Category Archives: Christmas Drinks

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome once again to Whimsical Wednesdays where I unashamedly indulge myself…I do hope you enjoy my meanderings today….Come with me and let’s begin…These posts are never planned… if I come across anything which I love or which tugs at my heartstrings then I save it for Whimsical Wednesdays… the rest just happens …It is wherever my thoughts take me at that time…Mainly they are random and unplanned…I mean they are the best thoughts…Enjoy! xxx

December 5th, 1791…Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart sadly died but what a legacy he left…His music has lived on…

I could sit and listen to this for hours…Both soothing and invigorating…

Did you know? There are two islands named Christmas Island one in the Pacific Ocean and the other in the Indian Ocean.

Also, the Rubiks Cube was the highest-selling Christmas toy in 1980 when it sold for $1.99 and today it retails for $10…

John Rieber never ceases to amaze or shock me sometimes with the weird and wacky finds he writes about…This is no different…Would you eat it?

raw-turkey-cake

I would… Doesn’t it look realistic though?

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 14

by S C Richmond

She walked into the poorest part of town, feeling completely overdressed in her new outfit, it was late afternoon and she thought that if 23, Coal Street was Georges address that they could go out for a drink. She hoped he could tell her more about her family, he obviously knew something of her history.

She walked along Coal Street and watched the numbers 17, 19, 21, then there it was number 23, her heart quickened, she hoped he wouldn’t be upset to see her here. She looked around her, the street was eerily quiet, she turned and tapped hesitantly on the door.

She thought she heard some movement and then nothing, no one came to the door and now there was only silence. She hadn’t walked all of this way to just turn and go home again, she looked into the window, it was a little grimy so she rubbed her hand against the pane and peered in. It was a dark small room with an old painting on the wall opposite but there was no sign of anyone at home.

“Oy!” Came a voice from behind her. “What do you think you’re doing? There’s nothing worth pinching there.” She turned and saw the voice had come from a burly man with a full bushy beard and a shirt open to his waist.

“I’m sorry, I was looking for George.”

“Well he’s in, I saw him not more than an hour ago. Maybe you should knock again rather than peering through people’s windows.” He tutted and walked away.

She did as he suggested and knocked again, still nothing. She started to worry, what if he was ill and couldn’t get to the door or something had happened to him, she had to get into the house.

She followed the path that led to the back of the house, it went under a covered area by the side of a house and at the end of it was a tall gate that she knew would lead to the garden and outhouses. She pushed the gate and it swung open she turned right and counted three houses down, that was the back of George’s house, she hoped no one noticed her as she walked towards it.

She stood looking at the house from the back, then approached the window to take a look inside, this time she checked that no one was watching her, they weren’t. She put her eye to the glass and immediately ducked back down below the window level. It couldn’t be right, could it? Carl was in the kitchen with George, he had been stood over the old man. What was Carl doing here?

Their voices were too low, she couldn’t hear anything they were saying, she moved towards the door and quietly tried the handle, it was open. She slipped inside silently and found herself in a little hallway that obviously led into the kitchen, there was a larder to her left and the kitchen to her right. She didn’t move, from here she could catch snippets of the conversation and she heard her name mentioned more than once and the name of someone called William, she kept listening.

“You shouldn’t have said anything George, you always have to cause trouble don’t you,”

“She has a right to know, what business is it of yours anyway?”

“William has told me to get that necklace, she has no idea what it is nor it’s value.”

“Leave her alone Carl, I won’t help you, she’s a nice girl. Just leave her alone.”

She heard a thump, and then a door banging. Someone had left the room. She didn’t know what to do next.

TBC.

Did you know? Neither did I…Each year on December 4th, National Dice Day recognizes and ancient gaming tool. Many games incorporate dice as a way to add random challenges or obstacles to the objectives.

The origin of dice is uncertain. However, it is known that they have been around for thousands of years.  At the Burnt City, an archaeological site in south-eastern Iran, the oldest known dice were excavated as part of a 5000-year-old backgammon set.

So come on hands up was it two dice hanging in the car or a nodding dog in the back window…???

For those of you who love a  Cookie,  it is also National Cookie Day…Please feel free to share your Christmas Cookie recipes…x

The English word “cookie” is derived from the Dutch word koekie meaning “little cake.”

