Category Archives: Christmas posts from the archives

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Archives – The 13 Trolls of Christmas! by Carol Taylor

Sally has shared one of my favourite Christmas posts…The 13 trolls who were really naughty boys, their mother, however, was even scarier, a lovely Christmas memory of mine and one of my favourite Christmas Carol’s which has many versions some of which are awesome … so much so I find it hard to narrow it down to an absolute favourite …you will find out in Saturday Snippets which ones are my favourite versions…Thank you once again, Sally you are an absolute star for sharing this post…Hugs xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Over the last seven years there have been some amazing guests in the run up to Christmas who have shared stories about their own memories of this time of year or their festive fiction. In the next four weeks I will be repeating some of those posts, updated with the authors recent books and reviews.

If you are a regular to the blog you will have enjoyed the contributions byCarol Taylor. Carol lives in Thailand where she ran a successful catering business and now continues to pass on her knowledge via her blog. She has written the amazing Food and Cookery Column for the last three years. Our repertoire of recipes and knowledge about culinary terms has expanded along with our waistlines. If you click on Carol’s name it will take you to her blog where you will find more food, conservation, whimsy and music.  Excited that Carol will…

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A New Year is like a blank book! The pen is in your hands! Happy New Year.

Another of my archived posts from 3 years ago…I am having fun but did I ramble on some of them…Haha knew I could talk but… This post is one of my favourites as it is mainly about happy things and The Gibbon Rehab Centre does an awesome job of saving and releasing the Gibbons back into the wild where possible.

Retired? No one told me!

Hello and a ” Happy New Year ” everyone.

Good News!

On  Friday 26th December Mee & Payu became parents…….both Gibbons are under the care of the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre here in Phuket and Mee gave birth to twins, one boy and one girl, an exceptionally rare occurrence in gibbons.

There are no known documented cases of white-handed gibbons successfully raising twins, either in the wild or in captivity; they’re simply not built to handle more than one baby. It, therefore, came as no surprise when very quickly  Mee struggled to manage the twins, who were clinging more to each other than they were to their mother. Despite her best efforts to carry them around, the smaller of the two babies eventually fell from high in the trees, fortunately landing on the soft, springy top of the acclimatization cage underneath. Mee quickly came down and picked him up again but neither…

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Smorgasbord Christmas posts from Your Archive – Pomelo Salad by Carol Taylor

One of my favourite Thai salads from my archives showcased by Sally and although a salad it could be a welcome addition to a Christmas buffet of rich foods as Sally has said…

Yesterday has gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today, Let us begin…Mother Teresa.

By now we will have all welcomed in  2015 either with a fanfare or a whisper.



Mine came in with a clatter and a bang…..the bay was alight with fireworks…but the highlight for me was all the lanterns floating up, up and away it was a sight to behold.

Spent with family, old friends and new we all came together as one and had a ball.

Having seen in many New Years I am asking myself will this one top them all?

I’m thinking of family and friends who are no longer with us …and I miss them..but also have wonderful memories…I am thinking of family and friends who are far away…and I miss them…I am thinking of the new opportunities and advances made in my writing and I am excited…..I am thinking of my friends who are unwell and wish I could wave a magic wand…..I am thinking…I am excited…I am sad…nostalgic….a mixture of emotions.

What will this new year bring?…..well ” Tomorrow has not yet come ” in the words of Mother Teresa.

” We only have today” …Let us begin!

Our book of short stories will be hot of the press very soon..the cover has been agreed on….so as it will be my first foray into the world of writing( that has been printed) I am super excited.

New Recipes: Experimenting with food and drink is my love….my thoughts are now turning to Sour Dough…recipe will follow when my trial has finished..hopefully, it will be successful.

Bacon…hot and sizzling…….I am going to try dry salting so looking for a way to get celery juice..fresh Thai Celery is very thin and you would need shed loads to produce any juice and what I call proper celery( well it’s cultivated) is expensive here equivalent to nearly 4 English pounds for a stalk or celery head……vegetables-2085017_1920

1think I am going to trawl the juice bars and see if I can just get celery juice that way …let them do the hard work…ha ha…the celery juice is mixed with the salt mixture and used a curing agent so no nasties…watch this space for an update!

