You will be surprised at how few spices you will need for Burmese cooking. Burmese curries do not use curry powder. They are based on onion, garlic, ginger and chilli, and what you do need is large amounts of these as well as the ubiquitous ngapi (or blachan as it is most popularly called), a dried prawn paste. Without it, Burmese cooking is just not authentic and while it may take some getting used to in its more concentrated forms (ngapi htaung or ngapi chet), a small amount added to a recipe is what characterises the food of the country.
Charmaine Solomon in The Complete Asian Cookbook.

Every member of my immediate family has an edition of this title on their bookshelves. For me, I use it for making Dahl (one of the most simple lentil curries ever). My younger sister has been slightly more adventurous – having a go at Kaukswe (pronounced cowsway) a chicken curry with noodles (a very soupy dish). My Mum, bless her, made Balachaung (prawn paste accompaniment) – the most smelly concoction but I am told it is delicious by numerous Burmese relatives. And Dad, well, I think he has had the best value out of the book.

I am amazed to report that I am even sicker than I was yesterday! Now I can add an earache to the list of symptoms. I left the conference after the lunch period, ears ringing and feeling miserable. I have had some drugs, more sleep and am feeling marginally better, but am feeling happy I was able to pass my ticket for tonights’ conference dinner onto someone who could use it. I would have taken myself to the doctor, but Dad had the car and I couldn’t get to one. Thankfully the bus stops right outside our place so I could go and fall into bed with little trouble.

A little package arrived today from Dragonfly Dreams, I got myself a skein of WDW to complete a Shepherds bush needleroll I have been working on (not enough in the kit!!), the Inn Charm for the SB ornie from last year and a sheepie kit – Fa la la. Lovely. Of course with every thing that arrives, I think, that’s it – no more. I really think I will have to join the 10, 25, 50 project challenge that Cherylann has started on the Needle and Thread BB and the Wagon BB. The basic idea is that I will stop buying charts till I have completed 10, 25 or 50 projects. Any size project is acceptable (including ornies). Buying thread and fabric is still OK if you use it to complete projects at least that is how I understand it. I think I will start with 10 – most of my projects are BAPs (Big A#@$ Projects) so it will be a while before we see 10 finishes, then we will see… want to see if I make it till the end of the year?

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