What a month I’ve had! My website was hijacked by hackers who did their darndest to lock me out. Thankfully, I had the assistance of a very good developer who was able to get on top of things and put further protections in place. Of course, it had to happen only three days before I was heading overseas! Anyway, the blog is back in action and I’m back from Thailand. I haven’t even had time to go grocery shopping yet but, there are still things to share.
One of the reason’s we visited Thailand was to attend the Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai. What a memorable night. Loud, noisy and exhilarating! Though crowded, there were many areas to view the lanterns at a more sedate distance. We went to the free local government (official) celebrations, not the paid commercial events that are held outside the city. Here’s a short video of just some of the lanterns being released. I’d recommend it to anyone.
In my November kitchen…
…there is a new Tiffin! I don’t buy much in the way of souvenirs but when I saw this enamel Tiffin at the Saturday Walking Market in Chiang Mai, Mr Tiffin insisted that I treat myself. Tiffins are not a Thai implement and I suspect this has actually come by way of China, but I do really like it. It was the most expensive thing be bought/paid for on our entire holiday, costing 280 Baht. That’s around $12 AUD.
In my kitchen…
…is a bag of taro flavoured sweets. A last minute purchase at the supermarket (18 Baht / 75c). They were either going to be delicious or spectacularly horrible. I am happy to report, they are delicious. Chewy and slightly creamy like a ‘Milkshake’ or ‘White Rabbit’ lolly with a faint taste of something akin to pandan. I guess it’s what taro must taste like. That, and a lot of sugar. Anyway, now I know that they are yummy, they won’t last long at all!
In my kitchen…
…are eggplants. So many eggplants. We came home from Europe in September to a large crop and have returned from 12 days away to another bumper crop. I made a delicious warm Middle Eastern Eggplant Salad with the first batch (recipe here)
and am quick pickling the second batch for a quick Melanzane Sotto Aceto e Olio.
I love eggplant pickled this way as it’s pleasingly chewy and great on an antipasti plate. I think though, there are yet more eggplants on the way!
In my kitchen, the new Tiffin holds a surprise…
…with some of the plastic waste we carried back with us from Thailand. Travelling means trying new tastes, some convenience foods and (in Thailand at least), buying water. This results in lots of waste.
We decided to bring back all of our soft plastic and paper waste from our 12 day trip. This included chopstick covers, muesli bar wrappers, plane and rail tickets, receipts, cocktail swizzle sticks, a cereal box, the lid of an ice cream tub, toothpick wrappers and much more. We couldn’t bring the water bottles home but we did bring back all of the lids and bottle tops.
The lid and peel off top from these curious sweet potato chips also travelled back with us.
All of this soft and hard plastic and paper will be composted or recycled.
In my kitchen…
…there is a bag of butterfly pea flowers. The butterfly pea grows wild throughout Asia, including the laneway where our apartment was located.
Once dried, the flowers are often used in teas and tisanes. The flowers don’t taste much of anything but give liquid a wonderful indigo hue. In Australia, Ink Gin, made in northern NSW, is prettily coloured with butterfly pea flowers. I believe this is a favourite of our host, Sherry. The dried flowers do have a neat trick though – when mixed with an acid such as lemon, the deep indigo transforms into a vibrant violet colour. A great trick for cocktails.
We are having a very low key Christmas, taking time to visit the Apple Isle. Hopefully we will see the boats come in to Hobart as part of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. We are also going to a long lunch at Fat Pig. Thanks to Sherry from Sherry’s Picking for hosting IMK and for the joie de vivre of her blog and in sharing her own bite sized adventures.