Friday 22nd of December 2023 and it was nice to come back to Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym for yoga and 10 rounds with The Red Devil (ปีศาจแดง ก.กุมานนท์) I arrived to Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym quarter past 9. It was easy to get a taxi today and light traffic so it was quick to get here.
One hour yoga and it was very nice. 10 rounds with The Red Devil (ปีศาจแดง ก.กุมานนท์) was nice as well and I was soon in a taxi going back home.
Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym
I got my food yesterday and it turned out that I had ordered salmon sauce instead of smoked salmon. And I had forgot to order the Christmas Cheese so I went sopping after my shower.
And I found the Christmas Cheese, well, Christmas Cheese, it is a round like a ball cheese with red cover. Normal Edamer cheese and I cannot say that I like it very much, but as it is Christmas.
I bought the cheese and I left to look for a rugged phone.
I bought a Dorland Aloha 5G but there was something wrong with this phone and I sent it back to China yesterday. It was a very nice phone, but there was very poor network connection so it was unusable.
This adventure set me back by 150 US Dollars, import tax and DHL to send it back to China. And they will return my money, but I have still lost 150 US Dollars.
And I really need a rugged phone for my bird watching adventures. Leaving the mall and I was soon realizing that it would be impossible to get a taxi.
Bumper to bumper traffic and the traffic was at a full stop. I walk toward Sukhumvit Soi 23 looking for a taxi and I pass a steak house. I went inside to have some Brazilian BBQ.
I take a seat and I ask for Earl Grey tea and the BBQ. The restaurant is full after about 30 minutes, and I stopped worried about old meat. A lot of customers and they will get new meat every day. I had some corn salad with the BBQ.
I left the restaurant, a little bit disappointed. There used to be two of them next to each other’s, at least I remember it like that. And it was good back then, but today, well, some of the meat was good. But I will not bother to come back.
I walked to Sukhumvit Soi 23 and I took a motorcycle taxi home from there.
Sunday 24th of December 2023 and my alarm goes off at 4 o'clock and I start to make Ris à la Malta while enjoying my morning tea. The Ris à la Malta will have to cool down for several hours so I can add the whipped cream.
I will make mango sauce for the Ris à la Malta and I am drooling in anticipation already.
Making Ris à la Malta
Ris à la Malta
Risalamande (Danish pronunciation: [ˌri:salaˈmɑŋ] also spelled as ris à l'amande) is a traditional Danish dessert served at Christmas dinner and julefrokost (Christmas lunch). It is made of rice pudding mixed with whipped cream, sugar, vanilla, and chopped almonds. It is served cold with either warm or cold cherry sauce (kirsebærsovs).
The name is based on French riz à l'amande meaning 'rice with almonds', although the dessert has a Danish origin. Today risalamande is the spelling authorized by the Danish Language Council.
Risalamande was clearly inspired by the classical French dessert of riz à l'impératrice (empress rice) which is more solid, shaped in moulds and decorated with raspberry jelly.
Risalamande was created in the late 19th century. It gained popularity when rice pudding became more common. Until then rice pudding had been an exclusive dish, requiring two expensive, imported ingredients: almonds and cinnamon.
After World War II, risalamande experienced an increase in popularity, being touted as a "savings" dessert: adding whipped cream (which was easily available) to the still fairly expensive rice would make the rice last longer. In order to minimize costs, risalamande was frequently made without almonds during this time.
Use in Christmas tradition
Simple rice pudding (risengrød) can be served all year in Denmark, but is also often seen as a Christmas dish. It is served hot and topped with cinnamon and butter, often along with malt beer (hvidtøl).
Some families make a large batch of rice pudding for dinner on December 23 (lillejuleaften meaning 'Little Christmas Eve') and keep a part of it for preparing risalamande as a dessert after the big Christmas dinner. Others eat hot rice pudding as part of the Christmas dinner, usually as a starter and more rarely as a dessert. This is often regarded as an older tradition than the risalamande.
