Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Family Affair

The one thing that I love about Thailand and the LOS and Gentle People is the closeness and comaradery of the Thai families . Wheither it be at home , the yard , the garden, the rice fields, catching fish or the harvesting of a money crop, and some of these money crops are free for the picking ( I was to learn about one such crop today ), but it takes a lot of work and togetherness to make it a profitable venture. Today I was riding my Honda back from the market and was taking a short cut thru the trees , when something started to fall on my head and all around , I heard laughter and looked up to see a Thai man high up in a tamarinnd tree shaking it with all his might , just as I passed under (he didn't see me coming or did he ?) I stopped to see what the heck was happening and was greeted by the whole family with a friendly Wai and also a" Sawadee Kop" , "how are you " , "where you live ?", "how long you stay Thailand"?We pick tamarinnd for to sell, you like to eat?, We sell to a restaurant in Kanchanaburi. After struggling to answer the questions and taking a cuuple pictures, I bid them good-by and went home to take dinner to Ciejay and share my story with her. She then told me that there are two kinds of tamarinnd trees , one is sweet and the other is bitter . the sweet one they sell for you to eat shelled and coated with either sugar or peppered sugar also they use the sweet kind to make lots of different kinds of Thai desserts , the bitter one they take out of the shell (brown and dry) and remove the seeds and squeeze it into balls the size of softballs , they put this ball in a plastic bag and it will last for a whole year . Now the bitter tamarinnd is used by the restaurant to add to soups and to make tum yum and all shorts of cooked dishes . My son ,who is a chef in America said that they had to order from an Asian market , and that it was very expensive, but he said you can not prepare an authentic Thai dish without it. With all that said , today I got to see a family working together for their lively hood , I also learned about the tamarinnd tree and the different kinds and uses of this pod I had seen all over the road on the way to the market and back home for a few weeks out of the year , without really knowing what I was seeing. You know every day is a new experience and I learn something new every day, here in this paradise called Thailand , and I only hope I'm around for a long time to experience and learn all I can about this place called, LOS and it's Gentle People. Malcolm

Have you ever eaten sweet tamarinnd ?, I have ,I like it , but it sticks to my plastic teeth, ha ha


Anonymous said...

Bravo first comment coming up!
I used to use tamarind exptensively in my asian cooking at home, it was the bitter version and was a common ingredient in most fot he dishes I prepared. Haven't used it for years since moving away from Huddersfield in a mainly asian based commnunity. Your advneture continues to inpsire your writing, a natural tendency being an expatriate as the urge to tell hits.
You are obviously in your element with a family based community which bring so much happiness. I can relate very well with you on that one.

David Higgs said...

Are those Dafodils that just bloomed? I ofter wondered how european bulbs and flower seeds would fare in the Thai climate. I will return from Ireland in july. Do you think it is worth bringing some with me.
Regards David Higgs Wicklow Ireland and Chonburi.

Malcolm and Ciejay Burgess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Malcolm and Ciejay Burgess said...

David and Martin , I have never mispelled so many words in all my life so delete and start over .

David the lady that gave me the blubs called them Thai Day Lilies.

Martin, I love to cook also and have mastered a few Thai dishes , my favorite being Tum Yum Kung, and I like to add a little Jasmine rice to my bowl.

Hoo Don said...

Your Honda certainly took you into the hearts of a lovely family and some photos that prove just that. They say a picture paints a thousand words and a few of those say to me " we are a family that live, love and work together and if you try and break that apart then we'll all fight together." I hope you will keep in contact with them because they look to me your bread and butter Thai family, good hearted, caring and fun to be around and I'm sure they've got a few good stories to tell.

Anonymous said...

Malcolm for some reason i missed this post. Now I understand about the tamarind. Great story of rural Thai life.

In the UK someone would say they were trespassing!

Anonymous said...

Great pictures of all the smiling faces. I love tamarinds but I didn't know until now that there were two types.

Actually I had never even seen a tamarind until my first trip to Mukdahan when the family took me to the markets in That Phanom and there were stalls and stalls of the delicious things.

Jon said...

Amen to this post. I'm amazed on an almost daily basis how friendly Thai people are to a new face, esp when it is foreign.

Miles apart from the culture of London. I love it here.