Saturday, March 3, 2018

Life and Living on Moo 1 "Boys will be Boys"

I'll have to say that of all the places I have lived in my life,living on Moo 1 here in Wang Pho ,Thailand , has been one of the most relaxing ,scenic,peaceful,and enjoyable,places of all.Things for the most part are pretty laid back and quite , with the exception of Saturday morning when the next door neighbor feels it is his duty to wake all of the Moo up really early with a demonstration of how loud and full of bass his stereo system can play , and of course along with the loud music comes a variety of Karaoke song ,sung, at their worse. I never get to excited ,because by the time I am ready to roll out of bed , he has consumed his limit of beers and passes out on his couch for the rest of the day. As I said at the first of the post, it's normally pretty quite , but I did fail to mention that about every other week-in the daughters of our neighbors drop of their two sons  for grandma to watch while they get things done around their houses and do a little shopping , I must say I don't know how grandma does it , all they do is fight each other and running up and down the road crying and screaming and when they are not fighting they are chasing all the dogs around  trying to hit them with their sticks. The dogs have gotten use to  the boys and would never bite them and have learned to stay out of their way , Sabu  hides on the back porch under the table.I have to keep a sharp eye out as they like to come over , when they have run out of things to do they will come over and toss rocks into my pond trying to kill as many of my fish as they can ,  the fish have wised up to the boys too and know just where to hide so they don't get hit too. I guess boys will be boys . Ciejay comes out too when they are in front of our house because with the sticks they carry  (they call them swords) they try to knock off all her flower blossoms.I call them weapons of mass destruction . And I've given them the old  "you better go home " eye a few times and that usually does the trick .
Life here is good and as I said before "boys will be boys"  and "kids will be kids." and "neighbors will be neighbors."  And I just fluff my pillow in the hammock and take a nap, Works every time .  Malcolm

"Here comes the JUnk Man"

That's a sound I love to hear , for one thing , it cleans out our storage room of all the plastic and cans and paper that Ciejay has saved to sell to the junk man.For Ciejay it brings a smile to her face , she saves the recyclable things to sell to the junk man and she calls it her "hair money" . The little bit of Baht that she gets adds to the (my) pocket change cup that she keeps on my computer table and when it's full it's time to go to the hair lady in the village, to get a cut and wash and style and sometimes even a dye job , ( when the gray comes peeking thru).
Recycling is sooo easy here in Thailand , because the junk man comes around with his truck and weight scales about once a month to buy from the folks, things that he can buy for a few baht per kilo and hopefully sell in the big city to the larger recyclers for a little profit . Some do this as a way of making a living and a few others in Wang Pho, do it for a week-in or part- time job to add to their monthly income or to help make the payments on the new truck or to pay for the building of a new home, that's the case, for one young couple that comes by.
Ciejay keeps her plastic in one bag and cans in another, all neat for the junk man , and me I am just happy to see it saved for a good cause ,and for the good of Mother Earth, the more we recycle and reuse , the less non biodegradable stuff that goes into the land fields and is dumped alone our highways and by-ways to stay forever polluting our land and landscape and adding another eyesore to our beautiful earth, and the area that we call home.
Do you recycle???  I remember in America it was a pain in the neck to do, because you had to have different color containers , and everything sorted out for the garbage men or they wouldn't pick it up and when they did , if it was something that they didn't want  they would just throw it back on your lawn and drive away , and you never saw a reduction on you (very high) garbage bill each month. Things here in are so different and the "JUNK MAN" makes it sooo easy to recycle , I have found it to be so , and I hope if you live in the LOS or in a place where they take recycling seriously that you do all you can to pitch -in and help , If we don't do it WHO WILL??.  Malcolm

Friday, February 16, 2018

Market Day in Wang Pho

Malcolm Hampton Burgess Jr. Market Day in Wang Pho
Most of these veggies were growing out behind his house just the day before , he has a huge garden.
I swear this pork is so fresh , I thought I heard a loud squeal

Market Day in Wang Pho

These eggs are so fresh that when they start to run low they run out to the truck where the hens are laying more on demand.

After all the eggs are laid they then are sold here , minus all their feathers of course

Believe it are not , but some of these fish are still flopping around on the table .

