Tag Archives: Village life in Thailand

Thailand…Travel and Traditions…Village Life…Northern Thailand( Essan)

Whenever we visit our Thai family’s village on this occasion it was to collect our grandson, he often stays with his brown Nannie ( as he calls her) no racism intended during his school holidays. They live in a little village in the middle of nowhere in Northern Thailand where he has the freedom to climb trees, go fishing or lizard hunting he gets to ride his nan’s scooter as the roads are very quiet and safe all the things boys love without too many rules…They get dirty but so happy…

The shower was a bucket of water or a hose pipe in the early days but now they have a wet room of sorts but still, the tub of water is there …a mixture of the old and new…squat toilets are still the norm in many homes here…A habit I have had to embrace…

We are always made soooo welcome..chairs are bought out and we sit and gradually the whole village comes to see us…Lots of happy smiling faces.

The welcome is second to none..always the same…lots of smiling faces and the food comes out…Thai dishes galore…I always take treats for the kids and maybe some toys or clothes I pick up on my travels or that Aston or Lily have outgrown …Those are the ones the kids love as often they are trainers or something from England…then the fashion show begins they just love getting something of Astons…

Circular recycling is the norm here and there is no stigma about hand me downs it is a way of life…

Food…

Uncooked prawns with a blow your head off chilli dip. It consists of very finely chopped white cabbage, finely sliced and halved…Khiewchanta……arranged round the edge of plate……..Fresh prawns, cleaned, deveined and soaked in Soda Water…..Fresh mint leaves and finely sliced garlic.

bitter-gourd-raw prawnsEaten with steamed rice and very lightly cooked squid in a salad with tomatoes, spring onion, coriander, fish sauce and lime juice…… all fresh from the market about an hour before or freshly picked from the garden that’s the great thing about living here every day there is fresh produce available everywhere.

I watched and helped prepare a red ant soup made with local herbs and leaves some of which I had not seen before. One of the ingredients Pla a fermented fish which is very popular in dishes here in the North of Thailand is not one of my favourites, the look, the smell and the taste are not for me. Saying that my natural curiosity to taste everything is often an overriding factor so what I am saying is I am getting used to it…Still not my favourite but getting used to it… I never thought I would say that…so never say never.

Firstly we stripped the leaves from the Thai vegetable called Melientha sauvis or in Thai Phak waan paa which comes from a wild evergreen tree which grows up to 10 metres high and it is the young shoots which are picked to make soup or dried fish curry.

It is classed as a delicacy here and a quite expensive indigenous vegetable. I was told that the soup is also good if you have tummy problems…..I love that the Thais in the villages still practise the old ways with herbs and roots to cure a number of ills… Rather than conventional medicines which some cannot afford or trust.

Before I start I will say that there are no weighing scales here but TASTE is king and that’s what cooking is about. A handful of this and a touch of that.

Let’s cook! 

Take a bunch of Melientha and strip the leaves also take a small bunch of lemon basil and do the same. Put in water.

Tear the yellow oyster mushrooms into smallish pieces and put in another pot.

Yellow Oyster MushroomsA few teaspoons of pla was put in the pot and some water added as well as a shake or two of fish sauce and a little msg….I do not use this in my cooking but I know that it still used in the majority of village homes. As I have become more proficient with my Thai cooking and the family have tried it without MSG and liked it…I am hoping I can get them to change…Slowly but surely I am getting my point over…

Melientha cooking in potThis was bought to the boil and the mushrooms were added, this was simmered for 5 mins and then the picked greens were added alongside a portion of red ants eggs.

It looked lovely and fresh and vibrant…I was however not looking forward to the tasting because of the amount of pla…Pla or Phla is a fermented fish which is popular here and added to most dishes…

A dish was duly given to me with smiles of expectation …Would I eat it? Would I like it?

Very tentatively I tasted it…Wow, it was good…The lemon basil and the ant’s eggs.which have a lemony taste overrode the strong taste of the pla but I will say the taste mellows when cooked…..A truly lovely taste of Thailand.

If you ever get the chance to cook with the locals then take the opportunity…I feel truly blessed that they are family and I have many opportunities to do this.

