Category Archives: Carol Cooks2

Saturday Snippets…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I could be writing about something I came across this week which made me laugh, cry or cringe…it may be a recipe…it may be a request..it may be totally off the wall or it may be just me!

Enjoy!

Today is National Taffy Day…

I hadn’t heard of Taffy either…Salt Water Taffy to be precise until…while I was a participant at a residential Writers Retreat we were invited to take one, unwrap it and pop it in our mouths…We were then given 15 minutes to get our thoughts on paper…

Salt Water Taffy by Carol Ann Taylor…

Salt Water Taffy( 3)

Brilliant turquoise in colour, my fingers now sticky on my screen, sweet nothing on my tongue with a sort of fudge-like texture.  Would I eat another?

“No”

The disappointment flooded over me when I realized it wasn’t a blueberry flavour.

But, instead, it invoked pictures in my memory of a hazy blue sea,  sailboats, men in boaters,  ladies in bloomers and those wonderful beach huts which are now so in vogue. Children running along with kites, donkey rides on the clean white sand. Ice Cream and Candyfloss

How one tiny rectangle of sweet stickiness could evoke long-forgotten memories of an idyllic childhood was truly amazing.

Long Live Salt Water Taffy.

What is salt Water Taffy then where did it originate?

No one really knows but a man called Joseph Fralinger who was a former glassblower and fish merchant from Atlantic City opened a small concession in the mid-1880’s selling lemonade. After taking over a taffy stand he began to perfect his own recipe for Taffy. An entrepreneur at heart he packed one pound oyster boxes with Salt Water Taffy and launched the first ” Atlantic City Souvenir” today this one-pound box still remains the most popular souvenir.

Today there are over 155 flavours of Salt Water Taffy and not a drop of seawater in view.

If you follow me and are a regular reader you will know it is National Vinegar Month…The Braised Pork with Black vinegar was amazing everyone loved it…

It was a unanimous decision to make it again…The only changes I would make would be to serve Pak Dong which is the Thai pickled greens using salt and sun to make sour but the pickles in the recipe were too sour for even me so I am taking those out of the recipe. The cooking time was also way of base so I will amend that but apart from that, it was a lovely sauce…

Chinese black vinegar is more mellow rather acidic …a nice vinegar and I would definitely use in other dishes…a good buy.

Time for a laugh…I can be a bit funny sometimes but Donna she is something else…she really makes me smile…So No-one told you life was going to be this way…Funny and entertaining ..words and pictures…I laughed and smiled from start to finish…1funny25 Donna Parker

 

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/05/04/so-no-one-told-you-life-was-gonna-be-this-way/

Captain Tom...now an honourary Colonel of his regiment…He has made a record with Michael Ball…he is also now going to be knighted… I am guessing a normal unassuming man who wanted to do something…

Arise…Sir Tom Moore…A true gentleman and a hero…

It’s National Vinegar Month and I have been celebrating it to the full…I made a Chocolate cake using no eggs just vinegar…A throwback to the war when eggs were in short supply…my latest recipe originally one from BBC food was Pork shoulder braised with Black Vinegar…a first for me and a great success with my very honest taste testers…

The chocolate cake was a revelation…made in the pan it was baked in…I honestly didn’t expect it to be that good…and vegan to boot…She who will never be vegan/vegetarian had made a not bad chocolate cake that ticked all the boxes…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/16/carolcooks2-a-vegan-chocolate-cake-braised-pork-shoulder-in-black-vinegar-and-yanang-juice/

Covid-19...I think it dominates everyone’s thoughts…certainly mine …I feel relatively safe living here in Thailand…I don’t consider my human rights or whatever violated …But the low figures speak volumes…I am happy to wear a mask when out shopping and indeed I am not allowed in a shop without it…Of course, there are opinions on whether or not the wearing of a mask actually offers protection…It protects people from my coughs and sneezes if I had some…I also think our figures speak for themselves…54 recorded deaths is very low…

corona-4971013_640

https://acflory.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/covid-19-to-mask-or-not-to-mask/

