Author Archives: CarolCooks2

About CarolCooks2

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. This is now taking me into other areas like deforestation, chemicals and preservatives in the food chain. 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!

Thailand…Down on the Farm…Cannon Ball fruit,Lemongrass Salad and Tea…

Welcome to this edition of Down on the farm…

Today I am bringing to you some more of the fruits I am lucky to get here…This huge fruit which looks exactly like a cannonball is one which is growing at my local temple…quite why unless it is for the shade of the tree I don’t know because if one of those landed on your head you would almost certainly be knocked out…

 

Completely spherical with a woody shell and a reach diameter of up to 25 centimetres (10 inches), which give the species the common name “cannonball tree”.

The fruit although edible has a terrible smell unlike the fragrant flowers of the tree hence it is used as animal feed…The pigs and chickens love it!

It really is not a surprise to hear that the tree belongs to the Brazil nut family and although not palatable to us..the flowers are absolutely beautiful and the fruit has many medicinal uses…

Bats and bees are responsible for the pollination to take place. The flowers are mostly visited by wasps, bumblebees, flower bees and carpenter bees.

Some of the traditional uses for this tree and its fruit:

  • The plant extract is used to treat stomach aches and colds.
  • The juice extracted from the leaves is used to treat skin diseases.
  • In South America, the Shamans used tree parts to treat malaria.
  • The pulp is used to disinfect wounds.
  • Young leaves are used to provide relief from toothache.
  • The bark is used to cure colds.
  • The extracts of the tree parts are used to cure pain, hypertension, tumours and inflammation.
  • The fruit pulp is rubbed on sick dogs to cure them of mange.
  • The juice extracted from leaves is used to cure skin ailments.
  • In Ayurveda, the juice of the fruit is used as expectorant for bronchitis and chronic cough.

Lots of fruit and vegetables are in season now and lemongrass is very prolific I have a huge bunch so tomorrow Tom Yum Gai made from scratch will be on the dinner menu…Some are in the freezer both the stems and some I have finely cut…I also have made some lemongrass paste…I am madly thinking of what I can make with Lemongrass…some I have shared with neighbours and made a salad…

Thai Lemongrass Salad…Yum Takrai

Thai Lemongrass Salad with tamarind dip

I personally love this salad it is so fresh and vibrant, you could leave out the dried shrimp if you really eat no meat or fish products, slightly different taste but still good as if I don’t have any to hand then I leave them out.

Yum Takrai (Spicy Lemongrass Salad)

  • 15 stalks fresh lemongrass.
  • 14 cup finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp. toasted cashews
  • 2 tbsp. whole dried shrimp
  • 12 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 12 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2-1 12 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. whole dried shrimp, finely ground
  • 4-6 red Thai chillies stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 raw stemmed long beans, cut into 4″ pieces for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Trim and slice the lemongrass very finely. Transfer lemongrass slices to a medium bowl, separate rings with your fingers. Add ginger, cashews, shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, ground shrimp, Thai chiles, and shallots, and toss well. Garnish with long beans. Serve on Banana Leaf or Betel Leaf as in my picture.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice or cauliflower rice if eating Gluten-free.
We also serve with a tamarind sauce made by combing 3 tbsp tamarind pulp with cup water in a small pan, bring to boil and simmer 5 mins.
Remove from heat and stand 15 mins you can help break tamarind down with a spoon, strain through sieve extracting as much liquid as possible.
Add 2cm peeled finely chopped ginger and 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, 1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar,2 tsp fish sauce,1 tbsp chilli/garlic sauce and 1 tsp soy sauce to tamarind liquid.
Bring to boil, simmer 5 mins.
Whisk 1 tbsp cornflour/arrowroot powder with little water whisk into sauce cook 1 min or until thickens.
Taste and adjust seasoning add more sugar if required.
Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
I hope you enjoy this little salad.
lemongrass-1713240_1280
How to make lemongrass tea which is a nice, refreshing citrusy drink which can be sipped hot or add ice cubes and it is a nice refreshing cold drink.
  • cut the stalks into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • boil a cup of water
  • pour the boiling water over the lemongrass stalks to steep
  • leave the stalks in the water for at least 5 minutes
  • strain the liquid from the stalks and pour into a teacup

Enjoy!

That’s all from me for today…I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the Thai fruits we grow or buy here …Can you get any of these where you live?

