Category Archives: CarolCooks2

Thailand…Down on the Farm…Cannon Ball fruit,Lemongrass Salad and Tea…

Welcome to this edition of Down on the farm…

Today I am bringing to you some more of the fruits I am lucky to get here…This huge fruit which looks exactly like a cannonball is one which is growing at my local temple…quite why unless it is for the shade of the tree I don’t know because if one of those landed on your head you would almost certainly be knocked out…

 

Completely spherical with a woody shell and a reach diameter of up to 25 centimetres (10 inches), which give the species the common name “cannonball tree”.

The fruit although edible has a terrible smell unlike the fragrant flowers of the tree hence it is used as animal feed…The pigs and chickens love it!

It really is not a surprise to hear that the tree belongs to the Brazil nut family and although not palatable to us..the flowers are absolutely beautiful and the fruit has many medicinal uses…

Bats and bees are responsible for the pollination to take place. The flowers are mostly visited by wasps, bumblebees, flower bees and carpenter bees.

Some of the traditional uses for this tree and its fruit:

  • The plant extract is used to treat stomach aches and colds.
  • The juice extracted from the leaves is used to treat skin diseases.
  • In South America, the Shamans used tree parts to treat malaria.
  • The pulp is used to disinfect wounds.
  • Young leaves are used to provide relief from toothache.
  • The bark is used to cure colds.
  • The extracts of the tree parts are used to cure pain, hypertension, tumours and inflammation.
  • The fruit pulp is rubbed on sick dogs to cure them of mange.
  • The juice extracted from leaves is used to cure skin ailments.
  • In Ayurveda, the juice of the fruit is used as expectorant for bronchitis and chronic cough.

Lots of fruit and vegetables are in season now and lemongrass is very prolific I have a huge bunch so tomorrow Tom Yum Gai made from scratch will be on the dinner menu…Some are in the freezer both the stems and some I have finely cut…I also have made some lemongrass paste…I am madly thinking of what I can make with Lemongrass…some I have shared with neighbours and made a salad…

Thai Lemongrass Salad…Yum Takrai

Thai Lemongrass Salad with tamarind dip

I personally love this salad it is so fresh and vibrant, you could leave out the dried shrimp if you really eat no meat or fish products, slightly different taste but still good as if I don’t have any to hand then I leave them out.

Yum Takrai (Spicy Lemongrass Salad)

  • 15 stalks fresh lemongrass.
  • 14 cup finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp. toasted cashews
  • 2 tbsp. whole dried shrimp
  • 12 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 12 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2-1 12 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. whole dried shrimp, finely ground
  • 4-6 red Thai chillies stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 raw stemmed long beans, cut into 4″ pieces for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Trim and slice the lemongrass very finely. Transfer lemongrass slices to a medium bowl, separate rings with your fingers. Add ginger, cashews, shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, ground shrimp, Thai chiles, and shallots, and toss well. Garnish with long beans. Serve on Banana Leaf or Betel Leaf as in my picture.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice or cauliflower rice if eating Gluten-free.
We also serve with a tamarind sauce made by combing 3 tbsp tamarind pulp with cup water in a small pan, bring to boil and simmer 5 mins.
Remove from heat and stand 15 mins you can help break tamarind down with a spoon, strain through sieve extracting as much liquid as possible.
Add 2cm peeled finely chopped ginger and 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, 1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar,2 tsp fish sauce,1 tbsp chilli/garlic sauce and 1 tsp soy sauce to tamarind liquid.
Bring to boil, simmer 5 mins.
Whisk 1 tbsp cornflour/arrowroot powder with little water whisk into sauce cook 1 min or until thickens.
Taste and adjust seasoning add more sugar if required.
Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
I hope you enjoy this little salad.
lemongrass-1713240_1280
How to make lemongrass tea which is a nice, refreshing citrusy drink which can be sipped hot or add ice cubes and it is a nice refreshing cold drink.
  • cut the stalks into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • boil a cup of water
  • pour the boiling water over the lemongrass stalks to steep
  • leave the stalks in the water for at least 5 minutes
  • strain the liquid from the stalks and pour into a teacup

Enjoy!

That’s all from me for today…I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the Thai fruits we grow or buy here …Can you get any of these where you live?

