The Culinary Alphabet in reverse…

Welcome to my new series…food-related of course…I was challenged way back at the beginning of this year by Pete…who suggested that maybe I should use ingredients and cooking methods where the A, for example, was the last letter i.e Pizza…

On reflection, I think it was a good idea although how I will fare when I get to some letters I am not sure if it will be doable but I will give it a good go… I am not one to back of if challenged…hehe

These posts will be Bi-weekly starting today…


I have a confession to make…I haven’t even kept count of the number of times I have thrown bean juice straight down the sink….Not anymore…


The juice also has a name aquafaba a term coined by a vegan baker Goose Wohlt.

It can be produced from the liquid from both tinned chickpeas and the bean cooking water now I  sort of already knew that this liquid could be used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces but I wasn’t aware that if it was reduced down by cooking until it thickens then it can be used in the same way as the juice from the tinned chickpeas and is used by vegans or anyone who has an egg allergy as a substitute for egg whites in many recipes.

For example, it can be used in cookies, cakes, icing, creams, even meringues, and also mayonnaise the recipe made with aquafaba by Esme salon is below. ( you can use bean liquid or tinned bean liquid.

The liquid can also be frozen for future use I either freeze in zip lock bags or ice-cube trays.

Just a little word of warning:

If you are using the juice from canned beans please make sure you are using brands which DON’T contain preservatives are organic and grown without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides also look for low salt or no salt varieties and BPA free cans as the white lining inside the cans is a known endocrine disruptor and can leach from the can lining into the food causing many health problems, including brain development abnormalities, cancers, and heart disease.


Asafoetida powder is commonly known as Hing…It is derived from a species of giant fennel…although the smell can be unpleasantly strong while uncooked it is mellow and garlicky once cooked. To some, the smell can be offputting. The Germans call it Teufelsdreck which translated is Devils Dung. It comes in a very small container and you need a very small amount in a recipe…


Bagna Cauda (BAHN-yah KOW-dah) – is an Italian term that means “hot Bath.”  It is like a Swiss fondue except that it has a much more robust flavour.  The original recipe called for walnut oil, but olive oil is now used and is considered to make an equally successful sauce.  The sauce is made up of anchovy fillets, olive oil, garlic, cream, butter, and vinegar.


Bananas the whole stem


I am sure most of you can get Bananas in your supermarket which will probably be the Cavendish by name as the original Banana favoured by the supermarkets was the  Gros Michel which became extinct by 1960 as it was wiped out by a fungus called the Panama Disease.

This could happen at any time as Bananas are actually clones and if they become infected with a fungus it just runs rampant and kills them all. in Thailand and in my garden Bananas grow in abundance.


The dish “bhuna” is an extension of that process where meat is added to the spices and then cooked in its own juices which results in deep strong flavours but very little sauce. The restaurant bhuna is a well-spiced Indian curry with a thick sauce.



Cacao vs. Cocoa. In one sense, the two words mean the same thing as “cocoa” is the English adaptation of the word “cacao.” However, there are also important distinctions between the two. While cacao refers to cacao beans that have not been roasted, what is called cocoa is made of beans that have been roasted.


Dolma is a family of stuffed dishes found in the Balkans, South Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Common vegetables for stuffing are tomato, pepper, onion, zucchini, eggplant, and pointed gourd.


Dukka(h) is a crunchy blend of nuts and spices. … Combine pistachios, with cumin seeds, sesame seeds, and coriander. This is wonderful over any dish or just with some bread and olive oil.



Feta is one of my favourite cheeses and I can always get it here…The ancient Greeks called the product that emanated from the coagulation of milk “cheese”. The name Feta, literally meaning “slice,” originated in the 17th century, and probably refers to the practice of slicing up cheese to be placed into barrels—a tradition still practised today.


Its primary ingredients are nut butter and sugar. Halva may also be based on various other ingredients, including beans, lentils, and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, yams and squashes. Halva is a dense, sweet confection originating in the Middle East.


Before I lived here I thought a Luffa was something you scrubbed your back with and that it came from the sea…How wrong was I?

This long brown, crispy baton-like object that when shook sounded like a babies rattle revealed… when the skin was peeled away a ” Loofah”

To say I was amazed alongside lots of my blog readers is the understatement of the year.

This led me to do some research and it is an amazing plant.

Not only are the flowers edible you can cook this edible squash-like gourd and have a Loofah. The plant produces both male and female flowers…


It is known as both a fruit and a vegetable. The male flowers come first followed by the female ones. It flowers all summer long and produces blooms up to 5 inches makes a wonderful screen in your garden and grows very quickly once established. In fact, the fruits grow 1 1/2 inches per day. If you wish to eat them then they must be picked when they are gherkin size or no more than 4 inches in length as once the fibres inside toughen then they can longer be eaten.

