Category Archives: Christmas Treats and Traditions

Christmas…’ Tis the season of love and laughter…Have you chased the Green Fairy?

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

It made me so happy to know I did just that for Joy…who said…What a great, warm ‘hug’ of a rich Christmas post to keep out the chill. Bravo, Carol. Jingle Bells…Being in my 80’s, those early Christmases were really memorable as we all visited each other a lot more. I always helped my mother decorate the Christmas cake with silver balls, little fir trees and the like and, of course, we made our own paper-chain decorations. Happy, memorable times.

Thank you so much Joy for that lovely comment please pop over and have a read of Joy’s lovely… Letters from Spain where she merges the now with the past…xx

Like Joy, I remember the cake decorations coming out year after year those same silver balls, fir trees, the snowman, and a Father Chrismas…

Last week I explored Father Christmas and the traditions which surrounded him around the world…I was struck by how in Britain we don’t have such lovely tales surrounding Father Christmas to tell our children and grandchildren… we left the customary carrot and mince pie which was always gone in the morning leaving just a few pastry crumbs on the plate.

This week I will be telling you about the Russian Father Christmas courtesy of Dear Dolly from koolkosherkitchen ...The tale of Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter Snegurochka (the Snow Girl)…A beautiful ice sculpture with Snegurochka.

ice sculpture

Photo credit: Dave Siberia on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Dolly said that… Historically, it was Peter the Great who brought this holiday into Russia, the tree and all. However, in Russian tradition, Nicholas is the patron saint of thieves and smugglers, so Peter arbitrarily called him Grandfather Frost. The Snow Girl was added a bit later, to keep him company. Also, instead of deer, his sled is driven by a “troika” of snow-white horses.

troika snow white horse

Photo credit: seriykotik1970 on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Dolly also went on to tell me that ...Peter literally “dragged Russia into Europe by the beard,” i.e. he would ride around with a pair of scissors, swoop into houses of high aristocrats, grab their beards and cut them off, then stuff them into their own pockets. They had no choice but to become clean-shaven, as the European fashion demanded. Grandfather Frost was the only one allowed to have a beard.

How exciting was all that?… Thank you, Dolly xxx

Egg Nog… I really didn’t realise how popular egg nog still was…I am loving how many Christmas traditions are still being upheld…It got me thinking…dangerous I know…haha…

But as a young girl, I was taken with my friend to visit her grandmother who lived in London…in one of the old terraced houses with a parlour…While thinking about past Christmases and what I can bring to this post in the way of memories I remember Julie’s nan giving us a tincy wincy in a shot glass taster of Green Goddess…I can just remember the vibrant green colour and the bottle so off I go to Mr. Google…

As soon as I saw the images I recognised the bottle but nothing else…Can you guys remember drinking Green Goddess or still drink it…It seems to be a type of Absinthe and with fennel seeds which are also an aniseedy taste …I have also come across the French translation which means Green Fairy…Established at Pontarlier in eastern France by Henri-Louis Pernod, the first distillery produced Pernod Absinthe, a liqueur made from anise, fennel, mint, and wormwood. The drink quickly caught on in Paris and became a favourite among artists and painters.

This guy has an interesting piece of equipment…I love pieces like this I find them interesting..there are proper glasses and spoons…so cool…

absinthe glass and spoon

Photo credit: stormwarning. on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Do you remember Green Goddess or Green Fairy?

Stuck for what to give for a Christmas Present...Home Made Chutney is always well received and this one is very popular among my friends…

Chilli and Tomato Chutney is a wonderful thing.

This lovely vibrant chilli and tomato chutney gets hotter the longer you keep it if it lasts that long..but is lovely with cold meats, cheese, hot sausages, Pork Pies or just use as a glaze over your meat when you are cooking it or your prawns…Lovely with your cold meats on Boxing Day…

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm of mixed tomatoes..some can be green.
  • 4 large red chilli..deseed if you don’t want your chutney too hot or maybe just reduce the chillies.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced.
  • An inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 300 gm of sugar golden or brown.
  • 100 ml red wine vinegar or balsamic.
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce.

Let’s Cook!

Skin the tomatoes by putting in hot water. Then add to the food processor with the chilli and ginger.

Blitz…I love that word…

Then put in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar and bring it to the boil slowly so as not to burn the mixture, keep stirring and then lower heat and let it simmer for 25-35 minutes or until the mixture has gone slightly darker and sticky.

Pour into warm sterilised jars with secure lids.

I turn my jars upside down to get rid of any airlocks until cooled.

tomato-chutney

This will get hotter the longer it is kept although it doesn’t last that long in this house and by the time my friends have begged a jar from me…They normally return the empty jars hoping I will give them a full one in return…lol

Enjoy!

