Chiang Mai cooking class: OMG YUM

Before you ask: yes. I will gladly attempt to cook the following dishes again for you, and Britton will, too! (That’s right – you read “Britton” and “cook” in the same sentence!)

A cooking class in Chiang Mai was highly recommended by several people before we left for Thailand, so I signed us up for an all-day class at Baan Thai Cookery School. 
This – so far – has been the highlight of our trip! Between the two of us we learned how to cook 10 dishes, and we got to keep a cookbook that explains the ingredients and has all the recipes, plus the recipes for several other dishes we didn’t make. 
The school is a cute, open-air building tucked in a very backpacker-friendly part of Chiang Mai. Britton and I now affectionately refer to this area as Gringoland because it reminds us so much of Quito’s Plaza Fosch (which is unofficially called Gringolandia).
The instructors were all about our age, and super nice. We sat on the floor at a table with seven classmates from around the world: Maryland, South Africa, Holland, Brazil, and Melbourne, Australia. Everyone was very friendly and eager to learn, like us!
First we walked a few blocks to a fruit/veggie market to learn about the ingredients. We got to smell and touch three different kinds of eggplant, none of which I’ve seen in the states; three kinds of basil, all of which I knew by different names; three kinds of ginger, only one of which I recognized; two floppy types of mushrooms; raw tumeric, which is supposed to be a natural relief from mosquito bites (must buy in bulk when I get home!); plus lemon grass, limes, and lots of little, spicy peppers. And mango! 
While at the market we got a smoothie, and boy do I feel American saying this next sentence, but: I was amazed at how much fruit went in to this smoothie. One-and-a-half bananas, half a papaya, and the juice of at least a dozen little oranges.  And then ice, and then blend. No yogurt, no protein powder, no nothin’ except fruit and ice. So fresh! So yummy! So simple!
We made our way back to the school, ingredients in tow, and “suited up!” in aprons and handkerchiefs. 
First dish: Stir Fry
Ellen: Pad Thai!
Britton: Cashews with chicken
Second dish:
Ellen: (spicy!) papaya salad
Britton: (not spicy!) spring rolls
Third dish: Soups
E: Seafood in coconut milk
B: Chicken in coconut milk
Fourth dish: Curry!
E: Green curry
B: Panaeng curry
Fifth dish: dessert!
E: mango w/ sticky rice (aka, mango over rice cooked in ALL THE SUGAR)
B: deep-fried banana
So… Who’s coming over for dinner and photos? 🙂

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