Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tambun Baan – Bless this House

Last Sunday we were joined by our neighbours, friends, family and five monks (always an odd number) from the local temple, Wat Lamphurai for Tambun Baan.

Tambun Baan is a traditional Thai buddhist blessing for the home and an act of making merit.

Tambun Baan - Making Merit

During the day before Tambun Baan, everyone was busy cooking and preparing food or picking up a small shrine and matts from the temple. A thin white thread (sai sin) was also laid out around the restaurant and our two houses to form a circle.

The five monks arrived in their distinctive orange robes mid morning and took their seated positions. They then proceeded to chant ancient scripts. I found the hypnotic chanting quite relaxing. All the Thais present knew when to join in and the ceremony lasted approximately half an hour.

Food was then offered to the monks feet and then the restaurant and everyone seated inside or out was blessed with a gentle splash of water.

Shrine Face no face We pray Blessing Friends and family Pray then eat Aunty Monks eat 2 Katae and Karok Monks eating Neighbours famly eating bless this house Blessed house Monk outside shipping container home

One monk, accompanied by the family then walked around to bless the outlaws house and our shipping container home before we all returned to the restaurant. I was left in charge of keeping our Bangkaew dog Taxi from eating the limbs of our guests. After returning back to the restaurant, the monks were given a feast of fresh fish, noodles and fruits to enjoy.

Once the monks finished eating they returned to the temple and our friends and family continued to celebrate this thing we call life together. No alcohol is served during this traditional ceremony but the water did freely flow like the mighty Khao Saming river.

family outside house with monk 2

Tambun Baan

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Thinglish Kitchen – We Are Now Open!

Today, we are pleased to announce the grand opening of Thinglish Kitchen. Located in Khao Saming district just 9km from Trat City you will find a relaxed and peaceful place for the whole family to enjoy healthy home cooked food by Lek and Katae our Mother and daughter chefs and hosts.

Katae and Kek Open Thinglish Lifestyle

We will be serving many of your Thai favourites and a selection of European fusion foods, all with a Thinglish twist to tantalize your tastebuds from 9:00am to 5:30pm daily.

We also have a specially selected dessert menu if you are feeling like a naughty but nice treat and a selection of seasonal fresh fruit shakes and teas. We even take Bitcoins!

Here is our November sample menu:

Thinglish Kitchen Menu

Katae at Thinglish Kitchen Eat Here Sign It's a Thinglish Thing! Toy London Bus Fresh Fruit British Icons Business at Thinglish Kitchen Orchids Thai Sign of Thinglish Kitchen Katae and Lek Cherub Strawberry and Banana Smoothie We accept Bitcoin at Thinglish Kitchen Thai Noodles Thinglish Lifestyle Menu

Katae Adjusts Eat Here Sign

How to Find Thinglish Kitchen

From Trat:

The easy answer is ‘follow your nose’… but seriously to find Thinglish Kitchen from Trat, head up the Sukhumvit Road towards Bangkok for approximately 9km. You will see signs for Wat Lamphulai and Lamphulia Riverside Resort & Spa, here you will need to make a U-turn and head towards the temple. At the temple the road curves to the right and you will pass the resort on your left soon after. Further down the road on the right, you will find Thinglish Kitchen.

From Chantaburi – San Tung:

If you are heading towards Trat and/or Koh Chang from the north you will enter Khao Saming district. You will first see a 9km marker sign for Trat City and then signs for Wat Lamphulai and Lamphulia Riverside Resort & Spa. Turn left onto the road and follow the directions as above.

When all else fails, ask for the fallang’s place. I’m the only fallang in the village!

Directions to Thinglish Kitchen

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Thinglish Kitchen – We Are Now Open!

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Building the Thinglish Kitchen

Thinglish Kitchen logoThinglish Kitchen is our venture into the local Trat restaurant scene by my wife and Thai family. I’m spoiled daily with the amazing fresh food cooked and presented to me it would be a shame no one else could experience it too, so when we started discussing opening a restaurant, I was all ears!

Our last piece of land near the public road we decided to landscape with a wildlife pond as the main feature, (you can read more about that here) and site the restaurant so patrons can eat in relaxed and pleasant surroundings.

Construction starts on Thinglish Kitchen Restaurant

We hired a local construction company from San Tung who made a steel frame and concrete floor structure. The building process took 20 days.

