In honor of the good ‘ol USA, we decided to have “America Day” here in Chiang Mai this Fourth of July Friday. We’re about a half a day ahead of everyone back home in the States, so most of you are just waking up as our day comes to a close. There aren’t a ton of festivities here in Chiang Mai for budget travelers like us who aren’t willing to pay $40 for an American-themed buffet, so we decided to make our own fun. Here’s how we celebrated our day:
Step 1: Dress in Red, White and Blue – check!
Step 2: Obtain a watermelon – check!
Fun fact, there’s no such thing as “seedless watermelon” in Thailand.
Delicious, glorious watermelon:
Step 3: Listen to some good ‘ol patriotic music during breakfast – check!
Obviously, this is the first song we listened to this morning. Is it weird that Toby Keith’s music makes me a little homesick? “…We’ll put a boot in your ass it’s the American way…”
Step 4: Order the most American thing on the menu for lunch – check!
We got spaghetti with tomato sauce (and tofu and veggies…). Okay, I realize this is technically a Thai spin on Italian food, but it was the most American thing they had. I’ll take what I can get!
Step 5: Buy some American beers – check!
Rimping Supermarket is the best spot to find import foods and drinks. Last time we visited, they actually had Anderson Valley beers from the US, but this time they only had Budweiser! And you know what is terrible? The Budweiser actually tasted GOOD to us! That just goes to show you how bad beers are in Thailand. We also bought a Pale Ale from Australia (Kevin has really been jonesing for an IPA and that’s the closest thing they had) and a Leo beer, which is our go-to Thai beer now.
Kevin was pretty sad about having only Budweiser:
We also caved and bought some of these:
Step 6: Make a mango pie in the rice cooker – check!
We don’t have an oven, or a pie plate for that matter. I also lack a rolling pin and measuring cups. But I know one thing for sure, 4th of July just isn’t right without some sort of fruit pie. Apples and cherries are pretty darn expensive here, so I decided to try my hand at a mango variety!
I think the secret is to pre-cook the crust before adding the filling! I went with my mom’s standby pie crust recipe: 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup water. No refrigeration required for that recipe like most butter crust recipes! I pressed the crust out on the counter since we don’t have a rolling pin:
Then I pressed the crust into the rice cooker pot, making it as thin as I dared to make it:
I pre-cooked the crust in my rice cooker on “Cake/Bread” mode for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, I tossed two chopped mangos with a couple dashes of cinnamon, two spoons of sugar, and about 1/2 cup flour to soak up those juices. I spooned the mangos into the pre-cooked crust, and garnished with some fun, holiday-appropriate shapes cut out of leftover pie dough:
The pie took about 90 minutes more on “Cake/Bread” mode to finish (it’s about done once the filling really starts to bubble), and came out looking like this:
Turns out, it’s harder than I thought to get a pie out of a rice cooker:
It was SO DELICIOUS though, so I’m calling it a success:
Step 7: Gorge ourselves on pizza, beer, watermelon, and mango pie while watching “House of Cards” – check!
Again, I realize pizza is sort of an Italian food, but I also think that pizza screams “AMERICA!”. We’ve kind of adopted it as our own, right? I’ll take the little victories where I can get ‘em. Also, there’s really nothing more American than gorging yourself on pizza while watching a TV series about American Politics, right?!
Step 8: Enjoy unexpected fireworks show – check!
We didn’t realize there would be fireworks in Chiang Mai today! Luckily, we had a perfect view of the unexpected fireworks show from our top floor apartment, and we rushed outside to watch the pops from our balcony. It was great!
Step 9: Tell friends and family you miss them – check!
Nothing makes you miss your friends and family more than missing out on an iconic American holiday. We sure do miss all of you, and would like for this post to serve as a gentle reminder that visitors are always welcome here in Chiang Mai! We would make wonderful Chiang Mai tour guides – our English is excellent and we know a thing or two about where to find the tastiest foods for the best prices!
We want to hear from you!
What are you doing to celebrate this 4th of July holiday? What are you eating? Are you grilling? Are you going camping? Are you blowing things up?! Light a sparkler for us!!