09 Nov A World of Good Eating . . .
I was cleaning out my cookbook cabinet this morning and found this cool cookbook from 1951 – A World of Good Eating: Recipes from Around the World. I didn’t even know I had it. It must’ve been something that worked its way to me from my mom. There were a few great recipes from China, France, Italy, Germany, and Scandinavia. But nothing from our Pack-n-Go Girls countries of Thailand or Brazil or Austria or Mexico. Luckily, the folks at Multicultural Kids Blogs introduced me to a phenomenal blog for cooking around the world: The Global Table Adventure: Bringing the World to Your Kitchen. Sasha has done a fabulous job of sharing recipes from all over the world. You can choose to look for recipes from different regions and/or countries. I was happy to find all sorts of recipes from our Pack-n-Go Girls countries! I decided to give one a try with my daughter today.
We chose the Thai Pumpkin Custard, or Sankaya. It’s November and pumpkins and squash are everywhere. Plus, the ingredient list was only one ingredient more than my standard of five ingredients for Sunday afternoon cooking experiments. So it was a winner to start. My daughter and I first gathered all the ingredients together. Then she whipped up the custard. She thoroughly enjoyed how easy the recipe was.
The mini pumpkins I bought a week or so ago had already become deer food, but I was able to find a few different types of squash at the market. When it came time to cut the squash, I have to admit that after a few botched attempts, I called my husband over during the Denver Broncos commercial to give it a try. I got ready to do the fun job of cleaning out the seeds when my daughter promptly volunteered. I think she thought this was the most fun part of the cooking experience. She kept scraping and scraping and scraping. “It’s kinda like getting ready to carve a pumpkin,” she said with a wide smile.
After we scraped out all the seeds, we carefully (or maybe not so carefully) poured the custard into the squash. Our custard was a little darker than usual because we used the brown sugar substitute that Sasha suggested if you didn’t have palm sugar (which we didn’t). Then we placed them in a pan to go into the oven. Sasha shared some great tips on what she learned while making this recipe. And we definitely followed her advice.
After an hour, we anxiously checked on our Sankaya. We do live at altitude, so we never know what to expect when we try something new. Opening the oven door, our little experiments smiled back at us; their tops slanted a little off to the side from the custard starting to pop out. After dinner, we visited Thailand with the family. We cut the Sankaya like pieces of pie. My daughter promptly asked if she could have ice cream if she didn’t like it. “Of course,” I replied, “you can have ice cream either way.” My son was definitely not sure about anything made with a squash. They were tentative. Sometimes it’s hard trying something new, tip-toeing into the unknown and the unfamiliar. But their adventurous spirits took hold and they dug in.
We talked about the interesting mix of the tasty coconut and pumpkin-pie flavor. We talked about the pretty presentation in squash “dishes.” We talked about how the the smell reminded us of thanksgiving. We talked (and giggled) about the jiggly, jello-like texture. We talked about the opportunity to try different foods from around the world. And we talked about how some kids may think foods they aren’t familiar with are “strange” or “weird.” In our household, we prefer different. I shared a story from when my husband and I lived in Korea. We were dining in a small restaurant in Uijeongbu. A friend was sampling the kimchi and commented that it was “weird,” to which our Korean friend sitting next to him retorted, “and so is your cheeseburger.” Boom! Ah, to see the world from a different perspective! So, we discussed how food and culture around the world may be different than ours, but it is no more “strange” or “weird” than our food and culture would be to someone from another country. So, that doesn’t really make it strange at all. Just unfamiliar. For now. Until we get familiar with it. We took another bite. And then another bite. We got familiar with Sankaya and a piece of Thai culture. What a fun adventure for us all!
So if if you want to get familiar with Thailand, take a Sunday afternoon trip with us at Pack-n-Go Girls. Check out our Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure in Thailand, Mystery of the Golden Temple. Then, cook up some great Thai recipes from Global Table Adventure. There is a world of good eating and good learning right in your own home!
Thanks to Multicultural Kids Blogs for the opportunity to cook up and write up our world experience with this recipe along with other fellow bloggers cooking the world. And thank you to Sasha at Global Table Adventures for a cool Thai recipe to try. Find the recipe here. I can’t wait to try another!