Wellness Corner:

In these times of quarantine and shortages, many of us have taken to baking our own bread and cakes…we are confined and are cooking more and eating…snacking…I have added a few pounds and I know I am not alone…

My friend and fellow blogger Sally…is here to give us all a helping hand…No tricks, no fads, no cutting out carbs or other food groups just a common-sense approach something we all need…

Sally herself has had struggles with her weight over the years she now has it under control…A qualified nutritionist she wants to help others…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/smorgasbord-health-column-project-101-resilience-improving-lung-function-no-2-weight-loss-hack-no-2-improving-lung-function-no-2-musical-therapy-by-sally-cronin/

I think these times of being quarantined have hot everyone in many ways the barbers and hairdressers have been closed, Massage parlours and manicurists have been closed, flights stopped, buses stopped, so many changes to our everyday lives…

I myself have been doing far more online shopping as I am guessing so has half of the world…My hair…Well, being a trained hairdresser I am very fussy about who comes anywhere near my hair… I also have it cut regularly…My son who takes after his mother in many ways…he may not admit it…haha…in his words is anal about his hair…so I trusted him with mine and the clippers which is what he uses on his hair…

I am really pleased he has made a good job…I don’t know what my hairdresser will say but I am happy with it…

Monty Python is something of a British Institution…

It seems however that pedestrians all over the world are being encouraged to loosen up on their daily strolls through their neighbourhoods by showing off their best silly walks reminiscent of the iconic Monty Python sketch from 1970.

Homeowners from Michigan to Ontario have been erecting signs in their front yards asking passersby to strut their goofy stuff similar to the original “Ministry for Silly Walks” comedic sketch.

That’s all for Saturday Snippets this week…Stay safe and be well…Wash your hands and please wear a mask when out in public and practise social distancing.

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

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

National Vinegar Month…How to make your own vinegar…

The white vinegar that we have in our kitchens the clear liquid which is generally a staple in our store cupboard generally contains 4–7% acetic acid and 93–96% water.

Historically, white vinegar has been produced from the fermentation of foods such as sugar beets, potatoes, molasses or milk whey.

vinegars bottle-589_640

Today, most white vinegar is made from the fermentation of grain alcohol (ethanol). This kind of alcohol doesn’t naturally contain many nutrients, so other ingredients such as yeast or phosphates may be added to kickstart the bacterial fermentation process.

While you can make vinegar in your own kitchen…it takes a while to ferment so it’s not something you can make overnight.

I am going to have a go at making my own red/white wine or ACV…Balsamic takes years to age so unless you have a nice store and some oak casks its not for most of us…White vinegar is cheap to buy and from the research, I have done it is possible to make it at home but you have to follow so many processes it is said to not be worth the effort.

Ok…Let’s brew… White/Red wine vinegar.

Firstly sterilise your jar or bottle if you are using although I would make the vinegar in a jar and when it is ready to decant into a bottle…

You will also require distilled water…I don’t use or buy distilled water so this handy little video shows you how to make your own at home…

 

Jars(s) sterilised and distilled water ready…Let’s make some wine vinegar.

Add 12 fl.oz(350 ml of wine and distilled water into your sterilised jar.

N.B.The wine you use should be free from sulphates…Again I have read advice which says that it hasn’t made any noticeable difference to the ferment time…

Vinegar is a fussy thing, isn’t she…?

Now to add the “mother”…I am going to use my kombucha scoby which apparently you can …The “mother” contains the bacteria needed to begin the process of turning ethanol into acetic acid. It sometimes forms in opened bottles of wine and looks like a slimy blob floating on the surface. You can buy “mother” (sometimes marketed as “vinegar starter”) in this gelatinous form, or as a liquid—look for it in homebrew or natural foods stores, or online.

