Today was one of those days where, somehow, everything fell into place. In my life before Thailand, such a day could slip by without me giving it a minute of appreciation. Here, in Bangkok, where a simple task that should take an hour can take three or four (or not even get accomplished at all), a day where everything comes together deserves recognition.
It started very early this morning where, exhausted and sweaty in the 100 degree heat of the yoga studio, something finally clicked and I found myself in a forearm stand. The moment I realized that I was balancing upside-down in a manner that I am usually too scared to attempt, I nearly broke the calm of the studio to let out a celebratory HOOT. It was only a few seconds, and my legs were back on the floor, but it was a joyous start to the day, nonetheless. (We’ll see what happens when I try to recreate it tomorrow.)
My spirits were further boosted when I ran into the lady from my local salon and managed to eek out an entire spontaneous conversation in which we both understood eachother. Before you are too impressed with this feat of my Thai language skills, let me be clear that it was world’s simplest exchange:
Me: How are you?
Her: Good, how are you?
Me: Good! Hot weather today, right? (In Bangkok, hot weather and bad traffic are universally appreciated conversation topics.)
Her: Really really hot!
Me: Okay, bye!
I felt so triumphant I nearly skipped home. (Have I mentioned how much tricky I’m finding this whole Thai “thing”?)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with the butter.
Cut the roots off the bottom of the scallions and enough of the tops of the scallions off so that they will fit comfortably in the pan (they need to be a bit less than 13 inches long). Arrange half of the scallions in the baking dish so the bulb ends are lined up at one end and the greens are toward the middle. Place the other half of the scallions in the opposite direction.
Add the water to the dish. Sprinkle the parsley over the top of the scallions and generously season with salt and pepper. Cover the dish tightly with foil, and slide onto the middle rack in the oven. Braise, covered, until fragrant and tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
After the scallions are tender, remove the foil from the top of the dish, and increase the oven heat to 450 degrees. Roast the scallions for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the scallions with thongs to prevent them from browning too much on one side. Continue roasting until the liquid evaporates and the tops of the scallions are crispy and brown, 10-15 minutes more. Remove scallions from the oven and, using a very sharp knife, slice them into 2-inch pieces.
Squeeze juice from the half lemon over the top of the scallions, and serve immediately.