Posts Tagged With: food

Noodles with Eggplant and Tomato

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Pad Mii

Pronounced (pad [or maybe pod/pahd] mee [me, as in me, myself and I, but with a slightly longer carrying of the “e”). It’s similar to pad Thai, but this one I made in the cafeteria and is lacking peanuts, tamarind and some the kind of noodle that would make it pad Thai.

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Som Tam

Also known as spicy papaya salad. However, I usually go without the spicy. A teacher taught me how to make this. I just helped her. Since I’m the only vegetarian here, the teacher had me set some aside on a plate. Here’s a recipe to make it vegetarian.

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Garlic Tofu Wrap

It’s quick, easy to make, portable and delicious. I bought fried tofu from Makro (which is like Sam’s Club, but for Thailand, and with a different membership policy), but you can fry (or bake) your own tofu, seasoned however you desire (but if it’s seasoned certain ways, you may not want to add more garlic to it). Yesterday I enjoyed it toasted, and also ate a tofu and orange marmalade wrap (this one is a more natural marmalade and the orange is bitter, so it wasn’t as good as the garlic one). I toasted them in a rice cooker.

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The kitchen’s been invaded.

I returned from Bangkok a couple of weeks ago on Friday morning, and haven’t knowingly eaten anything with milk or eggs since we finished our staff lunch that same afternoon, except for some egg yolk that contaminated some sliced vegetables that were given to me as leftovers. A plate of boiled eggs and fried tofu was also offered, but I declined it. While I can’t say that I’m ready to give up honey yet, the arguments against the consumption of honey are becoming more and more appealing. I drizzled some on my peanut butter bread yesterday morning, and threw away three slices of bread in the evening when I went for more and discovered that, at some point, ants had gotten inside the lid. I didn’t see any in the honey, but something didn’t taste quite right that morning.

Ants are everywhere (except, thankfully, for my bed, at least most of the time). They even come and harass me while I work or play at the computer, climbing onto the desk. I found them yesterday under my pots, and a few days ago they were all over the tiny shelf in the water closet where I keep my toiletries. When I try to prepare fruit (which has been my main sustenance, along with noodles last week and bread this week), I need to move the plate into the fridge in between fruits, and they nip my feet while I wash the dishes. Too often, I find them floating in my drinking water, though less often since I put plastic over the tap. The plastic bag was installed to keep an invading gecko from contaminating the tap. On account of the dangerous temple dogs that threatened me the first time I tried to walk to church alone, I’ve been afraid to venture more than a few feet from the gate, and the yard is very small, but that gecko is like a personal trainer that appears in about the same place almost every evening, sees to it that I get a good workout chasing it around the kitchen, and then seems to just vanish. It’s left me questioning whether it’s really there, or whether it’s a spirit come to harass me or a hallucination, but the ants (which apparently can’t all be killed by cornstarch and which eat gecko dung) were probably going after some gecko dung when they swarmed the bowl that I stacked my pots on (until yesterday evening, when I moved them).

Of course, I’m sure you know I don’t want to kill this gecko. I feel bad when I do hurt them. I grab the broom or a duster and try to chase them to the door or the window, but it doesn’t always work. I’ve managed to drive a few away, probably and unfortunately hurting at least a couple in the process, but this one is very tricky.

Mangos are in season. We have two or three mango trees which are drooping with mango. I think tomorrow I’ll ask about checking their ripeness. Mangos are also cheap at the market, and I’ve been enjoying the sweet yellow ones that have just enough tanginess and a texture that is reminiscent of flan. I’ve also tried sapodilla, and would like to stash the rest in the freezer. I can’t tell when it’s too ripe. The taste is like caramel, but also seems to have a hint of alcohol flavor, like vanilla flavoring or something, I think. I kind of like it. It’s something I might try one more time, perhaps with help in (or after researching) selection and preparation. The first try was the best. After that, it’s been somewhat disappointing. I’d still like to try it in some homemade ice cream or a homemade smoothie, but dates are better.

