Today the alarm went off at 5:45am, and I got to take part in that oh-so-indulgent holiday ritual of turning it off and returning to sleep. I love these Monday holidays in Thailand that sneak up on us unassuming expats.
It was a rainy Monday off, in honor of Mother's Day and the birthday of the Queen of Thailand.
The extra day gave me a chance to break into the first delivery from Raitong Organics, a new group in Bangkok that offers an organic CSA. The mysterious-looking box came early on Saturday, containing the following goodies.
A big bunch of basil and Asian pennywort (the only item that I'm still puzzling over how to use),
Dragonfruit, green chills, loads of passionfruit (put to quick use in the drink you see at the top of this post), and finger bananas (these were extraordinarily delicious),
loads of spinach and a variety of lettuce,
dill, Chinese celery, and spring onions.
I couldn't be happier with the haul of organic goods. It's a nice mix of things that we use every week (basil for all kinds of things, celery for tuna or chickpea salad, and spring onions for laab gai that Frank plans to make tomorrow) and things that will serve as dinner inspiration. I'm thinking that most of those greens will likely be used for a variation on Spinach with White Beans and Pine Nuts and even the pennywort might be good thrown into a stir-fry. Anyone out there ever cooked with Asian pennywort???
Most fun out of the box were the passionfruit that I mixed with simple syrup and sparkling water this morning on a whim. The result was fizzy, tangy, and smelled like sunshine.
"Spritzer" is a girly name for a drink that packs a big punch, but this easy drink may be one of my all time favorites. Don't worry if you can't find fresh passionfruit - bottled passionfruit juice would be a perfectly fine substitute.
We get a weekly delivery of fruits and vegetables from Raitong Organics, here in Bangkok. Here's more of what we've Cooked from our CSA.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup passionfruit juice (if using fresh passionfruit, see note below)
- 2 cans of seltzer or sparkling water
- Make simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small pan over medium-high heat. Heat just until the sugar dissolves completely. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Divide the passionfruit juice, sparkling water, and simple syrup between 4 glasses. Top with ice and serve.
This is Katie from your former life at JMU CSL. I am now living in BKK and know just what you can do with the pennywort. The Burmese make an excellent salad with it.
I can't wait to try to spritzer:)
Katie! That's awesome - thanks so much for the tip!
Claire @ Claire K Creations
I think I can smell the passionfruit through the computer screen. It really does scream summer and freshness doesn't it?
How exciting to have a 'mystery box' of goodies.
Claire - it really does. Your recent baking with passionfruit totally inspired me! I think a baking project will be on tap for the next batch of this fruit I recieve.
What fun to see a CSA in SE Asia! We are currently writing a cookbook to support a cooking school in Cambodia (and traveled there in August). We certainly don't get dragonfruit in our CSA's in Indiana!
Alex - I read about the cooking school you guys are supporting in Cambodia! Such an amazing project - can't wait to see the cookbook!
this sounds amazing, I do love a spritzer...can you believe I saw passionfruit at my local store in Michigan?!
Cindy - I'm completely impressed! Last time I was home in Kansas I went to the local Asian market and they had nearly everything I needed to make most of my favorite Thai dishes. Props to the global the Midwest! 😉
Wow, that is definitely not the CSA box we'd get in Sweden! Passion fruit? Dragon fruit? Amazing!