Pictured above from the upper left: An unknown Thai melon, a katon (aka kraton, kraton priya, krathon wild mangosteen, santol, or sandorica. Scientific names: Sandoricum koetjape, Sandoricum indicum, Sandoricum nervosum or Melia koetjape. Family Meliaceae, Order Sapindales. Source.) somebody at work gave me, and an unknown species of banana that were selling for 20 baht/bunch at a local market.
The bananas were good but not exceptional, the katon got spoiled before I could eat it (I never seem to get sweet ones; people around here tend to eat it in a savory/spicy fruit salad), and I did what we do with all unknown melons* – tried a bit to see if it was a sweet variety. When it proved to be a non-sweet variety, we used half for pork rib soup and half in a red curry. It was the bomb!
*Let me clarify: We don’t eat stuff that might not be safe. It’s not unknown because we have no idea about it, but because our housekeeper gave it to us and told us the name, but we promptly forgot it. Now our housekeeper is recovering from surgery at home, so the name of the melon will remain unknown until such time as she recovers, returns to work, and I can remember to ask her about it.
You may understand part of the pain and frustration we experienced if you can recognize the complete set of gaskets and ferrofluid engine mounts (replaced with solid urethane mounts). Yes, the whole front end of our Cefiro A33 (USDM: Infiniti i30) was taken apart and put together again. It runs really sweet now, except for a noisy power steering pump, another set of wheel bearings, some paint bubbling up on the roof, etc., etc., and so forth…. And my car, the 40 year old Kujira Crown, will be totally done sometime this year, hopefully (that’s a story in itself; not enough space or patience to cover it here).
April, May, and June are mango season here. Everybody who grows them at home brings them into the office or to their friends before the fruit gets too ripe. The coolest thing is that there are over a hundred different species grown and sold here in Thailand. I’ve probably tried about a third of them. To date, the best kind I’ve had are small ones that people grow in their backyards and sell at weekend fresh markets, known generically as mamuang noi (small mango). They have the perfect blend of sweet, tart, and wild flavors, and are at once slightly chewy yet soft.
You can tell this is from a couple months ago because my car is still in the driveway (hopefully out of the shop soon), and our front lawn still exists (a month after this it was a rock garden for two weeks, then a weed bed, and now it’s a mud puddle we are waiting to line with plastic so we can replace the rocks and confound the weeds).
About a month ago, Maha Sarakham received a power up in the form of a real home center – Global House. Previously, our only choices for hunting hardware in this province were a pitifully small and understocked Home Mart, and a great number of mom & pops. I’ve visited this place only once, for a quick purchase, and noted that it will take at least a couple hours to properly check out every aisle.
I think I’ve finally got this blog up and running the way it should be, so I feel great.
Woke up this morning, went to buy a traditional Isan breakfast of sticky rice and skewered BBQ pork, as well as some fried doughballs and a bag of rice porridge. Brought it all back home, got Max ready, and took him to school. Found a roadside vendor selling fresh durian and had him break down a small (~.75 kgs whole) one for Nam – she loves them (I merely tolerate them). Came home again to Mina babbling and scooting around madly on her baby walker. It’s been a perfect start for the day.