Category Archives: CarolCooks2

Saturday Snippets 31st July 2021…Tokyo

 

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary…

For the last few weeks, I have taken inspiration from something I have read or watched… this week I have been trying to keep up with the Olympics…

I am keeping up with the Olympic Games where I can..coverage is limited here but I can download some of the programs so can watch them that way…in keeping with the Olympics my chosen word this week is…Toyko!

Come with me and see what I discovered…

When I think of Tokyo I think of cherry blossoms…they always look si beautiful…

Not only is Tokyo known for its historic shrines and temples…it is famous for performing arts such as Noh, Kabuki and Rakugo, which have been enjoyed for centuries. Its major venues which celebrate Japanese cultural traditions include the Kabukiza Theatre, the National Noh Theatre and the Kokugikan Hall.

Tokyo is also the home of Anime, electronics, manga, and video games. Akihabara is the epicentre of it all. It becomes a jungle of electric lights and colours at night, providing a sensory overload for visitors.

Tokyo…Aime

Did you Know? There is one vending machine per 23 citizens in Tokyo?

Vending machines are everywhere in Japan, and Tokyo is not an exception. Estimations have been made that you will never have to walk more than 12 meters on average to find a vending machine in Tokyo. In fact, there is one vending machine for every 23 people living in the city. 

The Japanese are a nation of fish eaters...it is ingrained in their history and culture…we all know that overfishing is causing a problem worldwide and that sustainability is high on most people agendas…Will fish-loving Japan embrace sustainable seafood?

Not easily methinks…fish remains at the heart of Japanese diet and culture.

Traditional Japanese cuisine, known as washoku, was included in December 2013 as a part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Fish are an indispensable element in washoku culture, where a diverse array of ingredients is used with subtlety to prepare each dish.

The Tsukiji Fish Market is what Tokyo has been famed for years and has been on everyone’s to-do list when travelling to Japan…because of the Tokyo Olympics, it has been relocated to Toyosu many people miss the ambience of the old market and feel the new one is modern and soulless…

Although Tsukiji’s wholesale market has moved to nearby  Toyosu, the warren of shops and eateries making up the adjacent Jogai Shijo Outer Market remain. A vibrant mix of street-stall style shopping and fresh cuisine, Tsukiji’s Outer Market is a haven for those craving the hustle, bustle and intimate feel of a local Tokyo.

There are lots of themed cafes in Tokyo

Vampire cafes, Alice in Wonderland, Maid cafes, Cat cafes, Totoro cafe, Moomin cafe, PomPomPurin Cafe. You name it and there is a big chance that there is a themed cafe in Tokyo with your favourite things.

Many of Tokyo’s theme cafes are limited editions and so-called pop-up stores that only exist for a certain period. For example, there have been cafes with Pikachu theme, Pokemon theme, Sailor Moon theme, and many more. Some popular ones have remained as permanent establishments.

Let’s have a tune…

A new one on me..quite pleasant…

Did you know food lovers? Tokyo has the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants

In the latest edition of the renowned Michelin Guide, a total of 223 restaurants in the city was awarded at least 1 Michelin star. For food lovers, this is perhaps one of the most interesting facts about Tokyo.

Tokyo also has a robot hotel and robot restaurant…what doesn’t Tokyo have?

The Henn Na Hotel is operated by robots and in the reception, visitors are greeted by a dinosaur robot. There are actually several hotel branches within the same company. The one in Ginza is certified as the first hotel with working robots, in the world.

Wow…I want to visit Tokyo and it’s one of the safest cities in the world…it must also be the zaniest and most fun a mix of ancient and modern…

That’s it for the word Tokyo…This is so funny …Yes I know I have a warped sense of humour. Japanglish love it!

Thank you for popping in today I hope you enjoyed “TOKYO” see you tomorrow for my weekly roundup…I hope you have a great weekend…xx

Tropical Friday…The Bullet Wood Fruit…

The Bullet Wood fruit whose other names include Spanish Cherry, Tanjong Fruit, Indian Medlar and Caqui Fruit…scientific name Manilkara kauki is grown here in Thailand its really another backyard fruit and is generally found on small market stalls where the produce that they sell is from their land and it is generally in small quantities.

Its botanical name is Mimusops elengi L…it has been used by traditional medicine practitioners for centuries and is mentioned in the Ayurvedic Scriptures.

All parts of the tree are used the leaves, bark, flowers, seeds, roots and fruit to treat various diseases especially dental disorders.

Called the Bakula tree in India its very pretty flowers are offered to the gods…Jains and Buddhists consider the tree to be sacred.

