CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen…Cake and Purple Carrots…Old fashioned carcass soup…

That’s Christmas and the New Year over until next year…

My first post for 2020… Not so much going on in my kitchen this week…Still, food to use up…That Christmas cake keeps beckoning and talking to me…The chocolate and sweets and biscuits I can happily give away…My Christmas cake the first one I have made for many a year will not be given away…It will be eaten I will then assess the damage which so far is 3lb on…

Not bad… I am happy with that considering that my diet has been less than perfect for the last few weeks but hey ho…No beating myself up…I will just start again…tomorrow is another day…

My Christmas cake was all made from scratch, the marzipan and royal icing all made by me with a little help from Lily…

What was new..?. Purple carrots which were how carrots were originally… all those centuries ago until someone decided they should be Orange…The original carrots in Central Europe were purple or yellow…It was around the 17th century that carrot growers managed to cultivate Orange roots which became the norm…and as we know and love them now…

carrot purple -3936797_640

These purple carrots are very nice but unless steamed they colour every other vegetable purple …which doesn’t affect the taste just the colour. Not only are they eye-catching they also provide unique health benefits specific to purple fruits and vegetables.

All types of carrots are highly nutritious, but purple carrots are especially rich in powerful antioxidants known to fight inflammation and benefit certain health conditions.

What makes purple carrots nutritionally unique is the content of the antioxidants anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins belong to the polyphenol family of antioxidants and are found in purple fruits and vegetables like blackberries, grapes, purple sweet potatoes, purple cabbage, purple eggplants and purple carrots…They have a slightly sweeter taste but not too sweet and now I added them to my list of purples…so far we have steamed them and roasted them with a little olive oil and fresh thyme and rosemary with some crushed garlic thrown in the mix…They are delicious…

Now for that cake…

Back to Christmas cake…I have eaten it with a slice of cheese as per Sue’s recommendation and it is lovely…my new favourite accompaniment to Christmas Cake…Those lovely little truckles of cheese that my #1 son sent us are going down a treat…

What also went down a treat was the Xmas pudding that I saved from last year it was super delicious absolutely so much better letting it keep and mature…The outcome is that I will be making some puddings very soon for next year…

What’s cooking? Thai rice soup which is similar to Congee…Congee is a Chinese rice porridge which can be served savoury, sweet or just plain…A dish which is generally made for children or someone who is or has been sick…Comfort food…A good way to use up cooked rice…It looks very ordinary but with a good chicken or vegetable stock, it tastes extraordinary…

Rice Soup


  • 250 grams of minced pork
  • 600 ml of Thai pork/chicken stock
  • 250 grams of cooked jasmine rice
  • 3 spring onions chopped
  • a small handful of Chinese celery or regular celery leaves chopped
  • a small bunch of fresh coriander leaves picked
  • 1 long red chilli sliced
  • 2 tsp of Thai fried garlic
  • 1 tbsp of Fish Sauce you may need more or less depending on how salty your stock is
  • 1 tbsp of Thai light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of sugar (optional)
  •  freshly ground black pepper
Let’s Cook!
In a bowl, mix the pork with the soy sauce and a good pinch of black pepper. Shape into little meatballs or you just crumble the pork and add.
Bring the stock to a boil and add the pork. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the fish sauce, spring onions, celery, a good amount of black pepper and sugar(if using), and stir well.
Taste for seasoning and serve in bowls topped with the chilli, coriander and a teaspoon of the fried garlic.
Note: Thais can use sugar too much I think and where I think it is unnecessary in dishes like this I omit it …
If you want to add more vegetables or some bean sprouts or mushrooms anything goes in this soup …
Now for a little bit about how my blog will take a bit of a new shape over the coming year..
.A brand new year…2020…A new decade…

I will be keeping my Monday post on Climate Change and the environment as I do think things are escalating and taking a more serious turn for the worse.

Whimsical Wednesdays are where I indulge myself and I love writing these posts… so that stays…

Fridays in my Kitchen that will stay …there will be new recipes and info on how my cookbook is taking shape and any other business which happens in my kitchen…

Saturdays...There may be a recipe or three or some healthy eating info if I am shocked enough or wowed enough although the reason I am stopping my  Tuesday post is that we all know that a healthy balanced diet is the way to go, coupled with some exercise…We all know there will always be a new fad which is hyped up by celebrities and the like and the reality is they don’t work or in the main are not conducive to good health long term.

