I'm on a roll! Thats two for this month. 3 if you include adding two more countries to my 10 countries visited goal. Wow! Wish they were all this easy and fun.
#19 - Take A Cooking Class
Today BF and I took a cooking class in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Well it started out the two of us but BF feeling sick still from the night before (somebody drank the water) bailed out before we finished the first dish. So I had to cook both our selections which wasn't horrible but was a little overwhelming to split my concentration.
The course was $10USD each. We were surprised with a free t-shirt with the schools logo on it which was nice. We were also given a copy of all the recipes and a colored index card with pictures. We got to pick one item off of a list from each course. One appitizer, one main and one desssert.
I picked fresh spring rolls, Khmer amok and a pumkin dessert. BF chose fried spring rolls, Khmer curry and a banana dessert. There was only one other couple in the group so it was a nice small group of 4 people.
We made the dishes all from scratch though sometimes I felt the head cook was a bit too hands on and would also skip little bits that we should have been shown. She seemed a little impatient. Especially with me. I'm not sure why but she seemed to pretend to either not hear me or would stare at me blankly when I asked questions. The other woman in the group seemed to also pick up on it and would re-ask so I would get an answer. Anyway...
I enjoyed the class overall. The other couple was great. Especially when BF bailed out early and left me to do it all by myself. I got to basically do everything except BF's curry which they did for me even though I had expressed interest in doing it as there was plenty of time.
There were a few long delays with ingredients that was a little annoying. The class ran WAY overtime which was not great because my tuk tuk driver had to wait around a lot which he said didn't matter but I hated to take advantage of him and his time. He's been our constant driver for two days taking us everywhere we want to go. So we do pay him for his time for the entire day but I like to be respectful.
They wanted to show us the traditional way of cooking so there was a lot of chopping for the first part which tuckered BF out. Then they made him pound the ingredients forever with mortar and pestle. Poor guy. He looked so tired and stressed. It took ages and thats even with the chef and her assistant doing a lot of it. Then after they said we could use a processor or blender at home. Um, well I guess its nice to show us that it can be done with a mortar and pestle but it really killed the class having to stand around that long.
Afterwards though we did get to take a quick tour of the market with the cook. I liked the market and took plenty of pictures. I wanted to hear what the chef was pointing out but she was kind of ignoring me so I just caught it second hand from the other woman. We laughed it off together. I went back to the market later and bought two kitchen tools to help me recreate the dishes at home.
I was really satisfied with how my dishes came out. I taste tested everything and thought I did a killer job. They wrapped everything up for me to take with me as I wanted to eat with BF back at the hotel. I ran in to eat with him while my driver socialized outside but BF was not hungry at all. I gave him some gravol and took the food out to my driver. He and his friends were more than happy to devour it all. They gave me raving reviews on everything BUT the curry which was the only thing I didnt actually cook. HA! So I felt pretty good about myself.
I will definitely remake these dishes back home for a dinner party with family or friends. Especially the spring rolls which is something I've always wanted to learn. I have to say though, the fresh ones aren't really my favorite. I prefer fried and will probably stick with those unless I'm cooking a big festive dinner.
I'm glad I did it and I had a lot of fun. It was great experience and I'm looking forward to doing more cooking lessons in Thailand next week while visiting Chiang Mai.
(I will post pictures soon. Waiting for a better internet connection.)