Category Archives: A Taste of Thailand

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘J’ for Jelly Beans, Jalapenos, Jack Fruit and Jerky all with a little Jus

Time for the letter J…I am enjoying reading it again myself for the second time. Many thanks to the lovely Sally for rerunning this series…I hope you all enjoy the Letter J….From Jelly Beans to Jalapenos and Jackfruit….xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

This week in the A-Z of food it is the letter J

I hope you are enjoying this series of the A-z of food as much as I have the research and writing.

Starting with one of my favourite little sweeties the Jelly Bean…

Jelly Beans are primarily made of sugar with a jelly inside a candy shell…There are some awesome flavours…Tabasco Flavour, Chilli Mango, Marguerita and some beautiful fruity flavours…Cringe-worthy flavours like Earthworm, Earwax and vomit are for me a No No! But I suppose for Halloween revellers they will be on someone’s list…

Jelly:

Depending on where in the world you live Jelly can be a wibbly wobbly fruit jelly made with…

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Guest Post: Carol Ann Taylor

Pete very kindly let me loose on his lovely blog today…I hope you all enjoy reading about how I ended up in the land of smiles and why I love it so much…stay safe and well everyone 🙂 xxx…Thank you once again, Pete 🙂

beetleypete

I am very pleased to feature British blogger and cookery writer Carol Taylor, who now lives in Thailand. This is her story of how she came to live there.
Carol is a great member of our blogging community, and is always fully engaged with blog posts.

This is her own bio.

My Bio
Born in the Fifties which makes me?.mmm I will let you do the math. I was the eldest of three girls and the tomboy….my sisters loved dolls and pushing other peoples babies up and down the street…I still ask myself why?? I much preferred climbing trees, camping out and spending all my school holidays on my granddad’s farm…My grandmother taught me how to cook on her aga and I suppose that was where my love of cooking started…Singing in the church choir was also a passion of mine as is playing the piano.

I was an avid…

View original post 1,697 more words

Exotic Thai Fruits…Matum Fruit, Thai Cherries, Gac Fruit and Mangosteen…

I am missing my Saturday morning excursion to the market so today I am going to post about fruit which is common or uncommon to find where we live here in Thailand…..

Gac fruit is not a common fruit and quite a treat when it is found on the local markets in Southern Thailand or grown on land and in gardens as are many of the less commercial fruits.

Gac fruit

With its prickly outer shell which is NOT edible this fruit grows on climbing vines. Going from green to a dark orange when it is ripe this fruit has a short season of only 2 months from December to January. It is quite a rare fruit it can be found on local markets in Southern Thailand. It is the soft pulp surrounding the edible seeds which you eat. The seeds are not only edible but used in traditional Chinese medicines.

It is used to treat eye conditions, burns, skin problems and wounds.

The juice makes a healthy drink which is said to be good for the eyes, immunity, skin and heart health. The taste is a cross between a tomato and a ripe papaya it is also commonly called the Gac fruit. Its other names are  Chanbada Fruit or spiny bitter gourd.

Today the Gac fruit extracts are used in very popular skin care supplements around the world. Rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene it is said to contain 70 times more than in tomatoes or zeaxanthin.

It has the highest concentration of beta-carotene than any other known fruit or vegetable as much as 10 times more than the carrot.

Once in the body, it converts to Vitamin A and is said to have a variety of protective properties.

Due to the fruits magnificent orange hue, it is often grown as an ornamental plant.

It is also used to make a delicious deep fried sweet cooked in coconut batter. You will only find this sweet in the south of Thailand as the fruit is quite rare which also makes it expensive. It also tends to be found in local gardens and not really grown commercially.

Its brilliant orange colour is very attractive and it is also cooked in  Khao Soi( Sticky Rice) flavoured with cinnamon and served at New Year Celebrations and weddings.

Gac fruit

Image Credit: James Morris a friend who has given me a free licence to use this picture.

Thank you, James 🙂

The next fruit is:-

The Matum fruit which has a very hard shell and you wouldn’t want one dropped on your head from a great height.

