Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mango Sticky Rice for Thailand's Mother's Day

Kids climb trees, in spite of the fact that it scares their mothers, who are afraid they might fall off it and break a limb, or get electrocuted. In many Latin American and Asian countries, and some African countries, mango trees can reach very tall heights, and are still the most popular ones among children, because the golden prize for disappearing behind the finger-like leaves lies among the branches: the mangoes themselves. Most of them emerge unscathed, fortunately, thus being more motivated to continue engaging in what could be called an after-school sport for some. For others, it is even necessary for survival, when food is scarce for economic reasons, and in remote places where school buildings are nonexistent, classes might take place under the mango tree. In the Dharhar town in India, planting mango trees that will later become a girl's dowry even saves newborn girls' lives.

I don't recall ever climbing a mango tree, but I was recently armed with a sack full of mangoes, as they are in season from April through July...and thus set out to find world desserts that use this luscious orangey, buttery, melt-in-your mouth fruit that contains most of the Vitamin C you need in the day.

The Queen's Birthday
In Thailand, the current regent queen Sikrit's birthday is celebrated today, August the 12th. It is automatically also considered Mother's Day in the country, and is a moveable national public holiday, so the day off is tomorrow, August 13th. Bangkok holds many festivals and events on this day, but the more traditional provinces in Thailand also revere this day. The exteriors of buildings are decorated with the national flags, lights, and more. People offer flowers and gifts to their mothers and other women they honor, and do charity this day, including giving food to monks.

Recipe for kao niow mamuang: 


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