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!

Saturday Snippets…21st November 2020…

 

Welcome to Saturday Snippets…It has been a mixed week for us here which I will tell you about further down the post…we had Lily’s birthday… she was 8 yrs old …my mummy was 90 years old and sadly a dear neighbour left this world for the next…

Today is National Cranberry Day and National Peanut Butter Fudge Day… tomorrow is Stir-up Sunday time to make your Christmas cake and puddings.

christmas Baking Cakes and Pudding

It is also National Pomegranate Month…I love the pomegranate it’s just those dang pips   I do however absolutely adore using Pomegranate molasses it makes a fabulous sauce to pair with a lamb dish…

TODAY I am going to be making the fudge so will share the recipe maybe tomorrow in my roundup or next week…It would make an ideal Christmas gift wrapped in cellophane with a pretty bow or in a nice little box with a made in my kitchen label…

Wellness Corner with Sally Cronin…

I do hope you are all enjoying this series as much as I am… this week Sally is looking at the versatile oil of Lavender which is one of my favourites as it heals wounds brilliantly, great for skin care, headaches and those pesky fleas that animals can be prone to…Lavender!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/11/19/the-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-aromatherapy-versatile-lavender-skin-care-headaches-insomnia-first-aid-and-fleas/

Did you know?

On November 21, 1980, 350 million people around the world tune in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate. J.R. had been shot on the season-ending episode the previous March 21, which now stands as one of television’s most famous cliffhangers. The plot twist inspired widespread media coverage and left America wondering “Who shot J.R.?” for the next eight months. The November 21 episode solved the mystery, identifying Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s wife’s sister and his former mistress, as the culprit…

Were you a Dallas fan? I can honestly say I never watched one episode of Dallas…

Environmental Corner…

The good news…the bees are bouncing back…Honeybees to be precise. Many insects are very susceptible to changes in climate and sensitive to chemical pesticides that are used on crops, including honeybees. They are very important creatures that most people don’t think much about.

Different types of blossoms impart different flavours in the honey, and it is said that the sophisticated palate can differentiate them. But not only do bees provide honey for humans, but they also pollinate most of the food crops we need to survive.

From corn to potatoes, apples to tomatoes, we need honeybees in a big way. Unfortunately, in recent years their populations have been crashing with no end in sight until this year.

In 2019 the USDA honeybee colony report shows a significant increase in bee populations – up 14 per cent over the last year. Great news!

November 21st  1931 Horror film “Frankenstein” is released, starring Boris Karloff as the monster, directed by James Whale and based on Mary Shelley‘s 1818 novel “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”

Let’s have some music…

I think it’s time and I can slip in a Christmas song… Tis the season to be jolly (almost) and nothing says Christmas like some new festive tunes…after all this could be a very weird yuletide season…In previous years we have had classics from Josh Groban, Maria and Michael Buble.

This year we have  Kelly Clarkson – Under The Mistletoe ft. Brett Eldredge, Beverley Knight -A Christmas Wish, Meghan Trainor – I Believe In Santa, Dolly Parton – Christmas Is ft. Miley Cyrus, Ava Max – Christmas Without You, Jonas Brothers – I Need You Christmas, Liam Payne – Naughty List feat. Dixie D’Amelio, Delta Goodrem – Only Santa Knows / Merry Christmas To You ft. Olivia Newton-John …

After listening to all of these none of them hit the spot for me …How about you?  I love Christmas Carol’s and the golden oldies for tunes…like Rockin around the Christmas Tree, Last Christmas, White Christmas…Bing Crosby(1942), Blue Christmas…The king, Santa Claus is coming to town and many more some of which will be featured on here…Like the Pogues…

I think I prefer the Christmas adverts…

That’s all for this week and Saturday Snippets…xxx

Thank you for reading….enjoy your weekend, stay safe not only from Covid-19 but the wildfires around the world…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!

