Thai wimmen seem to have some fetish about food in gen'rul, an' eatin' in pahtikulah. Ah has already tol' you about de evil li'l berries called red savina habanero chillies, but that ain't all. De wimmen also seems to like anything wit' garlick in it. You should see how much garlic disappea's from de cubbord here every week.
De wife brings a shipload o' cookin' books here from Thailand, and she is all'uz tryin' somet'in' new on me an' de family, as well as de neighbo's and de extended family. Sometimes it wo'ks fine, sometimes it don' wo'k too well.
So one day de wife puts her nose in one of de cookbooks an' decides that we need to eat some po'k an' some beef concoctions. Off we goes to the meat shop an' gets some beef and some po'k. De beef was good stuff, a whole round wit' de li'l bit of fat and string trimmed off by me, yea, it was reel good meat. De po'k looked like a good buy, but after I got t'rough cuttin' it up, I wuzn't so sure.
De po'k wuz a whole leg, an' on reflekshon, I t'ink de pig what dat leg came off might have been an arrowbi... - a calasfeni... - a gym instructor. Dam', it had some gristle in it.
My instructions wuz kinda clear. De beef wuz easy, but de po'k wuz not de same story. I gets de beef sorted out and puts dat t'rough de blender; instant chop'd beef. Wife says dat will make noo-a nam, and tells me dat is a sort of sausage dat is usu'ly eaten uncooked. Also sez de noo-a nam can be sliced up an' fried if de prospective diner chickens out at the tho't of raw meat.
Then it's de po'k's turn to come under mah tender ministrations, an' I is pretty good wit' de knife - even if I sez so meself.
I skinned the leg and wife boils de skin. Dat's goin' into the moo nam, she sez. Keep de trotter for soop. Bone out de rest of de leg and t'row de bone in wit' de trotter. An' dat's where things started to worry me. I got instructions to take about 2-and-a-half pounds of de good meat and trim dat up for moo nam. De trimmin's wuz to go in wit' de rest o' de po'k. So dere we wuz wit' 2 piles o' po'k meat. Into de blender with de trimmed lean po'k, an' dat gets made into moo nam. De other pile o' po'k goes into de blender and de gristle an' strings start to get tangled in de blades an' contours o' de inside of de machine. Wife sez to pull out de bits de blender cain't handle and t'row dem straight into de mixin' basin, an' like de obedient husbin' dat I is, I does as I is told.
Wife consults de recipe book ag'in an' decides we needs garlic. Seems we needs 18 complete bulbs of de pungent li'l white crottles, so it's off to de shop for de obedient husbin'. I gets back an' de bulbs gets pulled apart into single bits an' dropped in de blender. I t'ink a whole packet o' rice vermichelli (a real big one) got dropped in de mix while I was away at de shop, but it it might have bin mo' dan dat. De end result did not matter. Everyt'ing went into de mixin' bowl.
After another consultation wit' Doctor cookbook, wife gets out de calculator and starts tappin' away on de keypad. She comes up wit' a number that suits her and goes to de salt cellar armed wit' a dessertspoon and de mixin' bowl.
A bit about dat salt cellar; it is loaded wit' cookin' salt, which has at least twice de poten-see of table salt. You uses de cookin' salt to salt de water dat vegies gets boiled in, and you pours away de salt water at de end of de cookin'. Table salt is not too strong so you can eat it wit' de food.
Wife measures out 15 heaped dessertspoons of cookin' salt into de mixin' bowl!
An' she mixes it all up real well, an' I get to put it into de casings. We has got us about 13 lbs of Thai po'k sausage. Wife wuz practically droolin', but sez we gotta wait a day for it to cure, or somethin'. I didn't know it had anyt'ing wrong wit' it so why did it need a cure?
For de 2 nam dishes, wife mixes "nam powder" an' a few other t'ings in with the 2 dif'rent breeds o' meat; she cuts up de boiled pig skin wit' kitchen sizzz... - seckato... - shears into bits about 1/16th of an inch by mebbe one inch, an' dat goes in de po'k, and we roll it up in 3-and-a-half-ounce portions in cling-wrap. We gotta let dem "ferment" for 36 hours before dey go into de cooler sez de wife. OK, maybe same as de cure fo' de sausages.
Next day wife cooks up a mess o' po'k sausages an' proudly serves up lunch to me. I gotta confess I wuz kinda curious to check out dem po'k sausages, and dat wuz de t'ings I cut first. Looked OK. Smell wuz OK. So I bites. A few chews later, I wuz glad I had bit small.