There will be other foodie projects too so keep reading……….

Now for some sad news:

Update on the gibbon babies.

As much as I don’t want to it is with a sad heart that I have to tell you one of the tiny gibbon twins passed away.

Here the  update from the GRP:

It is not a happy start to the New Year here at the GRP. Sadly, despite all the promising signs, we have lost the smaller male twin.

Mee was keen to be a mother and from the beginning, she was doing her very best to come to grips with how to carry and care for her newborn twins. After the overwhelming first day that leads to the twins spending time in intensive care with GRP staff, the infants were returned one at a time to the mother last weekend.

In both cases, Mee instantly came to pick the babies up. But we knew it was never going to be easy for this first-time mother to care for twins and so GRP staff was offering Mee all sorts of extra food to boost her energy intake and ensure she remained as strong as possible. But there were still difficulties that Mee had to learn to overcome by herself; Particularly when moving around, Mee was struggling to carry both babies comfortably and likewise when she had one of the babies in the right position to nurse the other one would slip down her side and cry, making Mee feel confused and stressed.

GRP staff was doing their best to alleviate the pressure on her by again, during the week, taking one of the babies away to bottle-feed overnight. The next morning, Mee was again keen to be reunited with her baby, immediately coming to collect him.

It is possible that the confusion and stress Mee felt about this whole new situation slowed her milk-flow – or that she never had enough milk for two infants in the first place – making both babies less settled and failing to gain weight. On their last night as a trio, after the most promising day since the twins’ birth, Mee settled for the night with her babies in the right positions on her belly and satisfied staff went to sleep in their hammocks nearby…….but during the cold, early hours of the morning the smaller male infant lost his grip, slipped and fell, hitting his head against a beam inside the enclosure on the way down.

During this tragic morning, it was also decided to take the female infant back into care, since she was showing signs of weakness too. We can report that she has lost some weight whilst with her mum, but that she remains strong and has a healthy appetite. We are hopeful of again being able to reunite mother and daughter in the near future.

baby gibbons……..Awwwww so cute.

  Thank you for reading my blog and a Happy, Healthy, New Year to all my readers and their families.

Until next time…… See you………..x

There is nothing better than a friend, except a friend with chocolate.

Well unless it’s a bottle of wine……I went shopping to get the ingredients for the Irish Cream and I got them all…still in shock as when I have a recipe it’s very rare to get everything I want under one roof or indeed get it all……. or you just drive from one end of the island to t’other in the hope somewhere will have it …….But that’s the downside of living on a tropical island…but lots of positives like lovely fresh fruit, fish, and vegetables of all different varieties……So many different types of rice not all bad… into the kitchen to mix the Irish Cream.…..Mmmmm, can’t wait to try it….. Oh and can’t get Peppa Pig….. and no snow!

Funny how one mans treasure is another man’s trash..…and how history and artifacts have a  way of making sure that we know of their existence, where would we be if there were no yesterdays just the present….. what a sad, flat perspective we would have of the world…


This seemingly innocuous crinkly band of yellow metal is 4,000 years old…….BUT

The necklace, called a lunala, was worn by the early kings of Ireland. It is thought to date from between 2,300 and 1,800 BC.

It was first discovered in March 1945 in Coggalbeg, County Roscommon by farmer Hubert Lannon. He found it in a bog while he was cutting turf and kept it in his home.

Two years later he passed the necklace on to a local chemist Patrick Sheehan, who kept the priceless piece of history in his shops’ safe. There it remained until February 2009, when two thieves grabbed the safe during a burglary. Working with the police, curators from the National Museum’s Irish Antiquities Division found out that the jewelry along with other documents and papers from the Sheehan’s safe had been left in a dumpster in Dublin.

They literally had hours to locate the dumpster before the trash would be collected. The detectives who waded through the dumpster of trash to find the delicate jewelry, which weighs just 78 grams. Must have thought it was like looking for a needle in a haystack ……but the luck of the Irish was on their side…Eureka!