Did you know? Today is National Ding-a-Ling Day…I know what you are thinking…haha…

bells-160841_640

National Ding-a-Ling Day is observed across the United States each year on December 12.

Ding-a-Lings on this day call the people they haven’t heard from in a while.  It may be an old classmate, co-worker or neighbour from years ago.  Or perhaps a call will go out to the child who used to mow the grass during the summer.  How about that couple who carpooled for soccer.  What was their name? There are all sorts of people in our lives who manage to slip out of our lives who would love to hear the ding-a-ling of a call from you or me. Sometimes it is those who are near and dear to us who maybe we don’t call as often as we should… Why don’t you join the Ding-a-ling club and call?

HOW TO OBSERVE

Call someone you haven’t heard from in a long time and use #NationalDingALingDay to post on social media.

Come on make someone happy…xxx

 

 

That’s all for today…See you tomorrow at my house for some more Christmas recipes and titbits…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…

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

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

Christmas…gaining momentum…In our house, the tree is up…and so were the scales yesterday morning…3lb…Guess who gave themselves a big talking too…Yep..Moi…I have been cold I mean for me 9 degrees is cold aka freezing.. Cardi weather…

I also discovered that these lovely little fried donut thingys tasted lovely with a little golden syrup and even better with bananas and ice cream…In my defence, I had shed loads of bananas to eat…Yep, I have made a few loaves of banana bread as well…No More…That’s It!

That part of the local economy bonding and supporting will be no more…3lb be gone…..

Isn’t this just the cutest??? We kept horses for quite a few years and they are the loveliest of animals…For instructions on how to make this lovely wreath Click Here

hh_xmas_hrswreath_gates_sm

I so love this…Such a pretty wreath…

Question: What did the other reindeer not let Rudolph do because of his shiny red nose?
Answer: Join in any reindeer games…Boom! Boom!

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 15

 by S C Richmond

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   Sitting in the safety of her room she was angry at herself for running away, she had seen George as she ran past the window and she thought he had glimpsed her but she had kept running. She no longer knew what to think, she took her necklace off and looked at it carefully, but she didn’t know what it represented and she was beginning to think that the only way she was going to find out was to stand up to Carl. She was more than a little nervous about how to approach that as she had been warned about him, although she had no idea why. She was very aware that he knew something about her and she needed to know what that was. That meant she had to go and find him.

   She took off her necklace and tucked it into a small bag that she slipped over her wrist if it was causing this much excitement and it was worth something she thought it would be best not to wear it all of the time, until she could find someone to take a look at it for her, maybe Mr. James would know someone. She stepped out of her flat and looked around she couldn’t see Carl but she was sure that he would turn up if she walked around the shops for a while, he had every other day. So she wandered towards Georges shop but it was still closed up. Then she changed direction and walked towards the bakers, she was still promising herself one of those indulgent cakes in the window, after all, she had some money to spare in her pouch. Still, there was no sign of Carl, just as she wanted to see him it seemed he had disappeared.

   Being unsure what to do next she bought two cakes and went to see Kathy, she might have some idea of what she could do now.

TBC

Question: Which Christmas song contains the lyric “Everyone dancing merrily in the new old fashioned way?”

Answer: “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree”

Little Lily has always loved to help me cook…These are some of her early biscuit makings…Pink of course as most little girls prefer a pink Christmas…

iced biscuits 1

Obviously, I supervised her and would do anything which would not be safe for her to do but she sieves the flour, mixes, and rolls out. She cut out her shapes using my Christmas cutters. She also iced the biscuits herself and put the sprinkles on.

Ingredients:

  • 140 gm of butter
  • 100 gm of soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 350 gm flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg beaten

Melt the butter, sugar, and syrup and then let it cool for 10 minutes.
Sieve the flour, baking soda and pour in the melted butter plus the egg. Stir to combine.

Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 10 minutes

When chilled roll out to 5 mm thick and cut out shapes. Put on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake at 200C for about 12 minutes until golden turning the tray halfway through cooking.

When cold ice as desired. Lily wanted pink and white with sugar strands so even the penguin was pink…lol The icing apart from the first one when I showed her how to flood the biscuits she did herself…

This biscuit recipe is nice and the biscuits are quite soft in the middle but firm on the outside. it cuts out nice and clean it is a little crumbly and soft when not cooked but manageable..well… Lils managed so I am sure anyone else can.

Question: In the movie Elf, how does Buddy get to the North Pole?