My favourite…A bit too hard to choose really …as long as they don’t contain chocolate I love them…Don’t get me wrong I love chocolate just not in cookies…

These biscuits are really easy to make and very moreish..

Coconut Biscuits

I don’t make biscuits very often..almost never but once a packet of food is opened here because of the humidity it doesn’t last long it either goes off or the ants take residence. I was guided by the desiccated coconut and the golden syrup which was a gift from afar… aka visitors and the rolled oats which I mistakenly bought instead of the porridge oats.

These cookies are my basic recipe but of course, you can add anything sultanas, chocolate whatever takes your fancy…

Ingredients:

  • 150 gm rolled oats
  • 100 gm plain flour
  • 100 gm light brown sugar( I used raw sugar)
  • 100 gm desiccated coconut
  • 100 gm butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp of boiling water.

Let’s Cook!

Set oven to heat at 175 C, gas mark 4.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the sugar, flour, coconut and oats mix to combine well.

In a small pan add the butter and golden syrup and melt the butter. meanwhile, bring the kettle to the boil and add two tbsp of boiling water to the bicarbonate of soda in a small cup. Add this to the melted butter/syrup mix. It will foam a little.

Make a well in the centre of your dry mix and pour in the melted butter/syrup mix. Stir to thoroughly combine and it will form a slightly sticky dough.

Roll out balls and put on a baking tray leaving a space as they will spread on cooking ( the mix made 15 balls) Slightly flatten with your hand.

Put in the preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

THE BISCUITS WILL BE SOFT TO THE TOUCH BUT WILL HARDEN ON COOLING.

Don’t make the mistake I made when I first made them and thought they weren’t cooked and gave them another 10 minutes.

They were a tad harder than required when they cooled down…haha…I could build a wall with them…Opppps

Time for a tune…

They are definitely getting more Christmassy…Yeah!

1973 MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY SLADE
1974 LONELY THIS CHRISTMAS MUD
1975 BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY QUEEN
1976 WHEN A CHILD IS BORN (SOLEADO) JOHNNY MATHIS
1977 MULL OF KINTYRE/GIRLS’ SCHOOL WINGS
1978 MARY’S BOY CHILD – OH MY LORD BONEY M
1979 ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (PART 2) PINK FLOYD

Oh dear…Time to close my eyes and just pick one…I love all of these…Just check out the haircut…A Mullett is what we called it…

Which brings me nicely (in the absence) of Christmas Jumpers…Yep…I am not letting it go I still would like to see your Christmas Jumpers or hats in the meantime…

Haircuts..fads and fashions over the years…Here is me way back in 1980…

smart

 

Sporting the Lady Di hairstyle…very pink for some reason…

Poems I probably wouldn’t be any good at writing one…I might receive the crown for the worst poem …haha…But since I have been blogging I have read a few poems and discovered that I quite like some poems…This particular one written and spoken by Ellen Best is very pertinent for this time of year …The time of year coming brings much joy and hope to many people but it also brings sadness… and sorrow to many as well…

It is certainly the season of very many mixed emotions and I think we need to take more care if our emotions are of the joyous kind..and there is naught wrong with that…

We need to be mindful of those for whom the Chrismas season is tinged with sadness and despair if we can help with a smile, a touch of the shoulder or a hug… a gift of mince pies, a hot dinner, a sleeping bag we should…Chrismas, after all, is a time for Loving and giving…x

I give you...Charlie A poem At Christmas by Ellen Best…

That’s all from me today on Whimsical Wednesday… I hope you have enjoyed reading this post…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.

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 have a creative week ahead xx

 

 

 

 

 

Mistletoe and Wine…Christmas Pickles…

In the run-up to Christmas, you will find everything here pickle recipes…I pickle most things,  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

Firstly I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving…

happy-thanksgiving-4567939_640

Have fun, enjoy and please share your images we would all love to see them…xx

Before I share the pickle recipes just a little bit about Christmas lights which I love and safety…

Christmas lights...I love them although compared to some my lights are probably pretty meagre, Although the honour for the first Christmas tree goes to Germany the light explosion can be credited to the Americans…

President Benjamin Harrison erected the first Christmas tree in the White House in 1889 decked with candles, ornaments and toys to the delight of his grandchildren but it wasn’t until 5 years later  in 1894 that the then President Cleveland and the fact that the White House now had electricity that the first electric lights were on the Presidential tree.

