Category Archives: Christmas Cake

Christmas…’Tis the season of love and laughter…

The magic which is Christmas...I try although it is hard when it is sunny and no one else celebrates it…But Chrismas is in my soul and I hope that I can share some of the magic I have always felt with you and of course make you remember and smile…

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

As a child Christmas was always a happy time a time when we got little treats which we didn’t get year-round…I mean take the hot cross bun you can get those any time of the year …I like to enjoy things in season and which I only have at certain times of the year…Do you?

We always had a stocking…Nothing fancy like today just one of my dad socks with a satsuma in the toe, a chocolate Christmas Santa, a sugar mouse and a small toy or maybe a pretty handkerchief…

A pillowcase for our main presents…I hated dolls and the like so my sisters got toys and dolls… I got books, pencils, and jigsaw puzzles…Always a Rupert Bear Annual…such happy days…

Midnight Mass...when I was old enough I was allowed to attend and then as I was in the church choir…sing…How I loved those Christmas Hymns…Do you have a favourite?

One of mine is…The First Noel…

The First Noel, the angels say
To Bethlehem’s shepherds as they lay.
At midnight watch, when keeping sheep,
The winter wild, the light snow deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel.

Of Cornish origin, it is unusual in that one musical phrase is twice repeated…A song which traditionally is sung Christmas Eve, especially in the west of England. This was when the entire village gathered for singing and celebrating the bringing in of the Yule log. At this time carols were thought of as popular religious songs meant to be sung outside the church rather than within.

I love listening to The Kings Choir, Cambridge…

 

Traditions around the world at Christmas…

A Christmas tale …What fun they can be…We all love to regale our children and grandchildren with tales from Christmas past…most real, some imagined and we all…Come On…Admit it!

We have all stooped to bribery, corruption or just plain tall tales to make the kiddie winks BEHAVE!

Forget boring advent calendars….

Icelandic parents enthrall their children (and scare) them into being good with tales of the Ogress living in the Icelandic mountains.

She is one scary Mumma, described as half-troll/animal and the mother of 13 naughty boys known as the  “Yule Lads”. Grýla lives in the mountains with her husband, her thirteen children, and a black cat.

And that cat is pretty scary too….

Old Icelandic folklore states that every Icelander must receive a new piece of clothing for Christmas or they will find themselves in mortal danger. An enormous black cat prowls Iceland on Christmas Eve and eats anyone who doesn’t follow this simple rule. This obnoxious feline is known as the Christmas Cat.

cat-2540940_1920

The legend goes that every Christmas, Grýla and her sons come down from the mountains: Grýla in search of naughty children to boil in her cauldron and the boys in search of mischief. She can only capture children who misbehave but those who say sorry must be released.

Wow…that story will get the kiddies hiding under the bed covers or behind nannies apron…See yesterdays post…

The husband is not as wicked as her…  but a  bone-idle,  lazy slob.

The boys aka “The Yule” lads are naughty and mischievous and have wonderful names…Oh, what stories you could weave….and what fun you could inject into your stories.

the-icelandic-yule-lads

And what funny names they have.. Spoon- Licker is tall and thin. He steals unwashed spoons, which he licks clean.  and Door- Slammer well as the name implies….    Slams doors which are kept ajar at night, keeping people awake.

Icelandic children place a shoe in their bedroom window each evening in the 13 days before Christmas. Every night one Yuletide lad visits, leaving sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes(Yuk), depending on how a  child has behaved on that day.

I think it’s much better than a boring advent calendar, just think of the tales you can weave and what fun you and the kids could have and such a cool way to keep the little darlings in check.

How about  Sausage -swiper he hides in the rafters to snatch sausages which are hung up for smoking.

Nothing is safe from these wicked boys…

♦♦♦♦♦♦

What tales do you tell your children?

I was really lucky…because my youngest daughter believed in Santa Claus until she was about 13 years old…she was much ridiculed by her peers but stood her ground and insisted that she had seen Santa.

