I love food.
Yes—I love food. Who doesn’t? Right? Food gives you energy and if you can actually sit down and seriously think about it, food is not just fuel you need on a daily basis but it’s an essential tool in your social life. It is an important factor of your social, emotional experience and culture. Food can reduce the gap within families and even between you and your friends or colleagues. For example, what comes to your mind when you think of Thanksgiving Day? Well, I think of families gathering, having dinner together, smiling and laughing to each other in a warm cozy dining room with a big delicious stuffed turkey. Christmas, other than gifts and Santa Claus, I think of Christmas dinner—big honey glazed ham, mashed potatoes, cranberry puddings, cups of hot chocolate and marshmallow. What about Halloween? This one, maybe it’s just me, I think of pumpkin pies and kids knocking on neighbors’ doors asking trick or treat. See? Food gets involved in almost every occasions in your life. Food connects you with other people. Another broader example, when you go on a date, whether it’s first date or not, what do most people usually do on a date? what you often see in movies and TV or even in real life. People eat! , have dinner and drinks, or a cup of coffee on a date. Just choosing or ordering what you are going to eat is like telling fundamental things or some great stories about you already. I personally see food as a diary filled with precious memories and experiences. Whenever I have a cup of rice with green curry with tofu or a dish of stir fried eggplants, I will always think of home.
Home cooked food is the best. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t reject eating out. I do enjoy eating out. I like when I get to look through the menu and decide what I’m going to have. Eating out is actually really great because you get to experience more kinds of food or even your favorite food cooked in other different ways. However, to me, nothing can beat home cooked food. True that restaurants can also offer you a great-value food but comparing to home cooked food that enable you to cook it with the ingredients you buy on your own, add whatever you like into the dish, spice the food to however you like it, and eat more healthy. It is much more fun and healthier.
Why home cooked food is considered or widely known as healthier than restaurants? Again, it is because you get to choose the ingredients on your own. For example, I choose to use olive oil which is rich in monounsaturated fat that is a good kind of fat that helps protect against heart disease and aids in digestion while the restaurant might choose to use the animal fat which is full of saturated fat that is detrimental to your cholesterol and your heart.
Even if you are not a great cook, styling a simple dish every each day is an effective process teaching you how to cook. I am not the best cook but I can cook. I cook whatever I like and it makes me happy. Also, I personally like cooking more when I get to cook with my mom and sisters. I get to talk and laugh while I cook. Couldn’t ask for more than that.
So, I decided I should read my home cooked food diary out loud to you today because I want to show you the savory in simplicity of home cooked food I’ve experienced during the last summer in the U.S. Let’s start!
Close up? Look at all the cheeseee!
This is indeed a simple dish that gets me everytime. My sister’s host mom sure knows how to keep me eating. I genuinely couldn’t hold myself back from falling for quiche. By the way, this is a broccoli quiche.
This is the last home cooked dish I had before leaving California. It’s a whatever salad dish. I added whatever I like into the dish. Lots of greens underneath. I also added a lot of avocado and peppers as you can see but the crackers kinda hind them all…
This salad bowl reminds me of this cup of frozen yogurt I had in Davis, California. I get to put whatever and as much as I like into the cup. I think it is such a brilliant idea offering people opportunity to pick whatever they like into their favorite flavor ice cream cup. I just think it is so much fun how you can style your own food to however you like it. Definitely, they charge you as much as you put in. The more your cup weigh, the more you have to pay. But it was totally worth it.
Before we left California, we went to the old Sacramento which is the most beautiful town I’ve ever been. I even like it more than L.A. So, here’s a glimpse of gorgeous old Sacramento.
Time flies, eleven days in California definitely weren’t enough. It went by too fast just like what they say, “Time flies like a blink of an eye.” However, my diary keeps going. There’s always a new amazing journey waiting ahead. Next eleven days, we spent our time in Colorado. It’s my home where I can totally be myself. The place where my American family is. While I was there, I cooked them some Thai food. It’s what I like to do for people I love.
Green curry with chicken and tofu. This is why I like to cook because I can add whatever I like to the dish. You can’t find green curry with tofu in Thailand (maybe only during the vegan festival). In most restaurants, this dish is mostly cooked with chicken. I love tofu but my sister required some chicken so in this bowl… As you can see, there are both chicken and tofu floating. My host mom loves green curry so much. I think it’s one of Thai dishes that most foreigners would fall for. Even myself fall for it. I think it’s because green curry is such a perfect combination of sweet and spicy.
Fried garlic chicken. If there is a bowl of curry, there must be a dish of fried meat. My choice of meat on that day was chicken. I marinated the chicken with turmeric powder, chopped garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce and a little of oyster sauce. Only if I could find more spices in the Asian market, there would be much more spices to add into the marinade sauce.
This is stir fried yardlong beans with pork in red curry paste. I like to put a lot of chopped garlic into this dish. I think garlic suits with all stir fried vegetables. I also usually put chopped Kaffir lime leaf in this dish but I couldn’t find it even though we were shopping in the Asian market. And, certainly, if there is a bowl of curry, a dish of fried meat, there must be a dish of stir fried vegetables. My sister and I decided to cook this dish because we wanted our folks to have the most of Thai taste as much as possible in one meal.
I can’t wait for the summer to come so I can go home and cook. Nothing makes me happier than cooking. I love seeing people’s reaction to my food. Showing you Thai food I cooked makes me want to cook even more.
Also, trust me, the best way to cook is to style your food into your own unique way, the way you like it 🙂
Here is a glimpse of Colorado. I hope these two photos can give you a better explanation on why I love Colorado so much than me explaining.