And don’t forget any unusual fruits or veg send me a picture and I will see what I can find out…

Thank you for reading I do hope you are all staying well and safe…It seems like the whole world is on lockdown…scary times…xx… I haven’t been going out unless it is a necessity… only shops selling food are open now and we are just waiting for the next phase…I have my stock of rice from the farm to last me a few months…It might also prompt me to have a go at making pasta…I am not worried about fruit and veg and have some larder to fall back on…we also have a bum gun so tissue isn’t a problem…My family brought us some rice and meat plus lots of limes and eggplants from the farm which I have shared around the neighbours as there were just too many for us so it will be eggplant dip and green curry this week for us …

About Carol Taylor:

 

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading and please stay safe and well…xxxx

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 15th March-21st March 2020…

Hello and welcome to my weekly roundup of posts…A little later today as it has been one of those days…Things have hotted up here…I did my first shop online since I have lived here…They apologised that they couldn’t deliver today but they would tomorrow by 10.00am…no delivery charge either…However, we heard this afternoon that all the stores would be closed and only the markets would be open how long for I don’t know…The borders are closed, no flights, all the stores/bars only food outlets remaining open.

Scary times for the world…It does sadden me when I see that people are still partying on beaches and other places and ignot=ring the call by governments to isolate themselves socially…Utter madness when they don’t know who they could be infecting…

That’s my rant over please stay safe, grab your favourite drink whether it be a green smoothie, a cup of chai or like me oolong green tea…

Relax and Enjoy!

Monday: Recycling and Climate change day…16th March 2020…

There were lots of positive steps last week however this week although there have been lots of sad news about deaths through Covid-19 however because of the closedowns around the world nature has soon come back to canals in Venice for a start, water is clearer and the atmosphere is cleaner and that is just after a few weeks …I hope when this is over many lessons will have been learnt and maybe just maybe things will change for the better…I do hope so…

animal-1869337_640

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/16/recycling-and-climate-change16th-march-2020app-in-the-air/

Tuesday: Thailand…Down on the Farm…Jambulan Plum and Mulberries…

Some beautiful fruit was the theme of Down on the Farm…This week or yesterday my neighbour presented me with a lovely bag of pomegranates they picked from their tree…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/17/thailand-down-on-the-farm-jambulan-plum-and-mulberrys/

Wednesday: Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

I tried to keep it as upbeat as possible last week given much of the news is depressing…Xander went down really well you loved him as much as I did a wonderful child…Bowie and Space Odessy…and Barnums Circus..and some really lovely Coconut Cookies I ate the last one today…I wonder what this week will bring…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/18/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-31/

We also had Eat your Purples by Sally Cronin…I love my purples and am seeing more and more purple veggies for sale here…Purple sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower…I am really getting my purples…Are you?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/19/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-aubergines-dont-forget-to-eat-your-purples-by-sally-c

Friday: CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen…Everything cooked from scratch…

I have been busy cooking and also thinking about what I can make if food gets rationed or we are unable to get out to buy some…These are unprecedented times so I for one am not sure where this will end…This last week it was some simple bread recipes …

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/20/carolcooks2this-week-in-my-kitcheneverything-cooked-from-scratch/

Saturday: Smorgasbord Health Column.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-food-intolerances-nightshade-family-and-environmental-toxins-by-sally-cronin/

Saturday Morning Market…Mandarin Oranges and Rosella Fruit…

Rosella is a beautiful fruit not widely available but enough to make some jam and chutney.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/21/saturday-morning-marketmandarin-oranges-and-rosella-fruit/

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

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

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

Recycling and Climate Change…2nd March 2020…Good news all round…

Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of the latest news on Climate Change and recycling…Thank you so much to everyone who reblogged and commented last week…Your comments are valuable to me and even when I am feeling a little up they brighten my day…It is lovely to see how many of you are doing what you can to recycle, buy local, grow your own very heartening…

My post on making charcoal last week also received many comments and it made me think especially when I read about friends who are having regular outages where they live it made me thing=k that many people would really be at a loss if they didn’t have electric and that maybe we should be thinking of alternatives …Just in case…

Once again Tori has provided me with a bit of news on circular recycling…Thank you, Tori...

Mexican engineers have created a bio-material, vegan leather made from mango waste for use in the shoes and textile industries.

The eco-friendly textile, manufactured by the Guanajuato-based Polybion company, is sourced from organic waste, like mango seeds and fruit skins.

I would…However, I do think many of these cost an arm and a leg and many people who are on a limited budget cannot afford them.

