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  • LIFESTYLE

    A sweet feat

    Life, Su-Mei Yu, Published on 07/08/2012

    » My friend Vithi held a tum boon, or house blessing, at his childhood home in Lampang. Elderly women relatives and neighbours gathered the day before to cook a meal that was to be part of an offering to nine monks and serve as a lunch for the gathering of friends and family members.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Remembrance of food past

    Life, Su-Mei Yu, Published on 03/07/2012

    » It must be my age. These past years when I visit Thailand, I am drawn to neighbourhoods that I remember from my youth. I recently paid homage to the shophouse where I was born and raised on Si Phraya Road, trying to imagine it as it once was.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Forbearance of forebears the way forward

    Life, Su-Mei Yu, Published on 05/06/2012

    » I used to feel embarrassed when my American friends described Thailand as "the land of smiles".

  • LIFESTYLE

    Arboreal astringent with staying power

    Life, Su-Mei Yu, Published on 03/04/2012

    » My friend, Khun Mom, calls it an old-fashioned dish. Perhaps because only the older generations of Thai people, who grew up eating bitter-tasting food, crave it. And perhaps he's right since gaeng khee lek is rarely found on menus in Thai restaurants nowadays.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Taking sips, not gulps

    Life, Su-Mei Yu, Published on 07/02/2012

    » After a 14-hour flight from the US, I arrived in Taipei on a morning when the sun was hidden behind a cold, grey mist. Dripping wet from the rain, I stepped into a car. It wasn't exactly an auspicious beginning to a vacation I'd been looking forward to for weeks. Before I set off to spend the Christmas break with my brother and sister-in-law in Taiwan, I'd been struggling through an unusually cold, damp California winter, hoping and praying for a sunny holiday. What greeted me was worse than what I'd left behind. A near-constant drizzle and a sky so dark I was convinced the sun had left to take a holiday in another part of the world.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Spices that won't be confined to the kitchen

    Life, Su-Mei Yu, Published on 06/03/2012

    » She asked if I would appear on a television show, as I had done the previous year. That appearance was broadcast on Valentine's Day and I had brought along dishes that I made for my restaurant, with ingredients known for their aphrodisiacal qualities. My publicist thought it was a clever marketing idea to showcase my passion-inspiring creations. It was she who got me the booking with the TV company. I put on an impressive spread. The producer loved it.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The grass is always greener

    Life, Su-Mei Yu, Published on 03/01/2012

    » Over the past several years, I have stopped using refined sugar completely. I don't miss it at all since I don't like sweets, nor do I do much baking. However, when I cook with a recipe that calls for a sweetener, I have learned to use natural fruit juices, fruit purees, agave syrup, or homemade palm sugar that I buy directly from the maker in a far-out village in Phetchaburi.

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