One of my goals in Chiang Mai was to get the professional help that others have told me my cooking so desperately needs ;-) So Dave and I decided to attend all day classes at Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School the day before and the day after Christmas. We prepared about five different Thai dishes each day and then ate them all. So a warning to all friends and family -- be prepared for beta testing of my Thai cooking skills when I return to the USA!
The first part of the course involved a trip to the market (about one kilometer up the road) to purchase our ingredients. I wish I could also send you the smells and sounds but pictures will have to suffice!
Each person is given the recipes for all the Thai meals that the school teaches, even the meals you are not preparing on a given day. Each dish is demonstrated in a classroom by the teacher.
And then we all run to our individual cooking workstations to prepare the meal ourselves before the preparation steps fade from our feeble cooking-challenged minds:
On the first day of class, we were being shown how to prepare a particular curry dish. As the teacher was cooking the curry paste in the wok, the mist of the spicy curry began to fill the air. In the classroom, eyes were swelling, noses were sniffling, and there was coughing because those fumes can get strong. The instructor could hear what was happening and he suddenly looked up and spread his arms and said, "Welcome to Thailand!"
OK, now it is time to eat my own cooking, no time to pose for a picture, I am hungry!!!