Lent…  It has already started 26th February until 9th April so you could still participate…How about giving up plastic instead of chocolate…

This is no longer a problem we can shut our eyes to (and we should have cared about those affected in other areas way sooner). It’s not just the fact that plastic doesn’t biodegrade; plastic pieces attract cancer, hormone-disrupting, diabetes-causing chemicals the longer they stay in the sea. And that plastic then enters the fish we eat, the water we drink and the salt we use. The bioaccumulation of plastic – the fact that it’s getting into our food chain – should freak us out…

Free Electricity…Is this possible? Historically, hydropower has been created by damming rivers and installing turbines inside the dams, which can be damaging to fish and the river itself.

Yes, it is...if you live in Portland, Oregon, your lights are now powered in part by the water flowing through your pipes.

The city recently installed new municipal water pipes equipped with four 42-inch turbines that create electricity from the water passing through them.

Tap-water hydropower creates virtually no effect on wildlife, as it is simply harnessing the energy of water that’s already flowing through the pipes.

“It’s pretty rare to find a new source of energy where there’s no environmental impact,” says Gregg Semler, CEO of Lucid Energy, the Portland-based startup that designed the new system.

“But this is inside a pipe, so no fish or endangered species are impacted. That’s what’s exciting.”

Another bonus about hydro-power is, unlike wind and solar, it’s always working as long as the water is flowing.

The turbines can only be installed in places where municipal water pipes flow downhill, as using electricity to pump water through them would defeat the purpose.

How exciting is that?

Candles...Pass It On candles – which are made from100% soy wax and free of any dyes, parabens, paraffin or phthalates – pay tribute to iconic travel destinations that are endangered due to climate change.

They include The Amazon which features a goj berry and Tarocco blood orange scent; The Alps with its wildflower scent of freesia and English pear; The Great Barrier Reef featuring wood sage and sea salt; and The Taj Mahal with its white tea and ginger fragrance.

Some great scented candles and for one who knows that candles can be toxic, they can be made of paraffin—a petroleum byproduct—which releases carcinogenic soot when burned. It is lovely to see a candle which is 100% good for the climate…

Naughty Corner…

No surprises here once again it seems like Coc Cola, Pepsi and some of the world’s biggest food, beverage and product manufacturers are being sued by the Bay Area Group who are fed up with plastic pollution poisoning everything.

Good News!

Equinor has abandoned its plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight for commercial reasons…Norwegian company Equinor has become the third major fossil fuel producer to abandon plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight. Drilling has been fiercely opposed by environmental groups who warned about a catastrophic spill.

The downside of this news is that the Federal Government is disappointed but supportive of future drilling.

Has anyone given much thought to what they want to happen when they die…For a long time, I have wanted to go up in a firework I need to check just how climate-friendly they are…I am a believer however that we need to plant more trees…This seems a perfect way…Save trees as many coffins are made of wood and increase the trees planted ..Win , win it seems…

Trees …I t is lovely to hear that Madagascar is planting 60 million trees…Wow, that is amazing why 60 million how was that figure arrived at?

The island nation celebrates 60 years of independence this year, and the start of the planting campaign on Jan. 19 marked one year since the inauguration of President Andry Rajoelina, who has promised to restore Madagascar’s lost forests.

“The government has the challenge of making Madagascar a green island again.

Months of planning and a massive nationwide effort to amass seeds and populate nurseries culminated in the highly publicized launch. It saw participation from NGOs, schools, government ministries, and the army. Rajoelina, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, launched the planting season by tucking a seedling into a pocket of earth. He later lent a hand to children, took selfies with babies, and was even photographed, hoe in hand, hauling dirt. But experts say the real heavy lifting to reclaim forests will come after the saplings are in the ground.

“Right now, we are at the stage of planting trees, but the big question is: What is next? How to protect those young trees, so we don’t plant them in January and then destroy them in July,” said Jonah Ratsimbazafy, a prominent Malagasy primatologist who heads the Groupe d’Étude et de Recherche sur les Primates (GERP).

This is not the first time this has been on the cards let’s hope that this time it will come to fruition…

Containers…something most of us have and which most of us have more lids than containers…How does that happen? Anyway, I was pleased to hear that M & S are to expand their successful trial of filling your own container. It is something which other retailers like Waitrose already run and Asda has plans to open it’s first sustainability store soon.

