Mai-Tai Thai Silk Side Dish
A Complementary to Chef-Me-Not!!! Recipes

Mai-Tai Thai Silk Side Dish

Where the behind-the-scene stories are told.
A side dish to its related recipe created by Coffee Kitchen.

Mai-Tai Thai Silk Side Dish is a category especially designed to complement our Coffee Kitchen whence the famous Chef-Me-Not!!! dishes and recipes are created. Our recipes complete themselves only when the behind-the-scene stories are told. Each story will be a side dish to its related recipe.

Thai Silk

Thai silk is considered to be one of the finest fabrics in the world today. Bearing unique patterns and colors, it is a product of a unique manufacturing process.

After the practice of weaving silk originated in ancient China and India around 2,640 BCE, Chinese merchants introduced it to different regions throughout Asia. Within the ruins of Baan Chiang, the site considered by many to be Southeast Asia's oldest civilization, archaeologists have discovered the first fibers of silk in Thailand, dating back more than 3000 years.

The production of Thai silk begins with the Bombyx mori, a small silk worm that comes from the eggs of a silk moth. For their first year, these worms feast on the leaves of mulberry trees before building cocoons from their spittle. In its original cocoon form raw silk is bumpy and irregular. Thai weavers remove the completed cocoons from the mulberry bushes and soak them in a vat of boiling water to separate the silk thread from the caterpillar inside the cocoon.
Disclaimer: The title to the section "Mai-Tai Thai Silk Side Dish" has absolutely nothing to do with the popular alcoholic beverage, "Mai- Tai," except for the play-on words.
I use "mai" as the English word, "my," and "tai" is whom I call myself and my mother's tongue(Thai). I also take "mai" another step: it literally means "silk." The tagline for Thai Airways International, "Fly Thai; Smooth as Silk" is self- explanatory. Add delicate- as delicate as a Thai- and the uniqueness of each silk fabric, and it all makes Thai silk the finest in the world. I played and combined the words and came up with "Mai-Tai Thai Silk Side Dish" to best describe this complementary section.

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The Bombyx mori usually produces silk threads of varying colors, ranging from light gold to very light green, with lengths varying from 500 to 1,500 yards per cocoon. A single thread filament is too thin to use on its own, so Thai women combine many threads to produce a thicker, usable fiber. They do this by hand-reeling the threads onto a wooden spindle to produce a uniform strand of raw silk. The process is a tedious one, and it takes nearly 40 hours to produce a half kilogram of Thai silk. Many local operations use a reeling machine for this task, but the majority of silk thread is still hand-reeled. The difference is that hand-reeled threads produce three grades of silk: two fine grades that are ideal for lightweight fabrics and a thick grade for heavier material.

The silk fabric is then soaked in hot water and bleached before dyeing in order to remove the natural yellow coloring of Thai silk yarn. To do this, skeins of silk thread are immersed in large tubs of hydrogen peroxide. Once washed and dried, the silk is then woven using a traditional hand operated loom.

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Since traditional Thai silk is hand woven, each silk fabric is unique and cannot be duplicated through commercial means. In contrast, artificial silk is machine woven, meaning that every part of the fabric is identical and has the same color. In addition, Thai silk has a unique lustre, with a sheen that has two unique blends: one color for the warp and another for the weft. Color changes as you hold the Thai silk fabric at varying angles against the light.

Moreover, Thai silk smells like hair when burned, a testament to the natural fiber that comes from the silk worm, which is similar to the fiber of human hair and fingernails. If you move the flame, Thai silk immediately stops burning. On the other hand, artificial silk smells like plastic when burned. Another simple way to identify authentic Thai silk is the "wedding ring" test. When you attempt to pull a yard or two of Thai silk fabric through a wedding ring, it will ease through showing you just how smooth and flexible it is as a fabric. However, the same cannot be said for imitation fabrics as they will crunch up and be very difficult or even impossible to pull through a wedding ring.

In terms of price, Thai silk is usually 10 times more expensive than artificial silk.

Around Food

I was taught in first grade health class that the reason we eat is to survive. As I was growing up, however, my behavior toward "eating," as well as that of others around me, had proven anything but. The answer to why we eat is laid down, as solid as the concrete foundation of the floor of the house. It's a done deal, with no need even to discuss it. There are other concerns, though, such as what kind of flooring should be put down?.

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Should it be wood, carpet, tile or perhaps granite? What color should the walls be painted, and how much is one willing to spend on the paint? What light fixtures will serve both function and aesthetics? We extend ourselves beyond just building a solid house, and we put even more emphasis on decoration, turning our houses into things that please the eye, that we feel we will "fit" right into, and that will especially make us joyful and proud. In some way, then, it seems we have drifted away from the original and basic need of having the house: to have a solid and strong roof to cover our heads from stormy weather and such.

Laab Salad -Lemon chicken&pork. Best served with steamed sticky rice-Chef-Me-Not!! La CoffeeMelodie Suite Laab Salad -Lemon chicken&pork.
Best served with steamed sticky rice
But, in some other ways, we didn't drift away at all. Instead, we maintained the same goal of building a strong house, and we just add a little extra to it. We make it look good by adding flavors to it - to please our senses- and, therefore, it gives us contentment.

Our need for food, then, began as a single reason, and many more reasons to eat have been added. We don't just eat to live, anymore; but, rather, food is one big way to enjoy life.

We carefully pick and choose ingredients for each and every particular dish. We prepare and cook them with a specific look and feel in mind. We taste and fix until the flavor reaches the peak of our taste bud pleasure. Some food is even served at a certain time of the year, indoor or outdoor, and, even to a few select individuals.

-All this, for reasons far beyond simply eating to survive.

"Mai-Tai Thai Silk Side Dish" is a section designed to complement our Coffee Kitchen whence the famous Chef-Me-Not!!! dishes and recipes are created. Our recipes complete themselves only when the behind-the-scene stories are told. Each story will be a side dish to its related recipe.

There's a different story behind every Chef-Me-Not!!! recipe; whether it's eating to survive, just eating, some not-so-secret beginning of certain ingredients, or My Thai story -which is the drive behind Chef-Me-Not!!!

Travel back in time with me to explore "Mai-Tai Thai Silk Side Dish" -A Complement to Chef-Me-Not!!! Recipes.

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Mai Tai Recipe

In this order, pour light rum, creme de almond and triple sec into a collins glass. Using equal parts of sweet and sour mix and pineapple juice, fill the glass nearly to the top. Add dark rum, and serve unstirred with a straw.

For more variations please see this page.
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Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit - La CoffeeMelodie Suite

Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit:

A Thai soprano from head to toe with an attitude of a no-nonsense entrepreneur with innovative ideas and, sometimes, shocking approaches, who fits the phrase "been there, done that" perfectly, and is looking forward to new challenges. A leader, a teacher, a wife, a mother, and, a chef-ME-NOT. All makes a person who turns every situation into a learning experience, and, is super charged with positive energy.

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