Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nearing the End With Som Tam

My project is nearly at an end. Trying to squeeze in a new or different meal while keeping a functioning professional and social life has been difficult. When I started the month, I imagined that I would keep a diary-like description of my life and food that makes up the day. But usually once I've shopped, cooked, shot some pictures, eaten, and cleaned up, I feel finished. I don't feel witty or wordy. So I give you some food porn and become filled with self loathing. Food porn is an incredible waste of web space, and I'm quite guilty of it as of late. The project has improved my food photography, but certainly not my writing.

Like other Sundays, today was market day. After doing the regular shopping I came home, dropped off the produce, and headed in the opposite direction to get the necessary ingredients for today and tomorrow's food. All I needed for today's kitchen time was a green papaya and some out of season cherry tomatoes. I had everything else to make a som tam, or green papaya salad.

Picky Thai chefs might poo-poo my use of a granite mortar and pestle for making the below som tam. The preferred wooden or clay mortar and pestle  is not something I currently own. I tried to be careful, but I might have pounded things a little too much for some. In addition, I would say that the salad below might have the wrong papaya to tomato, green bean, shrimp, and peanut ratio. Sue me.
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Today's som tam hurt several people including myself it was so spicy. I found pleasure in this, but I unfortunately just about killed one of my housemates with what I thought would be a less intense version. Oops. Hopefully her digestive tract is okay. Not everyone enjoys spicy food, but I find immense pleasure in it. I've read that spicy food has certain addictive properties and this makes me wonder if this is the only reason I like it. Or put another way, is another's aversion to spicy food only because they haven't had enough to get hooked? Or, are some people not effected at all in a positive ways and only the negatives? Is it all a matter of building up tolerance and is everybody equally capable?

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