Friday, 24 August 2007

Mook's old kitchen or Samui tradition, part 1

Mook is my wife's niece.

Mook's Mum is a sister of my wife's Grand Mother.

Now what's so interesting about this? Well, Mook's been living not too far away from our house, maybe 500 or 600 meters and our respective children play a lot together.
The house that Mook's living in, with her Mum, husband and her two children is about to be torn down. According to her Mum, it's about 100 years old and my wife kept telling me that I have to go and get some pictures from their kitchen, since it's an old one, she kept saying.

Today was the day and pictures where taken! Actually, so many pix were taken that I'll have to split this story up in two or three parts. But the pictures are sooooo good. Have a look below, there's some old style Samui tradition to be found in here!

This is an overview of said kitchen. As you can notice, all utensils are on the floor. Everything is prepared and cooked whilst sitting on the floor, a slightly different concept to our modern Western kitchen!

In this picture, on the left, behind the bright white cloth, there's a Durian fruit (one of my favorite fruits). At the top left of the picture, one can see a gas run cooker, next to it, two coal cookers and on the right, an very rare sample of an old style cooker, of which I took a few pix and will show you later.

A lot of things are also hanging from the ceiling and fruits, veggies and other kitchen utensils are kept there.

Same kitchen, different view. On the wall slightly left from the centre, lids for pans are kept and there's a window.

The bottom consists of wooden panels, with space in between them. The the whole house is build on stilts, so all the natural 'garbage' is 'dumped' between the wooden panels and used as chicken food.

This is a very rare old style stove. Coals are placed between the three protruding parts, a pan on top of it and off you go, cook away.

The pot in front, with the matches on top, is used to put the hot coals in, after you complete the cooking, so they can cool off in there. The big spoon like tool is used for that.

My wife has never before seen one like this on Samui. It's very rare and also very old! Amazingly, it still can be used.

Above the old stove, are these baskets that can hold coconuts. The baskets are above the stove, so the smoke of the cooking fire, makes the coconuts stronger. A common sight in old style Samui kitchens.

As you may (or not), but Samui used to be the coconut supplier for pretty much all of Thailand, until a good 20 years ago, when tourism started to take over.

Here's Mook's Mum demonstrating how she (used to) cook(s) on one of the coal stoves.

My wife still uses one of these as well. Typically when she cooks fish, outside of the house, so the whole house doesn't smell like fish.

The old style stove with a pan on it, almost 40 or so years back in time.

Next to the window are a couple of buckets of water. These old Samui houses don't have running water installed and water is hauled into the kitchen, to cook and clean. The water buckets are covered by lids to prevent mosquito's laying their eggs in the water.

The small cup is used to drink water from the bucket.

A trip down memory lane. As in good Thai style, there's pictures from loved ones on the wall, since Mum's getting close to a respective age, the pictures are a peek into the past and each has it's own story. On the left is a collection of Mum's friends when she was at school.

A very rare portrait of the King, that had to deal with the time changes.

The good old ironing machine, demonstrated by Mook's Mum. On the bottom hot colas were inserted and off you went.

It was really nice to see how proud Mook's Mum was and she was very eager to show me all the things in her kitchen.

I do hope you enjoyed these pictures and the story, which will be continued with more pix fairly soon.

First we're is off to Donsak for two days, the small city where the ferry arrives on the mainland, for the wedding of my wife's best friend.

On Monday we'll proceed to Phuket for a short break and we'll be back on Samui by Friday evening. Next week's reports will be coming from the mainland, but as long as I have internet access, I'll be able to post and show you our pix.

I'd love to hear from you out there, so please feel free to post comments on my posts, by clicking on the comments button.



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