It’s that time of the year again when my southern relatives are picking Bai Kee Lek of the trees like there is no tomorrow. Most of the relatives in Pakse and Champasak have at least one Kee Lek tree in their yard, next to mango tree, and tamarind tree. They never have to go far when there is a craving for Kaeng Kee Lek which is at least once a week. They even add ant’s eggs in Kaeng Kee Lek and have various versions for their favorite dish.

My two aunts in Vientiane consider themselves as Tai Pake and have never lost their southern accent and still treat themselves to their comfort food. They made Kaeng Kee Lek for lunch today and with freshly made sticky rice, it was like they were still sitting back in Pakse with their parents and siblings and sharing their meal and resting after harvesting season.