Tag Archives: food

Monthly Rice Field Photo #2 – December

Now the rice fields are harvested. All that remains in the fields is the dry stems. Cows are free to roam to find any missed pieces of rice and to eat the dry rice hay. Probably the next 6 months of rice field photos will be pretty monotonous. There is only one planting season here, so you’ll have to wait until the spring to see any changes in this field!

The weather today is sunny even though it doesn’t look like it in the photos, which were taken earlier in the morning. It was chilly enough to need a sweater when I started walking to take this photo, but I quickly warmed up in the sun. It’s 68 F outside now. What a beautiful day! It rained briefly about a week ago, but other than that, it hasn’t rained since October.

Here you can see the cows a little better:

Monthly Rice Field Photo #1

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Honeycomb and Bee Larvae

Last week, our house helper was clearing some brush in front of our house when she found a beehive! Since eating larvae of ants, wasps, and bees is common in Laos, she brought this in for us to eat. I asked her how to cook it, but didn’t really understand her answer. I thought that you fried larvae, but she said no, these are too small and soft for that. She said that Lao people often steam them, but I don’t have a steamer. She also said you can bake them, so that’s what I ended up doing. She mentioned something about washing something, but I didn’t quite catch it. Maybe she was describing how to get the larvae out of the comb. Continue reading

Cinnamon Cookies

Maybe Cinnamon Cookies would get more attention in December than in July, but if I waited to post about them I might forget! I followed the recipe exactly except that I used turbinado sugar (granulated light brown sugar) instead of white sugar. I’ve used white sugar before though and both ways are good.

Salmon Salad

Salmon Salad was one of my favorite meals growing up, along with crab soufflé, shrimp salad, and seafood gumbo. I guess I really had a thing for seafood! This is a recipe I got from my mom and I’m not sure where she got it. It seems very 1950’s to me with its canned meat, tons of mayonnaise, and dainty presentation. Although my photo shows the salmon salad arranged on lettuce, it’s also very good on crackers or a sandwich.

I apologize to anyone who is reading my blog in search of healthy food made from ingredients that are easily found in Southeast Asia. This is certainly not that kind of recipe! Continue reading

Fish Amok from Cambodia

This past January, James and I took a trip to Cambodia because he had some work to do there. We added on a short vacation since we’d never been there before. While we were in Phnom Penh, we took one day cooking class at The Frizz restaurant. We’ve found that cooking classes are a great way to learn about food and culture in a new place. In some ways this class was similar to the class that James took at Tamarind in Luang Prabang, Laos.

First we went to a market. I wasn’t so excited about that part because I had already seen that market and markets in Cambodia are not all that different from markets in Laos. I did see some interesting things there though that I haven’t seen at my local market – salted duck eggs and many more kinds of fish than in Laos. Salted duck eggs are covered in black ashes as part of the preserving process. You can see what it looks like here. Our guide said when she feels sick, she likes to eat these eggs with rice. That’s about the last thing I’d want to eat when I’m feeling sick, but I suppose different cultures have different comfort foods! Continue reading

Canned Tomatoes

Canning tomatoes reminds me of a small dark room in my grandparents’ basement. It had 2 walls lined with shelves that were full of canned things. I think I remember pickled okra, sweet pickles, dill pickles, tomatoes, and peppers (there was probably more too). My Grandma also had a deep freezer in that room. She grew lots of tomatoes and probably had to can them to deal with the quantity. We’ve tried twice to grow tomatoes here, but it hasn’t worked, so I canned some tomatoes from the market. In the dry season, it’s too dry and cold for tomatoes and in the rainy season, it’s too wet and buggy! This time I only canned 2 kilos, but next time I would can more to be more efficient with the water and energy used in processing the jars.

Once again, I went to the National Center for Home Food Preservation website for directions on canning. I used this recipe: Whole or Halved Tomatoes. I don’t know why the recipe specifies that the lemon juice should be bottled. Maybe it has something to do with regulating acidity. I don’t have bottled lemon juice, only juice from lemons, so I used vinegar instead to be on the safe side.

Seendat – Lao Barbecue

I’m having a hard time translating “seendat”. It’s inspired by Korean barbecue, so I’ll call it Lao barbecue, but using “barbecue” in this way sort of bothers me. My family is from Texas and Kansas, and to people in that region, barbecue is a very specific way of cooking beef. This dish is not at all what Texans mean when they say “barbeque”.

Maybe I should call this “Lao Grilling”, but Lao people have lots of grilled foods, and this is only one of them. Plus, seendat is not just grilled, it also includes a soup. Continue reading