Category Archives: A Halloween Tale

National Pumpkin Month…Facts…Trivia…and a delicious Thai Pumpkin Soup…

Halloween is drawing near and I am sure lots of you have decorated your homes already please send me some photos so I can share your marvellous or scary themes and decorations…We would all love to see them…I would as Halloween is not really celebrated here or only by the American communities so no decorated homesteads just a few Halloween themed parties…

So don’t be shy share away and promote your blog on here…

Does China celebrate Halloween? 

There are several days and a whole entire month in China that are similar to Halloween. These are the Hungry Ghost Festival, the Qing Ming Festival, the last day of the seventh lunar month, and the Spring Festival. …

The UK celebrates Guy Fawkes …However  not so widely celebrated by many although growing in popularity… the manufacturers are jumping on the commercial bandwagon.

witch and black cat-1461961_640

Did you know? The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” The plural for wicce is Wiccan. Wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.

This recipe is an authentic Thai recipe … Pumpkins and squash grow very well here and are found on every market stall and on every street food stall and so much is done with this versatile  vegetable  lots of lovely Thai desserts and soups…but I digress this lovely soup would look equally at home in your hollowed out Halloween pumpkin shell  and add a bit of Thai spice to your table. If you have little pumpkins then it would look beautiful served as individual portions.

Ingredients:

  • 400 gm  pumpkin peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 tsp white peppercorn
  • 2 coriander roots
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass  very finely sliced
  • 3 small shallots diced
  • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste…You will be able to purchase this from most Asian stores or online.
  • 300 ml of prawn stock….I always keep my prawn heads and bits in the freezer until I have enough to make some stock.
  • 700 ml coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp roasted chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 16 prawns /shrimp, peeled and deveined or crab meat
  • A handful of fresh Thai basil leaves save some for garnish
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil to stir-fry

Let’s Cook!

Firstly pound the peppercorns and the coriander root into a smooth paste. Then in a large saucepan, over a medium heat stir-fry the peppercorn/coriander root paste, pumpkin, lemongrass, onions and shrimp paste, stirring all the time for about 3 minutes until all those lovely Thai flavours are released.

Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan with a lid and cook very gently for about 20 minutes until pumpkin is soft, stirring occasionally.

Next, transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend with the shrimp stock until smooth. Pour back into a saucepan and add the coconut cream and bring to a slow gentle boil.

Add your seasonings, lime, fish sauce, sugar, chilli paste and stir to combine, add your prawns/ crab meat and cook for 1-2 minutes…Now taste and adjust seasoning if required.

Remove from the heat and pour into serving bowl or bowls. Stir in the basil leaves and garnish with extra leaves.

pumpkin-soup-1804351_1920

The true Thai way is to also garnish with spring onions or garlic stems, some fried crispy garlic or chicken skin and it always looks so vibrant and you just want to dive in and drown in the lovely flavours.

Enjoy!

Owls are one of my favourite birds but in medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches and if you heard an owl hoot then someone was about to die.

owls-1461952_640

Some Pumpkin facts…

Pumpkin flowers are edible and a pumpkin contains on average about 500 seeds which when roasted make a healthy and delicious snack… the flowers are so pretty and it looks like Mrs bee loves the pumpkin flowers as well…

pollination-3572147_640

Even what I call the scraggy bits of the pumpkin which…hands up I have thrown in the bin…No longer… add it to your stock pot…waste not…want not…

Halloween Superstitions: 

I wonder if anyone still believes or carries out these traditions? What Halloween traditions have been passed down through your family???

  • If a person wears their clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, they will see a witch at midnight.
  • Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween.
  • Girls who place the apple they bobbed for under their pillows are said to dream of their future love.

Some of these traditions seem a bit far-fetched to me I would image not very comfortable to sleep with an apple under your pillow…

Now for a real life witches house….

Yes, literally three blocks away from the Waldorf-Astoria is one of the city’s most unique houses!

Tourists gather daily to check out one of the most unique attractions in the 90210 zip code!

Located on the corner of Walden Drive and Carmelita Avenue, this house is just steps away from the ritzy 90210 shopping area of Beverly Hills – but it looks like a world away!

To read all about it head over to John Rieber’s place..He has an amazing blog full of trivia and great recipes..Fact and fiction and the utterly ridiculous at times but always good fun…

But did you know that Agatha Christie’s Halloween Party Mystery Novel was about a girl who was drowned in the Apple bobbing tub ??

A Halloween quiz question for you…

Every Halloween, Charlie Brown helps his friend Linus wait for what character to appear?