It seems like filling your own container is becoming very popular with consumers…

Lots of food for thought today…Thoughts on how we can make a difference while in the main sustaining our current lifestyle with a few adaptions for the good of the planet.

Just imagine if we all thought of just one idea which appeals to us…Think of all those bottles we are saving from going to landfill or into the sea…..With so many ideas and enthusiasm around the world to make a difference, we will save the world.

Thank you if you are still here and reading to the end…I look forward to your comments 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 great week xx

CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen…Chocolate Cupcakes, Morning Glory, Miang Kham, Sea Bass with Fennel

Welcome to Carol’s Kitchen and it just happens to also be Valentine’s Day…For those of you who are being taken out or having a meal cooked for them…Enjoy!

This week in my Kitchen 14th Feb 2020

I don’t cook very many chocolate cakes apart from brownies and cupcakes are little Lily’s forte…

Lily’s Chocolate Cakes… Makes 12.

Preheat the oven to 177 C/Gas mark 4

  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of good cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar I used raw cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 tsp real vanilla essence

Let’s Bake…

Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl except for the sugars and stir or whisk to combine.

Lily making cupcakes

In a separate bowl add the eggs and whisk with the sugar and vanilla essence.

Pour half of the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and combine, then half of the buttermilk and repeat stirring until combined the mixture will be quite thin and batter-like.

Pour the mix into 12 cake cases it will only come halfway but will rise… Cook for about 20 minutes…The recipe stated 20 mins but my (Thai) oven needed a further 7 mins…and I increased the heat to Gas 5…

When the cakes are cooled then the fun begins …The icing…

Lily is getting to be quite a little cake maker…

I love Tamarind and it is that time year when the young tamarind can be found on the market stalls …

fresh young tamarind fruit

They are very pretty looking and have a soft nutty texture with just a slight hint of that sweet-sour tamarind taste which I love…

This tamarind sauce is a lovely dipping sauce or you can drizzle it…

 3 tbsp tamarind pulp with cup water in a small pan, bring to boil and simmer 5 mins.
Remove from heat and stand 15 mins you can help break tamarind down with a spoon, strain through sieve extracting as much liquid as possible.
To the tamarind liquid add…
  • 2cm peeled finely chopped ginger
  •  2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp chilli/garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
Bring to boil, simmer 5 mins.
Whisk 1 tbsp cornflour with little water and whisk into sauce cook 1 min or until the mixture thickens.
Taste and adjust seasoning add more sugar if required.
Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
I love this tamarind sauce with my favourite snack...Miang Kham…although I have made it at home some markets sell all the little bits ready cut in bags with the sauce much easier and they taste just the same as much of the food sold on the markets here is made in home kitchens and brought to market…
miang-kham-1188212_1920
I just love snacks here as many are just so healthy..fresh ginger, garlic, lime, shallots, nuts and wrapped in a Betel leaf after drizzling with tamarind sauce…definitely a favourite…
If you are at home and cooking a Valentine’s meal how about fish…easy to do it cooks itself while you are either chilling with a cocktail and reminiscing or watching a favourite movie…

This recipe was just sort of made up ..we had a friend staying with us from England and decided to steam some fish the Thai way but it was too big for our steamer so instead, we baked it in the oven covered with foil and just removed the foil 5–10 minutes from the end of cooking and it was very nice.

Sea Bass with Lime, Ginger and Fennel

Ingredients:

  • 2  Sea bass/ Bream or Carp – whole, scaled and gutted
  • Bunch fennel fronds or you can use while fennel sliced we just stuffed the cavity with the fennel fronds.
  • 3 Shallots – peeled and halved (for fish cavity)
  • 1  Bulb Garlic – unpeeled, halved (for fish cavity)
  • Thumb of Ginger – Sliced finely (for fish cavity)
  •  Lemon or Lime, (remove the skin because the skin makes it bitter)

This was a tip I picked up after we had made ours… from my  Thai daughter in law…. Always something to learn about cooking…

For the Sauce:

  • Dark & Light Soy Sauce
  • Splash of coconut oil  or a splash of Chilli Oil
  • Sugar
  • Lime
  • Fresh Chilli

Garnish (optional)

  • A few sprigs Coriander chopped
  • Spring Onions – sliced longways

 

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 180 C

.
Place the fish on a baking tray.