Answer: He hides in Santa’s sack

 

Time for some music…

 

music notes

From 1980 until 1986 we heard St Winifreds School Choir singing …There’s No one quite like Grandma…Awww that tugs grandma’s heartstrings. The Human league topped the charts the next year with Don’t you Want Me…a catchy tune and then we got Renee and Renato…Saving our love…The flying Pickets treated us to… Only You…It was then time for Band-Aid’s first Christmas song …It was a joint effort by a rag-tag group of 1980’s musicians and pop stars known as Band-Aid… The original 1984 song, with Bono, Boy George, George Michael, Sting and Simon le Bon, raised £8million for famine-stricken Ethiopia. We then had a rock and rolling Christmas the following year with Shakin Stevens…Merry Christmas everyone…

Last, in this roundup, we had the lively Reet Petite by Jackie Wilson… Well, it was a hard choice but…Shakin Stevens just pipped Band-Aid at the post for me…

 

Today is National Human Right’s day… It is also Nobel Prize Day…

On December 10th, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This milestone document proclaimed the inalienable rights that every human being is entitled to. These human rights exist regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, opinion, origin, or another status. The UDHR is the most translated document in the world. It has been translated in over 500 languages.

Many of the promises included in the UDHR have yet to be realized. However, the document has stood the test of time. The document’s importance empowers every human being in the world. Along with empowering individuals to stand up for their own human rights, it seeks to enable them to stand up for the rights of others.

Use this #HumanRightDay when posting on social media…

The December birth flower is the Narcissus...often mistaken for a daffodil…The yellow of this flower reminds us that the cold winter will not last forever…Bringing the narcissus into your home is said to attract wealth and good luck…Herbalists use narcissus to relieve stress and to quiet busy minds…

To me, the red of Christmas is brought to life by the beautiful red of the poinsettias…To many, the shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought of as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red coloured leaves symbolise the blood of Christ. The white leaves of the Poinsettia represent his purity.

poinsettia-4647951_640

Native to Central America, especially an area of southern Mexico known as ‘Taxco del Alarcon’ where they flower during the winter. The ancient Aztecs called them ‘cuetlaxochitl’. The Aztecs had many uses for them including using the flowers (actually special types of leaves known as bracts rather than being flowers) to make a purple dye for clothes and cosmetics and the milky white sap was made into a medicine to treat fevers. (Today we call the sap latex!)

The Poinsettia is also the National flower of Madagasgar.

With Christmas coming up I always love to get out my cocktail shaker and my punch bowl and make some cocktails…This one always goes down well…

How about a Winter Sangria?

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) of red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 cup (237 ml) brandy
  • 1 cup (237 ml) pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup (237 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, arils removed
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick

In a large jug or serving bowl, stir together the wine, brandy, pomegranate juice, and orange juice. Add orange slices, pomegranate arils, cranberries, and cinnamon stick. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Serve with ice cubes.

Do you know? Which female artist features with the Pogues on the song ‘Fairytale of New York’?…..

Enjoy!

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…In my house…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

As Christmas is not celebrated here our Christmas is far more low key…Not so frantic as it was in the UK…I do miss the atmosphere and the build-up but I don’t miss all the crowds and the must-have this as it does take away from the real meaning where family and friends get together and enjoy each other’s company…

However little Lily is here this weekend and so the tree will be going up, I have made the Coconut ice this morning so that is setting in the fridge and will be sampled later…At least my arms had a workout as I used fresh coconut from the drupe…Recipe and pictures tomorrow…

We are also baking the cake a little late but Lily wanted to help and there is still time to top it up before I need to ice it…

For the last two weeks, I have given you some ideas/recipes to start your Christmas Lunch today I will give some recipes for side dishes. Starting with the one dish I always make…

Spiced Red Cabbage

Red cabbage…our Christmas dinner would not be the same without it…I have been making this …Well, it seems like forever but it must be at least for the last 35 years so it is a well, tried and tested recipe and one which we absolutely love. The recipe was originally given to me by a very dear friend whom sadly is no longer with us…but every time we have this dish we remember you with much love Pauline…x

Spicy Red Cabbage (1)

The recipe has German origins where Pauline’s husband came from.

Cooked with Apples, red onion or shallots, some spices, balsamic and a tinsy, winsy drop of Red Wine….mmm…try a glassful…lol…

It is a lovely accompaniment to Roast Dinners and tastes even better when kept a day or two before eating…well if it lasts that long …and it freezes well. It wouldn’t be a Christmas Dinner without it…we love it.

• One medium-size Red Cabbage.
• One medium to large Red Onion Or about 8 shallots…
• 2/3 cloves of garlic
• One large Bramley Apple peeled, cored and roughly chopped
• 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar.
• A half to whole glass red wine.
• Salt and Pepper to season.
• 1-2 tsp Cinnamon or mixed spice.
• Cinnamon Stick ( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Chop cabbage, Onions, garlic, and Apple.

Cook Onions and garlic in butter or olive oil until onions are soft.

Add chopped cabbage and apple, half of the balsamic and half of wine.

Season and add spices.