It comes from a gum bearing mid-sized subtropical fruit tree. It has many other names such as golden apple, Indian quince, and holy fruit. It is said to have many medicinal benefits.

matum tree

The fruits medicinal purposes are very high when the fruit has just ripened. It has a high tannin content which makes it suitable for the treatment of cholera and dysentery.

A hot poultice of the fruit leaves are said to be an effective treatment for various inflammations, a leaf decoction is also used as an aid for asthma. The root, leaves, and bark are also effective when used on a snakebite.

More often than not the fruit is sliced, dried and a thirst quenching tea can be made by steeping the dried slices in hot water, it is a very popular drink in Thailand.

The fragrant flesh is also eaten with Keow Neow…sticky rice. The young leaves and shoots are eaten as a vegetable here in Thailand and used to season food in Indonesia.

It is also a prototype of today’s Orange.

matum tree

Images: My own.

The Mangosteen Garcinia Mangostana has a very hard outer shell and is a widely eaten and available fruit here in Thailand.

When open it is similar with its segments to an Orange. It has a thick outer skin which is about 1/4 of an inch thick. If picked straight from the tree it is easier to open because as the fruit ages it dries and loses water thus the outer shell quickly hardens.

Keeping it in a bag in the fridge slows down the moisture loss.

It grows naturally in South East Asia and is known for its sweet peachy tasting flesh. Its seeds are bitter and should not be eaten.

When young ..freshly picked from the tree the seeds are white but turn brown as the fruit ages so it is a good indication of how fresh your Mangosteen is.

To open the fruit using a thin sharp serrated knife carefully cut around the circumference of the fruit. Then twist to open.

mangosteen-showing cut fruit half

Warning: Be very careful not to cut yourself as the shell is very hard which may cause the knife to slip.

Low in calories and high in fibre with a high Potassium content the Mangosteen also has healthy amounts of manganese and magnesium which is good for intestinal health.

It is known as one of the 5 not so typical fruits noted for its life-changing potential. Scientists believe that an antioxidant in Mangosteen can cause cell death in cancer.

But as with everything we consume moderation is key. Its high fructose levels can be harmful to humans.

Thai-style Mangosteen Clafoutis recipe:

  • 5 fresh Mangosteen opened and segmented( leave seeds in)
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tbsp.
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup rice flour ( all purpose flour) can be used.
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk.
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp grated lime/lemon zest.
  • 1tsp of vanilla and coconut essences.
  • Icing sugar to finish when serving.

Let’s Cook!

Pre-heat oven to 350F.generously grease a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish or you can use individual ramekins.

Prepare Mangosteen by removing from the outer shell and dividing into segments(leave the stone in)

Toss the fruit with 1 tsp cornflour and 1 tbsp of sugar. Arrange the fruit in the bottom of the dish/dishes.

In a large bowl or food processor whisk eggs with salt and sugar. Then whisk in flour. Add coconut milk, lime zest, vanilla and coconut essences and whisk to blend together.

Pour the mixture into the prepared dish/dishes, the fruit may float but that ok.

Place dish in the oven, if using ramekins they need to be placed in a tin/dish containing water which goes 1/3 way up the Ramekins.

Bake for 55-60 minutes until the middles are set and the top is lightly browned.

Serve warm with a light dusting of icing sugar with ice cream or whipped cream.

Warning: Advise guests to be aware that there are stones in the fruit.

Enjoy!

Thai Cherry and pickled Thai cherries 

thai cherries 1

The Thai cherry or mountain cherries as they are also called are found in East Asia, South Asia and South East Asia. They are from the family Rosaceae and the genus Prunus.

To me, they also look very much like a tomato but there the resemblance ends

The name in Thai is naang pha yaa suea khrong which translated means Tiger Queen. It sounds so pretty, doesn’t it?… I love some of the Thai translations.

Trees flower in autumn and winter and produce a yellow fruit which turns red as it ripens.

The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked as can the seed of the cherry.

This recipe is for pickled cherries. 

