Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Thais that Bind

The summer is drawing to a close... well, at least here at work it is, since our view of the seasons is skewed by the academic calendar. Phoenix and Mr. Nice Guy are both off next week, back for one more, and then off another week before the semester starts at the end of the month.

And how best to say "thank you" to them for their hard work and their cheerful company this summer than to take them out to dinner?

We had originally planned on a longer field trip to the Big City for Moroccan food, but yesterday morning I discovered I was waaaaaaaaay too tired to be out late last night, and Phoenix didn't think her back was up to the longer drive, so we decided on our fallback position of dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant, located in a little village about 30-40 minutes away (taking country roads all the way there).

After a peaceful journey past fields of tasselled corn and bushy beans, we wet our whistles with tall glasses of Thai iced tea laced with cream (always a favorite) and appeased our hunger with a shared appetizer of fried tofu with a light sweet-hot dipping sauce.

For our main course, the lovely Phoenix chose a Thai stir-fry with tofu and lots of vegetables; Mr. Nice Guy opted for a plate piled high with pad thai; and, torn between two spicy options, I followed the waitress's suggestion of the Thai basil tofu. Mmmm... happy choice, indeed, with broccoli florets, strips of red and green peppers, and cubes of tofu, all in a light broth-like sauce loaded with fresh Thai basil and red pepper. By the end of the meal, my lips had only just started to tingle, a sign that the spicing was just right.

At this restaurant, dessert is (I think) a mandatory course, so my friends chose to share a Siam sundae... a large scoop of coconut ice cream surrounded by small pastry-wrapped and fried slices of banana, all drizzled with honey and chocolate sauce. In the interest of not overloading my stomach, I opted for coconut ice cream, plain and simple, and ended up having to share about half of the ice cream because I ended up with two huge scoops instead of one small one. Still, it was rich and creamy and loaded with fresh coconut, so how could I refuse to eat as much as possible?

We capped off the evening with much hilarity on the way home, and we returned by 8 PM with plenty of time to sit back and relax and enjoy the sunset.

I love being able to share adventures like this with good friends!

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