Here’s another ant that was crawling on my keyboard. They’re tiny, red, biting things, nasty little critters. If only they didn’t bite, come after my food while I’m preparing it and/or eating, and stayed out of the water, then I might be able to ignore them, except when they’re crawling on my toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, etc…

I haven’t been feeling well, especially since some time ago in Bangkok, but have been feeling better since abandoning the eggs and dairy, cutting back significantly on pastries and other unnatural sweets, and eating more raw fruit. A friend brought me some lychee twice, and I have been enjoying the taste. The first time she brought it was the first time that I’ve eaten it fresh. Canned, I didn’t care for it. It was boring, kind of like canned pears (although I like pears more now than I did back when I tried canned lychee, though I did like canned pears then, sometimes), but fresh it’s totally different, and juicy and delicious. It seems jackfruit is also in season, too. We found some at the market that was ripe, a nice salmon color, and I really enjoyed it. I like to eat it washed in water because it not only does away with the germs, but seems to make it more juicy.

I used to brush my teeth with the water coming from the bathroom sink, but have been using drinking water this past week and wonder if that also has had a positive impact on my health. We’re told over and over that the water here isn’t clean and should only be used for washing. I know that, but old habits are hard to break, especially when you don’t see the contaminants (except for the obvious stinky green stuff that grows on your retainer, which you also wash in that water) after it sits in its container for a day or two. Since returning, the smell coming from the bathroom faucet and hoses has become even more suspicious, and I’m hoping that nothing died in the pipes (and especially not in the well) while I was away (nor after I returned). After all, I still wash dishes and myself with that water.

But even though I miss the kids, the fresh baked goodies from the vegetarian food store, the adventure, the freedom and comfort of being able to walk around the compound, and the delicious vegetarian food from the cafeteria and a few good cooks, it’s good to be back.

Change is coming. I’m in the process of renovating this website, but changes are happening in my life, too, and I trust that it will all work out for the best. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps I shouldn’t have been so quick to take on the project of renovating this site, but should have waited to consider if I could accomplish the task before I started it. We’ll see what happens. For now, at least I know I can still add new posts as I work on moving things around, because the people who care have probably subscribed, and will have the new posts delivered to them even if they’re not posted directly onto the site. That’s pretty convenient, isn’t it? Thanks for sticking with me through all of this.

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Thankful for a Full Fridge

January21groceries

^That bag of green circular shaped items is the noodles that I bought at the daily market. Below them to the left are the quail eggs. To the right is my favorite deep fried snack that I probably keep going on about, and in the middle are the bananas that a friend gave me. Anything in this picture not in a bag wasn’t from this shopping trip. 

Yesterday and today have been cold, rainy days. I needed to do some laundry, and since it’s still wet and raining outside, I washed enough clothes for a couple days in the bathroom sink and hung them in the hâawng-náam (literally-“water closet”, referring to the bathroom) and my hâawng-naawn (literally-sleep room, referring to the bedroom). I had trouble getting to sleep last night, for a few reasons.

We went to buy things yesterday. I definitely needed to get some fruits and vegetables, as I was down to one head cabbage and some garlic for fresh vegetables, and was out of fresh fruit, except for two bunches of bananas that a friend gave to me, and half a papaya (which was from a friend of a friend) left over from breakfast. I was also out of tofu and peanuts, out of which I had been making peanut butter, and I was hoping to eat a good supper of street food from the stands at the Monday market.

Because of the rain, we suspected that there wouldn’t be as many vendors at the Monday night market, but we were going to the daily market (which is under a shelter) anyway. I bought some fried vegetable spring rolls for supper. The vendor cut them in half and served them in a bag with a thin pointed stick and a small bag of sweet and sour sauce (which I did not eat). I used the stick to pick up the spring rolls and ate them as I walked around the market. I didn’t know what to expect at the Monday market, so I bought enough fruit and vegetables for the week, and it’s likely that at least some, such as the carrots, should last me more than a week.

I have to admit that I was disappointed with the quality of some of the items, but, looking back, I see that some of my disappointments were actually blessings, tokens of God’s love.