That’s all for today…Enjoy your weekend and stay safe and well xx

Fruity Friday…Pears…

There are around 3,000 varieties of Pears worldwide…an edible fruit shaped like a teardrop healthwise they are packed with fibre, vitamins and beneficial plant compounds…the Pear is even healthier for us than an Apple…the pear is about 83% water…pears have green, red, yellow or brown skin…

Pears are harvested at the end of the summer into early fall…Pears also ripen better when removed from the tree…

Pears can be eaten raw, poached and served as a beautiful dessert, sliced and eaten with cheese, made into a Pear preserve or dip… the options for using the pear sweet or savoury are endless…

The Chinese are the largest producer of pears followed by the Europeans …The Chinese consider the pear, which they call “li,” to be a symbol of immortality. The destruction of a pear tree symbolizes tragic or untimely death.

Asian Pears grow in the most tropical highlands of South and South-East Asia where they grow mainly in Northern Thailand.

The Asian pear is also known as nashi pear, apple pear or Chinese pear…Nashi means pear in Chinese. The Thai name for pear is Sali…

Australian Pears Goulburn River and Rico pears are also exported to here …

Pears are well known for their grainy texture which is due to gritty scierenchymatic cells which are embedded in the flesh this is a characteristic of the entire pear genus this separates it from the Apple genus.

Asian Pears have a weaker flavour which although refreshing on a hot day they are not as aromatic as European varieties.

Did you know?

The five states within the United States that produce the most pears are Washington, Oregon, California, New York, and Michigan.

In 2005, the pear became the official state fruit of Oregon.

Do you know your pears? This man does…

Another interesting fact is that the wood from a pear tree is used to make musical instruments, furniture and other items.

Pears are a true winter fruit when eaten in season…a delicious way to eat a pear is with a bowl of homemade tomato and red pepper soup with a grilled cheese sandwich…To your cheese sandwich add some slices of pear and some baby spinach leaves…

You will never want to eat it any other way…Just delicious…

Tomato and Red Pepper Soup.

Preheat the oven 375F/190C

Grease two baking sheets and place tomatoes skin side down on one, then lightly coat the peppers and onions in olive oil and place on the other baking tray also throw the unpeeled garlic into the tray…Pop it in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes.

When the tomatoes and peppers are roasted heat your vegetable stock in a pan big enough to take the tomatoes and peppers. Add your roasted tomatoes and peppers to the vegetable stock and simmer for 15 minutes.

Allow your soup to cool slightly and then either using a stick blender or your liquidiser blend to your desired consistency… Taste and season.

Serve with a swirl of cream or natural yoghurt if liked…and cheese and pear grilled sandwich…

Enjoy!

How about some roasted pears with brown sugar…

Arrange cored and halved pears cut side up in a baking dish. In a small saucepan combine 1/3 cup of apple juice and 1/3 cup of brown sugar cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

Add 3 tbsp of butter and whisk until smooth. Pour the sauce over the pears and bake at 400F/204C for 30 mins or until the pears are just tender and a light golden brown remember to baste often or all that lovely sauce will stick to the bottom of the pan.

Transfer the pears to serving dishes and top with some lovely vanilla ice cream…

Spoiler Alert! Pears can also be pickled or made into a chutney…recipes to follow in the run-up to Christmas…

That’s all for Fruity Friday see you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets…

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!

Thank you again for joining me for Fruity Friday I hope you have enjoyed this post…If you have please leave a comment as I always enjoy hearing from you it makes my day xxx

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Alternative Healing Therapies – The Alexander Technique – Part One – #Backpain #Flexibility #Headaches by Sally Cronin

Welcome to Part One of  Sally’s Backpain Series...Those 5 exercises to see how supple you are definitely an eye-opener and caused few oohs and arrs and an ouch!.. I could do numero 1 quite easily and touch the floor the other 3… I will work on or maybe not…Luckily I don’t suffer back pain but could be more supple…


Health Column

Please head over to Smorgasboard Health …#recommended read

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/11/16/smorgasbord-health-column-alternative-healing-therapies-the-alexander-technique-part-one-backpain-flexibility-headaches-by-sally-cronin/

 

The Culinary Alphabet with a little twist…(teJ)

 

Good morning everyone and Pete… time for another post which is this crazy idea from one of my fellow scribes …but food fun…I could only find two foods ending in the letter J so have combined it with the letter K…Enjoy!