  • 6 cups of pitted and washed cherries.
  • 1 lime
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass crushed
  • 4 pieces of dried ginger( galangal)
  • 10 dried birds eye chillies
  • 2 cups of  white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of rice vinegar.

Either one large mason jar which holds 4 cups or 2 smaller jars sterilised.

Zest your lime and add to a mason jar with lemongrass, ginger and chillies.

Put both kinds of vinegar, sugar and juice of the lime into a pan and on a medium heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved when the vinegar is warm add the cherries and cook for 4 minutes.

With a slotted spoon put the cherries into the jar, then strain the vinegar and pour over the cherries any remaining vinegar put in a clean bottle and use for salad dressings or marinades.

Seal the jar and leave for 4-6 weeks to allow the flavours to develop.

Enjoy!

Further information on the uses of the bark and leaves.

Gum is obtained from the bark and chewed also the juice from the bark if applied externally to the back is said to give some relief from the pain of a backache.

Both the fruit and leaves also produce a green dye.

The seeds are used in the production of necklaces by the ethnic tribes in Northern Thailand.

This tree has hard, strong aromatic wood which is glossy and the branches are used for walking sticks.

A little warning: 

This fruit belongs to a genus where most if not all its members produce hydrogen cyanide which is a poison which gives an almond taste to their characteristic flavour.

The toxin which is found mainly in the leaves and the seeds is easily detected by its bitter taste. The quantity is too small to do any harm but a very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten.

On the plus side in small quantities, it has been proved to stimulate respiration and improve digestion. It is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer.

Which brings me to what I always say ..moderation is key and as always  I can’t say it enough ” check” what you are eating before you eat it if it is unknown and you have just picked it because it looks pretty and because you have heard you can use other flowers. Not all flowers are edible.

Please always check and stay safe.

I hope you have enjoyed hearing about some of the fruits which we have here in Thailand if you have and you think any of your friends would love to read about them then please share on your favourite social media or to Pinterest.

That’s all for today…Please 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 have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

 

 

 

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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

Thailand…Down on the farm…Man Saeng, Sticky rice parcels and wild almonds…

Good morning we had much-awaited rain last night which was very welcome…it has laid the dust and cooled it down somewhat…

Last weeks post Charcoal making was a very popular post and raised the question that we should all be looking at alternative means to electric and coal burning fuels just in case…

What is happening this week down on the farm? ….

Man Saeng are a Thai potato it is only found in the jungle and not sold commercially…..If someone has been foraging in the jungle you may find a few being sold very locally on a market.

thai potato man saeng

 

Man Saeng is not only native to Thailand but neighbouring Burma, Cambodia and Laos.

Here in the North they are often found growing by the river and the vines often attach themselves to a tree and then what I call runners are the tubers which are light brownish and slightly hairy.

It can be added to soup or fried like the fried bananas in a batter or breadcrumbed and my son who had them boiled for his supper last night said that they tasted a little like our new potatoes and he really liked them. They can also be steamed or ground into a flour to make desserts.

They are quite fibrous and if overcooked have a sticky texture… somewhat glutinous.

This video shows them being harvested from the jungle and also where a few are being grown for the farmer’s own consumption.

This week we also harvested a few nuts which are now ready to eat..my nutcrackers do not work as in cracking them..my son’s partners uses a knife..mmmm…I think I will leave that to her or I  will end up minus some digits…That’s for sure…

thai nuts

They taste a little like a cross between a brazil nut and macadamia nuts which I would use in my cooking if someone shells them for me that shell is impervious to my nutcracker…lol

It is generally the old grandmother who gets this job as she is very skilled with her machete type knife no-one will argue with her…lol

Notice there are no mod cons here…

The turkeys are still laying eggs I am getting quite used to turkey eggs now. Scrambled eggs made with turkey eggs are lovely, creamier than scrambled eggs made with chickens eggs and not strong flavoured like ducks eggs.