According to tradition, hot rice pudding is also the dish eaten by nisser, the Christmas elfs, which is common in other Nordic countries too. As such, children may put out a bowl of rice pudding, and if eaten (possibly by a cat, or more often, the parents), it will demonstrate the existence of the nisse. This usage is derived from the ancient belief in house spirits.
On Christmas Eve, a whole almond is added to the dessert, and the person who finds it wins a small prize such as a marzipan pig, a chocolate heart or a small board game.
The finder may conceal their discovery as long as possible, so that the rest of the partygoers are forced to eat the entire dish of risalamande, even after they have already devoured a large Christmas dinner.
A bowl of rice pudding.a
By Malene Thyssen - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34576
In Sweden, Finland, and Norway
In Sweden, this dish is called ris à la Malta, which is a corruption of the Danish name. Typically it is made of chilled leftover rice pudding, whipped cream, sugar and vanilla, with or without almonds. By tradition, the person finding a hidden almond in the dessert is expected to get married before the next Christmas. A variety containing diced oranges is called apelsinris.
The dish is mostly served with either a smooth cordial, jam or semi-thawed frozen berries.
In Finland, this dish is called Maltan riisi, typically it is made of chilled leftover rice pudding, whipped cream, sugar and vanilla, with or without almonds. By tradition, the person finding a hidden almond in the dessert is very lucky whole year. In Finland, it can be served with puree made of raspberry (or even lingonberry) or raisin compote.
Norwegians have a similar dish called riskrem 'rice cream' and, as in Denmark, the person finding a hidden almond in the dessert wins a mandelgave (almond present) in the form of a marzipan pig or the like. The dessert may contain almonds for flavour, but mostly chopped on top as decoration.
In Norway, the sauce is also normally made of raspberry (or even strawberry) rather than cherry.
Another things that will take long time to make is the Brunkål and I got started with this while the rice was cooling down. I had placed an additional order from Villa Market this morning, but I forgot one ingredient for the Brunkål.
So, I added this to my order and it will be delivered between 11 and 12 o'clock. So I will prepare the meatballs while waiting. I will also make my salmon/ salad sauce and I will mix in the sauce I bought.
Should have been smoked salmon but I got the sauce instead. And to mix in a wee bit of “bought” sauce will not improve my home-made thing.
But it will hopefully not spoil my own sauce.
And I will have to make mango sauce for the Ris à la Malta so it will be a busy morning and afternoon. Now we have to hope that they finish the food in the evening.
Making mango sauce for the Ris à la Malta
I brought out the ham when the salmon sauce was ready and put in a bottle. I think to start with the meatballs, but maybe better to wait until I get assistance as it is very boring.
Well, I started to roll the meatballs to alleviate the boredom waiting. I will start the cooking at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
I still wait for the last ingredient for the Brunkål and when this arrives I will start doing the Brunkål. And during this time I will do the meatballs. There will be a little bit to do with the salmon and assistance will be required.
Den jävla jul osten
I got help with the meatballs at 3 o'clock. This was very nice, but before starting with the meatballs he had to have some refreshments. And I started with the Brunål while my friend did the prinskorv and meatballs.
The Brunål is pretty much self-going, just a stir every now and then.
I took the opportunity to whip the cream for the Ris à la Malta while giving the Brunål a stir every now and then while completing the Ris à la Malta.
Welcome with the help to make meatballs
Welcome with the help to make meatballs
Brunål is about to be ready
Welcome with the help to make meatballs
Our heroes in the kitchen
My friend sent me an SMS saying that he would be 15 minutes late so we will have to cook the food for 15 minutes extra. My friend arrived 15 minutes after 5 o'clock and we could bring the food to the table.
Too much food, but the food tasted good. We were all full and now it was time for the Ris à la Malta. I felt very bad after the Ris à la Malta eating way too much.
Not so much left overs, but enough for me to have to eat Christmas food for days to come.
So Christmas food until New Years Ever when I am booked for a New Year dinner with my friend in Chiang Rai. And I will kick off the new year 2024 with bird watching in Chiang Rai.
Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym will close on the 29th of December for the New Year. So, I cannot miss any session until then in order to try to burn of some of the Christmas calories. So, I will go to see The Red Devil (ปีศาจแดง ก.กุมานนท์) every day until I fly to spend the New Year in Chiang Rai.
