During this time of year the rice ripens and all other life gets put on hold till the harvest is brought in.
Once it is finished there is much rejoicing.
This day was special because we were invited to help harvest at Mae Maay's field and her two adult children were going to be there too. They both wanted to be baptized. So we had a fun time helping gather in the grain then we changed tools (from a sickle to a guitar) and held a meeting.
We prayed for them as they decided to follow Jesus.
Then we ate together.
Here's a recipe for Tom Yum Plaa (spicy soup with fish)
6 cups chicken stock
Sliced fish fillet
1 stalk minced lemongrass
2 kaffir lime leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. galangal sliced
1-2 sliced red chilies
1/4 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium tomato quartered
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. natural sugar
1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
1/4 cup green onions roughly chopped
Pour stock plus lemongrass and lime leaves in a deep soup pot over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil.
Add garlic, galangal/ginger, chili, and mushrooms.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer 2-3 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.
Add the fish and tomato. Simmer over medium heat 3-4 minutes
Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot (do not boil at this point). Taste-test the soup for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce instead of salt (I usually add 1 more Tbsp.), or more chili as desired. If too sour, add more sugar. If too spicy for your taste or if you'd like it creamier, add more coconut milk. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice. For an extra hit of flavor, you can also add some Thai chili sauce or tom yum paste.
Serve in bowls with fresh coriander and green onion sprinkled over.
If you can't find lemongrass: try 3 slices fresh lemon (boil in the soup)
Instead of kaffir lime leaves: 1/2 tsp. lime zest
For chili: 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper OR dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
If you don't like the smell of fish sauce: 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce + 1 Tbsp. regular soy sauce