Sadly our handsome big boy met an untimely end…He had strayed into the road as they do sometimes in the search for food …it is a quiet back road which gets the occasional car or bike…it did toot him and he turned and  ran the wrong way…he was popular with the ladies and I am sure he is missed by them although it gives the other boys a chance now…

Sticky rice and banana parcels made by Tik’s mum…Jamie took the photos but he couldn’t get a smile out of her still…But he carried on and took some photos for my blog..isn’t he a good boy?

25075402_10155396952754865_661740917_o

Everything is ready to make these lovely sticky rice and banana parcels

Bananas cut into halves, uncooked sticky rice ( Khao niaow), sugar pot, banana leaves cut into rectangles and bamboo strips to tie the parcels. These are then cooked in hot water for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

The halved bananas are rolled in the sticky rice..which is uncooked with a little sugar added.

They are then wrapped in the banana leaves and made into a neat little parcel tied together with the bamboo.

The parcels are then stood upright in a pot of hot water and covered with some bamboo and cooked for 2 to 2/12 hours until the rice is cooked.

sticky rice and banana

When ready you have these lovely parcels of sticky rice with a banana they are very tasty and can also be found on all the markets although it is wise to ask what is in the bamboo as it is not always bananas and rice…

Quite a lot this week with Turkey eggs, nuts, potatoes and banana parcels I wonder what next week will bring…Something new is always coming up and surprises me…

Thank you for reading about my life in Thailand I do hope you enjoy it 🙂

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

 

Down on the Farm…What is Lime water? Nam Pboon Sai…

Down on the Farm Nam Pboon Sai

While I am busty researching and testing recipes I thought I would repost some of my older posts which still seem to be receiving some interest or ones which may need a little more love…

I thought of this post as I purchased some more of the areca nut today and some fresh tobacco…The mother-law -law’s little store need replenishing…

I hope you enjoy!

Nam Pboon Sai ( Limewater) is used in Thai cooking… it firms up soft fruit for long cooking and makes crispy batter even crisper. It was something I discovered quite by chance when asking questions about Thai cooking…it then left me with more questions…Of course, it did…sigh

But you know me I couldn’t just leave it there…

When I wrote my post last week on Red Bananas I found out that all bananas that looked red were in fact NOT red bananas but bananas that had been cooked in Lime Water to turn them red… The plot thickens… I hope this doesn’t bore you but I just like to know I will say that when I was telling my son his eyes glazed over and he did say, mum, I really am not interested… But indulge me because I am…

Let’s start with the raw ingredients in making limewater (Nam Pboon Sai). Slaked lime (lime + water = Ca(OH)2 ) or calcium hydroxide is traditionally made with burning shells at high heat and adding the burned shells to water. The water that you get is limewater. In  Thailand, the red lime paste is quite common because the paste is also used in making paan.

What is paan?

The chewing of the product is part of the culture of Thailand. Cultivation of areca nut palm and betel leaves is common in rural areas and is a  traditional cash crop, and the utensils used for preparation are often treasured.

Now, many young people have given up the habit, especially in urban areas, but many, especially older people, still keep to the tradition.

These pictures show the fruit, the chewing tobacco, bits of wood and betel leaves and other bits and pieces which go into rolling up these cigarette shaped smokes.

Although actually illegal now a blind eye is turned in most cases it is generally the older people like my son’s partners mum who continue this tradition …You can tell as the teeth and lips are stained bright red…

Where does my red Lime powder fit in well it is sold here and apparently some of the powder is rubbed under the top gum of the mouth…I was warned( not) that I had any intention of doing that …To be careful it may burn!!!!!!!!

I was also getting a lot of surprised looks and smiles which translated I think meant what is this lady doing buying that… just as well I had Tik with me to translate that I wasn’t intending to smoke or rub it under my gums but cook…They still looked slightly bemused but I am used to that now.

Just in case you missed the post which led to this one here is the link:

Red Bananas (2)

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/fruity-friday-the-red-banana/

I just wanted to know and see what made this Banana dessert red…..

To make red lime, powdered turmeric is added to the mixture. Instead of turning yellow like turmeric, this pasty mixture turns bright red. Nam Pboon Sai or limewater is made when more water is added to the mixture. When the lime settles, the clear, pinkish water above is used in cooking.

