Category Archives: Cook from scratch

Fruity Fridays…Pretty Dragon Fruit.

 

Dragon fruit

Good morning and welcome to the revamped Fruity Fridays which are posts I published a couple of years ago and have updated …Today it is the beautiful Dragon fruit…Yesterday we received a surprise visit from our Thai family who always bring us goodies lovely freshly harvested goodies…Yesterday it was some beautiful dragon fruit and the bonus was they are red-fleshed…

A box of lovely red bananas and lots of beautiful limes which means I have been trawling my recipes and have decided to preserve some of the limes..make my lime and almond gluten-free cake again and I may attempt a key lime pie…

My breakfast this morning was, of course, green tea and some lovely fresh dragon fruit it was so delicious……

I will now tell you some more about this lovely tropical fruit and there will also be some delicious recipes including a smoothie…

Dragon Fruit

Such a pretty coloured fruit and it just looks so exotic, doesn’t it? Also, known as Pitaya fruit or in Thailand(Kaeo Mangkon). Rich in Vitamin C, B1, B2, B3 and the minerals iron, calcium & phosphorus and one fruit is only 60 calories so a good for you fruit.

It is also said to help lower bad cholesterol levels and its high fibre content can also assist with poor digestion and constipation.

Of course, it also makes excellent smoothies, you can sip your smoothie while it works on your hair follicles..yes if you put the juice on your scalp it will keep the hair follicles open so it’s great for tinted hair.

I am really getting into this smoothie making and today I think is one of my favourite smoothies. I am learning to get the right amount and what I do is take the glass I am going to drink it from and fill the glass with my fruit that way I make just enough and if I am making more than one glass then I double up but it eliminates the guesswork.

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Today’s smoothie was a mixture of fruit and vegetables.

I used a large chunk of  Pineapple, Watermelon, yellow melon and dragon fruit. A slice of tomato, a slice of beetroot, a piece of carrot and a little ice.

Then into the liquidiser and a blitz for a minute and voila a lovely smoothie.

Skin Problems?

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Troubled with acne and spots then make a paste from a slice of the dragon fruit apply to the affected areas of your face or skin then rinse off with water. Use twice daily for the best results.

The sap of the dragon fruit is also used by making aqueous extracts of its leaves, bark and fruit pulp and is said to aid wound healing and burns.

I then got to thinking about a recipe I came across all these beautiful desserts..brilliant pink Pannacotta’s..but I am not a dessert person as you know unless it’s a high day or holiday…haha….. Often served on a mixed fruit platter here or in little tarts…

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This recipe for Dragon Chicken..…is quick, easy and so tasty….not a dragon fruit in view but hey ho….it’s in the name…lol

chicken-521097_19201

Let’s Cook!

  • 1lb chicken breasts cut into small chunks or pieces of chicken on the bone.

Marinade for chicken:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch/arrowroot
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt to taste.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and coat the chicken thoroughly leave to dry for 30 minutes.

Heat some oil 375 degrees and cook chicken in batches until it is crispy.

For the sauce

  • 2 tsp of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp of finely chopped ginger
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar

Mix all these together. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan and add the mixture when the sauce comes to the boil add the chicken and heat for a further 1-2 minutes.

To serve garnish with chopped spring onions, niblets of sweetcorn/peas and or sliced green chillies.

I, of course, would add more chilli flakes and probably a tsp more ginger…just saying..lol…But as you know my mantra is TASTE and TASTE again… until it is perfect for you…

Enjoy!

Until tomorrow …When I will be back with Saturday Snippets have a lovely day and just a reminder if you go out to wear a mask and practise social distancing. 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.

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all are having a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

 

 

 

 

National Farmers Market Week…

Wherever you live in the world there is likely to be at least one Farmers Market near you…Shop your local farmers’ market however you can — online, curbside, or masks-on and in-person — and then cook there are so many lovely recipes you can make using the fresh produce which means you can continue to support your local food community during Farmers Market Week, and thereafter whenever you can.

