Category Archives: choices

Goodbye 2018…Hello 2019

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I would like to wish all my readers a joyous New Year… One filled with love, good health, kindness and lots of creative thoughts…xxx

2018 has now gone and as years go it had its ups and downs…

Christmas has been lovely never quite the same here you don’t get the build-up and the ambience but living where it is sunny and warm was a choice we made and that is life…Full of choices…

My son has been back from the UK for Christmas which has been lovely so I opted not to do any blog posts and took an unscheduled break.

But I haven’t been idle the thoughts have been many and my little pile of notes has grown as to the direction my blog will be taking this year…

I am sitting here typing surrounded by my new diary, notebooks and pens all presents I love to receive and sipping my green tea from the lovely set my grandson bought me… Also, now I have learnt the correct way to brew Green Tea it is a lovely drink..No bitterness just lovely…my favourite drink… How to brew Green Tea

New year resolutions???

I have made many over the years …Have I kept them ??? Very few… We then beat ourselves up and feel guilty…Don’t we??? So this year I have made no resolutions that I know I can’t keep …Just ideas and if I am lax then tomorrow is another day…But kindness, no to hate, tolerance are some of the things on mine…

resolutions kindness tolerance

Social media is one I will be cutting down on… It eats into the time I need to read and write, walk and just live…

social media tabs

I know it is a necessary evil and one we need but moderation and my timer will be brought into play…I am going to be strict with myself… 3 only!

Reading and reviews I have many books in my TBR folder and I am going to not set a target but revive an old passion take time out and away from my laptop …No distractions…

great reads a weekly roundup

My Cookbook and Novel   I have changed direction in so much as Just Fish was a struggle with my conscience. The fishing industry is beset with many problems much caused by the environment, pollution and such which means the fish we eat may not be good for us…While I am wrestling with this that one is on hold as much needs to be done to solve the problems of fish farming etc…

We grow our own fish or know a man who does so much of the fish I eat and cook with is not farmed and in the case of mine I just go out into the garden and catch one…The same with our meat we know where it comes from how it is raised and killed…They lead happy lives, graze where they will so are not stressed…

I have made a good start on Take 2 the intro is done and the recipes well on their way …My plan is by the end of April for publication.

My Novel is a WIP and by the end of the year should be good to go…

Timeout from the laptop is my main challenge and how I hope to achieve this year’s plans…

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Where is my blog going… Waste is high on my agenda as I think we live in a beautiful world and cannot rely on governments and politicians to address this problem we need to be proactive…Not Fanatic but proactive and if we start in our own home as many have it will spread as others aka family and friends see how you save money as well as saving the environment because you do save money…And who doesn’t like the sound of that???

Healthy eating…We need to keep an open mind and what works for one may not work for another ..Due to many factors like lifestyle, availability, DNA, body shape, metabolism or any underlying condition we may have …So many factors come into play…

Our best chance of staying well is I believe by eating a healthy diet which is well balanced and varied and yes you can eat MODERATE amounts of the bad stuff as well as taking regular exercise…

Fad diets and food fashions come and go…I, of course, will be researching some of these…You just knew I would didn’t you?

My Cookery Column over at Smorgasbord Magazine starts again on the 9th Jan …My monthly column or guest post over at Esme’s Salon also starts again on 17th January it will be the Letter L in my journey through the Culinary Alphabet so please come over and join me for those…

Additionally, Friday’s will bring you an insight into my week in my kitchen…Lots of recipes and tips so please join me for My week in my kitchen.

Saturdays will, of course, be a weekly roundup which many have found useful as I know many of you work and it is finding the time to keep up isn’t it? I love weekly roundup posts myself x

That’s all for my first post of the New Year…Thank you for reading it and thank you to all my loyal followers…You rock!