According to Vamana Purana, the flowers are used in worshipping Lord Vishnu. It is one of the few species whose flowers can be collected from the ground and offered in worship. The seeds are offered to Lord Shiva. The tree is often grown near mausoleums in South India.

Fruit edible raw, cooked, pickled, seed oil is used for cooking but also used for lamps… Bark oil is used in making perfume. Flowers are used for the preparation of an otto used in perfumes and as a stimulant. Blossoms are sometimes used to make potpourris.

I’ll now pass you over to the weird fruit explore who luckily found some of these fruits on a stall in Bangkok here he tastes it and with the utmost honesty gives you his thoughts.

Thank you for popping by I hope you enjoyed learning about this rare fruit see you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets always a popular post…x

Suni Lee—Heart of a Champion

I love the Olympics and although I support my home country along the way someone always catches my eye through their story like this young athlete and of course then countries don’t matter its the person and Suni Lee certainly gets my support…with her family support and sheer will to succeed she is doing just that…the perfect role model…..Please head over to Pete’s to read the whole story #recommended read

Pete Springer

Every Olympics, there are human interest stories that capture my attention. I don’t follow women’s gymnastics, but I always enjoy the spirit of competition. One Olympic athlete we may hear more about in the days to come is American gymnast Sunisa “Suni” Lee.

There are many aspects of Suni Lee’s story that I find fascinating.  She is the first Hmong American athlete to compete in the Olympics.  The Hmong are an ethnic group that originated in Southeast Asia.  They haven’t had a country of their own. There are between 9 and 11 million Hmong people in the world today.  They lived in southwestern China for thousands of years but began immigrating to other neighboring countries in the 17th century.  As a teacher, I taught several Hmong children.

Suni Lee performing on the uneven parallel bars at the Tokyo Olympics

The most famous and decorated gymnast on the American team…

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The Culinary Alphabet …..A-Z…Series 3… the letter K…

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet A-Z…Where the middle letter is K…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thingmy followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet for me to blog about…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete was, however, will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…so I hope you have started brainstorming Chel…haha x

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Cajun, Cabbage, Ackee and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…I also don’t want to use plurals to form a word as I may need that word for another letter and its sort of cheating I think…unless of course I really get stuck…which I am sure will happen…

Today it is words where the middle letter is J...A little easier than J which was quite hard…The Baker baked some Cakes words like this are pretty generic but I will see how I go before I succumb to using them I make life hard for myself sometimes…or how about Pukka Pies.

Let’s go and see what I have found…

Ackee…Weird ( and) sometimes dangerous fruit.

The Ackee fruit is the national fruit of Jamaica…If improperly eaten, though, ackee can cause what has been dubbed the Jamaican Vomiting Sickness — which, other than the self-explanatory symptoms, can lead to coma or death.

Unripe ackee fruit contains a poison called hypoglycin, which means you must be careful to wait until the fruit’s protective pods turn red and open naturally. Jamaicans will often say that the fruit will “yawn” or “smile”—open naturally, on its own—before it’s ready to be picked from the tree.

Once open, the only edible portion is the yellow arilli, which surround always-toxic black seeds. With all that risk comes a delicious payoff — Jamaica’s national dish is ackee with codfish.

In preparation for use in the national dish, ackee and saltfish, the fruit is usually boiled gently for up to half an hour. The prepared fruit is removed from the water and usually sautéed with onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, allspice, and Scotch bonnet peppers, and then mixed with salt fish. It’s easy to tell when ackee is cooked because the flesh will turn from a cream colour to bright yellow. Remove it from the heat source as soon as it turns yellow to avoid overcooking it. When it’s fully cooked, ackee becomes delicate; it crushes and falls apart easily.

When served with salt fish, it’s often accompanied by breadfruit, hard dough bread, Johnny cakes, fried plantain, or boiled green bananas. It’s also often eaten with rice and peas, or white rice.

Ackee can also be used in soups and desserts such as cakes and custards.

Bakmi …

Bakmi is a Chinese word that literally means “meat noodle.” It refers to a kind of egg noodle introduced into south-east Asia by the Chinese. Today it is most commonly used as part of the name of any of a number of Indonesian dishes made with those noodles. In addition to the noodles, Indonesian bakmi recipes usually include meat, often chicken, and a variety of vegetables. There are many regional and local variations of the dishes.

Bakso…

Bakso is an Indonesian meatball and is an extremely popular Indonesian food. It’s everywhere; you’re just as likely to find it being sold by street vendors (called kaki lima) and posh eateries.