Fish with Lime and fennel

Prepare the vegetables and stuff inside the fish and around the tray. Make some diagonal cuts across the fish and push in a slice of lime… Drizzle with some olive oil and cover with foil.
Bake for 40 mins, then remove the foil and turn up to 250 C for a further  5-10 mins till skin is golden brown and crispy.

Fish with lime and fennel (2)
Rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice, some morning glory or Thai Papaya Salad…A lovely light meal…

Morning Glory…One of my favourite vegetable stir-fries…

Thai vegetable morning glory

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.
This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of Morning Glory
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 or more Thai Chillies
  • 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock


Let’s Cook!

Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.

Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry ( stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.
Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.

Enjoy!

Have a great Valentines Day however you are celebrating or not as the case may be…xx

 

Thank you for reading I invite your comments as always 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 weekend xxx

Whimsical Wednesday with Carol…

Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of Whimsical Wednesday…

Rubber Ducky Day – Rubber Ducky, you’re the one!

duckie, sesame street universal-studios-singapore-2413365_640

According to a 1973 Sesame Street calendar, Rubber Duckie’s Birthday is in January. A friend of Ernie and Big Bird, Duckie made his debut in a February 1970 episode of Sesame Street.

The rubber ducky (also spelt duckie) has come a long way from his first concept as a chew toy for children. While the origin of the first rubber ducky is uncertain, many rubber moulded toys came about when rubber manufacturing developed in the late 1800s. They produced a variety of toys from dolls and various animal shapes, including the rubber duck.

rubber-duck-997905_640

Sales of the iconic yellow rubber ducky we’ve come to know today soared in Britain in 2001. Why? A British Tabloid, The Sun, reported Queen Elizabeth II had a rubber duck in her bathroom that wore an inflatable crown.

29th January 1959 – Walt Disney’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ was released. The Beauty, Princess Aurora, only appeared on screen for about 18 minutes as an ‘adult’, but she was actually a sixteen-year-old.

sleeping-beauty-1462740_640

Time for a story…

This is a continuation of a short story started by author Steph Richmond with the offer to contribute …intrigued I took her up on this offer so as you will see I write the occasional chapter…Will this be finished who knows.?.. The girl as yet doesn’t have a name just an unknown past…Enjoy!

The Charade – Chapter 20

By Carol Taylor

9a15bbcccf402180463cff95a6c0a40e--amethyst-jewelry-swarovski-jewelry

The girl was angry, angrier than she had been for a long time… Carl’s eyes had given him away she had seen the real him. Instead of being scared though she was angry it seemed like everyone she knew was keeping things from her or trying to get something from her…Why?

Lost in her thoughts she realised she was standing in front of the door where she was staying and a kind-looking man was smiling at her.

“Did you have a nice walk? The weather is lovely, isn’t it? Come in, Come in you must be hungry.” She followed the man into the dining room where there was a lovely table set with a beautiful white cloth and some very pretty flowers. “Sit down my dear …I will ring Jenny to bring in breakfast…”

Within a few minutes, a smiling girl appeared carrying a beautiful silver platter which she placed on the table the food smelled delicious and the girl realised how hungry she was.

The girl and the man ate their breakfast in comfortable silence.

Hunger appeased the girl sat there sipping her tea and wondering who this man was. He seemed so calm and nice, his smile reached his eyes and she felt warm and safe.

Clearing his throat he started to talk. “You must be wondering why you are here and you most probably are also wondering who I am… Mr James is a dear friend of mine and I know he has been protecting you and trying to keep you safe. There is no party it was just a ruse to get you here but unfortunately that ruffian Carl has followed you but do not worry my dear I will have him dealt with. It is time that you were told who you really are but I have to warn you that with that comes great danger and also a great responsibility.”

The girl was sitting open-mouthed at last she would find out who she really was but at the man’s words, she also became very scared. Her thoughts raced she felt very small and afraid, the man was looking at her with a concerned look. “Please do not be afraid. I will do everything in my power to protect you. You will stay here now, Mr James will be arriving in a few days and then we will both sit you down and answer all your questions… In the meantime maybe you would make an old man very happy if you would allow me to show you around we can do some shopping… I am sure that you are like all young people and love to shop. Now if you would like to go to your room and get changed I will have the carriage bought around for about 11 is that alright?”