Pouring concrete

The kitchen is a spacious area with east and south facing windows. The main dining area is typical Thai style open air dining but covered from the sun and rain with a large overhanging roof. Water collected from the roof is collected in two ongs positioned behind the restaurant and will provide an extra supply for the raised beds during the dry season.

Laying the restaurant floor

We gravelled a path from the top road to the restaurant entrance and Papa Outlaw constructed gates and a fence. We used lots of plants we have grown from cuttings to beautify the garden area as well as two local nurseries where we purchased some trees and shrubs that were planted firmly in the ground or in containers at the front of the restaurant.

Hanging the Thinglish Kitchen sign

We will also be grassing a small area to the right of the restaurant, but alas this will be after the opening as we are still waiting for the delivery.

Planting the Thinglish Kitchen garden

As we are very much into growing our own food we managed to sneak a few edible plants into the landscaping including 50 pineapples, a dozen aloe vera, papaya, some spearmint and 4 beach cherry trees. I’ll also be adding some banana and if you look closely you’ll notice some of the ground cover is pumpkin.

Sign for Thinglish Kitchen Restaurant

The Thinglish Kitchen will be opening on Tuesday 7 November from 9 to 5:30 daily. Food you can expect will be Thai favourites like noodles and krapow to fusion food such as black spaghetti to wanton cheese, plus desserts and of course everything has a Thinglish twist to tantalize your tastebuds. It’s tratlicious guaranteed!

View of Thinglish Kitchen

Check back for our next blog post when we do the big reveal of the  finished restaurant. At Thinglish Kitchen we will welcome you and your family for the best in relaxed dining this side of the mighty Khao Saming River.

We are close to Wat Lamphuria and Lamphuria Riverside Resort and Spa in Khoa Saming District just off the Sukhumvit Road, approximately 9km from Trat City center.

Building the Thinglish Kitchen

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Banana With Coconut Milk (Thai Dessert)

ingredients for bananas in coconut milk - Thai dessertToday i will show you how to cook a very simple Thai dessert. It’s so simple and very easy to cook even my husband could do it, but I’d never let him in the kitchen! 555.

It’s takes 12 Minute to do this!!! So let’s get started.

Serves: 4
Ready in: 12 Minute

Ingredients:

  • 8 ————— Bananas
  • 100 ml ——– Coconut Milk
  • 3 ————– Pandan leaves
  • ½ tsp ——- Salt
  • ½ tbsp —– Sugar
  • Water

 

How to Prepare Bananas with Coconut Milk

  1. Peel the bananas and then cut them in half both ways, just like in the picture below.

cutting bananas up for Thai dessert

2. Add water and pandan leaves to a pot or pan and bring to boil.

pandan grass in water

3. Add the bananas quarters and cook until they are tender.

cooking bananas for a dessert

Share this Thai dessert with friends on twitter. Click Here.cooking bananas

5. Add ½ tbsp of sugar and ½ tsp of salt.

adding sugar to Thai dessert

adding salt to Thai dessert

6. Add 50ml of coconut milk and everything mix together, then add the remaining 50ml of coconut milk. Remember to keep stirring all the time and slowly bring to boil.

boiling bananas in coconut milk

Enjoy Your Thai Desert

7. That’s it, Serve HOT.

bananas in coconut - thai dessert

Tada!! It very easy to make this yummy Thai dessert and it take only “12 minute”. This is the perfect dessert if you or your family have a sweet tooth and still get 2 of your five fruits a day!

If you tried making this Thai dish, we would love to hear how you got on, please let us know in the comments below.

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Banana With Coconut Milk (Thai Dessert)

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pond Life

Landscaping a wildlife pond at the front of our property near the public road is the last part of our development… probably!

We have observed the land over the course of a year and noticed it never dried out. The area it sits in is in a depression and provides an overflow to a lake across the road. We decided to dig it deeper and retain more water for ourselves and transform the area from a wet marsh land to a beautiful and thriving wildlife pond.

Pond LifeBuilding a Wildlife Pond in Thailand

Thinglish Kitchen

Thinglish-Kitchen-logo

On one side of the pond we will be constructing a family restaurant called ‘Thinglish kitchen’ where our Thai family will be preparing lots of healthy dishes with many of the fresh ingredients coming straight from our gardens. What a way to while away an hour or two than dining with friends while feeding the fish and watching the wildlife! More of Thinglish Kitchen in future posts!

Pond Life

Frog

We are now in the process of planting out the natural pond with aquatic plants to provide shade and food for the wildlife, while also being aesthetically easy on the eye for us humans.

