Thailand: Day 7 (Cooking Class & The Sleeper Train)

There are dozens of different cooking schools in Chiang Mai, and we feel like we found the best:

We absolutely loved the design of the restaurant: 

The outdoor eating area was inviting: 

We loved this painting so much that we had it duplicated for Thai Curry Kitchen: 

Even the bathrooms were perfect:

These four were the only students in the cooking class, which is one big reason why it was so awesome: 

Outside there were delivery bikes lined up: 

This is Pum's spirit house, or san phra phum. I still think we need one at Thai Curry Kitchen:

There are multiple Pum Restaurants; they have a whole line of products:

But the real reason the class was so good was because of the teacher. She was dynamic lady . . . full of personality and wit. 

There was only one other girl at the restaurant, prepping the food:

But other than that, this lady was running a one-woman show; she really knew what she was talking about when it came to Thai food and cooking: 

They jumped right in the kitchen: 

We loved how everything was so open: 

And fresh: 

Rachel was first and made Popiah Sat, or fresh vegetarian spring rolls.

I can't remember her name, so we'll call her Malee. Malee was super animated and made the cooking class so much fun for the girls:

Step 1: Shred cabbage, slice shallots and onions, julienne carrots, cucumbers, and peppers; chiffonnade mint. 

Step 2: Soak rice paper in water for fifteen seconds, put veggies and herbs into center of paper, sprinkle with sesame seeds:

Step 3: And roll tightly: 

No slacking here; it's important to roll them tight:

During all of this, Malee was singing and dancing: 

I love that she took the time to teach Rachel about the importance of the presentation:

Step 4: Cut in half at angle and serve with Thai peanut dipping sauce:

(The peanut dipping sauce was made separately with these ingredients): 

These fresh spring rolls are so good. Rachel has made them a number of times at home and they were also the winning recipe at Junior League of Ogden's Get Fresh cooking competition. 

Step 5: Celebrate!

Next, it was Bradee's turn to make Gai Satay, which is Thai style chicken satay with peanut sauce:


I love that the girls got to take this cooking class with their dads:

The Gai Satay was so good!

Then Steve and Rachel made Tom Kha Gai (chicken in coconut milk soup with Thai herbs).

Lots of singing and dancing with Malee: 


John and Bradee made Kwitiaw Nam (noodle soup with vegetables):

And then we sat down and ate everything:

Everyone was super happy with the cooking class, but that was just the beginning. Next we went to the market to buy ingredients for the other dishes.

The girls wanted to ride bikes, but one of them had a flat tire. So we walked:

Which was better for conversation anyways. Steve and John asked Malee lots and lots of questions about everything we saw.

Another spirit house:

Lots of other cool things:

Rachel had to use the toilet:

It cost money and I didn't have any and Steve wasn't nearby, so Malee gave us some change. (Toilet paper cost extra.) 

You would never be able to find this market unless you knew exactly where you were going. It's not the sort of place tourists go. 

Malee was one hundred percent in her element:

You could tell the people at the market all loved her:

They were not used to having their pictures taken: 

But they were kind and obliged: 

Lots of gross things, like buffalo skins:

Lots of pretty things, like limes:

I had left Lacie at the hotel with the four kids for a couple of hours and it was time for me to go back and take them lunch. I was just a little nervous about navigating Chiang Mai by myself. So I took this picture to document where I exited the market, in case I got lost: 

And then I rode a tuk-tuk all by myself. We stopped at McDonald's, where I ran in and got lunch for the kids:

 Then back to our hotel:

The kids were still swimming, but eagerly got out to eat their Happy Meals. (And play with their toys. Never underestimate the value of a Happy Meal toy when traveling.)

Lacie and I checked out of the hotel and loaded all of our luggage up in a truck.

This time the security guard had little whistles for the kids (looked like little pieces of a plastic straw?)

And yep . . . he showed them how to use them in his mouth and then handed them straight to the kids to put in their mouths.

We traveled back to Pum Restaurant & Cooking School and eagerly went inside to cool off in the air conditioning.

Rachel said when they got back from the market tour, Malee gave them frozen towels infused with lemon oil to cool off and that they were incredible.

Steve, John, Rachel, and Bradee had been busy cooking (and eating):

Som Tum Thai (classic green papaya salad):

Phad Phak Ruam (fried mixed vegetables) and Khao Phad Lanna ("Lanna" style fried rice):

Gaeng Panaeng Nua (Panaeng curry with beef):


Phad Thai Goong (Thai fried noodles with prawns)
Gaeng Daeng (red curry with prawns)
Gaeng Karee Gai (mild yellow curry with chicken) *Rachel's favorite

Lacie and I enjoyed all of the leftovers. Everything was lick-your-plate-good.

While we were eating, John and Bradee made Gluay Buad Chee (bananas in sweetened coconut milk):

And then Steve and Rachel made Khao Nieo Mamuang (yellow mango with coconut sticky rice).

Malee asked me to take her picture and email it to her:

She was a lot of fun:

Malee loved Bradee. (And her hair.)

We ate as much as we could handle, bought recipe books, bid our farewells to Malee, and then caught a ride to the train station. We were taking the sleeper train to Bangkok!

Steve and I are just so photogenic:

Every time I took a family picture of the Thompsons, John said, "This will be our family Christmas card . . . oh wait, we're missing Sophie."

I wanted everyone to pose for a picture but Steve told me we didn't have time . . .  and he was right.

As soon as we got on the train, they punched our tickets and took off:

I got the kids working on the school activities that I had packed (with Nerds as rewards):

As we drove through the countryside, we saw beautiful mountains and fields growing rice:

Not the best food on the train . . . here is the toast:

And french fries:

I think we might have been the most exciting thing on the train:

More rice fields: 

After a couple of hours, it was time to transform our seats into beds. We weren't allowed to make the change ourselves; we had to wait for this man to come around and set it up for us: 

It was all pretty slick. Each person had their own curtained area:

Our seats were located right close to the bathroom and sinks. (After Rachel used the squatter toilet, we realized there was a squatter toilet on one side and a regular toilet on the other . . . and by the way, it takes real skill to use a squatter toilet while riding a moving train.)

These were our views down both directions of the train:

I think it probably had something to do with the noise from the train, but everyone slept so well. (Everyone except for Steve, who didn't fit on his bed.) 


Gloria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gloria said...

I love your pictures and the great tutorial! I need an 8x11 of your new blog picture, I love it!

Ramanda said...

The food sounds incredible! What an amazing adventure!

Rachael said...

This trip looks amazing and I LOVE reading all of your posts about it. Super cool! By the way, you really need to post the spring roll recipe. They look delicious!