Category Archives: Carol Cooks2

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

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

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

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

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

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

So beautiful…

Food for thought!

Which takes me nicely onto waste…

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

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

I am guessing many of you…

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

together but aopart teddy-2516174_640

 

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

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe xxx

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

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

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

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

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

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

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

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

Monday:

animal-1869337_640

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

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

Tuesday: exotic fruits…

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

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

Whimsical Wednesday:

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

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

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

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

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

Friday: Join me in my kitchen…

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

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

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

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

Saturday Morning Market:  

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

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

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

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

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

Saturday Morning Market…Not this week…

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

Saturday Morning Market 28st March

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

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

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

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

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

korlan fruit on bunch

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

Korlan fruit with one peeled

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

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

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

korlan fruit in chilli sauce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Called Rujak sauce it is lovely with mangoes.

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

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

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

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

miang-kham-1188212_1920

 

Ingredients: Filling:

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

Ingredients: Sauce:

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

Let’s Cook!

The Sauce.

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

Wrapping Leaves

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

To serve:

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

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

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

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

This week in my Kitchen 27th March 2020

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

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

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

smart

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

Ingredients:

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

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

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

Serve with rice of your choice.

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

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

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

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

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

dandelion flowers

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

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

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

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

smart

I am sure this loaf won’t last long…

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

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

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thailand…Down on the Farm…Exotic Fruits…Snake Fruit, Star Fruit and Thai Cherry…

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…I was given some beautiful fresh pomegranates yesterday from my neighbour’s tree…

smart

I love pomegranates it’s just those pips…I do love seeing pomegranates on a plate of food so pretty…Pomegranate with duck is also a lovely dish and one I haven’t cooked for a number of years…

Star Fruit or Carambola as it is also known as is a lovely vibrant yellow and due to its distinctive ridges when it’s cut it resembles a star hence its name.

It is a very pretty tree and has lovely flowers which Lily always picks for me when she finds them on the ground… I usually put them in my bathroom sink which makes it look very pretty and smells lovely…

The fruit when it comes is also such a lovely lemon colour..a very pretty fruit…

The entire fruit is edible it has firm, crunchy flesh and is quite juicy. The taste is likened to that of a grape.

It can be made into relishes, preserves and juice drinks.

Star Fruit Relish:

Ingredients

• 8 cups of star fruit, thinly sliced and any seeds removed.
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp whole cloves tied in a muslin bag and slightly crushed.
• 4 cups of sugar
• 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Wash and thinly slice the star fruit removing any seeds. Cover with the cider vinegar and stand overnight.

Drain the vinegar add sugar, salt and clove bag. Cook gently until the relish starts to thicken then allow to stand overnight.

In the morning remove the spice bag and reheat the mix after adding the nutmeg if used and bring back to the boil.

If you plan to store the star fruit chutney then omit the nutmeg as it will turn the relish a brown colour although it does add another dimension to the taste.

Put into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Enjoy with some cold meats or on bread and butter.

Thai Cherry…Although, it looks like a tomato to me that is where the resemblance ends. In Thai called cheree thai” (เชอรี่ไทย)…when there isn’t a translation then a word is often elongated…cheree…It also looks very much like the Barbados Cherry…

Not a commonly available fruit here and I have only seen it on local markets in smallish quantities…The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked although it is quite a tart fruit not sweet at all…The recipe I got from a Thai friend…I like it… not a sweet recipe but it tasted rather like the Apricots I brought which were pickled.

Recipe for pickled Thai cherries.

Ingredients:

• 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 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.

Let’s Cook!

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

Put both vinegars, sugar and juice of the lime into a pan and on 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 for the flavours to develop.

Enjoy!

Some interesting facts on the uses of the bark and leaves of the Thai Cherry.

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 almond 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.

Salak fruit or snake fruit is 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 sala…

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.

Rambutan is one of the first fruits we ate when we very first came to Thailand and it is also one I was able to purchase in the UK.

Native to south-east Asia this lovely fruit has almost a soft silky feel when you touch it and looks very pretty. Similar to the Lychee, Longan and mamoncillo fruits it has a sweet-tasting grape-like flavour.

It has a leathery red skin covered with soft, fleshy spires hence the name which means ” hairy.” In Vietnam, it is called chom chom which means messy hair.

The peeled fruits can be eaten raw or cooked and are often used in fruit salads or made into a syrup to flavour whipped cream or cocktails.

Although grown all over Southeast Asia, Thailand is the largest producer.

The rambutans are made into jams, jellies or canned in syrup.

Like many other fruits and vegetables, the skin has been used to treat dysentery or chronic fever. The leaves are also made into a paste by mashing the leaves, adding water and squeezing out the extract then applied to the forehead this paste is also a great hair conditioner.

Boiling the tree roots to make a tea is also used to treat fevers.