And don’t forget any unusual fruits or veg send me a picture and I will see what I can find out…

Thank you for reading I do hope you are all staying well and safe…It seems like the whole world is on lockdown…scary times…xx… I haven’t been going out unless it is a necessity… only shops selling food are open now and we are just waiting for the next phase…I have my stock of rice from the farm to last me a few months…It might also prompt me to have a go at making pasta…I am not worried about fruit and veg and have some larder to fall back on…we also have a bum gun so tissue isn’t a problem…My family brought us some rice and meat plus lots of limes and eggplants from the farm which I have shared around the neighbours as there were just too many for us so it will be eggplant dip and green curry this week for us …

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.

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!

Thank you for reading and please stay safe and well…xxxx

Recycling and Climate Change…30th March 2020…A new world?

Hello and welcome… the world is changing swiftly.. fast before our eyes like a Phoenix rising from the flames…changes are happening in front of our eyes the atmosphere is clearing..waters are running clearer …dolphins and fish are appearing on the waterways of Venice …Mother Nature is being very quick to reclaim her territory…How wonderful is that?

It makes me think that all was not lost as some suggested… that nature is ever powerful and can regenerate so much faster than maybe even the learned scientists knew…Will lessons be learnt…I do hope so…Amongst all this tragedy we have to take some positives we have to believe that the world and its inhabitants can and will change for the better respect nature more…

The future may be very different but not all bad maybe we needed this …I know mother Nature did…

This video discusses both sides of the coin…We must not get carried away and think that this is a silver lining ..Pandemics are a catastrophe to both life and economies…  But maybe just maybe some lessons will be learnt…

I like that this video discusses how we can start to go forward after this crisis…We cannot go back we cannot stop technology and advancements but we can work in different ways which then cuts our carbon footprints …So not so many business trips but a meeting nonetheless…This is a beautiful example of that and the brilliance of technology…It also made me cry…

So beautiful…

Food for thought!

Which takes me nicely onto waste…

Has all this panic buying made you rethink…Rethink how you cook and shop…How you maybe don’t need to buy so much or waste so much…it certainly has in my kitchen…

Healthwise as well...Who is now baking their own bread and making pizza bases for the first time…Learning how to preserve the life of fresh fruits and vegetables by pickling, freezing or canning??? Foraging?

I am guessing many of you…

Pandemics are both life taking and changing…I don’t like cocooning myself at home …I don’t like not being able to cuddle my grandchildren or children…I don’t want this to be my new norm…I miss my trips to the markets…I miss the camaraderie…But I also know we have to be together but apart even in the home…

together but aopart teddy-2516174_640

 

My hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see community and caring becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER.

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe xxx

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.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all stay safe and healthy xx

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 16th March-28th March 2020…

Good morning …welcome to my weekly roundup I do hope you are all keeping well and practising social distancing…I am…It is getting a bit unreal though…silence everywhere although the birds are still twittering and tweeting.

I am trying to only listen to the news once a day as it is getting too much as is social media it has gone from so much news… false and otherwise to being unnaturally happy and jolly ..quizzes and the like…people seem to be frantically looking to stay happy and positive… I think a dumbed-down happy medium is needed or am I wrong?… It is just getting weird…

Monday:

animal-1869337_640

The world is changing swiftly.. fast before our eyes due to Covid-19… just like the Phoenix whose rose from the flames…changes are happening in front of our eyes the atmosphere is clearing..waters are running clearer …dolphins and fish are appearing on the waterways of Venice …Mother Nature is being very quick to reclaim her territory…How wonderful is that?

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/23/recycling-and-climate-change23rd-march-2020mother-nature-wins/

Tuesday: exotic fruits…

As I am staying home indoors I am taking this opportunity to sort through posts and revisit or repost until I can get out and about again…This week some of the fruits I get to eat…I hope you enjoy!

