16 April 2009

Happy 2552!

Happy New Year 2552! That's right, it is the year 2552 in Thailand and we've been celebrating all week long. 

With the end of the latest round of riots, the Songkran festival is in full swing and everyone is relaxing as we celebrate the start of a new year. Traditionally, Thai families spend the week prior to Songkran (which officially runs from Monday to Wednesday of this week) preparing for the New Year by cleaning their homes extensively. Then, during Songkran week, people return to their homes for huge family gatherings and celebrations with those nearest and dearest to them. 

Tradition calls for the sprinkling of water on elders as a cleansing sign of good fortune for the year ahead. However, in modern Thailand, Songkran has morphed into a massive splash party. People line the streets with giant super soaker water squirters, water bottles and buckets in order to splash anything that moves. Colored powders are then applied to the soaked faces. All of this is done in gentle good fun and depending on where you go to celebrate, you'll receive a dousing of more or less water. 

With Bangkok in a state of emergency, the festivities were slightly dampened. But, friends who ventured to Khao San Road (the epicenter of Bangkok's water festivities) said it was a wet world. And, my husband and visiting father journeyed outside of Bangkok for a day of trekking and ended up practically drowning in water as pick-up trucks full of locals doused them with buckets. The kids, my mom and I celebrated in our own way by racing through our yard with squirters. Happy New Year everyone! May it be a wonderful 2552 for you and yours....

Cooking in Thailand, entry no. 44:
Banana Fritters
A fun dessert for celebrating any occasion. 

4 bananas, sliced into thick rounds
1 1/2 cup of rice flour
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup ice cold water
vegetable oil
Ice cream, vanilla or coconut
Optional: 1/8 cup rum, 1/8 cup orange juice, 1 Tablespoon sugar (mixed together)

Combine 1 cup of flour, salt, cinnamon and water in a shallow pan. Stir to create a paste. Roll the bananas in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and then add to the paste mixture. In a deep saute pan, heat a shallow layer of oil and add the bananas (cooking in batches). Cook until golden, flipping once to ensure even coloring on both sides. Drain on towels and serve immediately on top of ice cream. Drizzle a tiny bit of the rum, orange juice mixture over the top if desired.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea that there was any other year. I thought everyone was 2009. Learn something new every day. Can't wait to try your recipe.


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