I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing real Thai cooking just as it is…

The Laos whiskey we bought went down a treat once we had managed to open it of course…haha…That was a job and a half …Once opened it has been packed with straw and then you insert supplied bamboo straws and suck…

It was unexpectedly soft, honeyed whiskey…Very nice, potent, guaranteed to put a smile on ones face…Astons nan taking a sip or three…

Time to come home and we always came away with lots of fresh fruit and vegetable like lemongrass, galangal, morning glory, kale and honey still in the comb..all wonderfully freshly picked, dug up and gave to us with so much love…I, of course, left the wine glasses I had taken for next time, with the promise I would bring more wai Khao( white wine) for the ladies…a treat for them.  The men by now were merry on the Laos whiskey we had bought and some other drink ( not sure ) of the origin but infused with honey and ginger…it tasted quite potent. It was certainly the land of smiles…

A lovely afternoon.

I of course slipped and stacked it…..I hurt my big toe and received an impromptu Thai foot massage…which was very nice.

I hope you have enjoyed this snapshot of life in a Thai Village…

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
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Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead and all you Tennis fans …Enjoy! xx

 

 

 

 

A Fifties Child

me and mum & dad 1952 001

Born in the early 50’s, one of 3 and the oldest we had no Tv or phone we played out until dark and sometimes we were out all day playing in the woods, making camps…I was definitely not one of those girls who played with dolls and pushed someone else’s baby up and down the street..for fun! Really…I was  a tom boy…one of my earliest memories was this pink spotted dress my mum made me…she made all our clothes and I remember that when the elbows of our cardigans or jumpers wore thin my mum unpicked the sleeves and changed them over so the darned patch was in the crook of our elbow.

I also remember climbing the big old Oak tree in the middle of the green and catching the said pink dress and tore it! Girls then did not wear trousers only skirts and dresses.

sisters

Going to visit nan

We made tents in the garden by slinging a blanket over the clothes line…..Played how high can you jump with a pole on two sticks…until my dad shouted at us as we made a bare patch on his lawn. I remember playing jacks and hopscotch on the pavement( we then) had to clean every bit of the chalk of the pavement when we had finished playing.

Collecting the empty bottles and taking them back to get a penny and how many sweets could you get for a penny?

I remember moaning like hell when my mum combed my hair after washing it and the rags she put in so we had ringlets( and how they hurt to sleep in). I also remember her taking us to the hairdressers as she was fed up with moans and me getting this fringe…..I promptly got the scissors out when I got home and cut it off..stating I don’t have a fringe now.

I also remember how much I used to write for homework..pages and pages..my teachers must have groaned..not half a page for me. When I got the ” A” my mum would say very nice dear…my dad..not much…he thought girls just got married and had kids.

Our first TV…..Took pride of place in the parlour ..the best room..the one we only used on high days and holidays or when people visited.

Most of my friends wanted to be teachers, hairdressers, nurse, shop assistants ..none wanted to be a pop star or celebrity.

But we were happy! Why?

Ask yourself?

So true to life…I got married, had the kids..blah blah blah

Then I retired..…went to Thailand….joined Phuket Writers and wow…….. An anthology, a novel in the pipeline, writing for a New York website, a collaboration with Sally from Smorgasbord Health 2017  so much to do and who knows how much time…I am having fun on this ride and do not want to get off…

And all because this child of the fifties had a dream.

So I believe if you dare to dream…then you can!

Thai boys in tree

I see that happiness in the faces of the village children here..who have very little…the boys ..a bike, they fish..a stick with a cord, they run, they climb trees, they laugh..why?

 I hope at least one of them has a dream!
Until next time stay safe, laugh a lot as you know it is good for you… and have fun x

Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it. Bernard Meltzer

How true is that?….. I seem to have drifted away from how I started my very first blogs and I am not sure if that’s the right thing to do or not…..I always started with a quote and found some really great ones which I could relate too. What do you think?

Today we went to collect our grandson, he was staying with his brown Nannie ( as he calls her) no racism intended. They live in a little village in the middle of no-where in Northern Thailand.

We were made soooo welcome..chairs were bought out and we sat and the whole village came to see us..some had not seen us since our very first visit to Thailand a few years ago, others we recognised even though they were mere children on our last visit. Lots of happy smiling faces.

The welcome was second to none..lots of smiling faces and the food came out…Thai dishes galore….it was lovely.

I came away with fresh lemongrass and galangal, morning glory, kale and honey still in the comb..all wonderfully freshly picked, dug up and gave to us with so much love…I, of course, left the wine glasses I had taken for next time, with the promise I would bring more wai Khao( white wine) for the ladies…a treat for them.  The men drunk some Thai whiskey we had bought and some ( not sure ) of the origin but infused with honey and ginger…it tasted quite potent.

A lovely afternoon.

I of course slipped and stacked it…..I hurt my big toe and received an impromptu Thai foot massage…which was very nice.

Until next time stay safe, laugh a lot and be happy 🙂