For the first part of my yearend reflections, please hop on here: https://bit.ly/3qBAeUv.
As I said in the first part of my yearend reflections, October was intense. One reason is I had back-to-back Escape to Thailand October experiences. The first one was a showcase of Northeastern Thailand or Issan food and culture. The other was a celebration of Yi Peng, the full moon festival as celebrated in Northern Thailand.
October 22 experience: Issan food and culture
For the first of these October experiences, on the 22nd, I took my Soul Foodies on a virtual tour of Northeastern Thailand, also known as Issan. As a part of the tour, I did a demo of three iconic Thai dishes that originated from this region: papaya salad, steak and nam jim jaew, and sticky rice.
My favorite part of this virtual experience was sharing with everyone and gifting them a real Thai sticky rice basket steamer. More than that, I showed these Soul Foodies how to use the steamer. I also talked about getting them to try something new and get out of their comfort zones.
The group that came together for this event consists of amazing souls who just wanted to discover something new. Some of them are girlfriends gathered in the kitchen, eager to learn how to cook new foods. Some are families joining in on a fun evening with other family members, each from the comfort of their own kitchen. A few of them live just across the street, and a few live across the country—all connecting but social distancing.
We had a lot of laughs as we explored our chili spice levels, tasted and played with toasted rice powder, and getting creative on how else we can use the rice steamer basket. It was fun watching husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, working in the kitchen. It was soul-feeding for me because I do believe that the kitchen is the heart of the house. After all, the kitchen is where we get to feed our souls together three to five times a day.
We also enjoyed the symbolism of the sticky rice—sticky rice keeps us all sticking together. LOL.
October 30 experience: Yi Peng
For the October 30 experience, I celebrated Yi Peng, the Thai full moon festival as it is celebrated in North Thailand. I also did a demo of pad kee mow and nam prik ong, two popular dishes from this region.
This event gave me the opportunity to meet more amazing souls. But none of them is more aligned with the moon than Britten LaRue. Connecting with her was a blast from my past during my high school life. I have always admired Britten’s spirit, smile, and generous soul. Not only did she stand out majestically, literally as one of the tallest and slimmest girls walking down Hockaday’s hallways, but she also had this glowing aura around her.
Now it all makes sense. Britten is now a life coach whose teachings are guided by tarot card readings and astrology. I was so honored that she would accept my invitation to join my Escape to Thailand experience as my guest. Britten did an amazing job sharing about the full moon as we celebrate Yi Peng and Loy Krathong.
October experiences: A time for sharing stories
All my favorite people from Alive OS, my Mint Fanatics, and friends joined the class. It was so much fun! I was super impressed with how everyone made nam prik ong and pad kee mow in under an hour. As fun as the cooking class was, I double enjoyed the time we took to stop and reflect on 2020—to accept and release, and to start envisioning 2021 and planting the seeds of what we want to experience next. I will cherish this magical moment forever.
One of the stories shared during these October experiences came from a mom who is a regular customer at Asian Mint. She said she always looked forward to dining at my restaurant after taking her son for his treatment at the hospital right across the street. For her, it was a treat. She and her family have come to consider Asian Mint as a place to feed their souls. It was a truly touching story.
I regularly get to hear such stories in person at the restaurant or via message and email. It really warms the heart. You just never know how what you do affects someone else’s life, how it in turn lifts everyone up. It reminds me once again of why I do what I do, and why I love feeding souls by sharing my gifts.
Stay tuned for the next part of my yearend reflections.