Category Archives: CarolCooks2

CarolCooks2…Monday Musings… 17th January 2022…How to peel and Orange, Bees and Eubie Blake…

Welcome to Monday Musings…which could be anything that has happened throughout the last week, something I have read or watched, could be a pet peeve or almost anything.. welcome to my world!

Who knew peeling an orange could be this easy!

You could use the orange peel to make a pretty dessert or some scented candles

Yes, you can make your own scented candles! The two leftover pieces of orange peel serve as little bowls. It’s a cheap alternative to having to buy all kinds of expensive scented candles. Plus, it’s a fun and easy DIY project that will leave your home smelling amazing!

What do you need?

  • 2 halves of orange peel
  • 2 large tea lights
  • an old saucepan

This is how you do it:

  • Peel the orange in such a way that you’re left with two halves of peel…see the tube video above.
  • Remove the aluminium foil from the tea light and then remove the wick through the bottom of the candle.
  • Melt the wax of the tea light.
  • Place the wick you took out of the tea light in the middle of the orange peel bowl.
  • Carefully pour the molten wax into the bowl and make sure the wick stays in the middle of the bowl.
  • Let the wax dry properly. Light the wick and enjoy the lovely citrus smell in your home!

Bees are dying…

Bees are dying at an alarming rate, whether it be from parasites or insecticides. In 1998, there were about 5 million beehives in the US alone, and today that number has decreased by about 50 per cent…that is shocking …

We need to remember that we depend on bees and other pollinators and we should be aware of the plight of the bees here we live and take any action to protect the bees… Plant wildflowers…

Protecting bees and other pollinators would significantly contribute to solving problems related to the global food supply and eliminate hunger in developing countries and halt the further loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems,

By Will Dare…We’re running Big Experiment…

A thought-provoking track… I have read much lately and trying to decide am I doing enough (is) what we do ever enough?  I have listened to Jem Bendell on Utube about his book Deep Deception…I would be interested in anyone else’s thoughts…

Seen over at Sally’s(Smorgasbord Magazine) was Eubie and at his age 98 yrs old he is amazing…Just listen to him playing the Charleston Rag…

Thank you Will for introducing me to Eubie the way he tinkles those ivories was amazing to listen to…

Thank you for joining me today…I hope you all have a fabulous week…

 

 

CarolCooks2…#bloganuary 2022…What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?

Day 16 of #bloganuary…Today’s prompt ….What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?

One word:- FOOD!

Is that all I hear you ask -smile-  

I am a fanatic about clean food and sustainability, food without chemicals and food which doesn’t have a massive environmental footprint…

My wish is that people would count chemicals instead of calories and cost…Yes, the cost is a factor for many of us and although I will never be vegan or vegetarian as I believe we should eat a varied diet to maintain optimum health…we should be looking at eating less meat and more plant-based foods and that will cut the cost and improve our health.

So you see “food”…in my world is part of a circle as I believe food and the environment go hand in hand…There is a much bigger picture and we should all be aware of that…

circular recycling the world and a green leaf

Health services around the world are overwhelmed with patients who have non-contagious lifestyle diseases which stem from eating too many processed foods which are high in salt, sugar and chemicals…

Dentists are seeing children whose first teeth are rotten because of the sugar in their diets…I could on but if you are still reading I’m sure you get the picture…we are what we eat is very true as are many of the lifestyle diseases…

I play my part by ensuring that we grow as much as we can and that I only buy food that is in season and from sustainable sources…cooking from scratch means that we avoid chemicals and unnecessary sugars and salt in our food.

This post is part of the WordPress Bloganuary Challenge 2022 where everyone is provided with a writing prompt each day. Today’s prompt was to write about What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?

 

 

 

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review… Stale Bread…

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This week it’s…Stale Bread!

