About Us

We are a married couple who retired and moved to Thailand in 2014. You are welcome to join us and our travel monkeys Sun Wukong and Malcolm Jr. on our adventures! We hope you enjoy the trip as much as we do.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What I Miss About Chiang Mai

We've been back in the states now for one week and I think it's time to reflect on our time in Thailand and what I miss about it.

  1. The friendly people who always have a smile when passing and are always living and loving life.

    2.  The wonderful selection of awesome food that is available within a short walk of everywhere. The street food is especially awesome.

3.  Everything needed to live life is within about 2 blocks of where you are living. 

4.  The Thai markets like Warorot and Nong Hoi.

5.  Fresh coconut ice cream from a street vendor.

6.  The pace of life.

 7.  Waking in the morning, looking to the west, and seeing Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in the distance.

    8.  Walking anywhere, at anytime, and not feeling nervous about being there.

9.  The joyride of a Tuk-Tuk on a busy road.

10.  The feeling of living in the video game “Frogger” every time we walk/run across the street.

   11.  The weather in January.

12. Bum Guns. (Sorry, No Photo)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Daily Life

There is a neighborhood market on the street where our hotel is located.  And like most neighborhood markets, it is loaded with fresh fish, vegetables, clothes and cooked food ready for take away. There are many restaurants, laundry shops, sewing stalls, massage businesses and street food. It is a hopping place from early morning till late in the evening and I have noticed cooking classes stop several times a day to get a quick lesson in which herbs and plants they used in their classes.

This little guy wanted nothing to do with the foreigner.....until the owner told me his name in Thai and then he was my best friend!

Can't get any fresher than this.  She cooks them right there on a hot grill!

Smoothie Lady using an old press.  She has strong arms!

The efficiency of space where businesses are located is brilliant. First thing in the morning there might be a fried fish vendor, in the afternoon you could see someone else selling small bags of freshly cut pineapple, watermelon and whatever is in season. About 7 pm the same tables are transformed into a street cart eating area.

Morning Ice Delivery

Flats of fresh eggs delivered from the sidecar on the motorcycle.

This restaurant has delicious Thai food and the cooking pots are very well seasoned!

This is one of my favorite pictures!  We passed this restaurant on our way back from dinner.  This little boy was all serious business as he checked on the large prawns he was cooking.  He would pick it up and turn it every which way to check out the progress.   At one point he walked away to say something to people at the table inside and came right back to check the grill.  
 I would say he is about 4 years old and well on his way to running the restaurant!  
I am so glad we walked by when we did!  
 Another reason why we love Thailand!

Budgie's in a large aviary being cared for by the family that owns the guesthouse and restaurant located at the edge of the Mae Ping River.

Fisherman taking advantage of the dry season when he could get out to the middle of the river.  When he was done throwing his net and wading around
we saw that he had several dozen 3lb fish. 

The preferred cutting boards are a large piece of Tamarind wood.  It is hard yet soft and imparts a slight tamarind flavor.  This cutting block was well used and eventually became a mortar.  

View of the moat separating the old city from the rest of Chiang Mai.

Oil used in cooking here is usually sunflower oil

Lin likes Cappuccino here.  The Thai coffee is strong enough for rocket fuel!

This man and wife have a nice business making fresh Goyza / Pot Stickers!

Meat on a stick is usually pork and chicken.  We snapped this picture and said we would come back for some later. Not more than a couple of minutes and they were all gone. As soon as they are cooked and laid on the tray they are gone!

Beach Spray!
Photo taken by Lisa at Khao Takiab

Morning mini doughnut vendor.  
Photo taken by Lisa

Early morning Alms for the Monks
Photo taken by Lisa

At the top of Chopstick Hill or Monkey Mountain 
Looking out to the Gulf of Thailand from Khao Takiab
Photo taken by Lisa 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Not Your Ordinary Cooking Class.......A Lot Of Thai By Professional Chef Yui

We started the morning with happy goofy faces as we waited for our cooking hosts at A Lot Of Thai - Home Cooking Class to pick us up for an all day class. 

There were two couples from Australia, two couples from Canada, one couple from Switzerland and us. The cooking stations were well laid out and immaculate.

Yui as she explained is pronounced like the abbreviation for U-Turn! And this is how the day went. In between her demonstrations of what we would cook, her circulating the room to give advice or help to fix a mistake and our actually sitting down to eat what we had made, she would crack jokes and relate stories of family, her young teenage days and experiences of consultation for restaurants in other countries.

One story was her living and consulting for a restaurant in Brazil for a month. No one told her that none of the cooks spoke anything but Portuguese! Yui's is fluent in English, but she had to learn to communicate with the kitchen on the fly. She said, “How do you say sweet, salt, too much, too little, more, less?” It was one experience that she relates with a bit of humor and she was happy to have learned some Portuguese in the process.

Yui explained ingredients, and showed us first how the dish is made and we were told to taste it. We then went to our stations to hopefully re-create the dish.   Surprisingly, there were not many that didn't like how theirs turned out.   She stresses tasting the sauce and adjusting and making sure to have the correct heat.  She works the room and is there to help in an instant!   The dishes we made today were quick and easy. And we are hoping to find the ingredients when we are back in the states.

Pad Thai

All of the Pad Thai dishes I have tried I have not liked. But this one was fabulous!

Red Curry

Tom Yum Soup with Shrimp

We took a break to go to the Nong Hoi Market which is the one across the street from our condo. We learned some extremely valuable tips of which lady has organic produce.....as she pointed to three different women she said that she has been to all of their homes and has known them for many years.

She pointed out which rice was recent harvest and how to tell the difference of how old and dry the rice is because of the color. I took pictures of Oyster Sauce and Fish Sauce she recommends. She said, if you see that bottle at a street cart, the people know what is quality.

If you see piles of rice like this at a market, the bright white rice is the most fresh coming from recent harvest.  As it gets more yellow that is when you know it is years old and dry.

Spring Rolls

Yes, we almost forgot to take a picture!

Cashew Chicken

Sticky Rice and Mango

Yui uses black and white sticky rice for this recipe.  We made our own coconut sauce and even though it is not mango season, this dish was still amazing!   

Yui's daughter playing with Vince and the camera.

We told Yui that we would be coming to more classes as soon as we move in August.  She said she looks forward to running into us at the market!