  • If you’re adding gelatinous “mother” from a store, follow the package instructions regarding the amount to add—you’ll just spoon it on top of the alcohol in your jar.
  • For liquid vinegar starter, pour in 12  fl oz (350 ml), unless otherwise noted on the package.

Once you have made your first batch of vinegar you will have a “mother” for your next batch…the mother reforms every time you make a new batch. It is also fine to use the mother from your batch of red wine vinegar to make your white wine vinegar.

Now seal the top of your jar either with a cheesecloth or paper as the liquid needs to be able to breathe secure with a rubber band or you may have unwanted guests in the form of fruit flies.

Now to store your jar for 2 months in a dark, airy temperate spot with good air circulation if not wrap the jar in a towel but do not cover the cheesecloth or paper towel lid.

Do not shake, stir or move your jar for 2 months this gives the “mother” time to do her work…Ignore and vinegar or other smells for the first 2 months as it will go through the fermentation processes just let it do its thing.

After 2 months now comes the exciting bit…Take a disposable straw and without waking “mother” draw of a little of the liquid cover the top with your thumb and dispense into a small glass…Time to taste…

If it is too weak as it hasn’t fermented for long enough or too sharp it will mellow…Leave for another 2 weeks and test again. Repeat this stage every 1-2 weeks until it suits your palate.

Now your is ready you can scoop the mother into a new jar to start the process again or carefully pour all but a little of the vinegar and start again using the same jar…

vinegar-1924191_1920

Just think if you start now you can have some wonderfully flavoured kinds of vinegar to give as gifts for Christmas and the New Year there is nothing like receiving a homemade gift is there?

I am still waiting for my black vinegar to be delivered I will then share a recipe using black vinegar…

Stop Press: Update:

I have had a couple of enquiries about the” Mother” to start your vinegar. I f you can’t buy one then you can make it yourself…

To make a “mother”  from scratch.

1-litre red wine vinegar
1 bottle red wine

1. Pour the red wine vinegar into a saucepan and warm over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into your pot or barrel.

2. Add the bottle of wine, cover pot or barrel with their lids and keep in a warm place for 2-4 weeks.

3. Now check to see if a mother has formed and taste to see if the wine has turned into vinegar. If it has, siphon some it off and use for a salad dressing or in your cooking and then replace with some more wine. To check if the mother has formed, first make sure that you remove any jewellery from your fingers (and never use any metal spoons inside the pot or barrel). Carefully strain the contents of the pot or barrel through a plastic colander or sieve into a large non-metallic bowl. If a mother has formed and is left in the colander, carefully place back in the pot or barrel and add the contents from the non-metallic bowl.

Thank you for reading this post and stay safe and wash your hand’s xx

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

 

 

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 10th May-16th May 2020…Recipes, Recycling and more…

Curfews, working from home, only going out when necessary… obviously different restrictions wherever you hail from…some more stringent than others…Not much has been relaxed here a few internal flights but I went out briefly today…shopping and nothing has been lifted in the shops…Everyone is wearing face masks and some full-face masks..screens are in place for cashiers…no buses just tuk-tuks with the hand cleanser bottles taped to either side…in fact, it seems more screens are in place even in the small coffee shops there are screens across the middle of the tables…

great reads a weekly roundup lady with electronic reader

I would say take a breather and settle down to read my roundup but if you are like me we have been settled down for months now…Very surreal still…Enjoy the roundup of my weekly posts and check out my first ever attempt at making a vegan cake and chocolate to boot…

Monday: Recycling and Climate Change…11th May 2020…and Covid-19…

Yes unlike much of the western world we mask up and cover-up…Not always recommended by many but I think our social distancing coupled with temperature checks and the wearing of masks has contributed to our much lower deaths and pandemic infection figures…However, after a brief foray into Covid-19, I also featured some wonderful happenings from around the world of recycling and climate change…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/11/recycling-and-climate-change11th-may-2020and-covid-19/