How to open it?  Put your thumbnail into the skin and squeeze and turn the fruit the fleshy fruit will just pop out much easier than the sala fruit to open.

Rambutan Jam.

Ingredients

• 3 cups of peeled and seeded Rambutan
• Juice of a large lemon
• 2 1/2 cups of sugar.

Blitz Rambutan in the food processor …I leave mine a little chunky then put all ingredients in a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer on medium until the sugar has dissolved. Turn down and simmer 15-20 minutes until the mix has thickened. Make sure you don’t let the sugar caramelise.

Put in a sterilised jar.

This is lovely instead of apple sauce on meats.

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

 

Saturday Morning Market…Mandarin Oranges and Rosella Fruit…

I love Saturdays as the small traders come with their produce from their little bit of land this is where I find the unusual the fruits or vegetables which are not raised commercially but just local grown like they have been for centuries…I am also pleased to see how many of the stalls now are ditching the plastic and using banana leaves to wrap foods…

Lively and bustling the markets here sell everything from meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, curry pastes, rice, clothing, garden pots and knives you name it it is sold here…On a Saturday I will share with you what I have found…

This week there were lots of mandarins in all shapes and sizes but the kids love the small juicy ones, dragon fruit is plentiful as were the mushrooms today some of which have already found their way into a carbonara for the kiddies…I have noticed that certain veggies were a lot smaller I think the lack of rain is hindering their normally prolific growth. Tomatoes are all lovely red just right for a base for chilli, curry or spag bol…There are also still lots of Dragon fruit a very pretty fruit which is not a favourite of mine but lovely in a smoothie…I think I have so much choice that I am getting picky…

The markets are still bustling here although many more people are wearing face masks than normal…Bars etc are on lockdown but the open-air markets are still operating fully…

I have heard in many western countries that the shelves are bare and many people are unable to get even the basics which is awful I really abhor the practice of stripping and stockpiling food without any thought for others…

Often though the fresh fruit and vegetable sections are offering a choice…Buy them as many veggies and fruits can be pickled, frozen, made into pesto…You could double quantities and freeze a portion or two…vegetable stirfries are lovely…

The fruit is plentiful here I would say all-year-round…Fruit and vegetables can be used in smoothies it will all help to boost your vitamin intake especially now with this Covid-19…

Here are some ideas from what you can add to a smoothie…

tropical sunshine in a glass header

https://carolcooks2.com/2017/03/20/tropical-sunshine-in-a-glass-take-5/

Rosella Fruit.

When I first saw this beautiful fruit I had only ever seen them dried before not fresh…it was something new to try… I just love it when I come across something I have not used or seen before…I get so excited.

Rosella grows easily here as it loves a tropical climate it is also a very pretty plant the species grown here in Thailand has broader leaves and pink rather than cream flowers and the leaves are used more than the fruits.

In Australia, it is still thought by many to be an exotic plant but has been mentioned in early Australian history and known by many as “Bush Tucker”

Also known by the more recognisable name of Hibiscus it is rich in Vitamin C and when made into a tea is promoted as a cure for colds if taken regularly.

A very nice sugar syrup can also be made for using in cocktails…Just saying!

The first time I made this jam …I only made a small amount as I was not familiar with the fresh fruit or the taste…but what a revelation it was beautiful…
Ingredients:

rosella flowers

  • 500 gm Rosella fruit, seedpod separated from the Calyx and Bracts ( cut into small pieces)
  • Approx 2 cups Sugar depending on the exact weight of fruit.
  • Approx 2-3 cups Water

Firstly I soaked the fruits in cold water for about 20 minutes so as to not only clean them but remove any insects they can be susceptible to little bugs.

It was then a case of removing the seed pod from the inside of the fruit…Covering the seed pods with water and cooking them for about 20 minutes.
The seed pods contain naturally produced pectin…I simmered these for about 20 minutes and then removed the pods and disposed of them aka binned them. Remember to keep the cooking water.

I weighed the flowers before cooking them and then I measured exactly half their weight of sugar.

rosella fruit in pan
The Rosella flowers were then added to the cooking water in which the seed pods were cooked and the fruits cooked until they were softened and the liquid starts to turn syrupy which took about 10 minutes I then added the sugar and cooked the fruit until it softened and turned jam-like…

Remove from the heat and put in sterilised jars…

The key to this recipe is to weigh the fruit and do the exact amount of sugar and water.
This makes a very nice fruit preserve and one which I make again and again every year.

N.B. I  now cut the fruit into smaller pieces rather than leave them whole.

Now you all know me well and know I can’t resist thinking would it be like if I added some ginger and chilli…very nice as it happens…

Rosella Relish

rosella-fruit-relish

Ingredients.

  • 250 gm Rosella fruit
  • 60 ml of sugar
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger grated finely
  • 2 red shallots chopped finely
  • 5 ml red chilli powder/flakes
  • 10 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 375 ml of water
  • A pinch of salt

Let’s Cook!

