Category Archives: blogs

Dogs are not our whole life but they make our life whole… Saangchai and Soi Dogs…

Having just returned from my few days away I am still playing catchup…So I thought as Saangchai missed me I would repost one of his earlier posts which also has a link to Soi Dogs the wonderful organisation where we got Saangchai from…Without them, there would be so many more stray dogs on the streets…I will now hand you over to Saangchai…

Yeah…I get to chat with you…Woof…First time in a while but hopefully my mistress will let me on here much more… For now, this is an earlier one I wrote when I was just a puppy… Now I am grown up I don’t chew any more…and I let her friends in now although I do give them the once over a little warning scowl( growl)…

 

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It just fell apart!

It seems like everything I just “lick” falls apart…….well maybe..just maybe I chew it a little bit……Hey, peeps welcome to my Monday blog… have you noticed that I don’t say ” woof ” so often?

It ‘s because my mistress…. she doesn’t like it and I think I am just going to have to do as I am told.

Her friends came round..again!……..So I barked… well I did growl too……but they came in any way and my mistress she got her…you will do as you are told voice on…and kept saying NO!

What’s a boy to do?  anyway I gave one last  ” woof ” and lay down beside her…but that lady seemed very nice, I slowly crept under the table towards her….she let me lick and smell her hand…she seems ok..maybe next time  I’ll be nice….she smelt of lots of other dogs so maybe she has forever dogs too..she must be ok…..my mistress is pretty cool so if she says it’s ok ….

Yehhhhh little master is here, we have so much fun…he plays and rolls about with me…today he is excited and keeps saying we are going to the beach..what’s the beach?

Anyway off we go in the truck… it wasn’t very far and I wasn’t sick..hehe…he is good fun!

Oh, this is nice and soft and I can dig holes! We run and run and went down to the water it was much bigger than that lake the other day…my mistress splashed me and it was fun…but then those things they call ” waves ” they chased me……I run off…  it scared me!

My little master and my mistress gave me lots of pats and told me it was ok…but..those waves still chased me…

SAM_7095 SAM_7096 SAM_7097 SAM_7098 SAM_7099 SAM_7100But It was fun we played ball and my little master can run really fast… just like me…my mistress wouldn’t let me off the lead…she said maybe next time…she is worried I might run off…but come on…would I?

My mistress has asked me if I can tell you my lovely readers about “Soi  Dogs”..she was watching something yesterday and she kept wiping her eyes ..these humans are silly sometimes ….she cuddled me and was really sad for a little while…

Ok..then I’ll do it……please read this and if you can give one of my furry friends a ” forever home”  like me or just……donate some money…what’s money?  I don’t use that!

BUT ANYWAY….here is the link…. please watch it as I don’t want my mistress to be sad…….and if you help…woof, woof…I won’t bark at you if you come to my home…..DEAL?

dog meat tradehttps://www.soidog.org/

See you soon…Thanks for reading…Saangchai…Woof

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 ahead xx

Who else could burn hard boiled eggs?

What a week I have had in the kitchen…You couldn’t make it up….

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Firstly…I love black rice but no one else in my family does, well except for Saangchai. So I put a small amount in a pan with some water ..I was not cooking  enough to use the rice cooker..checking and checking it didn’t appear to be cooking so I kept topping up the water again and again, it was drinking it…mmmmm

Then the lights when on!

 

It was glutinous black rice aka ( sticky rice) ……Plan B….so I soaked it.

Popped it in the Sticky rice basket to steam ….

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.Where was my head that day it just exploded ( not my head)…..I had all this really swollen rice to more than twice its size….At least the dog ate it…..So I do have kitchen disasters you will be pleased know…lol

But the bright side of my week was ….The Thai family came over and I said I would cook….I decided to make Nam Doc Moo which is  sliced BBQ pork/beef with Coriander/mint and shallots and the requisite chillies, lime and fish sauce.

I was asked do you not use Msg..shock , horror from me Nooooooooo!

So I presented my plates of Nam Doc and it just went to Ooohs and Ahhhs and a demonstration of how much Msg they use and the translation was that mine was much better than theirs when they didn’t use msg.They loved it!

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To say  that I wasn’t just a tiny bit pleased is an understatement..from a Thai?…It’s taken at least 6 yrs to get this good at making Thai food and now I have cracked it..Yehhhhhh

I was stoked…so happy!

That euphoria didn’t last, yesterday I burnt the boiled eggs….Now those you who are writers will understand how engrossed we get in our work….won’t you?

An hour later…I came down as I was summoned…He shouted at me!

One of the eggs had exploded over the kitchen and the other two were burnt as was the bottom of the saucepan……Oooooops

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So a mixed week in the kitchen with more disasters than I have had for a while.

Oh and after 6 years, juggling with the heat and the different flours I have finally made the PERFECT DUMPLING!