Well, she had….She was 3 yrs old and one of my son’s friends asked if he could ( while dressed) up as Santa and take a little present upstairs and put it in Laurens stocking.

He was told by me in no uncertain terms ” Do NOT wake her up”

Well, she did wake up..but the clever boy put his fingers to his lips and told her to shhhhhh and go back to sleep or I can’t leave your Christmas presents.

Which she did, from that Christmas onwards for many years she was insistent to all and sundry when they laughed and told her Santa didn’t exist…..That she knew he did because she had seen him…so thank you, Adam, .for keeping a little girl’s dreams alive!

I wish I had known about the 13 trolls though….

Now for some recipes…Thank you so much to those of you who have already shared your Christmas recipes please keep them coming…

Stir up Sunday has passed and the puddings are made and young Hugh shared his pudding mix and the finished cake which looks beautiful…They look so yummy and for those you who don’t like Christmas pudding, Meeks has shared a yummy and delicious Chocolate Mousse Cake...It looks and sounds so delicious…I could just dive in and indulge my self right now…Thank you so much, Meeks and Hugh, for sharing your Christmas fare…Just as a side note any Christmas Jumper pictures? I have last years not this years yet…

I know many people who have already got their tree up…Although I love Christmas I think having a tree up too early takes away the magic…I used to put mine up Christmas Eve when the kids were in bed and then get up early so that I could put on the lights and then I would wake them up and take them downstairs all sleepy to see the tree it was always such a lovely, magical time…

That was of course until they got older and demanded the tree went up a bit earlier…

The Christmas tree …I have seen a few magazine headings saying real or artificial? I have always had a real tree and that was that… Like many things Christmas…You don’t get a real tree here and somehow a palm or banana tree although they look very nice with lights on are a tad too big to bring inside…So it is now artificial I am also the only one for miles around who has a decorated tree in the window…

For me, however,, there is nothing as pretty as a tree covered in the snow such a beautiful sight.

In India however, Instead of having traditional Christmas Trees they do decorate banana or mango trees.

In Southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to show their neighbours that Jesus is the light of the world.

Christians in Mumbai use many Christmas traditions from Goa including the star lanterns and the stable manger scenes.

In India, Father Christmas or Santa Claus delivers presents to children from a horse and cart. He’s known as ‘Christmas Baba’ in Hindi, ‘Baba Christmas’ in Urdu (Father Christmas); ‘Christmas Thaathaa’ in Tamil and ‘Christmas Thatha’ in Telugu ( Christmas old man); and ‘Natal Bua’ (Christmas Elder Man) in Marathi. In Kerala state, he’s known as ‘Christmas Papa’.

I  do love the many traditions which surround Christmas around the world ..What is your favourite tradition?

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed this Christmas post of Traditions and treats and I would like to thank everyone who has made a contribution I think most bloggers love it when you get some interaction with your posts it makes the time spent very worthwhile so thank you and please if you have any favourite Christmas Tips, recipes anything please share with us xxx

Lastly, remember not everyone is fortunate and some people dread this time of year be aware and if you can add a little cheer please share your joy but also remember the other 364 days of the year pass your smile around and be kind… 

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 are all having a great week so far..busy given the time of year…Enjoy! 🙂 xx

Mistletoe and Wine, Christmas Cheer…

In the run-up to Christmas, you will find everything here from recipes to trivia and traditions…I would also ask that when you are shopping for presents, food, and decorations that you think about its origin and how it was produced…carbon footprint, child labour…Please think about can the packaging be recycled or reused…Do you really need it? Every little helps…x

Just a reminder…  the 24th of November…Stirup Sunday‘, so put on your apron, gather your ingredients, gather family or friends to make a Christmas pudding. It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so get stirring!