That intrepid band of policemen found it!

In all three pieces, the necklace and two discs, which are thought to be one of the most important archaeological discoveries for many years….. Is it Luck? Fate?  or a set of conjoined freaks of good luck that made it possible?

It seems some things are destined to stay around to remind us of our glorious past…what do you think people will think when our artifacts are found in 4,000 years time?

6 Days to go …am I ready…nearly..… few last-minute bits to buy…..and make…Think I will make a trial run of mince pies today might have to just mix a bit more  Brandy with mincemeat although could use some fresh orange juice mmmmm…nah Brandy…haha….I have to keep it in the fridge here which make it a little harder …..note to self …buy extra fridge after Xmas…As I am doing so much cooking now…pickles etc and have to keep in fridge while fermenting etc as too hot and humid to keep in the cupboard. ( like in Uk )

This is one of my very first attempts at writing.

Penned on the recent Writers Retreat I attended…we were given either an object, a piece of music to listen to, go for a 10-minute walk, taken to a place or shown various pictures and then had 15 minutes to write. As I said before I was amazed at how many different thoughts came flowing out of the 12 of us…….We then chose to read it out or not and would get positive critique. This one I didn’t read out…….But …well it and let me know…..

It shows how just scrolling through posts on FB and something like just a picture just catches you…

Willow the Wisp…by Carol Taylor.

Sitting,  flicking through FB my way of keeping in touch with family and friends from afar. I clicked like, I commented.  Suddenly like a blast from the past, a face appeared: my heart skipped a beat and a tear, unbidden trickled down my face. The outlines were blurred but still …. I felt that familiar stirring from within and I started to shake from the tips of my fingers to my toes.

My thoughts turned to him. The only person who had the power to make my bones turn to jelly.

I suppose the unexpected encounter…just a picture … my guard had dropped or just perhaps my need for someone. If I allowed my thoughts and myself to turn to him then I had to attempt to find some modicum of com­mon ground in the relationship aside from raw, physical sex.

Was that possible?

He was like Willow the Wisp invading my very being, catching me unawares.

My first love and my last. “A bit dramatic” I hear myself saying.

The End!


These are so cute:

….So love these…… if you like these and want to give them a go. It is a basic gingerbread recipe. You can find the recipe, instructions and template on my Pinterest under Christmas Recipes. The template is for home use only which is why I haven’t copied it to my blog but thought they were so pretty  I had to share.

Despite the quaint tradition of building festive gingerbread houses, gingerbread was once pretty serious business…….

Spices……. particularly ginger and cinnamon, have preservative properties, and it is thought that gingerbread was first professionally baked in Europe around the 11th century when exotic spices were brought back from the Middle East…….. Many credit one particular Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, with bringing gingerbread to France, where highly skilled gingerbread bakers were chosen to form professional gingerbread baker guilds that were highly regarded in the bakery profession.

In certain areas of Europe, only invited members of the gingerbread baker’s guild were permitted to bake and sell gingerbread commercially, with the restrictions only lifted by the Guild at Christmas and Easter – when any old cook or baker could give it a try.

Now, of course, cooks all over the world bake gingerbread at Christmas, some more ambitious than others………. The largest gingerbread house ever created was made by a group of bakers in Texas, the US – they built a 2,520-square-foot gingerbread house to raise funds for a local hospital, containing over 7,200 eggs, 3,000kg of flour, and an estimated 35.8 million calories…Wow some baking what a marathon.

This gingerbread house recipe won’t bake you a mansion but will show you how to create some dinky, pretty gingerbread houses….. So have fun and get making those houses.

Just sampled my first batch. of I….no not all of it…ha ha..and it’s pretty much the real deal……just a slight adjustment as it’s a little too sweet for me and then should be perfick…..yummy and a Merry Christmas…but still no snow……


Did you know?

You can cut soft cheese and bread with dental floss……… well I didn’t but it’s brought back memories of when I was a child and shopping with my mum for cheese …a wire was used …so same difference isn’t it? ….. wow so simple ……


Thank you for reading my blog…Wishing all my readers and their families a very Merry Christmas……..until  next time