While electric tree lights are safer than candles there are still many accidents and fires caused by faulty tree lights…I always turn mine off at night and if I am out it is better to be safety aware than lose lives and your home …There are many cheap lights on offer now but safety comes first so please don’t be tempted.

China is probably one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of Christmas lights and also in the recycling..It has been big business for the Chinese town of Shijiao starting some 20years ago the recycled light were turned in to slipper soles and other goods…However, it was not the cleanest way to recycle so due to the bans on imports from other countries and the pressure to clean up due to the environment I am not sure what this year will bring for the town of Shijiao…

If you have lights to recycle this link has some suggestions…Please don’t just throw them in the bin some contain mercury…

I still love lights though …If you have images of your Christmas lights or jumpers(sweaters) you would love share please message me…email carolcookstwo@gmail.com

To get you in mood one of my favourite Christmas songs for a bit of Christmas cheer…

 

Christmas Pickles…

I pickle anything… we love pickles and since living here have found different ideas for pickling…

Ingredients…

  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbsp Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

Method2 days before mixing 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in a cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Home made pickled onions

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour vinegar over the onions making sure they are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop-bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

Today I have pickled Pineapple with Jalapenos for you…We like them a lot something a little different…

Pickled Pineapple

Pickled Pineapple.

Ingredients:

  • 300 gm of fresh pineapple cut into smallish chunks
  • A handful of shallots finely sliced
  • 1 pickled jalapeno sliced
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of white vinegar
  • The juice of 2 fresh limes
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • A handful of chopped coriander

Pickled Pineapple Ingredients

3 sterilised jars with lids.

Let’s Cook!

Heat the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, limes and Jalapenos together and bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat add the shallots and leave the mixture to cool down.

 

Spoon the pineapple and coriander into the prepared jars and cover with the vinegar mixture. Add the lids and leave to cool down before putting in the refrigerator.

Pickled Pineapple.

Leave for 1-2 days before eating.

Enjoy!

N.B Some recipes say use pickled jalapenos and some say to use fresh Jalapenos… I used some I had already pickled this time …I will try fresh ones next time and compare the taste.

If you use pineapple in juice the cut down on the sugar you use.

Next something we love pickled tomatoes…

Pickled red and yellow cherry tomatoes…

Ingredients:

  • 30 cherry tomatoes I mixed different colours.
  • 1-2 green Thai chillies finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar.

 

red-yellow-thai style-pickled-tomatoes

Red and yellow pickled tomatoes

Let’s get pickled!

Mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Take a cocktail stick and prick the tomatoes a few times this allows the brine to infuse nicely.

Put the tomatoes in a sterilised jar or a Tupperware container and cover with the marinade mix.

Put in the refrigerator …these can be eaten after one day and within 4 days. The juice can then be used as a marinade for fish or added to salads.

I hope you have enjoyed these 3 pickle recipes if you try then please let me know …I like some of these as they don’t have to be left too long and can be eaten almost immediately unlike some pickles which need time to mature..xx

Don’t forget please let me have your Christmas images, jumpers, food, Christmas parties anything Christmas…Let’s get into the Christmas zone…x

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…Please 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… week ending 24th 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…I have watched a few live clashes between the leaders of the parties and to say I am not impressed by much is an understatement…Here all is well and sunny …We had some aftershocks from the earthquake in neighboring Laos the other day…my bed shook somewhat and made me jump out rather quickly but that’s all nothing major…

Let’s see what I had for you this week….Enjoy!

Monday…Recycling and climate change…

circular recycling the world and a green leafAll good news though and there is a lot of that… it is not all doom and gloom…but we have to have hope and there is a lot to make us hopeful for but please remember there is a lot we can do to bring hope to many more around the world who maybe have no hope and just maybe we can help give them hope.