Chickpeas…

One of my favourites legumes they have a lovely creamy texture which is why they are ideal for making hummus…They are brilliant as a snack…just roasted…or just used to bulk out soups, stews and salads…

High in protein, they are one of the earliest cultivated legumes…They are also high in fibre and contain several key vitamins and minerals. Sometimes called garbanzo beans they are used extensively in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Note: it is not recommended to eat raw chickpeas or any other pulses due to the content of toxins and anti-nutrients. These components are reduced with sprouting and cooking.

Chickweed…

Both edible and delicious…

Chickweed is excellent raw — use it like sprouts; eat it in sandwiches, wraps, etc. And of course it’s a great base for a salad.

It’s also great cooked and makes a good substitute for spinach.

Cockles…

Sitting on the beach with a plate of cockles and some brown bread is my idea of heaven…

Cookies…

Ahhhhh the power of language…in the US it’s cookies in the UK it’s Biscuits however biscuits in the US means scones to me …don’t me started on Graham Crackers as they are sort of a  digestive biscuit to me they are sweet and crackers we eat with cheese or pull them at Christmas…confused yet?…x

Cookout…

A meal which is cooked and served out in the open..like a BBQ then?

Corkage…

Corkage is a service charge that is levied by venues for opening and serving bottles of wine, sparkling wine, champagne and even spirits that are bought externally by customers with the intention of consuming them on site. … Some venues charge per head but most will charge per bottle opened on site.

Crackling…

One of life’s pleasures…Perfect Pork Crackling is a wonderful thing and happily popular here as well…

Gerkins…

Gerkins or baby pickles are small cucumbers pickled in brine…delicious sliced in a burger or with cheese or fish and chips …or just because…Gherkins can be made sweeter by adding some sugar to the vinegar or brine. Although, Dill pickles (flavoured with dill stems) are typically sour. …

Junket…

A dish of sweetened and flavoured curds of milk that is often served with fruit.  Think “Little Miss Muffett” eating her curds and whey..some older cookery books still refer to “curds and whey”

Kashkaval…

Kashkaval is Bulgaria’s popular yellow, semi-hard cheese made from sheep’s milk that can be spicy or bland. It’s great for grating, cooking and melting, and is similar to Italian pecorino or Greek kasseri, but can variously taste like provolone and even pungent blue cheese (without any hint of mould).

Milksop…

An old fashioned late middle English dish from milk plus bread something my nana and my mother used to make and give us if we were unwell or given to young children…Bread and milk…

Mulukhiya…

Are the leaves of Corchorus olitorius, commonly known in English as denje’c’jute, nalta jute, Tossa jute, jute mallow or Jew’s mallow. It is used as a vegetable…

highly nutritious ancient super-green from the Middle East. It’s also known as Egyptian spinach, jute mallow or Jew’s mallow…sometimes also known as “the king of vegetables”

Parkin…

Parkin is a gingerbread cake traditionally made with oatmeal and black treacle, which originated in northern England.  Parkin is baked to a hard cake but with resting becomes moist and even sometimes sticky.

Pickles…

Pickles I adore pickles of all sorts and pickle anything…watermelon rinds, garlic, jalapenos, pineapple, cucumbers…you name it and I pickle it…an ideal snack..Lily loves to snack on pickled cabbage which we call Pak Dong …Including pickles in your diet as a healthy snack can help you shed pounds, thanks to their low-calorie count. A cup of dill pickles — regular or low sodium — has just 17 calories. Even if you’re following a very restricted diet of 1,200 calories per day, that’s less than 2 per cent of your daily calorie allowance.

Pak Dong…Is Thai pickled cabbage which comes in many forms from just cabbage or cabbage and green onions this version has added small yellow eggplants…one of my favourites if I can get there before Lils…haha

Ingredients:

  • 1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
  • 8 large spring onions chopped
  • 12-15 sm yellow eggplants halved
  • Coarse Salt.

Let’s Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions, eggplants and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

 

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier or sour more than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

My daughter in law who is Thai doesn’t like it as sour as we do… she doesn’t like the Winegar taste as she puts it… Once it reaches your required taste it is ready to eat.

This recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Porkpie…

A pork pie is a traditional English meat pie, served either at room temperature or cold. It consists of a filling of roughly chopped pork and pork fat, surrounded by a layer of jellied pork stock in a hot water crust pastry. It is normally eaten as a snack.

Reibekuchen…

A fried potato pancake…Reibekuchen are German potato fritters, also known as Kartoffelpuffer. They are common in many areas of Germany, the name “Reibekuchen” being characteristic of the Rheinland area. Reibekuchen may be served with apple sauce, pumpernickel bread, treacle, or Maggi-brand seasoning sauce.

