A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Not Another School Day


At our house, nothing is more popular than Thai food when dining out.  Everyone in the family loves something on the menu.

I have imagined myself learning to cook Thai food since we began planning the trip.   Our new Scottish friends who are traveling the world (but in the opposite direction) had been in Chiang Mai before us.  We took their advice and signed up for a day-long class with the Thai Farm Cooking School.


The trip began at the market where our instructor “Tommy” showed us how to tell ginseng root from tamarind and what to look for in a fish sauce.  Loaded with supplies to prepare our dishes, we headed for the farm.

In aprons and hats, we toured the gardens learning about banana flowers and dragon fruit, long beans, coriander, and kaffir limes.


Our tables, lined with stone mortars and pestles, were under a bamboo roof on a pier jutting over the pond.  Each student (even Conor) had a great, sharp knife for chopping and a board scattered with roots, seeds, garlic, chilis, and lime peel.


Depending on our individual choices, we filled our mortars and, with great gusto, pounded our chopped flavorings into a gorgeous curry paste: red, yellow, or green.

In the kitchen we each had a small gas stove to cook five separate dishes: a curry, a soup, a salad, a noodle dish, and a dessert.

Here was my personal menu:

  • Chicken with Red Curry
  • Thai Vegetable Soup
  • Papaya Salad
  • Pad Thai Noodles
  • Bananas in Coconut Milk


Even Craig got into the act.  Caroline is convinced that chili, hamburgers and hot dogs represent the full range of his cooking abilities – but Craig reminds her he did survive a decade as a bachelor.  I must say, both his yellow curry and chicken with basil was quite tasty.


The most important thing I learned in school, though, was that cooking Thai is easy, fun and delicious.  More than one person in the class said the meal they cooked was the best Thai food they ever had.

You can bet I will be a regular customer at our local Thai grocery store when I get home.



1 Marshall Weiss { 02.18.09 at 1:03 pm }

thats so awesome! you guys are gonna have to cook some for me when you get home!!!

2 Nomadic Matt { 02.18.09 at 10:22 pm }

i love those classes and happy to see som tam on your menu!

3 Doug Spiro { 02.19.09 at 12:03 pm }

I love the hats! The class sounds fantastic and now I know what I am going to have for lunch today!!

4 Mondays are for dreaming: Thailand | Mother of all Trips { 12.27.09 at 5:47 pm }

[…] 2009 and among the experiences they describe that I would love to share with my kids was taking a cooking class in Chiang Mai, another must-see city in northern […]

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