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archive for September 23rd, 2010

where’s the cake?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Recipe: thai chicken coconut soup (tom kah kai)

People have been asking me all day who is baking the cake. They mean my birthday cake. Um… no one. I don’t have time for cake let alone a birthday because I’m hitting the road tomorrow and I have a to do list long enough to beat out a double roll of Charmin. Jeremy and I have birthdays fairly close together such that we agree to celebrate at a later, more convenient date. Probably in October. September is just insane for both of us. We’re cool with it.

pretty sure kaweah would have liked some cake

I do want to thank all of you for your sweet birthday tweets and Facebookings. It was a special day, because every day is special! So I’ll just share some of what made it all so nice:

not a full double rainbow, but i’ll take it!

grilled ono for dinner

new member of my apple family

The weather has turned from summer to autumn here. Today. Like a switch. I love it! In between all of the frantic work piling up, I spied fresh snow on the local mountains, I got to see my friend Kath, the UPS delivery dude arrived EARLY instead of the typical 5:00 pm (now THAT is a birthday present on a signature-required package), and the very best part of the day? Getting an impromptu ice cream cone with Jeremy. So you see, a very good day – birthday or no. Cake can wait and yeah, *I’ll* be the one baking it :)

Remember that little cold I caught in Seattle? There’s nothing like being sick to make you appreciate being healthy. I kicked that one pretty handily, but being well again seems to heighten my appreciation for the fall colors, the change in the weather, the crisp chill on the air. I’m giddy with excitement just thinking about snow. Okay, but back to being sick… As soon as I got home from Seattle, I bought an organic chicken and made some homemade chicken broth. I swear by it. My mom used to make it for me whenever I got sick as a kid and it made me feel so good. This time, I recovered quickly enough that I still had some chicken broth left and found myself in the mood for some spicy, tangy, luscious soup to jettison that last bit of crud in my chest.

homemade chicken broth, fish sauce, coconut milk

chicken, straw mushrooms, cilantro, lime, kaffir lime leaves, galanga, thai bird chiles, lemon grass

Yes yes yes. Tom kah kai – Thai chicken coconut soup. I was just about to type that it is one of my favorite soups, but I actually love all manner of soups – especially with the cooldown in the weather. As long as you can find the ingredients, it is ridiculously simple to prepare. Kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and lemon grass are probably the toughest ones to find. You can always make substitutions like ginger for galangal, but the difference is striking. Galangal is more floral, delicate.

pour the broth and coconut milk in with the aromatics

**Jump for more butter**