Sunday, April 1, 2012

March 27th – Bangkok Birthday Cooking Class

As Tracy is 21 again today (or at least a multiple of that), we have splashed out and are doing a posh cookery course at the famous Blue Elephant restaurant. Unfortunately the birthday girl didn't get a lie-in, because we had to be there quite early, so again we had the "how do we get out of the port without getting ripped off?" conundrum.

This time we successfully flagged down a passing car who very kindly gave us a lift to the port gates and we caught a metered cab to the restaurant (housed in a beautiful old wooden colonial-style building) – so much easier than yesterday!

The class started with a market visit, so we were given an explanation of the various exotic vegetables we were going to be cooking with later on. Then we were given a demonstration of each of the dishes in turn, before we went to the kitchen to cook each one of them. We made a succession of absolutely delicious dishes - thai fish cakes (my second favourite), spicy aubergine salad, red chicken (or tofu) curry, and pad thai (my favourite).

The explanations were really clear and informative, and I must say that the pad thai that I cooked was probably the most delicious thing that I've ever cooked. Whether the dishes will be as good as that when we cook them back home (or in the campervan) will remain to be seen – certainly, it will be difficult to get hold of some of the more exotic ingredients, like tamarind sauce, palm sugar, gallangal, dried shrimp powder etc.

The more we cooked, the hungrier we felt, so we couldn't wait for the best bit of the lot, the tasting at the end. It was a mountain of food, yet somehow we greedily managed to eat virtually every single tasty morsel.

Back on board, we were having a birthday meal in the evening with some new friends, so it was yet more food to struggle down. Of course, we managed it, and the birthday girl enjoyed herself and declared herself satisfied.