Fact: Bread is top of the list when it comes to food waste…in the UK almost 900,000 tonnes of bread is thrown away every year…that is 24 million slices every single day…

In the US (2016) 20% of bread is wasted in kitchens plus 12% in stores that is a lot of bread…

In my house, that figure is 0%...ZERO WASTE…nil..none…ever…every single scrap of bread is used…

I either make breadcrumbs, cut them into cubes for croutons or freeze the slices whole…

Breadcrumbs…can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge if using within a few days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Uses: 

  1. As a topping for au gratin, macaroni cheese anything which has a cheese topping I just mix breadcrumbs with the cheese it makes the cheese go further and creates a cheesy and crispy topping.
  2. If I am making stuffing for fish or meat then I add some breadcrumbs…
  3. Treacle Tart needs no introduction…does it?

Treacle Tart:

An old family favourite…

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Ingredients:

For pastry:

  • 225 gm Plain Flour.
  • 115 gm butter.
  • 55 gm Sugar.
  • 1 egg yolk.
  • Chilled water to mix.

For Filling:

  • 450 gm  Golden Syrup.
  • 85 gm Breadcrumbs.
  • Pinch ground ginger( optional)
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tbsp juice.

Method:

Sift flour into a bowl and rub in the butter to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar. Add egg yolk and chilled water a tbsp at a time until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill 20/30 mins in the fridge.

Gently roll out pastry and line 9 inch tin or dish, lightly prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, line with baking parchment and cooking beans. Put in preheated oven 180 degrees/gas 6 and bake 15 mins remove baking parchment and beans and bake for further 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Make the filling by gently warming syrup in a saucepan with fresh breadcrumbs, ginger, lemon zest and juice. When mixed together pour into the baked case. NB. The mixture should be fairly thick consistency but pourable …..if required add more breadcrumbs.

Put into oven at 190 degrees and bake for further 25 minutes.

Serve with cream or hot custard.

Croutons: can be stored the same way as breadcrumbs.

To cook either drizzle with olive oil and spread out on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven 180 degrees for about 10 mins turning a few times until golden on all sides or heat a few inches of oil and fry turning as they will brown quickly this way is quicker and only takes a few minutes…

Don’t forget you can flavour your croutons with garlic or other seasonings.

Uses: 

  1. Add to your soup when serving.
  2. Mix into a Caesar salad or any salad come to that they are far better than the ones you buy.
  3. Stirring croutons right into soft, creamy scrambled eggs eliminates the need for a side of toast.
  4. Lovely garlicky croutons are nice just as a little snack with some hummus or other dip or just eat them as a snack…

Slices of Bread: Have so many uses they can be torn up and used to make bread sauce which is a sauce which is served with chicken or turkey mainly at Christmas but my family love it so much that every time we have roast chook they ask for bread sauce it is easy to make and uses up stale bread…

Bread Sauce.

 

Tip:

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

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

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

Bread pudding is a recipe which I learnt from my nan or bread and butter pudding which is different but still uses sale bread but the bread is soaked in egg and milk and then cooked.

Bread Pudding and Bread and Butter Pudding

For the Recipes please click the highlighted links above…

I always freeze the topper or trust of my bread and then use it to make garlic bread…Love French onion soup either have cheese croutons for a change or a slice of stale baguette add some grated cheese and viola a lovely bowl of French Onion Soup…top a casserole or stew with bread rounds and some cheese…

All you need to do for an individual bowl of soup or a larger dish is toast slices of your stale baguettes you can use individual oven-proof bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler/grill for 10 minutes at 350° F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.

That’s it folks how to have zero waste bread…Just think if everyone did that then those scary wasteful figures when there are children starving yes starving we could reduce those figures…if you don’t have that much bread as there may only be one or two of you… buy day-old bread that is reduced in your store that’s less store waste…or bake your own that’s fewer chemicals and sugar in our food and we are all counting that aren’t we???

Still, got stale bread? Then take a walk.. go feed the ducks and fishes…

Until tomorrow (Saturday Snippetts) …thank you for joining me here today I look forward as always to your comments xx

 

 

 

The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letters W and X

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet A-Z…Where the middle letters today are W and X, 

This was going to be the final post in this series which has been great fun to research and write I have been ably supported by both Chel and Pete and I thank you for your contributions over this series…but when I totted everything up there were more than I initially thought so at least I get another post out of this…A bonus I say!