Munj:

Munj Haak is a Kashmiri vegetarian dish flavoured with asafoetida…

Tej:

Gesho ( buckthorn) stems, gathered from the highlands of Ethiopia, are sundried and packed fresh. These aromatic sticks and stem flavour centuries-old traditional brewing recipes for Beer and Ethiopian Honey wine.

How do you make Ethiopian Tej drink?
Ingredients:
  • 21 ounces (621 ml) liquid honey.
  • 63 ounces (1.86 L) water.
  • ½ teaspoon (1.6 g) brewer’s yeast.
  • 5 ounces (142 g) gesho.

Mead is considered healthier than beer and wine because it’s made with honey, which is easier for the body to metabolize, and you get the nutritional benefits of honey itself,”

Now onto the letter K…

Beefsteak Plant:

Also called perilla mint, beefsteak plant is a traditional Asian crop used in cooking and is often planted as an ornamental. Rapid growing and invasive in natural areas across the mid-Atlantic region and elsewhere.

Beefsteak Tomatoes:

One of the largest varieties of cultivated tomatoes they are juicy and meaty and make a good base for fresh sauces and dips. They are also an ideal potato to stuff or are lovely coated in breadcrumbs as a lovely side dish.

Bladderwrack:

A seaweed which can be eaten whole either raw, cooked or steamed or dried and made into a tea…with a salty fish taste, it can be used sparingly in soups or dried for future use. It is rich in fibre, antioxidants and iodine.

Breadstick:

Also known as grissini, grissino or dipping sticks, are generally pencil-sized sticks of crisp, dry baked bread that originated in Italy. Eaten with soup or dips they are easy to make at home and lovely topped with some parmesan before baking.

Buldack:

Korean style fire chicken a heavily spiced BBQ chicken dish.

Burdock:

To herbalists, burdock root is a powerful medicine however the leaves, stalks and roots are very tasty if correctly prepared. Cut before the flower is open and stripped of their rind they are a delicate vegetable which when boiled is similar in flavour to asparagus…makes a lovely salad, eaten raw with oil and vinegar some years ago they were candied with sugar which we know as angelica used in baking to decorate cakes, biscuits and sweets.

Buttermilk:

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink. Traditionally, it was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream; however, most modern buttermilk is cultured.

Cempedak:

It is very similar to the much more common jackfruit, but while jackfruit is huge and oval in shape, a Cempedak is tubular and about the size of a rugby ball that’s been squished. I first discovered Cempedak in Phuket …The Cempedak fruit in the Thai language is called Champada (จำปา [th] ) which is a relative of the Jackfruit and often called the ugly cousin as when it is ripe the skin goes from green to a muddy brown colour.

It is not however as big as the jackfruit it is more the size of a rugby ball, cylinder in shape with a slightly squished in the centre.

Thai Cempedak Fruit

Photo credit: anwarsiak***sibuk*** on Visualhunt / CC BY

Highly aromatic when ripe with the taste being a mix of banana and pineapple it is lovely eaten fresh or as we discovered very nice lightly battered and deep-fried…I do love the Thai batter as they use mainly rice flour which makes for a lovely crispy batter, not at all stogy like flour-based batters can be. Unfortunately, I don’t have an image of that as they were so very nice they were eaten before I could take a picture…Very yummy they were.

It has quite a large seed which can be boiled and eaten like a small potato.

The tree bark is used as a yellow dye to colour the monk’s robes.

The fruit is rich in Vitamin A & C plus heteriflavon C which is used to eliminate the cause of Malaria parasite. With a high water content, it is also rich in enzymes, bioflavonoid, ascorbic acid and rich in minerals and vitamins.

An around healthy fruit which although found predominately in the south of Thailand I am hoping I can find some here in the North.

Cheesesteak:

A cheesesteak is a sandwich made from thinly sliced pieces of beefsteak and melted cheese in a long hoagie roll. A popular regional fast food, it has its roots in the U.S. city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Chopstick:

Are equal length pairs of sticks made from bamboo, metal or plastic and are used for cooking or eating utensils over most of East Asia…There is an art to using them which I have mostly perfected since living here.