Stinkbean…Sa Tor.

Very popular here…

Also popular in Indonesia, Malaysia,  Singapore, Laos, Burma and NE India they are known as Bitter Bean, Petai, Kampa, Mizo, Pakra and Sa Tor here in Thailand which translates as the stinky bean. When you eat this bean it has the same effect on your urine and your farts as asparagus and I have also been told that if you eat Sugar Puffs then it smells like Sugar puffs …Totally off subject but that was what my son told me when I informed him they had the same effect as asparagus…When the beans are young they can be eaten raw, fried or pickled. The beans are either pickled or frozen when being exported.

For more info on the stink bean(Sa Tor) and a delicious recipe  please click here

Sockeye Salmon…

The sockeye, also called red or blueback salmon, is among the smaller of the seven Pacific salmon species, but their succulent, bright-orange meat is prized above all others. They range in size from 24 to 33 inches in length and weigh between 5 and 15 pounds.

Chicken Tikka…

Authentic Chicken Tikka Masala is usually made with yoghurt marinated chicken, skewered and chargrilled …authentic chicken tikka is a wonderful thing and my next project is to buy one of these and replicate chicken tikka and naan bread cooked in this…I reckon if they can cook chicken on the markets in one of these I can do chicken tikka in my garden…and slap the nan bread on the hot sides when the chicken is cooked…

Turkeys…

Christmas dinner for many people…a large bird in the genus Meleagris, native to North America. There are two extant turkey species: the wild turkey of eastern and central North America and the ocellated turkey of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico

My turkey babies are not babies anymore….

He is just such a handsome boy, isn’t he? They love just love wandering about the farm and eating the greens and picking bits here and there….They are a joy to keep and have really lovely natures…..One got attacked by a dog a while ago but let himself be picked up and his leg cleaned so placidly he is lovely….The dog..banished we cannot have an animal which attacks the other animals…The turkey is alive and well after his little skirmish and none the worse for wear thank goodness. Our chook who thinks he is a turkey is still living with the turkeys he doesn’t want to be with the chooks…

He even speaks like a turkey now…

Thank you so much for joining me today…K was quite hard to start with but then it got easier… NEXT time it’s the letter L for Jelly and Jello… a bit of Salsa far easier methinks…x

See you tomorrow where I am in my kitchen the Onion Bahjees were popular in my house I have made them a few times already…see you tomorrow there are also some health Hacks from Sally think frozen nose syndrome from drinking an ice-cold shake …or toothache…Don’t miss it …x

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…July18th-24th July 2021…#Plastic Free July, Music, Gingerbread Fruit Tree …

Plastic Free July, Be the Change, Music, Environment A-Z, Whitstable Bay Oysters and Gingerbread Fruit Tree.

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…Time is marching on…It is now officially rainy season here so there will definitely be some dancing in the rain…

July…for my English family and readers it is wall to wall sunshine…enjoy while it lasts…tomorrow 25th of July is St. James Day he is the Patron Saint of Pilgrims and St. Christophers Day who is the patron Saint of Travellers also Whitstable Bay Oyster Festival from 27th-30th July…next weeks Saturday Snippets will be on the 31st and then the following day we will be in August…

Whitstable Bay Oysters…Some History…

Whitstable Bay Oysters go back in history to the Romans who it is said absolutely loved this defined the history of the town oysters where nearly the entire population was involved in the oyster business.

The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company whose company history began when The Company of Free Fishers and Dredgers of Whitstable was formed in 1793, becoming the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company in 1895. This company still owns the beds on which our oysters are now produced. The plaque commemorating the firm’s establishment can be seen on the Royal Native Oyster Stores Building, which now houses the renowned Whitstable Oyster Company Fishery restaurant.

The first post last week was…Plastic Free July 2021…Takeaway Food Containers…

Did you know?

The yearly production of plastic stands at more than 380 million tonnes globally. To put that into perspective, we’re talking about the same weight as 2,700,000 blue whales!

Of that huge amount, only 16% is recycled to make new plastics. Some 40% is sent to landfill, 25% is incinerated, and the other 16% is, to be frank about it, dumped…

Plastic Free July 2021…Takeaway Food Containers…

Chicken Pox and Shingles...As children begin school for the first time or return after the long summer break, there is likely to be an outbreak of one of the common childhood infections including chickenpox.

