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Posted By Chas

 

Baipai cooking school

Recently took a short break and made a trip to Thailand. One my plans for the trip were a cooking class. A few years ago I had taken a half day lesson at Baipai Thai Cooking School and really enjoyed it so it was back for another lesson. The school is reasonably priced around $50 for a lesson and that includes pick up at your hotel. The school is small with largest class size less than a dozen. Each student has there own work station, yes it is hands on and lunch is included, 4 courses that you cook marketyourself. There were only 3 of us in this class, a fallout of the airport being closed for 10 days. I flew in 2 days after it reopened. Each class has something additional about Thai cooking, In my first class we made our own coconut cream starting by shredding fresh coconut using a traditional device. This time it was a trip to the neighborhood market.
Going with the staff to the market the assistant chef pointed out different fruits and vegetables and show how to tell if they were ripe. Back at the school, the first dish we made was the desert Khao Neaw Moon ,Coconut Sticky Rice. We did a little cheating here, since the rice takes hours to soak and time to steam, we started with the rice ready for the preparations. We prepared a coconut Marinate and soaked the rice in it setting it aside while we made the topping. While chef stationwaiting for the rice to finish marinating, we had a demonstration on the next dish, then back to give more attention to our rice before setting it aside till dinner. Back to our work stations we worked on the appetizer Satay (grilled) chicken. cooking stationThis was very simple, just chicken breast on a stick grilled over a charcoal grill. What gave it a different taste was that while grilling we brushed it with coconut cream. It was served with a peanut sauce and a sweet and sour relish. Generally I am not a fan of peanut sauces but this one was outstanding. It had a curry paste, not hot, coconut milk and cream, and tamarind. After having a short break and eating our appetizers we moved on to the salad. The salad was Plah Goong, Savory Prawn salad. Besides how great it tasted and how easy and fast it was to prepare the largest comment I have that this would be a great lunch by itself, or a dinner entre if slightly larger serving.
The main course was Gai Pad Med Ma-Muang, Chicken with Cashew nuts stir fried. Cooking time for this was very short and not too much prep time either. The meal was great even if I did cook it my selfChicken


 
Posted By Chas

angels

Recently I became aware of a new singing group here in the Philippines called the Philippine Juicy Fruits. While preparing for the Subik Subik 08 event, I was doing somejuicy fruits mermaid research and came across their blog. They were to be part of the performers for the tropical night. From their blog were links to you tube videos of some of their television performances. I was very impressed. While the ladies are all young, between 17 and 19 they had a very professional performance and outstanding voices. The Asia-pacific counsel selected them as female group of the year at their awards program recently. I got with the web site designer at Seahorse and challenged him to a web development duel, each were to greetings jfdevelop web pages for a website for the group. Check out the site at www.philippinejuicyfruits.com They performed during the tropical night at the Subik Subik and did a wonderful job. I spent much of the day around the convention center as everyone was preparing for the show. It gave me a chance to preview the show so that I could hopefully get better photos. I do think I got some very good ones. I had a chance to talk to them during the day and they are delightful girls. The tropical night production that Bella Dimayuga put together was excellent.

 

As in many events in the Philippines the opening item is the invocation. After asking the audience to rise the tone for the evening was set. Instead of introducing someone to delivery a long winded dry prayer Bella introduced the “Philippine Juicy Fruits”. They came on stage and sang a beautiful hymn. Wearing white outfits and artistically backlit they not only sang like angels but look like them too. The hymn completed Makopa moved to the front of the stage to sign the national anthem. ; see more details at the Greater Subic Bay tourism bureau blog.

 

I was able to get some photos of them while they were enjoying the beach and pool at Arizona Resort

 

juicy fruits at arizona hotel

 
Posted By Chas

Salsa Salsang Salpukan sa Subik

 

Ok, I will be the first to admit that the Grand Ball was not as I expected. I had imagined a poorly attended boring event with a bunch of dowagers barely able to move around the dance floor. What I experienced was a high energy night of dancing (not me), fellowship and unbelievable dance exhibitions. Salsa Salsang Salpukan sa Subik was held November 30 the last night of the Subik Subik Bakasyon Grande 08 at the Subic Bay Exhibit and convention center. The attendance was slow building with really only a handful of people there to take the dance floor when the Nonoy Lopez band took the stage. At first, I thought my expectations were right. In the early evening most of those attending were older women wearing elegant party dresses. The few that initially took the dance floor, I observed, were stiff, had serious looks almost stone faced expressions with just the slightest twinkle of life in their eyes. As the evening progressed, I could see the expressions soften, the twinkle strengthen, the cheeks flushed with excitement and the dance stronger and more natural. These were not old dowagers. By the time the band took its first break, the crowd had grown to a respectable number, the dance floor had men and women off all ages and the energy level was high. While the ban and dancers took a breather, everyone was treated to a dance exhibition by the world renown Filipino dancer, Edna Ledesma. She is consider by many to be the best ballroom dancer in the country and is a judge at many dance competitions.Enda Edna has been winning international championships around the world for years, and after the first few minutes of her dance you knew why. It is impossible to put words to the emotions that her performances evoked or even to attempt to describe the grace, energy and precision. You do not have to be a fan of ballroom or salsa dancing to appreciate her performance. When Edna had finished her dance and the band returned to the stage, there was a rush to the dance floor as dancers returned rejuvenated by the break and inspired by Edna. The guests during the evening were mostly locals but there were a number of tourist and other visitors. At one table was a group of ladies having the time of their lives. They were all Filipinos or former Filipinos living overseas from different places. They had all returned to the area for some sort of reunion. One of the ladies told me she been living in Japan for over 20 years and would be going back shortly. She said the evening was the best time she had on her visit back to the Philippines. She also said that when she got back to Japan, she would tell all her friends in Japan about Bakasyon Grande and will bring them with her next year. The catering company “Cherry Blossom” put together a very impressive buffet. The performances and entertainment managed by Bella Dimayuga were excellent. The organizing committee especially the three Marias ( Dra. Tess, Jean and Linda) did a remarkable job. There was just one major error made by the 3 Maria’s. They overlooked how to make people go home. When the band stopped playing at 1 am, almost everyone was still there, and a half hour later less then half of them had left. The almost universal comment through out the evening and especially on leaving was “Why have you not done this before?” and “do not wait a year to do it again” such encouragement has motivated the GSBTB to start planning on holding another salsa night in the spring  more photos


 

 

 
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