I think this sums up 2019 perfectly…

Boarding for Flight 2019 has been Announced.
Your Luggage Should Contain Only the Best Souvenirs from 2018.
The Bad & the Sad Moments Should be Left in the bin.
The Duration of the Flight will be 12 Months.
So, Please Tighten Your Seat Belts!!!! The Next Stop Over will be of Health, Love, Joy, Harmony, Well-being & Peace.
The following Menu will be Served In the Flight…
A Cocktail of Friendship
A Supreme of Health
A Gratin of Prosperity
A Bowl of Excellent News
A Salad of Success
A Cake of Happiness.
All Accompanied by a Burst of Laughter😀😀
Wishing You & Your Family an Enjoyable Trip on Board Flight 2019.
Before 2018 Ends, Let me Thank All the People Like You, Who Made 2018 Beautiful for Me.
Have a Great last Day of the Year.
Wishing you a Very Happy New Year, love and kisses, Carol xxx🥳😘😘

Thank you for your comments…The best part of blogging for me … Go forward into the New Year with renewed hope for a better year, be mindful and kind and spread a 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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

 

Hot Dogs…Do YOU know what is in the Hot Dog you are eating?

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I thought I knew much of what went into the food we eat and when I started this series quite by chance the other week I was shocked…And it takes quite a lot to shock me… I don’t eat Hot Dogs and never have … Unless it was a home-made sausage or a good sausage or I  was at a BBQ and have eaten the occasional proper sausage… So rare for me I haven’t had one yet this year so that tells you how often I eat any sausage…

There are many processed sausages and balls here…All displayed and looking tempting.

sausages - fish balls

Look at that display it is bright, colourful and I can see how it could tempt anybody to eat one…

But, honestly, when I look at anything like that I feel sick… I have always had an aversion to any food when I don’t know the origin and couldn’t guess as to the ingredients…

So taking an educated guess I would say in one way or another that wherever you travelled to in the world you would see fast food brightly displayed…Shouting Eat me!

Before I go any further I will now tell you what shocked me the most during my research…

To be clear hotdogs DO NOT contain human flesh BUT research by Clear Labs found 2% of ALL hot dogs contain Human DNA…More troubling is 2/3 of hot dogs marked as Vegetarian contain human DNA.

Hot Dog sausages are classic pre-cooked processed meat. it is very troubling to me how much an original ok product has and is changed and for nothing less than profit and greed…Proper ones contain beef or pork it is the other % which is very questionable as to the content. The majority who take up the biggest proportion of space on supermarket shelves.

I do think that old saying that ” YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR ” is increasingly true. We all look for a bargain but what are we really getting???

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Traditionally made from Pork or Beef BUT it is the less expensive ones we should be aware of and avoid as they are made from chicken/turkey using low-cost mechanical machinery to separate poultry…So what are they separating? The good meat from the bad in a nutshell…

By bad I mean what you wouldn’t normally eat…like gristle, fat, offal, skin, lips, pig snouts, organs and other parts.

Mechanical separating machines separate the bits which are not sellable on the chicken carcass 50% of a hot dogs meat is fat, ground bones, blood vessels and connective tissues.

Hot Dogs also typically contain Sodium, saturated fats and Nitrate which when consumed in excess have been linked to health problems.

Hot Dogs are made by a process called ” Meat Emulsion”  even just those two words make me feel sick and I am surprised that I haven’t actually thrown up…Yet!

So what is in your hot dog?

The casing is made from cleaned lambs intestines which many sausage makers use and if you take the Scots then the Haggis that famous dish made of offal and other meat… the meat is encased in an animal stomach if traditionally made…

That I can accept as I would prefer a natural casing over a synthetic one.

Flavours...Is a very grey area as under US law many flavour combinations can be listed as just flavour rather than individually or use the wording “All flavourings contained in this product are approved for use in the Food and Drug regulations”.

In one of my previous posts, I found that many flavouring and colouring banned in Europe and other countries are not in the US and manufacturers go as far as not using banned substances in any exported goods but use them for goods distributed around the US…I am guessing you can read my mind on the one…

BANNED means BANNED

Right??

Potassium Lactate... More confusing than gross being a white odourless solid made with Lactic Acid and Potassium Hydroxide.

