Spaghetti, Served with Love
25 Sep 2017
In Thai communities, food is a common feature whenever people gather together. Here in Isaan in the north-east, when there is a special event everyone brings along food to share. It is a joy to see the sense of community.
When I’ve asked our Thai friends what can I bring, they will often say “sapagetti” (the Thai attempt at saying Spaghetti!). It seems to be their favourite Western food. But as we have learnt to adapt to the Thai culture, I’ve also had to adjust my Spaghetti Bolognaise recipe to suit the Thai palate. I have to add more chili in different forms (paste, powder and flakes), hotdogs sliced in slivers diagonally, and copious amount of sugar. For a typical Thai taste the flavour should be balanced: salty, sour, sweet and of course, spicy!
Here in Isaan, many people struggle with their day to day existence and so it is humbling when we visit homes in different villages and they show us hospitality. They insist on offering us what little they have, and we’ve been privileged to hear them say that we must eat together, as they consider us family.
Providing food has been a practical way of showing Christ’s love to those around us. Just recently the heavy monsoonal rain caused severe flooding and seven hundred families were displaced, forcing them to live on the side of the road in makeshift tents. The local Social Welfare Department asked Pioneers charity here, Pioneers International Foundation to help. It was so heartwarming to see how much each person appreciated a bowl of “sapagetti”. I think we prepared and served 180 bowls that day. What a good way to let them know that there is a God who cares about them in the midst of their despair.
Our team are preparing to move into a new unreached area in Isaan, and have been visiting there. Sharing food has been a great way to build new relationships. The ladies in the village offered to teach my team mates and I to cook Thai food, and in return we will teach them to make western food. An awesome way to get to know them better and an opportunity to be able to serve and love them. That I get to learn a new Thai recipe will be the icing on the cake.
At the children’s ministry where we serve every Saturday, we finish the morning’s activity by sharing lunch together. It is encouraging to see the kids huddle together enjoying the meal that has been lovingly prepared, and it reflects the joy they experience of being part of the community that loves Jesus.
In all these different ministries, food communicates not only thoughtfulness and care, it shows love.
Thai Style Spaghetti
(why not make double, and gift a meal)
- 1 kg Pasta Spaghetti
- 1 kg Minced pork
- 500g hotdog sausages
- 1 bottle tomato puree or passata
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 large onion chopped finely
- 1 clove of garlic
- Chilies (paste, flakes, powder) depending on how spicy you want it
- Sugar, salt, pepper for seasoning
- Cook the spaghetti pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside
- Heat the oil in a cooking pot
- Sauté the garlic and onion.
- Add the minced pork and brown
- Pour in the tomato sauce
- Add chili flakes, chili paste and chili powder
- Add the hotdogs and tomato paste
- Season with the sugar, salt and pepper