Category Archives: Cooking from scratch

CarolCooks2…Weekly Roundup…Schooldays, Salpicon and much more

Just in case you missed any posts this week…Or you like to do what I do and that’s snuggled down in my favourite chair and have a read…They are all here in one post so grab your favourite chair and a drink, settle down and enjoy…There are recipes, music and more…You could even add a healthy snack of popcorn, your favourite music and read…Enjoy!

lady eating popcorn-3281583_640

First up I was invited to share my schooldays over at the lovely Norah’s…I had to dig deep as my very early years apart from getting the sense of being happy I can’t remember teachers names…Obviously, that changed as I got older I hope you enjoy learning more about this (sometimes) opinionated whimsical English lady…x

Carol Taylor's thirst for learning and inquisitive mind

I have always loved this photo of me such peace and innocence on my face…

https://norahcolvin.com/2019/08/12/school-days-reminiscences-of-carol-taylor/

Monday...The official start of a new week saw lots of goods new in my weekly update of recycling and the enviroment…I do think though the single news of how a couple catered for their wedding breakfast using waste food was such a great example of how much good food is wasted when people are starving… my heart as well as being  saddened  as truly no one should starve but it also made me realise that we should all take responsibility instead of just coasting through life without a care or a thought as to HOW we are so lucky to live on this beautiful planet and how we are the caretakers and should be preserving it for future generations…Our children and our grandchildren…

wedding-invitation-3838842_640

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/08/13/the-latest-news-on-the-environment-and-recycling-13th-august/

Tuesday...The day for commonsense coupled with a healthy diet …Fads come and go and even work for a short while until we get bored and cannot face another hour of such a restricted regime…Long term they do not work…FACT…Long term…

Lips-chocolate-woman

Lips and chocolate

FACT…I have lost just over 6 stone aka 40 kilos…This last week another llb off…This is over the last 4 years with much of it over the last year…I have given it another little push the more I learn about myself and my body I adjust what I eat as I go along…But I eat normal food and I do not restrict my self I moderate my self and I have cut down a lot on m alcohol this past year which is why the boost in m weight loss…I feel so much better and have more energy…I sleep better and I still enjoy the odd sundowner just not every single evening…So please pop over and join us we are a friendly bunch…and leave your guilt at the door..It is not allowed in…We all enjoy our food…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/08/13/eat-smart-eat-healthily-and-lose-weightno-gimmicks-just-common-sense/

Wednesdays… The day where anything goes…My day to chat to reminisce …share a short story…some music and we should all have music in our lives…A recipe or two…Last week it was National Lemon Meringue pie day and world honeybee week…as I said I share whatever I like or when something just wows me…Anything goes…x

Hammock palm trees beach

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/08/14/whimsical-wednesdays-with-carol/

Wednesday was also the day when I shared one of my friend Sally’s posts on how there are many diet plans which have been proven to cause nutritional deficiencies…Ricketts

I thought that was an age-old disease that had been eliminated years ago…Not so!

Scary but preventable and a must-read #Recommended

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/14/smorgasbord-health-column-health-and-food-in-the-news-nutritional-deficiency-on-the-increase-keto-diet-industrially-manufactured-foods-lack-of-sunshine/

Thursday…Where I share my world…How I live ..my travels…traditions…x

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/08/15/life-on-the-farm-thai-potatoes-rice-and-banana-leaf-wrapped-desserts/

Thursdays also see me over @ Esme’s Salon once a month…Where I am journeying through the culinary alphabet…This month it is the letter S…Do you know what Salpicon or Salt Hoss is???

Header letter S Culinary Alphabet

There is also so much more so please pop over and say hello…Squid Salad anyone?

