This is the smashing method, which I first read about online somewhere. Supposedly, it’s the Shake Shack’s method of cooking beef patties, but I don’t know because I’ve only been blessed by In-N-Out (in fact, all of the people I’ve ever talked to who have had both say that In-N-Out is better). All I know is, any place that’ll make you a 100 patty cheeseburger AND sounds like half of a porn movie title kicks serious ass.
Anyhow, this method ensures you get crispy crunchy goodness throughout the burger as long as you smash it so the initial crust is distributed evenly across the top of the patty.
Please see the mostly unannotated and hopefully self-explanatory photo series/instructions below. As a sidenote, I am using a ground pork/beef mix along with diced carrots, onions, and shiitake mushrooms (super baby burgers) in the photos, so coloration may be different for you.
Exactly one month ago, our family took a trip to Chiang Mai by way of daddy, Max, Mina, and the nanny hitching a ride with mommy on a business trip. Our driver was fast and polite, and since there are typically no seat belts in a Thai commuter van, we decided to leave the baby seats behind. This made for a very smooth and uneventful ride, just the way I like it.
I’ve written about other parts of the trip already, but I didn’t get around to posting (blurry) photos of one of the highlights, an impromptu night stroll from the center of downtown to our hotel. We went out as a group for dinner and to check out the night market, which was a big tourist trap / disappointment. By that time, we had joined up with Daisuke and some of his and Nam’s students… Dai had expressed a longing to drink on the grounds at Wat Chedi Luang, at the very center of town, because it was beautifully lit up at night and temples make such excellent chill out spots.
So Dai and I got dropped off at the main gate, and everybody else went back to the hotel in the van. So began our journey.
Since the front and side gates were already closed, we had to walk all the way around to find a rear way in. We found it, and weaved through various building to get to the chedi (stupa).
Unfortunately, the temple grounds were full of monks and followers walking around and looking at the illuminated stupa, just like us. We could have had beers while hidden in the shadows, but having other people around kind of killed the appeal of it. Instead, we decided to walk back to the hotel by walking out to the ring road (Chiang Mai has an inner and outer ring road, one running clockwise and the other counter-clockwise, just like Osaka’s nakakanjo and sotokanjo, but not elevated), and following it back. We made several stops at historic sites along the way, roughly fulfilling one of the main to-dos for visitors to CM: Visiting many temples.
After leaving the heart of the historical district, we came upon the first 7-11 and eventually instated the two beer rule: Two cans of Leo per person at every 7-11 passed
We ended up at an outdoor futsal stadium with two fields. Daisuke played in the minor soccer league in Japan, so he wanted to watch for a while. I had several beers and a pork bau from a cart outside the 7-11, so I didn’t care. It started getting chilly, though, so I got up and stood watching the khao tom store across the street for ten minutes. There was a deaf guy waiting on the tables who would bring out food to the customers and communicate with them by pointing at the menu and writing things down on the pad, but the cook insisted on shouting at him when orders were ready, very loudly, twice for everything. It made for some fairly hilarious happenings which would suck to relate in writing.
Eventually, we neared the ring road.
We passed an open jazz bar with too many skanky farangs hanging out, and resupplied at another 7-11.
More CD-stars. They might just be used as traffic reflectors, but the placement of some of them was off the road so they might be used to ward off dogs / cats / Christians.
We ended up on the ring road near a historic gate and in dire need of a place to pee, peed on it.
The rest of the night was fairly surreal. We had seafood noodles outside a car dealership. It was fairly late when I saw a red lantern way down a small street, and I was drawn to it. It turned out to be a Japanese izakaya that was closing. They initially refused to serve us, but I begged piteously and an old Japanese man drinking outside shared his bottle with us. He turned out to be just an average guy from Nagoya, who I naturally gave a lot of shit to even while partaking in his drink, just because I secretly look down on Nagoyans as a proud Osakan. The owner’s husband came around and he turned out to be an ex-coworker of Dai’s, so we extended our unwelcome at the closed bar even longer.
We eventually got home, but I don’t remember that part.
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.
Max has the funniest dreams about food. Sometimes he wakes up asking for roast pork skewers, and sometimes for pastries. We are used to it now and keep a stash in the fridge, along with at least one bag of sticky rice for Mina.
It’s still quite cool during the days in Maha Sarakham and actually cold at night. Last year we only had a week or two of this weather, so it’s been great to have it continue for almost two whole months.
These past two months, I’ve been all over on family trips to Phimai, Chiang Mai, and Surin, and for work to Nam Nao, Saraburi, Trat, and Koh Chang. Next weekend I’m taking my Master’s class to Wang Nam Keaw for a weekend survey. Then hopefully, I can take a break from too much traveling for a while. The babies miss me when I’m gone (or so I like to think), and I miss them too.
The photos above were taken with my Galaxy 5 phone on one of our neighborhood walks – the open areas in our development are fast disappearing, so we are getting in as many dirt road rambles with the babies as we can.
Our two students at the resort in Saraburi are doing well… Or at least one is pulling the other along. That’s just how it is sometimes.
The 5 we are visiting in this tiny harbor village in Trat, however, seem to have it a lot harder. They are working at a Tourist Authority of Thailand office here which seems an improbable situation at the least, since there isn’t even a 7-11 in town (a primary indicator that you are in the middle of nowhere in Thailand). Anyhow, we will visit them at the office in an official capacity first thing in the morning.
As a sidenote, we entertained ourselves this evening by catching little crabs at low tide on the rocks our bungalows overlook. They look just like the one I used for bait fishing for sheepshead at Catalina with my dad when I was an Indian Scout.
Yes, I know you have it on the iCrap, too, but Google will never make it as good for you. Fact.
I’m heading off on a trip to visit some 3rd year students interning in Saraburi, Trat, and Koh Chang for a few days. Leaving at 5AM tomorrow, so I’m starring destinations and saving route info (toll and non-toll, with different ferry options to the island) in Google Maps on my PC. Tomorrow, I’ll be able to access it all from my phone. This is the kind of techno-wienery I’ve been dreaming about since I was 7.