Christmas Cake…

Have you made yours yet? There are so many variations to the recipes for Christmas Cake some people like me like a rich fruit cake others like a lighter fruit cake …If you have a favourite tried and tested recipe then please share it here…Ally has made her Christmas cakes and very tasty they look ..she adds ginger ale to her recipe check it out here…

Christmas Cake …Bake and Mature

I love a rich fruit cake and it lasts as long as you want it too some people love the traditional Christmas or now some make a square cake and cut it into slices it is just preference and of course once it is made I always just sprinkle a little brandy, whisky, rum or sherry over the cake every couple of weeks an age-old tradition in our house and I am sure many others.

Ingredients:

• 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
• zest and juice 1 orange
• zest and juice 1 lemon
• 150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
• 250g pack butter softened
• 200g light soft brown sugar
• 175g plain flour
• 100g ground almond
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp mixed spice
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp ground cloves
• 100g flaked almond
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Let’s Cook!

Put 1kg mixed dried fruit, the zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon, 150ml brandy or other alcohol, 250g softened butter and 200g light, soft brown sugar in a large pan set over medium heat.

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.

Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.

Add 175g plain flour, 100g ground almonds, ½ tsp baking powder, 2 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, 100g flaked almonds, 4 large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.

Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.

Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.

To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it.

Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

That’s the cake and pudding recipes sorted but don’t forget your pickles ...Homemade pickles are so much nicer and cheaper to make …We love pickles and I pickle so much more than I have ever done…

For the next few weeks, I will share my pickle recipes…. let’s get pickled…

https://carolcooks2.com/2017/07/26/healthy-eating-just-pickled/

Who loves Christmas Kitsch? My Christmas kitsch has travelled the world with me and on the 1st Dec, it will all come out of its wrappings, mugs, teapot, t/towels and towels, plates and dishes…I love my Christmas crockery…

I also love those quirky Christmas toys that as you move past it goes Ho Ho Ho…Merry Christmas and then plays its tune…Yes, it is Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas in this house and it will never ever be any different….Others can call it what they like…Me….I stick with tradition…

Back on the subject of my quirky Christmas toys…we have some grinches here who remove the batteries…How mean is that???

Bah Humbug I say…So for all you grinches…

Smile and be kind…

Christmas lights…I love small twinkly Christmas lights….Do you have a few tasteful, pretty displays or do you go the whole hog??? If you do then please share…I love Christmas lights and did you know who made the first Christmas lights? Thomas Eddison of course…He draped the first set of Christmas lights around his Menlo Park Laboratory but wasn’t until nearly 40 years later that Christmas lights became a tradition…

If you love Coldplay you may like their take on Christmas Lights…A tune…

Only a few weeks now to Thanksgiving…I am looking forward to seeing a few new recipes that I haven’t tried before…as a cook, I am always looking for new recipes…

happy-thanksgiving-4567939_640

I would like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and to ask if you would please share your recipes with us here…x If you are looking for recipes then pop over to Sally’s tomorrow where I will be there with Sally where we will share some of our Thanksgiving recipes.

That’s all for today …I hope you have enjoyed this post see you next Tuesday…x

P.P.S…There will be a Christmas jumper corner…I just need to see yours???? So come on don’t be shy…Share…x

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

 

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 creative week ahead xx

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…Health, Recipes, and plenty of Christmas cheer! …Week ending 17th Nov 2019…

Welcome to this week’s roundup and do I have some goodies for you…Lots of things going on in the world …The election in the UK is gathering momentum…There have been floods and lots of rain around the world, snow so many lovely images which I love seeing from the warm…haha…Loy Krathong is over for this year a lovely Thai Festival one of my favourites… which dates back 6,000 years…It is a beautiful festival I mean water, candles, flowers and beautiful girls however as ancient as it is I am pleased that certain things as in the making of the Krathong are being changed.

This is our little grandaughter with her Krathong made from banana leaves and fresh flowers…Isn’t it pretty?

So without any more ado let’s see what has been going on this week in my blogging world?

Monday… Recycling and environmental News…

Here in Thailand, the government means business and they have said a resounding NO!

In an effort to minimize plastic waste, Thailand will be curbing the use of plastic bags at shopping malls and department stores nationwide, from January of 2020.

