Sunday, 7 October 2012

Thai Style - Food on the Go.

Walking down Beach road, across the Soi's and along pretty much any road, using various ways of grabbing your attention by using horns, bells, squeaky toys they are everywhere. Each selling there goodies. You can buy prawns, crab pinchers, spring rolls, thai sausage even milkshakes and ice cream. Or you can try the specialities which are found here like, beetles, grasshoppers and if you want, scorpions.

Parked up on the pavement out side the school

Best sweetcorn in town

Food cook on the road

Broom, duster? anyone?

This year a couple of my friends made me try some new goodies from several of the food carts. I tried some crispy pork, and learnt the name for pork in Thai which is moo. You can imagine how confused I was. I also tired BBQ'd sticky rice and a spicy oyster salad. That is only the start of the list, there is so much more.  

Bon Appétit

Friday, 28 September 2012

Underwater Adventure

I haven't been diving for over 14 months, so back in the city where I learnt to dive in, I thought why not get back in to the water. So booked my self in to a few days diving. The first day we dived round the islands of Pattaya. This was to get comfortable in the water and refresh my skills of being back in le grand bleu.

The day flew past with making new friends on the boat, this always makes the day more fun, diving is always a good way of meeting new people. The dives where good fun and a drift dive (swimming with the current) for a first dive is not a bad start either. After the day diving a couple of the instructors and I went to grab a drink and chill out for a couple of hours.

The second day we went to Samae san. An earlier start, as the meeting time was 8 at the dive centre. Got all the equipment together and the daily supplies ready and set off for the 45min thai-style taxi ride. Imagine your standard pick up truck, but in the back with small benches running along the the side and metal step to get in and out, and that is your thai bhat bus.

Back of the Taxi

Sitting and waiting to dive.

Here we dived at the Hardepp wreck and at Koh Chuang. On these dives we saw some blue spotted sting rays and some nudibranch along withe some other colourful fishes. Between dives you can find a spot on the sun deck and got some shut eye before the next dive, though keep one eye open, as cold water is only a splash away. On this dive trip, Rick completed his Dive Master training, so in the evening we all celebrated together. 

Ann, Dave, Rick, Me, Gordon and Andy
Rick doing his snorkel

The last day was back in Pattaya and we dived at Had Nuan and Koh Lan Sooth. Here we saw a large collection of coral and a verity of brightly coloured fish, also a blue spotted ray and another sting ray. Was like visiting the little mermaid and Nemo. Andy took his camera and captured some moments of the dive.

Photos from Andrew Jennings.


Over the three days I was lucky enough to dive each of the instructors and make new friendships at the Pattaya Dive Centre. 

If you ever have the opportunity to dive where ever you are in the world, I strongly recommend to give it a go, you will see another side of nature you do not see every day and each dive is completely different.

Bubble, bubble, bubble. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Lunch at the beach shack

This little treasure, found tucked away from the beach shore. While you enjoy some thai cuisine you over look the sea and the islands. This gem has been here for sometime now, I remember coming here when  I was like 14 or so, not so much has changed maybe the table and chairs. Apart from the stair case that they have built from the beach to the promenade. They have used natural found object on the beach, to decorate the stair case.

As a light lunch and a break from the morning sunbathing session, mum and I wonder along the beach to here. The fact that it is real thai food, another reason why we love it. Mum had an aromatic a Tom Yam Goong with coconut milk, its normally without the coconut milk but the milk makes it slightly less spicy and more creamy. I indulged in a Green curry soup with prawn rather than chicken.

Tom Yam Koon - with coconut milk 

Green Curry

Steamed Rice

We enjoyed our lunch with a young coconut, a coke, a glass of wine and of corse steamed rice. The food is slightly spicy, so had to ask for nic noï pet which means little spicy. You can use this where ever you go, so the chef uses less or no chilli.

Bon Appétit

Monday, 10 September 2012

Dinner at the night market - Thailand

Sa wat dee kha, means Hello in Thai, this is greeting that I have been using the past week as I'm currently in Thailand. As I have mentioned before in one of my previous blog posts, that you can catch up on Here - somewhere exotic. Thailand is our favorite family holiday destinations. Over the past week we have enjoyed various Thai dinners practically every night. My green curry still has a lot of room for improvement.

This weekend we started to venture round the night market. This market known as Therrprasit market has everything you are after, from souvenirs to hair accessories, clothes to shoes, and even new pets. This is one big market. There is even a food market here, this is more like a food court in a shopping centre.

Food in thailand can be found everywhere, and get this, it's all fresh and pretty much healthy. Whether you are in town, or at a market and even chilling on the beach. Some of the stalls are attached to scooters so that they can move around easily, or some are yet more old fashioned and that they are pushed around by hand.

Fresh Fruit

When you are so overwhelmed by choice and the food looks so colorful and yummy. Where do you choose to go? There are few tips to keep in mind. First tip, eat where there are the most locals. Let's face it, they know where is good. Another way also of telling if it's good, is by the amount of food what is left, if there seems that there is not much left, must be popular so therefore good.