Answers in comments, please …

Pumpkin was a cure for freckles? Another old wives tale methinks…

This weeks Halloween cocktail is by Martha Stewart ably assisted by Brendan Foster who measures spirits just the way I do…lol

I am just off to check out the poison Apple cocktails…Laters xxx

witch-1424756_640

Checked and very nice that cocktail was…That Brendan Foster has much to answer for…I followed his advice and nearly fell off my broomstick xxx

I hope you are enjoying these Fang-Tastic Pumpkin posts and please if you have any tried and tested Halloween recipes I will post them and credit you so please let me have them…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.

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…

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog:
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Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx

Healthy Eating…The bonus? You may lose a few kilos… Anti-inflammatory foods…

Welcome to Tuesdays healthy eating post…It is a tad cooler here in the mornings and the fan is staying firmly off my shawl is around my shoulders albeit the sun is shining…I can hear you… I know many of you are experiencing extremely cold weather so never fear the recipes here today will warm the cockles of your heart…

Here I am clocking up the digits so I am going to have a little corner for food which will help alongside a healthy diet to help keep those wrinkles at bay… and hold back the sands of time…

shar pei puppy

It is also a known fact that if you eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure that YOU will live well and longer!

I know that some health conditions are caused all or partly by inflammation and doctors may advise following an Anti-inflammatory Diet.

On hearing these words many people just freak and think what! It is going to be expensive, it will be foods I don’t like, I am going to have to eat different food to the rest of my family… all manner of thoughts…

It is Healthy Eating no more no less…It is knowing which foods cause inflammation and which foods help calm inflammation…Pure and simple…

Let’s have a look, shall we? Break it down…

Firstly reassess your lifestyle as stress plays a huge part in this…Chill out!

relaxed reading kindle lady

Exercise goes without saying...It doesn’t need to mean expensive gym fees…Walking, riding a bike, using your bottom stair for step ups, using cans of beans to get those arms working, a hula hoop, a skipping rope, cleaning those windows, play ball with the kid’s, if they have a trampoline need I say more…Unleash that fun side…

girl trampoline

Many little bursts of exercise through the day can work wonders.

What to eat?

Fewer highly processed foods...You knew I was going to say that …Didn’t you? Look on the bright side it will save you money…

Spices...Turmeric contains curcumin, garlic a wonderful bulb which adds flavour to foods and helps curb inflammation, ginger may reduce muscle pain and soreness and its anti-inflammatory properties can help with Osteoarthritis.

Reduce caffeine as in  tea and coffee drink and replace with

  • Chicory Coffee
  • Matcha Tea….more info here 
  • Golden Milk. Golden milk is a rich, caffeine-free substitute for coffee. …
  • Lemon Water. …
  • Chai Tea. …
  • Rooibos Tea. … I know this as Redbush Tea and love it!

Red wine has known anti-inflammatory properties…There seem to be 2 camps on this consume or avoid…My take try moderation…

Oily Fish for that Omega 3… Salmon, tuna and sardines are all good…Just know your source and that it is sustainable fish.

Olive oil and avocados…

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables…Spinach and kale are both rich in Vitamin K and help curb inflammation as do broccoli and cabbage…Cherries, raspberries and blackberries whose colour is a type of pigment which helps inflammation. Go for colour and variety.

Whole grains…Oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, Brown Rice all may help lower inflammation.

Beans contain so much fibre and are loaded with antioxidants to help reduce inflammation.

Nuts just a handful a day… Almonds and walnuts…

Now, what to ditch… Or cut down gradually…You will notice the difference guaranteed!

  • Refined sugars and starches
  • Sodas and other highly sweetened drinks
  • Hugh fat and processed meats
  • Fried Foods
  • Transfats

beach desert island

None of these should come as a surprise to you unless you have lived on a desert island with no radio, newspapers or the internet for the last 30 years…

After following this you should notice a difference in any joint pain, stiffness, swollen joints or redness…

To give you a start here is a day’s food plan starting with breakfast.

Porridge and a lovely berry compote made with frozen berries just cook some and reduce down…Too sour add some honey.. or as I often have…

muesli-3186256_1920 porridge fruit

Pineapple Smoothie

Full of fibre and protein, which makes people feel fuller for longer.

