Picture Produce Auction Where We Buy Vegetables
School is back in session and we're scurrying to have plenty of fresh and healthy produce for our customers.  In the Lewisburg area, there are lots of Mennonite food stands selling vegetables grown in their nearby gardens.  We also have our own garden where we grow beans, tomatoes, egg plants and seasonings like cilantro and basil.  
   Our favorite, however is a produce market between Lewisburg and Mifflinburg where many Amish and Mennonite farmers bring their fresh vegetables, usually picked that morning.  Sold only by the case, this coloful produce is enough to turn anyone into a vegetarian.  
       What we find particularly fascinating, however, is the mixture of local farmers, food stand operators, Amish and Mennonites.  Throw into this cultural pot pourri the high pitched shouts of two or three auctioneers all selling at the same time and you've got the most interesting event in central Pensylvania.
    Even better, we end up great ingredients for our new international menu!

PictureExclusive Seating For Special Customers
Back in Lewisburg hoping to find a warm and balmy spring, I'm sharing the reality of freezing temperatures while trying to operate our food trailer at St. Catherine st.  Last weekend, March 28, was amazing in every way.  Student and alumni party goers crowded into the small space of our trailer to keep warm while we tried to cook our best Pad Thai, Kao Pad, etc. It turned out to be lots of fun....if not unusual.   

PictureOur Burma Salad and Falafel Sandwich
Now that we've opened our trailer at St. Catherine st. (behind the Washtub) after a holiday hiatus, we've expanded our menu to include some interesting dishes from around the world which are also super healthy.  Of course, our Thai menu remains with Chantana's recipe for Pad Thai as a signature offering However, the Burma Salad with falafel is not only addictive, its probely the healthierst thing a person can eat. The beef stroganoff recipe was learned by Karl when he was living in Turkey and went to a restaurant where the chef claimed to be a former cook for Russian nobility. Our Indian offerings are made from scratch with help from some Indian friends who taught  us about some of the complex spices needed to make Palak Paneer or Tikka Masala.  There is now someting for everyone and with our new delivery system in place, our customers in the Lewisburg area can now find interesting and healthy international food by clicking on an Iphone or calling us . 

PictureOur New "One click" Delivery Service
  After a busy fall season when our food trailer was located at 7th & St. Catherine street,   we decided that we'd like to make things easier for so many people who like our international menu.  So, we've done our research, purchased the right programs and tablet and are ready to change the way a really good home, dorm or office  dining experience can be enjoyed in Lewisburg.  
    All you need to do is go to our webpage, Chantanthai.com and click on "See Menu & Order:  That will give you our entire selection,  from Indian to Russian, to Thai and Vietnamese which  we have worked so hard to develop during the past year.  This truly comprises a healthy,  inexpensive and  interesting menu  which will  hopefully be delivered within twenty minutes or less from  the moment  you place your order.  You've asked for this and so we're going to make it available.  Give it a try. You'll love it!  

PictureStaying Warm In Our Kitchen
 What a Homecoming weekend.  So many friends and customers from past years made sure to stop by to say hello!  How interesting it was to hear how recent grads are making out in their career choices. Despite all the dire predictions,  people do leave Lewisburg with degrees that turn into jobs...maybe not the CEO of their company in the first year, but certainly building the necessary skills and knowledge for being eventual leaders. 
   A sudden cold spell hit Lewisburg around 4 p.m. and thanks to so many of you who waited in line to be served.  Two very cold  Bucknell girls suggested they wait in the kitchen of our food trailer where lots of heat was blowing off the gas range while I cooked.  "Of course, come on in," I said.  At left, they are warm and happy campers and reminiscent of the old song: "Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah".  In this case it was with Chantana.  

PictureAuthentic Thai food or a swat from Auntie
     According to Monday’s  New York Times, a new robot to check the authenticity of  Thai food has been developed by the government of Thailand.  Yingluck Shinawatra, the former woman prime minister,  says there are too many restaurants around the world serving Thai  food that is bland and not  authentic. This $100,000 machine, to be deployed in embassies, will taste global Thai restaurant fare to determine whether it's real Thai food or something made up by  foreign (called “farang” in Thai)  chefs.