Corn Syrup, Sodium Nitrate, Msg and antibiotics are also ingredients…All of these could be a separate post on the dangers to health. So watch this space…

Salt… A single hot dog contains 480 milligrams of sodium which equals 20% of RDA. How many people eat more than one hot dog per meal and more than a few times a week?

Another alarming fact is that 3% of Hot Dogs advertised as containing Beef only do actually contain Pork…Why??

Because a set of USDA Rules 1994 state any meat can be removed from the bone by Advanced Meat Recovery (AMM) and can be added to the Hot Dog mixture.

It seems to me that all of these rules are designed to aid food manufacturers and not the public…Their customers…The people who line their greedy pockets…The people who are trusting who believe the advertising…

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We should be walking with our feet…We should not be buying any products if it is not clear as to what is in the product. We should not be fobbed off by wording which is blatantly designed to fool.

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 that I cook with have 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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you for reading this post and if you are as shocked as me please share far and wide…We are the consumer and we have the power…Remember that…We also have the final say in what we feed our family …Remember that xxx

“I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” by Eleanor Roosevelt.

I do hope you are enjoying my archived posts from 2015…I certainly am and it is giving time to do a little more writing so it is twofold …Enjoy!

Retired? No one told me!

Are we all happy with that?

I am because if I hadn’t retired to Phuket I most certainly would not be blogging, I would not be warm( it’s so hot and sunny here), I would not be making my own ham and bacon, I would not be a published author the list is endless.

Why? I can hear you all saying.

Choices, circumstances, call it what you may….. sometimes we have to just be brave, go with the flow, listen to our hearts, be a little selfish…..yes why not…… years ago and I mean years ago I wanted to study Law…..I got these looks, comments…why Carol? you have a good job, you have a family why…all these puzzled looks…..why? for me, because I wanted to……so I enrolled…… time to study!

” Mum, Can I? Mum, can you? it didn’t stop…

Enter my friend Gilly…….My neighbour, confidant, shoulder to cry on…

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Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List with Carol Taylor

I am so honoured to be kicking off Sally’s wonderful new series and I am looking forward to seeing what is YOUR top two.

Thank you, Sally, for making me look so wonderful you are a star and if it wasn’t for that wonderful group of Phuket Writers I truly would not be writing today and would never have become friends with the lovely Anne O’Connor who is my friend and mentor…Love you, Annie… I am going to stop now as this is sounding like one of those longgggg Oscar’s speeches….Lolz…Kill me now!!!!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the new Sunday Interview and the theme is The Ultimate Bucket List.

In this interview series I would love to know what your top TWO items are on your bucket list and if you have not written one yet, then perhaps it is time to get your thinking caps on.

The readers will want to be convinced that these activities are worthy of putting on the ultimate bucket list, so please give full details of what it is, where if applicable and definitely the why and how.  As you can see not all wishes are physical and do not worry if you feel that your chosen item is everyday for others. This is your wish list and you can put anything you like in it.

Also it is taken for granted that you as an individual would do all you can to help others achieve their dreams…

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Papaya Salad…. one of Thailands iconic dishes.

Papaya Salad Som Tam

Papaya Salad or as it is known here, Som Tam.

One of my favorite dishes which is eaten with nearly every meal and sold everywhere on markets, by the roadside with lovely chicken or fish and a dish that I would say every visitor to Thailand will sample and remember.

You will see the trees growing everywhere in gardens, by the roadside and waste land we have at least  6 in our garden alone and not sure how many on the farm and have planted one outside our house so that anyone passing can help themselves.

The papaya tree laden with fruit:

Papaya on tree

 

For those of you who are not lucky enough to be able to buy green Papaya then here is the recipe for you and some alternatives if you can’t buy green papaya.

Ingredients:

A Green Papaya…1 papaya unless you are making a huge dish full will make at least 3 two serving portions. If you keep it covered or put in a plastic bag it keeps very well in the fridge and doesn’t go brown like some fruits and vegetables once peeled.