Cook for at least 2 hours (I cook mine for 3 generally) and add more wine and balsamic to taste. If you think it is a bit dry then add a little water.

Tip: If like me the Bramley cooking apples are unavailable where you live then its trial and error. I tried green apples and it was ok but this week I used 4 dessert apples and it was the best, the same with seasoning and spices its personal taste so play with it and adjust to your taste which is what I do with all my cooking ….and especially now I live here it has taught me a totally new way of cooking, I was very recipe and measurement-driven. Now I just look inside the fridge or freezer and cook with what I have because it is about taste, taste, and taste again… or it could be just certain ingredients are unavailable here…….the only time I now measure is when I make pastry or cakes and that does have to be more precise but any other dishes then I play with ingredients and I have much more fun when I am cooking.

asparagus with bacon

Asparagus is another of our favourite vegetables they can be lightly steamed or cooked in butter and just serve with some thinly sliced parmesan cheese..so simple yet so very tasty…They are beautiful just wrapped in bacon…Very easy… Just wrap bacon slices around each prepared asparagus spear. Skewer both ends of asparagus and add 3 to 4 per skewer. Grill the asparagus on direct heat until the bacon is crispy and the asparagus tender which takes around 15 mins making sure that you turn the asparagus at least once.

Parsnips are also one of my favourite winter veggies…

parsnip-20320_640

Normally I cook in butter, olive oil, thyme, honey with some freshly cracked black pepper and salt to season…However, with some oil and maple syrup it takes the taste to another level not so sweet as honey but with the parsnips natural sweetness…Just perfect…

or baked with some potatoes au gratin…A lovely Christmas treat…

Ingredients:

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 350 gm parsnips
  • 200 ml single cream
  • 105 ml of milk
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 75 gm grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • butter or olive oil to grease the dish

Let’s Bake…

Peel your potatoes and parsnips and cut them into thin slices then steam for 5 minutes then leave to cool slightly. Meanwhile, pour the milk and cream into a pan with the garlic and bring to the boil over medium heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand at room temp for about 10 mins to let the garlic infuse.

Lightly grease your oven baking dish and preheat your oven 180 C/350 F/Gas mark 4

Arrange the thinly sliced potatoes and parsnips in your dish sprinkling each layer with a little freshly grated nutmeg and plenty of ground black pepper and a little salt.

Pour the cream and milk mixture into the dish then lightly press the potatoes and parsnips down into the mixture.

Cover the dish with lightly buttered foil or baking parchment and cook for about 40 minutes…Remove the dish from the oven and remove the foil or paper…Sprinkle the grated cheese over then return the dish to the oven and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the top is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Now this time of year I absolutely love my cocktails but not everyone drinks alcohol and this video shows you some lovely healthy drinks for the Christmas season which won’t leave you feeling left out…

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 of love and laughter…and a glass of Egg Nog…

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

christmas tree and baubles-2939314_640

Image by 5598375 from Pixabay

A real tree was the start of Christmas as a child…the cards strung around the room all counted…haha…and every sender known and duly sent a card back…The paper chains we made and strung across the ceiling no fancy decorations then they were homemade with love and a little glitter…

NB...Please though if you are buying a real tree make sure it is from a sustainable source or buy one well-rooted, keep it watered and away from the central heating then plant for next year this is something my father always did.

The postman, the coalman, and the milkman were duly given their Christmas Boxes and well deserved as they were always on time with a cheery smile…You could set your watch by them…

The Carol Singers who came round at night and stood beneath the lampost and sung their hearts out…

That was a real Christmas…Midnight mass and Boxing day service…The Nativity proudly displayed…Hot mince pies, sausage rolls and tea provided by the lovely ladies of the Women’s Institute…A real community Christmas …where the neighbours had a mince pie over the garden fence or in the kitchen…a sneaky sherry…just the one…

Christmas was warm and special…Where a neighbour who was on their own was invited to Christmas lunch or a plate was taken to them…No one went without…xx

Father Christmas or Santa Claus is what I have always known the man in the red suit as…Not so in the rest of the world, Santa goes under a few different guises…

father-christmas-3013595_640

Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay

Today I am going to take you on a little trip around the world just to give you a flavour of the foods served and how some of the customs vary from what we know..all very interesting, some delicious foods and the different names our beloved Father Christmas is called…

Santa Claus is someone who will remain in the hearts of children forever. He is the make-believe person ( or was he?) who brings toys and other gifts to children at Christmas.

Santa Claus also has some other names: Saint Nicholas, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Pelznickel.

Two of his names — Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas — both come from the Dutch who settled in New York long ago.

The Dutch believed Saint Nikolaas gave gifts to children. They honoured this kindly saint with a yearly festival on December 6th. The English-speaking people who lived nearby greatly enjoyed Dutch festivals. And they brought the saint and the custom of giving gifts into their own celebration at Christmas time.