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

Friday…Is the day where I give you a peek inside my kitchen what I cook…Last week sees us making lovely jalapeno rolls …All went fine until we cooked them…uncooked jalapeno wraps with cream cheese

We had put too much of the cream cheese and jalapeno filling in them …the fat was too hot and some split…we got crispy bits and they tasted lovely…Nice and spicy but not picture worthy so take two is today…Friday I will show the finished Jalapeno rolls in all their golden scrumptious glory…my mouth is watering already …x

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/08/16/carolcooks2-join-me-in-my-kitchen/

Saturday…Our liver…It is one of our major organs and we most certainly need to respect and care for it because without it we would not be here…Simples…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/14/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-digestive-system-part-four-liver-diseases/

That concludes my week …I do hope you have enjoyed it and found something that you loved or was helpful or you just liked…I thank you for each and every one of your comments they truly make me happy…I love them…If you enjoyed something please share and spread the word…Have a great Sunday wherever you are …x

See you tomorrow with my weekly recycling and environment updates post and do I have lots of good news for you…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 will be more on this on my blog this year

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all having  a great weekend xx

Smorgasbord Health Column – Health and Food in the News – Nutritional deficiency on the increase. Keto Diet, Industrially manufactured foods, Lack of Sunshine

An informative and worrying post from Sally and one we should all read and digest…Diseases and deficiencies seem to be making a comeback..Various factors are causing this…I do think that we should be taking some of the responsibility we should know or learn what our children need to be fit and healthy…Their future health and ours depends on us learning what our bodies need…This post is a good starting point with many links for you to check out…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Recently, Carol Taylor and I shared a series on how to include food in your diet to avoid nutritional deficiency .. In the autumn we will be moving on from vitamins to minerals.

You can find the posts with some wonderful recipes from Carol in this directory:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-to-avoid-nutritional-deficiency-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor/

There have been some studies that have identified that there is an increase in nutritional deficiency in the diet and here are three articles that are worth reading.

A physician’s warning on the keto diet – Doctor Shivam Joshi

The keto diet has recently garnered much fame for its apparent ability to improve diabetes and obesity – results so impressive the Journal of the American Medical Association recently highlighted the diet and thereby christened it as something more than a low-carb craze. However, not all the evidence supports such a positive outlook, leading the diet to straddle the increasingly blurred lines…

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The Culinary Alphabet…Letter R…

Once a month I can be found over @Esme Salon where I am going through the Culinary Alphabet which this month is the letter R…Of course, @ numero one is my favourite which is of course Rice…Please pop over and have a look I get pretty lonely over there at this time of the month…It would be great to see you there…Come and say hello and see what else apart from rice begins with the Letter R…

Header for the Culinary Alphabet Letter R

Starting with my favourite carb which is?

Rice

There are several grains called rice, which have been cultivated for thousands of years. Asian rice (Oryza sativa) is most widely known and most widely grown, with two major subspecies and over 40,000 varieties. When I first came to Thailand that is when I realized just how many different rices that there were and also colours. The main kinds of rice I cook with are Jasmine Rice, Brown Rice, Black Rice and sticky rice ( glutinous rice)…Thailand is also one of the major exporters of rice and it is the staple food for many here even the dogs eat rice…Mine will not touch dog biscuits or tinned food and many dogs here are the same…

Before I came to live in Thailand I had been on a few holidays here and liked to cook Thai food at home… Mainly it was a disaster I just couldn’t cook a bowl of nice fried rice…It was absolutely awful…

Since living here I have had a few lessons from my daughter in law as to the error of my ways and now I can make a stir fry and hold my head up amongst most Thai cooks.

I will now show you how to make the perfect fried rice

Rice must be cooked and cold so generally, if you have had rice the night before and have leftovers then it is a way to use it up.

That was my first big mistake and why I had clumpy rice which stuck to the pan and why I didn’t ever get that nice dry fried rice.

However, if you must use freshly steamed rice, just try to make sure your bowl of rice has cooled off and that it’s somewhat dried out before you get started.

Fried rice can be anything any vegetables or little bits of leftover chicken or shrimp (prawns) and you can have a bowl of lovely fried rice to go with many a meal.  Traditionally served here with sliced cucumber, spring (green) onions and a chilli dip it is a dish many young children eat or maybe something eaten for a quick lunch or as an accompaniment to other dishes.

Fried Rice

Ingredients:

• 1.5 cups cooked cold rice
• 3/4 Spring Onions
• ¼ of white onion chopped
• 2/3 cloves of garlic chopped
• ½ leaves of Chinese cabbage or other cabbage ( optional)
• 1 Egg
• ½ tbsp Oyster Sauce
• ½ tbsp Soy Sauce

For chilli Sauce

Ingredients:

• 5 Thai chillies finely sliced
• 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
• ½ a fresh lime

If you are using shrimp( prawns) then start with the whole fresh shrimp, pinch of the head and de-shell the body leaving the tail on ( Thai style) at the same time try to retain that lovely shrimp oil from inside the head this is what gives your fried rice a wonderful red colour and a nice rich flavour.

