{Travel Adventures}- Cambodia, Siem Reap. Day 3!

Day 3 in Cambodia was a little less hectic than Day 2. We started the day a little later than the day before. We headed to Uncle Rahim’s villa for breakfast. Uncle Rahim is a friend of An. He is a hilarious guy, very humble and very compassionate. He runs a stunning villa which we do not have the opportunity to stay in as it was fully booked. (I would put a link at the bottom of the post for more reference of his villa!) He introduced us to KSEDO, an orphanage that is run by him! We were going to cook and serve the children there lunch, hence the introduction of KSEDO.

We had traditional Khmer breakfast. We had noodle soup I think… I apologize for not recalling or taking any pictures. Pardon me as it was the morning. 🙂

After breakfast, we headed to a Cambodian local wet market. It was really wet and so foreign as they were selling some exotic items. Items such as live catfish, live ducks and chickens, fresh fish and shrimp paste with strong pungent smell. I was culture-shock. I have never encounter such scene in Singapore, however I was glad that I managed to visit their local market as it was an eye-opener to many things. We bought our ingredients for the meals in KSEDO. The menu was decided in a blink of an eye, it was cabbage soup, fried chicken and rice.

Fresh vegetables sold in the market.
Fresh vegetables sold in the market.
Fresh poultry that are being butchered on the spot.
Fresh poultry that are being butchered on the spot.

We set off to KSEDO when we were done purchasing fresh produces. KSEDO was a short ride from the market, in a quiet village in Siem Reap.

The moment we walked into the compound, we could see children playing soccer and having fun. They seem to be enjoying life! We settled our ingredients immediately in the kitchen as it would be the children’s meal-time soon. Uncle Rahim put me in charge for the soup, so I got down to business instantly.

The kitchen was a traditional kitchen, using firewood for the fire. I got no control of the fire, therefore I just had improvise! I stir-fry the onions and carrots for aroma first, then we poured a huge basin of water into the pot. It took a while for the water to boil, therefore meanwhile, Juliana and I took a walk around the orphanage.

The traditional kitchen that I cooked in...
The traditional kitchen that I cooked in…
It was such an adventure to cook in a traditional kitchen, as I am so used to cooking in a well-equipped kitchen.
It was such an adventure to cook in a traditional kitchen, as I am so used to cooking in a well-equipped kitchen.
The simple classroom that the children study in.
The simple classroom that the children study in.
They grew spring onion and many other vegetables in their little garden. It is a beautiful garden with fresh and vibrant flowers.
They grew spring onion and many other vegetables in their little garden. It is a beautiful garden with fresh and vibrant flowers.
I was very surprised when I was told that they grew mushrooms!
I was very surprised when I was told that they grew mushrooms!

The tour in the orphanage was an eyeopener to me. They kept pigs as pet, a really big pig, grew mushrooms and vegetables. It was all very simple, good simple.

Once the water for the soup was boiling, we poured in the cabbages and soon it was ready. By the time we were done with cooking, the children were all gathered at the table, ready for lunch. We served the food in a plate with different compartments and distributed them to the hungry children. We had lots of chicken left, hence the children get a second serving of chicken. I gladly agreed to distribute the chicken to the children. They were so kind and thankful and I had no choice but to give them more!

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Uncle Rahim did his job as the server as well.
Uncle Rahim did his job as the server as well.

Shortly, after we served the food, it was time to part. Though the time we spent with them were limited, I had a great time preparing the meals and serving them!

If you think this is the end of the day, you are wrong.

So An introduced me as the baker to Uncle Rahim, and he instantly got an idea to purchase an oven for his villa. He suggested that I teach his staff how to bake. I thought he was joking, however reality hit when we were at the departmental store, viewing at various ovens on sale.

The stressful process of purchasing the RIGHT oven.
The stressful process of purchasing the RIGHT oven.

After the thorough checks and getting a $4 discount, we walked out of the departmental store with an oven. I still thought he was joking… Then, we took a tuk-tuk to the supermarket, to purchase the ingredients for vanilla cupcakes.

We gathered all the ingredients, paid for it and off to the villa! I was somewhat excited and worried in one way or another. As the kitchen I was going to be baking in was unfamiliar to me and I kept thinking to myself ‘I cannot fail.’; hence the pressure was there somehow. However I went on with teaching Uncle Rahim’s staff how to bake basic cupcakes. We were an awkward bunch. But Uncle Rahim’s staff are so smart! I showed them the steps and asked them to give it a try. They grasped all the information that I said, such as creaming the butter and sugar, and did exactly what I showed them. They are very quick learners! They now could have many variation of cupcakes, like rose flavoured and coloured cupcakes and orange flavoured cupcakes.

My 'students' for that day. It was memorable and entertaining.
My ‘students’ for that day. It was memorable and entertaining.

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The end product. The exterior of cupcakes did have some cracks, however it was moist and soft in the inside.
The end product. The exterior of cupcakes did have some cracks, however it was moist and soft in the inside.

It is a fairly simple recipe that anyone could do!

Vanilla Cupcake

Ingredients 

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flou
  • 3eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper baking cups.
  2. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each one. Stir in the vanilla and flour just until mixed. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter.

I was so pleased that everything went smoothly and that nothing disastrous happened. It was a once in a lifetime experience to be baking in a foreign country, let alone teach people how to bake there. The feeling of sharing my passion with others really brings joy and happiness and I hope to do many of that in the future!

We had the cupcakes for tea-break and had japanese food for dinner! It was a very scrumptious meal that everyone enjoyed!

Selfie!!
Selfie!!

After a good meal, it was time for bed… We ended the night with a calm and good note.

Day 3 was very relaxing and fun! I would definitely want to experience this whole day again, the baking, the cooking and the eating. I made many new friends and broaden my knowledge and my understanding in life. It was a great day.

Oh! And the link to the gorgeous villa by Uncle Rahim:  http://www.poolpalm.com/?p=home He and Uncle Cees (business partner) put their heart and soul into this villa. It really is gorgeous, I am not kidding. The pool is lovely and the ambiance is calm and quiet.

 

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