The girl nodded her consent and skipped up the stairs…

She felt happier than she had for a while, at last, she would find out who she was…

Entering her room she gasped …her clothes were strewn about the floor what is …A hand went over her mouth and cloth of some sweet-smelling fragrance was clamped over her nose and mouth she started to fall.

Carl looked at the unconscious girl and smiled… It still didn’t reach his eyes…

TBC…

If you can’t decide on what colour nail polish or design to have check these out…

Really weird…..

National Soup Month…

Yesterday I made a lovely mushroom soup …a new recipe and it needs tweaking my little taste tester Aston told me what I needed to do….lol

It pleases me though because it means that he tastes the food and knows when it needs something else so that is good for a child.

Mushroom Soup…

  • 2 lbs of mushrooms…mixed I used straw, button, crimini and some small ones which I can’t remember the name.
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 6 sprigs of thyme tied together
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter and add the mushrooms and add a pinch of salt and cook until they give up their juices and reduce the heat. Cook stirring until the juice has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown.

crimini straw button mushrooms

Pick out a few nice pieces and set to one side for the garnish.

Mix the onions into the mushrooms and cook until the onion softens about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme and garlic and pour in the stock and water simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the thyme before blending the soup, if the consistency is still too thick then add more stock/water…Return to a pan and add the cream…Taste and season with salt and black pepper…

Mushroom Soup

I hope this has given you a few ideas about what to have for lunch…What is your favourite soup

Today marks a historic day for the UK …

Brexit Day is to be set in stone when the European Parliament in Brussels casts a vote ratifying the terms of Britain’s divorce deal from the EU.

The historic legislative act — the last for the 72 remaining British MEPs who will leave afterwards — will allow Brexit to officially take effect on Friday at 2300 GMT, midnight for most of continental Europe and 11:00 pm in Britain.

I don’t think that will be it but I also think it will be exciting…

Time for some music…

Fleetwood Mac…
A British/American rock band formed in London in 1967. They have sold more than 120 million records worldwide making them one of the best selling bands.
Founded by Peter Green guitarist, drummer Mick Fleetwood, guitarist Jeremy Spencer and bassist John McVie the band has had many different line-ups over the years.
Gypsy is one of my favourite tracks…
That’s all for this week…

Whimsical Wednesdays…with Carol…

Good morning and welcome to this week’s Whimsical Wednesdays with moi…Carol, Caz whatever you want to call me as long as it is not too late for dinner…haha

Did you know? 

Prior to World War 11 more than half a million stretchers were produced in preparation before World War II even began. Someone had some foresight, didn’t they?  Stretchers, which were no more than two steel poles flanking a stretch of wire mesh, were quick to mass-produce. They were also easier to clean than conventional wood or canvas stretchers.

stretcher railings london

 

Photo credit: STML on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

During the war, many of London’s housing estates lost their original metal railings when they were manufactured into weaponry to serve the war effort. With a large stockpile of stretchers following the war, the London City Council decided to have the stretchers welded vertically together, fixed onto poles, sunken into concrete, and used to replace this missing fencing. The two kinks in the poles, designed so that they could be rested on the ground then picked up easily, can still be seen on the railings today.

Circular recycling at its best…

Time for a story…

This is a continuation of a short story started by author Steph Richmond with the offer to contribute …intrigued I took her up on this offer so as you will see I write the occasional chapter…Will this be finished who knows.?.. The girl as yet doesn’t have a name just an unknown past…Enjoy!

The Charade – Chapter 18

By  Dewin Nefol & S C Richmond

9a15bbcccf402180463cff95a6c0a40e--amethyst-jewelry-swarovski-jewelry

The carriage picked her up as Mr James had said it would, she felt nervous but knew she couldn’t let Mr James down and once she met Mr Peasbody she hoped she would remember him and she would be able to relax. The journey to York took a long time and the journey wasn’t very comfortable but finally, the carriage pulled up in front of a very grand building on a fairly quiet road she couldn’t see much of her surroundings as night had drawn in. The driver unloaded her case and pointed to the door. At that moment she felt small almost like an orphan standing before the large front door. She was shown in but a maid and taken to her room, Mr Peasbody wasn’t there but they were expecting her. She was exhausted after her journey, the bed called to her and she fell asleep almost instantly.