Tuesday: National Vinegar Month…

oil and vinegar baguette-1343480_640
I also made my very first vegan cake…using vinegar instead of eggs…See Saturday’s post for the result was it flop or a success.
Or quite simply some balsamic vinegar with oil and some bread….Quite beautiful…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/12/national-vinegar-month/

Wednesday: Whimsical Wednesdays…

Before I got into my Whimsy ways I was over @Sally’s with my trip through the Culinary Alphabet from A-Z…last week I was looking at the letter I….not an ice cream cone to be seen…

From Immortalittea to everyone’s favourite Irish Stew.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-i-is-for-icing-ink-fish-indian-black-salt-infusing-immortalittea-and-irish-stew/

Time for some whimsy…Musical bamboo forests, Ants, The hazards of rolling out the dough, some cute animals to crotchet and much more…Enjoy!

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/13/whimsical-wednesday-carolcooks2/

Thursday:

I couldn’t think of anything to write my creative thoughts wouldn’t thunk…I just watched Netflix and snacked…

Friday: Apricots and Morels…

Dear Sally came to the rescue with her post on the health benefits of Apricots and also shared one of my posts of some lovely recipes using Apricots which are one of my favourite fruits and a lifesaver…They have lots of iron…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-apricots-no-honeymoon-should-be-without-it-by-sally-cronin-them/

My befuddled brain then woke up and realised that the Morel mushroom festivals had been cancelled and as I have never tried them or didn’t know much about them it gave me something to think about…The exotic hard to find wild Morel mushroom …

morel-1271816_640

Which I have now discovered I can get dried ones here and if I wait until next season I may be lucky to forage and find some…

Saturday: 

After so many disasters lately in the kitchen…I had a win and my chocolate cake turned out great…I was surprised as I always use eggs …but no sweat and less washing up…my go-to chocolate cake recipe now…

smart

Vegan Chocolate Cake.

I am just waiting for my black vinegar to be delivered to try that out in a dish…I am enjoying National Vinegar Month…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/16/carolcooks2-a-vegan-chocolate-cake-braised-pork-shoulder-in-black-vinegar-and-yanang-juice/

That’s all for this week …I hope you found something to enjoy…Please stay safe and social isolate it ain’t safe yet folks…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 weekend and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

Whimsical Wednesday with CarolCooks2…

Hello and welcome… I would like to say that here on Whimsical Wednesdays it is a Corona free zone but this sneaky virus has crept into every single aspect of our lives…Awake or asleep it is there…It dominates the headlines and our thoughts…It invokes great sadness but also great joy…and a smidgen of hope…Nope, I refuse to mention the other 10%…My focus is coming out the other side with hope in my heart…

We are in unprecedented times…

Captain Tom...What a hero…Well, he is now and Honorary Colonel an honour bestowed on him by the Queen…God Bless the Queen and Colonel Tom…

A lovely video which really made me shed a tear and smile…Watching that flypast those planes are just beautiful…

Did you know it was on the 7th MAY 1972 when a musician called Reginald Dwight changed his name to Elton Hercules John…He chose the name because of his admiration for the blues music legends Elton Dean and Long John Baldry. With his new name, Elton went on to conquer the music business.

It was also on the 8th May 1945 when World War 2 after 6 years of war finally ended. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill officially announced it was over…

May is the fifth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the third of seven months to have a length of 31 days. May is a month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

May’s full Moon traditionally goes by the name “Flower Moon.”

May’s full Moon, the full Flower Moon, occurs on Thursday, May 7. It reaches peak illumination at 6:45 A.M. (EDT) that morning, so for the best view of this full Moon, step outside on the night of Wednesday the 6th and look for that big, bright, shining lunar disk!