Sundays are the time for my weekly roundup…They are staying…

So cutting down to enable me to concentrate on my writing…I will be around on social media as and when time permits…

I can also be found over at Sally’s once a fortnight for my cookery column where this year my updated Culinary Alphabet will be the theme once a fortnight starting on 15th January 2010…

Now Christmas is over who still makes soup with the carcass of the chicken and turkey? The way your mum used to make it??? It was always a family favourite of my children and is still a favourite…My mum just used to chuck the carcass in the pan with chopped up veggies and let it cook…Nought wrong with that…Sometimes she would add dumplings or potatoes…How do you make yours…feel free to share your version…


  • 1 leftover turkey carcass (from a 12- to 14-pound turkey)
  • 2 cooked turkey wings, meat removed
  • 2 cooked turkey drumsticks, meat removed
  • 1 turkey neck bone
  • 1 medium unpeeled onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 small unpeeled carrots, cut into chunks
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup dried mixed lentil/peas(optional)
  • 4 quarts plus 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 5 cups uncooked egg noodles (optional)


  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2-1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp ground pepper

To get the maximum taste I have updated her recipe a little and now roast the bones before I cook them to make a broth by placing the turkey carcass, bones from wings and drumsticks, neck bone, onion, carrots and garlic in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 1 hour, turning once.

I then transfer the carcass, bones and vegetables to an 8-qt. stockpot. Add 4 qt. cold water then set aside. Pour remaining cold water ( 1 cup) into the baking pan, stirring to loosen browned bits. Add to the cooking pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3-4 hours.

It is now that I also add some mixed lentils and dried peas if I am using them… Once cooked…Cool the soup slightly. Remove the bones and discard them and the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Skim fat from broth. Add the carrots and noodles or potatoes if using…Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender. Stir in the parsley, salt, thyme and pepper.

This really is a throw anything in the soup but wholesome and in keeping with nose to tail eating and waste not want not…

That’s all for this week I hope you have enjoyed the recipes…xx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

26 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen…Cake and Purple Carrots…Old fashioned carcass soup…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…30th Dec-4th January 2020… | Retired? No one told me!

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      They do look colourful and the orange ones are healthy in their own right the purple are also healthy but just different which is good so if we eat both then we are on winner health wise

      When they are roasted I think the taste is similar to the parsnips…. I am now off to market as I need to restock..and try and get some sprouts I thought I had struck lucky christmas and was looking forward to fresh sprouts.. My darling daughter in law put them in the freezer which we discovered christmas morn.. Not being blanched before freezing made such a difference ruined them so fingers crossed they might still be selling them.. And I will get my sprouts… Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. marian beaman

    Happy new year . . . and new vision for 2020.
    I’m trying to find ways to use bone broth in my cooking this year. Also, watch for a blog post on soup the second week of January.

    Again, Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Lovely Marian I look forward to that and will share as it will fit in nicely with soup month… I have a post coming out shortly on how to use bone broth in everyday cooking when I have finished it I will let you know… Again, Happy New Year, Marian x


    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Lovely I am sure it tasted great, Scott without a recipe it is one of those soups where anything goes…I have added your link for the suvie to my next Wednesdays post so hopefully you will get a few more visits to Virily…Happy New Year 🙂


    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Don’t I know it, Robbie… Haha.. I don’t normally eat cake but it is the first one I have made for years plus making the marzipan and royal icing I have made an exception… I am walking more though so that helps.. Back to normal soon.. I sent all of the chocolate etc to the village today although chocolate and that doesn’t bother me I just didn’t want it sitting around.. X


  3. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler)

    Congratulations on only putting on 3lbs over the holidays. I’m not sure what I put on, but I did try to be careful about spreading out all those treats I baked. We’ve only just finished them, and no, I haven’t eaten all my sweets yet.

    I did know that about the carrot colouring, and keep meaning to look for purple carrots, because… Well, purple! The knowledge they’ll turn other things purple only makes me want some even more. Haha!

    I keep meaning to ask… Jasmine rice. How can I have some of that at home? I had it a couple of times from a local Thai place, and loved it, but I want to be able to have it at home too. When I tried looking for it when we were doing my shopping, I could only find it with a Thai green curry in a ready meal, which I don’t want, since I want to be making things from scratch. I keep thinking, “Carol would know,” and then forgetting to ask you about it. But seeing it listed in one of your ingredients lists up there reminded me to ask.

    I think a lot of us are realizing we need to cut back on some things to make time for others this year. I’m seeing a lot of cutting back in goal lists and plans for 2020. I think it’s a good thing.


    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Sainsburys, Asda, Tesco and Waitrose all sell Jasmine rice it also comes under the brand name of Tilda…I think most stores now would stock Jasmine rice as it is popular. I think so as well Tori otherwise you keep chasing your tail don’t you? Haha…Yes 3lb was lucky but I have walked quite a lot and I walk quite fast as well…But I haven’t finished the Christmas cake yet but it is dry January so no more alcohol will help keep the pounds at bay…I hope you have a fabulous 2020 🙂 xx Thank you for your constant support as well it is much appreciated 🙂 xx



Make my day leave a comment I love to hear from you

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.