I know sometimes the food is a little more expensive and it may be not uniform shapes but it is good, local and fresh…it helps to reduce YOUR carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

and puts good wholesome food in your families bellies…

Here I am blessed with having many local food markets, vendors sit at the kerbside they are everywhere… selling off the back of their trucks or bicycles or even pushing a cart with their wares…

I am spoilt for choice…

Eggs fresh from the farm, Sausages lovingly made an abundance of beautiful fresh produce…

Freshly made curry pastes, fish, so many beautiful veggies…

When I make green curry here because the paste is so fresh the colour is such a lovely green so vibrant…I have also learnt just not to buy but taste before I buy…which you can’t do when you buy a packet some curry pastes are beautifully mellow and some they knock your socks of spicy and vibrant…

Much of time your fish is fresh still swimming in their tanks for you to pick, it will be descaled and cleaned in front of you and there is nothing like freshly steamed fish with herbs…

If you have a local farmers market please support them and you will be rewarded in so many ways …Try something new many stallholders are only too pleased to tell you the best way to cook their produce…

I know many of you during these periods of quarantine are turning to cooking and baking…It is so satisfying and it is something the whole family can get involved in…

It has also I am sure proved to you that cooking your own from scratch means you save money, the portions are bigger than if you buy prepacked, there are no added sugars, fats and chemicals…It’s a win-win situation…

I have always cooked and experimented but even I have experimented more I have become quite the baker..yes me…who generally doesn’t bake bread or I will rephrase I just baked the same bread now I am experimenting…

Pretzel Bread…A first for me…Batch rolls..Bread cooked in a dutch oven is there any other way to cook bread?

home made pretzel bread

Pretzel Bread

Anyway as always I digress…Farmers Markets please, please support yours…

Until tomorrow …Have a lovely day and just a reminder that recipes for any of the above I have…. so just drop me a message and I will send you the link or alternatively peruse my blog and have a rummage around and they will be there…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.

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all are having a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

National Vinegar Month…Coq Au Vin(V) and with a chook…

We are nearing the end of National vinegar month and what better way to end it with a Coq Au Vin made using Balsamic Vinegar…Coq Au Vin is a classic French dish and there are many versions and many cooks who think theirs is the most authentic and the best…

However, it is all down to taste…individual taste…some add carrots some don’t…

Take wine, shallots, mushrooms some aromatics and a chook…

Ingredients:

  • 25g butter
  • 150g shallots, peeled but left whole
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150g bacon lardons
  • A sprig of fresh thyme or a good pinch of dried thyme.
  • 350g button mushrooms…Chestnut or Crimini are my favourites.
  • 500ml good red wine…I love a nice burgundy.
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 free-range chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces, on the bone but skin removed (or 6 chicken thighs)
  • A small bunch flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly crushed black pepper.

Let’s Cook!

Using a thick bottomed pan heat it on the stove, add almost all the butter (reserving a knob of the butter) and the shallots. Cook until just browned; add the lardons and thyme and cook for 3-5 minutes then add the garlic cook for a further 1-2 mins.

Add the mushrooms, turn up the heat and add the red wine, chicken stock and vinegar. Add the chicken pieces, bring the sauce to the boil and then simmer gently for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

For a thicker sauce, remove the chicken once it is cooked and keep warm. Cook the sauce over high heat for a few minutes until the volume of liquid has reduced. Return the chicken back to the pan.

Add the parsley, together with the reserved knob of butter. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with a dressed green salad and olive oil, new potatoes (my favourite) mash or crusty bread.

For my vegetarian and vegan readers...I found this lovely recipe on my vegan plate...Enjoy!

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 fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

National Vinegar Month…Chinese Black Vinegar…

Originating in the city of Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province, it is quite literally black in colour and has a full-bodied, malty, complex taste. It is just mildly acidic, less so than a regular distilled white vinegar, with a faintly sweet flavour I hesitantly tasted a little as some vinegar can be quite acidic this was not… It had a slight smoky after taste I liked it.

Chinese black vinegar is widely used in Chinese cooking for all types of cold appetizers, braised meats and fish, noodles and as a dipping condiment for dumplings.

Also known as brown rice vinegar, black vinegar is used as a tonic in Chinese and Japanese cultures. It is made by fermenting unpolished rice, wheat, sorghum or millet. The vinegar ferments for 1 to 3 years and it is during the fermentation process that the colour of black vinegar darkens, its aroma and flavour get more intense and the content of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients increases.

Because black vinegar is believed to have many health benefits, many people in China and Japan make a drink out of it that they consume as a part of their daily diet.

Because black vinegar produces good-tasting substances while maturing, it is “easy to drink even for people who have difficulty drinking ordinary vinegar.” Black vinegar is also said to contain more amino acid than ordinary vinegar.

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Black vinegar is rich in a number of essential nutrients. Some of these nutrients help in the detoxification of the body. This rich vinegar also keeps the pH levels in your body well-balanced.

According to health experts, black vinegar helps in keeping the digestive system healthy. It aids in the improvement of digestion. When digestion is improved, you keep constipation and other abdominal problems away.

