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Tag - Cambodia

March 2022

At last, after nearly 2 years of being in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic, I have finally been able to get back onto a plane and return to Asia.

It has been a long hard road and for some, it will never be the same again. Losing loved ones, friends and jobs has made the last two years unbearable and will leave indelible scars on families.

However, life must go on and although we may feel guilty about traveling again, I know for a while I did. We must try to lead a normal life. Before Covid I was traveling and working around Asia and whilst this time around it will be slightly different in the way I approach things, I aim to carry on.

First stop, Singapore to see old friends after a transit through Dubai which turned out to be extra long due to misunderstandings with covid restrictions on behalf of Emirates. Then onto the Philippines for much-needed sun and relaxation before finally returning to Cambodia, where I left for a 2-week holiday to England that lasted 2 years.




New Year New Me

Or so I thought. This year actually took a turn for the worse, for everyone around the world.

I think we will remember 2020 for a long time and it will go down in history as one of those years the human race had to endure a world catastrophe.

Beginning of the end?

It had started well enough.

I attended my 4th wedding in Cambodia as Mr. Sok one of the chefs at the pepper farm got married in March.

It was a very happy occasion for all and it finished off a complete story of Cambodia, one which I will remember forever.

Pre-Covid Plans

But, having been travelling for over 15 months, and as I was entering my third actual dated year of travel. It felt like a good time to leave to discover new things.

I originally left the UK in Sept 2018 and spent most of 2019 living in Cambodia. Having expected to have been back home by this time I suddenly felt the need to visit and see friends and family.

This year it had meant to be the turn of Vietnam and Laos with maybe a finish in Myanmar, where I would hopefully see more of a beautiful country.

But, before all that, it started with a trip back to the UK in mid-march to surprise mum for her birthday. And what a surprise it turned out to be for both of us.

Because the 23rd of March 2020 will be a day to remember for a long time. I surprised her having been away for 18 months only to be surprised myself by Covid and our lockdown restrictions that left me stuck in the UK indefinitely.

Long Stay

It was to be almost 2 years to the day before I could actually get back onto a plane and fly back to  Cambodia where I had left for a two-week holiday.

The Sad part was the loss of several good friends who like many people succumb to Covid-related deaths.

Because we had lockdowns, we had mask-wearing, and a lot of helpful, caring, and compassionate people.

Suddenly away from the pressure and stress of everyday life and have time to help their fellow beings.

However, It came at a price that we now years later, have come to realise.

Inflation, cost of living, and food shortages are all effects of the shutdown of the economy during covid.

It means people’s lives will be affected for decades to come as we deal with the cost of a pandemic. Something that even today has given to speculation is not natural and may have its origins in man-made labs.


Thanks @jodilmorris for this perfect quote

First harvest of Pepper

Pepper is a beautiful and an amazing product

I have loved cooking since as far back as I can remember. It all started from the time I was about 11 I think and after months of hoping and asking my best friend at the time to let me come to his house.

Finally, it happened Gulvinder Singh was allowed to bring his best friend home from school for dinner.

This was a long time ago and in those days cultures were so different and mixing was hard. In fact, I believe I was the only one who was allowed to go to his house and then only on certain occasions.

The thing that stood out for me in those days, was the fact that dad was in the kitchen cooking. Always under the impression that the mother cooked, and this was a new thing to witness.

Watching in awe, as he went about making the most amazing Indian curry I have ever tasted. Mesmerised as he not only did everything but also explained things to me as well. He told me it was important for a man to know how to cook.

I think it was at that point I fell in love with Indian food.

Kampot Pepper

Fast forward 30 odd years and I am now working on a Pepper farm in Kampot, Cambodia. My feet firmly planted in the ground just like the pepper.

Origins of the Pepper here, Oh, life is so good sometimes. Piper Nigrum is … you guessed it from India.

We all forget that before Chillies came across from America’s everyone was using Pepper as their spice. If you wanted a hot spicy curry, ( and why wouldn’t you) you used Pepper.

Note: Mr Singh used pepper not chillies in his curry, in fact during the 1980s I don’t recall seeing chillies that readily available, but then I didn’t do the food shopping🤣


Harvesting (or Récolte if you are French) 😉 the Pepper


So in Cambodia, there is a special place that produces the best pepper in the world. The French discovered how good this was and exported it all back from here to Paris to use in their cooking.

No wonder they have the best cuisine in the world.😃

Anyway, check out my post on working on the Pepper farm and the one about Kampot Pepper to learn more.

We start our harvest around late Jan, early Feb and continue until around May collecting pepper as it becomes mature from the plants. If you leave it as long as you can, it gives you an even stronger taste when washed and dried.

4 Colours from one Plant

The plant itself produces 2 colours Green, and Red, just like Tomatoes they start green and become mature and turn red making the berries sweet because of the skin.


Fresh green is used in locally in the Seafood here in Kampot and the Famous Crab in Kep.


Wash and dry this green pepper and it becomes black which is used in your peppercorn sauces and with strong meats and vegetables.


Take the red berries and again, wash and dry and they become your red pepper, so versatile and is used in everything from Lamb to salads and all kinds of pasta to Ice Cream, Chocolate, Fruit and Gin.


Soften the red berries in water for a long time and peel the skin, washing again before drying and you have in my opinion the best, the white. Fish, Chicken, Pork, white sauces, soups and excellent with Cheese.