May is also the month when lots of beautiful flowers burst forth into brilliant colour…My favourite from the end of April into the beginning of May are the beautiful apple blossoms…There is nothing so pretty…

There is also nothing so spectacular as Patsy Stones finest moments…I love this lady for so many reasons…

Let’s have some Music:

1966 The Rolling Stones release “Paint it Black” in the US…It was 2 years before that  Top of the Pops was first broadcast on Wednesday, 1 January 1964 at 6:35 pm. It was produced in Studio A on Dickenson Road in Rusholme, Manchester.

We were allowed to watch it as a treat with my father doing the running commentary…None of the acts according to the oracle who was my father was going to last the distance like his favourite artists…

The first act to play...The very first Top of the Pops, broadcast on a Wednesday evening at 6.36 pm, was introduced by DJ Jimmy Savile. The opening band was The Rolling Stones, who had just made number 13 in the chart with ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’. They were followed by Dusty Springfield with ‘I Only Want To Be With You’; ‘Glad All Over’ by The Dave Clark Five; The Hollies with ‘Stay’ and The Swinging Blue Jeans performing ‘The Hippy Hippy Shake’.The show was completed by filmed pieces with Cliff Richard & The Shadows and Freddie & The Dreamers, together with The Beatles, who played the week’s number one, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’.”

Years later…as I think all of the acts went on to have other successes and No 1’s…I even brought 40 licks a subsequent Rolling Stones Album for his 74th birthday he loved it and by then had changed his mind on the longevity of most of the groups and solo artists…

Who still has a collection of 45’s and Lp’s and the means to play them?

Whose thoughts don’t turn to food lately?… May is chock full of foodie days…It is as you know National Egg Month it is also National Asparagus, Hamburger, Vinegar, BBQ and salsa Month…

Today is also National crepe Suzette day...Who doesn’t love a pancake? my favourites are a nice thin and be proper, Carol… I will call it a crepe…

pancake with lemon and sugar

Quite simply eaten with sugar and lots of lemon juice or as the case is now Lime Juice…

Let’s not forget the weeks we have had Raisin week in the week of May followed by National Hamburger week. Week 3 is International Pickles week and National Frozen Yoghurt is held in the 4th week of May…

For those of you who don’t mind a glass of chilled Chardonnay that is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of May…

That is a lot of food days…Even by my standards…Jeez, there needs to be some serious workouts to keep our waistlines trim…

This ladies…version of keeping fit …I just watched it with my mouth open…Tea Bags now conjure such a different picture…

The mind boggles…

On that note, I will leave you with something definitely more whimsical…xxx Something which will make us realise we don’t have it that bad…

Not even soap for protection…

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

 

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 26th April-2nd May 2020…Recipes, Mango Jam and so much more…

Good Morning and welcome it’s time for my weekly roundup of posts…Like everyone else, I am getting used to being cocooned in my home and garden with just the occasional quick trip out for essentials…Cooking has always been a passion but not like this…There are not really abnormal shortages of food here but I am not popping out every day or at will…Shopping is planned and the storecupboard and those tins/packets at the back of it are seeing the light of day…

Any shortages are because people can’t travel between provinces unless absolutely essential which means when I sent the betel nuts for mother in laws habit last week I saw many people packing mangoes and putting them in the post…Just as well we have excellent postal services always next day between provinces.

Our Thai family are keeping is well stocked as they drop boxes off when they come shopping last week it was mangos and bananas…bless them…Which meant yesterday and today I was in the kitchen pureeing and cooking mangoes and today will be the same…When I walk downstairs I am greeted with the smell of beautiful mangoes.

Which means the green tea has been shelved and it will be mango or banana smoothies for the foreseeable future…

mango-smoothie

Cheers!

Now to the business in hand…Last weeks posts…Grab your tipple of choice, settle down and enjoy the read…

Monday: Recycling and Climate Change…27th April 2020…and Covid-19…

I would love to say this is a COVID-19 free zone however it has crept into every aspect of our daily lives…it is also affecting climate change/recycling.