For more on the luffa click here



The word “napa” in the name napa cabbage comes from colloquial and regional Japanese, where Nappa (菜っ葉) refers to the leaves of any vegetable, especially when used as food.


Also, known as lady’s Fingers is a flowering plant in the mallow family. Okra is eaten fried or in gumbo, but it’s actually a fruit. Okra, a staple of Southern cuisine, appears to be a vegetable at first glance. However, the plant’s pods, the part that you eat, contain seeds, making it a plant thus botanically it is a fruit.


sausage and pasta

Italian name given to a type of starchy noodle or dumpling food or dish typically made from grain flour, commonly wheat, mixed into a paste or dough, usually with water or eggs, and formed or cut into sheets or other shapes. It is usually cooked by boiling, baking or frying. Rice flour, or legumes such as beans or lentils, are sometimes used in place of wheat flour to yield a different flavour and texture, or as a gluten-free alternative. Pasta is a staple food ingredient of Italian cuisine it comes in two forms fresh or dried.


Are yeast-leavened round flatbreads baked from wheat flour, common in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and neighbouring areas. Eaten with hummus or taramasalata (which) I love or stuffed or rolled up with meat and vegetables.



Originating from Italy…Pizza is a popular takeaway with many varieties of toppings from cheese and tomato to a meat feast …Pizza can also be a dessert with toppings of chocolate, fruit ..really anything goes now as a pizza topping…Pineapple seems to be one of the latest controversial toppings some say it should never be allowed to top a pizza others love it…I don’t mind pizza with pineapple.

Quinoa was once the staple food of the Incas and was known as “the mother grain” in ancient times.  It has just started to catch on in the U.S.  It is a very small ivory-coloured grain, which you can purchase in grain and flour form.  It cooks like rice, but cooks in half the time and expands to four times its size.  The flavour is delicate and has been compared to couscous with a slightly bitter aftertaste.  To remove the bitter taste, you need only to rinse the quinoa in a sieve before cooking.  Many chefs are using it as an interesting side dish.  Sometimes it is called a Superfood because it is a good source of iron, plant protein, potassium, magnesium and lysine.


One of my favourite wines I love a glass of good Rioja…Rioja is the name of the region where Rioja wine is produced…made from the Tempranillo grape a big fruity grape with good ageing properties combined with barrels made from American Oak this is a beautiful wine.


There is nothing nicer than a great salsa…Papaya is classed as one of the worlds healthiest foods and Christopher Columbus likened it to a fruit of the angels…In a salsa?? I made a small bowl to start and was pleasantly surprised.

I used 1 ripe tomato, a cup of papaya, 1 spring onion, a small shallot, a handful of chopped coriander and a cheek of fresh lime. Cut everything up small and mixed together…It was very nice…I also added as an afterthought just a little chilli…It has to be done…haha

Papaya tomato onion salsa

Eaten with my flatbreads it makes a lovely healthy little snack.


Also known as Cassava…Thai potatoes which in Thai are called Man sam Palang but are also known as Cassava, Yuca or Tapioca root. It is widely grown throughout the east and north-east Thailand as cattle food and also for starch and Tapioca flour.

I hope you enjoyed this reversed back to front alphabet…xx

Please stay safe as it seems in some places lockdowns are being introduced again…not good 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 well being.

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!

Please stay safe and well and follow your governments safety guidelines remember we are all in this together xxx



23 thoughts on “The Culinary Alphabet in reverse…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 12th July -18th July 2020…Climate Change, Recipes, Health, Whimsy, and Plantain… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. petespringerauthor

    You little overachiever you. I remember making that comment, but I never thought you’d put it into practice. When I taught elementary school, I was forever thinking up gimmicks like that to give a challenge to my high functioning kids. Now you know who to blame when you’re stuck on Q.😎 By the way, you just taught me three new foods.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Haha…I have been thinking on this for a little while and am up to E…Maybe you can think of a catchier title I couldn’t and don’t really like the one I used…As for Q all I can come up with is Coq (male chicken) as in Coq au Vin…sigh but will work on it…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. koolkosherkitchen

    What a great idea, dear Carol, and starting it off with a bang – so much fascinating information!
    If I may add: even though DOLMA is originally a Turkish word that means “stuffed,” and you are correct in that any veggies could be stuffed with mixture of rice, pine nuts, and spices, with or without meat, but the most common dolma is stuffed grape leaves, It is also called “dolmadaki”, or “dolmadakia” in Greek which means “little dolma,” because it is so small.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I like those as well, Jim except I am not a great pizza fan..I like cauliflower pizza base though…I am sure it is not going to be easy but as I said I like a challenge and it was a good idea of Pete’s ….I think… ask me when I am half way through…

      Liked by 2 people

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