A few Saturdays ago Sophia, sitting at the kitchen table drinking morning tea, gestured at the cookbook shelf saying: “Mum, please put that Thai cookbook away. It reminds me of the lovely food that we had at the Chilli Pad in England last month...” And I said: “Well, why don't you have a look through it and see if there's anything you'd fancy making?”
“Is it that easy?” she asked. “Can we get the stuff here?” Sophia has never displayed culinary tendencies – or even interests – before, although left with detailed instructions, she has been known to produce a roast chicken in my absence.
Mili had given me the book, Stylish Thai in Minutes, several Christmases ago, and although I had flipped through it drooling slightly, I had never used it.
She took it down from the shelf and quickly established that we had 'the stuff' for Barbequed Prawns on Lemongrass, “If,” she continued “I can use a griddle and don't have to light the foukou.”
“Yes,” I said. “That is indeed possible.”
So we had prawns on lemongrass skewers (“I am never harvesting lemongrass again!” she harumphed, emerging from our clump with cuts to face and hands from the razor-edged blades) for brunch that day. A few days later, the boys being at school and Best Beloved at work, she produced fried meatballs with a tasty blend of fish sauce, coriander, onion and garlic in addition to minced beef (“These are just Thai keftedes!”) for our midmorning snack. And now that I have found Spring Roll wrappers, I'm sure we are on our way to something else.