On Saturday Tawn and I did some shopping and finally purchased a stock pot and saucepan – two items that didn’t get moved over from the US because the ones I had there weren’t really of enough quality to be worth moving. For our first three months here, we had only a skillet. Tawn tried to boil water and make noodles in the skillet but it was largely a mess and smally successful.
So at the new Index Living Mall on Tong Lor (sort of an IKEA but a bit more human-scale) we reviewed our options. The local brand, Seagull (and an even cheaper competitor, Zebra) makes aluminum pots and pans that have thin bottoms and are at risk of scorching your food when used on these old-style cast iron electric burners that are slow to heat up and slow to cool down.
A higher end line, Bella Classico by Meyer, has nicer stainless steel pots and pans but they only sell in sets, not open stock. There was a nice set of three saucepans, a saute pan and a stock pot for B5500 – about US$135. A bit pricier than we wanted.
So we decided to go ahead and suffer the inexpensive Seagull ware and headed to the register with a large stock pot and a medium sized saucepan. The wait was long because the price sticker on the stock pot was incorrect – we were charged only B300 instead of B899. Catching the mistake resulted in four different people being needed to refund the original charge. While waiting, I was browsing the Index catalog and noticed that the same set of Bella Classico cookware that we had looked at was listed as being on sale for only B2900, even though no signs were up at the display.
Tawn pointed that out to the manager and she checked into it, confirmed that the price was in fact correct, and started the second correction to our charge as we decided to swap out our two Seagull pans for the nicer set.
To celebrate our new stock pot, last night I made about 12 quarts of chicken stock, staying up until 1:20 am to do it. The pot isn’t large enough to do it all in one batch, so I went ahead and made two. On Monday night, we’ll have chicken and pea risotto so it should all be worth the effort. Plus, freeze some. Or, freeze lots.
Picture time. I failed to get these pictures balanced and included with last Sunday’s posting about seafood at Pim’s. So here they are today. You can scroll down to read the related story if you haven’t already.
Upper left: Pim’s mother-in-law prepares the river prawns – truly as large as I had claimed! Upper right: Tara bonding with her only farang friend. Lower: Arm, Tara, Pim, and Uncle Tawn. Click for larger views.
Yesterday I also spent some time chatting with Otto down in Singapore. Always nice to hear from friends and it sounds like he is finding some time to continue his drawing. While a mild mannered (well, maybe not so) school teacher during the day, he is an accomplished comic strip artist. His first book, Sir Fong, recounts his experiences as a new teacher. Born in the year of the Monkey, the title character is in the shape of a monkey. The students, who during Otto’s first year of teaching were all born in the year of the Rabbit, are aptly drawn as cute minimalist bunnies that as all teachers will tell you, bare their hidden fangs when you aren’t looking.
It sounds like Otto’s sequel to Sir Fong is pretty much completed and he is working on a third project that will branch out thematically from the first. I suggested that a good title for the sequel would be “To Sir Fong With Love” and he laughed a lot so perhaps in a few months or years I’ll be able to proudly claim some hand in contributing to great literature!
Yesterday morning while working around the house, we heard chanting and singing. Opening our sliding glass door and stepping out onto the balcony we saw that there was some religious temple – decidedly not Buddhist – going on behind the neighboring office tower. The commotion ended with a very large string of firecrackers being ignited: rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-bang!
So far Sunday has been pretty low key: a trip to Carrefour to load up on bottled water and attendance at yoga. Tawn’s back at his parents’ for dinner and to play with the puppies, and I’m writing this blog entry.