Limewater is used in Thai cooking to keep fruit used in long cooking like a banana in syrup or breadfruit in syrup. The fruit is peeled and cut and let soak in the lime water.

The grandmother here stores her red lime paste in a jar filled with water. The heavier lime sinks to the bottom while the clear limewater floats above.  When she needs the limewater, it’s ready. She would pour the clear pinkish water out from the jar. She just tops up the limewater by adding more water to the jar. There is also no need to refrigerate limewater or lime paste.

Just a word of warning…

The powder I bought was available in red or white but apparently also comes as a red paste. If you get pickling lime from hardware stores, which often have canning materials available, make sure you get the food-grade quality. The lime building material may contain a metal such as lead.

This is where I began to get quite scared as I know that there are some who just mix whatever they have to sell with no regard for the consequences.

The bananas in this desert look bright and shiny and sweet but are not as sweet as they look… I have found a recipe and now need to find the right bananas…So that is for another day…

In the meantime on my travels looking for this red powder/paste, I also found… Some lovely squash…I hadn’t seen this variety before, Some large sweet radish which my plan was to pickle but hubby loves radish as it is raw and ate all except for the one pictured.

My red lime paste for my banana dessert and an assortment of foraged mushrooms from down on the farm which made a lovely soup for which I will have to get the recipe from my daughter in law. I have watched her make it and lots of herbs go into it with the mushrooms and it is very tasty… Don’t those whitish ones look just like flowers so pretty.

I hope you have enjoyed this little culture trip that gives you some insight into my life here…

Always interesting and I am always learning something new…If you have enjoyed it and I haven’t bored you then I am happy xxx

Thank you so much for reading this I hope you have a lovely week 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 are having a great week xx

 

 

Thailand …Loy(Loi) Krathong…

This coming week sees the lovely festival of Loy Krathong where every stretch of water will see people setting their Krathong on its way…

The Festival of “Loy Krathong”, literally the “Festival of Floating Leaf Cups”, has been celebrated in Thailand for over 6,000 years. It is a Buddhist celebration that takes place a few days before and the day of the full moon in the month of November. Loy Krathong is a festival representative of many things.

What is a Krathong? 

Krathong is a Thai term which refers to a piece of banana trunk decorated with flowers, banana leaves, candle and incense sticks. The word Loy means to float in the Thai language. When joined together,  those two terms simply mean the floating banana trunk festival. Modern krathongs are mostly made out of bread or Styrofoam. Because of more awareness regarding pollution and recycling as styrofoam doesn’t decompose many waterways do not allow them.

Bread Krathongs are more environmentally friendly as they are biodegradable and in most cases eaten by fish.

There are many stories regarding how the festival originated. One of the versions is that Thai people have long been closely involved with rivers for ages as Thailand is an agriculture-based country. This means rivers are like their own blood veins. And to show respect to the river, the goddess of the river is called Pra Mae Khongkha…Thai tradition sees the making of a  Krathong to worship and ask for forgiveness.

Thais now also see it as a time to wave goodbye to misfortune, wash away the sins of the past year, and make wishes for the coming year.

Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the western calendar, this usually falls in November. The exact date is announced a month before the festival.

It is a lovely festival as each boat and candle is sent with a message, a prayer or a memory and I use this as a way of remembering my dearly departed as many do here…

It really is am an amazing sight… seeing all the little krathongs and the candles floating away…very beautiful…

krathong on waterMany Thais wear their traditional costumes and there are a lot of beauty pageants held around the country…

It is lovely to see that the authorities are urging people not to send the lanterns up but just float sustainable krathongs…or make your own…There are normally many roadside stalls selling these Krathongs so I am hoping to see lots made from bread and banana leaves…or using cocktail sticks or wood posts instead of stell nails which are not only dangerous but do not compost.

Lily with her Krathong all ready to float it on the water…See how pretty the banana leaves look when they are plaited with a flower…

Thank you for reading have a great weekend xx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there 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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a relaxing weekend xx