The first thing I purchased was a bag of quail eggs for 50 baht. I decided to get some potatoes, but while I was digging around to look for ones of good quality (I am fussy.), I saw a roach hiding in the pile. I poked at it with a potato and it moved, so I know it was alive. Disturbed, I covered it up (I’m not sure if I did the right thing.). I didn’t want to offend nor disappoint the lady who was selling the potatoes, so I stuck with the two I had picked out, and also selected a bag of 3 baby corn. She encouraged me to get a bag of mushrooms, too, which I gave away before leaving the market. At another stand I selected a few carrots. The vendor weighed them, and urged me to get one more, which I did.

I was disappointed with the red onions. I bought a bag of tiny red onions, and saw some later that I would have preferred to get instead, if I hadn’t already gotten some. It was difficult to find some that looked in good shape for a price that I thought they were worth, and these did not. I also bought some other cooking onions, and I think the quality and price were alright.

Another one that disappointed me was the fruit. I purchased a small package of small oranges for 20 baht, and 4 of them were rotten. I saw what looked like better deals (maybe not cheaper, because they were larger) at other stalls. The oranges were also soft, so they were suspicious. However, when I ate the oranges today, I realized that they are probably mandarin oranges. The softness does not mean rottenness, as they do not seem rotten, and are sweet and delicious, and do not have too many seeds. I like them.

I found a small bag of tomatoes for 5 baht, which I thought was a reasonable deal.  We had gotten into the car when I remembered that it was the only place the missionary family that brought me knew to buy some msg free noodles of the similar-to-instant-ramen variety. I compare them to Chinese noodles. We found one package of dusty green noodles, but the bag held air, and the noodles were vegan and msg free, colored green with pandan powder, which is from a plant, and didn’t have all the garbage that your typical instant-ramen in the US was (it’s not the same thing, but that’s what I compare it to, though they also have Chinese noodles in the US, so if you’ve seen those curly Chinese noodles, it’s a better comparison). I was disappointed and disturbed that the packaging was dusty and looked a little damaged, but looking back, I realize that it was a blessing and a token of God’s love that there was one package there waiting for me. I’m also thankful that our leader showed me the ones.

I was also hoping to find starfruit. I had seen some before, but was disappointed not to find any. Maybe it was there somewhere? Oh well, it was a blessing, our leader’s patient and helpful wife looked up what kind of a threat roaches posed to health and hygiene, and didn’t find much, and I washed the potatoes anyway. Besides all that with the roach business, I realize that roaches and other bugs could be crawling all over the produce even when we can’t see it, it’s just that seeing it disturbed me. It was not such a bad experience after all, though I do think, after going to the Monday market on a rainy day, that I’ll stick with the Monday market and the Thursday market for fresh produce and other things, even if it’s raining, but may go back to the daily market to get more noodles (I cannot say for sure, as I have not tried the noodles yet, and I cannot predict the future anyway). I think that tomorrow I will make a noodle soup.

January21groceries (3)

^Carrots, apples, and oranges from the daily market on the right. Greens (I’m not sure, whether I got these thin greens at the Monday market or daily market, now that I think about it.) in the upper left corner. The bag in front on the left toward the middle is sweet potatoes from the Monday night market, and I think that’s red onions in the lower left corner. There’s other things there, too, but I don’t remember what it was and can’t identify it right now. It might be the other bag of onions and some unseen items, but it might not. 

My dad and stepmother sent me a beautiful shiny butterfly birthday card with a carefully selected cash gift of clean bills.  ((My dad is very kind, thoughtful, careful, patient and generous toward me. I love him hearts. I would love him even if he wasn’t, but he is. I love my stepmother, too, who has also been very patient towards me and kind to me.)) We went to Tesco, but first I went to the bank right next door to cash the gift along with some donations I had received from others. At Tesco I purchased a package of 4 thin rolls of tissue (toilet paper, though we use it mainly as napkins and tissues here in Thailand), a bottle of sesame oil, a bottle of sunflower seed oil, oats, peanuts, yakinori seaweed, dates, daifuku, garlic salt, hair conditioner, and dog food.

