As promised part two of Bali through my eyes....
Has anyone ever been to a cooking school in another country? What better way to immerse yourself in true and authentic regional food, even learn secret recipes that you wont find in a cookbook. You also get the real essence of the local people.....if you are anything like me, I always have a gazillion questions...
What do you eat...how do you spend your day....what's it like being a kid growing up in Bali?????? I especially find local women fascinating, most have a great sense of humour and like us, never quite have enough time to catch up with housework, always complain about husbands, mother-in-laws and of course worry about their kids.
Whether you are heading to the office for work, meetings throughout the day, then rushing home to prepare dinner.....or like the ladies here in this small village... having to make 100 prayer offerings before 6am, cook the meals for the day and then take a bunch of us out on a rice paddy tour.
Different but yet so similar.
There is nothing like standing in front of chopping boards, aprons on...ready to immerse yourself in all things food. Whether I'm in a cooking school in the hills of Tuscany or a tiny village in Ubud...they speak the same language to my food spirit.
The Lesung Bali was the best find of our trip, learning to cook with heart and lots of smiles. For the tiny amount of $33.00 per person which included all this....
A visit to a market....where the locals shop...
The fruit on the right is called "snake skin fruit" and was a cross between a pear and an apple. Yum!
A rice field tour...4 courses that we prepared and then get to eat and we even had cooking certificates presented to us at the end of the class. We had the best time as you can tell by my smile!
From scratch we made:
Red sauce, yellow sauce, (base for the dishes) Gado-Gado ,The Mother Balinese Sauce, Vegetable Curry, Yellow Rice, Satay Lilit (my favourite), Pepes Ayam (also my favourite) and finally (groan) Kolek (dessert)
If anyone would like any of these recipes....just message me and I will gladly send.
Another special morning was a visit to the Tampak Siring - Holy Springs in east Ubud. It was recommended that we have a guide take us, now normally we wing these things but in this case, I am so glad we didn't. The inside knowledge that you gain is enormous! Our guide was the beautiful Dewi, who also runs Ubud Botany walks and classes. She brought along traditional Balinese costumes for us to be able to gain entry to the very centre of the Holy Temple and the source of the sacred springs.
I chose not to bathe, someone had to take the photos.... but was quite happy to stand and watch the colourful scenes in front of me. There was lots of chatter and a mixture of happiness and contemplation on peoples faces.
The Balinese believe if you have a particular worry or problem in your life, that standing under the water jets and letting them wash over you, helps to clear the mind and take the problem away.
I want one at home!
People come from everywhere to this special place.
We had the special honour of being taken to the prayer area, where I was blessed by the priest, with Dewi next to me, guiding me in what to do. It was so incredibly beautiful......The solemn and peaceful sound of the bell.... the priest chanting.
A balinese family kneeled in front of me with 3 young children who were taking cues from mum and dad and so beautifully dressed in traditional costume.....hair still wet from the springs. Next time I visit....I'll definitely experience the bathing in the springs.
Thank you Dewi for sharing your beautifully spiritual culture with us.
Now the final destination I would recommend, is a visit to the Green Village - an architectural marvel! Click on the link to check out what they have done. But I will leave you with this photo that I snuck in....
How's this for a toilet....bamboo masterpiece.
My final image is probably my favourite and I would like to leave you with this one.
To me it encompasses the softness and gentle nature of the Balinese people and I hope that if you have never been that maybe I might have inspired you to make the journey.....
If you have been.... I am sure the memories have been re-awakened and that you are yearning to visit again.