Thailand – Food and Flowers

I’m just back from Thailand.  The trip was incredible…we saw so much, we did so much, we ate so much, but best of all, we experienced much love from my Thai family.  It was an intense visit and I’m still working on processing it all.   A lot of unexpected things took place…mostly good things, but still, sometimes good things can be hard to digest.  And speaking of digesting, for now, let’s move on to a subject that’s much lighter…such as the food.

Bill, Brook and I arrived in Bangkok in the evening so we were tired, and we didn’t want to put a lot of effort into finding a fancy restaurant. Luckily, there was a charming little sidewalk cafe near our hotel that served traditional Thai food.  Eating like the locals (sitting on stools at simple tables in an alley, wearing tee-shirts and flip-flops) is a favorite for our family.


A day or two later, we had a chance to enjoy some more traditional food at my cousin Jiew’s house.  Her mother very graciously prepared a home cooked meal for us.  She cooked all morning long so that we could enjoy a late lunch together.  Her food was extra delicious because she cooked with love.  I was so touched by her giving spirit.


In Thailand, rice goes with everything.  The fragrance of this jasmine variety is burned into my memory (certain smells have a way of immediately connecting us to our childhood).




Food shopping in Thailand can be great fun since the markets there are stocked with fruits galore.  Everything is extremely fresh and fragrant, and colorful and fabulously exotic.


These funny looking things below are a couple of my favorites.


In contrast to the prickly outside, the inside of this fruit is pleasantly smooth and sweet (perhaps a bit like some people, I suppose).


In my opinion, the durian fruit is also very sweet and delicious, although many consider it to be super-stinky in a bad way.


To clear the palate and to quench the thirst, a fresh coconut always delivers.


Coconut alone is wonderful, but combining a dollop of it with a bevy of mango makes it even more sublime.


While we were in Chiang Mai, we had the opportunity to dine on Northern Thai cuisine while enjoying a traditional Khantoke performance.  This style of eating (many little dishes) is both beautiful and bountiful.


Sticky rice is a staple in the Northern Thailand region.  You eat it with your hands by shaping it into a small flattened ball, which you then use to scoop up a teaspoon or so of one of the main dishes.


Dining while watching the figures dancing…


…the flavors and the flowers were a definite delight.


Speaking of flowers, here’s a pretty pop of purple (spotted in a public fountain in Bangkok).


At closer view you can see the golden light radiating from its heart.


Gold was everywhere, and especially at the temples.



Although all of the flowers above are beautiful, my favorite flowers were given to me by my mother.  These mini flower-like cakes speak of Mother…


…they are soft and sweet, delicate and gentle.  With hints of happy and floral notes.  My time with Mother nourished the deepest part of my soul.  Before this meeting I had a hunger that I did not know existed.  And now, I feel fed…I feel blessed.

My time with my father and his family was also fulfilling.  And as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I will need more time to process my thoughts before I can find the words…which I know will eventually flow.  Everything that moves us can move us forward.

To flowing forward with love…this, I believe, is what we’re all meant to do.




















10 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Jani Howe

    What a beautiful story, Becky. I am so happy you’ve had this chance to see both your biological parents again, and be re-introduced to your culture. And that FOOD –! So beautiful and yes, created with love. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.

    August 25th, 2014

  2. Sue

    So glad you had such a fabulous family trip. I can smell the fragrances from here 🙂 Jasmine rice most certainly does have a fragrance and taste all it’s own. The dishes looked lovely and how you spoke of your family, it sounds like the warmth and love was there.
    It does take time to access things, to bring things forward, deal with them and move on, it truly is overwhelming and exhausting, but usually in a good way. 😉
    I am happy for you Becky that you were able to see you “birth parents” again. It does the heart and soul good.
    thanks for sharing you new adventures with us all.

    August 25th, 2014

  3. Becky Shander

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for sharing your perspective with me. It sounds like you might be familiar with what I’ve been experiencing (regarding reconnecting with my biological parents). It feels good to know that others can relate and/or understand…thank you.

    August 26th, 2014

  4. Nice article and lovely pictures – thank you for sharing Becky.

    August 26th, 2014

  5. Linda K

    what wonderful photos Becky-welcome back! I am so happy you had this special time to enjoy your families. The presentation of foods are a work of art in themselves! The flowers are gorgeous -especially the purple one! I had never heard of durian fruit so thank you for sharing. May all those special moments and memories give you a lifetime of warmth and love.

    August 26th, 2014

  6. laura H

    So glad you had a positive reconnection with your family. That your own family was there for support and to experience it with you. Glad you’re back to share it with us. Thanks and take your time processing all that went on. Food looks delicious.

    August 26th, 2014

  7. deb

    sounds like you had an amazing time!
    beautiful photos becky.

    August 27th, 2014

  8. Ann Marie

    Oh my gosh, thank you for sharing. I never knew such beauty existed! I know nothing of the Thai culture — they really take time to make such simple things so beautiful don’t they? Reminds me of you, my beautiful friend.

    August 30th, 2014

  9. How very special your visit was and will continue to be forever. Thai food is delicious…at least what we have here in California. Such wonderful memories you have. Glad you are safely home now. Blessings…

    August 31st, 2014

  10. Oh my Becky! I would love to visit there! I think I would love the food! I would want to try everything! Seattle has many Thai restaurants…so very popular here. Maybe someday if you visit Seattle you can advise me on which one is the best! Glad you had a lovely trip making memories with the people you love.

    September 1st, 2014

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