Mango and Pineapple Protein Drink 1

Pineapple contains high levels of bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain supplements are an emerging market due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Lunch… A lovely bowl of soup

squash-pumpkin- soup

  •  1 small squash, peeled and deseeded. Cut into pieces.
  •  1 brown onion, peeled and cut up
  •  1 carrot washed and cut
  •  4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  •  Piece fresh ginger finely chopped
  •  3 Broccoli stalks, peeled and cubed (I always save the broccoli stalks) for when I make soup. Waste not, want not and I think ideal for soups for flavour.
  •  1-1½ litres fresh home-made vegetable stock

Let’s Cook!
Heat a glug of olive oil and gently cook garlic ginger and onion to just soften and not colour.
Add other vegetables gradually and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, then add the stock and seasoning.
Simmer gently for about an hour or until vegetables are lovely and soft and remove from heat. I let it cool down before I blend.
This makes a lovely vegetable soup but I also use it as a base and freeze in portions.
When I reheat I add little-dried chilli flakes and 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut milk.
It just gives it a creamy flavour.
Sometimes I add crushed lemongrass stalk and a little fish sauce, it depends on how I feel, it is a versatile soup base so play with it, have fun.
Add some curry powder, a squeeze or 2 of lime juice or coriander, whatever you fancy. Enjoy!

Dinner… Salmon with Greens and Cauliflower rice.

Salmon Trout my way…

salmon with herbs and chilli steamed

  • 180 gm  Trout or Salmon fillet.

For Topping:

  • 1 spring Onion finely chopped.
  • 2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely.. I use the stem as well.
  • 1 red birds eye chilli finely chopped.
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • A cheek of lime.

Mix all ingredients together.

Put fish on foil and spoon topping on. I reserve some of the toppings to add when serving. Seal foil and put in the oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.

Saute some kale or spring greens and serve with Cauliflower rice… recipe here

These are just some ideas of foods to eat and cook with if you need to follow an anti-inflammatory diet…Not so daunting is it?

Many of these foods are foods which you may have in your fridge/larder or buy already.

Anti- Ageing Food Corner:

Let’s start with a treat…Dark Chocolate ( Not milk) is loaded with nutrients which can have a positive effect on your health. Made from the seed of the Cocoa Tree it is loaded with antioxidants…Studies show that it can improve your health and we are talking proper chocolate here..Not your cheap stuff but one with a high cocoa content dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content.is rich in fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals just apply the moderation bit as it does contain sugar but the fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with small amounts of polyunsaturated fat.

dark chocolate stacked

A couple of squares a day my father swore by it and had his two squares with his afternoon tea so go on treat your self to a good bar of dark chocolate and some of them now have chilli and chilli and chocolate is good…

Well, that’s my not so little spiel over…I am happy that you joined me today.

For delicious healthy recipes???

I hope you thought so 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.

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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

haunted-at-the-stanley-hotel

Happy Halloween to everyone… Enjoy your celebrations…

Ever since I saw the film The Shining many years ago I have wanted to visit the Stanley Hotel…I probably never will but I lived an experience through Suzie’s eyes and that was spooky enough for me…

Enjoy and be very scared…..

via Haunted at the Stanley Hotel

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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great Halloween xxx

Smorgasbord Short Story – Halloween Sunset, Let the Party Begin by Sally Cronin

A suitable Halloween tale for all you revellers it will get you in the mood for tonight….So polish your fangs and have fun ……

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Halloween Sunset, Let the Party Begin by Sally Cronin

Bethany looked around her cosy cottage and smiled with satisfaction. The lanterns around the walls glowed eerily;candlelight flickering through fangs and gaping wounds in the flesh of the pumpkins. The table was laid with fresh baked treats; the result of many hours toiling over her wood stove. A large pot now bubbled away on top of the said appliance. A wonderful aroma of rosemary and thyme filled the air with an enticing promise of tender meat and dumplings.

Of course you could not have a Halloween party without lots of sweet pastries and candies, and these too added atmospheric colour to the festive table. Blood red velvet cupcakes competed with the dark chocolate of the Devil cake, and green whipped cream  glistened in a skull shaped bowl.

Her friends would be arriving shortly; making their way carefully along the path in…

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Recipe: Thai Squid and Pineapple Curry

I love squid and with pineapple this sounds amazing 🙂 Thank you 🙂

Beyond Norm

By now, you should know that I am a great fan of Thai cuisine and I am sure there are many of you who are too from the response we received since I started sharing this Thai Steamed Squid with Lime Garlic and Chili Sauce (Pla-meuk neung prik ma-nao) recipe.

I have seen a lot of recipes on Thai Shrimps and Pineapple Curry but have not come across Thai Squid and Pineapple Curry. Armed with a whole pineapple on hand, I decided to take up the challenge by using squid instead of prawns and to my amazement, it works out super well. I love the sweet, tangy, spicy and creamy taste of this curry!! Of course I served this in the pineapple skin bowl. So glad I tried something different. 🙂

Once you have tried this recipe, we hope that you could provide us with some feedback/comments either via…

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