16 May 2009

Damn the thermal scanner

Swine flu jokes made for good reading on facebook and twitter feeds until I returned from Singapore last night with a feverish five year old in tow. After a fantastic holiday in the island nation of Singapore, we headed to the airport to catch our plane bound for Bangkok. With two days of lacking naps, the kids were tired and a bit worn looking. And, it was apparent that as the two hour flight progressed my daughter was catching a cold. The same daughter who was content to run around the Changi airport happily looking at their many art installations registered a full 103 degree temperature by Bangkok's airport thermal scanners. 

As a swat team of masked medical professionals pounced on my sleep deprived, ill child the nightmare began. Since she had been riding on her papa's back as we originally passed through the scanners, we were told that she'd have to walk the path again but on her own this time. After racing away, choking, screaming and throwing herself on the floor, I struck a deal with her. Whether the medical team liked it or not, the only way they would have a chance to put their thermal scanners to action on her would be for her to come into my arms and bury her face into my neck. Together, we walked the scanners path again. Beep, and again we were snagged.

Then a complete recording of our travels and a collection of our contact information, followed by an in-airport trip to the doctor and the dangling promised nightmare of taking an ambulance ride for an overnight stay at a local hospital. Needless to say, our nerves were fried when we piled into a taxi and finally sped to our home through a late night thunder storm. 

Today, my daughter is sniffling from a cold and promising to "never, ever, ever, NEVER" return to an airport. Looks like our next holiday will be extremely enjoyable. 

Cooking in Thailand, entry no. 48:
Singapore Chicken Rice
A favorite southeast Asian chicken soup that always comforts the soul, stuffy noses and exhausted parents.

Step one:
1 chicken placed in a large pot and covered 3/4 with water
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
a large piece of ginger (about 3 inches)
1 vanilla bean
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
soy sauce
black pepper

Step two:
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 piece of ginger, about 1-inch, peeled and chopped
1 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons of oil
2 cups of long grain rice
4 cups of chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

For condiments:
hand full of chopped cilantro
hand full of bean sprouts
hot peppers, chopped
bottle of sesame oil
bottle of soy sauce

For step one: Add all of the ingredients listed under step one and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for two hours. Strain, reserving chicken and stock. Allow stock to cool slightly and skim off any fat. Return to pot and season with soy sauce and freshly ground pepper. Strip chicken off of bones and set aside on a serving platter.

For step two: Heat oil in a pan and saute the garlic, ginger and vanilla bean until fragrant and slightly caramelized. Add the rice and stir. Cook until slightly golden. Add one cup of stock at a time, stirring regularly, until absorbed by the rice before adding another. After the last cup is added, bring to a higher heat to burn off any extra liquid. Remove vanilla bean and place rice in a serving bowl. 

To your serving platter, add chopped cilantro, bean sprouts, chopped peppers and bottles of sesame oil and soy sauce. Heat the reserved stock and serve in large soup bowls. Allow guests to add a portion of chicken and rice to their bowls, adding desired condiments on top.

1 comment:

  1. What a nightmare that would have been for your daughter. I'm glad that they didn't keep her overnight.

    I fear the thermal scanners anytime I have to fly through Taipei on the way to or from Bangkok. I've never run into them elsewhere.


Looking forward to hearing your comment!