Category Archives: Christmas Pickles

Mistletoe and Wine…Time to pickle…Eggs and Star Fruit…

Goodmorning and although sunny it is a cool 14 degrees here this morning…Time to get out a shawl for my shoulders…Tuesday is the day where all you Pickle addicts can pickle and pucker…Don’t you love that initial intake of breath when the vinegar hits your taste buds…?? Makes you give a little involuntary shiver…

Love pickled eggs??

But want a change ?? Love the colour pink? Then add some beet juice…Fancy a bit of spice  ?? Then check out these recipes…

Jalapeno pickled eggs:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 a cup of Cider Vinegar.
  • 3/4 a cup of water.
  • 1/2 cup of sugar plus 1 tbsp sugar.
  • 6 cloves.
  • 2 Jalapenos cut in half lengthwise and deseeded.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 onion sliced.
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 9 Hard-boiled eggs, peeled.

Let’s get pickling!

Boil eggs for 10-15 mins until hard. Remove from heat and put into cold water.

In a medium pan, put vinegar, water( or beet juice) if using, onion, jalapenos, sugar, and spices. Bring to the boil and cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Pour vinegar over eggs making sure they are completely covered.

If using beet juice also put some beet in the jar with the eggs. You will then have pickled beets as well.

Make sure the lid is tight and refrigerate. The eggs will be ready to eat in a few days and will keep for up to a month if you haven’t already eaten them.

Curried Flavoured Pickled Eggs:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cider vinegar.
  • 3/4 a cup of water.
  • 1/4 of an onion.
  • 3/4 cup white sugar.
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds( yellow or brown)
  • I tbsp yellow curry paste.

Let’s Pickle!

As above bring all the ingredients to the boil until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool a little and then pour the vinegar mix over the eggs making sure they are completely covered.

Allow to pickle for a few days in the fridge they are then ready to eat… Left with lots of pickle juice ????

Don’t want to waste that pickle juice???    Then have a …

Pickleback

What is a pickleback? You are about to find out! Let’s pickle and pucker…

It’s a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice and some even follow that with a beer chaser…

A popular drink in bars around the world and apparently very good….Have you tried a pickleback????

I pickle everything well almost…

Here in Northern Thailand, the Star fruit is now in season and the trees are laden with the lovely fruit much still green at the moment but some are yellow and they are such a pretty fruit. I can smell them as I walk past the tree they have such a fragrant smell…

Star Fruit or Carambola as it is also known as is a lovely vibrant yellow and due to its distinctive ridges when it’s cut it resembles a star hence its name.

The entire fruit is edible it has a firm, crunchy flesh and is quite juicy. The taste is likened to that of a grape. There are two main types of star fruit the smaller fruit is sour(tart) and the larger fruit like I have in my garden is sweeter. But although sweet they very rarely have more than a 4% sugar content.

Here in Thailand they are cooked with shrimp or chicken or eaten raw dipped into the sugar/chilli mix which is commonly eaten with fruit here or just eaten with rock salt. It can be made into relishes, preserves and juice drinks, stewed with cloves or apples.

They are also used as a pretty garnish or in a salad with papaya and pineapple.

Star Fruit Relish:

  • 8 cups of star fruit, thinly sliced and any seeds removed.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves tied in a muslin bag and slightly crushed.
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg( optional) see note below.

Let’s Pickle!

Wash and thinly slice the star fruit removing any seeds. Cover with the cider vinegar and stand overnight.

Drain the vinegar add sugar, salt and clove bag. Cook gently until the relish starts to thicken then allow to stand overnight.

In the morning remove the spice bag and reheat the mix after adding the nutmeg if used and bring back to the boil.

If you plan to store the star fruit chutney then omit the nutmeg as it will turn the relish a brown colour although it does add another dimension to the taste.

Put into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Enjoy with some cold meats or on bread and butter.

N.B. Pickles make a lovely Christmas Present…With a pretty ribbon and a handwritten label, even the Queen of England was happy to receive a jar of homemade pickle.

I hope you have enjoyed these pick…le 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

In the meantime …These cute pooches will fill the space…Their mum is the lovely, Tori whose lovely children’s books would make awesome stocking fillers…

Lilie and Logan in red Christmasy bandannas

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

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

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

Christmas…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Christmas Treats and Traditions 23rd Nov

Welcome to week 4 of Traditions, Treats and of course some Trivia…

Only 32 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 22nd November with  turkey and lots of other goodies … So please share and I will link back to your post…

Last week I mentioned Gingerbread Houses and Robbie came up with not just one but six…Robbie is the Queen of cake decorations and also has some awesome Cook Books aided very ably I will say by her son, Michael… so without anymore twittering from me head over to Robbie’s and see what beautiful Gingerbread houses she has created…Thank you, Robbie x

robbies gingerbread house

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

I just love it when I get interaction with my posts it is so much more fun and personal isn’t it?

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Christmas Jumper Corner.

nicholas-201281_640

I really cannot believe out of all my readers no one has a Christmas Jumper that they want to share…So don’t be shy…

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Christmas Pudding is one of the mainstays of British Christmas traditions …it just would not be Christmas without the pudding! Now I know that and even here I have always made my Christmas pudding and there have been a few converts to this traditional Christmas fare…My Thai friends love it!