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/24/thailanddown-on-the-farmexotic-fruits-snake-fruit-star-fruit-and-thai-cherry/

Whimsical Wednesday:

This week it went from Garfield to waffles…which many of you appear to love…Lots of love around the world from balcony singing which was lovely to see and hear and since then we have seen clapping and appreciation for the NHS in Britain to the Eiffel Tower with its message of thanks…It is lovely to see the world uniting…It gives hope in these unprecedented times…Hope for humanity…xx

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/25/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-32/

Thursday: The pungent defender’s Onions and Garlic by Sally Cronin

We need to boost our natural defences in any way we can at the moment…Sally knows her onions…Pop over for some great advice and health benefits and some recipes from moi…Be prepared…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/26/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-the-pungent-defenders-onions-and-garlic-by-sally-cronin/

Friday: Join me in my kitchen…

When I am worried I cook…and eat…in no particular order… Sally’s Irish Soda Bread …baked.. very nice it is…with added oats and fruit…Pork loin is brining in the fridge which I will be cooking today…

My daughter in law has been foraging a normal pastime for her and fishing which she loves…Next week  Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen is sharing some of her recipes with us…Have you cooked and eaten fiddlehead ferns…

I haven’t so I am looking forward to learning how….  make sure you don’t miss it…It always excites me…cooking and eating food from the land which has been foraged…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/27/carolcooks2this-week-in-my-kitchen-27th-marcheverything-cooked-from-scratch/

Saturday Morning Market:  

Tessaban market which is my normal Saturday morning jaunt is still open as it is selling food…I am not going until all this is over I am staying indoors…cooking from my store cupboard/freezer…garden/farm and shopping online…we are on a nightly curfew so the streets can be jetwashed but I will keep the posts coming …

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/28/saturday-morning-marketnot-this-week/

That’s all for this week…Thank you for reading…I hope you have enjoyed this weekly roundup xx I invite your comments…Let’s chat!

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.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all are having a great weekend, stay safe and wash those hands xx

Saturday Morning Market…Not this week…

Saturday Morning MarketNot this Saturday morning or until further notice although as it is a food market it is still open…I, however, do not want to take that chance so for the foreseeable I will regale you with fruits and vegetables that I have already discovered…it will help me while away the time …instead of just eating…sigh…

Saturday Morning Market 28st March

I have also taken this exile as a prompt to have a clear-out..some 500 plus posts are now in the Trash and at some point, I probably will resurrect some of them and the others will go to the permanently deleted bin…

In the meantime, I will share with you some of the lovely fruits and vegetables that I have already discovered here and love to eat or not…

This tiny little sweet and sour fruit is part of the Sapindaceae family which includes lychee, longan and rambutan.

It is a tiny little fruit which grows wild and is often called the wild lychee the tree it comes from is enormous and the fruit so tiny it also quite rare to find… I came across this fruit quite by chance when I took a ride back from the market in a tuk-tuk. I have not had the pleasure of finding any since maybe one day as they are a beautiful little fruit.

My tuk-tuk driver had a bag of these in the back of his tuk-tuk and me being nosey asked him what they were he told me to try some which I did ..of course…when I expressed my pleasure he gave me some…Thais are very generous… if you try what they offer and you like it you will always be gifted some. He told me that he had a tree in his village which was where he got the fruit from…his snack for the day…

korlan fruit on bunch

When peeled they look like very small lychees and I could find very little information about this lovely little fruit… It may be found locally on markets or often people just sit on the sidewalk with a few fruits and vegetables from their land which they are selling to make a few baht but this is also where you come across unusual fruits and vegetables which are not commercially grown or they are just grown wild.

Korlan fruit with one peeled

Found also in Laos and Myanmar it is not grown commercially or generally cultivated so quite rare.

Korlan... the rare wild fruit juice has a delicious and unique taste of sour and sweet variety with health benefits from vitamins and antioxidants.

It is said to regulate blood sugar and also to improve concentration and stress. Locals say eaten daily or taken as a syrup/extract made from the fruit it gives increased energy and boosts the immune system, therefore, combating flu viruses and colds. I could certainly do with some of them right now…

korlan fruit in chilli sauce

My daughter in law said they were also eaten with dried chilli, fish sauce and lime they were quite nice and as I didn’t have enough to make a syrup we enjoyed them just like this… this type of dip/sauce is quite commonly eaten with fruits.

The stones if I had thought I could have maybe sprouted them and had my own tree…next time methinks…

Have you come across this fruit?? Do you have any recipes using this fruit?? If so I would love to hear from you in the comments x

The Tamarind is very plentiful here and used in many Thai dishes …I love just eating the fruit it has quite a sour taste but I like it…It is sold in little packs here on the markets the seeds already removed or as a paste to add to food. It is also sold dried and sugared as a snack food and although sugared is still has quite a sour…taste…

These rather plain brown pods of fruit do, however, have the capacity to elevate your food to something else.

Tamarind like many fruits and vegetables has a long history of healing and aiding stomach disorders and is used as a laxative.