1 Carrot

Handful cherry Tomatoes or 2/3 med sized tomatoes.

2 long green beans.

Dried shrimp (optional)

1 Lime

4/5 birds eye chillies

Fish Sauce.

Sm amount of palm sugar about a half teaspoon.

Method:

Shred green Papaya and Carrot.

Cut tomatoes up roughly in smallish pieces or cherry tomatoes in half.

Put the chilli, sugar and little fish sauce in pestle and mortar and pound away.

Add papaya, carrots, tomatoes and dried shrimps ( a bit at a time) and keep pounding.

Add lime juice and the lime cheeks, peel ..all of it….. a little more pounding, stir and serve.

Tip 1: TASTE, Taste and taste again because it is about balancing those hot, salty, sweet, sour tastes of Thai Food and your personal taste.

I find that in papaya salad the heat of the chilli is more pronounced so if you only like a little heat start with half a chilli or 1….and TASTE……lime juice and fish sauce the same… taste……..Thai food is all about balancing of the sweet, sour, spicy, salty flavours so once again TASTE as it’s very personal and individual…

I love fish sauce so I am probably..well… nought probable about it… I am….bit free and easy with it…..but that’s my taste and maybe not yours ……I am now becoming in danger of overusing a word…but TASTE…….

Tip 2: If you cannot get Green Papaya where you live then you can use shredded Cucumber or Swede as a substitute. Both are good and particularly with the swede unless you are a connoisseur of Papaya Salad then it would be hard to call.

Another variation on the Papaya is substituting shredded  Green Bananas ..I have not seen it made everywhere… it seems to be more regional but it was good, very good.

I hope you enjoy my little recipes they are not all precisely measured but just how we do it here ….whatever we have goes in the pot or pestle i.e the addition of crab ( in its shell) and yes you do get mucky fingers because again it’s eating with what you were born with.

Som Tam with Phla

Oh, and you serve Papaya Salad with Khao Neow (sticky rice), Chicken or fish..fresh veggies of your choice….

Whatever you fancy and this is one of my favorites and so many variations..but I have found me a little man who makes it just the way I like it…. Sometimes I just want to eat and the beauty of Thai street food is it is just like it has come from your own kitchen…. How fresh does that  Papaya look? Freshly shredded…

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So when I am on my morning walk …I tell my favourite papaya man I will be 30 mins or however long I think I may be..pick up my fresh coconut juice and then my Som Tam and maybe some freshly cooked chicken on the way back home …

I am so blessed that I have such lovely food on my doorstep.

I hope you enjoyed this post if you did please share or reblog as I am sure at least one of your friends would also love the recipe for an authentic Papaya salad and sharing is caring…

It is simple food at it’s best…

Until next time stay safe, have fun AND laugh a lot as laughter is the best medicine and IT’S FREE so please also do me a favour..ASK a question because as you know….I love it when I hear someone question something, please don’t be a follower be a questioner and ask!

And don’t forget if you haven’t already read it…Please look at my new weekly collaboration with Sally from Smogasbord.Health…Healthy recipes made from scratch ( from moi) and great health information on the ingredients from Sally  and how they benefit you and your families health and well being…All in one post…How good is that????

Please click here    It is fun and informative…HAVE A LOVELY WEEKEND!

 

 

 

 

 

Things That Bloggers Need to Stop Getting Stressed About

Great advice on how not to get bogged down and envious ….Love what you do and celebrate your success 🙂

Suzie Speaks

imageHow to blog. There are so many questions that I see being thrown around continually among bloggers. How often should I post? Should I create a Pinterest or Stumble Upon account? What plug-ins should I use? How often should I share my posts on social media? Should I be self-hosted? There is no definitive guide as to how to create a successful blog, and therefore there are no definitive set of right or wrongs. Most of what I have learned has been through trial and error, and from advice given by bloggy friends. Some of it has worked, some of it hasn’t, and I have shared my experiences in the hope that they prove useful for others. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that my advice will be successful for everyone, if indeed anyone at all. Focus on doing what works for you, don’t be afraid to try new things, and…

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One year on! My way forward

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And what a year it has been!

