Many years ago, I was lucky enough to spend the morning snorkelling in Bali. I was experiencing my first round the world trip, backpacking the island with friends I had made along the way and found myself spending about three hours exploring the underwater world of Jemeluk Bay in Amed. I was especially happy that day because I can remember realising I was 18, on my own in a beautiful part of the world and had just done so many things and met so many wonderful people that I never would have imagined the year before as I was finishing my A Levels. I really was in another world. And to top off my smug feelings, my usually pale English Rose skin had managed to see enough sunlight that it was my Californian friend who got fried in the ocean, and not me. Things were good.

That afternoon I went to our guesthouse and had the best meal ever. I chose red snapper because I had spent the morning swimming with them and thought it a poetic end to my perfect day. The snapper was fresh, barbecued and served with a spicy Balinese sauce that had been cooled down enough for my western taste buds to enjoy and forever love the mix of chilies and flavours that have simply been imprinted on my mind as ‘perfect’. I sat under a hut on the beach eating and talking to the guys on the bar, feeling a million dollars and way more worldly wise and sophisticated than any smart, chic lady in Paris, London, Milan…..

And we skip forward thirteen and a half years. I just enjoyed my second Big Adventure (having had several Escapades and Romps, a few High Jinks and occasional Shennanigans in the meantime so don’t worry, I wasn’t left wasting away). This Big Adventure to Thailand and beyond finally got my snorkel back on and in the Trang Islands, I saw a white snapper swimming amongst the angel fish. It seemed only right and fitting to head back to the friendliest restaurant on Ko Lanta’s Klong Dao beach, enjoy a happy hour Mai Tai and follow the genial hosts recommendation for how he would eat his white snapper: filleted, fried and cooked in a delicious Thai Spicy red curry sauce. While I remain unconvinced that I was given the real ‘Thai Spicy’ curry, the meal itself, combined with the epic day of snorkelling, visiting paradise’s beach, swimming through a sea cave to an emerald cavern and witnessing one of nature’s beautiful sunsets helped the white snapper live up to the memory of its red predecessor. I got to eat with sand in my toes. No girl could actually ask for more. Maybe not the second best meal…but close enough.

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I love how many of my great memories are about eating.  The snappers were special meals for so many reasons.  I love cooking and the flavours, textures and experiences good food bring you.  And writing on here….what a great excuse to keep taking pictures of that yummy food 🙂

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