Friday, November 6, 2009

Anna's Garden

Soooo beautiful! Have you ever seen such a large or bountiful cherry tomato plant?

It's late in the season now and it's getting cold at night so we are moving Anna's Garden inside for the winter, but I am still shocked by how large this cherry tomato plant grew up to be. I have been looking and looking for pictures of other cherry tomato plants online to compare mine to, but this sad specimen is the best I could do:

In my opinion, there is no comparison. This one may be a little older and bigger, but it doesn't have cherry tomatoes like Anna's does.

I think I am going to award myself a black belt in tomato growing!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Enjoyed by kings and peasants alike

All my life when people asked me, "Anna, what is your favorite Thai curry?", I would say Choo Chee Curry, #35 on True Thai's menu. We ate seafood all the time when I was growing up and no Thai dish has more seafood in it than Choo Chee Curry.

But that was before I discovered Red Curry with Kabocha Squash (#F). It is #F on our menu because we added it after we opened. In fact, we added it to our menu almost immediately after I first tried it. Kabocha squash adds an addictively creamy, deliciously natural spicy flavor to red curry.

Growing up in Thailand, I do not think I ever had red curry with Kabocha squash. Two hundred years ago this was a very special dish served only to the Royal family. Then Kabocha squash became more common but for some reason Thai restaurants never served it. But rural people did, and red curry with Kabocha squash became known as an ethnic dish from northern Thailand.

Red Curry with Kabocha Squash is not just my personal favorite. If you read blog reviews of True Thai there is almost always a glowing mention of our Red Curry with Kabocha Squash, and I know many customers who order it almost every time they come in. And it is not just True Thai that serves it now. If you go to Asian food warehouses they have all started to carry Kabocha squash by the case, and not just in the Fall for table decorations.

Once served to kings, then found only in rural areas, and now served at True Thai Restaurant: Red Curry with Kabocha Squash!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Loi Krathong

Loi Krathong is Thailand's most beautiful holiday. It is best known for floating Krathongs in banana leaf cups on the closest river or lake. Each year little Anna would stay up late the night before and then get up early to finish making her own banana leaf cup and Krathong, much like American kids carving a jack-o-lantern and making cookies for Santa all at one time. Then that night as Loi Krathong began, Little Anna would take her banana cup and Krathong to the Chanthaburi River where she and her friends would set them on the river and watch as they floated away with our sins from the past year.

My mom would never go with us. She would always said she didn't have that many sins and wasn't worried about it. I think she just liked having some time to herself which is hard to come by in a house with twelve kids. We were taught that the banana cups would take our sins away because we were Catholics, but Loi Krathong is a Buddhist holiday and so most Thai would say that they are ridding themselves of their "bad luck" by putting it into banana cups.

You can see pictures from last year's Chiang Mai Loi Krathong festival here . Many festivals also feature an illuminated boat procession.

Loi Krathong is soooo beautiful! Many people wear red costumes. Here is a picture of Anna in her grownup Loi Krathong clothes: