I finally bought a khrok (ครก) and saak (สาก), the Thai mortar and pestle. Mr. P and I have bee looking around for the perfect specimen around our neighbourhood until we found it in a little provision shop. The young, friendly shopkeeper allowed us to rummage through his entire stock of mortars and pestles until we found our perfect combination: a ceramic mortar that has an even reddish colouration, and a wooden pestle with a smooth finish and hue that matches the mortar. I’d already put my mortar and pestle to use by making my first somtam (papaya salad) last week but the resulting dish wasn’t too satisfactory. So I’m going to tinker with my new tool some more—look out for Xin’s somtam soon!