2008.10.17: October 17, 2008: : Sky Hi Daily News: While Shaun Berkey and her husband served in the Peace Corps, she acquired a love for the spicy foods of their duty country, Thailand

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Peace Corps Thailand: Peace Corps Thailand: Newest Stories: 2008.10.17: October 17, 2008: : Sky Hi Daily News: While Shaun Berkey and her husband served in the Peace Corps, she acquired a love for the spicy foods of their duty country, Thailand

By Admin1 (admin) ( on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - 12:24 pm: Edit Post

While Shaun Berkey and her husband served in the Peace Corps, she acquired a love for the spicy foods of their duty country, Thailand

While Shaun Berkey and her husband served in the Peace Corps, she acquired a love for the spicy foods of their duty country, Thailand

Bisque recipe from a well traveled kitchen — Fraser, Colorado

By Susan Stone
Highland Foodie
Fraser, Colorado

Fraser, Colorado — Shaun Berkey is a world traveler, avid reader, knitter, swimmer and sailor who plays golf, practices yoga and volunteers for the candidate of her choice. She’s also a wife, mother, doting grandmother and adventurous cook.

At age 12, Shaun started a pie business although she’d never made a pie. Her mother, a journalist and mother of seven, forced Shaun to purchase all her supplies so she would understand the word “business.” Shaun sold the warm peach pies door-to-door in her Chicago neighborhood. With a net profit of $5 for eight pies, she promptly abandoned the pie business.

In college, she babysat for a family whose library contained gourmet cookbooks. From these books, Shaun prepared elaborate dinners for the family.

While she and her husband served in the Peace Corps, she acquired a love for the spicy foods of their duty country, Thailand - more on this later.

After a recent harrowing maiden overnight voyage in the Atlantic Ocean on their sailboat, Shaun and husband Jack set anchor in the Charleston, S.C. harbor. She enrolled in a low-country cooking class the next day. Concentrating on cooking allowed her to regain her composure after the frightful experience of the stormy sea.
And she learned a new recipe for sweet potato, date and pecan hash.

Nowadays, she cooks for friends and family and occasionally entertains on their pontoon boat on Shadow Mountain Lake or on their 33-foot Island Packet sailboat, which summers alone in Florida during hurricane season while they are here in Fraser, but takes them up and down the east coast during winters.

Shaun said the biggest difference in the way they eat on the sailboat vs. on land is that, when they stop in a port, they usually purchase fresh produce at a farmers market. She makes stir-fries, soups and curries when at sea.

Speaking of curries…

Their Peace Corps assignment to Thailand didn’t come easily. They joined in 1969 and were first assigned to Libya, but never made it there because Muammar el-Gadaffi uninvited the Peace Corps to his country before they finished their language training. Then assigned to Korea, Shaun refused to go there after she learned of the living conditions and hostile treatment of other Corps members by the Koreans.

The Corps finally sent them to study Thai in Hawaii for six weeks before placing them in the village of Khon Kaen, in northeast Thailand. They taught English and developed a love of the country, its culture and cuisine. However, towards the end of their stay, Shaun became deathly ill and learned she was pregnant with her first child.

She spent five weeks in a Thai hospital, where she received unsuccessful treatment for pregnancy induced rheumatoid arthritis. A military aircraft evacuation to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. took weeks. Stateside medical treatment proved successful, their firstborn arrived healthy and Shaun made a full recovery.

They moved to Fargo, N.D., where Jack joined the family business, a car dealership. After having two more children, Jack and Shaun both became teachers. When their children grew up and left home, they moved 50 miles east to the Berkey lake house in Detroit Lakes, Minn., which they remodeled. They commuted from the lake house to teach in Fargo until retirement.

By that time, their kids were all in Colorado. Some had come here to work with their aunt, Shaun’s sister, in her ad agency on the Front Range. They all loved to ski, so it was only natural that the Berkey’s moved to the Fraser Valley, only a couple hours drive to see the grandchildren and minutes from the ski slopes.

A few months ago, Shaun invited our book club to have it’s meeting aboard the pontoon boat. She served two delicious dishes to go with the wine - one a fresh green bean corn salsa salad, the other an unusual lettuce wrap of chickpea salad with cilantro dressing. I asked for the recipes and if she would mind sharing other recipes as well.

The Berkeys invited my husband and me for a meal and to watch the presidential debate. On land, Shaun makes good use of the grill. She served grilled pork tenderloin with peach salsa, grilled sweet potatoes and intriguing curried coleslaw. We started with flavorful zucchini bisque. A warm apple crisp, with ice cream, was really more than we needed after dinner, but it sure tasted great.

The other debate dinner recipes are from her latest favorite cookbook, The Cook’s Illustrated Guide to Grilling & Barbecue. Shaun’s bisque recipe couldn’t be easier.

Zucchini Bisque

3 cups boiling water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
10 cups sliced or grated zucchini
1 large chopped onion
1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper
dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup milk

Dissolve bouillon in water. Cook zucchini and onion in butter until very tender. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add milk and stir before serving. Enjoy!

Contact the Highland Foodie at 970-531-1952 or whistle@rkymtnhi.com for the book club recipes mentioned above or for comments or suggestions.

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: October, 2008; Peace Corps Thailand; Directory of Thailand RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Thailand RPCVs; Food; Cooking; Colorado

When this story was posted in October 2008, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed
Peace Corps Suspends Program in Bolivia Date: September 16 2008 No: 1264 Peace Corps Suspends Program in Bolivia
Turmoil began in Bolivia three weeks ago sparked by President Evo Morales' pledge to redistribute wealth from the east to the country's poorer highlands. Peace Corps has withdrawn all volunteers from the country because of "growing instability." Morales has thrown out US Ambassador Philip Goldberg accusing the American government of inciting the violence. This is not the first controversy surrounding Goldberg's tenure as US ambassador to Bolivia.

