Monday Meal Review: Thailand

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httpv://youtu.be/-x8snseHl80 It took a Green Papaya Salad from Thailand to make me think about the rhythms of my life. Rat-tat-tat-tat.... Rat-tat-tat.... Rat-tat.. Rat... Rat... Tat-tat... Thwap. As I pounded the garlic and chili peppers into a paste, feeling both awkward and unskilled, I began to ask myself some questions... Namely, how is it that something as simple as pounding food can be so hard for me, yet be so easy for another person - like... oh, say... someone from … [Read more...]

Recipe: Thai Iced Tea

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There's nothing sweeter than a good love story; and there's no love story more refreshing than Thai Iced Tea. This is the love story of extra strong Ceylon tea, brewed until deeply blushing. The rouge dissolves like a faint, as sweetened condensed milk swirls into the mix. If you think that's all there is to Thai Iced Tea, you'd be half right. For many people, that's all they desire. But every love story needs a little spice, so today we're going the extra mile, by including … [Read more...]

Recipe: Green Papaya Salad | Som Tam

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Whomp. Womp. Womp. Everything worth doing takes a little bit of work. And so it is with Som Tam. The mortar and pestle crushes the garlic, mashes a Thai bird chili peppers,  and wooshes the fish sauce and lime juice into the green beans and papaya. I put the bowl on the table, dotted red with tomatoes. Ava thinks the papaya is spaghetti. The pale green shreds curl around her fork. "It's something like that..." I say, hoping she believes me. She takes a bite, then another. Soon … [Read more...]

Menu: Thailand

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"Friends for a meal are easy to find, friends until end of life are difficult to find" (Thai Proverb) Summer is the time of easy friendships, where the only things that matter are cold drinks, fresh food, and a patch of shade. Dinnertime is less strict, and I find myself veering towards later, lighter meals. Like this one. So now all you need is to find someone to share it with (P.S. Speaking of which, I can't decide if that Thai proverb is encouraging or discouraging, but there's one thing I … [Read more...]

About the food of Thailand

Water buffalos in Thailand. Photo by Torikai Yukihiro

From her thick, green mountaintops in the north, all the way past her flatlands, through her river basins and glittering skyscrapers, Thailand has it all. And if you thought her landscape is stunning, you should taste the food. There's a zing to Thai food that keeps me coming back; at first I thought it was the sour notes, formed from hefty squirts of lime juice. I do adore a good burst of lime...But over the years I've realized Thai food is far more complex than that. There's a dance … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Tajikistan

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httpv://youtu.be/0tNsfjQ-zes It is often said that family who live in close proximity take each other for granted. But in many ways, I think it's just as easy to take each other for granted when family is scattered around the country. We get used to a certain state of ... loneliness... of missing each other. We resign ourselves to the distance, and take for granted that it can be no other way than to be apart. It got so bad, for me, that I hid behind my work and responsibilities. I … [Read more...]

Recipe: Yogurt Naan/Non

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Any woman worth her salt is an incredible, complex specimen which takes time and love to fully understand. But even when you think you know a woman, she remains - at her core - mysterious. And so it is with today's Tajik naan recipe. She's made with a blend of wheat and all purpose flour, a healthy glop of yogurt, and not much else. She gets her shine for a quick milk and egg wash. The flavor is rustic, thanks to the wheat flour, and there's a slight, yet definite tang, thanks to … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lamb Plov with Dried Apricots & Raisins

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I'm an awkward girl; I'm not up on fashion trends, my slang is two decades passe, and I'd rather drink wine at home than be surrounded by 100 people I don't know. Dinner parties can really put me to the test, especially when I'm the hostess. I want everyone to have a good time, but I'm never entirely sure how to bring everyone together. That's where Tajikistan can help. You know that moment, right as everyone sits down to eat? I refer to it as the calm before the storm. It's a little … [Read more...]