It is early morning here in NC, still dark, and I am craving Peanut M&M's!!! For some reason my craving for something crunchy and chocolate brought back memories of EATING in Bali.
You are welcome to join me in a culinary extravaganza !!!
Where it starts is really in the fields, where the produce is grown, but just as fascinating are the street food vendors. They spend very long days in cramped quarters chatting, smiling, probably gossiping the latest news, while hoping someone will purchase their produce. It is its own little microcosm.
Balinese food is teeming with FRAGRANCE, PRESENTATION AND DISTINCT FLAVOR.
In our family we all LOVE to take photos of food before it is consumed with great gusto! (Someone in our family should be a food photographer, it is that big a deal.)
Everything is delicious and beautifully presented. Children are loved and welcomed in the restaurants no matter how messy they are. That is a plus when traveling with Four Little Muggers.
But to move the story along, there was much more than eating Balinese food in a restaurant. When dining at Cafe Wayan we learned that they sponsored COOKING CLASSES out in the countryside no less. Mateo, our son, and I signed up for a day of cooking authentic Balinese food in plein air...in other words, outdoor cooking. This was no American BBQ!!
Mateo and I met at the cafe, were escorted to a large car and driven WAY OUT into the countryside...sparsely populated and a long enough drive, that I actually wondered if we were being kidnapped. That is the truth. I started to get rather suspicious.
Eventually we arrived at a beautiful complex of Balinese architecture, lotus ponds, fields of various crops....but NO people around. A gentleman dressed in white appeared and escorted us to an open air pavilion and left us there. I looked around at the beautiful landscape but could see NO ONE. I have a great imagination and now and then it gets me in trouble. I was really starting to freak out and conjured all sorts of scenarios in my head. And this paranoia I was passing on to Mateo.
Eventually the gentleman brought us beautiful drinks with flowers attached. Okay, my mind wandered again, is there a drug in this beautiful drink? You know like the brilliant red apple in Snow White? I decided to let Mateo drink and I would make sure I was "drinkless" in case I had to get us out! (You didn't know this would be a mystery did you?) SIGH SIGH SIGH, foolish, over wrought woman!! Eventually we were escorted to an outdoor/plein air cooking kitchen equipped with everything beyond IMAGINATION, including two very pleasant, nice looking men.
Embarrassed by my lack of good judgment and paranoia, I finally relaxed and the day was splendid, magnificent, educational and we made two Balinese friends. I will let the photos speak for our Balinese Culinary Adventure. Maybe if you have an over active imagination like mine you will be able to smell the delicious aromas of fresh EVERYTHING!! and this includes all spices and condiments freshly ground in an old stone mortar.
|The 'notorious' drink I pretended to drink!|
|Mateo should be a chef, he has the right pose don't you think? Believe me those knives were sharp!|
|All spices are hand ground. It was really hard work. Such wimps, Mateo and I took turns grinding the spices into a paste.|
|Our delightful host and instructor....preparing everything to our own taste.|
And that my dear friends is a photographic journey into Balinese cooking!
Now I am pretty sure my husband has HIDDEN a sack of Peanut M&M's somewhere...