England, of course, knows him as Father Christmas… Turkey, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Brussel sprouts, mince pies, Christmas pudding and trifle being favourite foods at Christmas. My Christmas Menu…  with recipes…

In Brazil, he is called Papai Noel… or Bom Velhinho (Good Old Man).

The Christmas meal is also served on the evening of the 24th rather than the 25th and consists of a Chester( chicken)  Salted cod balls, no roast potatoes but cold potato salad and instead of gravy farofa, a mix of fried cassava flour and chopped bits of crispy bacon. Cabbage is replaced by kale heavily flavoured with salt and garlic.

A custom in Brazil which I am sure that many would love to have that same custom where they live is that it is common in Brazil to get a ’13th salary’ at the end of the year – i.e. in December you get twice the normal amount of pay for that month!

The idea is to help boost the economy around Christmas. This has been going on for decades and most people don’t even question that other countries might not do it!

Favourite Christmas foods in Brazil include pork, turkey, pork, ham, salads and fresh and dried fruits. Everything is served with rice cooked with raisins and a good spoon of “farofa” (seasoned manioc flour.) Popular Christmas desserts include tropical and ice cream.

Hawaii the jolly, white-bearded man is called  Kanakaloka he, however, does not wear the traditional red suit we all know and love but flowery Hawaiian clothing…

And on the Christmas menu here it is a traditional lu’au, complete with a pig roasted in an underground pit, chicken long rice, lomilomi salmon accompanied by the traditional Hawaiian music and Santa arrives in a red canoe…

That looks absolutely delicious…

In Hungary, the  Winter grandfather( Mikulas) comes on the 25th and only to good children and there is no jolly Mrs Christmas but a scary assistant called “Krampusz”…

Christmas fare in Hungary is Fish soup, stuffed cabbage, fried fish and rice, other meats(Pork, Chicken) an elaborate fruit topped Christmas cake, gingerbread cookies, Bejgli with walnut or poppy seeds( which is the traditional Hungarian Christmas cake)

India Baba delivers presents from a horse and cart and of course, the menus are spicy with spicy dumplings and curries, Biryani, poda, mathri and lots of other yummy sweet dishes.

Turkeys…As you know we grow our own which is very nice although Thai turkeys like Thai chickens do not have the plump breasts …well they might if they were fed supplements for a better word but we don’t…They forage and roam the farm…

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 still drinks Egg Nog?

I remember my nan and my mum drinking it we were allowed a little sip and that was it although sometimes my dad or my nan would sneak us a very small glass…This one is made from scratch…

Super easy to make and brings back memories which to me is what Christmas is about…

Called posset in 13th-century medieval England it was originally made with milk curdled with wine or ale to which spices were added. A drink favoured by medieval monks who drank the warm posset with fresh figs. Later around the 17th century the name probably changed due to the wooden mug or bowl it was served in called a “Noggin”

Sometimes confused with the Dutch rich boozy egg custard liqueur called Advocaat which when topped up with sweet lemonade is called a snowball…

That’s all for today…See you tomorrow at my house for some more Christmas recipes and tit bits…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…

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…In my house…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Welcome to my house and the Christmas preparations...

As Christmas is not celebrated here our Christmas is far more low key…Not so frantic as it was in the UK…I do miss the atmosphere and the build-up but I don’t miss all the crowds and the must-have this as it does take away from the real meaning where family and friends get together and enjoy each other’s company…I used to love the Nativity and this picture of my little grandson a grown man now always tugs at my heartstrings.

For me, the essence has gone when I look at pictures of people’s trees and the mound of presents…No child or person needs all of that to me that is what is wrong with the world. Wrong when there are people who are starving, cold, homeless or just working to keep the bills paid and food on the table but with no wiggle room for all the advertised goodies it must be a terrible time of year…

Here when asked what would you like me to buy you at Christmas much thought is given and I will be given an answer of the ONE…Yes, one thing they would really like…No lists as long as your arm and some…

It makes such a refreshing change…xx

Christmas Starters or Aperitif…

Last week I gave you some ideas for plant-based starters today I am giving you a few tried and tested starters which include fish or meat…

I normally make two starters one is always prawn cocktail which is a given in our house my mum used to make it and I have made prawn cocktail every year without fail since I married… I have tried to drop it from the menu but even I wouldn’t dare as the fall out would be akin to a nuclear one…haha…

Prawn Cocktail.

prawn cocktail

 

Ingredients:

  • 500gm of Prawns, peeled.
  • 5 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 5 tbsp Salad Cream.
  • 2-4 tsp hot Horseradish Sauce.
  • Salt and freshly ground Pepper.
  • 3tsp Lemon Juice.
  • Paprika to garnish.