This will be the first step for Thailand to eradicate any single-use plastic by 2021.

Photo credit: European Parliament on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Already you can see the signs the bags are disappearing faster than the speed of light here…

Sweden… well my admiration knows no bounds have no recycling waste…More on this tomorrow…It is impressive what they have achieved…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/11/recycling-and-environmental-news-11th-nov-2019time-to-say-no-to-plastic-bags/

Tuesday…Time for mistletoe and wine it’s Christmas time…

I love that song..made famous by Sir. Cliff Richard…

gingerbread-men-3084961_640

For a few weeks, Tuesdays will be devoted to everything Christmas…So please let’s have your recipes, pictures of your decorated houses and porches, gingerbread houses, Christmas jumpers/sweaters, homemade fudge or other sweeties anything Christmassy…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/12/mistletoe-and-wine-christmas-time/

Wednesday…Whimsical Wednesday with Carol…

I was feeling rather lonely last Wednesday…NO COMMENTS…Then the lovely Pete kindly sent me a message …comments were disabled…How, when, where I hadn’t a clue but a Happiness engineer sorted it out for me so please if you wanted to comment and couldn’t it isn’t too late I would love to hear from you…Thank you, Pete, once again…

This is an example of what I really love about the blogging world someone is always ready to help…You all rock xxx

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/13/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-18/

Also on Wednesday this week, I was over at Sally’s…

Where Sally discussed what the mineral Manganese provides and how we can increase manganese in our diets if we need to …The recipes which are tried and tested in my kitchen at home include ingredients which contain manganese…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/13/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-minerals-manganese/

Thursday…Christmas… Mistletoe and Wine and all things good …

The first of my Christmas posts…You can expect tried and tested recipes which were passed down from my mum, recipes I have been gifted by friends and family from all over the world and which are now our family favourites.

Christmas Treats and Traditions 23rd Nov

Traditions there are many Christmas traditions practiced from around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition then you would be very welcome so please share…  I know my friends across the pond and my rellies celebrate Thanksgiving on the 28th of November and have turkey and lots of other goodies …

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/14/christmas-mistletoe-and-wine-and-all-things-good/

Friday…Christmas …In my house…

This week I posted some Christmas cheer and trivia but starting next Friday my sample Christmas menus…I will be featuring more plant-based menus as I know many people are changing and cooking with more vegetables, lentil/beans all of which I love but the menfolk here not so much…so there will also be some recipes with fish or chicken…

victorian-christmas

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/15/christmas-in-my-house-traditions-treats-and-a-touch-of-trivia/

Saturday…There wasn’t a post this week as I was busy cooking and trying out a new ingredient I found called cowslip creeper…It is an edible flower very pretty and it tasted lovely…It grows in South East Asia, China, and India…I will share this recipe next week…

 

Here are just a couple of images to tempt you…I am nice …haha…The farmers market were selling big bags of produce and I brought a lovely big bag of fennel so looking for new recipes using fennel…

If you are experiencing wildfires or flooding then please stay safe…

Thank you for reading have a great weekend 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 well being.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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 relaxing weekend xx

 

Christmas… Mistletoe and Wine and all things good …

Good morning and welcome to the first of my Christmas posts…You can expect tried and tested recipes which were passed down from my mum, recipes I have been gifted by friends and family from all over the world and which are now our family favourites.

Traditions there are many Christmas traditions practised from around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition then you would be very welcome so please share…  I know my friends across the pond and my rellies celebrate Thanksgiving on the 28th November and have turkey and lots of other goodies …

I have sampled the smoked turkey my US family make and it is awesome but have never cooked it…The size of their smoker is also awesome…It is painted up and looks like a huge Budweiser can…so cool …

christmas puddings and pies

I have discovered so much about Christmas over the past few years from how many different names Santa is called, the tales of Trolls which come down from the mountains in Iceland, all the different recipes I am gleaning from far and wide..and I love it and this little Christmas Beetle…ooooh so cute!