Let’s go and see what I have found…

Arrowroot…

 

So many of these tubers look alike and when they are dried and in powder form, it’s even harder to distinguish one from the other by sight alone…Used as a thickening agent for sauces, puddings, and jellies, as well as an ingredient in baked goods like cookies and cakes… I admit to having a fondness for Arrowroot biscuits when a child dipped in tea… Additionally, it’s a popular replacement for wheat flour in gluten-free recipes.

Bratwurst…

When is a sausage not a sausage? When it’s a Bratwurst…I was first introduced to a Bratwurst many years ago by a dear friend Pauline who was married to a German man…It was Pauline who also gave me the recipe for spiced red cabbage…its very true for me that many of my memories of people I have loved I reminisce and remember them through food…

There are over 1500 varieties of Wurst, Germany has long been the world’s Sausage Capital.  One such Wurst, the Bratwurst, claims around 40 different varieties itself and has a proud heritage going back hundreds of years where it was first officially documented in 1313.  Yes, the savoury Bratwurst is synonymous with Germany itself and has remained a cultural icon for centuries.

 

The term Bratwurst is derived from the Old German word Brät (meaning “chopped” meat) as well as the more contemporary verb braten (meaning “to fry”).  While some kinds of sausages are eaten poached, the Bratwurst is first poached and then always pan-fried or grilled.

Buckwheat…

Despite having ‘wheat’ in its name, buckwheat is actually a seed and sometimes referred to as a ‘pseudo-grain’. Processed into groats, buckwheat has the appearance of small, nugget-type granules that can be used in the same way as rice.

You can also find buckwheat as flour, noodles or even flakes, making it a versatile substitute for wheat flour.

Chowder…

My favourite chowder was the seafood chowder I had when we were in Ireland it was a beautiful bowl of deliciousness and the last one I ate was cooked by an American friend again a lovely clam chowder…

The word chowder is a corruption of the French chaudière (“cauldron”), and chowder may have originated among Breton fishermen who brought the custom to Newfoundland, whence it spread to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and New England.

A chowder is a rich, hearty soup with seafood or chicken that starts with a base of salt pork or bacon and a mix of vegetables like onions, celery, and potatoes. Most chowders are creamy, but one in particular-Manhattan clam chowder-has a tomato base…Although I enjoyed the chowders I have eaten I do prefer tomato-based recipes and would love to try a Manhattan Chowder for that reason…

Marrowbones…

Marrowbones have seen a rise in popularity over the last few years…A Marrowbone is the culinary and butchery term for either the Femur, Shank or Tibia bone of a cow that is cut for eating. In Butchery, the smaller the bone, the less Marrow.

As the Femur is the largest bone in the animal, it has the best Marrow to Bone ratio. As the Femur Bone is straight, this allows for easy and uniform cuts for Butchers and easy cooking to the precious Marrow when eating.

Seaweed…

Edible seaweed is a popular, healthy low-calorie food source. Often associated with Japanese cuisine, marine algae have been harvested for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes in China, Korea, and other countries with significant coastlines. Seaweed is now a regular ingredient in smoothies and dried seaweed snacks are a popular alternative to chips in Asian countries…

Although seaweed is soft and pliable in the water it is most often dried for preservation, requiring most to be rehydrated in liquid, like water or broth, before eating.

 

One of our favourite seaweed snacks is the sea caviar or as it is called here grape bunch seaweed…it is quite rare and harvested by hand diving …It gives a lovely pop in your mouth and with the chilli sauce, it is nice…I actually only got 1 small piece as Lily and Aston both love it and disappeared with the pot of chilli dip and the dish and it was soon gone xxx Has anyone else tried this…I know my blogging friend Thelma has she eats it with salt, vinegar, ginger root, and chilli which sounds rather nice…It always reminds me of bunches of green peppercorns …Have you tried this sea caviar???