Substitutions for Black Vinegar:

If you can’t find black vinegar, you can substitute white rice vinegar/rice wine vinegar, which is usually more readily available, even in regular supermarkets.

It is also said, you can substitute a bit of balsamic vinegar, though be careful because some balsamic vinegar can be very syrupy and sweet.

Personally, I would opt for the black vinegar having tasted it and I am pleased that I waited until it was delivered. We all loved the Braised pork shoulder in black vinegar which as you know was the first time I had cooked with it…

Having tasted it though I also recognise the taste and have connected the dots that it is the dipping sauce we have had with dumplings…which I always thought was some sort of soy sauce.

Dumplings

My next two dishes I am going to try with be vegetable/vegan one will be a side dish of Cucumber…This delicious, cooling salad with a sweet edge helps to counter the chilli in very spicy dishes.

cucumbers-1588945_640

Ingredients:

  • 2/4 cucumbers depending on their size…Thai cucumbers are small but for this, I am going to use Japanese cucumbers as they are crispier and do not have as many seeds.
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 100ml Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Chinese light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh black fungi, torn into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Let’s Cook!

Cut the cucumber in half lengthways then, using a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds. Cut them into large, angled chunks. In a bowl, dissolve castor sugar in the black vinegar and soy sauce then whisk in oil, garlic and ginger. Check to season.

Dress the cucumber and black fungi, coating well. Serve on a shared plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

cucumber black vinegar and black mushrooms

 

This dish comes together very quickly, so remember to prepare the sauce first in a mixing bowl before you start cooking. This is a very nice sauce…my testers were not keen on the mushrooms I liked them…

This second side dish a stir fry is using the stalks of the Chinese/napa cabbage only…as you know I use every part of an ingredient that I can, for example, I use the broccoli stalk sliced or in a stir fry it is a lovely vegetable…I will let you know later on in the week how this one turned out.

brocolli stems sliced

likewise, the stalk of Chinese cabbage is often wasted…cut away…I use this stir-fried as it has a little crunch and to use the leaves they wilt and add water which we don’t like… this stir fry is better with just the stalks and the napa cabbage leaves make another meal… They’re great in soups or just stir-fried with a little garlic and salt…Waste not want not…

For the sauce: 

  • 4 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

For the rest of the dish: 

  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 3-6 dried red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 pound napa cabbage (stems only, sliced at an angle?
  • Salt, to taste

Start by making the sauce by mixing together all the sauce ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. In another small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tbsp of water to make a slurry. Set aside. (Remember, cornstarch settles quickly, so remember to stir the slurry again before adding it to the dish later).

Is it just me or does anyone else dislike the feel when the cornstarch settles?

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, chillies, and green onion, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the cabbage and turn up the heat to high. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Now add the prepared sauce and cook for another minute. Taste before you season with salt I generally don’t add salt as for us the soy sauce is salty enough. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and stir-fry for one more minute, until the sauce is thickened.

Serve this hot and sour napa cabbage stir-fry with steamed rice as a light snack or as a side with the main dish.

Isn’t stir-frying great? A dish can come together in 5 minutes! Enjoy!

I will giv youour opinion on this srir fry I am making this tomorrow.

Thats all for today I hope you are enoying the recipes with blackn vinegar…

smart

black vinegar

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 fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

National Vinegar Month…How to make your own vinegar…

The white vinegar that we have in our kitchens the clear liquid which is generally a staple in our store cupboard generally contains 4–7% acetic acid and 93–96% water.

Historically, white vinegar has been produced from the fermentation of foods such as sugar beets, potatoes, molasses or milk whey.

vinegars bottle-589_640

Today, most white vinegar is made from the fermentation of grain alcohol (ethanol). This kind of alcohol doesn’t naturally contain many nutrients, so other ingredients such as yeast or phosphates may be added to kickstart the bacterial fermentation process.

While you can make vinegar in your own kitchen…it takes a while to ferment so it’s not something you can make overnight.

I am going to have a go at making my own red/white wine or ACV…Balsamic takes years to age so unless you have a nice store and some oak casks its not for most of us…White vinegar is cheap to buy and from the research, I have done it is possible to make it at home but you have to follow so many processes it is said to not be worth the effort.

Ok…Let’s brew… White/Red wine vinegar.

Firstly sterilise your jar or bottle if you are using although I would make the vinegar in a jar and when it is ready to decant into a bottle…

You will also require distilled water…I don’t use or buy distilled water so this handy little video shows you how to make your own at home…

 

Jars(s) sterilised and distilled water ready…Let’s make some wine vinegar.