She awoke the next morning feeling refreshed, she was also confused not really understanding which way she should turn, she was in a strange house and didn’t know her host yet or what was expected of her. She grabbed her coat and slipped out of the room and out through the front door, she didn’t encounter anyone on her way through the house. Even at this early morning hour, the city is alive with the pulse of a different beat to that resounding in her heart. She feels alienated in a strange place, alone and a little uncertain but yet a part of something far larger and far more expectant of her than she is of herself: expectant in ways both great and small. She walks along the unknown streets taking in everything around her, new sights and smells.  Turning into a small street she saw a sign that read ‘Astrological Society’ and below it ‘Open’ and even at this early hour the door stood ajar. Whilst deliberating on the doorstep trying to decide if she should enter the building she hears the sound of footsteps come running up behind her. Turning quickly she is startled to see a small girl run past her and disappear in through the open door. She remains rooted on the spot surprised by the small girl’s sudden appearance and even quicker disappearance when suddenly there’s a scream from inside the building…

T.B.C

 

January is National Soup month...For those of you who live in the Northern Hemisphere, the months of January and February are typically the coldest.

I love soup, most soups but my all-time favourite is tomato soup… Preferably made with fresh tomatoes but I also and this is a hankering back to my childhood love canned tomato soup and very occasionally I treat myself to a can of tomato soup…

Ingredients:

  • 8 or 9 tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 3 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 2 small yellow onions, cut into wedges
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 5 cups homemade vegetable broth
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • olive oil

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven 375F/190C

Grease two baking sheets and place tomatoes skin side down on one, then lightly coat the peppers and onions in olive oil and place on the other baking tray also throw the unpeeled garlic into the tray…Pop it in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes.

When the tomatoes and peppers are roasted heat your vegetable stock in a pan big enough to take the tomatoes and peppers. Add your roasted tomatoes and peppers to the vegetable stock and simmer for 15 minutes.

tomato-soup-482403_640

Allow your soup to cool slightly and then either using a stick blender or your liquidiser blend to your desired consistency… I prefer mine a little chunky. Taste and season.

Serve with a swirl of cream or natural yoghurt if liked…

Enjoy!

Did you know? On January 10th 1863 the World’s first underground railway service opened in London. It was the Metropolitan Line which runs between Paddington and Farringdon.

Time for a tune…

January 15th 1961 – The Supremes signed a worldwide recording contract with Motown Records.
Originally called the Primettes, they became the most commercially successful of Motown’s acts and are, to date, America’s most successful vocal group with 12 No.1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

This is The Supremes, featuring group member Barbara Martin. She was one of two other original members (the first being Betty McGlowan). She left the group because she got pregnant. The other three went into music history.

Then on 15th January 1983, Phil Collins had his first UK No.1 single with his version of ‘You Can’t Hurry Love,’ a hit for The Supremes in 1966. Collins’ version was the first track on the very first Now That’s What I Call Music CD.

I like both versions …but Phil Collins just has the edge for me…

For those of you who love pizza and bagels although I don’t know why they were put in the same category on Pizza Day…The bagel makers have decided they are having their own day so today has been designated National Beigel day...I haven’t had a beigel since I left the UK…I used to love cinnamon and raisin bagels, smoked salmon and cream cheese I am salivating now… I have thought of making them and got as far as reading a few recipes and it seems they are boiled first…Has anyone made their own and are they good and relatively easy to make or are they quite time-consuming?

I have been told you make a lean dough which is a dough with little or no fat or sugar…Then they are cooked for 1 min each side in a beigel water bath…to which honey or barley malt syrup can be added and then they are baked…

beigel bakery-3254475_640

Mmmmm I am sure they would take a tad longer than it took me to type that…I do have very happy memories of eating a salt beef beigel the last time I was in the UK…very nice it was…If you are celebrating beigel day then post your pics with a #nationalbeigelday 

Beavers…Cute furry animals that build dams is what I think of if I hear the name beaver…Beavers are also known as a ‘keystone’ species because of their significant positive effect on the environment.

So much so that Beavers are being reintroduced to Cumbria after 400 years as it is thought that they might reduce flooding.

Beavers are to be reintroduced into Cumbria’s Eden Valley to see if they can thrive in upland environments. Fingers and toes crossed that they can thrive and help bring some balance to the environment.

beaver-1352439_640

 

Beavers are native to the UK and used to be widespread in England, Scotland and Wales, but they were hunted to extinction in the UK in the 16th century mainly their fur, meat, and “castoreum” – a secretion used in perfumes, food and medicine.

