Chocolate Chip Muffins (Can’t Get a Good One in Thailand)

chocolate chip muffinsFrom the strange but true file, dateline Thailand, Chiang Mai. Red Elvis says…

“I looked high and low, North and South, and even in Bangkok. Seems like baking with chocolate chips–the cookie for example is about as rare as a snow cone on the hottest of hot season days.”

Why is that? I wondered, pondered, simply asked, pleaded and begged. i want one. Starbucks? Forgetaboutit! I can get a cookie, or at least something that passes as a cookie. I can get a cupcake (and a pretty good one). I can even get carrot cake, but alas, not a chocolate chip muffin in sight.

Ok, granted, chocolate is expensive here in the land of smiles. Getting a good piece of chocolate takes a lot of change, and even mid range stuff is expensive. Look, a bag of bakers chocolate chips, the kind you get for a few bucks in the states is over six dollars here (190 baht), semi sweet? Dark? You may as well ask for a Thai woman’s first born. What is it about chocolate? I mean, you can get the worst chocolate stuff–i mean really terrible stuff I wouldn’t feed to my pet lizard, but to indulge, you have to fly to Singapore.

Holy cow, a chocolate challenged land! Why do I stay here! OK, I’m exaggerating a bit, really I am. But again, if you’re on a budget like me, and want a good cookie now and then, or have a real craving for chocolate, or chocolate chips, or even something with chocolate you need to get, how do we say it—creative.

So I’m using the best I can get, about $1.75 worth of chocolate squares (not chips), pretty good quality, made in Thailand, and using about 3/4 of a cup, which is still enough chocolate so these bad boys are full of the sweet stuff. It’s not the same as at home, but the idea is to get close enough, and hopefully close enough to satisfy my craving for chocolate, and get the Thai’s as “UP” about chocolate chip things as I am.

Close enough, hand grenades and horseshoes, all that stuff–hey I just ate another, and I gave one to my wife and she liked it. I feel like success. I feel like a chocolate chip winner, whatever that means. I feel like I accomplished something on a Friday night besides sitting in front of the TV and watching re-runs of Law and Order for the twentieth time.

I’ll have chocolate chip dreams. So it goes. I’ll sell millions of chocolate chipped do-dads to Thai’s and retire with 1 million Thai Baht in the bank, and then I’ll never have to go home. I can quit my job as an English teacher and just make things. Really!!!

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