Shredded Iceberg lettuce.Tomatoes to garnish. Extra prawns for garnish…I leave the tails on these.

Let’s Cook!

Mix tomato ketchup, salad cream together. Add horseradish sauce, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.

At this stage, I taste and adjust the seasoning and add more of whatever I need to…. generally horseradish.

Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

To serve: Put some shredded lettuce in individual serving dishes with cucumber if using. Put a generous serving of the cocktail sauce on top. Sprinkle with Paprika. Garnish the dish with Prawns, A slice of lemon and tomatoes if using.

Enjoy!

This next recipe is an authentic Thai recipe … Pumpkins and squash grow very well here and are found on every market stall and on every street food stall so much is done with this versatile vegetable lots of lovely Thai desserts and soups…

Ingredients:

  • 400 gm  pumpkin peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 tsp white peppercorn
  • 2 coriander roots
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass  very finely sliced
  • 3 small shallots diced
  • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste…You will be able to purchase this from most Asian stores or online.
  • 300 ml of prawn stock….I always keep my prawn heads and bits in the freezer until I have enough to make some stock.
  • 700 ml of coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp roasted chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 16 prawns /shrimp, peeled and deveined or crab meat
  • A handful of fresh Thai basil leaves save some for garnish
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil to stir-fry

Let’s Cook!

Firstly pound the peppercorns and the coriander root into a smooth paste. Then in a large saucepan, over a medium heat stir-fry the peppercorn/coriander root paste, pumpkin, lemongrass, onions and shrimp paste, stirring all the time for about 3 minutes until all those lovely Thai flavours are released.

Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan with a lid and cook very gently for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin is soft, stirring occasionally.

Next, transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend with the shrimp stock until smooth. Pour back into a saucepan and add the coconut cream and bring to a slow gentle boil.

Add your seasonings, lime, fish sauce, sugar, chilli paste and stir to combine, add your prawns/ crabmeat and cook for 1-2 minutes…Now taste and adjust seasoning if required.

Remove from the heat and pour into serving bowl or bowls. Stir in the basil leaves and garnish with extra leaves.

pumpkin-soup-1804351_1920

The true Thai way is to also garnish with spring onions or garlic stems, some fried crispy garlic or chicken skin and it always looks so vibrant and you just want to dive in and drown in the lovely flavours.

Enjoy!

Chicken Liver Pate is an old favourite which I make throughout the year…It is easy and tasty

SAM_6863

 

Ingredients:

  • 220g/8oz  butter.

  • 4 shallots chopped.

  • 2  cloves, crushed or finely chopped.

  • 450g/1lb chicken Livers, trimmed and cut in half.

  • 1 tbsp Brandy.

  • 1 tsp mustard powder.

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • 1 bay leaf, to garnish.

  • 2-3 fresh cranberries, to garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Melt 110g/4oz of the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the onion and fry until softened, but not coloured.

Add the garlic and chicken livers and fry the livers until golden-brown all over and cooked through. Add the brandy and mustard powder and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the liver mixture and 55g/2oz of the remaining butter into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf….. I use lime leaves as cannot always get fresh bay leaves.

Melt the remaining 55g/2oz of butter in a clean pan. Skim off the froth and pour the butter over the pâté. Transfer to the fridge to chill, then serve from the ramekin when ready.

Enjoy!

Or!

How about a baked whole camembert cheese served with cheese straws wrapped in bacon???

Now that ticks all the boxes for Moi…

Did you know?…

What is the most popular meal for Christmas in Japan?

KFC fried chicken

It’s so popular in fact, that you have to order in advance or face standing in long lines to get your Christmas fried chicken. Some people even start lining up Christmas Eve to make sure they get their Christmas KFC.

An Aperitif…

The aperitif is typically served, approximately 30 to 60 minutes before dinner. For the digestive system, some say, it is best to serve after the dessert or cheese course,

As for what glass to present your aperitif in, this varies greatly depending on the type of drink you’ve made…What is your favourite aperitif?…

We always start the day with a mimosa…Maybe a glass of Bailey’s with my first mince pie of the day and then while cooking the lunch…a bloody Mary goes down very well…

Bloody Mary’s… just saying! One of my favourite cocktails and this Naga Vodka which my son bought me apparently the best way to drink it is in a Bloody Mary… Shots are not advised! I am waiting until New Year’s Eve until I sample it ….Have any of you been that brave and tried Naga Vodka yet ????

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 ¼ cups of tomato juice
  • 1 ¼ cups of vodka ( or thereabouts) Hic
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce or peri-peri sauce
  • 2 tsp Lea & Perrins sauce ( Worcestershire sauce)
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 stalks of celery with leaves.

Let’s Brew!

