For the past few days, my mother and I have been laboriously sifting through a junk collection that represents twenty-plus years of sheer laziness or hard work, depending on how you look at it. Over the years, my parents have accumulated a mindboggling array of useless knick knacks, and not only refuse to jettison their own odds and ends but often feel compelled to appropriate other people’s trash as well, whether through friend-ly donations (mom) or garage sales (dad). It’s not even like these secondhand items are elevated to first-class treasures in our household: they almost always take a seat on some dusty storage shelf, falling victim to my parents’ “hoard, then ignore” purchasing mentality. It’s actually very humorous to observe, but when it comes time for this bounty of trash to be sorted and reduced, it is a huge pain in my ass. It’s stressful and time-consuming, but most disheartening is that I’ve had to survive on a mix and match diet of rotisserie chicken, pistachios, and blueberries. After half a dozen consecutive meals, eating has become just a bit (gasp) tedious. Not to mention one comes dangerously close to having nothing to food blog about. Luckily for me, I still have some unpublished goodies from Thailand in my backpocket.

The chef’s chicken with cashew nuts stir-fry demo at the cooking school in Chiang Mai:

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My product, complete with a slightly woosy scallion garnish:

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Craving of the moment: oatmeal with mushy bananas.

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