Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Thailand - Foodie Post 1

NOTE: I am finding it difficult to setup the layout etc on this post due to only having my iPad.  I will correct it all when I return to the UK.  Thanks.

Thailand is a country I have been lucky enough to visit a number of times. Having family based in Bangkok makes it almost a second home.  I always try and visit once a year normally during the Easter holidays as this is the best time for the weather and also when I have two weeks off from work.  This  years visit is the 10th to the 25th of April and I arrive just in time for the Songkran Festvial.  Songkran is basically  a three day water fight to celebrate the thai new year.  Its great fun and something that anyone visiting Thailand who is lucky enough visit during the festival should take part in.

During my visit to Thailand I will also be travelling to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur (two places I have been before but a long time ago so a revisit is due)  I have decided that this first post will be a feature on food that we do not get over in the UK, however it won't all be 'strange, but true' dishes, some will be well known but just different...you will see.


BBQ Chicken at Sarah Janes Restaurant, Bangkok


Although not a strange thing to mention, something that most travellers must get use to is the service in Thai resturants.  The service isn't bad but its just different.  In the UK I am used to ordering food and having it all arrive at the same time.  You will find that in Thailand food just arrives when its cooked and almost never at the same time.  Of course I am talking more about 'normal' day to day resturants, not expensive western ones.  I have seen a number of times dishes served in a very strange order.  For example, ordering 'extra chips' normally means your extra chips arrvie and then the thing it was suppose to be extra too turns up by the time you have eaten the chips.  It is funny to observe the waiting staff who are checking over every so often and seem puzzled why no one is eating yet or you havn't touched your side salad yet.  This is now somehting I am used to and just start eating whenever someone arrives.  Most Thail dishes are potions of things and can be eaten alone. 


No matter where I travel in the world there always seems to be a McDonalds ready to serve.  I came across this strange item while in a shopping centre.  Taro Ginkgo Pie...maybe its very nice?  But to me the picture just does not do it justice.  Purple?

McDonalds do serve a Pineapple Pie....amazing!  If you ever get the chance to try one please do.   Even better with McD's ice cream - you have to order that seperatly and mix yourself.


An all time favourite of mine is peanut butter M&Ms.  You can get these in England if you hunt around specaility shops that sell US imported items or you can order of the Internet.  Peanut butter is far nicer than just plain peanut.  Crispy shell with soft smooth peanut butter inside.  Yummy!  While I was in a local 7Eleven I came across almond M&Ms.  Hazelnut is my all time fav but I was interested to see how these would taste compared to the normal nut version.  Overall, ok, not amazing, nothing special really but at least I gave it ago.


Now, going to take a little jump over the water now to Singapore.  I came across these dinky looking Coca Cola bottles in a shop while waiting for my underground ride.  Special edition for the football.  Didnt bother buying one, hence the undercover snap shot.


Also in Singapore I saw this very strange despensing machine...mash potato with gravy.  Now I love mash and gravy but never in the world would I have thought you could by it here.  Like ice cream it spirels out of the machine in to your cup.  I didn't try it, although I wish I did!

Thats the end of this first post.  Coming next: 

Interesting flavours of Magnums
Slushy Drinks
Madarin Oriental Mosac Resturnant
and more...


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Deep Sea Diving Cake

Now I consider my self a baker, not sugar crafter.  As you can see from the photograph this is my first major attempt at one of those novelty cakes.  I did not make it alone though, my very good friend Kate helped created many of the items on the cake and she was my 'baking rock' throughout the whole process.  At times I did think why on Earth did I say I would make this cake?  

As you can see from the image this is an underwater deep sea diving cake made especially for the principle of my school who is due to retire at Easter.
I am a Governor at my school and it was decided as it was his final meeting before Easter to make it a special one and present him with a leaving present, card and cake.  It was another Governor who put the idea in my head to create a cake the one shown above.

Apologies, there is not step by step baking photos with this post.  Instead think of this post as a special one off where I simply mention the idea and where the recipes came from etc.

So...here we go...