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Kasma Celebrates 20 Years of Teaching

Party!by Michael Babcock

See also: Some Important Heart Values.

This party took place in 2005. Kasma is now (May 2020) retired from teaching after 34+ years.

Click pictures to see larger image.

When Party Food Kasma decided to throw a party to celebrate twenty years of teaching Thai cooking, there was never any doubt that it would be a pot luck party. After all, the invitation list included all of the advanced students she could contact – what better opportunity to have a multi-course Thai feast! Green Papaya Salad IngredientsTo the left you can see some of the dishes that were brought (there was another table full of dishes on the other side of the room). To the right, you can see some of the ingredients for Green Papaya Salad (Som Dtam) – this recipe was taught in Kasma's intermediate series, so most of the invitees could make it themselves.

Kasma first started teaching classes in 1985 to "earn a little extra pocket money." She's talked about one of the very first classes where there was a power outage and the class cooked the meal by candlelight. She's talked about other early classes where she had a grand total of 4 people in the class – it's been a long time since a beginning class wasn't filled at least a couple months in advance. Over the two decades she has taught thousands of students, both in her home and outside.

Garden PartyThe party reminded me again of the community Kasma has created through her classes. Her favorite classes are the ones taught in her home. Teaching the same group of students for 4 or 5 classes, she gets a chance to know the students and the classes become as much a social occasion as an opportunity to learn how to make delicious Thai food; just as in Thailand, where food is inextricably linked with the culture and society.

In Thai Food! all we invited over 200 people, advanced students dating back to Kasma's very first classes in 1985 up through people who attended their first advanced class this year. We had over 80 people at the party, over 60 of them students. Two people flew in from out of town for the party – one from Los Angeles, the other from Philadelphia. Another person was here from Chicago.

Since we have a fairly small house, most of the over 80 party-goers ended up in Kasma's garden. Gardening is probably Kasma's first love – if she could, she'd spend most of her time outside gardening. Although the garden is fairly small, Kasma has packed it with hundreds of varieties of different plants: everywhere you look, there's another treasure to be found.

Check out the menu Kasma, Julie & Cake(below). All of the dishes are taught in Kasma's beginning, intermediate or advanced classes. Where else can you get a 45 course Thai feast? One couple wrote us the following testimonial:Torino Baking Cake "We want to thank you both for the invite to the ULTIMATE POT-LUCK! We will compare all future events regarding eating to last Sunday!!!" And to think we would have had 6 more dishes if everyone had shown up!

The final three pictures show one of the highlights of the day – a spectacular work-of-art disguised as a cake. We are lucky enough to know Julie Durkee, the owner of Torino Baking in Berkeley, California. She made a cake decorated with Thai herbs created from fondant and crowned with a mortar and pestle. It was almost a shame to eat it (but since it tasted so good, we did)!

The party lasted from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, with people coming and going as they wished. Most people came and stayed and enjoyed the entire day with Kasma. Despite the fun, Kasma has decided to wait until the 25th anniversary to stage another party! (It's a lot of work!)

Fabulous Cake Detail

Menu for Kasma's 20-year Party

All of these dishes (except the cake!) were taught in Kasma's Thai cooking classes. (She retired in 2020.)


  • Miang Kam (Tasty Leaf-wrapped Tidbits)
  • Crispy Shrimp-and-Crab Toast with Sesame Seeds Served with Sweet-and-Sour Plum Sauce (Kanom Bpahng Nah Gkoong Sai Bpoo)


  • Hot and Sour Prawn Soup (Dtom Yam Gkoong)
  • Golden Pumpkin Coconut Soup (Gkaeng Liang Gkati Fak Tawng)