The world we live in has changed much in these first months of the year some things for the better and sadly we have lost many, many people to this terrible virus…Lots of shops and leisure facilities, hairdressing salons, schools, colleges have been closed…food stores have remained open but with restrictions in place..there are lots of rumblings of when are these restrictions going to be lifted…we are seeing a slight relaxing of restrictions from tomorrow but whatever is lifted I will be proceeding with caution…Will you?

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/04/27/recycling-and-climate-change27th-april-2020and-covid-19/

Tuesday: Thailand…The Betel Nut and the Jujube Fruit…

Although banned the Betel nut market is very much alive and thriving…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/04/28/thailandthe-betel-nut-and-the-jujube-fruit/

Wednesday: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘H’ is for Honey, Hamburgers, Hummus, Herbs, Haggis and Hoisin Sauce

Last week I was over @Sally’s with my A-Z of Food…A popular series which Sally is rerunning this year to allow me time to write and collate my cookbook…

Have you eaten a Hangtown Fry?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-h-is-for-honey-hamburgers-hummus-herbs-haggis-and-hoisin-sauce/

Also on Wednesday, I invite you to come and join me and my whimsy…

Whimsical Wednesday with Carol…

Like most of you, I have been cooking even more and eating even more…This cocooning doesn’t help the snacking, does it?

I have also been cooking some foods, even more, it is always the yummy foods which are the fiddliest to prepare and give the washer up more to wash..You get more bowls, pans and the mess but the end result is some delicious bites…

man washing up

Photo credit: Nationaal Archief on Visualhunt.com / No known copyright restrictions

Battered and breaded food being one of them…also the quesadillas last night were delicious…but fiddly to make and cook…Give me one-pot cooking or a stir fry any day…well almost unless its fried chicken…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/04/29/whimsical-wednesday-with-carolcooks2-5/

Thursday: Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – Watermelon – A quick way to hydrate by Sally Cronin

Watermelon the fruit which I acknowledge wholeheartedly is good for me and healthy…I just don’t love it! Although the lemonade recipe using watermelon on Sally’s post sounds quite delicious.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/04/30/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-watermelon-a-quick-way-to-hydrate/

Thursday was also National Raisin Day…

I love fruit bread, scones, bread pudding, bread and butter pudding and use raisins for all of those…why you put them in a curry I will never know…There is a place for everything and for everything a place…Not a curry…

Now cinnamon and raisin Bagels …Yummy there is definitely a call for those…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/04/30/carolcooks2-national-raisin-dayus/

Friday: CarolCooks2…National Egg Month…

An egg…Zero Carbs and no sugar… 

Who remembers this?

The poor old egg has been much maligned over the years much like fats, butter and many other foods…Yes, there is the case for free-range eggs and not battery farmed…All our chooks and Turkeys roam free…It was also vilified and we were told if you have high cholesterol keep off the eggs…Now we are told by the heart foundation that they might have got it wrong ..Hang on…A bit of extra reading…

eggs

I believe that anything is bad if eaten in excess however moderation is key…so unless you have a proven, medical diagnosis or an allergy an egg is ok eaten as part of a balanced diet. For those who can’t, I will be experimenting over the next few weeks with alternatives…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/01/carolcooks2-national-egg-month/

Saturday: Saturday Morning…In my kitchen…Mangoes…

smart

Mangoes

Lots of them…However the dried mango came out tasting just like the ones I brought…However, there is a nack to the rolling of them and I should have used a flat square tray not a round tray…Take two is today…My ones looked decidedly ragged for want of a better description but tasted ok…sigh…I love mango…I do love mango…but will be happy to see them gone for the moment until next time…Enjoy the recipes…xx

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/02/saturday-morning-in-my-kitchen-mangoes/

That’s all for this week…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…In my kitchen…Mangoes…

Hello from my kitchen here in Thailand…There will be no Saturday morning trips to the market for a little while yet as the lockdown is still in place as is the curfew although an hour has been shaved off of that…