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/18/recycling-and-climate-change-the-good-no-the-great-news/

Tuesday…Mistletoe and Wine…

 

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

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/19/mistletoe-and-wine-christmas-cheer/

Wednesday…Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food Column with Carol Taylor – #Thanksgiving/#Christmas Traditional Menu…

This week Sally very kindly republished my Christmas Menu which is also ideal for Thanksgiving…Lots of choices for all the courses and no I don’t make them all for our Christmas Meal may be a choice of two starters and desserts but just one main course…I hope you find something which tickles your tastebuds…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-thanksgiving-christmas-traditional-menu/

Wednesday…Whimsical Wednesdays with Moi…Carol Taylor…

The Christmas adverts have started I think the adverts are sometimes better than the TV programs… every year they seem to get better and better…I use u tube a lot and based on U tube views….Mogs Christmas is tops…I wonder if any of this year’s ads will knock it off its top spot…? That little dragon is cute… I just loved him…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/20/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-19/

Wednesday…Sally very kindly added my post to her daily blogger where she promotes bloggers from around the world…Today I was with one of my favourite bloggers who has cooked a wonderful blueberry pie and Debbie the dog lady with a wonderful heartwarming tale…I was in excellent company and of course my teammate Sally…xx

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-20th-november-2019-christmas-carol-taylor-dogsitter-debbie-the-doglady-odessa1941-blueberrypie-by-dolly-aizenman/

Thursday…Christmas and more recipes and trivia…

I love Christmas and all the glitz, kitsch and trivia…BUT…I also remember the little things, the traditions and Christmas here is not so frantic…Thais do not celebrate Christmas…I am the only one where I live who has a tree and lights but my Thai neighbours always bring me a little gift and honour our Chrismas as we honour their festivals…I was very touched when they did that on our first Christmas here…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/21/christmas-tis-the-season/

Friday…The Culinary Alphabet…The letter V…

You will find me once a month over at Esme’s where I work hard to find unusual foods and cooking methods on my trawl through the culinary alphabet…This month I started with food which could be a dessert or a savoury meal…Which is Vacherin which is a beautiful French meringue dessert or it is a cheese to read more please click the link below…

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

Friday…Christmas …in my house…

Where I took you down to the farm and told you about our black chicken one of which will be part of our Christmas dinner …I also discussed whether or not stuffing is what you call it or dressing…an interesting debate and lastly I gave you some recipes for starters for either your Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner which I hope you will enjoy…x

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/22/christmasin-my-housetraditions-treats-and-a-touch-of-trivia/

Lastly, I reblogged a post from Sally…which disturbed me greatly…It is about the debate on whether or not to vaccinate your child and the fallout from those decisions…New statistics out show that as many as 6 children per hour are hospitalised in the UK with pneumonia…That is appalling and scary and the result of not having vaccinated your child…#recommended read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/18/smorgasbord-health-column-pneumonia-pneumonia-appalling-statistics-six-children-per-hour-hospitalised-in-the-uk/

I read Jane’s blog this morning and it resonated with me so I would like to share it with you…It puts Christmas into perspective ...It is only a short read but very pertinent please if Christmas makes you frantic …Pop over and have a read and remember there are always unicorns…x

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

That’s all for now ..Enjoy your weekend 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 all have a great weekend 🙂 xx

Christmas…’Tis the Season…

The magic of Christmas…Do you feel it starting? Presents & Carols & Lights…Oh My!

Only 33 sleeps…Christmas always seems so far away and …

explosion-147931_640

 

It gets real …

There are many Christmas traditions practiced 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 would be very welcome to showcase them here  I know my friends across the pond and my relatives celebrate Thanksgiving on the 28th November with  turkey and lots of other goodies … So please share your recipes and decorations and I will link back to your post… My email is carolcookstwo@gmail.com

For starters as nobody has given me any links or pictures to their gingerbread houses…I will kick off with the talented Robbies from last year…If you don’t know Robbie she makes the most delicious cakes and has a few books on how to…Her decorations are just awesome so pop over and check them out you will not be disappointed…

Isn’t that pretty….?

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/baking-a-gingerbread-house-or-six/

Did you know?

“Silent Night” is the most recorded Christmas song in history, with over 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978?

Silent Night is also one of my favourite Christmas Carol’s. Although I love Michael Buble’s version I just love to listen to the Kings College Choir …I also love the German version …Stille Nacht just like Darlene which I will play next week…It is such a beautiful Christmas Carol it has always been a favourite of mine…

The original version Stille Nacht was written 200 years ago, in 1818 by Pastor Joseph Mohr in the small Austrian village of Oberndorf, the music composed by his friend Franz Gruber. This popular song just over 200 years old this Christmas!!