Until next time.

Stay safe, laugh a lot and be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

Saang Chai……my life with humans!

Shooooosh..Hey I’m back..my mistress has gone to get a fresh Coconut drink and I thought I would sneak on…she has been working like a trojan on her book and a dog hasn’t had chance to get a word in…..I shadow her and zilch… but she’s been gone a while and I can hear her talking so if I type quick I can update you on my exploits…all good..woof!

We are moving soon and I am going on a plane not sure if I like that idea but spose it’s better than being in a truck or car for 18hours..that’s what mum says anyway and she knows best. I must have cage so she’s getting one from the vets this week to get me used to it..she doesn’t me to get scared..but I’m tough…wooof

We are getting a house…she said, with a garden that is walled in.. so Houdini can’t get out…I have never met this Houdini don’t know who they are, woof….

Our garden is big here with lots of trees and lots of places I can get out…..but I bring presents back……my mistress doesn’t like it though and my master went to see the man who keeps  putting presents out for me…he he …he has now put a cage round his black bags with such big gaps.. I can just walk straight in and get a bag…..my master is quite angry..but what’s a dog to do we all get the bags and love seeing what’s in them.

 

I was very sick the other week though and had to go to the vet…he gave me an injection and tablets and my mistress kept saying to me I was a silly boy and why did I eat things from these bags when she cooked me nice food…well she does…I get fresh cooked chicken and kidneys..all sorts and nice bones but I am a dog……woof

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I don’t bark and growl at her friends anymore and then I get lots of pats so that’s good

Uh Oh…here she comes best go…until next time and I will tell you all about my plane ride…woof

Thai Lemon Grass Salad(Yum Takrai)

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This recipe is for all you veggies as promised. 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 Lemon grass Salad)

15 stalks fresh lemongrass.

14 cup finely chopped ginger

2 tbsp. toasted cashews
2 tbsp. whole dried shrimp
1 12 tbsp. fish sauce
1 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.
Method:
Trim and slice lemon grass 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.
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We also serve with a tamarind sauce made by combing 3 tbsp tamarind pulp with cup water in 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, 11/2 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 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, if you love Thai food then please have a look around my blog for more authentic Thai Recipes.
Love you all xxx

Christmas Recipes.

Well, it’s that time of year so I thought I would post a few of our Christmas family favourites: Christmas pudding should be made now really and it’s something the kids can help with they like to stir and it’s supposed to be lucky.

Christmas Pudding:

Christmas Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 300g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ whole nutmeg, very finely grated
  • 350g raisins
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 250g suet
  • 225g Demerara sugar
  • 225g sultanas
  • 225g currants
  • 2 carrots, peeled and very finely grated
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled and very finely grated
  • (sh)Wet ingredients
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small wine glass of brandy and a tad more..haha
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

Let’s Cook!

Put the breadcrumbs in the biggest mixing bowl you can find. Sieve the flour into the bowl with the mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then add the remaining dry ingredients, up to and including the grated apples. Combine all the wet ingredients in a jug. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together,  with a big wooden spoon. Take it in turns to give it a stir, closing your eyes and making a wish.

Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight.

Butter 2 x 1.2-litre pudding basins and spoon the mix into them. Place a disc of baking paper on top of the puddings, then seal with a big sheet of baking paper with a central pleat, to allow expansion. Cover with a cotton or muslin cloth and tie with string or foil. Steam for 6 hours in steamers, or in pans with simmering water that reaches two-thirds up the sides of the basins – be sure to keep the water topped up. Remove and allow to cool.

When cool, re-cover the basins and store in a cool, dry place. On Christmas day, or the day you’re going to eat the puddings, steam for another 1-2 hours. Turn the pudding onto a plate, then pour 75ml of brandy into a ladle and carefully warm over low heat for 1 minute or so. Light the brandy using a long match and tip over the pudding and enjoy it!

What do we eat with our Christmas Turkey? Bread Sauce…living here in Phuket we were surprised how few of our friends even knew what this was so I am assuming it is an old English country recipe it was one my mum handed down to me. I always save any spare bits of bread in a bag in the freezer ( It is better to use stale bread).

Ingredients:

About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half pint milk.

Let’s Cook!:

Pour milk into a saucepan and add the studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

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Chicken Pate:

Ingredients:

  • 220g/8oz  butter.

  • 4 shallots chopped.

  • 2  cloves, crushed or finely chopped.

  • 450g/1lb chicken Livers, trimmed and cut in half.

  • 1 tbsp Brandy.

  • 1 tsp mustard powder.

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • 1 bay leaf, to garnish.

  • 2-3 fresh cranberries, to garnish.

Let’s Cook!:

Melt 110g/4oz of the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the onion and fry until softened, but not coloured.

