May 20, 2017
Well everyone, day 2 was just as hot as day 1, except today their was not a cloud in the sky which didn’t help with the temperature! Today consisted of breakfast, a Thai cooking class, the beach, and a full body Thai massage.
The Thai cooking class was an experience of a lifetime. The cooking class was done at a couples home who Dr. Kingston has become friends with throughout the many years of visiting Thailand with students. The Thai cooking course was given 5/5 stars on Trip advisor and is ranked #1 in food/drink in Hua Hin. After completing the cooking class, I can now see why it is ranked so highly!
First, we met the two chefs at the market and got a full tour. The tour went stand by stand and showed us various fruits, vegetables, meats and spices/roots/herbs that we may not have ever heard of or seen in the states. It was very informative and we got to see what ingredients are present in traditional Thai cooking. We collected all of the ingredients needed for our cooking class and took a Tuk-Tuk back to the house.
When we got to the house, we were given lemongrass infused water, which was very yummy, and cookbooks. The cookbooks showed us all the ingredients we were going to use in dishes and gave a description and showed a picture of each of them. After the ingredients, there were four recipes in the cookbook and it gave step by step instructions for each so that we could try them again at home!
The four dishes we made were: Green Curry with chicken (first we prepared the green curry paste for the green curry chicken and we used a stone mortar and pestle to grind up the ingredients. ), 4 flavor soup with shrimp, Pad Thai, and mango sticky rice for desert.
The first step in the cooking class was to prepare the ingredients. We chopped up the chicken, lemongrass, galangal, shallot, tumeric, long/snake bean, baby eggplant, and basil. This was only a small portion of the ingredients that were used but we were shown how to properly prepare the ingredients according to the main dishes.
Each dish was made by the chef so that we could see how she was mixing in every ingredient. After she was done with the dish, it was then our turn to test it out for ourselves and then eat what we had made. The food tasted so fresh and was definitely the best Thai food I have had since we have been here.
The cooking class was very interactive and we were shown how to make foods sweeter, saltier and spicier. We also got a certificate once we had completed the course to bring home and show our families.
After the cooking course, we all headed to beach! The beach was very close to the campus and was an easy walk. Like I had imagined, it was absolutely beautiful and had a clear view of monkey mountain. The water was very warm but when sitting down in the sand with the water splashing on you, it was quite comfortable and relaxing!
Lastly, a full body, one hour Thai massage and this was WILD. My two friends and I were put in this room together and given these huge shorts to put over our clothes. The massage was like nothing I had every experienced before. They bend you in ways you didn’t know you could bend and stretch you in places you didn’t even know could hurt before. At one point, the little Thai lady was standing on my back getting the kinks out. I will definitely be needing another one before I head back to to the states.
Today was another incredible day in Thailand and we once again got to immerse ourselves in the culture. The Thai cooking class was something we will be able to bring back to our families and impress them with our new cooking skills. I really loved how we got to go to the market and see what ingredients were going to be in the dishes we were preparing. The food in Thailand is so different than in the states. Here, the food is all prepared by fresh ingredients and so much time and effort goes into making all of the unique food dishes. Thai food at home is nothing compared to the food we all had the opportunity to make today!
One thing that I found interesting about the food market was the preparation of the food dishes. Since everything is made fresh, that means that sometimes the food is still alive. The fish, chicken, eels, and frogs were all alive still and heads and feet were being chopped off every way I looked. Very different than in america!
Overall, a great day of cooking classes, the beach, and a thai massage (which I will definitely being going back for before I leave!!). I am learning so much about the culture and interacting with the Thai people is so much fun and humbling. Walking down the streets at the market you see the blood, sweat and probably tears that go into making a living and everyone works so hard for everything they have. Because of this, people are very appreciative of everything that is offered to them which is something you don’t see in the states very often. I am learning to love this culture more and more each day.