Which brings me to my point. I wrote a story about cooking in Isaan that is now up at The Atlantic. You should read it. But I don't want to scold. Instead, I'll show you two simple pictures that I took there, that somehow say more about the food and the cooking process than I might be able to muster here. Above, freshly roasted chilies and ground, glutinous rice. Below, the weathered mortar and pestle of my hosts, A-Nong and Thew. Aren't they beautiful? Now go on and read the story.