Still savoring the adventure!

Trip Start May 16, 2006
1
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Trip End Aug 15, 2006


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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Monday, November 13, 2006

Hello,

I thought it was time for an update. I have now been home for 3 months, the amount of time I was gone. It gives me even more perspective on "The Big Adventure". There is hardly an hour in the day that I do not think about the trip.

Since my return I have been able to spend alot of time in Chimney Rock. The weather has been beautiful. We had a bit cold weather about 10 days ago, then we had some 80 degree days. The leaves this year were awesome! Check out the pics.

My travel camera broke the first weekend back in Charlotte. Luckily it held out the entire trip. I took about 1500 photos on the trip, so i guess i wore it out. It started acting up while in Oz and bit the dust the first weekend back. We have a new camera now and lots of pics of the fall leaves.

I am so glad I took the Thai cooking classes. I have become quite the Thai cook. Its crazy how much Thai food we are eating. The past week 5 of 7 days were Thai at least once a day. We still have not begun to tire of it. I have had several "classes" for friends and they have the bug too! There is a bit of prep involved but cooking is so easy. Here is a recipe for you guys to try, quick, easy and soooo good!

Thai Basil Pork

Shopping list: Hopefully you have an Asian market where you are.
1. Oyster Sauce(Maekrua brand)
2. Fish Sauce(Squid brand)
3. Black Soy(Healthy Boy brand) or regular soy will do
4. Holy Basil leaves, the one with the purple stems
5. Bird Chilis, the small green and red chilis


Ingredients: 1 serving

1/4 cup of minced pork (you can use chicken, beef, or tofu if you like) I think the pork is best.
1/2 onion thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed or 2 teaspoons of diced garlic from a jar.
3-5 small chilies. Stem removed and take the side of the knife and crush gently to release flavors. The instructor in Phi Phi said to gently slice the side of the chili but not all the way through
20 holy basil leaves
2 tablespoon of water of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of oil(anything but olive oil)
pinch of sugar

Sauce:
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 teaspoon of fish sauce
1/8 tsp of black soy or regular soy

Prep:
1. Heat oil in wok over medium heat
2. add garlic and cook 10-15 secs to release flavor
3. add pork and onions, stir fry till mostly cooked
4. add chilis and stir
5. add the water, soy, oyster, and fish sauce
6. stir again the add basil leaves and pinch of sugar
7. cook for a couple of minutes and serve over jasmine rice.

***Unless you like really hot peppers, do NOT eat the chilis! They flavor the dish but dont necessarily make the dish hot.

When preparing for two people double the ingredients. If 3 or more servings
reduce the 3rd, 4th, or 5th serving ingedients by apprx 1/4 to 1/2. I found the recipes to be strong if you multiply the ingredients by the number of servings.

Other favorites are Cashew Chicken and Tom Kha soup(coconut milk). I will be glad to share those recipes, just ask.

I guess all the Thai food has helped me keep off the weight I lost on the trip. I am l holding steady at 196. Yeahhhhhhh.

Still officially unemployed but I have been picking up some odd jobs as a handyman and landscaper. My health insurance ran out last month. I was able to pick up some health insurance for a great rate. Yeah again! The real job search begins early next year. :(

I have all the pics, good, bad, and ugly on a kodak website, If you would like to see them email me and i will send you the link.

I have joined the youtube nation. My user name ins WentRTW, do a search at present there are 3 videos. One is of the fire dance on koh phi phi and one of crazy psycho dog Jake, and another of our friends dog Bello going crazy over a mechanical Dachshound.

Take care everyone!!!
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