Mangoes are a late summer fruit here. But now is the season for, among many other things, Dragonfruit, locally known as Pitaya. You know the one...red, leafy skin with green tips and fleshy white meat and lots of little seeds inside. They grow from a cactus flower, of which there are more than a few around here, that is a very pretty white and yellow color blooming only at night and usually pollinated by bats. Since these are native to our region, the Dragonfruit moniker must have come after they were introduced to SE Asia Yes, it's all in the marketing!
Rounding out our fruit tree discussion, one branch of our avocado tree succumbed to the heavy weight of fruit. Holy Guacamole! Already weakened by an earlier storm I really wasn't surprised to find most of it on the ground one morning. We recovered a baker's dozen of almost ripe avocados after I cut the rest of the branch to protect the tree's trunk bark.
Wifey had a bout of fever the other day and a good friend used a remedy I'd never seen before: Rubbing alcohol is rubbed into the patient's hair then covered with a towel whilst the patient's feet are soaked in hot water. Now I know about alcohol rubs - the quickly evaporating alcohol helps cool the body. However when wrapped in a turban, I'm not sure we're talking about evaporative cooling anymore. And the hot water on the feet seems illogical. After the fever broke, Rosa told us that the preferred alcohol isn't rubbing alcohol but Bacardi White Rum into which a certain plant leaf had soaked. I'm on board with that I thought to myself (and just as well too because it's not imbibed but used the same was as rubbing alcohol - in the hair and under a turban). She explained further that rubbing alcohol is "hot" whereas Bacardi Rum is "cold" so it works better. This is an interesting concept (hot and cold foods) that I thought was almost uniquely an Asian invention. The fever broke, coincidentally, about 40 minutes after I had given her 500mg of aspirin.
The temperatures are no worse than normal these last few days and certainly nothing like what they're experiencing in western USofA but absent a cooling breeze it's quite hot enough for me. So no cooking inside. Instead, I'm grilling outdoors.
Here's my version of Thai Street Vendor Chicken. (Click here for interesting videos of Thai Street Vendors at work)
1 TBS Freshly ground black pepper
3 TBS Minced galangal (You can substitute crushed, mild ginger)
1 TBS Minced garlic
3 TBS Fish sauce
3 TBS Soy sauce
2 TBS Fresh lime juice
1 whole chicken cut any way you want. For this recipe I keep the breast whole, the legs and back whole, and the wings separate because they cook quickly. The large pieces are spread and flattened so they sit properly on the grill.
Combine all ingredients except chicken and blend until smooth. Pour into a large Ziplock bag, add chicken parts, and marinate 1 to 8 hours. Drain chicken, reserving marinade, and cook on grill until almost done. Dip pieces one more time in remaining marinade and cook until juices run clear and inside meat is no longer pink.