A very contagious childhood disease that can be dangerous for babies and someone like me…generally at my age it manifests as shingles which I haven’t had but I know first-hand some who have and it is not nice…painful and debilitating…Please head over to Smorgasbord as Sally has some good advice on how we can boost our immune systems..and what common sense actions we can take to avoid getting contaminated.#recommended read

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health – Chicken Pox and Shingles- The lurking opportunists by Sally Cronin

Wednesday…I was back on my soapbox again with my A-Z of the Environment…

It was the letter L…Landfill, Latex and Lead…I don’t need to tell you how incensed I was to discover that not only is Lead STILL found in leading baby food brands but also Cadium and Mercury…If you buy baby food or know someone who does please think about those precious little brains as very little lead ingested has a detrimental effect…Please alert them.

The Environmental A-Z…the letter L…

This took me nicely into Thursdays post…How easy it is to make your own baby food at home…no special ingredients required you can even use some of your home-cooked food if it is suitable and puree it for the baby just be aware of salt and sugar levels…

In my Kitchen…Starting at the beginning…Feeding Baby…

Tropical Friday’s…The Gingerbread Fruit Tree…

Yes, there really is a fruit that tastes like Gingerbread…kids love it…it makes a lovely refreshing cold drink and has numerous health benefits…

It is the fruit of the Doum Palm which grows in hot arid climates where not much else grows…

Tropical Friday…The Gingerbread Fruit Tree…Doum Palm …

Saturday Snippets…Potluck…

Potluck…Some of you grew up with potluck parties or family gatherings..others of us if we asked what was for dinner were given the answer Potluck…someone mentioned the dishes could be awesome or best avoided…HOWEVER…I have extended an invitation to one and all to join me once a month for a virtual potluck where you can showcase your blog and a recipe…even if you can only cook one dish you are welcome …send me an acceptance in comments or on my contact me page…They will be themed which included all diets, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and carnivores…something for everyone…I will provide the main course unless anyone else has a dying need to do so in the form of a recipe they love…I am easy and the plus side is there is no washing up and dirty plates…

Saturday Snippets… 24th July 2021…Potluck and an Invitation…

Thank you so much for dropping by I always look forward to your visits and comments…Hope to see you here next week xx

Saturday Snippets… 24th July 2021…Potluck and an Invitation…

 

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary…

For the last few weeks, I have taken inspiration from something I have read or watched… this week and also because it just happens that where I live because of the increase in the cases of Covid…we are a red zone…back to curfews etc etc…

Over the past 18 months like many others, we have been isolated and our movements restricted…therefore I have decided my word this week will be Potluck…

Why Potluck?… Well, like many of us I miss the social side of life so I thought why not a virtual Potluck once a month it will give my guests the chance to promote their blog and a recipe…I was also curious as to what else Potluck came up with and proceeded to do my A-Z research on the word “Potluck”

Come with me and see what I discovered…

Alaska Potluck:

You can’t buy moose, or caribou in Alaska. Alaska law forbids the selling of game. Thus, when you want to eat it you have to host a potluck. It is pretty much guaranteed that someone will bring a dish of moose or caribou stew or even a raw piece for the grill. Alternatively, you may trade your garden’s or fishing bounty with some game from your hunting friends.

Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party is an American variety show starring Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. The series premiered on VH1 on November 7, 2016…who knew…I certainly didn’t!

Is this show a favourite of yours?… It sounds like fun…

Where did Potluck originate from…?

The word pot-luck appears in the 16th-century English work of Thomas Nashe, and used to mean “food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot.” The modern execution of a “communal meal, where guests bring their own food,” most likely originated in the 1930s during the Depression.

Potluck was not something I experienced until I came here to live…

Potluck Paris:

High-end Parisian jewellery…That sounds expensive to me…

Pot Luck…The Series…again centres around a dinner party which was what most of my findings were with word…PotLuck however I still learnt a few things I didn’t know.

A new one on me…Potluck does appear to be more of an American tradition…

Music…I found a few some rapping I would rather not share …a string band of sorts which was not for me…I decided on this one, not my musical genre but I leave it to you to decide…best of a bad bunch…

Well, he certainly has a good pair of lungs…and he wasn’t even out of breathe…

That’s it for the word Potluck…I’m sure the food will be much better…If you are interested in joining me once a month then drop me a message on Contact me …for details on joining me at the table of my new monthly Potluck Dinner Party…of course, it goes without saying that it will be a virtual one…each month there will be a theme just to make things fun…

There will be a BBQ potluck, for meat-eaters and Vegetarians, A Chinese themed Potluck, Indian themed Potluck, a cheese potluck it doesn’t matter if you only have one dish you cook in your culinary repertoire you will be welcome at my table… Let’s have some fun and promote our blogs and recipes…Join me x

Thank you for popping in today I hope you enjoyed “Potluck” see you tomorrow for my weekly roundup…I hope you have a great weekend…xx