My Yoga Teacher is not feeling well so it will not be any yoga until Wednesday at earliest. And I need to do as much exercise as possible before New Year's Eve as it looks to be a lot of good stuff on the menu.
I am booked for the M𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡é – 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫'𝐬 𝐄𝐯𝐞 𝐂𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 at Favola Restaurant at Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort and it looks like there will be a bit of eating. But I will aim for the healthy stuff only.
And will I manage to stay awake for the fireworks at midnight?
As I am used to go to bed around 8 o'clock I doubt that I will be awake at midnight. And As I have planned for some bird watching on the 1st of January, I might go to bed early in order to get up early. And how fun is firework?
Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym will be closed on Friday and they open on the 4th of January 2024 after the New Year. So, Thursday and I did my last yoga session and 10 rounds with The Red Devil (ปีศาจแดง ก.กุมานนท์) and it is one week with no exercise.
Last day at Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym before the New Year
Sunday 31st of December 2023 and I wake up at 5 o'clock. I had obviously just turned off my alarm when it went off at 4 o'clock. I started to get a cold yesterday and it was very hard do fall asleep.
I got out in the kitchen and my friend had started to prepare the breakfast. The car from AOT will pick us up at 7 o'clock so we have plenty time.
Cheese omelet and bacon
We put on the kettle while we were frying the bacon. We put the bacon on a plate and my friend did his omelet using 4 eggs, a little onion and cheese.
I only used three eggs for my omelet. Our breakfast tasted very good and my friend cleaned up the kitchen while I had my shower. I told him not to do it, I take care of it myself. But it was done when I came back from the shower.
We left a few minutes after 7 and we made it to Suvarnabhumi International in 30 minutes. Almost no traffic and we were hauling arse.
When we booked our tickets on Thai Airways web page it was Thai Airways flight TG2130 to Chiang Rai. Operated by Thai Smile and they had flight number WE 130.
No check-in desks, only kiosks and two girls helped us and we had checked-in in a jiff.
2 hours and thirty minutes until departure and we go to the lounge
Thai Airways domestic lounge
We stop to buy some things for my cold and we continue to the lounge. I grab two bottles of water to get my Tiffys and C-vitamin/ zinc powder. We had about 90 minutes to kill before it is time for boarding and time was really not passing very quickly.
I felt good, except for a little bit runny nose. But it was not bad. We left the lounge 15 minutes before boarding time and we walked towards gate B3. We passed security and we were soon at gate B3.
I was surprised when I discovered all the people at the gate. I had not expected and empty flight, but now it looked to be full judging from all the people waiting at the gate.
New Year's Eve and you expect people to stay home celebrating. We were not surprised by the fact that boarding did not start in time. But it was not bad, only 10 minutes late.
Boarding Thai Smile flight WE 130
Boarding Thai Smile flight WE 130
Boarding Thai Smile flight WE 130
In our seats
We take off in time and we have a nice flight and time is passing quite quickly. They serve some mango cake during the flight and I gave my to my friend. He did not want it so I had to eat it and it was not bad.
We land in time and as we did not check-in any luggage, we could go straight to the taxi stand. 200 Baht to go to the hotel so it was no scam they were running. Everything looked to be running very well at Mae Fah Luang International Airport.
They found Rinlada House (บ้านรินลดา) on the map and we were soon on our way. We will make a stop at 7 Eleven for milk and tea four my room. Nice to have some tea when I wake up early morning in my room.
We will rent this driver for full days, 2500 Baht per day when we are out looking for birds. We also agreed that he will come to pick us up tonight to take us to the Le Marche - New Year's Eve Celebration at the Favola Restaurant at Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort tonight.
He will also bring us back so no need to worry about getting a taxi when we want to go home.
So, we were happy when we got out of the taxi, at least for a little while. Our rooms were not ready so we put our bags in our rooms and we went to look for a restaurant and a foot massage.
