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Book Review

Book Review: by Lang Reid

Our International Secrets

No, this is not a book of bedtime memoirs from the local ladies, but in fact is a very comprehensive cookbook, put together by the Rayong Ladies Circle, Burapha Ladies Community and Pattaya International Ladies Club.
The concept of the book came from Dolores Wickes Carr, and although Dolores, like many expat wives has since moved on from the Eastern Seaboard, the other ladies in the three organizations could see that it was a project worth pursuing, and Our International Secrets is the result.
The result is a 300+ page book which incorporates an extensive index, plus conversion tables, refrigerator storage times, freezer storage times and even emergency substitutions for those disastrous days when you are half way through cooking and suddenly find you are short of one ingredient! It will even tell you how to make tomato juice from tomato sauce!
With so many top restaurants in Pattaya, the first section of the cookbook has recipes from places such as Casa Pascal with his Andalusian Cold Soup (gazpacho), Jameson’s with their Thai/Irish stew (Thairish, I wonder?), an Indian dish from Indian by Nature (one of Av Khanijou’s special recipes) and even the Moooore Bar’s club sandwich.
After the professionals, there are soups, starters and light meals. Do real men eat quiche? Well, Sue Newton has a recipe for jalapeno quiche with eight ounces of chopped Jalapeno peppers. That should be enough to put hair on the chest of an unsuspecting husband.
Now main courses are also very interesting. Does your husband like beer? (Is the Pope a Catholic?) Does he like hearty meals? Well, how about Ingrid Van Der Heyden’s Belgian Beef Stew with Beer? With one can of dark beer, though Belgian is best, writes Ingrid.
There’s even Easy Fish Fingers from Lisa Sofiar, even though at last count, fish don’t have any fingers, but who cares!
After that, salads and vegetables and desserts. All these have the name of the lady who was willing to divulge her secret, such as Bronwyn Carey who manages to produce a seven layer bean dip! Amazing.
There is an interesting section called Kids in the Kitchen covering everything a kid might want from chocolate milkshakes to Mexican bagels and everything a kid likes in between.
Do you like to bake? There are pages of different breads, including a Rosemary and sea salt focaccia from Paivi Lemstron.
If you like to bake a cake, then Anna Timlin has really gone for the top shelf with what is called the World’s Best Banana Cake. Bake it yourself and see if it is as good as Anna claims!
“Our International Secrets” sells for B. 600 from any of the ladies charity organizations mentioned above, or direct from Kavita Lamba (who kindly supplied the review copy, which she will never get back!). If you are a cook, you need one of these publications. Well worth the money, and the proceeds are donated to the Muu Baan Eire and the Muu Baan Hugh Green housing projects in Rayong, where they are providing homes for needy families. A truly well worthwhile project, you will agree.