Day 302 of 400: Chiang Mai – Thailand

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We had our daily breakfast on the patio with another couple who had just checked into the cooking school, we are checking out.  Breakfast was quite interesting…it was definitely Chinese and consisted of hot rice porridge served with little cups of accompaniments, some that we added to the soup like hot pepper and others to be eaten on the side like the fermented egg.

Although we are supposed to check out after breakfast, the head chef agreed to have us sit in on the morning activity which was the basis of Thai cooking…how to make curry from scratch.  We walked next door and after listening to the instructor describe every ingredient in Thai cooking…as well as showing us and having us smell and touch them, he had us go to our cooking stations where a mortar and pestle were waiting for each of us.

We each got to work repeating what we had just watched our instructor do…once all the ingredients were in, we sat down and began grinding the red curry ingredients together.  Once it is the consistency of a thick curry…it can be stored in the fridge for up to a year!  So, every time you want to make a curry dish, you can put a scoop in the wok and add coconut oil, coconut milk and other ingredients…and voila, a homemade meal!

Giff and I felt so confident leaving cooking school…we really know how to cook Thai food and will always recognize the main ingredients found in all their dishes.  We will for sure be adding this cuisine to our regular cooking once we are home.  If you are going to Thailand…make sure you take classes, it is so fun and is something you can take with you for forever.

We said our good-bye’s to both head chef and our instructor and were in the car on our way back to the center of Chiang Mai.  We checked into our hotel, Galare Guest House (www.galare.com)  which was $37 per night, 37 dollars??  Wow…

We decided to spend our day roaming around the city…stopping to look at numerous temples (the silver temple being our favorite…made of all hand-made pewter), shopping at numerous shops and sitting outside to enjoy fresh fruit smoothies while people watching.  As we were looking at one of the temples, a local stopped to chat with us wondering where we were from.  People in Thailand seem to be so friendly!  The man asked us if we had been measured for suits at any of the local tailors.   We explained we had heard tailor-made clothes were of high quality at good prices but the best place was Bangkok not Chiang Mai…he quickly corrected us saying all the materials are brought from Chiang Mai to Bangkok so the prices are better here at the source.  He referred us over to a place the locals go and asked a tuk tuk to bring us there.

After a short ride, we arrived at the tailor shop called, Supreme Collections, it was a small store with a mom/pop feel.  A man greeted us and had us sit at a long table where stacks of magazines were piled high showing pictures of all sorts of suits, shirts, dresses etc.  He showed us some materials so we could see some price differences and then had us pick out a style from the magazines.  He then measured each of us and we picked colors for each suit.  We placed a pretty big order since the price decreased per item the more we purchased.  He said he would have the suits custom-made from scratch in the material, color and style that we chose.  Work seems so far away right now being we are in Thailand, but when we get back to the states these suits will be great.  We spent quite a while in the shop but finally had everything picked out and all measurements complete.  Tomorrow we will be back for a second measurement.

It was already dinner time and we decided to try one of the places our hotel recommended.  I ordered a fresh coconut (it’s kind of my duty to taste test all the coconuts around the world) and Giff ordered a local beer.  We also ordered a whole fried fish with fresh herbs, a sautéed mixed veggie dish and fried rice served in a pineapple.  The dining was outside and the weather was perfect…we enjoyed our slow romantic dinner before getting back to our place for the evening.

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