Cooking up a Storm in Galle

Our usual delicious breakfast on the terrace. How will I cope when I get home?

Following breakfast we walked around the quiet streets of Galle Fort. It’s really suffering from a lack of tourists due to the bomb attacks in Colombo earlier in the year. It’s such a shame. They rely on tourists here. Please come back tourists!

By now it was super steamy and we were heading to the markets. Into tuk tuks and out into the traffic.

The markets weren’t that big but it was still hard to decide what we wanted.

We thought the hotel would send a guide with us but it was really us and a tuk tuk driver ! We decided to get vegetables we liked – all types. Little cauliflowers, eggplant, snake beans, pumpkins, okra, and assorted other greens.

 

Into the spice shop.

Back into our tuk tuk for a visit to the outdoor fish markets near the waterfront. We wished we knew what we were doing!

We thought of consulting with the fish stall cat……..

But in the end made a decision and bought fresh looking prawns and tuna.

Back into the tuk tuks to give our produce to chef Poorna and get ready for our cooking class.

It was great fun.

Chef was great – teaching us knife skills and explaining each step as we cooked up each vegetable into what ended up as a beautiful feast.

We stirred and watched and in the end found it wasn’t too difficult!

The tuna looked and tasted amazing. Chef cut it in strips and seasoned each side with Pepper, salt and lime pressing it in and standing for a minute before lightly pan frying it.

We sat and ate the food for lunch – voting on our favourites. I loved the eggplant curry and the snake bean salad.

Then it was time to say goodbye. To Helen & Mike heading off to Italy, Kay and Trevor to India.

And Marcelle back to Colombo.

That left 12 of us to explore Galle town and stop for a beautiful passionfruit Mojito at Tequila Mockingbird – a rather fun play on words!

Our last dinner in Galle was a celebration of marriages! It was our 44th wedding anniversary so everyone was asked to tell how they met and became engaged!

From Farm to Table. Cooking class in the Cambodian country side. 

I’m getting used to little omelet for breakfast ! Not that I need food today. It’s cooking school day!

Our pick up by tuk tuk was arranged by the cooking school and right on 10 our lovely man arrived and we set off for a 45 min ride. The best part was arriving in the countryside. Bumping down the dusty red lanes looking out of the Cambodian countryside was a treat. Come along……


 It was as though the people here have more skills and pride in their surroundings than those poorer people in the bigger towns. The fields were green and productive growing Durians, rice, corn all types of vegetable with cows wandering and a few pigs sitting under a tree.

We eventually turned off at a lake know as the secret lake. It was man made during the Khmer Rouge time , hand dug by the Cambodians they had taken captive. It looks lovely now surrounded by trees and hills in the background. It doesn’t even hint at the blood that was shed in its making. We had to get out of the tuk to get up the hill at the end of the causeway and then continued along the road past fields with workers toiling in the heat.

  
We arrived at the farm and walked in from the parking area. We crossed a creek on a 2 plank bridge and went past newly planted corn, papaya trees, banana trees, basil, eggplant, pumpkin, lemongrass, galangal, chilli, kaffir lime….. All ingredients we were to use later.

Our host and chef, Sok Lin greeted us wearing a cute little peaked cap. He told us to make ourselves at home before the tour of the farm to collect our vegetable for today’s dishes. There was a blackboard menu leaning against a tree with about 8 dishes. We could each choose one to cook later.

We relaxed in hammocks slung from the open walls of the kitchen.

Then Sok came back and with an  offsider his young neighbour – a boy 14 who looked about 10. He was so cute.  They walked us around the small but very productive farm. He used to have a restaurant in Kampot but decided he wanted to use his own ingredients so moved here with his English wife and they live very simply and run a cooking school with very basic amenities.

  
 There is an open kitchen, their house next door is just a room and verandah up off the ground. Another thatched area for their things. Then a short distance away 3 thatched huts on stilts,  a toilet and shower area – thatched with tiled floors. No electricity. Powered by cow dung ! Garden fertilizer from the toilet. Self sustaining and clean and neat.

The cooking started and we all were given our ingredients , told what to do then just went ahead with Sok watching and guiding.

the young helper and out tuk driver

El being watched by the young helper

 

peter grating hte cocnut to make the fresh coconut milk!

 

 

Sok lin keeping watch as we chop

Results were delicious. Peter did pepper chicken, Steve masaman  curry, El a yellow curry and I did smoky eggplant with chicken.

It seemed easy! But I think if you have the right ingredients it is easy to make good, tasty nutritious meals. And here they do it so cheaply and not in large amounts.

Now I’m writing this lying in a hammock relaxing until our hour tuk tuk ride home.

Back into the tuk for a bumpy but very pleasant ride home through the country side. Some great sights!

 

local boys collecting little fish from mud puddles

 

Tonight a sunset cruise.