However, depending on where you live the chopsticks may be slightly different each country has their own styles…

Crabstick:

Is an imitation crab meat made from fish meat to imitate shellfish meat…fresh crab is far healthier and has more nutrients…

Flapjack:

Made from rolled oats, brown sugar, golden syrup and fat they are traditionally cooked in a flat tin and cut into rectangles. Originating in the UK it is thought the word originated for flipping or flapping the cakes on a griddle.

Haddock:

A member of the cod family with firm flesh and a mild flavour. It can be purchased smoked or unsmoked…dyed or undyed…my favourite is traditionally dyed smoked haddock with a poached egg something I can’t get here and writing this I can taste it…sigh

A smoked haddock kedgeree is also a lovely dish with some hardboiled eggs.

Kanafeh:

Kanafeh is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with shredded filo pastry, or alternatively, fine semolina dough, soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and typically layered with cheese, or with other ingredients such as clotted cream or nuts, depending on the region.

Latticework:

Apple pies with lattice tops

Is the pretty topping you see on pies like mine pictured above…

Salak:

Also, know here as snake fruit…a fruit which is very common in and around South East Asia. The skin is very like the markings on a snake I tend to call it snake fruit rather than salak…

A species of the palm tree it belongs to the Arecaceae family. The fruits grow in clusters at the base of the palm. It is also known as snake fruit because of its reddish-brown scaly skin. The fruit inside is sweeter than honey and sour like pineapple and very juicy.

Because the flesh is slightly acidic it makes your tongue tingle. The fruit grows around the base of the tree so often when you buy it fresh they can be covered with dirt a little like potatoes when you dig them up…

They are also quite prickly to the touch and there is a knack to opening them but like everything once you have mastered that it is quite easy. Just be careful as this fruit has a fairly hard albeit thin skin it is just getting your nail in the right place and pressing quite hard. Like everything, once you get the nack it is easy…

This evergreen tree produces fruit all the year-round.

Facts about the Sala fruit:

It is quite beneficial as eye medication and is also known as the memory fruit.

It can be eaten fresh or cooked. It is also sold in cans, like candied fruit or unripe, it can be pickled.

To pickle Salak.

Let’s Cook!

It must be peeled and deseeded. Soaked in a water and salt solution for 1 hour, then rinsed and drained.

Resoak again for 1 hour, then wash and drain.

Put in a vinegar, salt and water solution which has been boiled and cooled and let to stand for 1- 2 days before eating.

N.B. Make sure your fruit is very fresh or the jam will have a dusty taste..not nice at all.

Shaddock:

Is another name for the Pomelo Fruit…Captain Shaddock of an East Indian Company ship introduced the fruit to Barbados the fruit was called Shaddock in English a name which stuck and it still remains a name used among some…Like many fruits and vegetables, names can vary from region to region.

Pomelo salad is one of my favourite salads in Thai it is called Yum Som O…

Spatchcock:

A chicken or game bird split open and cooked…we often cook our chicken this way as it cooks quicker thus being more tender and juicy.

That’s all for today I hope you have found something interesting and unknown…

Stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as you know what I am going to say it is Free and proven to be good for your health…..Laughter aside…My thoughts and prayers are with all the people who have been or will be touched by this Covid-19 virus…the new lockdowns and restrictions..stay safe be aware and social isolate where required and we will beat this thing…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 although there are now no regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

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  … xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for today I hope you have found something interesting…

Stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as you know what I am going to say it is Free and proven to be good for your health…..Laughter aside…My thoughts and prayers are with all the people who have been or will be touched by this Covid-19 virus…the new lockdowns and restrictions..stay safe be aware and social isolate where required and we will beat this thing…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 although there are now no regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

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 see some of you have early snow it looks so pretty xx

Homemade Bread Day…November 17th 2020…

Who doesn’t love bread fresh and hot straight from the oven?… It never lasts long here which means not so much waste … which is always a good thing…isn’t it?

Covid-19 has meant for many like me that they have honed their bread baking and cake making skills which is great…

As it is Homemade Bread Day today I have gathered some of my tried and tested recipes together for you…I hope you enjoy it!

My first recipe is for Pretzel Bread which was a first for me as the method is one I hadn’t tackled before and it came out really well and was a great hit with everyone…

smart

Pretzel Bread.