Patata Naxou…

Are Greek Potatoes…However, a potato is not just a potato on the island of Naxos.  It is one of its main local products, and one of Greece’s best, thanks to the island’s natural abundant water supply.

On Naxos you can find the potato boiled, stuffed, barbecued, souffled. It even has its own festival — every year at the beginning of August — that showcases its many tasteful varieties.

On Naxos, potatoes have a long history. It goes back to the fertile land making Naxos – since the 1950s — the official potato seed producer of Greece. According to research, the potato has been cultivated on Naxos since the 1700s.

Toxic Foods…

There are many foods that can be toxic if we either don’t prepare them correctly as in Kidney beans …raw red kidney beans have the highest concentration of lectins. Lectins are a toxin that can give you a bad stomachache, make you vomit, or give you diarrhoea. It only takes 4-5 raw kidney beans to cause these side effects, which is why it’s best to boil your beans before eating or use tinned kidney beans.

Elderberries taken as a syrup or supplement is fine, but eating unripe berries, bark, or leaves of elderberry may leave you feeling worse instead of better. They have both lectin and cyanide, two chemicals that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea…

I love Rhubarb ...pie or crumble with custard it is a delicious dessert…but beware as eating leaves has become very popular in recent times and the rhubarb leaf looks very inviting, HOWEVER…Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which binds to calcium and makes it harder for your body to absorb it­­. In turn, your bones can’t grow the way they should, and you’re at risk for kidney stones, blood clotting problems, vomiting, diarrhoea, and coma.

Green potatoes… The leaves, sprouts, and underground stems (tubers) of potatoes contain a toxic substance called glycoalkaloid. Glycoalkaloids make a potato look green when it’s exposed to light, gets damaged, or ages. Eating potatoes with a high glycoalkaloid content can cause nausea, diarrhoea, confusion, headaches, and death…I won’t even get started on the shrooms if you go foraging…Know your shrooms…

I love nutmeg grated on rice pudding or a little in fruit cakes and bread enhances the taste … Nutmeg adds a nice, nutty flavour when you add it in small amounts to baked goods. BUT eaten by the spoonful, it can cause big problems to your system. Even as little as 2 teaspoons can be toxic to your body because of myristicin, an oil that can cause hallucinations, drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and seizures.

The hard stone in the centre of cherries is full of prussic acid, also known as cyanide, which is poisonous…Avoid crunching or crushing pits as you nosh on your cherries…Apple seeds also have cyanide, so throwing back a handful as a snack isn’t smart. Luckily, apple seeds have a protective coating that keeps the cyanide from entering your system if you accidentally eat them. But it’s good to be cautious. Even in small doses, cyanide can cause rapid breathing, seizures, and possibly death.

It all makes scary reading and if in doubt do your research…I have certainly found a few things in this post which I will be researching…the findings of which will either be in Carol’s Green Kitchen or the topic of my Friday Reviews…

Waxed…

There are a few foods that are waxed or have a waxed covering…Some fruits and vegetables are waxed before shipping to retain moisture or to give a high shine like apples …examples are citrus fruits, bell peppers, eggplants, melons, parsnips the list is quite long…

The materials used to wax produce depend to some extent on regulations in the country of production and/or export. Both natural waxes (carnauba,[12] shellac, or resin[4]) and petroleum-based waxes (usually proprietary formulae)[3] are used, and often more than one wax is combined to create the desired properties for the fruit or vegetable being treated. Wax may be applied in a volatile petroleum-based solvent but is now more commonly applied via a water-based emulsion.[5] Blended paraffin waxes applied as an oil or paste are often used on vegetables…Source Wikipedia.

Another reason to grow your own or buy from farmers markets where you can check with the grower…

Some cheeses are also coated with wax which is not edible…many are now BPA free but check and although you can’t make candles from the cheese wax there are other uses…SEE this Thursdays Green Kitchen.