 Contact PCOL Search PCOL with Google Site Index Recent Posts Bulletin Board Open Discussion RPCV Directory Register
October 1, 2008: This Month's Top Stories  Date: October 2 2008 No: 1270 October 1, 2008: This Month's Top Stories
Candidates pledge to boost volunteerism 12 Sep
NPCA Promotes PC Expansion with MorePeaceCorps 5 Sep
President Bush praises Peace Corps 8 Sep
PC Mourns Loss of Belize PCV Bertie Lee Murphy 11 Sep
Home of Sargent Shriver is on the Market 12 Sep
Shays discusses Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Pakistan 12 Sep
Terry Wozniak adopts boy from Fiji 14 Sep
Paul Theroux writes: Moose Hunting for Votes 14 Sep
Kelan Evans works in Parwan province of Afghanistan 16 Sep
Joseph Opala creates an exhibit on Bunce Island 20 Sep
Anita Rogers called to serve in Afghanistan in 1966 21 Sep
RPCVs discuss changes in Sierra Leone 22 Sep
Chris Dodd is major player in $700 billion rescue plan 22 Sep
Kathleen Wright says PCVs changed South Korea 24 Sep
Thomas Tighe Reports from Clinton Global Initiative 25 Sep
Expectations High for Ambassador Kathleen Stephens 26 Sep
Scott Hajek sees US through whole new set of eyes 28 Sep
James Rupert writes: US Raids Strengthen Taliban 29 Sep
Three Common Misconceptions about the Peace Corps 30 Sep
Margaret Krome writes: Campaign endangers Voter Franchise 30 Sep
Christopher Hill returns to North Korea 1 Oct

New: More Stories from August and September 2008

September 1, 2008: This Month's Top Stories Date: September 1 2008 No: 1259 September 1, 2008: This Month's Top Stories
Eric Green writes: 2008 Election helps US Image Worldwide 28 Aug
Tschetter meets with President Arroyo in Philippines 29 Aug
Hill's new approach is an unsung success story 29 Aug
Jackie Theriot served as PCV in Togo 25 Aug
Therese Abalo became beekeeper to join Peace Corps 24 Aug
Obituary for Pauline Birky-Kreutzer 23 Aug
Peace Corps to Pare Ranks of Volunteers 22 Aug
George Packer writes play about Iraqi occupation 22 Aug
Martin Puryear retrospective at the National Gallery of Art 22 Aug
Elaine Chao heads final 2008 Olympic delegation 21 Aug
J R Bullington writes: Reinvigorate the Peace Corps 19 Aug
Faith Van Gilder returns to Botswana 18 Aug
Bill Owens still turning suburbs into art 18 Aug
Amy Smith hosts International Development Design Summit 17 Aug
McCain calls for greater volunteerism 17 Aug
Sarah Chayes writes: Afghans don't support insurgency 16 Aug
Maurice Albertson remembers origins of Peace Corps 15 Aug
John Perkins "hit man" is now documentary movie 15 Aug
Brian Connors helps local farmers in Malawi 13 Aug
Dr. Peter Davenport no stranger to rural health issues 13 Aug
Jeremiah Johnson tells story of HIV termination 8 Aug

New: More Stories from July and August 2008

PCVs Evacuated from Georgia Date: August 19 2008 No: 1254 PCVs Evacuated from Georgia
The Peace Corps has announced that all Volunteers and trainees serving in the Republic of Georgia are safe and they have been temporarily relocated to neighboring Armenia. Read the analysis by one RPCV on how Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili believed that he could launch a lightning assault on South Ossetia and reclaim the republic without substantial grief from Moscow and that Saakashvili's statements once the war began demonstrated that he expected real Western help in confronting Russia.

August 6, 2008: This Month's Top Stories Date: August 6 2008 No: 1250 August 6, 2008: This Month's Top Stories
PC in Budget Crunch may cut PCVs by 5% 5 Aug
Garamendi first to announce run for governor in 2010 2 Aug
Bob and Pat Parish receive president’s award 31 Jul
Sam Brownback removes block on Kathleen Stephens 31 Jul
Peace Corps Removes Ban on HIV-Positive Volunteers 31 Jul
RPCVs organize online for Obama 31 Jul
Peace group awards perfect rating to Sam Farr 29 Jul
How Hill used back channels to negotiate Korean agreement 27 Jul
Voter surge may hurt Shays 26 Jul
Matthew A. Hamilton writes: A Shadow on Ararat 25 Jul
Gates says Tools of inspiration are indispensable 15 Jul
An interview with Composer Gabriela Lena Frank 13 Jul
Ginny Farmer to swim in Olympics for American Samoa 11 Jul
Dodd is possible vice presidential candidate 11 Jul
Carl Pope supports the Pickens Plan 8 Jul
George Packer writes: Obama’s Iraq Problem 7 Jul
An Interview with PCOL 4 Jul
Ifugao hopes for tourism boost after Campbell Trial 3 Jul
Peace Corps To Quit Kiribati 3 Jul
Tony Hall asks: Where is moral outrage over food crisis? 3 Jul
Wofford raises awareness about global poverty 2 Jul

New: More Stories from June and July 2008

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Sky Hi Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; Food; Cooking


Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.