Some of you who have been a follower for a while may have seen these little fellows before…

 

FORGET FROSTED GRASS and snow-covered windowsills, in Australia it’s the Christmas beetle that heralds the start of the festive season. They are so pretty with their metallic coats.

The metallic scarabs are synonymous with summer Down Under – or at least they used to be.

Research suggests that  Australia’s endemic Christmas beetle (Anoplognathus) population is on the decline.

Entomologist Dr Chris Reid, from the Australian Museum, attributes the drop in sightings to drier than usual spring weather, especially along the coast of New South Wales.

Christmas beetles in the greater Sydney region have also been victims of urban sprawl, with species disappearing from the city’s west due to much of their natural habitat being used for development.

I know people have to live in houses but urban sprawl has a lot to answer for and more care and research should be undertaken before permission to develop has been given or provision should be made to keep wildlife disruption to a minimum…Most cannot readjust.

THE  NATURAL habitat for Christmas beetles is woodland, where there are plenty of trees and rich soil. The larvae develop in the soil, and remain there as curl grubs, feeding on grass and plant roots, as well as the surface roots of eucalypts.

As fully grown adults, they mainly eat eucalyptus leaves but are known to consume the foliage of introduced species, such as the peppercorn tree.

The reason we only see these colourful insects during the festive season has nothing to do with Saint Nick aka Santa and there was you thinking it did…Ha Ha

BUT the end of spring and start of summer is when the larvae hatch out. The adults aren’t active during the winter months; they are larvae only during those months. When the adults are spotted during the Christmas month they’re at the stage of laying eggs.

This time of year is also mating season.

Christmas Beetle. 1

Image by John Vossen from Pixabay

If you are lucky enough to see them during the day on young eucalypts… they’re usually in clusters trying to mate, with the males pushing each other off females.

They are very pretty though and Christmassy …Don’t you think?

The information about the Christmas Beetle came from Australia’s National Geographic Magazine.

Now if you haven’t made your cake and Christmas pudding yet then here is the link for the recipes as you need time to infuse that cake with all that booze…Hic…Don’t forget its stir-up Sunday on the 24th November for your puds so still time to gather those ingredients, your family and friends for a stir, a wish and lots of fun…

Image by pixel1 from Pixabay

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-christmas-cakes-and-puddings/

Cocktail Corner…Ta-Da and it has chocolate ladies…

 

Did you know???

Home Alone is the most popular Christmas movie of all time…

Mistletoe... Is synonymous with the festive celebrations and there is always some at Office Christmas parties…Botanically it is an interesting plant as it is a hemiparasite which means that although it does grow on its own it also does attach itself to other trees and sucks all the nutrients from the tree…

mistletoe-berries-16393_640

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

There are many tales and traditions surrounding mistletoe and although it is poisonous to us it is a source of food to animals and birds…Butterflies lay their eggs on it and bees collect the pollen so an important source for wildlife…

It is also a very striking looking plant with the dark green leaves and white berries don’t you think and looks lovely in Christmas Wreaths.

The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe dates back to Norse mythology it was also thought to have magical powers and ward off evil spirits…

I hope you have enjoyed this post …the first of my Christmas Treats, traditions and recipes…Thank you for reading and I invite your comments…I love your comments and also always reply xxx

P.S

An alternative way to eat Christmas Cake from Sue Vincent and I love it… Definitely the best cheese sandwich for a long time…xxxx

https://scvincent.com/2018/10/22/the-best-cheese-sandwich/

See you later today when it is time for my Culinary tour of the alphabet over @ Esme’s…I can’t believe how time flies I am on the letter V already…so please stick around to see what I have found…xxx Just in case you missed last months…The letter U…

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

 

 

 

Recipes and Rants …My weekly Roundup…

food and lifestyle blog

Wow! What a week and just in case it has been one of those crazy weeks for you… Here is a roundup of all my posts throughout the week so grab a cuppa or in my case a shawl the morning temps are a tad colder here …aka 18 degrees, settle down in your favourite chair. Relax and enjoy …

A subject which I am very passionate about is waste plastic, food and anything which fits in between…We live in a very beautiful world and it is getting trashed by mankind in the name of greed, profiteering or just plain laziness because we can’t be bothered to dispose of it correctly.