Despite the rain, which had pretty much stopped when we arrived at the market, there was a good selection of produce. The vendor who sold fried and boiled quail eggs was there, and I tried a basket of fried eggs. The vendor who sold my favorite snack was also there. To my disappointment, I didn’t see any sticky rice doughnuts, which I’ve really only seen once, and was hoping I would find again if I went early enough (but either the vendor was not there, or the vendor was there, but the doughnuts were not). Maybe it was because of the rain? Perhaps I aught to buy some sticky rice and make my own Hmong cake (sticky rice doughnuts are very similar). I also found tofu.

January21groceries (4)

^On the right is baby corn and something else. Could it be tomatoes? I’m not sure, and am now questioning whether I got the tomatoes from the same vendor as the baby corn and the potatoes, or if I got the baby corn and tomatoes from a different vendor than the one who sold the potatoes. In the upper right are some small greens. I’m not sure what it is. It seems to me to be a cross between cabbage and collards. Maybe it is one of the other (baby collards/baby cabbage with the leaves), a hybrid, or something totally different. I think I should ask a friend to name these greens for me. In the middle top is leeks, then there are my Tesco purchases and something else. There are other items, too, that you cannot see. 

A man enthusiastically offered to sell me some cabbages. I like cabbage and they keep for at least a few weeks (I usually eat them up  so I don’t know how long these will keep for), so I bought one kilo, which was two, for 30 baht. The very next vendors on that side (if I remember correctly) were a friend’s parents. I was thinking about buying some leeks from them, but they gave me the leeks, along with some Asian cabbages and a bag of tomatoes for free. They might have already decided to before I even noticed they were there, because I think I first noticed when they were already giving away free produce to the person who was leading me through the market (going ahead of me, anyway), who happens to be another friend, and our leader’s wife.

My friend’s parents are so sweet, kind, and generous. They have given me free produce at least once before, though I think twice, and I’m pretty sure I got a discount the last time I shopped with them.

I’m thankful for all the people who have been kind and generous toward me. Thank you. You might not realize just how God has used you, but He has, and your gift has made a difference in more than one way.

A little bit can go a long way here. At Tesco, I also topped up on my phone, and on the way back we refilled the water jugs, which are huge. I didn’t keep track  as well as I should have on how much I spent. When that happens, I try to guess on the high side, and I’m also going to round up for this one…This shopping trip cost me less than 900 baht. That actually converts to a little more than $25 on google right now. That’s a little over 25 US dollars, and I’m not planning on eating all this food up in one week, but it seems that it’s better if I don’t set goals on how long the food and other items should last. I’m expecting that most of these things that will keep well and that I have a lot of, should get me through a few weeks, though. Perhaps I will share later how long some of these things lasted me. I’m thankful, though. God is good. He has provided, and shown me that I do not have to worry about things like “what will I eat” in the future. I am very blessed to have this abundance here. God is good. He has promised already to provide ((See Isaiah 33:16 and Matthew 6.)), and that He has been doing in more ways than I expected already. God is good.

The refrigerator went from seeming almost empty (one reason being that I wanted to eat most of what I had before buying more, and possibly also because I have been eating pretty well) to being stuffed to the point where I had to carefully arrange to fit everything. God is good. God provided, and even though  (as far as food is concerned) I think I had enough in the freezer and in dried goods to get me by for another week, I think, I’m very thankful we went to the market when we did, and that there was so much available despite the rain (also answers to prayers), and that now the fridge is packed, and I had to move ice packs out of the freezer to make more room, too. God is good. I’m thankful.

Today was another cold day, but a little warmer, I think, especially warmer in the kitchen. Today I prepped two of the three different types of greens that I bought (I’m not sure about one type, but I know one of the two was purchased at the Monday market.). I kept busy for a few hours thoroughly washing, inspecting, picking apart and cutting, boiling, and bagging the greens to put in the freezer, and then washed and boiled some quail eggs. I also washed the dishes and cleaned the counter, too. I usually don’t heat up water for washing dishes, but today I did for two different batches of dishes. Thankfully, the water came out somewhat warm, though not hot, so it was not unbearably cold, though it occasionally came out cold.

