Can’t Cook vs. Won’t Cook

Looking as professional as possible for the task

Looking as professional as possible for the task

I can’t cook and Steve won’t!

With this in mind we thought it would be great to go to a Thai Cooking School to see if I could expand on my very limited skills (Spaghetti Bolognese is basically all I can cook) and see if we could snap Steve out of his current laziness and get him back into the kitchen! (He is actually a very good cook!)

Steve showing off by knowing what all the herbs were!

Steve showing off by knowing what all the herbs were!

So after a little bit of research and much deliberation we decided to enroll in the Thai Farm Cooking School while we were in Chiang Mai. They have their own organic farm, which we thought was a great little extra and would help us to learn more about the vegetables, herbs and other ingredients that we would be learning to cook with.

Undoubtedly, we both had an amazing day, but we are going to take this opportunity to tell you about our days from our own experiences…

CAN’T COOK

Hi my name is Michelle and……..I can’t cook!

As I mentioned above my one masterpiece in the kitchen is Spaghetti Bolognese and although I may have managed to finally master the art of this dish (cooking it at least once a week for the last few years), it really is time to expand my horizons and broaden my taste buds.

Me 'cooking'

Me ‘cooking’

Steve would say I am an incredibly fussy eater, however compared to my parents and Steve’s sister, Leanne, this is completely untrue. I do try most things (apart from some seafood creatures) but it is true that if I find something I like I would rather eat that every day than risk trying something new.Since arriving in Thailand one month ago, my food repertoire has basically consisted of Pad Thai, Spring rolls and Chicken and cashew nuts, whilst Steve has literally tried something different everywhere we have been…..at least it has been some of the best Pad Thai, Spring Rolls and chicken I have ever tasted!

Anyway I was really looking forward to the opportunity of cooking with professional Thai chefs to see if I had any skills whatsoever hidden away, and if not then worst case scenario I would be spending a day meeting new people and eating lots of great food (prepared by everyone else).

Thurian showing us around the Farm

Thurian showing us around the Farm

After being shown around the local market where our teacher for the day , Thurian picked up some of the ingredients we needed, she then showed us around the very impressive organic farm where we were able to learn about and more importantly taste some vegetables and herbs (completely unknown to me before).

Throughout the day we cooked 6 dishes and we were given the opportunity to pick these beforehand. Steve and I decided to choose completely different dishes, therefore allowing us to try more food and of course eliminate the issue of fighting over whose dish tasted better at the end!

My version of Yellow Curry with chicken

My version of Yellow Curry with chicken

I decided upon Yellow Curry (we learnt how to make the paste first), Vegetarian Tom Yam Soup, chicken and cashew nuts (obviously), pad thai (obviously) and then for dessert Mango and sticky rice….Yummy!

Throughout the day Thurian was a great teacher, she entertained us with her jokes and impressed us with her recipes and ‘Sexy hot’ food. I really surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it and I was very impressed with all of the food I cooked (of course it is easy to follow a recipe).

We had a great day, met lots of very interesting people and spent the whole day eating……….I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Chiang Mai and I will definitely be picking up one of those Bamboo steamers when I get home!

WON’T COOK

Won’t cook? Ha Ha ok I’ll play along you little cheeky.

I’m no Darren Batt when it comes to cooking but I know a few dishes, mainly a roast dinner or anything where you just leave it to cook in the oven then I’m your man! I actually think the law of not washing up after you cook the food is my main reason and interest in cooking, that and my mum’s amazing cooking.

The whole set up for the day was brilliant, we started in Ruamchook market – and got to know all the different types of rice… it doesn’t sound interesting but Thurian’s passion and knowledge made it seem so.

Fried Grasshoppers

Fried Grasshoppers

We got a little time to explore the market and came across a fried insect stall. It actually took me a while to work out what the foods were as they looked appetisingly golden brown mixed in with fresh herbs, it only really clicked when I ask the man what he was frying, he explained it was bamboo worm.

Jim, an American living in Canada was quite excited when I asked him if he had seen the stall and together we headed back over to try some of the delicacies, the group followed us.

Before tasting the bamboo worm

Before tasting the bamboo worm

Michelle impressed me a lot over the day and she started with a bang. She actually tried a bamboo worm but a picture or two speaks a thousand words and none more than these two.

If you are curious as to how the Bamboo worm or the Bubble Bee tasted, then the best way to describe it would be to quote Jim. “A conduit for grease” it was just fried, it could have been anything and it was more of a mind over matter, though the Bubble Bee did have a better texture and flavour.

Steve showing off his skills

Steve showing off his skills

Dish to Dish I think Michelle cooked better than I did, her yellow curry smelt divine compared to my obscenely spicy red curry and her Pad Thai looked better than my fresh Spring rolls. I’m conceding the first round but I’m sure there will be other cooking schools to come.

After tasting the Bamboo worm

After tasting the Bamboo worm

Steves version of sweet and sour chicken

Steve’s version of sweet and sour chicken

For those of you who would be interested in participating in the course, the full day cost us 1000 Baht per person (20 gbp), that included pick up and drop off at the Hostel and a recipe book of everything we cooked during the day. We would also strongly recommend that you request to be in Thurian’s group as she was amazing and really was the perfect teacher!

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2 responses to “Can’t Cook vs. Won’t Cook

  1. Pingback: Do’s and Dont’s of Chiang Mai | Two Amateurs Go Backpacking…·

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