We; Connie and my husband Peter, grew up in the Netherlands. Everybody in Holland eats bread. Everybody is raised with at least one meal that includes bread a day, and probably more than one. Breakfast is almost allways served with bread, lunch mostly with bread and sometimes there is bread with dinner too. So, you can say the Dutch eat bread.
When we were young, Connie more than 40 and Peter more than 50 years ago, we ate white factory made bread. But, in the 70- and 80-ties this all changed. We needed to eat healthy and white bread wasn’t good enough anymore. We needed wheat, grains, seeds and more, so they told us. Also the color of bread changed first to light brown and later on to very dark brown bread. Today it is hard to find a plain white factory made bread in Holland.
Thai food is delicious and healthy. We eat at least one Thai meal a day, cooking it ourselves or eating out. But, sometimes we miss dark brown bread with many grains and seeds and a crunchy crumb with a few years old Beemster cheese.
It is possible to buy nice bread in Thailand, but only in big cities. We live more than 170 km from a big city. Some time ago I thought ‘why not bake our own bread?’ We have an oven and we could find some flour. So, I just got started with what was available. The first bread tasted better than the bread we could buy here, but it could improve. I looked on the Internet and discovered great websites on baking Artisan bread with holes inside and crunchy crumb. That’s the bead we wanted. The next step was making my own sourdough. Now, I’m hooked on baking bread. Looks like an attachment, doesn't it?
We like to use local and cheap materials and try to build and make it ourselves. At the moment we are experimenting with making our own cheese. We ordered the necessary ingredients in Holland and started to make our own cheese. The soft cheeses are good, but the hard cheeses are difficult to make. During the day it gets around 30 – 35 degrees in the house. The only way for us to ripen the cheeses is to keep them in the refrigerator. The air in the refrigerator is maybe too dry, so they crack open. Still the taste is good. Soon we have to decide if we will continue our experiment or stop and buy occasionally a cheese in the big city here. Till we visit our family and friends in Holland and bring back some good cheese. We will see.
When, we moved a few years ago from the hectic life to the country life of Thailand, we wanted to live as basically as we could. We have had so many things to which we were attached at the time. We made these things so important in our live. Taking the opportunity to start all over again, we didn’t wanted to attach too much to things.
We are still learning and adjusting. We do attach to some things, but deep inside we know that when the time comes we can leave everything behind us. Till that time we try to pay attention to what we buy and ask ourselves the question: ‘do we need it or do we want it’. For us this makes it easier to make decisions on buying or not. Not having as much money as we used to have, helps too.
When we moved to Thailand, almost five years ago, we started a project to help young Thai girls so they can go to school every day. Have a look at the website: http://www.littlesisters.info/ for more information or questions you can e-mail us.