Oct. 14th, 2006


Oct. 14th, 2006 08:27 am
chickenfeet: (quantum)
Last night something happened to me that hasn't happened in a very long time. I was dreaming mathematics. I'm not sure I've done that since I was a student when it was a quite common occurrence and accounts for things like my having a clear, but very hard to describe, idea of what a Hilbert space looks like. Anyway, last night I was dreaming quantum mechanics. I wasn't just dreaming about quantum mechanics. It was if I was a superposition of quantum states happily experiencing the U process (time evolution in accordance with Schrödinger's equation) when I was rudely interrupted by the R process (a measurement on the system). It woke me up and I almost screamed (I don't think I actually screamed) but it was exactly like a really bad thing happening in a nightmare. It was genuinely frightening. How spooky is that?
chickenfeet: (Default)
OK. Last couple of days I've posted recipes for what I would consider mainstream Thai dishes. One might easily find something very similar on a restaurant menu in the West. The following recipe is a bit different. It's for a relish or condiment called Nam Prik Kapi and it's something you see a lot in Thailand, and there a myriad of variations. This is one is pretty basic. Nam priks are served with a platter of raw vegetables and sprigs of herbs alongside the rice and other dishes. One takes a spoonful of rice(1), a dab of the nam prik and some veggie and that makes a mouthful. It can also be mixed into warm cooked rice and eaten with some veggies as a breakfast or snack. This stuff is potent and a bit of an acquired taste but quite addictive!

Nam Prik Kapi

2 tbsp kapi(2), roasted (wrap it in foil and heat directly on the burner, turning frequently - have the extractor fan on its highest setting!)
1 tbsp dried shrimp
3 cloves garlic
5-10 thai chillies (red or green), stemmed
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice

Crush the solids in a mortar or pestle or pulverise in the food processor. Stir in the fish sauce and lime juice. Let sit for a bit before serving to let the flavours blend. It should be hot, salty, pungent and slightly sour. Adjust the fish sauce and lime juice if necessary.

fn1: This is much easier if one eats with a spoon in one's right hand and a fork in the left, as the Thais do. Don't ask me where the idea that Thai food should be eaten with chopsticks originates. Chopsticks, in Thailand, are for noodles.

fn2: kapi is essentially the the same as the Malay or Indonesian belachan which may be easier to find.

X-posted to [livejournal.com profile] gastrogasm

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