Patty Eats Thailand

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[Note: My friend Patty is awesome. She’s so awesome that I won’t let her go to Thailand without writing a guest post, so here it is! Thanks Patty. Oh, and check out her website: PatriciaJang.com.]

After consuming untold amounts of green papaya salad, pad thai, and red curry at our local Thai restaurant haunts, Lauren and I were looking forward to trying authentic Thai food (and laying out on the beaches with a Singha) during our trip to Thailand. The food was incredibly cheap, delicious and ubiquitous – Thai people love to eat, and eat well. The streets in Bangkok were literally lined with food stalls hawking sausages, noodles, fried chicken, and all sorts of tropical fruit, but the insane traffic, air pollution, and narrow, bustling sidewalks made for seriously extreme al fresco dining. We also travelled to the north to the mountains in Chiang Mai and flew south to the stunning beaches in Railay, Koh Phi Phi, and Phuket. To simplify the task of describing our culinary travels, I’ve listed my top five favorite eats.

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Attack of the Cucumbers!

[The Amateur Gourmet is on vacation and, while he’s gone, he’s asked his friends to cover for him. Patty Jang, a playwright who lives in Brooklyn where she is working on her play “Yellow Peril 3.0,” somehow sneaked her way into the mix. For the sake of not making her angry, let’s listen to her whine about cucumbers!]

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We’ve all heard that the best way to eat is to eat locally, organically, and seasonally, but when you’re making a fruit tart that calls for out-of-season cherries shipped in from California, it’s hard to be a saint. To force ourselves into eating more responsibly, Lauren and I decided to join the Washington Square CSA, which gets produce from Norwich Meadows Farm in upstate New York. After fighting the hordes that swarm the Union Square Whole Foods, picking up our produce at the CSA is an absolute pleasure. While weighing out our share of stunning organic tomatoes, beets, and delicate salad greens, I congratulated myself for being a conscientious citizen of the Earth… until I saw the overflowing bins of cucumbers. For the last nine weeks, we have been bombarded with cucumbers. I’m talking pounds and pounds of cucumbers. Every week. I hate cucumbers.

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How To Bribe Your Friends With Cake To Get Them To Watch Your Cat

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You must believe me, this cake is truly a powerful cake. It’s the best Red Velvet I’ve had, and I’ve had quite a few. I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen (a new favorite site; beautiful, with great recipes) and I fully support Deb’s icing calculations. It seems like too little when you make it, but it’s just enough to ice the cake and the end result is an icing/cake ratio that’s perfectly balanced. So if you need to bribe some catsitters, or you just want to treat yourself to a Southern delicacy, do it Red Velvet style. You won’t regret it.