On the streets of Bangkok, we can buy a little snack wrapped in a banana leaf for 3 or 4 baht. When we pass the vendor, we usually buy a few.
My husband decided that he wanted to learn to make this dessert called “Khoaw Thom Mat,” which is a banana wrapped in sticky coconut rice and steamed in banana leaves. At the time, our Thai tutor’s mother made them regularly, so we were off on an adventure one Saturday morning.
After traveling an hour or so, we arrived in a little village where people buy necessities by boat. Before we knew it, we were on a long-tailed boat going to buy a spice we would need to flavor our dish.
Upon return, the process began. We started by cutting the coconut to extract the milk. We were to shred coconut on an old-time coconut shredder which we were told to straddle in order to accomplish the task.
Afterwards, we began squeezing the coconut to extract the kind of milk needed for the rice. We soaked the rice and prepared the banana leaves. When the rice was steamed and ready to go, we were to wrap the leaves and fold them just so. We never passed the folding test, but watched many hands press rice, place the banana, roll, wrap, fold, and tie.
Finally, the small bundles were ready to steam.
When we arrived back home late that Saturday night, we had a new appreciation for Khoaw Thom Mat. In fact, when we now see ladies selling it, we give them an extra baht or two in appreciation for their efforts in making this not so simple treat.
What things in life do you see as simple to some and not so for others?