It was a rainy day in Ban Laem, Suphanburi. Our guide was worried if we will be able to go outside. Luckily, the rain stopped and gave way to bright sunshine. Without any delay, we hopped on to a scooter with 2 side seats and made our way to our first destination for the day. We passed by lush green rice fields, coriander fields, and fish farms. Unlike many other fields I have witnessed before, these were filled with beautiful birds. Most of these birds are migratory birds, I was told.

Welcome to the organic farm

At the heart of this tiny village lies an organic farm. Ducks are the main focus, but the farm also grows a multitude of vegetables, chicken, and fish. As soon as we arrived, 3 dogs rushed towards us. The furriest and cutest one was called “Choo”!

Here, all animals seemed to live freely and peacefully. As we walked inside, we found a pond where the ducks were freely roaming around. We met the guy who raises the ducks. After he greeted us, he made a unique sound and almost immediately, the ducks started following us. “He can talk to the ducks” – Our local guide commented playfully.

He took us to the area where the ducks had laid eggs. We carefully collected the eggs and placed them in the holder. In the meantime, our duck farm hero had managed to call the ducks and they were now stepping out of the water and tiptoeing towards us. After a meet and greet session, we moved on to the next step.

Making salted duck eggs

Salted duck eggs are yet another delicacy of Ban Laem village. The complete version almost resembles a fancy soap, so we were curious to see how to make this.

We were told to mix white clay powder with tons of salt. Then, we proceeded to chop and paste Pandan leaves to extract the green coloured water from them. This coloured water was added to the clay powder and salt mixture. We got our hands dirty and mashed the mixture together for a while.

The next step is to take an egg and coat it with this mixture. Repeat this process for another egg. Now, the fun part, put the two eggs together and join them with the help of this sticky mixture. Rub the surface and roll it till the two eggs are steadily joint together. Now take a plate of chopped Pandan leaves and roll the eggs over it, letting the leaves stick to the eggs.

Voila, your salted double duck eggs are now ready! Keep them for about 10 days before you use it to make fried eggs and 15 days if you make boiled eggs.

Dinner at the farm

We went around the village for other activities but returned to the farm for dinner. Choo, the friendly dog was delighted to see us.

The menu was elaborate as usual. One of the delicious vegetables were made from an aquatic plant grown in the farm. We also got to try the salted duck eggs.

Here is the funny story. Given that we were stuffing ourselves with a variety of food whole day, my stomach was full up to the brim. Quite unwillingly, I left a bit of rice on my plate. Our local host seemed concerned. He immediately asked our guide to ask me what kind of food I like. He was worried that I didn’t like the food and wasn’t eating enough. Whereas, in reality, I was overeating every day and had already gained a few kgs! Clearly, my sense of what constitutes a ‘lot of food’ is different from their definition. Life at the farm is indeed a world apart.

If anything, this incidentalso served as a reminder of the famous Thai hospitality. The host was ready to change the entire menu to ensure I really enjoy the food. Every day, he makes us feel part of his family and if that isn’t world-class hospitality, I don’t know what is.

Madhurima Dutta

 Friday, July 26, 2019 11:38 PM