Food massage while waiting fo rour rooms to be ready
We had tea and lunch before going to the foot massage and our rooms was ready when we were back at the hotel just before 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
I make a cup of tea first thing coming in to my room and my friend go for a shower. And we are preparing for tonight, I am a wee bit scared that there will be a little bit too much eating.
Our Driver arrived before 8 o'clock and we left the hotel 10 minutes or so before 8 o'clock. We stopped to buy water and some medicine against common cold. I was feeling OK, but the nose is still a wee bit runny.
The driver dropped us at the hotel and we will call him when we are going back home again.
Arriving to the Le Marche - New Year's Eve Celebration
It was a little bit of walking to get to the river side restaurant from the reception. We managed to find the restaurant and we got out inside table sitting in a sofa.
We wanted to sit inside as we expected it to be cold, and of course, there is a lot of noise from the music. So we decided to book an indoor table.
I got a pot of tea, well, it was a cup of tea in a very small pot and my friend ordered a glass of red wine.
There were two screens counting down to midnight, one on each side of the stage. It was showing a little moew than 3 hours when we sat down.
We have a view of the stage
We have a view of the stage
I started to go look for the breadand there was a station with a girl making crepes and there was a basked with bread, delicious looking bread and I pulled out one bread and put on my plate.
Instant disappointment, it was not fresh, a 5-star restaurant and I was expected fresh bread. I normally test the bread by knocking on the bread with the knife, very easy to see if it is freshly baked bread.
This was not fresh, maybe early morning or from yesterday. I asked for butter and they told me it was inside. I filled up the rest of my plate with sausages and a steak from the BBQ.
The food was excellent but I was still very disappointed with the bread. I asked one of the Waiters to bring the bread to the kitchen to put it in the wood fired oven. I had seen the oven when I was looking for butter.
And I asked for the butter and I was told that it was outside.
- But they told me it was inside when I asked at the bread station.
- I will get butter for you
He came back with one pack of butter, you know the pack they use on airlines. And I was really disappointed. The main attraction for me was the bread, butter and crepes. And of course, the creamed spinach and cauliflower gratain. Chocolate mousse, all these items were on the menu they sent to me and this was the items that made me decide for this dinner.
Of course, without the BBQ meat I would not have choose this place. And my Expectations was really high as I thought it was Marriot. The buffet at Marriot in Bangkok is the best ever buffet I have been to.
I don't know how I got this to Marriot, it turned out to be Le Meridie, and this would turn out to be a huge difference comparing to Marriot.
I asked for more butter and I was brought more airplane packages and my bread came back. Now the outside was crispy like a fresh baked bread. I removed the stale bread keeping the crispy outside and this was actually quite good. Not what I had expected, but the crispy outside was OK.
Chocolate mousse was on the menu and I went to have a look. I found the chocolate mousee and I was looking for the whipped cream. No whipped cream to be found, and whipped cream is usually served from a swimming pool when you go to 5 star restaurants.
I asked for whipped cream and they would arrange some whipping cream. I was there 3 or 4 times asking but there was never any whipping cream. The whole 5-star experience was now going down to 2 stars.
No fresh bread and butter and it went instantly from 5 to 3 stars.
No whipping cream
The stage area
But the meat and creamed spinach was very good. And my friend liked the spinach as well. My friend was disappointed that they were serving sushi but not having sake. And I agreed with him, if they serve sushi they should have sake.
I had two plates of food and I finished my meal with a plate of crepes and they were good even though there was no whipping cream.
I am used to go to bed between 8 and 9 o'clock in the evening so I was really tired and the countdown showed 90 minutes to New Year. My friend was drinking wine and I was drinking tea.
We tried out the New Year bombs to try to kill some time to wait for midnight.
Time turned quite quick and it was soon midnight. I would have been in bed since long if it would not have been for my friend wanting to stay.
We left after having watched the fire work for a couple of minutes. My friend has told the driver to pick us up at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning as he had expected us to be back home late. This was a good move.
And it was a very good move to have our driver to come pick us up at Le Meridien also or it would have been hard to find a taxi to go back to the hotel.
Well, click HERE to find out if we see any birds tomorrow.
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)
noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.
So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!
Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas
Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!
Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!
Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra
Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!