Taking a cooking class was on my list for things I wanted to do in Chiang Mai. Mike and the kids were not so keen, so I thought that it would be something that I would enjoy by myself. But then our friends from A King’s Life asked if our family was interested in going with them and the family from Living Outside the Box to an organic cooking class.
We hummed and hawed about it. I really did not want to bring along the kids and have them be totally bored. I wanted to enjoy cooking and eating in peace! But the fact that the other two families were bringing their kids sealed the deal and we organized to meet up in the Chiang Mai’s old city for a pick up at 8:30 am…..had to set the alarm that day!
Our friends had chosen to go to Sammy’s Organic Cooking School. I really knew nothing about it and had no part in the decision making. Turns out the school is quite far out of town on a beautiful organic farm amongst the rice fields. The setting was stunning. There was no traffic, no noise except for our happy children, and it was a welcome relief to the busy city life of Chiang Mai.
Sammy grows much of the ingredients he uses in his classes right on his farm. We got tour around his garden, picking, smelling, and tasting the herbs.
He showed the children how peanuts grow and what they look like when they are fresh.
We saw rice stalks that had been harvested a few days prior and my boys got to peel back the husk to reveal the rice grain underneath.
The kitchen set up was first class. We each had our own cooking station with views of the garden and rice fields.
The children came and went as they pleased. Sometimes they helped in the kitchen….
Sometimes they played and coloured at the table we set up for them…
Sometimes they played in the hammocks….
Most of the day we hardly even knew they were there! We let them free range and I must give kudos to Sammy and his wife for being so amazing and caring with our children.
Half way through the day we had a break from cooking and eating and the adults got to have a turn in the hammocks with our VERY full bellies!
We cooked five dishes each throughout the day. Each time we cooked we had a choice of three separate dishes. Since we were all friends we also got to sample each others culinary delights so in total we learned about and ate fifteen different dishes throughout the day!
Adding chilli was optional so Mike and I made all of our dishes without the spice so that our kids would be more inclined to like them. I was shocked when Lan fell in love with the green curry and scoffed down almost a whole bowl full!
I highly recommend Sammy’s Organic Cooking School for families or for anyone who is visiting Chiang Mai. Sammy and his wife spoke excellent English, were so great with the kids, had dozens of suggestions for easy ingredient substitutions for cooking Thai food back home, and the setting amongst the rice fields made this the perfect escape from Chiang Mai.