With similar efforts underway in Yorkshire and Somerset.

Beavers can help reduce the risk of flooding lower down in river systems by building dams and moderating water flow. Their modifications made to the streams can also raise the water locally, creating wetland areas and boosting biodiversity.

It seems very much to me when you read and look around that much of what is being done is to repair what man has undone…All of of our global warming and climate change has one cause…man…

It seems we find something which is useful or profitable or edible…and we hunt it until it is extinct we now are reaping the benefits and some of us are madly back peddling…

Anyway, this is not the post for doom and gloom I am happy that beavers are being introduced back into the wild and there are plans to introduce other animals back into the wild I do hope that they are left to grow and thrive and do what they do best…

Thank you for joining me for Whimsical Wednesday I hope you have found something of interest or that just made you smile 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.

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

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

Thank you again for joining me for Whimsical Wednesday I hope you have enjoyed yourselves…If you have please leave a comment as I always enjoy hearing from you it makes my day xxx

 

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…5th Jan-11th January 2020…

Hello and welcome to my weekly roundup…I am settling into my new routine of writing more although January is always a funny, unsettled month for me…I think we all get embroiled in the furore and planning for the festive season and then it goes a little flat.

January always seems to be the month for tragedies like the Australian bush fires, the plane crash, Prince Harry and Meghan wanting to step down as Senior Royals all major disasters …

Monday 6th January 2020…Recycling and Climate Change latest news…

Of course, the bush dominated the beginning of this post they have been burning now since September and have caused deaths and devastation…There is most probably more to come and many questions to be answered…

butterfly and bee flower meadow

I also mentioned wildflowers and the butterfly and bee populations and our carbon footprint which is something which every single one of us can do something about and improve…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/06/recycling-and-climate-change-6th-january-2020/

Tuesday 7th January…

I reblogged Smorgasbord Blogger Daily where Sally laid out her plans for the year and promoted myself and a few other authors and bloggers…

Debby Giess will be writing a new column over at Smorgasbord after her Winter break Sally and I have one more cooking from scratch to prevent deficiency this coming week with Phosphorous as the nutrient in question… and then Carol will be featuring her A – Z of food every two weeks. She is going to be getting her cookbook and novel ready to be published this year (no pressure then Carol ♥)

Sylvia with her authentic Italian recipes and the lovely William Price King who provides the music…So lots to read about…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-29th-december-to-4th-january-2020/

Wednesday 8th January…

Egg-drop-soup-recipe

The day where anything goes whatever takes my fancy…In this case, it was sausage rolls and a mummy Rhapsody as well as a delicious soup recipe…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/08/whimsical-wednesdays/

It was also the last of our nutritional deficiency posts this week it was Phosphorus where Sally provides the health information and I provide the recipes, in this case, it is a lovely pork fillet recipe for starters…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/01/08/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-phosphorus/

Thursday 9th January…

Another Blogger Daily from Sally where she shares my post on Climate Change and the bush fires as well as a great book review and some helpful tips on a book launch…Very handy…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/01/06/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-january-6th-2020-book-review-by-michelle-clements-james-booklaunch-booksigning-tips-mary-smith-climate-change-recycling-carol-taylor/

I also shared a beautiful painting which depicts the bushfires in Australia…

melina-ilustrats

https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/2020/01/08/australia-is-burning/

Friday 10th January…

In my kitchen where I cooked pan-seared salmon with lovely crispy skin and a spicy Thai sauce and some other taste tingling goodies…

smart

Pan-seared Salmon

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/10/carolcooks2-this-week-in-my-kitchen-pan-seared-salmon-with-spicy-thai-dressing/

Lastly…Sally Cronin who writes Smorgasbord Magazine was with DG Kaye where Debby was asking the questions..for a fascinating insight into the lady we love …pop over to Debs…

That looks like there could be some fun and shenanigans to come….x

https://dgkayewriter.com/q-and-a-with-d-g-kaye-featuring-author-blogger-and-promoter-sally-cronin/

That’s all for this weeks roundup…Thank you for reading and thank you to everyone who supports me by commenting I so love to hear from you…You all rock…x

Tomorrow it time for another update on Climate Change and REcycling but I have lots of good news this week although those devasting bush fires keep on burning…

We love you Australia and keep you in our thoughts but you are strong and resilient and will get through this…Much love 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 great weekend 🙂 xx