  • Cucumber Salad (Yam Dtaeng Gkua)
  • Spicy Mussel Salad with Aromatic Herbs and Crisped Shallots and Garlic (Yum Hoi Malaeng Poo)
  • Northeastern-Style Spicy Minced Chicken Salad with Mint and Toasted Rice (Lahb Gkai)
  • Hot-and-Sour Thai-Style Green Papaya Salad (Som Dtam Thai)
  • Spicy Mesquite-Grilled Eggplant Salad with Roasted Peppers and Shrimp (Yam Makeua Yao)
  • Winged Bean Salad with Toasted Coconut, Peanuts and Limy Chilli Dressing (Yam Tua Poo)
  • Spicy and Limy Northeastern-Style Bean Thread Salad with Toasted Rice (Lahb Woon Sen)
  • Spicy Grilled Beef Salad with Mint and Toasted Rice (Yam Neua Nahm Dtok)
  • Banana Blossom and Chicken Salad with Toasted Coconut, Peanuts and Roasted Chilli Sauce (Yam Hua Bplee)
  • Northeastern-Style Charcoal-Grilled Pork Salad (Lahb Moo Yahng)


  • Massaman Chicken Curry with Potatoes and Baby Onions (Gkaeng Massaman Gkai)
  • Massaman Lamb Curry with Roasted Whole Peanuts, Caramelized Pearl Onions and Sweet Potato
  • Green Curry with Fish, Shrimp and Eggplant (Gkaeng Kiow Wahn)
  • Green Curry with Chicken (Gkaeng Kiow Wahn Gkai)
  • Curried Mousse of Red Snapper in Banana Leaf Cups (Haw Moek Bplah)
  • Panaeng Beef Curry (Gkaeng Panaeng Neua)
  • Spicy "Wild Boar" Dry Curry (Pad Ped Moo Bpah)
  • Southern-Style Chilli Curry with Beef (Gkaeng Prik Neua)
  • Northern Hunglay Pork Curry (Gkaeng Hunglay)


  • Spicy Basil Chicken (Gkai Pad Gkaprow)
  • Garlic-Peppered Shrimp (Gkoong Tawd Gkratiem Priktai)
  • Thai-style Spiced Grilled Chicken Served with Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce (Gkai Yahng Sohng Kreuang)
  • Chicken Satay (Sateh Gkai) with Spicy Satay Peanut Sauce (Nam Jim Tua)
  • Southern Thai-Style Stewed Chicken in Tangy Spiced Coconut Sauce (Gkai Gkaw Lae)
  • Southern Thai-Style Spicy Tamarind Prawns with Crisped Shallots and Garlic (Gkung Yai Pad Som Makaam Bpiak)
  • Hot and Sour Lemon Grass Tiger Prawns (Gkoong Dtom Yam Haeng)
  • Spicy "Choo Chee" Curry with Prawns/Scallops and Oyster Mushrooms (Gkaeng Choo Chee Gkoong/Hoi Shel Gkap Hed)
  • Spicy Northern Thai Pork Sausage (Sai Oa)
  • Stuffed Sour Sausage with Sticky Rice (Saigkrawk Naem)
  • Southern-Style Dried-Fried Chopped Beef (Kua Gkling Neua)
  • Southern-Style Spicy Dry-Curried Pork Ribs (Kua Haeng Seekrohng Moo)
  • Crab Fried Rice (Kao Pad Bpoo)
  • Green Curry Shrimp Sausages


  • Stir-Fried Long Beans with Roasted Chilli Sauce and Thai Basil (Tua Yao Pad Prik Pow)
  • Stir-fried Eggplant with Chillies and Thai Basil (Makeua Yao Pad Prik Horapa)


  • Garlic Noodles – Asian Style Pasta Salad (Bamee Haeng)


  • Coconut-Flavored Sticky Rice with Mangoes (Kao Niow Mamuang)
  • Black Sweet Rice Pudding (Kao Niow Dam)
  • Thai-Style Coconut "Macaroon" Cakes (Kanom Bah Bin)
  • Thai Pumpkin Coconut Spicy Pie Dessert
  • Fruit
  • Fabulous Torino Bakery Cake!
Copyright © 2005 Michael Babcock. All rights reserved.

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