2012 began on a slightly unusual note for me: the New Year marked my virgin attempt in cooking for Mr. P’s family in Udon Thani. My mum-in-law has heard about my new-found interest in the kitchen—Mr. P was always telling her of our homemade concoctions—so she requested to taste my cooking. Cooking a Chinese dish was a much safer option as the folks would not have any basis for comparison, as opposed to, say, som tam. I decided on bak kut teh because its thick, peppery broth is most likely to satiate Thais’ strong flavours-inclined palates.