Add the garlic and chicken livers and fry the livers until golden-brown all over and cooked through. Add the brandy and mustard powder and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the liver mixture and 55g/2oz of the remaining butter into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf….. I use lime leaves as I cannot always get fresh bay leaves.

Melt the remaining 55g/2oz of butter in a clean pan. Skim off the froth and pour the butter over the pâté. Transfer to the fridge to chill, then serve from the ramekin when ready.

Pickled  Onions.  There is nothing like your own crispy pickled onions… I use shallots…

Ingredients:

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  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar..I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbls Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

Let’s, Pickle

2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in a cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilized jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour over vinegar making sure onions are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop-bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

That’s all for now …next time it will be a family favorite Prawn Cocktail which I have to make on pain of death, my son will not let me away with it..” you always make it mum” so mum does…haha and Mince Pies of which it wouldn’t be Christmas without a mince pie or two and Sausage Rolls which my mum always makes but here I have to make own…. and my big son…teases me over Skype with nans sausage rolls and I must admit no one makes them like my mummy…

 

Dogs are not our whole life but they make our life whole. Week 8 on Life with Saang Chai.

Woof I’m back……no laptop last week it was kaput….only an i-pad and I was not allowed as my paws would scratch it! What did they want me to do ? Wear gloves?

My masters laptop and that was a definite No, No as he doesn’t like me licking and sniffing it….isn’t that what dogs do? So no post….But my faithful fans….Did you miss me??????  woof..

Today because I now have a forever home I am going to talk to you about my life before I  came to live here woof…..I lived on the streets and relied on scraps from bins and whatever any nice people gave me..but I was only a little puppy and sometimes the big dogs took the food off me and my sister……We often got kicked out the way if someone just felt like kicking us or if they thought we were in their way. Sometimes we made a friend and then they disappeared like our mum did..one day we would be cuddling up to her and then she was gone….we could hear the humans talking about nasty men who stole the dogs  for meat…… who would want to eat us?

This is an excerpt from Soi Dogs Page:  Found, in a jungle clearing, a small cage containing another 3 dogs. It emerged that the area was a make-shift holding place, where dogs were kept until sufficient numbers were accumulated.

From there, they would be smuggled over the border and on to Vietnam, where they would be cruelly tortured and slaughtered for their meat.

These are the lucky ones: 12108723_978517515523317_8241193445479086222_n 12108776_978517535523315_3877233151736221132_n 12122711_978517528856649_3893577881246430365_n 12143301_978517542189981_966576195525016972_n

http://www.soidog.org/en/dogmeat/

I think I am lucky that I was helped by a kind lady who used bring us food when she walked her dogs, one day she was told by one of the other ladies that the man who kept kicking us said he was going to drown us as we wasn’t big enough to eat……..she was a lovely kind lady and she phoned   ” Soi Dogs ” , a nice man came and picked  us up  in his van and took us to Soi Dogs. There are lots of dogs there and lots of barking..but happy barks and so many people came and made a fuss of us … woof…we got lots of cuddles and we got food, baths….and needles stuck in us.. I didn’t like  that much. But the nice people said it was so we didn’t get nasty diseases..they were very kind us and then we got put in a big run with lots of other puppies …It was fun….we could run and play…

Lots of people came to look at us and my sister was taken away to a forever home..woof….I miss my sister…..

One day a boy came with some grownups and played with me and I heard him tell his grownups that he liked me….I thought he liked the little black and brown dog who he was running about with……I didn’t run about with them as they were smaller than me and people always pick the little ones…awwwww so cute you hear them saying……but my forever mum she was saying she loved my frown and my little master just said “I want him”….there is something about him..please nanny can I have him..he looks sad……woof…… I wasn’t really sad…I just wanted a forever home and as I got bigger I wasn’t as cute as the smaller ones….but they liked me …and came back to see me the next day…..I wasn’t very friendly to them, I just stood and watched………..I didn’t want to get too excited in case they changed their mind…woof

But they didn’t…they came back with a nice new blue harness for me…….. I was put in their truck and before I knew it we arrived at my forever home ..it had a big garden..lots to smell and it smelt nice…. Then they took me shopping and bought me a new bed…my first …very own…new…bed… toys..balls  that  squeaked…..a brush all of my own……….funny tasting chewy things..I didn’t like them much…so my mistress kept buying different ones until I found one I liked…she is kind ….my master says she spoils me…… What do you think?

Thank you for reading about the good work Soi Dogs do and if you can….. please help either with a donation or a forever home like I have ….I’m sure it is only nice people like my mistress who read this..woof

Woof… before I go if my mistress writes her blog and tells you that I chewed another pair of my master shoes..his best ones and one of her silk slips…it really  just fell in front of me ….. I was just sniffing and licking it…….I really was….woof…….