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Out of all the countries we’ve visited so far, Thailand probably has the best overall food. Today, we took a 4-hour vegetarian cooking class at Morning Glory Restaurant & Cooking School, formerly known as May Kaidee’s. Yep, the boys did it, too.

Our instructor and restaurant owner’s name was Dion. The store front was her school; the kitchen and upstairs were her home. She spoke excellent English and easily communicated her passion for Thai cooking.

First, we peeled and cut potatoes and pumpkins. We left them to steam in her kitchen, while we walked across the street to the local market. Thai people are insistent about fresh food and visit the market daily. The idea of going to the grocery store once or twice a week seems absurd to them. We got to ask all the “what’s that?” questions, and finally got to try durian, known as the world’s stinkest fruit. Frankly, it wasn’t that smelly and actually tasted pretty good, like a peach.

Travel TipTravel Tip 41:  Visit a local market.

Wherever you travel, make a point to visit the market where the locals shop.  It’s an inexpensive feast for all your senses!

When we returned to the kitchen, Dion put us through our paces. We learned to make the following:

  • 1 peanut sauce
  • 1 pad thai
  • 1 stir-fry
  • 1 salad
  • 2 hummuses
  • 2 curries
  • 2 desserts
  • 5 soups

Thank goodness she had printed recipes, but she had me take notes all the same. The interesting point about Thai cooking: there’s a few basic recipes;  cooks simply add an ingredient here and there to create an entirely different dish.

From Nathan: Cooking actually can be fun, when you have a good attitude. At first, I had a negative mind set toward the cooking class which made it hard to enjoy. Then when I tasted the food, I wanted to cook more, because the food was very good and fresh. We cooked with a wok and put in the ingredients that the teacher told us to. My favorite dishes were the potato hummus and sticky rice.

From Aidan: My favorite dish that we cooked today was mango sticky rice. My second favorite thing that we cooked was this pumpkin and potato hummus. I did not like the soups and curries much. I liked the cooking class a little more than ziplining. Surprising, huh?

Of course, all that cooking meant there was a lot of tasting! We were beyond stuffed.  If we get brave, we’ll cook Thai for all of you when we return!

In the afternoon, we went to an English-speaking Christian church in Chiang Mai. It’s the first time since we left that we’ve really had the opportunity to go. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks exposing the boys to other faiths: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism. I was glad to remind them that there are Christians around the world, as well. While the pastor’s sermon wasn’t that inspiring, it was nice to hear familiar praise songs.

It was a needed bit of home.