Dem sausages wuz saltier than Lot's wife's asshole. An' if dat reference escapes yo', look in de bible for the story of the destruction of Sodomy and Gonorrhoea. Lot got told that he wuz de only righteous man in de 2 cities of sin, an' he should take his family, leave de sinful cities, an' not look back. Accordin' to de bible, dey got out, but Lot's wife looked back, and she wuz instantly transformed into a pillar o' salt.
Wife says dey will be OK if smothered in tomato ketchup. So she smothers, she tastes, an' she decides de ketchup ain't enough.
So dere we wuz with about 12 lbs of sausage dat wuz not tasty to eat, and de wife hates waste. After a few minutes, I had a dim bulb pop on in de head, and asks about de brer's dogs. We saves our food scraps to feed to de brer's dogs, so why not this shit? Wife quickly agreed, sort of like she wuz getting offered an escape claws in an unfav’rable contract.
A bit about de brer an' his dogs, includin' his wife. Brer has a fancy mansion dat seems to attract thiefs like offal draws flies. He has lost a lot of his tools to de thiefs, so he decided to get hisself a dog to discourage said thiefs. Got him a big ugly alsation, tho't de thiefs woodent like tanglin' wit' dat devil. Clever thiefs stand at gate, mutt comes to inspect, thief sprays mutt's face and eyes wit' oven cleaner. Mutt gets blind reel fast and is driven wild wit’ the pain of the caustic substants, thiefs do what dey want.
Brer's wife decides dog is stupid and not up to de job, orders a new dog and sells off de blind one. So soon a new Airedale Terrier is prowlin' de brer's grounds. It is also diggin' holes in de lawn an' garden, an' rippin clothes off de clothesline. Brer finds out de alsation had bin blinded, an' decides to put in a supa-dupa high-tech alarm system, an' dat makes de dog redundant. But de kids have fallen in love wit' de dog, so he decides to keep it. But dammit, de bundle of energy is diggin' up all sorts of places, and rippin' de washin', and scratchin' de doors. Brer's wife decides dog is lonely, so she gets another one to keep company wit' de Airedale. Dat means twice as many holes in de garden, etc. And dem dogs compete real hard wit' one another for food.
Befo'e I tells you de rest, I gotta comment that de brer makes sure that his dogs are not in need, he has a drinkin' trough for dem that he made from a toilet cistern, so when de water gets a bit low, it automatically refills.
I visits de brer's estate with de 12 lb of sausage hung around my person, and she who bought de dogs answers de door. I tells her that de sausages are seriously oversalted and to be careful with de t'ings, an' she tells me that it is not a problem, dem dogs can eat anything. I leaves wit' a feelin' o' innosents – I has warned her.
A couple days after, I visits dem agin. And I gets de story. I am not allowed to bring any mo' sausage for de dogs. Here is what happened.
Seems dat de brer's wife dumped de 12 pounds of sausage in 2 piles for de dogs and went out to go to work. Dogs came and started wolfin' de sausage, but de salt made dem thirsty. Dey goes and drinks. Dey drinks some mo', an' den a whole lot mo'. But dey is still thirstin' like mad, so dey drinks mo' and mo'. They is bloated, so they wander de yard a bit, and den it is bark time - not a yap-yap type bark, but de vomit type bark, and wit' de force of a fire hydrant, good to cover a half acre at a shot. De dogs are relieved of their burden, but are suddenly hungry agin, so it is back to de sausage, then de drinkin' trough, and a repeat of de cycle. After mebbe 5 cycles of dis, de sausage is exhausted an' de entire yard is spattered. But de dogs is still hungry, an de aroma of dat po'k which is festerin' in de midday sun is drivin' dem crazy. So dem crazed dogs goes around de yard snappin' up any trace of sausage their noses can find. They recycles the sausage a few dozen times over de course of de workin' day, an' still dey keeps on drinkin' de water.
Brer gets home wit' his wife, an' words can't describe what dey saw. Dey decided to put de dogs in de house while they hosed de lawn (what dey could see of it). Bad decision. Dogs got to de waterbowl inside. De Airedale got de lounge room floor, de lab got de master bedroom. Brer an' his wife came in to witness de dogs in de act of cleanin' de floors, but not dryin' dem. De dogs got to the water again and both barked in the dining room. De dogs wuz moved outside, den dey started shittin'.
But dat's gettin' kinda ugly, so we won’t go there.
If dis tale has a moral, it is dat de Thai lady can be a good cook, but she can have a failure once in a while. De failure in dis case was de use of a dessertspoon instead of a teaspoon, AND de use of cooking salt.