Let’s Cook!

Chilli and fish sauce aka prik nam pla

This little dish is always served alongside your Fried rice whenever you eat it in a restaurant…

Just finely chop the chillies and add the fish sauce and a squeeze of lime. That’s it!

Making fried rice only takes about 15 minutes or less to make and this recipe serves ones.

All you need is a wok and a spatula.  Serving more than 1 person just double up.  The more you make this dish you will get a feel for it and will instinctively know how much of this and that you need just by taste.

  1. Firstly peel and finely chop your garlic.
  2. Slice about a quarter of your white onion
  3. Finely slice 3-4 green onions
  4. If you are using Chinese cabbage slice in half along the spine and then slice into 1 cm strips.
  5. Heat your wok or suitable pan and add about a tbsp of oil once your oil is hot add your garlic and stir fry continuously for about 15 seconds we don’t want burnt garlic do we?
  6. Throw in the shrimp and fry for about 30 seconds. Your shrimp should just start to turn pink then add just about less than half of your rice which will soak up all those lovely juices stir fry for about 10 seconds push all the rice to one side and crack the egg into the empty side swirl the egg and let it cook for a few seconds and then start to mix with the rice and shrimp.
  7. This was my second big mistake I used to just pour the egg straight over the rice hence a claggy, clumpy mess which no one wanted to eat.
  8. Then stir in the remainder of your rice and you should have a lovely dry fried rice with separate grains
  9. Now add your soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir, some people add a little sugar at this point. I don’t
  10. Now add your chopped Chinese cabbage and white onions and stir fry for about 30 seconds and then toss in your spring onions and stir for a few seconds a little longer if you like your vegetables a little softer.

Place on a plate with a slice of lime and spring onion and your little bowl of chili dip. If you want it to look extra special put it in a little bowl and turn out on the plate as pictured.

A little sprinkle of fish sauce and some fresh chillies on top of your fried rice with and an extra squeeze of lime just elevates your fried rice to another level.

Younger children, here are generally given just fried rice with egg and a little spring onion and maybe some very finely diced carrot. Fried rice is one of those dishes where anything goes.  As little or as much as you like.

Sometimes if I have a few shrimp (prawns) or half a breast of chicken or a thigh leftover I bag them and they are ideal for 1 serving of fried rice. We all have leftover vegetables chop them and put in your fried rice. For one all you need is a small piece of carrot maybe a couple of peas or a floret of broccoli cut small and bobs your uncle and you have fried rice.

Truly anything goes it is one of those dishes where you really can add almost anything I suppose a bit like you would do when topping your pizza.

To continue reading please click this link…

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 will be more on this on my blog this year

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!

MeWe

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us.  Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all are having a great weekend and have a creative week ahead xx

If you missed any of the previous installments, please hop over and enjoy the previous posts

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Cooking terms, Weight Conversions and foods names

After a little hiatus, I am back…Starting with the things that have confused me and a couple of recipes …I do hope you enjoy…Thank you, Sally, for letting me loose once again …Hugs xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

With our global obsession with food and recipes, it can sometimes get a little confusing with measurements and the differing names for the foods we are familiar with. This week Carol Taylor clarifies a few things for us.

Cooking terms, weight conversions and foods names

I am back after a break where I have been concentrating not only on being a nanny, my son has been away working. I have also been working on my novel and my cookbook.

Writing a novel is so much easier for me than writing a cookbook…Yes I cook and I am not a bad cook…My blog I find easy to write…Not so a Cookbook.

I like the personal touch but is it too much? I don’t like pages and pages of recipes. I also find that of all the cookbooks I possess, I have only ever made a handful of the recipes from the…

View original post 1,749 more words

This week in my kitchen…Beets… Buttermilk Bread…

I am so pleased you have joined me once again for a peek into my kitchen…Welcome…I am still pickling… almost run out of fridge space. I think I need a third fridge maybe one like a wine cooler would be good for pickles and things…What do you think? Bearing in mind I live in tropical climes so much has to be refrigerated…

I have always loved beetroot but it has only been since living here that I have used beetroot in different ways…I had only ever eaten it pickled with a salad…

Beetroot grows here which is good it seems that only the root vegetables that need a frost or cooler which don’t, Beetroot is also very healthy and my new favourite smoothie is Beetroot and Orange…

Red Beetroot with leaves and one cut beet

A little about the beetroot before I show you some recipes…Packed with essential vitamins, minerals and plant compounds, some of which have medicinal properties. They are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals…

Beets have high water and low-calorie content. Both of these properties are beneficial for weight loss. I wonder if drinking the juice is what has helped kickstart my weight loss now I am drinking it regularly…

What’s more, they are delicious and easy to add to your diet.