It's been a while since I posted anything about one of my favorite things to do here in Wang Pho , doing the weekly shopping at our fresh fruit and veggie market and oh ya I don't want to forget the fresh meat and fish market too
I can't wait for the net to get sooo advanced that we will have scratch and sniff available on all the pictures . The one great thing about the fresh market is all the wonderful smells all mixed together . I would be amiss if I forgot to mention that on market days there is also a lot of already cooked food vendors at the market about 25% of the market is fast (Thai style ) food to take home to eat. Ciejay and me talked about it one day and we both agreed that if we really wanted to we would never have to cook at home ever, and fresh cooked meals are within 5 minutes ride or walk from our home , something to think about as we get older , ha ha ..
Sorry no scratch and sniff , but hope you enjoy the pictures . Malcolm
Do you have a fresh fruit and veggie market near you and do you visit it often ????
We have a huge Tesco Lotus that we could buy our fruit and veggies if we wanted to , but not only are the local markets stuff fresher , it helps our local farmer to sell their stuff and get a little income from all their hard work and it also keeps our little town from being a poor village

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rainy season and Bamboo Shoots

Every season in Thailand ,brings with it a special fruit or vegetable that can be harvested during it's time, usually for a couple months.This time of the year is no exception (the rainy season) and with it comes two of my favorites.And additions, to use in cooking many Western and Thai dishes .Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots are plentiful this time of the year , and can be found at every Tuesday and Thursday market here in our small village of Whang Pho , you can also find then for sell on roadside stands all along the highway between here and Kanchanaburi , with most of their customers coming from Bangkok, after a trip in the country ,to visit the many caves and waterfalls and the famous hot springs ,up the road from us .They love to stop on their way home and buy fresh veggies along the side of the road and from the country farmers , they just taste better than the supermarket veggies for some reason, maybe it's all in our minds.

 Ciejay and me grabbed a bucket and a long knife and headed up to the mountain just a few hundred yards, from our house. Ott, our neighbor always goes there every few days during the rainy season and ,always comes back with a rice bag full of bamboo shoots for the meals she cooks for her family , and she always shares fresh bamboo shoots with us . We wanted to give it a try for myself and also to be able to write home to my family back in the USA , that I had cut,boiled and peeled and cooked bamboo shoots fresh, right out of the jungle , what an adventure. And what a adventure it turned out to be , noone warned me about all the mosquitos, that we would encounter while cutting fresh bamboo shoots, I thought they were going to eat me alive, we got a bucket full and then got out of there . I did it one time and that's enough for me , now it's Market Day for my bamboo shoots from now on. We haven't given mushroom picking a try yet because, most of the places where they grow are closely guarded, and also a secret known only to the gathers, because mushrooms are a real money crop for lots of the Thai families in our area,lots of mushrooms grow around our mountains and jungles.

Today ,while we were visting a neighbors new home being built , the workers were taking their lunch break and they were eating fresh bamboo shoots , they invited me to share (and you know me when food is offered ) so I joined in and what a wonderful tasty dish they had prepared right there on the construction site , fresh bamboo shoots and scrambled eggs with thai chilies and onions, of course. WOW, was it ever good.. When we were leaving the boss came up to me and gave me a bag of fresh bamboo shoots to take home and cook and enjoy, which I did .

A bamboo shoot is the start of a young bamboo plant,if not harvested, it will grow into a tall bamboo plant.The leaves that cover the shoot are black and covered with tiny hairs. The black leaves are peeled off untill you can see the off-white meat inside.The white meat turns yellowish after it is cooked.When the shoot is cooked on the day that it is harvested it is very sweet.

There are many different types and sizes of bamboo shoots depending on the plant. Big ones are usually sliced and used as an ingredient in a main course dish.The little ones (half a inch in dismeter) are cut into finger size pieces and eaten as a vegetable with sauces like nam prig gapi.

In Thailand, bamboo shoots are available during the rainy season,May through October.Otherwise,they are available in cans and jars . In the US,bamboo shoots come in cans and glass jars, pickled or sour, non pickled.

When I lived in America ,I never saw fresh bamboo shoots for sell ever, but then again, I was not married to my sweet Thai wife ,except the last few years we lived there .And I had never visited an Asian Market until , I married Ciejay, and even then before ,moving to Thailand ,I was not use to the spicy and smelly (sometimes)Thai dishes, or their way of cooking things .Ciejay's sister would come for a visit and bring all kind of strange stuff with her and when they started to cook , most of the time ,I would leave the house until all the smells were gone ,and I would try and eat a little of what they had cook and act like I was enjoying it , some things I did , but some things I endured, for my sweet Ciejay's sake .

Now I am happy to report , that after 10  years here in the LOS , that, I not only love the Thai food (almost everything ) , but I also love all the strange and wonderful , spicy and pepper, smells that come out of the kitchen when Ciejay is cooking .

One of my favorite dishes of course ( the reason for this post ) is FRESH BAMBOO SHOOTS, added to many Thai dishes and also to eat as a fresh veggie dish with various sauces that Ciejay mixes up, I love them hot ,drizzled ,with fish sauce and served over a steaming hot cup of Jasmine rice . Wow I'm making myself hungry, glad dinner is almost ready , and of course there will be several dishes made with the fresh bamboo shoots from our friends, the builders. For those of you living here in Thailand, do you like fresh bamboo shoots? and do they grow in your area and do you or your Thai family or neighbors harvest them for cooking at home or as a money crop ?