All I knew about pretzel dough was that like beigels the dough was boiled before baking and this gives it that characteristic deep brown crust and pretzel taste…

It was lovely a little sweet my tester said it tasted like currant bread sweetness not horrible he liked it and the salt was a foil for that methinks but with some ham and mustard in a sandwich it went down a treat…

I have however tweaked the original recipe and would use less sugar…1 tbsp instead of 3 tbsp.

Ingredients:

  • 2 and a quarter tsp of instant yeast.
  • 1 cup of lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk…I used full-fat milk
  • 4 tbsp (2 oz) melted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups of all-purpose unbleached flour

Baking Soda Bath:

  • 4 quarts(8 pints) water
  • Half cup Baking Soda

Pretzel Topping:

  • 2 tbsp butter melted
  • Coarse salt for topping.

A lined baking tray.

Preheated oven 200 degrees

Let’s bake!

Combine your yeast, water, and brown sugar in a bowl and stir to dissolve sugar.

Melt the butter and then add to the milk then stir into the yeast mixture to combine.

Add the salt and flour 1 cup at a time and stir to combine then once the dough has come together knead until it is a firm but slightly tacky dough. If you need to add more add a little at a time.

Put the dough into a greased bowl and cover with a cloth and allow to rise about an hour and it should have doubled in size.

Once the 60  mins are up put your 4 quarts of water in a large pan and bring to the boil then add your Baking Soda…DO NOT ADD IT ALL AT ONCE OR IT WILL ALLL FIZZ OVER …add a little at a time I added it a tsp at a time.

Then punch your dough down to remove the gas and divide it into two portions…Add one portion to the boiling water and turn after 60 seconds and give it 60 seconds on the other side remove with a slotted spoon to drain and make a small cross in the middle and sprinkle with salt. Put on a lined baking tin…

Repeat with your second piece of dough…When cutting the cross I made mine too big as this dough once boiled is easier than a normal risen dough to cut through.

smart

Boiled Pretzel Dough

Sit both pieces of prepared dough on a lined baking tray and put it into your preheated oven…200 degrees.

Cook for 23-25 mins turning the tray around halfway through the cooking…

I was quite amazed at how it coloured up and just looked the colour of a pretzel that lovely deep brown…

smart

Pretzel Bread

When you remove it from the oven brush with the melted butter and enjoy it!

My second recipe is for some lovely finger rolls again a first with a process I hadn’t used before…

This is a lovely easy recipe and I sometimes make finger rolls or round rolls depending on how I feel or what I am cooking they make lovely hot dog rolls.

Although my images show white and use white unbleached flour I do sometimes mix the flour with wholemeal or go the whole hog hubby is getting to like wholewheat bread so now I have stocked up today on my flours the next loaf will not be white…

Let’s Cook! Bread!

Bread-white-home-baked

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of flour. I used unbleached, Bread flour.
  • 2 tbsp of instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1/4 cup of cooking oil. I used Olive oil.

This is so quick and easy.

Add 4 cups of flour with all the other ingredients and mix to combine…just get your hands in there it’s the best way.

It will be sticky but hey ho we are bread making.

Gradually knead in the last cup of flour and knead that dough for 5 minutes.

Put it in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove for 30 minutes(for) me but it is warm here it may be a tad longer for you.

It should double its size, punch it down and divide into two or as I will next time make one large loaf.

Shape both pieces to fit into your oiled bread tins and leave to rise until dough reaches the top of the tin approx 20/30 mins.

Bake at 440F/ 200 C for approx 40 minutes.

Allow the bread to cool slightly then remove from the tin and put on a cooling rack you now have two lovely loaves of fresh bread.

If the crust is too hard then cover with a clean, damp tea towel to soften.

Enjoy...

Buttermilk Bread…

Homemade Buttermilk bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water.
  • 1 cup of Buttermilk.
  • 1 tbsp quick yeast.
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups of unbleached bread flour.

Let’s Bake!

Mix water, buttermilk, yeast, salt, sugar in a bowl. Add the flour. No need to knead..lol

Just combine all the ingredients together..lightly cover the bowl and leave to rest/rise for 2 hrs.