Sour Dough…Why on earth can’t sneaky bakers and manufacturers leave our Sour Dough alone or make it properly? I was actually really surprised and pleased at how many people make their own sourdough bread the art is not lost and seems to be growing.

Sour dough starter bread

https://blondieaka.com/2018/10/29/is-it-really-sour-dough-bread/

Lisa @ alsworld nominated me for an award and for that I thank her… But it is Lisa who deserves an award for courage and cheerfulness in the face of a wicked debilitating disease …ALS…  A disease which eventually robs you of every faculty and a more cheerful lady I don’t know in the face of this and I am sure there are…She loves ice cream which is all she can eat so any recipes for the unusual she would love … x

bloggewr recognition

https://lisasalsworld.ca/2018/10/22/blogger-recognition-award/

Tuesdays are my day for my Eat Smart, Eat Healthy posts I am working on shopping smart at the moment and trying really hard to only buy what we can eat before it goes bad…

fresh vegetables from the market

https://blondieaka.com/2018/10/30/eat-smart-eat-healthily-no-to-diets/

Halloween ...And what a great post to celebrate Halloween with a night at The Stanley Hotel…

haunted-at-the-stanley-hotel

https://susielindau.com/2011/10/19/haunted-at-the-stanley-hotel/

Well, the Halloween celebrations didn’t stop there… Sally and I brought out the garlic and Onions and as the saying goes we both know our Onions…No vampires bothered us…

Onions garlic red onions brown onions

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-onions-and-garlics-keep-the-vampires-and-the-doctor-away/

Waste not, Want Not…I can hear my mum saying that to us as kids and I am trying really hard not to…Waste comes in many forms and this post discusses that…

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/01/waste-not-want-not-part-three/

One of my favourite times of the month is my monthly post over at Esmes Salon when I trawl through the culinary alphabet…Letter by letter and this month it was the letter J… This month I didn’t get many surprises except for the Jasmine Pearls which make the best Green Tea…brewed correctly there is no bitterness it is just lovely… And of course the lovely Juniper Berries…

gin tonic juniper berries

Next month it is the letter K…Which again includes many of my favourite foods and maybe I can persuade Kale haters to love Kale…I have a beautiful Thai recipe using kale… 

https://esmesalon.com/the-culinary-alphabet-the-letter-j/

I love Christmas cake and pudding with cream…I also adore marzipan…I love cheese… Have I taken 2 slices of Christmas cake and put cheese in between them? No! Never, it is a custom from the North of England and one which I will be partaking of this year…So thank you, Sue, for sharing this little gem of a custom..x

https://scvincent.com/2018/10/22/the-best-cheese-sandwich/

Which bought me nicely to my first post on Christmas treats and traditions with the occasional bit of trivia thrown in…Christmas beetles are the most spectacular little creatures which hail from sunny Australia…

christmas puddings and pies

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/02/christmas-treat-and-traditions/

Finally, if you are still with me is another of my short stories …I am flexing my writing muscles and I do hope that you like them…This one is very pertinent to where I live…A sad fact of life for many…

airplane-161163_1280

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/03/homeward-bound-9/

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!

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 once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂 xx

 

 

 

Christmas… Treat and Traditions…

christmas puddings and piesGood morning and welcome to the first of my Christmas posts…You can expect tried and tested recipes which were passed down from my mum, recipes I have been gifted by friends and family from all over the world and which are now our family favourites. Traditions there are many Christmas traditions practised from around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition then you would be very welcome as I know my friends across the pond and my rellies celebrate Thanksgiving on the 22nd November and have turkey and lots of other goodies …I have sampled the smoked turkey my US family make and it is awesome but have never cooked it…The size of their smoker is also awesome I need to ask for a photo as unfortunately when my last laptop crashed I lost all my photos from my trip…

I have discovered so much about Christmas over the past few years from how many different names Santa is called, the tales of Trolls which come down from the mountains in Iceland, all the different recipes I am gleaning from far and wide..and I love it and this little Christmas Beetle…ooooh so cute!