Living in the north of Thailand is completely different to Phuket but I have also discovered much more about Thailand and its culture, traditions and discovered so many different fruits and vegetables.

So in some ways because of the move, it has taken me a while but I have decided now on my way forward.

The last post I wrote had a very good response with reblogs, shares and views/reads on a few of the different social media’s.

People are obviously interested in health both bodily and mentally and looking at food to help them achieve that and food which can work alongside any medications that is prescribed for you.

Like this one: Foods which may help lower your cholesterol

As those of you who know me know that none of my recipes are just a recipe but also contain other titbits of information.

I know I can waffle with best of them…lol

My recipes will now contain at least one and possibly more ingredients which will help you reach that goal of eating more healthily and also start to learn that it is important what we put in our mouths for our children’s health and our health.

We read a lot about buying organic foods and yes it is sometimes way out of some of our budgets but even if you only have a window box I hope I can help you learn what it is best to buy organically and what you can buy through your normal shopping channels knowing it is safe and also what you can grow.

 

A lot of the articles I read bombard me with information and sometimes I just switch off because I am either too busy or I just haven’t got a clue or just because I don’t like the sound of the foods which it is suggested are good for me. Who wants to eat boring unappetising food?

So my aim is to keep it simple and not bore you with jargon.

I want to give you recipes for the whole family that encourage those who are faddy eaters to try things. Give you alternatives for some ingredients that may be cheaper or more palatable to some and indeed a lot of the recipes I have come across I don’t really want to eat ….I may change my mind when I try them or make a few changes and that is also what food is about adapting it and of trying new ways of cooking and it makes food fun and enjoyable and that is what food should be about.

Whether you only have the weekends to cook or when you are on holiday but learning how to adapt your cooking to your lifestyle take one step at a time because it is no use running yourself ragged as that is not good for your health either.

For example, a lot of the food I cook is just for me. So I buy my meat or fish and cut it into portions and freeze it. If I cook a chilli I freeze individual portions it is all about planning.

No one has to spend hours in the kitchen if you plan and prepare. Put the slow cooker on before you go to work and when you come home a beautiful meal is ready to eat.

Put porridge in your slow cooker overnight and it will be ready and waiting for when you come down in a rush with no time to cook and just enough time to eat.

I plan to write some cookery e-books with my favourite recipes in for you.

So in a nutshell, I want to give you the information so that you can make your own decisions on how to feed your family for optimum health. Feed your family normal food. Food which encourages faddy/picky eaters because then you stick to it because you love what you are eating.

Feed your family normal food. Food which encourages faddy/picky eaters because then you stick to it because you love what you are eating.

I plan to self-host my blog very soon and I will be adding affiliate  links for products that I use and love not just a fancy product which costs an arm and a leg and doesn’t do what it says or is so difficult to clean that it puts you off using it or you just plain don’t have the cupboard space to store it.

The final part of my plan is that when I have this in place I will have the time to finish my novel which is a long time coming…lol

Oh, and I haven’t started on the chooks and farming but that is also on track.  We are the proud parents of some baby turkeys …..Why Turkeys? Because I haven’t been able to buy one for Christmas dinner for the last two years and so I thought I would grow my own…They are adorable, so friendly and make lovely soft, happy noises…They seem to love their new home although they are having to stay in the smaller bit for another few days..just so they get used to their surroundings and where their food is…

 

But I am focused and ready to move forward.

Thank for reading this post I do hope you enjoyed it.and our new adventures in Northern Thailand…If you did ..please share it or reblog it….

And lastly, if I can do it so can you…cos I am not a spring chicken anymore but having so much fun and feel I have a new lease of life….

Please feel free to give me any advice, suggestions anything at all. That is what comments are for.

Any photos I use are by myself( Carol) or are from Pixabay and free to use.