21 August 2009


A little over one year ago, I began writing about our family's adventure in Thailand and we've now reached a point in our journey where history, to some extent, begins to repeat itself. While Bangkok has felt like home for quite some time now, it's just this last month that we can look forward to experiencing Thai culture for a second time around. We're living through rainy season (again), we're approaching monsoon season (again), the moon festival is right around the corner, followed by Loy Kratong and soon the neighborhood coconut ice cream street vendors will pack away their carts until the warmer weather returns.

It only seems appropriate that when July flipped on the calendar, my mind would naturally begin a progression backwards to the memories our family has built in Bangkok. I remember arriving fresh off the plane, greeting our new home and being swept away by a wave of humidity and a cloud of jet lag. I remember endless weeks trying to entertain two toddlers while waiting for our shipment, holding all of our household and personal possessions, to arrive from the States. And, I remember the welcoming smiles and warmth towards our children expressed by new neighbors and local merchants. I remember my first smell of the ever present charcoal barbecues being lit in the early morning, mingling with the scents of bubbling curries and spicy breath catching fire sauces starting in street side woks. And, I remember the true joy I felt in successfully finding and purchasing our first cooking pot in Thailand.
Little did I know that the warm neighborhood welcome would make Bangkok feel like home much faster than I ever dreamed possible. Nor, did I know that I would learn the art of making an authentic Thai curry from a wonderful, generous woman in Hua Hin, providing me with the ability to replicate the streets simmering curry on our own home's stove top. And, while my husband and I were planning this grand adventure of raising a family overseas, I never realized that the purchase of one simple pot would lead to Loving Rice.
And yet, here I am sitting on a rattan woven chair full of cushions covered in scarves purchased at a local open air market. Here I am, looking out over our home's balcony filled with orchids and cloaked in steamy humid skies. Here I am, sharing a mutual adoration of the local chicken vendor's signature spicy sauce (and spending endless amounts of time in conversation trying to figure out her secret ingredient!) with my husband. Here I am, enjoying being a parent overseas and looking forward to taking my daughter to her first school day in Thailand (and then picking her up as I dodge monsoon raindrops!).
Here's to an amazing experience and to the adventures that the future holds. Happy Birthday Loving Rice!

Cooking in Thailand, entry no. 62
Coconut Cake
Here's one of my favorite recipes for those times when you need a dessert that satisfies, but you don't feel like spending much time in the kitchen. The result is dense and decadent, without being overly sweet. Without a need for icing, this can whipped up in a short time, baked and then left to cool until serving. Serve solo or with a dollop of cream to dress it up further.

3/4 cup of butter (plus a bit extra for greasing the cake pan)
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of powdered sugar (plus a bit extra for garnish)
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split
1 1/4 cups coconut milk

Place the coconut milk in a saucepan. Scrape the interior out of the vanilla bean and add to the coconut milk (also add the exterior halves). Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Allow to cool. Remove vanilla bean halves once the mixture cools and discard. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add both sugars and beat until well combined and light in color. Add the eggs and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and coconut milk. Stir, with a whisk, until there are no lumps. Pour into a well greased cake pan and bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 35 minutes (times will vary depending on size of pan used). The top will be a dark golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack and dust with powdered sugar before serving.


  1. I enjoy reading your blog so very much. Your love for your family and a foreign city radiate off the screen. Thank you for sharing with us all.

  2. What great memories! I had a similar experience when we reached our second year in Brazil. It is a wild feeling when you become so familiar with where you are that you know what is coming next. :) That cake sounds amazing!

  3. This post made my eyes tear. Your love for living in Bangkok is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Happy Birthday Loving Rice :-)

    I'm surprised that it took me a year to find your wonderful blog (mine is also it its first year)


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