Beetroot Chutney…I first made this when we lived in Phuket and had a request from one of our customers who was an Australian who love beets and even have beetroot in their burgers…I mean I love beetroot but in a burger but customers come first so my first foray into beetroot chutney was born and it was a hit and from that day forward on the menu at Sugar Reef…

Homemade beetroot chutney

 

 

Beetroot Chutney:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5k Beetroot.
  • 3 Brown Onions.
  • 3 Apples (Granny Smiths)
  • 450ml Balsamic vinegar.
  • 80ml Fresh Orange Juice.
  • 350gm raw sugar.
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves.
  • 2 large sprigs Rosemary.

Let’s Cook!

Set oven to 200c. Wrap Beetroot in foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Chop Onions and Apples finely, chop cooled Beetroot and put in large pan.

Add remainder of ingredients. Except for Rosemary.

Stir until sugar dissolves, add Rosemary, reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hr or until mixture thickens slightly. When ready, remove Rosemary and spoon into sterilised Jars.

Store in a cool, dark place and once open refrigerate…Can be added to your burger or eaten with cold meats…

Beetroot Tartare. The first time I made this was for Christmas last year I now make it if we feel we want a light starter or if I want just a starter and a pudding…

Beetroot tartare with capers

Ingredients:

• 160 gm of cooked beetroot.
• 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp of double cream or horseradish cream( our preference)

For Fried Capers:
• 10 capers
• Oil to fry about 3 tbsp.

For the crisp bread:
• 2 very thin slices of stale bread
• 1 tbsp of olive oil.

Let’s Cook!

Make the crispbreads by cutting the bread into squares allow 3 to 4 squares per person.

Heat the grill on its highest setting and put the bread on a tray and drizzle with the oil. Grill on each side for 1-2 mins until crisp and golden being careful not to burn (like I did)

To make the tartare, finely chop half the beetroot and blitz the other half with the olive oil to make a rough paste, and then combine with the chopped beetroot and cream and season to taste.

Rinse the capers and pat dry then heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat add the capers and fry for 30 seconds until they have started to open up then drain on kitchen paper.

Our favourite bakery is still not open it went from opening April to now opening soon and it is July…

So time for me to get baking…Buttermilk Bread…

Homemade Buttermilk bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water.
  • 1 cup of Buttermilk.
  • 1 tbsp quick yeast.
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups of unbleached bread flour.

Let’s Bake!

Mix water, buttermilk, yeast, salt, sugar in a bowl. Add the flour. No need to knead..lol

Just combine all the ingredients  together..lightly cover the bowl and leave to rest/rise for 2 hrs.

The bonus of living here is dough rises quickly...I love using yeast now.

You can use the dough immediately, store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

If you are using now preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dust the dough with flour and very lightly knead, shape into a round. Cover and rest for 90 minutes.

Oh, and I made a cut into the top of my dough just like a cross.

Bake in the middle of the oven for approx 40 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

Remove from the oven and brush the top with melted butter.

Leave to cool before slicing.

Enjoy!

I am now going to sort out my Kombucha and get this starter going…More on that next week…

I hope you have enjoyed this week in my kitchen if you have any recipe requests please let me know and I will be happy to find them and try them…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 will be more on this on my blog this year

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have had a creative week and enjoy the weekend xx

This week in my Kitchen…Pickles…Thai Duck Larb…

I am so pleased you have joined me once again for a peek into my kitchen…Welcome…I pickle almost everything as we all love pickles and everything seems to have run out at once I had to eat my curry last week with no mango chutney now that to me is a crime…I was brought up in a household where every meal had its accompaniment…With lamb it was a mint sauce, with ham it was mustard, with Pork it is Apple sauce you get my meaning so you understand that curry without mango chutney is just wrong on so many levels…

Of course, I make my own pickles...Two reasons...They are imported here so expensive or I just can’t buy them here…Well, three reasons really but knowing me you know the third…Don’t you????