Tamarind preparations are used for fevers, sore throats, inflammation of joints and sunstroke. The leaves dried or boiled are made into poultices to help reduce swollen joints, sprains, boils, haemorrhoids and conjunctivitis.

Tamarind is also great as a marinade for meat as it breaks down and tenderises tougher cuts of meat. It is used to make jams and syrups it is also one of the secret ingredients of Lea & Perrins  Worcestershire sauce which is a fermented sauce which has many uses.

Great for smoothies a mango and tamarind smoothie is very nice it also has many other culinary uses.

This little dip is a recipe from Bali given to me by my grandson’s girlfriend it is very easy to make but made more special by the addition of tamarind. 

Called Rujak sauce it is lovely with mangoes.

  • Take 200 gm of palm sugar shaved.
  • 15 gm of tamarind flesh and 5 tbsp of water leave to infuse for 5 mins and then drain and keep the tamarind flavoured water.
  • 6 or more Thai chillies.
  • 1/4 tsp shrimp paste and 1/4tsp salt.

Blitz all these ingredients together and you have fiery little sauce.

It is hard for me to pick a favourite dish made with Tamarind  Beef Rendang is a recipe given to me by my friend Mamik and it is very nice the beef is amazing. It is also my go-to recipe if I want that special dish to impress although there are many ingredients and it has quite a long prep time it is so worth it and as I said earlier if I am having guests a really lovely dish.  rich and flavoursome it tastes amazing…This recipe will be in my cookbook…

Another of my favourites is Miang Kham although I have made it at home some markets sell all the little bits ready cut in bags with the sauce much easier and they taste just the same as much of the food sold on the markets here is made in home kitchens and sold on the market…

miang-kham-1188212_1920

 

Ingredients: Filling:

  • 3/4 cup grated coconut (this is often available in the baking section of most supermarkets) if you are not as lucky as me and can buy from our local fresh markets.
  • 2 small limes, unpeeled (try to get limes with thin skin), cut into small cubes
  • 6 tablespoons shallots, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 6 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 6 tablespoons small dried shrimps
  • 4-5 fresh Thai chillies, cut into small slivers
  • 4 oz fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small cubes.

Ingredients: Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste, roasted until fragrant
  • 2 oz fresh galangal, cut into slivers and roasted until fragrant (see note below)
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut, roasted in a low-heat oven until lightly brown
  • 4 oz small dried shrimps.
  • 2 oz shallots, peeled and coarsely cut
  • 1.5 teaspoons fresh ginger, sliced
  • 8 oz palm sugar (broken into small chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons table sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind soaked in 3 tbsp water for about 10 mins.
  • salt for seasoning

Let’s Cook!

The Sauce.

In a pestle and mortar, pound together the shallots and galangal until fine (note about galangal: it’s ok to use dried galangal as long as it’s placed in a dish of lukewarm water for a few minutes to reconstitute). Add roasted shrimp paste, ginger, coconut and dried shrimp, and continue pounding until smooth. Remove the mixture and place in a pot with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add palm sugar and table sugar, then reduce heat and simmer, wait until reduced to 1 cup or a bit less. Add tamarind liquid. Taste, and adjust by adding a bit of salt. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.

Wrapping Leaves

Your choice of what leaves to use is up to you. Some use lettuce or spinach leaves due to ready availability, but to get an authentic flavour you should use the fresh Betel Leaves.

To serve:

Roast the coconut in a low-heat oven until lightly brown. Spoon the roasted coconut into a serving plate. In separate small bowls, arrange each filling ingredient listed above. With a fresh wrapping leaf in hand, fold it once across the bottom then sideways to form a pocket. Place about 1 teaspoon toasted coconut in the leaf together with a small amount of each filling to create a bite-sized quantity. Spoon the sauce on top, pop in your mouth and enjoy!

Although this can be a little time-consuming to prepare it is well worth it.

Thank you for reading this post I hope you have enjoyed it and the recipes xxx

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.

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!

Thank you again for reading enjoy your weekend and stay safe and healthy xxx

 

 

 

 

 

CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen 27th March…Everything cooked from scratch…

In my kitchen… where you will get an insight into what I have been cooking this week…Plus a bit of chat and trivia it would be boring otherwise…wouldn’t it?