Combine everything together in a jug or cocktail shaker and TASTE… this is where I adjust and give it a tweak or two…I make my own tomato juice and as tomatoes vary so does the TASTE….It is a fine art and needs much testing to get this just right …Hic
Chill in the fridge until required… this recipe makes about 6 glasses.

To serve.

Add some ice to a chilled glass and fill with the Bloody Mary mix…pop in your celery stick and a slice of lime and or some olives and if you are feeling really….well… If you have some bacon to use up then crisp it up and stick a slice in with the celery… Anything goes when I am making cocktails.

I love chai tea..and for those you who rather have a hot aperitif this lovely recipe fits the bill…

Can you not just tell that on this one day of the year…I enjoy a favourite tipple or three…Cheers one and all …xxx

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 of love and laughter…

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

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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

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

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

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

One of mine is…The First Noel…

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

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

I love listening to The Kings Choir, Cambridge…

 

Traditions around the world at Christmas…

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

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

Forget boring advent calendars….

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

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

And that cat is pretty scary too….

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

cat-2540940_1920

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

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

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

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

the-icelandic-yule-lads

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

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

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

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

Nothing is safe from these wicked boys…

♦♦♦♦♦♦

What tales do you tell your children?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you are all having a great week so far..busy given the time of year…Enjoy! 🙂 xx

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… the rest happens as I type…It is wherever my thoughts take me at that time…Mainly they are random and unplanned…Enjoy! xxx

Firstly most of you know Sally Cronin @Smorgasbord Magazine where I have a Food Column and contribute recipes to Sally’s health posts…Today Sally has posted a beautiful Thank you to me for which I am touched...Tissue Alert …

Thank you so much, Sally, the pleasure is also mine as I love working in collaboration with you…xxx

Team cook from scratch…xxx  

Time for a story…

This is a continuation of a short story started by author Steph Richmond with the offer to contribute which I took her up on 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!

Today’s Chapter is written by Steph...The story continues…

The Charade – Chapter 13

 by S C Richmond…

download-3the-charade

She had been looking forward so much to talking to George and finding out more about her Mother, she hoped he was well. She looked around, the shop looked grubby and unkempt in the bright light of day. The previous evening it had looked so magical, she picked up the bag that was left for her and decided to go and visit Mr. James, maybe he would know George, Mr. James seemed to know just about everyone in town.

   When she arrived at his house he was out too, she was beginning to feel that no one wanted to speak to her today, then she heard someone singing, a voice coming from the garden. She poked her head around the hedge and saw Kathy, she looked up from her gardening. “Come in girl.” She walked into the garden, her face must have given her mood away because Kathy asked. “Whatever’s the matter?”

   “I met George last night and now he’s gone.” She finally gave in to her emotions and began to cry.“ He said he knew my Mom.” She continued to weep and Kathy approached her and hugged her tight.

   “Now, now… dry your eyes and tell me about this George.”

   She told Kathy about the shop and the dress and what George had said to her. Kathy listened carefully, especially to the news that Carl Ward had been sniffing around her again. “You want to stay away from that Mr. Ward, he’s a bad ‘un, maybe he does like you but I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could spit.”

   She looked up, not really understanding what Carl could be up to, she had nothing to offer but she too had certainly been getting an uneasy feeling about him.

It was time to find out what he was up to. Next time she saw him she decided she would follow him and see where that led her. She felt better in herself now she had a plan but she was still worried about George, he could have helped her and told her more about her Mother.

Kathy fed her and cheered her up before sending her on her way, Kathy had promised to speak to Mr. James about George for her.

   She returned to her room and took her old dress out of the bag and hung it up, as she did a piece of paper fluttered to the ground. She picked it up assuming it was the receipt for the dress, but on it was written 23 Coal Street, nothing else just an address. It looked like it had been written in a hurry, the writing was uneven and rushed.

She placed it on her sideboard, maybe that was where George had gone today, whatever it was, it was none of her business. She would stop by his shop tomorrow and return it to him.

T.B.C

Time for some music ...

Of course, it is a Christmas tune…I was listening to Now Christmas most of the day yesterday…

This tune from author and musician Kevin Cooper gives you the feel-good factor it is happy and joyous so please take a listen and pop over to youtube as my one like is looking lonely let’s give Kev’s tune some love and likes…xxx

 

 

Enjoy!