The bonus of living here is dough rises quickly...I love using yeast now.

You can use the dough immediately, store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

If you are using now preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dust the dough with flour and very lightly knead, shape into a round. Cover and rest for 90 minutes.

Oh, and I made a cut into the top of my dough just like a cross.

Bake in the middle of the oven for approx 40 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

Remove from the oven and brush the top with melted butter.

Leave to cool before slicing.

Enjoy!

Flat Bread:

flat-bread-easy-recipe

Flatbreads

  • 1/2 cup water.
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 cups flour.
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder.
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt.

To make flatbreads.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins…. if that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour. Divide into 8 pieces. Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin.

My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with practice makes perfect with all bread but I have never had any which is inedible just maybe a funny shape…lol

Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done… finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.

flat-bread-uncooked-esy-recipe

My last bread recipe today is Crock Pot or Dutch Oven Bread…This loaf was cooked in a dutch oven and I was pleasantly surprised how much the crust was like ones I have purchased in bakeries.

loaf made in dutch oven

Probably from the steam produced using the dutch oven method…

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  •  2 1/4 tsp of rapid yeast
  • 2 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp of olive oil.

Let’s Bake!

In a large bowl add the flour and salt whisk to combine.

Make a well and add the raid yeast granules and the lukewarm water then with wet hands bring the mix together. If it is too sticky add a little more flour and likewise if too dry add a little more water a tsp at a time…This will vary as it depends on the flour used.

Cover and leave in a warm spot to double in size again this depends on the temperature where you live it can be anything from a 1hr to 1 1/2 hours…if it is very warm mine takes a little less time.

Once risen using your hand or a dough scraper work the dough loose from the sides and working around the edge bring the sides to the middle.

Cover and leave to double in size again about 1 hour it rises slightly quicker this time.

Once risen transfer to a lightly floured surface sprinkle the top with a little flour and shape and fold the dough under itself several times then pinch the seams together. Coat your bowl with the olive oil and put the dough in the bowl cover and leave the dough to rise once again.

Then put on the oven and set the heat at 230C/450F and put your dutch oven into the oven to heat up for 45-1n hr. By the time this has heated your dough should have risen.

NOW VERY CAREFULLY REMOVE THE HOT DUTCH OVEN ONTO A TRIVETT…It is hot then turn out your dough onto a lightly floured surface and carefully put in the dutch oven.

Put the pot back into the oven and cook for 45 minutes then carefully remove the lid and cook for a further 15-30 minutes …

loaf made in dutch oven

Remove from the oven and cover with a cloth to cool for about 15 mins before slicing and enjoy…That’s all for today …Happy Bread making..xx

 

Mistletoe and Wine…Christmas Pickles 2020…

 

In the run-up to Christmas, you will find everything on my blog over the next few weeks that you need to make… today it’s pickle recipes...I pickle most things…Fruit or vegetables it gets pickled.

Christmas Pickles…

Most pickles benefit from keeping and if you start making them now they will be lovely for Christmas…we love pickles and since living here I have discovered lots of different ideas and produce for pickling…be it fruit or vegetables I pickle it!

Saturday was National Pickle Appreciation Day…I shared the recipes on Saturday Snippets so just in case you missed here is link  Pickled Onions, Pickled Pineapple and Jalapenos plus Pickled Tomatoes…

Living here in Thailand I have made many discoveries of fruits and vegetables which I would never have dreamt of pickling or putting together for example eggplants they come in all sizes shapes and colours here and are eaten raw, pickled made into dips or added to curries…

Pickled Cabbage, green onions and Eggplant…

Layer Cabbage, Green Onions, eggplants and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands. I use lovely yellow eggplants on this occasion but any of the small eggplants can be used except for the pea eggplants.

We then leave the dish covered on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Pickled cabbage with egg plants

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier or sour more than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

My daughter in law who is Thai doesn’t like it as sour as we do… she doesn’t like the Winegar taste as she puts it… Once it reaches your required taste it is ready to eat.

This recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Pickled Garlic…I love garlic and always use far more than any recipe states again garlic is a popular vegetable here which belongs to the onion family and has many proven health benefits. I also think it is the reason why mosi’s don’t bite me…

It is used in curry pastes, curries, stir-fries, dips and sauces, pickled and eaten raw here …Thais eat more raw vegetables than cooked I would say at every meal…

My garlic recipe is a favourite here I always have a jar or three in the fridge and they get dipped into as and when…

Pickled Garlic…

  • 8-10 garlic bulbs
  • 500 ml white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 90 gm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.
  • 1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional) we prefer the mustard seeds.

2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.

In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so initially, I did both we have now decided for us that our preference is the mustard seed…Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.

pickled garlic

The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time.

Pickled Cucumbers…

Cucumbers are always plentiful here and pickle nice and quick…Lovely with some nice cheeses…

Pickled Cucumbers…

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I used 4 cucumbers ( they are short) ones here not like the ones we used to get when in the UK although I have discovered Japanese cucumbers and they are nice, crispy and very similar to the cucumber I know and love.

The cucumbers here are much smaller with larger seeds in the centre and not quite as crispy and flavoursome. In fact, I think I prefer them pickled.

Lets Pickle!

  • I peeled and sliced( quite thickly) 4 cucumbers.
  • 1 large Onion peeled and sliced.
  • 3 cups of vinegar.
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of sugar or sweetener of your choice. I only used a 1/4 cup of sugar and some salt to season as required.
  • 1 cup of water.

Whisk vinegar, sugar and water together in a jug. Put alternative slices of cucumber and onion in pre-sterilised jars, then pour the vinegar mix over the cucumber and onion making sure to cover completely.

Screw the lid down tightly and refrigerate they will be ready to eat in 2 days in fact if you leave these too long they get too vinegary. They are really a quick pickle recipe.

My number two recipe for pickling cucumbers…

Pickled Dill cucumbers. 

  • 3 medium cucumber
  • 1 large Onion thinly sliced.
  • 85g sea salt flakes (essential- table salt will render your efforts inedible)
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seed
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • small bunch dill

Wash the cucumbers, split along their length and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into finger-length chunks, then cut into 5mm strips. Mix with the onion and salt in a large bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight.

Next day, drain the juices, rinse the vegetables in cold water and drain well. Put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a very large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins to let the flavours infuse.

Add the vegetables and bring the pan to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring now and again. Boil for 1 min, then remove the pan from the heat. Tear in the dill, then pack into sterilised jars making sure that no air bubbles are trapped. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

in jars..pickled

 

We love pickled eggs…Do you love pickled eggs??

Jalapeno Pickled Eggs:

jalapeno pickled eggs

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 a cup of Cider Vinegar.
  • 3/4 a cup of water.
  • 1/2 cup of sugar plus 1 tbsp sugar.
  • 6 cloves.
  • 2 Jalapenos cut in half lengthwise and deseeded.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 onion sliced.
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 9 Hard-boiled eggs, peeled.

Let’s Cook!

Boil eggs for 10-15 mins until hard. Remove from heat and put into cold water.

In a medium pan, put vinegar, water( or beet juice) if using, onion, jalapenos, sugar, and spices. Bring to the boil and cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Pour vinegar over eggs making sure they are completely covered.

If using beet juice also put some beet in the jar with the eggs. You will then have pickled beets as well.

Make sure the lid is tight and refrigerate. The eggs will be ready to eat in a few days and will keep for up to a month if you haven’t already eaten them.

Curried Pickled Eggs:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cider vinegar.
  • 3/4 a cup of water.
  • 1/4 of an onion.
  • 3/4 cup white sugar.
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds( yellow or brown)
  • I tbsp yellow curry paste.

Let’s Cook!

As above bring all the ingredients to the boil until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool a little and then pour the vinegar mix over the eggs making sure they are completely covered.

