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  • chrissy532

I’m Back!

I apologize for my extended absence, but I have just returned from an incredible trip to Asia with the fam. We started the trip in Myanmar at a place called Inle Lake.

The lake is the lifeblood of this area with fishing villages built on stilts along the lake’s perimeter and even gardens created on the surface of the lake.  These Floating Gardens are truly an incredible feat of engineering, using only what the lake provides – thatching together bamboo mats to hold the dirt and seaweed fertilizer (gathered by fishermen) and a native plant called water hyacinth that has a styrofoam-like core that provides the buoyancy.  Tomatoes are the main crop grown on the floating gardens and once harvested they are taken to warehouses where they are sorted.

We also wandered through the main market in town, which never fails to fascinate me.

I knew I was far from home (and the board of health) when I saw this poultry stand with all the meat sitting out in the open in 90°F heat!!

Here is a typical sampling of lunch and dinner items – a lot of vegetables with peanuts, sesame seeds, and peanut oil, the meats cooked in mild curries.

After 5 days in Myanmar, we headed to Bhutan – 2 days and 4 flights later that is.  Bhutan sits in the eastern foothills of the Himalayas, has a population of only 700,000, and only allows in about 20,000 tourists a year.  Each hike we went on lead up to a monastery, nestled into the mountainside, the most incredible of which is called the Tiger’s Nest.

Although the Bhutanese are not known for their cuisine, the star being a chili and cheese stew, the market in the capital Thiumpu was the most organized and civilized I have ever seen.

I had to get some red rice, grown in the Paro valley of Bhutan, it is extremely rich in potassium and magnesium and well as having many other vitamins and minerals.

Our last stop was Shanghai where we made sure to fill our Dim Sum quota.  Our guide picked the first place, an extremely popular local spot that has a huge line all day every day – the welcome sign could use some help in translation but I think everyone gets the point.

My favorite find in Shanghai was a small bakery that is one of the most popular, with locations all over the city…who would have thought a Chinese bakery would be named Christine!

Stay tuned for some dishes inspired by the trip!!  They are in the works:)

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