Now for some trivia…Today the Day before Thanksgiving is National Tie One On Day…

When I first saw this I was puzzled what could that mean and then I had a light bulb moment…An Apron…

Aprons have been around forever it seems and I am sure many people receive a Birthday or Christmas gift of a funny apron or probably many of you remember Barbra Windsor in her little apron or the fancy dress parties where an apron was a cover-up for the front and not so for the back…haha…Get the picture?

amalfi-italy-holiday-apron-colorful-summer

Photo on VisualHunt

Aprons my grandmothers wore them and my mother ..me not so much…The apron has protected many a hand from hot dishes, who has had their tears wiped on an apron? Who has hidden behind an apron? Aprons make you feel more like a cook, they protect your clothes, used as a fan or to mop a brow in a hot kitchen, used to swat a fly or a hand which is trying to pinch a pie…I remember that one…haha…

Apron visual hunt

Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images on VisualHunt.com / No known copyright restrictions

Picking some vegetables, holding the chickens feed, collecting eggs or picking up toys an apron has many purposes…

There has even been a book wrote about an Apron…Best-selling author, Ellyn Anne Geisel, created National Tie One on Day. She’s also the author of the book titled, The Apron Book.

Time for a recipe…Trifle… there are many variations of the trifle and everyone’s nan or mum makes the best trifle…Today Darlene is sharing her trifle recipe with us and it looks and sounds most delicious…Here is what Darlene said…

 

Here is the trifle recipe I had to marry my hubby in order to get the recipe. I have made a few changes to make it mine. My family just loves it.

I attached a couple of pictures if you wish to use them. Thank you, Darlene xx

Darlene´s English Trifle

darelen (2) Christmas Trifle
  • Amounts vary according to the size of the bowl
  • Swiss rolls or jelly roll (you can use sponge cake if you can´t find the rolls)
  • Sweet sherry
  • 1 can of fruit cocktail, drained
  • Fresh fruit of choice (I use mandarin orange segments, sliced bananas, blueberries/strawberries/raspberries whatever is available, diced kiwi is nice too)
  • I or 2 packages Raspberry or strawberry jello
  • Bird´s custard powder
  • Milk
  • Whipping cream
  • Chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips.

Slice the swiss roll into 1-inch thick rounds, place at the bottom of a clear glass bowl and soak with 1 – 2 tablespoons of sherry (have a sip yourself)

Pour the drained fruit cocktail on top of the swiss rolls and add other fresh fruit if desired.

Prepare the jello according to the package directions. Let cool a few minutes then pour over the fruit and rolls.

Put into the fridge until jello sets (I often make it this far the night before and finish it in the morning)

Prepare custard with milk according to the package instructions. Let it cool to room temperature.

Take the trifle from the fridge and let it sit out for a bit before pouring the custard over everything making a nice layer

Chill in the fridge so the custard sets. Cover with a piece of wax paper or cling film so you don´t get a skin on top.

Darlenes Christmas Trifle

Top with whipped cream and decorate the top with chocolate flakes or chocolate chips.

Sometimes I decorate the top with extra fruit like mandarin sections or kiwi slices.

The layers look so pretty and every time I serve it, I get many oohs and awes.

Enjoy!
Thank you Darlene you are getting some Ooohs and awes from me and your recipe is my kind of recipe no amounts just using the eye and the hand especially where the cream, chocolate, and the booze are concerned…
I have a chocolate mousse cake to share with you courtesy of Meeks and bacon covered turkey from John, pictures of Xmas puds from Hugh, a lovely poem from Ellen Best all of which I will share over the next few days so make sure you don’t miss a post and please if you have anything recipes or crafts, Christmas jumpers please share and I will credit you back…You can email me on carolcookstwo@gmail.com  
Did you know?
Today way back in 2013 Frozen the highest-grossing animated film of all time was released and the merchandise is still going strong and now we have Frozen 2 released last week…Not so good as Frozen 1 for me but Lily and her friend loved it…
Also way back in 1952, the young Richard Attenborough starred in the lead of The Mousetrap which has smashed all theatrical records…A murder mystery The Mousetrap was written by Agatha Christie the show has run continuously since then…
Time for some more music…Christmas No1’s

 

1966 GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME TOM JONES
1967 HELLO, GOODBYE THE BEATLES
1968 LILY THE PINK THE SCAFFOLD
1969 TWO LITTLE BOYS ROLF HARRIS
1970 I HEAR YOU KNOCKING DAVE EDMUNDS
1971 ERNIE (THE FASTEST MILKMAN IN THE WEST) BENNY HILL
1972 LONG HAIRED LOVER FROM LIVERPOOL JIMMY OSMOND

This little lot brings back a few memories my dad was always singing along to Benny Hill and Ernie it drove us mad…It makes me smile now…Long-haired Lover from Liverpool…I was never an Osmonds fan…A Tom Jones fan I am although I like Green, Green grass but don’t love it…Lily The Pink A nice catchy tune…My two favourites from this little lot are Hello, Goodbye and I hear you knocking…Which for me …I like lively tunes so without any ado…I give you…Dave Edmunds…

 

Finally, I would like to wish all my American and Canadian friends and family a Happy Thanksgiving…

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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

Cynthia Kaufman

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