Add 12 fl.oz(350 ml of wine and distilled water into your sterilised jar.

N.B.The wine you use should be free from sulphates…Again I have read advice which says that it hasn’t made any noticeable difference to the ferment time…

Vinegar is a fussy thing, isn’t she…?

Now to add the “mother”…I am going to use my kombucha scoby which apparently you can …The “mother” contains the bacteria needed to begin the process of turning ethanol into acetic acid. It sometimes forms in opened bottles of wine and looks like a slimy blob floating on the surface. You can buy “mother” (sometimes marketed as “vinegar starter”) in this gelatinous form, or as a liquid—look for it in homebrew or natural foods stores, or online.

  • If you’re adding gelatinous “mother” from a store, follow the package instructions regarding the amount to add—you’ll just spoon it on top of the alcohol in your jar.
  • For liquid vinegar starter, pour in 12  fl oz (350 ml), unless otherwise noted on the package.

Once you have made your first batch of vinegar you will have a “mother” for your next batch…the mother reforms every time you make a new batch. It is also fine to use the mother from your batch of red wine vinegar to make your white wine vinegar.

Now seal the top of your jar either with a cheesecloth or paper as the liquid needs to be able to breathe secure with a rubber band or you may have unwanted guests in the form of fruit flies.

Now to store your jar for 2 months in a dark, airy temperate spot with good air circulation if not wrap the jar in a towel but do not cover the cheesecloth or paper towel lid.

Do not shake, stir or move your jar for 2 months this gives the “mother” time to do her work…Ignore and vinegar or other smells for the first 2 months as it will go through the fermentation processes just let it do its thing.

After 2 months now comes the exciting bit…Take a disposable straw and without waking “mother” draw of a little of the liquid cover the top with your thumb and dispense into a small glass…Time to taste…

If it is too weak as it hasn’t fermented for long enough or too sharp it will mellow…Leave for another 2 weeks and test again. Repeat this stage every 1-2 weeks until it suits your palate.

Now your is ready you can scoop the mother into a new jar to start the process again or carefully pour all but a little of the vinegar and start again using the same jar…

vinegar-1924191_1920

Just think if you start now you can have some wonderfully flavoured kinds of vinegar to give as gifts for Christmas and the New Year there is nothing like receiving a homemade gift is there?

I am still waiting for my black vinegar to be delivered I will then share a recipe using black vinegar…

Stop Press: Update:

I have had a couple of enquiries about the” Mother” to start your vinegar. I f you can’t buy one then you can make it yourself…

To make a “mother”  from scratch.

1-litre red wine vinegar
1 bottle red wine

1. Pour the red wine vinegar into a saucepan and warm over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into your pot or barrel.

2. Add the bottle of wine, cover pot or barrel with their lids and keep in a warm place for 2-4 weeks.

3. Now check to see if a mother has formed and taste to see if the wine has turned into vinegar. If it has, siphon some it off and use for a salad dressing or in your cooking and then replace with some more wine. To check if the mother has formed, first make sure that you remove any jewellery from your fingers (and never use any metal spoons inside the pot or barrel). Carefully strain the contents of the pot or barrel through a plastic colander or sieve into a large non-metallic bowl. If a mother has formed and is left in the colander, carefully place back in the pot or barrel and add the contents from the non-metallic bowl.

Thank you for reading this post and stay safe and wash your hand’s 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.

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 fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

 

CarolCooks2…A Vegan Chocolate Cake, Braised Pork Shoulder in Black Vinegar and Yanang Juice.

Well, well…I think I have sorted out some of the temperature issues with my oven…so far so good…also as promised I baked this cake with vinegar instead of eggs…For once I followed the recipe step by step well nearly instead of mixing with a for I use a spatula I didn’t want to scratch my cake tin…

Yes not only did this cake have vinegar instead of eggs you made it in the tin it was to be baked in…crazy or what…Less washing up which is always a plus…

I am not a baker I am more of a savoury person but the other half and kiddos like a piece of cake…I am also not vegetarian or vegan but I do like experimenting with food and as it is National Vinegar Month I came across recipes using vinegar rather than eggs…It intrigued me…

I also have friends who are vegetarian or vegan and I thought why not give it a go…I told you I was inquisitive…Why? Years ago in my youth I attempted to go vegetarian there wasn’t a lot of choices and what there was pretty awful…and living on vegetables alone was pretty uninspiring I didn’t cook much either then and all those veggie burgers were quite foul…