Did you know?

US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, traveling at 650 miles a second.

Silent Night...A cocktail…

 

So what was Silent Night’s original message in 1818?

It seems most Chrismas music at that time was all about the power of the church and the king…Silent Night conveyed the opposite message one of hope for ordinary people…

A popular Carol. It was first translated into English by hymnodist  Emily Elliott in 1858, and again by John Freeman Young in 1859.

Since that first performance, the lyrics have been translated into over 100 languages, and merrily sung by carolers all over the world.

Did you know?

Christmas Jumpers…According to Matalan, 82% of people surveyed own a Christmas jumper, with 25-34-year-olds the most likely to buy one. Over 75% of people buy their festive jumper to wear for a work event, whilst over half wear one on Christmas Day.

In the absence of any humans wearing jumpers, this is Franck my son’s dog…A beautiful French bulldog who is such a character and even when he is having fun…he has that face on …It never changes and always makes me smile because I know he is happy inside it is just the face he presents to the world and always cracks me up…He is the most photographed dog I know as he has so many colorful outfits…A bigger wardrobe than me…haha

A recipe…

Many parts of the Christmas tree can actually be eaten, with the needles being a good source of Vitamin C. Pine nuts most of us have heard of them or used them in cookery or eaten as a snack.

The needles can be used to make a tea or syrup which can be used as a glaze for game meats…or the syrup can be used in a gin martini…

Pine pollen can also be gathered and used… many varieties of the pine produce quite bitter pollen but the pollen of the grey pine is apparently quite delicious.

Pine Pollen pasta…

Do you use pine pollen or the pine needles?

Christmas time always promotes Peace on earth...Listen to this TED talk

A heartwarming TED talk…

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

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 month’s post…The letter U…

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 all have a great weekend 🙂 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

 

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome to my world and whimsical Wednesdays…

Who doesn’t love the window seat on a plane?... I love flying and love just gazing at the clouds there are so many wonderful cloud formations and I always get the urge and wonder what it would be like to walk among the clouds…Just a fantasy which plays out in my head …

Windowless planes would make that fantasy a reality…Designers are saying that within the next 10-15 years that could actually happen…Reading the comments the majority of people expressed a horror…Is my brain wired wrong? I think that is such an exciting concept…How cool is that?

Do you love this concept or does it fill you with horror ???

I am sure everyone’s thoughts now are on what they are having for Christmas dinner…My mum always cooked either a Goose, turkey or a capon…Years ago the traditional Christmas lunch was a swan…Now in the UK, it is only the Queen who is allowed to eat the swan however as she officially owns all the mute swans I am sure she doesn’t…

Insect-eating is becoming more popular among the masses and it is certainly the norm here…Sold everywhere..crispy and salty they are big business…

Traditionally for South Africans, they were a Christmas snack…The caterpillar from the emperor moth was or is deep-fried and served as a snack.

Would you eat me?

I’ll leave the question with you…

 

Time for a story…

The Charade

 Chapter 11

 by SC Richmond

 71414cb886ccacb9a175dafd2b49776c--vintage-evening-gowns-vintage-gowns

She was so shocked at this man’s words she staggered slightly and the old man pulled a chair from behind the counter for her to sit on. He watched her with concern. “Sit, sit.”

   “But Sir how could you know my Mother, even I don’t remember her well?” She accepted a cup of some warm liquid from him.

   “I didn’t know her well but still I thought she was a very special lady, maybe I like to think I knew her better than I really did, I don’t suppose she would remember me anyway. I fell in love a little when I first saw her, you are very much like her. Tell me what brings you into this kind of town?”

   She could barely grasp what he was saying to her. Why wouldn’t she live around here? “I’m sorry Sir.”

   “No please call me George, I’m no Sir.” He chuckled.

   “George, please tell me about her.”

   “There’s not much to tell, Elizabeth was a beautiful lady, I didn’t know she had a daughter though, I only thought she had the two boys, but you are so much like her and wearing that necklace then she must have had a girl too. You are so welcome in my shop.”

