Since we'd enjoyed Thai food so much, we decided to enrol on a cookery course, in order to recreate our delicious dinners when we had to return to the UK, which was coming up sooner that we cared to think about.
We were collected from our guesthouse by the chef, who then picked up various other wannabee cooks like ourselves and bundled us all into the back of his pick-up before taking us to the food market, to teach us how to select the best ingredients for our meals. We all smelt the aromas, felt the textures and marvelled at the many varieties of vegetables that we'd never heard of, let alone knew what to do with, all the while ignoring the flies and cats which were climbing all over the produce.
The chef gave us some meal options, selected the ingredients, then whisked us to his studio to show us how to cook up a storm...
The meals we were to learn how to cook were: Pad Thai, Tom Yum soup, Pangang Curry, Sticky rice with Mango and Chicken with Cashewnuts.
We all had our own workstations and were shown how to chop the various ingredients, which sounds obvious, but there's a knack to cutting chillies without blinding yourself in the process. He taught us to cook the meat for only about a minute or two, not the usual 20 minute-plus blast that I give my stir-fries at home, one eye on Eastenders and my mobile tucked under my chin.
We watched him avidly whilst he demonstrated the various stages then went back to our workstations and...did something completely different. He just did everything so quickly and expertly and made it all look so easy - it reminded me of Home Economics lessons at school all over again. I wished I'd paid more attention to those HE lessons now, and so does Liam, since my cooking skills leave a lot to be desired. I can cook a mean microwave lasagne though. (Joke.)
To our amazement, Liam and I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and even managed to produce some pretty authentic dishes at the end of it, which the class all ate together, feeling very pleased with ourselves and vowing to flex our new-found culinary abilities once we get home. Ok, so I did put a little too much ginger into my Tom Yum soup which caused a choking fit so severe that I thought Liam was going to have to perform the Heimlich manouvre on me, but apart from that the meal was perfect, if I do say so myself. I wonder if our mouth-watering Thai dishes will taste quite so delicious when we're in front of the telly in Romford....