This week in my Kitchen 27th March 2020

I am also guessing that for many of you life has changed this last month or two and if you are now at home it also gives the chance to cook more especially as you have time and maybe cannot buy as much or any of the things you normally buy so are having to make your own or improvise…and make do…

It is not so bad here and I have heard reports that it is calming down elsewhere in the world…Overstocking and buying surplus to your needs is not the Thai way…maybe some people could learn from that…we also share here and help if someone can’t get something or we buy a little more some for us and some for a neighbour…It is just the way of life…Being kind to others…

A green curry was the plan but we had run out of green curry paste so Penang curry it was…we had no mushrooms so added stem broccoli, sugar snaps and potato…It turned out to be a very nice curry…

smart

Quite spicy but not over the top spicy…just right…

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken legs with the thigh which I skin and halve as some like the drumstick and some the thigh or 8 pieces of chicken.
  •  1 dessert sp of Penang curry paste.
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves very finely shredded
  • 4oo ml Coconut milk
  • 1-2 potatoes, peeled and cut into thick half slices
  • 8 long stem broccoli
  • 15 sugar snap peas

Heat a small amount of oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan add your curry paste and cook for about a minute stirring add lime leaves and fish sauce stir to combine.

Add you chicken pieces and stir to coat with curry paste then gradually add your coconut milk and the potatoes slowly bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 35-40 mins until chicken is cooked and potatoes nearly cooked then add your sugar snaps and broccoli and cook for a further 10-15 minutes we like our vegetables to still have a little bite to them…

Serve with rice of your choice.

My daughter in law loves foraging and it is that time of year when Krachiew (ดอกระเจียว) which is a Thai traditional plant can be found growing wild in the forests/jungle and the rice paddys although I do have some in my garden… found mainly here in the northeast but can be found in other neighbouring countries such as Myanmar and Laos. When foraging keep an eye on the ground as they are easy to miss or to trample on…these are some which were picked this morning…

Commonly eaten as vegetables here..they have a sweet crispy flavour and have a unique fragrance which also makes it popular as ornamental plants because the flowers are so beautiful, colourful, and can have many colours.

Krachiew flowers and young shoots here in the northeast are popular for cooking, they are either made into a paste and made into a unique curry found here ( however on trying) to translate the ingredients I don’t think I would be eating it as I don’t eat the animal or agree if my translation was correct…  we eat them lightly steamed or raw with a fiery chilli dip.

This flower stem comes out from underground rhizomes.  The leaves are single leaves and are green which closely resemble the ginger plant. The flowers appear just after the morning sun and are best picked then.

Foraging is very much part of life here but wherever you live if you know your wild plants there should be the opportunity to forage and many wild greens are packed full of nutrients just ensure they are really well washed.

dandelion flowers

What was once classed as weeds are now eagerly sought by many as foraging has had an upsurge… known to be full of nutrients and tasty we are realising that our forebears across the old world knew what was good for them… and still today the arrival of the first shoots of green is eagerly awaited by country cooks and celebrated in a bounty of dishes. From dandelion, nettles, wild mustards, sheep sorrel, wood sorrel, plantain and wild onions, these “weeds” are in vogue again… once consumed to revitalize the body after winter these spring greens are part of a medicinal spring cuisine thousands of years old.

They can be served fresh in salads, cooked up into traditional spring pies or as braised vegetable dishes, sautéed with lots of oil, garlic and onions…how about a lovely cream of dandelion soup or nettle broth and dumplings?

Do you forage for spring greens? Do you have a recipe tried and tested you would love to share? 

This week I have also been baking bread…I used Sally’s Yeast-free soda bread recipe and very nice it is…I made one larger loaf instead of two loaves I didn’t have two smaller loaf tins I just adjusted the cooking time added oats and raisins it was very nice warm with some butter…This cocooning is not good for my waistline I am eating more and walking less…

smart

I am sure this loaf won’t last long…

I hope this has given you some ideas...the stockpiling and panic buying has horrified me  I have family and friends in the U.K. who can’t even get milk for their babies ..yet it is on e-bay for extortionate prices…If anyone I know is doing that and profiting from other peoples misery and worry then I will unfriend without hesitation…It is disgusting behaviour there is no need if everyone just shopped as normal there would be enough for everyone. Appalling behaviour… however I have noticed in the U.K. that if reported to Trading standards anyone charging extortionate prices will be prosecuted …I say good…

That’s all for this week from me please stay safe and think of others we are all in this together…x

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!