   “Thank you but can you tell me more about her, please.” She held her breath he must know her he had called her Elizabeth.

   “I don’t know anything else girl.” George was beginning to look uncomfortable, she followed his eye-line to the doorway but there was no one there. “I have to go now and start to close the shop, pop by and see me again won’t you?” With that, he started to usher her towards the door.

   She stood outside the shop only then realising that she was still wearing the beautiful dress and her old clothes were still inside the shop, she turned to go back inside but the door had already been closed to her. She would have to return tomorrow and collect her old clothes from George, she did love the new dress. She turned towards her room and as if from nowhere Carl appeared, looking at her in a totally different way than he had before. Since she had first met him at the party, he now seemed to be everywhere she turned, was he following her.

T.B.C

Did you know?

Today Nov 13th, 1977 saw the last episode of Dad’s Army…it had run for 9 years and such was its popularity it is still being rerun…Keeping it seasonal let’s have a look at Christmas dinner the Dads Army way on the menu…Turkey…

 

I have always loved music and still do...1952 the year after my birth on 14th November the first UK singles chart was published by New Musical Express(NME)

Who was the top of the charts that week? It was that legendary crooner Al Martino with the lovely ballad Here in my heart…

For the first 7 years of the charts, it was…

1952 HERE IN MY HEART AL MARTINO
1953 ANSWER ME FRANKIE LAINE
1954 LET’S HAVE ANOTHER PARTY WINIFRED ATWELL
1955 CHRISTMAS ALPHABET DICKIE VALENTINE
1956 JUST WALKIN’ IN THE RAIN JOHNNIE RAY
1957 MARY’S BOY CHILD HARRY BELAFONTE
1958 IT’S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE CONWAY TWITTY

Each week until Christmas I will pick my favourite. from the chart I publish..As I like a party and the piano Winifred Atwell is my choice she was top of the charts for 5 weeks…

She could certainly tickle those ivories…she played a boogie-woogie style of ragtime and was hugely popular both in Britain and Australia in the ’50s …I have fond memories of my dad singing Boomps a Daisy to me as he bumped me up and down on his knees…

 

Sadly her planned breakthrough performance as a guest on the Ed Sullivan Show in the U.S.A in 1956 didn’t go ahead or was even recorded due to racist opposition to having a black woman as a guest…To read her biography click here…

A glass of wine anyone? Winemaking is an age-old tradition that spans centuries…

wine-1543172_1920

 

Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that winemaking occurred as early as 6,000 BC…

Of course with the time of year approaching a nice glass of mulled wine is often on the menu…

The nicest mulled wine I have had was years ago when I used to travel to Germany each year for the Christmas Markets called  Christkindlmarkt …I still have my mug somewhere as you purchased a mug complete with your Glühwein, wine and sipped your wine as you strolled around the market…Perfect…

 

mulled-claret-550332_640

Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay

These markets are now replicated around the world…I loved the wooden cabin styled stalls I wonder if they are still the same…

My one abiding memory is of my dear friend Maureen ( Mo) who is now no longer sadly with us who when our boat pulled in to dock and she saw the snow… she announced she had only white stilettos to wear…Yes she was an Essex girl…haha

My flowers for her funeral were in the shape of that white stiletto…It will be 19 years on the 1st Dec where does the time go?… I miss you Mo xxx

Time for a recipe…

Glühwein – Mulled Wine Recipe

  • 1 bottle of dry red wine 
  • 1/2 cup of brandy or rum (optional)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 large orange, peeled then juiced
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 lime, peeled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup or sugar
  • 5-6 whole cloves
  • 1 nutmeg, about 10 gratings
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved
  • 2-star anise

Peel large sections of skin from the orange, lemon, and lime. Over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan, pour in agave syrup and water, then add the peels and juice of the orange.

Add the vanilla bean, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg gratings. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. The liquid will reduce, after around 30 minutes, add in about a half cup of wine. This allows the flavors to infuse and will create a syrup.

Once your syrup is ready then turn the heat down to low and then pour in the bottle of wine and brandy if used.

Bring back to a gentle simmer and heat for about 5 minutes or depending on how much alcohol you want to burn off you can simmer a bit longer. Ladle it into glasses and serve warm.

Enjoy!