Everything now has taken an upturn and there are some pretty tasty vegetarian/vegan meals…and I am happy to eat them as I like well presented tasty food and although I eat meat I eat very little now…

Cake…it came out far better than I hoped…

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My taste testers gave it the thumbs up..they did look a little shocked when I announced the cake had vinegar rather than eggs but they liked it as did I …It had a nice texture a proper cake…and vegan to boot…or to put it mildly for anyone who has run out of eggs vinegar is a great substitute and no one need know…

The recipe for the cake is on the link below…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/12/national-vinegar-month/

In case you were wondering those little fruit were the Thai cherries I mentioned in the vinegar post I came across some while out shopping the other day so will be pickling some as well…

smart

I have also gifted more mangoes they are not quite ripe yet the cherries though are lovely and ripe much riper than my last ones it must be the sun…

Yanang Juice…I don’t have a sweet tooth especially when it comes to drinks …I also have this aversion to green juices…and this was the darkest of green…No sugar…Well, I stand corrected it was pleasant to taste…Nowhere near as awful as it looked…

On doing some research as I am want to do…I just like to know these things…I found out just how healthy a drink it is…

What is Yanang Leaf?

The Yanang leaf is a powerful herb from Southeast Asia, used as both a medicine and as food for thousands of years, particularly in Northeast Thailand ( where I live) and Laos.

In Thailand, the Yanang leaf is known to restore youthful looks. They call the Yanang ‘Never get old for a thousand years.’ Thais are known to stretch their stories a little but many swear it keeps the wrinkles at bay… This leaf grows on a climbing plant. The leaves are dark green, and it has yellow flowers. It thrives in the tropics…

The scientific name of the Yanang leaf is Tiliacora Triandra, and it belongs to the family Menispermaceae.

It is also used to make soup here…The first time I brought this I was given a cookery lesson at the same time …Such a friendly lovely man…Once I find a recipe I think we will like I will share it…

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Quite simply it is made from the leaves by muddling the leaves in a pestle and mortar and then adding water and squeezing and squeezing the way it has always been made before juicers were around…Then straining the liquid to get this dark green juice…

The juice is neither sweet or sour just quite a pleasant drink with numerous health benefits.

My next project or one my son has offered to undertake is the making of Sato…The reason being I cannot obtain Shaoxing wine here and Sato is a good substitute apparently…Sato สาโท pronounced [sǎː.tʰōː] is a traditional northeastern Thailand (Isan) beer style that has been made for centuries from starchy glutinous or sticky rice by growers in that region. Just as other regional varieties made not from grapes but cereal is commonly called wine rather than beer, sato is commonly called Thai rice wine. When brewed in little brown jugs called hai (ไห), it is called Lao hai (เหล้าไห) or Lao u (เหล้าอุ).

More to come…we are trying to obtain the traditional Thai recipe…

Specially made for National vinegar month is this lovely Pork dish made with Chinese black Vinegar…Pork Shoulder Braised in Black Vinegar…

  • 1½ kg pork shoulder, cut into 4cm/1½ in pieces
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 200ml Shaohsing rice wine (or dry Sherry)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 5cm/2in piece ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 50g light brown soft sugar
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 125ml Chinese black vinegar
  • 500ml vegetable stock

To serve

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • julienned spring onions
  • steamed rice

Let’s Cook!

Put the pork in a bowl and add 1 tbsp each of the soy sauce and rice wine. Toss to combine, then cover and chill for 1 hr, or overnight if time permits.

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for 2-3 mins or until golden. Add the pork and all the remaining ingredients, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 60 mins. Remove the lid from the pan to allow the liquid to reduce, and cook for a further 45 mins or until the meat falls apart.

Serve scattered with the sesame seeds and spring onions, with steamed rice and steamed vegetables of your choice.

Optional to serve Pak Dong...A Thai pickled cabbage which needs to be made in advance…

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)

SAM_6824

  • 1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
  • 8 large spring onions chopped
  • Coarse Salt.

Let’s Cook!

Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy..Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.

To Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

Then refrigerate and enjoy!

That’s all for today.. .life is pretty much the same here not very much has been relaxed I think the Thai government is being cautious and looking at what is happening when the rest of the world relaxes their quarantines too quickly…I am happy with that as although in some ways this staying in is getting to me…I also realise I am lucky …

Thank you for reading this… If you make the cake let me know how it turns out…

That’s all for today…Please be well and stay safe…xxx

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and stay safe these are troubling times xx