Dinner that night mother and I, wondered round the food area to see what took our fancy. After exploring the different types of stalls, from fish, soups, sushi, fruit, smoothies, (whatever you fancy you could find here) so we finally found a stall that took our fancy. Once we had a closer look the choice was so vast, from green curry, Kaeng phet pet yang (roast duck in red curry), Tom Yam Kung Nam Khon (Tom Yam with coconut milk and prawns, pork cakes, curried clams, and yet so much more. 

Food anyone?

Our dinner - that I helped served up.

We opted for curried clams and some chicken and shared a portion of steamed rice. You can ask for a take away, and they put it in a plastic bag for you, sounds different to how we would be served a take away, right? But we joined in on the local atmosphere we ate in the market with the locals.

This was one of our cheapest meals that cost a full 180bhat, that is approximatively £3.60. This also included our drinks, we had a coke-cola and a local beer. 

When we are in Thailand we love eating amongst the locals and finding new places to try.

Bon Appétit. 

Monday, 27 August 2012

Marché Couvert - Colmar

This indoor market is full of seasonal produce that is all grown locally. A verity of things are sold here, from flowers to vegetables. Back when my tonton was a young boy this was also a market. It was slightly different than it is today, there would also be more livestock and more locals selling and trading amongst each other.

Though it is a shame about the new layout their is no parking close to it, so it only the tourist and maybe locals of the town that shop there. If they had thought about parking when the renovated, it would be much more popular and more locals would go and this would also increase the local market. As here in Alsace everyone looks out for each other.

The ironic part of the building is that for several years between it being a market the building had been used for several other uses, one of them being a carpark.

Inside its all clean and full of colour. Being the end of summer all the summer fruit and veg are now being replaced by the autumn ones. Melons, peaches, plums, and even mirabelle are still being sold.

I can't get enough of these.

Mirabelles are one of my favourite fruit when I am back in Alsace. They are so versatile just like any other fruit. The small and golden little plums are delicious in a tarte, but also in a jam. This year I got spoilt as my tonton made me a large quantity of home made jam. I usually get one or to small pots that I ration over the year.

Locally made cheese

They also sell some of the local specialities pastries, some pretzels, moricettes and even mini kugelhopf. When I'm here I realise that the type of pretzels that we find at home can not even compete these ones. 

Over the weekend I went to a family reunion and found out the one of my mum's cousins is known in the family for making a kugelhopf. So next year when I'm back, we have arranged for her to teach me her wonderful baking skills.

I'm already looking forward to it. 
Bon Appétit   

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Le Jardin du Tonton

While I am home in Alsace I get spoilt when it comes to meal times. Not only is my tonton (uncle in french) a brilliant chef but his cooking is super light and healthy. He is very peticular in the way that he cooks. Last year we made cupcakes from The Hummingbird Bakery together, and he took out half the ingredients most of the naughty ones and replaced it with lighter options. It was an interesting take on cupcakes, and he finished them off with a fresh raspberry and then popped them in the open. They were still delicious. Not only that he uses fresh home grown ingredients that he cultivates himself.

When you don't find tonton in the kitchen he will be attending his garden. In the garden you will find a verity of flowers and trees, but the most fascinating part of the garden is the large vegetable patch.

In the green house alone there is about 120 tomato plants. All different types of verities from cherry tomatoes to coeur de boeuf (beefsteak), even orange ones to name a few.

Inside the greenhouse - end of the tomato season

In the outdoor vegetable patch there are a large selection of vegetables and fruit growing. There are blackberries and raspberries. Courgettes, runner beans both green and purple, broccoli, beetroots, aubergines, carrots, leeks, cabbage and different types of salad leaves and even peppers. Also a large selection of herbs.

Salade Verte


Golden Raspberries


When you take a walk though the garden you notice the greenhouse but the vegetable patch has a boarder of bright coloured flowers, which in the family we call Kenzo bouquet. This is because when I was younger my mum and tatie would create lovely bouquets from these colourful flowers.


The tomatoes are my favourite. Each summer when I come here I have a tomato salad basically with every meal. The last couple of days the weather has been extremely hot, so having a heavy meal is not to appetising. But a tomato salad is just right. 

La Recette 

Home grown tomatoes
small red onion
herds - I use basil and thyme
table spoon of olive oil
splash of balsamic vinegar
splash of vinegar du xsers

With tonton's tomatos the skin comes off very easily, so I tend to peal them. Chop them in half and then slice them. Chop the onion in to small pieces. Then add the herbs of choice, add the dressing and then season to taste. 

This is the most satisfying lunch to have when the weather is sunny (44˚C), I occasionally have some of my uncles home made bread to. 

I have to say that these are the best tomatoes in the world. The flavour is so natural and strong, that when you walk in to the green house the aroma of the tomatoes is intoxicateing. 

Saaalut et Bon Appétit