That’s all for today’s Culinary A-Z …I hope you have enjoyed it…I have left a couple for you Pete as I know you love the challenge…Next week the A-Z  will be the last one in this series…Y and Z…

I look forward to your comments as always…Carol xx

 

 

CarolCooks2…#bloganuary…Day 11…What does it mean to live boldly?

Day 11 of #bloganuary…What does it mean to live boldly?

To live boldly…would mean different things to different people…

For some just opening the front door and stepping outside…would be a brave and bold move…for a child at school to raise a hand could be a brave and bold move…starting a new job, getting married, having a baby, saying NO! Saying YES!…

Being bold and being brave could be the smallest of things and it could be monumental, and life-changing…

Whatever it is be brave, be bold, love yourself, be kind to yourself and believe in yourself and take that step…”Rome wasn’t built in a day”

This reminds me of this saying the one quoted at the end of this post…Slowly, slowly catchee Monkee…

This means..this phrase now is used to describe a slow, patient approach to something and demonstrates that careful thought is often better than rushing in headfirst.

Today however I have been the bravest I have been for a long time...well maybe not but it is a big step for me…yes… I blog…I come across as fun, I am conversational …I appear confident and quite knowledgeable in some areas…underneath I am always doubting myself…I was retired when I started my blog…I am not that computer literate I get by and know more than some and far less than others…

All this new technology…I am still on the Classic Editor(WP)…the other one scares the bejesus out of me…Yes, I embrace most change ..other changes I do not like…

Anyway, as usual, I digress…You have probably gathered by now that I love to chat…among friends and fellow bloggers NOT with all these chancers who trawl social media(but) I suppose with the good comes the bad…I love the good parts of the internet …you can find out almost anything and that’s great…

Anyway…my boldness came to fruition…TODAY my very first interview(podcast) went live on Spotify, Anchor and others…I was interviewed by the lovely Rebecca of “Tea, Toast and Trivia” …me…I can’t quite believe it…How cool is that?

Thank you so much for reading this post and believe me when I say you can be brave and bold it just took me 70 years but I got there…

 

 

 

 

 

CarolCooks2…My Monday Musings…10th January 2022.

Welcome to Monday Musings…which could be anything that has happened throughout the last week, something I have read or watched, could be a pet peeve or almost anything.. welcome to my world!

I love little kittens…but this left me somewhat bemused and also thinking I would win this and once I had removed my Vitamix they could have the box…

What are your thoughts…Would kitty win the day?????

My Sweet Honeydew…

This post was delightful and contained many subjects close to my heart…of course, a few things made me ask Mr Google a few questions…I love Wills commitment to his health and the welfare and health of the planet we live in …so please head over and have a read…maybe ask Mr Google or not if like me you are curious……If you do I would love to hear your thoughts…but please head over to Wills blog to enjoy the music and his thoughts on the world we live in…

1958 Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire” reaches #1 on the UK pop charts…

Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the first true rock ‘n’ roll musicians. He catapulted to fame with his 1957 hit, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” and proved to the world that a piano man could play front and centre on the world’s biggest stages. He has stirred up some trouble in his days, once setting a piano on fire on stage with a Coca-Cola bottle of gasoline to close out the show.

I was brought up on the books of The Wizard of Oz and my mother told me that these were great philosophies. It was a very simple philosophy, that everybody had a heart, that everybody had a brain, that everybody had courage. These were the gifts that are given to you when you come on this earth, and if you use them properly, you reach the pot at the end of the rainbow. And that pot of gold was a home. And home isn’t just a house or an abode, it’s people, people who love you and that you love. That’s home.
– Ray Bolger

Ray Bolger, an American actor and dancer, played the Straw Man(Scarecrow) in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and was the film’s last surviving star, when he died at the age of 83 on January 15th 1987.

WP Classic Editor…it looks like there has been another extension and it won’t apparently just stop on December 31, 2022.

I for one am a happy bunny to hear that…

That’s all for today…Thank you for joining me I look forward to your comments…I hope you all have a fabulously productive week Carol xx

 

 

 

 

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