But forget I did until young Hugh from Hugh’s views and News...jogged my memory…Stir Up Sunday he said to me…and then it all came flooding back…Hugh’s blog is one I always pop over to if I have a query as he is the man with all the tips…Thank you, Hugh 🙂

After church and guess who was a choir girl?... Everyone congregated in the Church Hall and the ladies of the Women’s Institute made a huge batch of pudding mix and we all got to stir and make a wish then all the puddings they made were put in with the hampers they gave out for the old, poor and needy…So thank you, Hugh, for jogging this rusty old memory… I had forgotten.

Held on the last Sunday before the First Advent Sunday and that pudding mix had to be stirred from East to West in honour of the Three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus. I wonder if that tradition is still carried on by those wonderful ladies of the Women’s Institute?

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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 …

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Do you know?

Two of Santa’s reindeer are named after a weather phenomenon. Name the reindeer.

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Happy Cooking!

Thank you very much for reading this post and please you must have a Christmas Jumper picture and many thanks to Robbie and Hugh for their contributions 🙂 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.

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 Recipes…Prepare now..Freeze for later…

 

christmas-1695531_1920The time is just flying by now it’s 7th December already…

Have you finished shopping? Have you wrapped your presents yet?preparation done? Don’t know what to make? Well never fear Carol is here???

Today I am going to give you a few recipes and tips about what you can cook in advance to make life just that bit easier…

Sausage rolls and mince pies

Mince pies and Sausage Rolls

We have made our sweet mincemeat...haven’t we???

Pastry Recipe.

This recipe is my mums she makes the best pastry ever and I try really hard to match hers but she once told me that no two batches of pastry are ever alike and that the only person who realises that is moi….and I think she is right..mums usually are 🙂

I use half fat to flour so for example 8 oz  Flour and 4 oz fat.

Ice cold water added 1 tbsp at a time( the amount depends on flour used)

1 egg beaten for the glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust.But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or Crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use the pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from the fridge and fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub the fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten pastry and roll gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep cool.

Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my shortcrust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting  I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to breadcrumbs before adding water.

I also use the same pastry for my sausage rolls…

Now….if you make them now omit the cooking stage and freeze uncooked in a sealed container separate the layers with greaseproof paper and just take out however many you want as needed and cook…Simples!

For sausage rolls, I use the same pastry. I add finely chopped onions, garlic and a little sage to my sausage meat or I did in the UK….i can’t get it here so I make my own very finely chop my pork making sure I add a little of the fat and then add the seasoning as above.

Cranberry Sauce.

  • 3  cups or 12oz of cranberries.
  • The juice of 2 large Oranges.
  • A cup of sugar.
  • 1 stick of cinnamon.

Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Cranberry Sauce.JPG

Allow mixture to cool and put in an airtight container and refrigerate.

 Stuffing Mix:

Now stuffing mix is hard to get here and because it is imported also expensive. I have tried various stuffings in the past with limited success…we didn’t like them!

I found this recipe on a blog the other week and it sounded great…It had bacon in it…

Picture this…. I thought I had all the ingredients .. wrong!….no bacon and nearest shop was a way away so I put my thinking cap on and tweaked the recipe and it turned out brilliant…..Replaced the bacon with Minced Pork, The stuffing mix( which) I had not heard of became just breadcrumbs. Chestnuts I didn’t have but they were optional.

The celery became Thai celery which is much smaller more the size of coriander…

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm of Minced Pork
  • 6 oz  of breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz finely chopped chestnuts( optional)
  • 5 shallots finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Bunch of Thai celery chopped finely. Which when chopped did take on more of a celery smell.
  • Freshly made chicken stock.
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper.
  • Tbsp dried Sage
  • Fresh rosemary.
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme.

Heat pan with a glug of olive oil and 1oz butter. Add shallots and garlic cook 2/3 mins until soft but not coloured add mince and celery and chestnuts if using cook for a further 4/5 mins. Add breadcrumbs gradually moistening mix with spoonfuls of stock as required.

The mix should be fairly thick but soft so you are able to form balls.

stuffing-mix

Add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Allow to cool slightly and then form into balls.

If you want to freeze them then do it at this stage. Pack into a freezer box and all ready for Christmas day.

If not then cook in oven until lightly browned and crispy approx 20/30 mins on 180 degrees. I didn’t need to add any additional fat as the oil and butter already incorporated in the stuffing mix kept them moist and not too dry but if required add more oil.

I generally don’t like meat in stuffing mixes but the amount I added was small and gave a nice texture and flavour but wasn’t the overriding taste.

This is now going to be my Christmas stuffing.

Pigs in Blankets:

  • 8 thin slices smoked bacon
  • 16 chipolata sausages
  • I tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp clear honey.

Mix honey, thyme and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl, add sausages and make sure they are coated in the mix. Cut bacon down the middle long ways. Wrap bacon around sausages.

To freeze now put in a container and separate the layers with greaseproof then remove  from the freezer on Christmas morning and cook as below

Put sausages on a baking sheet well spaced apart.

Cook on 180 for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and bacon is crispy.

Bread Sauce.

Bread Sauce

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

Ingredients:

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

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

 

What to make in advance???

Yesterday I pickled some more onions and just hope I don’t have to pickle more before Christmas I made 4 jars so even the one who shall be nameless doesn’t eat a jar full a week.

pickled onions Dec 2017

  • 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 mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

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!

That’s all for today…..

Take care and have fun x