Back in 1992 the fabulous Joanna Lumbley and friends made their debut on the idiot box…Ad Fab went on to become a comedy Phenomenom which run for 5 seasons and even had its own feature film.

Those ladies certainly were fabulous…Patsy, she was something else…haha…Caution some bad language…

I will leave you with this thought...

Today is World Kindness day…

The World Kindness Movement started World Kindness Day in 1998 and has spread to 28 countries.

Use #WorldKindnessDay to share on social media.

Kindness is generally paid forward… if you can remember someone doing a kindness for you…How did it make you feel and did you then pay kindness to someone else?

Like a smile kindness is infectious…xxx

That’s all from me today on Whimsical Wednesday… I hope you have enjoyed reading this post…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.

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 have a creative week ahead xx

 

Christmas Traditions, Treats and a little Trivia…

 

Welcome to this week’s additions of Christmas treats and traditions…Not long now and I have sprouts and parsnips bought over from the UK so I am a happy bunny…

How are your preparations going are your presents all wrapped? Shopping is done? Tree decorated? If so well done…

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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 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’.

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Did you know? Christmas was illegal in England between 1647 and 1660 as Puritan Oliver Cromwell deemed it to be immoral to hold a celebration on one of the churches holiest days.

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Did you know? “The Night of the Radishes” is one of the annual Christmas customs in Oaxaca, Mexico. On December 23rd, The Night of the Radishes (Noche de Los Rábanos in Spanish) is an annual event in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, dedicated to the carving of oversized radishes. The event has its origins in the colonial period when radishes were introduced by the Spanish. Oaxaca has a long wood carving tradition and farmers began carving radishes into figures as a way to attract customers’ attention at the Christmas market, which was held in the main square on December 23. In 1897, the city created the formal competition. As the city has grown, the city has had to dedicate land to the growing of the radishes as the event has become very popular attracting over 100 contestants and thousands of visitors. However, since the radishes wilt soon after cutting the works can only be displayed for a number of hours, which has led to very long lines for those wishing to see the works.

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Did you know? The Advent wreath began in Germany as a Lutheran tradition but eventually spread to other Christian denominations, including the Catholic and Episcopalian Churches. The evergreen wreath traditionally has four candles around the edge to mark the four weeks before Christmas and a white candle in the centre (to be lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day). It may also be adorned with berries or pinecones. The weekly lighting of each candle may be accompanied by prayer, Christmas carols, and/or snacks such as stollen or mulled wine of which I have some fond memories of sipping while I walked around the Christmas Market a lovely tradition.

Mulled Wine.

Ingredients:
  • 1 bottle/750 mL red wine (suggestions: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot)
  • 1 orange (peeled and sliced; keep peel to add zest to taste into cooking pot)
  • 1/4 cup brandy ish…lol
  • 8 to 10 cloves or 5-star anise
  • 1/3 cup honey (or sugar)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks.
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger

Gently warm the ingredients on low to medium heat (avoid boiling), for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that the honey or sugar has dissolved completely. When the wine is steaming and the ingredients have been well blended it is ready to serve.

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Christmas Jumper Corner:

Empty!

No one sent me any pictures…Boo Hoo…Sob…

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Turkey…In the Uk approx 76% of homes serve up a turkey in the US it is a staggering 46 million turkeys eaten on Thanksgiving and 22 million at Christmas but at least you can just put the turkey in the oven and enjoy your celebrations…Not so easy for some  The Puerto Rican national dish is the roast suckling pig known as lechón, and this almighty beast needs the more-or-less constant attention of at least two people as it slowly turns on an outdoor spit from as early as two in the morning.

To while away the long hours cranking the handle with a coconut shell full of coquito, a festive Puerto Rican spin on eggnog made with coconut milk, condensed milk and a hearty dash of rum is somewhat of a consolation…

Who remembers eggnog? Who still drinks eggnog…I haven’t had it for years… I remember my nana giving me a sneaky sip of hers sneaky because I think it may have had a little something added…lol

For the recipe courtesy of Sally @ Smorgasbord…
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Just in case you missed it my traditional Christmas Menu was published on Wednesday…
If you are like me  I always like to have at least one new dish on the Christmas Dinner table I hope you find at least one new dish here to try…Enjoy!

 

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

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