One hundred tilapia were released into the pond earlier this week. In the future, these will provide us with a constant source of protein and control the mosquito population.

Tilapia Fish

We also plan to make a floating biomass island to provide the wildlife with more cover and help clean the pond water. Once we have collected all the components needed, we will set about constructing the floating island on dry land before launching it in the pond.

Cleaning Grey Water – Naturally

cleaning grey water naturally

We are also planting a small area with diverse aquatic plants, gravel and charcoal to filter grey water from the Thinglish Kitchen. This will naturally clean and be absorbed into the ground and seep into the pond to keep it topped up during the long dry season.

So, this once ugly and unused piece of land will continue to slowly transform in to a little oasis full of life to support the frogs, toads, dragonflies and fish and provide a great place to gaze over and relax while eating some healthy food with friends.

Sunset by the wildlife pond

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Pond Life

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Black Spaghetti with Spicy Seafood

Hi Everyone!!

I’m back here again to cook Thai fusion food and today I will cook black spaghetti with spicy seafood (Thai Style), So let do it…

fresh ingredients to cook Thai food

black spagetti

Start with the following ingredients:

  1. Meat (In this example I will use seafood but you can use chicken or pork etc.)
  2. Sweet basil
  3. Finger root
  4. Pepper
  5. Kaffir lime leaf
  6. Garlic
  7. Chili
  8. Soy Sauce
  9. Oyster Sauce
  10. Spaghetti

 

How to prepare black spaghetti with spicy seafood

  1. Pound chili and garlic with a pestle and mortar.

pestle and mortar

2. Heat a medium sized pan and then add chili and garlic.

cooking Thai food with Thinglish Lifestyle

3. When the garlic starts to turn yellow and smell appears, add shrimp or another type of meat and stir fry it up.

stir fried thai foodStir fry spicy seafood

4. Add black spaghetti (first you need to boil the spaghetti up before stir it in), after add pepper, finger root, kaffir lime leaf, soy sauce and oyster sauce.

Gently stir it all up.

Cooking with Katae

5. Lastly add sweet basil and then turn off the heat.

Thai fusion food

6. That’s it!! It’s so easy to cook!

Black Spaghetti with Spicy Seafood

PS. If you are Thai or just like ‘spicy’ you can add more chili.

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Black Spaghetti with Spicy Seafood

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Rubber Tree Plantations

Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees. When you think of Thailand, images of white sand beaches fringed with palms trees come to mind. If you stop to look around on your travels you may start to notice another tree in proliferation, the rubber tree.

Rubber Tree Plantation

Rubber trees are not native species to Thailand, the first being planted way back in 1899 by a Thai-Chinese investor. Today, Thailand only competes with Indonesia as the largest producer and exporter of natural ‘latex’ rubber. Almost 90% of all Thai rubber is exported and is used to make condoms, balloons, tires and surgical gloves. Incredibly, the Thai rubber export market nearly doubles that of its rice market.

Rubber Plantation Thailand

Rubber Trees Across Thailand

When you start to look around you will notice rubber tree plantations just about everywhere. These monoculture, 20 foot high commercial rubber tree plantations are generally privately owned and it’s estimated around 1.2 million Thai households have at least one person who works farming rubber.

tapping a rubber tree for latex

When a tree is around seven years old it is ready to be tapped. This is done about every other day and mainly at night when it’s cooler. We sometimes hear our neighbors going out or see the farmers head torches among the trees from our home. Each time a tree is tapped it yields about 50g of latex and the life of a tree is approximately 30 years.

acetic acid bottles

The latex sap is collected in a cup attached to the tree. The rubber farmer adds a drop or two of acetic acid (vinegar) to the latex that causes it to coagulate very quickly.

rubber tree farming

The price of rubber seems to be quite volatile and has been hitting the lows for the last few years. I guess it’s part supply and demand and part tied to the price of petroleum.

When the price of rubber bottoms or the trees reach a certain age, and produce only small latex yields, huge swathes of land are cleared and the trees are sold for lumber. This is made into furniture, plywood and composite boards. Pineapples are often planted on the cleared land as this is currently seen as a high cash crop when rubber falls. However, the price of rubber has a way of bouncing back!

rubber tree seeds

I walk our dog Taxi throughout our neighboring farmers rubber tree plantations every morning as part of our daily routine. It’s a great way to start the day. We can see the wood and the trees but we still have to keep an eye out for snakes, but that’s another story!

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Rubber Tree Plantations

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