    I don’t need a robot to taste my Thai cooking. Here’s why.  I was brought up in Bangkok  by a strict aunt who taught me how to use ingredients like tamarind, basil, chili or fish sauce in the tradition of  Thai home cooking,. My cooking, by age ten, had to be “delicious”  and it had to be authentic or I would get a good swat  from the back of  auntie’s  hand during her angry fit at my cooking.

   So now when I’m cooking from our mobile trailer in Lewisbug,  a  tasting “app” or robot is'nt necessary.  The memory of  a sharp slap from   auntie comes back the moment I  deviate from authentic Thai cooking. It always works and it doesn’t cost ten grand.


PictureKarl conducting a horse & surrey tour
   Saturday afternoon was a busy time at  our Chantanthai food trailer. Karl arrived around two o'clock with his horse and surrey in order give rides to our customers. They  were having a good time at a "social gathering" until the local police broke up the party later in the afternoon apparently because of a violation of the new town ordinance regulating parties by Bucknell students.
   Before this, however, dozens of students enjoyed riding our restored antique surrey pulled by our faithful Mercedez. Karl has always had horses since he was a boy growing up in Mifflinburg and for him, the event not only allowed him to return to his childhood but also enjoy the company of our Bucknell customers with whom we both have  such a close affinity.  As a former newspaper editor in Lewisburg, Karl  knows a lot about the history of the town and the University which he includes in his historic tours.  He also plays music during these tours, such as "Surrey With A Fringe On Top" from the famous musical Oklahoma.  It was a pleasant interlude for lots of our  customers and we hope to do more of this during the coming year. Anyone wanting to book a tour for friends, families etc. give us a call.  

PicturePorta Pottie Brigade
Last weekend was a busy time in Lewisburg. It also had its unique  moments.  Aside from all the wonderful people who came by to welcome  me back to  the ChantanaThai food trailer, the Friday evening presence of Porta Pottie brigades of students carrying these modernized "outhouses" to various  locations for the next day's parties was a hilarious sight. A new borough ordinance requires all parties of more than 75 people to rent a Porta Pottie for their social gatherings. Students who planned parties for Saturday were consequently offloading these cumbersome contraptions from pick-up trucks and carrying them to their intended final location.  For better or for worse,heavy rains on Saturday forced many of the fraternities to swtich their gatherings to their offiial houses where modern plumbing is available. As the Frenh would say, "tant pis"....pun not intended.

PictureHe didn't murder me
In a  book by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl, an  angry  and jilted wife sets up an elaborate series of clues suggesting she has been murdered by her philandering  husband and then she disappears, leaving him to be a candidate for murder charges.   I won't tell you the ending  because the movie version is due out soon.

    A volatile political situation with two major revolutions in my country of Thailand during the past six months created problems I've written about in previous blogs. Now, I'm back in Lewisburg with my Thai food trailer and happy to be working again with so many friends. 

    I'll be at the trailer five days a week and have set up a delivery system for those who want anything from our menu brought to their dorm, fraternity/sorority, home or office. Just call and place the order and we'll have it to you usually within 20 minutes at the most. 

        In short, my husband, Karl,did not murder me and I'm not the permanently Gone Girl.   Glad to be back!  Chantana.


            About Us

    When Karl and Chantana Purnell decided several years ago  to return from S.E. Asia and live in Mifflinburg, where Karl grew up and once had a career in politics and journal-ism,  they wanted to do something  that would connect them with lots of  people while also utilizing their mutual interest in cooking interesting food. 
      The Chantanathai food truck became  the solution.  They share the cooking and manag-ing chores and when one of the partners wants to go off traveling, the other takes over. Chantana has a retail high- fashion dress business in Bangkok which requires her attention. When the snow flies, "she flies" to look after her shop and Karl takes over. 
       Both Karl and Chantana support charitable causes in S.E. Asia. Chantana helps a Buddhist monastery which takes care of HIV infected children while Karl has restored and helps maintain the Buddhist Sakya Monastery in Jharkot, Nepal where he also teaches school via Skype.(See www.teachtheworldonline.com)


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