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – The pungent defenders Onions and Garlic by Sally Cronin

Sally certainly knows her onions…Lots of great info on the benefits of eating your onions and garlic and recipes to make your mouth water and your body healthy…Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

As a follow on from the recent series on the Weekly Grocery Shopping List of foods that contain the nutrients the body needs I am going to repeat my series from 2017 on the health benefits of some of our most common foods.

Food therapy is a broad term for the benefits to the body of a healthy, varied and nutritional diet of fresh foods.

Most of us walk through the fresh produce departments of our supermarkets without really paying much attention to the individual fruits and vegetables. This is a great pity because the vast majority of these foods have been cultivated for thousands of years, not only for their nutritional value but also for their medicinal properties. If you eat a healthy diet you are effectively practicing preventative medicine. A robust immune system, not only attacks external opportunistic pathogens, but also works to  prevent rogue cells in the…

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Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome to Whimsical Wednesdays…I am feeling a little thoughtful rather than whimsical lately…This current situation is so surreal…it’s getting weird and unsettling…

I suppose I like to be in control and that’s the bottom line…I can control my actions but not others and I don’t like being isolated to this extent its weird…But I will as survival mode has also kicked in…I will try my best to keep my posts on track and positive if not all of the time most of the time…

I am however very happy to see how mother nature is bouncing back and to be honest, I am shocked at how quickly it is happening which is great news for the planet…Blue skies over China…Dolphins and fish in the canals of Venice, People singing loud and clear using saucepan lids as cymbals from their balconies…

Humans are wonderful at keeping their spirits up…so chin up peeps we will get through this…

Who doesn’t love Garfield this was a blast from the past my kids loved that cat…we had Garfield everything toys quilt covers…for three decades Garfield phones kept washing up on the shores of Western France and finally last year the mystery was solved.

garfield phone visual hunt

Photo credit: echoesofstars on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

The residents of Brittany in Northern France were used to seeing these iconic phones bobbing on the waves and washing up on the shores…where did they come from? A local farmer donned his sherlock holmes cap and decided to investigate…

While exploring the caves along the shoreline he found the remnants of a shipping container which had got stuck in one of the caves…Mystery solved…the current and the waves did the rest and those iconic phones left their watery grave and were transported to freedom …the rest is history…

Today is also National Waffle Day…

What is a waffle? For starters it is something I have never made, hardly ever eaten…made from leavened batter or dough that is cooked between two plates that are patterned to give a characteristic size, shape, and surface impression. … Waffles are eaten throughout the world, particularly in Belgium, which has over a dozen regional varieties…There are American waffles, Belgium or Brussels waffles, the Liege waffle, Hongkong waffles and even a pandan waffle…

Waffle is also a slang term meaning “to keep changing one’s mind.”

waffles-2190961_640

It was in the 18th century when the word “waffle” first appeared in the English language, in a 1725 printing of Court Cookery by Robert Smith. Recipes had begun to spread throughout England and America, though essentially all were patterned after established Dutch, Belgian, German, and French versions.

Have you a favourite waffle recipe? Me I am going to try the Masterchef recipe of waffles with triple fried chicken and chilli caramel to me as someone who doesn’t eat waffles that sounds like a good place to start…What do you think?

As with bread, the original waffles were probably cooked on a hot stone it wasn’t until the iron age when iron plates and griddles were used ..two plates meant the flat cakes aka waffles as they were to become known cooked quicker sandwiched between two hot plates. At the start of the French Revolution, Thomas Jefferson returned to the U.S. from his position as Minister to France. Along with a pasta machine, he brought a long-handled waffle iron that encloses the batter and gives the waffle crispness and shape. This began the trend of “waffle frolics” or waffle parties, where guests enjoyed their waffles sweet (with maple syrup or molasses) or savoury (topped with kidney stew). Slaves got the leftovers as a special treat. This evolved into the southern favourite, chicken and waffles.

Did you know?

That it was March 29th 1974 when Chinese farmers digging a well uncovered the Terracotta Army…

Going to see the Terracotta Army is on my to-do list one of my must-do lists…Little did they know just what a find they had discovered…The emperor of the army is still to be uncovered…I saw a couple of them when I was visiting a museum here which had been given to the Thai people by the Chinese government.

They truly are works of art…Fabulous…

Time for a tune…

 

That’s all for today …Thank you for joining me on my whimsical ramblings I do hope you have enjoyed this post…Please stay safe and well…I have just read that Prince Charles has tested positive for Covid-19…It looks like no-one is immune…xxx

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.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx