How beautiful are these semi-Antarctic themed creations?!
How beautiful are these semi-Antarctic themed creations?!
Have you ever decided “I’m just going to go all out, no matter the cost” for something? We decided to do that for two of our meals in Scotland, both on Skye.
I looked up the best restaurants on Skye and selected two. The first was a dinner at Kinloch Lodge. The second a lunch at Three Chimney.
Our dinner at Kinloch Lodge was one of the best I have ever had. It definitely ranked very high on service as well, in addition to the absolutely delicious food. I should note that a lot of the Inns in Scotland serve nicer, fixed menu food. A reservation is required so they know how many to cook for and because a number of these Inns are in remote locations, such as Kinloch.
We began in the drawing room for pre-dinner drinks and canapes. A bird decided to fly in the window and join us so another gentleman and I helped it escape.
My group and I were in the private dining room so we may have had some extra special service but I still believe that the service was delightful no matter where guests were seated.
We had a five course meal and it was divine! Regrettably we took a photo of the wrong menu (the 7 course tasting menu instead of our standard 5 course) so you’ll just have to interpret the photos as you will.
For dessert there was the option of a cheese plate in addition to the listed dessert. A couple of us opted for this option. A whole cart of cheese was wheeled out to us ad we could select as many as we wanted. One that we chose was what Napoleon called the “King of all Cheeses,” it was quite smelly to say the least! Our server, who was pregnant, opted to have a different server bring the cheese cart to us as all of the smells were too much.
Three Chimneys is up a one lane road with a pretty setting on the water. The food was as equally well presented as at Kinloch. For both, I was amazed at the attention to detail. That was truly the most enjoyable part of both meals.
Banana leaves are used to create many desserts in Thailand. A friend’s mom is a pro cook and gladly let us participate as she made sticky rice and bananas in banana leaves. First she sautéed the rice a bit in coconut milk, just to soften it a little and let some of the milk absorb. Then you take two banana leaves, put a thin layer of rice down, put a halved Thai banana down (Thai bananas are thick, small, and sweet), put another layer of rice over it, wrap it up, and secure it with dried bamboo pieces.
The packets are placed in a steamer over a charcoal stove and cook for two hours. A sample is taken to see if the rice has cooked enough. The bananas turn purple which is amusing. The dessert is delicious and filling and the packaging is biodegradable!
One of my favorite Thai dishes is Pad See Ew. The first vendor i found by my house didn’t make it as good as I was used to having it. A friend found another vendor and now it is part of my repertoire of meals. It is very simple here with green leafy vegetables, noodles, and meat. At home it seems to have more of a variety of vegetables. I like both!
Yesterday the 4th through 6th graders made their own snack. Charcoal burning stoves were brought in and the kids attempted to light them. Some struggled for awhile.
They then started prepping food in their scout groups. Chopping vegetables, de-shelling prawns, and mincing meat. The flavors were delightful! On the menu was omelet, larb muu (minced pork meat with seasonings), phet kapow muu (minced pork meat with Thai basil and chilies), tom yum soup (prawns and vegetables), and a tomato vegetable sauce. I got to sample some and they were delicious!
It was great to see these Thai dishes made first hand. I feel ready to tackle some of these recipes at home now.
This weekend the 1st through 6th graders are headed to scout camp. They have two full days of activities and I can tell you every kid is looking forward to the experience!
I’ve been fortunate to find two places to indulge on one of my favorite types of food – Spanish food. There is a paella stand at Chatuchak Market, appropriately named “Paella,” complete with a Salvador Dalí poster. I did not get the paella unfortunately as there was a really long line and I had just eaten before making the discovery.
The second place is El Osito, a sandwich place by day and tapas bar by night. It has a sister restaurant right next door called La Monita, serving Mexican delights. I was more interested in the Spanish food however. I had a lovely glass or two of sangria and some patatas bravas. For those unfamiliar with Spanish food, these are fried up potatoes topped with a spicy sauce. They were delightful! I failed to take pictures though. I apologize.
This was a spur of the moment decision brought about by the over-ripening on 5 large bananas belonging to my fellow English teacher. We decided we didn’t want to go to Villa Market to get any additional supplies as it is a 15 min walk so we relied on what we had in our bare pantries and also what we could get at the Tesco Express. This amounted to eggs, oil, butter, oatmeal, the aforementioned bananas, sugar, and milk (taken from our school’s leftover supply).
We combined all the ingredients together and dumped them in the oiled rice cooker. We put the “bread” through three cycles adding chocolate chips that we had found after the first cycle. We stuck a knife in and knew it was as done as it was ever going to get.
The first bite was delicious! It was our first taste of homemade American food in awhile. We enjoyed every bite and were happy to have extras. It will be great for breakfast in the morning.
The only knives ones sees in Thailand are big knives. Knives of the butchering or chopping nature. Good luck finding a butter knife for your bread…. wait there isn’t bread here…. Now it all makes sense. No need for a butter knife when there is no bread to butter!
A typical Thai dining experience will include only a fork and a spoon. The spoon is used with your right hand (for right-handed people) and the fork with your left. The only purpose of the fork is to push food onto the spoon. The spoon is the most important utensil here. It can cut, shovel, and separate all of the food. At lunch I do grab a fork but I find that I don’t even use it unless there is a food such as shrimp that needs to have the head and outer shell separated from the actual meat. I am a pro at using my spoon and fork to separate the two!
Another set of utensils that can be found in Thailand are the soup spoon (Thai version, not American) and chopsticks. I wish Americans would adopt this type of soup spoon as it makes so much sense and also allows for a little bit of sloshing on the way up to your mouth.