part of the experience…there were thousands of people.
As we looked at the quality of products and saw the prices…realized why so many places import from Thailand. There was artwork, pottery, leather goods, copper jewelry, clothes, natural body products made with local oils, hand hammered pewter pieces…we could shop here all day! We stumbled into a stage near a temple where people were gathered watching Asian women slowly dance in sync displaying their hands which had long fake nails attached.
Since we have been at the cooking school, we haven’t walked the streets of Chang Mai yet but as we shopped and shopped…we saw so many temples, they were both out in the open and hidden down alleyways. They were simple and extraordinary…
We spent a few hours having fun and then decided to call it a night…the vendors were starting to look similar after a while and we had to be up first thing in the morning for cooking class.
Our cooking school picked us up and brought us back to our place where we watched TV before snoozing off.