Allow to pickle for a few days in the fridge they are then ready to eat…

Pickled jalapenos:

Pickled Jalapenos

This recipe was given to me by a Texan friend and it has carrots in the Jalapenos something I hadn’t thought of. His mum’s recipe and they are the best ones. The carrots taste lovely pickled with the jalapenos. It is our go to recipe and I make them all the time …The current batch has some blow your head of Jalapenos isn’t it funny how they vary in heat just like chillies. But pickled they are oh so scrumptious.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 large Jalapenos sliced into rings.
  • 1/2 to 1 carrot sliced into rings.
  • 3/4 cup of water.
  • 3/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.
  • 3 tbsp white sugar.
  • 1 tbsp salt.
  • 1 clove garlic crushed.
  • 1/2 tsp oregano.

Let’s Pickle!

Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and oregano in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil.

Add carrots bring back to boil and lower heat slightly, cook for 5 minutes. Stir in Jalapenos and remove the pan from heat. Allow cooling for about 10 minutes.

Pack carrots and Jalapenos in sterilised jars using tongs. Cover with vinegar mix or put in a sterilised storage container and keep in the refrigerator.

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)

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  • 1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
  • 8 large spring onions chopped
  • Coarse Salt.

Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy..Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.

To Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

Then refrigerate and enjoy!

A while ago I was having a fancy for a kebab and my thoughts turned back to the beautiful kebabs we used to get that had these wonderful pickled chillies/peppers…I found this recipe and it is delicious and goes lovely with a salad or a kebab filling…

Piperies Mikres Toursi…

  • 36 thin peppers, such as Anaheim peppers, about 3 inches long, stems trimmed to 1/4 inch long
  • 3 tablespoons coarse-grained salt
  • Water, enough to cover the peppers
  • 5 cups red wine, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or spiced vinegar (any flavour)

Add the peppers to a large glass bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and then fill the bowl with cold water until it just covers the peppers. Soak for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Drain the water after 6 hours. Lay the peppers on clean towels until the peppers dry. When the peppers are dry, stuff them into clean and sterilized 1-quart mason jars. Pour vinegar into each jar, making sure to cover the peppers. Seal the jars according to the package instructions for the Mason jars.

smart

Store the peppers in a clean, dry place for up to 3 months.

The only jar I could find was quite a big one and my peppers floated…What I did was fill 2 bags with salted water(just)in case they split and dropped them in the jar…the vinegar rose and my peppers are submerged so if you have jar wich just too big then this little tip is a godsend…

How often have you bought a watermelon and thrown away the rind?? Hands up! I have or I did until I discovered a lovely recipe for Pickled Watermelon Rind.

Now I make a lot of pickles and this one thing I hadn’t thought of pickling… you live and learn, don’t you?

Ingredients:

  • 4lb of Watermelon
  • 1 chilli thinly sliced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger finely sliced or diced
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp salt I use fresh mineral salt dried here
  • 1 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp ( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Using a vegetable peeler remove the outer green rind and slice the watermelon into I inch slices. Cutaway all but 1/4 inch of the flesh (it is) the white part we are pickling. The red flesh I keep for smoothies or ice cream or a nice salad with feta cheese.

Then cut the rind into 1-inch pieces.

pickled watermelon rind

Add the chilli, ginger, star anise, salt, pepper, rice vinegar and sugar plus a ½ cup of water together in a pan, bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the watermelon rind and bring back to a rolling boil and then again reducing the heat to a simmer for 5 mins or until the rinds are just tender. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the liquid to cool down. You may need to weigh the watermelon down with a plate or lid, as it needs to stay submerged in the liquid until cool.

Once cooled then transfer to a container with a well-fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before you eat…This will keep refrigerated for about 2/3 weeks if it lasts that long…lol

My daughter in law took some of this to her village and they loved it …I thought maybe it would be too vinegary for them but no although they did suggest that next time I made it add some tamarind which I think( as) I love Tamarind is a great idea.

Left with lots of pickle juice ????

Don’t want to waste that pickle juice???    Then have a …

Pickleback shot or cocktail…

What is a pickleback? You are about to find out!

It’s a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice and some even follow that with a beer chaser…

A popular drink in bars around the world and apparently very good….Have you tried a pickleback????

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 are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

 

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 creative week ahead xx

I would also ask that when you are shopping for presents, food, and decorations that you think about its origin and how it was produced…carbon footprint, child labour…Please think about the packaging can it be recycled or reused…Do you really need it? Every little helps…x