Up early this morning even though there was no trip to the market…I have a big box of mangoes which need to be used…My Thai family dropped mangoes and bananas off the other morning…The bananas are still green so not urgent at the moment…Six lovely big hands of bananas fresh from the banana tree…They are so caring and think of us ..bless them…I am trying to think of how I can repay them when all this is over…

smart

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My neighbours were happy to receive them although as they gave me mangoes the other day… their tree is in full fruit I knew they wouldn’t appreciate the gift of more mangoes…Their mangoes are the giant mangoes…some of which weigh a kilo…

Back to my mangoes… some have been used to make mango smoothies all round every morning…some I have made puree and it is now drying in the sun and will make lovely dried mango rolls…So easy to do just puree a mango or two, then spread it very thinly on a tray and let the sun do its thing when it has set and dried… cut and roll..Enjoy!

dried mango

A lovely healthy little snack…

The mango jam is now made and boy was it hot in the kitchen this morning…But the jam is now in jars…The remainder of the mangoes…Yes, there are more…

But first the recipe for Mango Jam…

  • 8 ripe mangoes
  • 2 organic limes/lemons
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn (optional)
  • 3 cups of raw sugar.

Peel and chop the mangoes I also added 3 of the mango pits as they were a little stringy to cut put in a heavy-based saucepan.

Wash and squeeze the lime juice into the pot and throw in the lime skin.

Add the sugar then slowly bring to a soft rolling simmer and simmer until the jam reaches 220 degrees…About 50/60 mins.

Remove the mango pits if used plus the limes plus lime leaves.

Mangoes have hardly any pectin which is one reason why I use lime or lemon is fine. It is more of a preserve than a very sticky jam but we prefer that anyway. The lime plus the Kaffir lime leaves add another dimension I think it cuts through the sweetness.

You could also add a green apple to the mango as they are high in pectin.

smart

Mmmm we all agreed it was lovely on the homemade bread…This is the bread recipe I always make however I replaced a cup of the white flour with a cup of buckwheat flour.

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The addition of the buckwheat flour gave the bread a better texture for sandwiches not quite as soft ….everyone commented that it was nicer and lovely toasted…I also added a little more salt the second time.

 

Mango curry is on the menu although as my son put it…there is no meat…No it is a mango curry…Heathen!…

Ingredients:

  • 3 semi-ripe mangoes…my mangoes are ripe so I picked the least ripe but they were fine.
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2.1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp grated palm sugar…if you can’t get palm sugar normal sugar will do but use slightly less.
  • Salt to taste

For the seasoning:

  • 1 tbsp Oil(I used ghee)
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2-1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • a pinch of Fenugreek seeds ( I used fennel)
  • 4-6 Curry leaves
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic, crushed or finely sliced
  • 1-2 green chillies, slit and deseeded
  • 1 medium-sized Onion, sliced thinly

Let’s Cook!

Peel and cut up the mangoes some recipes recommend leaving on the skin and that’s fine I prefer not to…

To the mango add chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix well and let it marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat oil/ ghee in a pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek (fennel)seeds to it and when it sputters, add the green chillies and curry leaves followed by garlic and sliced onions. Fry until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the marinated mangoes and mix well. Then add about a cup of water and cook the mangoes with lid covered on a low heat for approx 5 minutes it will depend on the ripeness of your fruit so may take a few minutes longer.

Add the palm sugar and cook until it thickens about 5/10 mins.

Coorg Mango curry

Serve hot with bread or rice…

N.B I fried some curry leaves for the top as a garnish…I do love my curry leaves… if you like fruity curries you will love this…

Aston has put in an order for mangoes with coconut sticky rice and the remainder will be smoothies for the next few days…The kitchen is now shut though…I am mangoed out…

mango sticky coconut rice Thai dessert

Next week the bananas will be ready and I am assuming more mangoes will also be ready…

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!

Please stay safe and well and follow your governments safety guidelines remember we are all in this together xxx