This morning I also fixed some hot herbal tea from mint purchased at the market the last Monday I went. It’s still good, and there’s still some left. I made enough for everybody, but only one actually took some, so even though I had 3 or four cups, which both warmed my hands and my insides temporarily, there was still a lot of leftovers. I emptied the pot of the mint not long ago and filled it with water to heat up for a hot water bottle, but it would not turn on, so I used the rice cooker, but that’s a blessing also, because it will keep the water warm even if I wait for hours  before refilling the bottle, which is a large vinegar (actually artificial vinegar) bottle that I had thrown away, but fished out of the trash and washed for this purpose. Right now I have it in a pillowcase under my feet, and I just folded the pillow case over my feet again. It feels good, though my feet might be burnt in some places, as I did not wait for the water bottle to cool, and might have kept it under some spots for too long.

Pretty soon, I need to rearrange my laundry, most (if not all) of which I think is still wet. I’m thankful for the rain, because the Lord knows we needed it. It’s been very dry, and I was concerned for the trees (and also for the drinking water supply). The Lord knows how much we need(ed) to replenish the water supply and also to hydrate the trees, so if it rains all week, I’ll be OK with that, but I would prefer for it to be dry tomorrow, if we don’t need anymore, so that I can hang this laundry out if it’s still wet, and so that I can do more, as I have a lot that I want to wash this week.

January21groceries (2)

^The water jugs, a bag of greens, and some other bags that I already showed you. I’m still not sure what’s in the one. 

 

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The Last Fish II

The missionary family here left me some greens, some sort of “lettuce”. I saw them in the fridge today and at first thought that maybe I had some spinach left over, but no, I had eaten it all. When I pulled them out, I recognized them as the lettuce that was left behind. I didn’t want to eat them raw, so I washed them and boiled them in the rice cooker with garlic and toasted three slices of bread in the waffle iron. That made 7 thick slices of bread today. The greens were interesting. With some salt, at first I liked them, but by the time I finished them, I can’t say for sure. I think I’d eat them again, but spinach is better. Maybe they are better raw. I didn’t feel adventurous enough, though it was quite an adventure eating them.

The skinny, blonde dog—that is now wearing a pink shirt since last Sabbath, if not Friday or Thursday (it was probably one of the neighbors who dressed it, maybe its owner)—came around when I was dumping the first batch of scraps. It seems to be a fussy eater, so even though there was some oat scrapings in the scrap pile which it probably could have eaten, but didn’t seem interested in (though maybe it went or will go back later to eat it), I tossed two beef jerky style dog treats outside for it and went back to preparing lunch, or cleaning up (whatever I was doing at the time)

By the time I finished lunch, I had eaten two more slices of bread. Having eaten the entire loaf of bread in one day, and now being down to one loaf from the original 3 (in less than a week’s time), I am thankful that the bakery is closed for a while. I ate too much, and my belly is full. I need to get my act together and cut down on the coconut oil (which I have already used over half the bottle), the salt, and the flour. Tomorrow, perhaps I aught to have oats or rice or sesame for breakfast, and lots of bananas, because I have lots of those. To get a little exercise, I washed the dishes and took out the scraps, and then went outside to move around a little bit. I thought of closing the gate, but decided not to go down by the road dressed as I am. Instead, I decided to check on the fish (which for some reason in my mind I am calling “Chuckee”), which I have been and still am praying for. Surprisingly, the fish was no longer belly-up, but vertical, or almost vertical, nose and mouth up, moving its mouth as though sucking in water and food (probably both). I began to fill the jug and to pour in more water. Each time, the fish reacted. At least once or twice, I could see it swim to the bottom, but for some reason it rolled and floated back to the top. It seems to be longer than the diameter of the bottom, and I wonder if, perhaps, it is uncomfortable down there. The fish seemed to react well to more and more water, so I filled the bin. It continued to swim, and come back up, sucking in more water and food. Without my interference, when it bumped against the side of the bin, it moved again.

So the fish is alive, and no longer belly up. Praise God! I am thanking God that the fish is alive, and seems to be doing better now, and am still praying for the fish.

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Banana Lemon Pudding

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Dead Fish on Christmas

It’s Christmas here in Thailand, and this part of the village seems very quiet. The sun is soon to be setting toward the west, to rise in my homeland within a few hours. Here, the setting of the sun will bring in the Sabbath. Am I ready?

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Asian Cabbage Soup

 

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