Remove the red portions/calyces & discard the seed pods
Wash & place in a pan along with water, shallots, ginger, sugar, salt and chilli flakes
Bring to a soft rolling boil and cook until the liquid is greatly reduced. This takes approx 25-30 mins.
When the chutney is almost done, add the vinegar and stir well.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly and put in a sterilised glass container.

Lovely as a relish with cold/ hot meats or in a burger… with brie and freshly made bread, it is very nice.

That’s all for this weeks Saturday Market…

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

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

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

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

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

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

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome to Whimsical Wednesday…before I start … I know many of you are self-isolating and may be worried about loved ones…I am starting with this video because it made me smile and I hope it makes you smile and I hope it makes you know that there will be a future and a bright one if this little chap is in it…so adorable…Enjoy! xxx

How beautiful was that and expressed in a way that only a child can…

I hope everyone enjoyed their Corned Beef and Cabbage yesterday on St Patricks Day…Seeing all those images made me really want some Corned Beef it is something I haven’t eaten for a very long time…Methinks I may have to see if I can replicate that here and brine my own corned beef…Corned Beef and Cabbage seems to be more of an Irish/American dish rather than Gaelic Ireland.

In Gaelic Ireland, cows were a symbol of wealth and a sacred animal. Because of their sacred association, they were only killed for their meat if the cows were too old to work or produce milk. So, beef was not even a part of the diet for the majority of the population. Only the wealthy few were able to eat the meat on a celebration or festival. During these early times, the beef was “salted” to be preserved. The first salted beef in Ireland was actually not made with salt but with sea ash, the product of burning seaweed.

It doesn’t, however, take away from the fact that it is a delicious plate of food whatever its origin…

March ….weatherwise over the centuries it is a mixed month, in history, it has been violent and gloomy over the years in view of what is happening and what the ethos of Whimsical Wednesdays is I am going to try my utmost to keep the mood light…

Nothing lighter than space and today 18th March 1965… Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov left his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, he became the first person to walk in space.

How exciting would that be?

Of course, space is a popular topic especially when it comes to music and films…Apollo 13, E.T, Alien, The Martian, Space Odessy to many to mention…

Time for a tune…

I love a bit of Bowie…

Time for a recipe…

Coconut Biscuits

I don’t make biscuits very often..almost never but once a packet of food is opened here because of the humidity doesn’t last long it either goes off or the ants take residence. I was guided by the desiccated coconut and the golden syrup which was a gift from afar… aka visitors and the rolled oats which I mistakenly bought instead of the porridge oats.

These cookies are my basic recipe and every time I make them I add something else just because I can.. I am already planning what I can add to them…I can’t help myself…

Ingredients:

  • 150gm rolled oats
  • 100gm plain flour
  • 100gm light brown sugar( I used raw sugar)
  • 100gm dessicated coconut
  • 100gm butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp of boiling water.

Let’s Cook!

Set oven to heat at 175C, gas mark 4.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the sugar, flour, coconut and oats mix to combine well.

In a small pan add the butter and golden syrup and melt the butter. meanwhile, bring the kettle to the boil and add two tbsps of boiling water to the bicarbonate of soda in a small cup. Add this to the melted butter/syrup mix. It will foam a little.

Make a well in the centre of your dry mix and pour in the melted butter/syrup mix. Stir to thoroughly combine and it will form a slightly sticky dough.

Roll out balls and put on a baking tray leaving a space as they will spread on cooking ( the mix made 15 balls) Slightly flatten with your hand.

Put in the preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

smart

THE BISCUITS WILL BE SOFT TO THE TOUCH BUT WILL HARDEN ON COOLING.

Don’t make the mistake I made when I first made them and thought they weren’t cooked and gave them another 10 minutes. They were a tad harder than required when they cooled down…haha…I could build a wall with them…Opppps

Enjoy!

Did you know?

March 20 this year the sun shines on the equator for the Vernal Equinox, giving us a near 50-50 split of day and night. In the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal equinox falls on 20th this year although it can be 19,20 or 21, as the Sun crosses the celestial equator going north…The first day of Spring…

March 21 2006… The day Twitter was founded. Founder Jack Dorsey inaugurated the social media site with its profound first tweet: “just setting up my twttr.”

twitter

I wonder if he knew then just how popular Twitter would become?

As a child, I loved the circus…the clowns but as I grew older clowns took on a more sinister meaning in my mind anyway…. and Barnums was hosted as the Greatest show on earth…That music was so exciting it added to the atmosphere of the circus…As the years went by people realised the cruelty behind the taming of the animals although my fascination was always the trapeze artists and the high wire…

How many of you as kiddies just wanted to run away and join the circus??

That’s all for today …Thank you for joining me on my whimsical ramblings I do hope you have enjoyed this post…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