Christmas Beetle

FORGET FROSTED GRASS and snow-covered windowsills, in Australia it’s the Christmas beetle that heralds the start of the festive season. They are so pretty with their metallic coats.

The metallic scarabs are synonymous with summer Down Under – or at least they used to be.

Research suggests that  Australia’s endemic Christmas beetle (Anoplognathus) population is on the decline.

Entomologist Dr Chris Reid, from the Australian Museum, attributes the drop in sightings to drier than usual spring weather, especially along the coast of New South Wales.

Christmas beetles in the greater Sydney region have also been victims of urban sprawl, with species disappearing from the city’s west due to much of their natural habitat being used for development.

I know people have to live in houses but urban sprawl has a lot to answer for and more care and research should be undertaken before permission to develop has been given or provision should be made to keep wildlife disruption to a minimum…Most cannot readjust.

THE  NATURAL habitat for Christmas beetles is woodland, where there are plenty of trees and rich soil. The larvae develop in the soil, and remain there as curl grubs, feeding on grass and plant roots, as well as the surface roots of eucalypts.

As fully grown adults, they mainly eat eucalyptus leaves but are known to consume the foliage of introduced species, such as the peppercorn tree.

The reason we only see these colourful insects during the festive season has nothing to do with Saint Nick aka Santa and there was you thinking it did…Ha Ha

BUT the end of spring and start of summer is when the larvae hatch out. The adults aren’t active during the winter months; they are larvae only during those months. When the adults are spotted during the Christmas month they’re at the stage of laying eggs.

This time of year is also mating season.

Christmas Beetle. 1

if you are lucky enough to see them during the day on young eucalypts… they’re usually in clusters trying to mate, with the males pushing each other off females.

They are very pretty though and Christmassy …Don’t you think?

The information about the Christmas Beetle came from Australia’s National Geographic Magazine.

Photos courtesy of Pixabay:

Now if you haven’t made your cake and Christmas pudding yet then here is the link for the recipes as you need time to infuse that cake with all that booze…Hic…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-christmas-cakes-and-puddings/

Cocktail Corner…Ta Da and it has chocolate ladies…

 

Did you know???

Home Alone is the most popular Christmas Movie of all time…

Mistletoe... Is synonymous with the festive celebrations and there is always some at Office Christmas parties…Botanically it is an interesting plant as it is a hemiparasite which means that although it does grow on its own it also does attach itself to other trees and sucks all the nutrients from the tree…

mistletoe-berries-16393_640

There are many tales and traditions surrounding mistletoe and although it is poisonous to us it is a source of food to animals and birds…Butterflies lay their eggs on it and bees collect the pollen so an important source for wildlife…

It is also a very striking looking plant with the dark green leaves and white berries don’t you think and looks lovely in Christmas Wreaths.

The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe dates back to Norse mythology it was also thought to have magical powers and ward off evil spirits…

I hope you have enjoyed the first of My Christmas Treats and Traditions…Thank you for reading and I invite your comments…I love your comments and also always reply xxx

Stop Press…

Who forgot in her hurry to press publish.?…Doh!

An alternative way to eat Christmas Cake and I love it… Definitely the best cheese sandwich for a long time…xxxx

https://scvincent.com/2018/10/22/the-best-cheese-sandwich/

 

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!

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 once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂 xx

 

 

 

Christmas Cake…I love Christmas Cake it is very rich but I love the marzipan and the cake…Sue has put another slant on that and has made a cheese sandwich…I can see why this lovely rich cake goes with cheese but to use the cake as bread and fill it with a lovely cheddar it sounds absolutely awesome.

via The best cheese sandwich?

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!

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 once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂 xx