They are being eaten much faster lately as after living here for seven years I have finally found a source of cheese which doesn’t break the bank…As a cheese platter or cold meat, mashed potato and pickles are among hubbies favourite foods…The pickle mill is working at top speed…

Mango Chutney… Mangoes of all varieties are so plentiful here it would really be remiss of me to not make my own and it tastes so much better than some of the sweet sugary varieties which are in the supermarkets…

Ingredients:

  • 4 under-ripe Mangoes.
  • 3cm Fresh ginger finely diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic finely diced.
  • 500 gm sugar.
  • 1tsp salt.
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried chilli.
  • 1tsp cumin seeds.
  • 2 cardamom plus 4 cardamom seeds.
  • 7cm cinnamon stick.
  • 5 whole cloves.
  • 250 ml vinegar I use Apple cider but have used white vinegar and malt vinegar.
  • 5 black peppercorns crushed.

Let’s Cook!

Peel mangoes and cut in small strips.

Place mangoes in large pot Crush diced ginger and garlic in pestle and mortar and stir into mangoes.

Stir in sugar,salt,chilli,cumin,cardamom,cinnamon and cloves.Stir to blend. Cover and leave overnight at room temp. N.B. We are prone to ants here so put water into a shallow tray and put the bowl in the centre and cover  the ants won’t swim the moat..ha ha

Mango cooking in pan

Mango chutney

Next day place mangoes in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring occasionally until the mix starts to thicken about 30-45 mins. Stir in vinegar and crushed peppercorns and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Put into warm sterilised jars. Once cooled I keep in the fridge where if you live in cooler climes a cool larder will be fine. This makes 3 medium-sized jars.

Watermelon is well in season now and freshly picked from the farm they are beautiful ..not so red as the ones you purchase in the stores but they are treated to enhance the red colour down on the farm we do not use any chemical treatments…

 

READY TO PICK WATERMELON

How often have you bought a watermelon and thrown away the rind?? Hands up! I have or I did until I discovered a lovely recipe for Pickled Watermelon Rind.

Now I make a lot of pickles and this one thing I hadn’t thought of pickling… you live and learn, don’t you?

Ingredients:

  • 4lb of Watermelon
  • 1 chilli thinly sliced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger finely sliced or diced
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp salt I use fresh mineral salt dried here
  • 1 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp ( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Using a vegetable peeler remove the outer green rind and slice the watermelon into I inch slices. Cut away all but 1/4 inch of the flesh (it is) the white part we are pickling. The red flesh I keep for smoothies or ice cream or a nice salad with feta cheese.

Then cut the rind into 1-inch pieces.

pickled watermelon rind

Add the chilli, ginger, star anise, salt, pepper, rice vinegar and sugar plus a ½ cup of water together in a pan, bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the watermelon rind and bring back to a rolling boil and then again reducing the heat to a simmer for 5 mins or until the rinds are just tender. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the liquid to cool down. You may need to weigh the watermelon down with a plate or lid, as it needs to stay submerged in the liquid until cool.

Once cooled then transfer to a container with a well fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before you eat…This will keep refrigerated for about 2/3 weeks if it lasts that long…lol

My daughter in law took some of this to her village and they loved it …I thought maybe it would be too vinegary for them but no although they did suggest that next time I made it add some tamarind which I think( as) I love Tamarind is a great idea.

Another great idea which I only saw today on Masterchef when the challenge was to cook and not waste anything…Larissa made a beautiful Tiramisu French toast with a passion fruit compote…That ticked all my boxes and something I will be making…She used the whole of the passionfruit just cut it in half and blitzed it…Just like this…It was a beautiful red colour it looked glorious…topping that French toast…The only thing missing was some crispy bacon…

  • For the Passionfruit Compote, cut the passionfruit in half place the whole halves with 70ml water into a high-speed blender and process on high speed until smooth.
  • Pour into a small saucepan, add the sugar and place over low heat. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, to taste and set aside.

 

Lastly, Pickled onions …

Ingredients…

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

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

Home made pickled onions

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

Recycling Corner… Crayola Crayons/Markers/Felt tips

coloured markers

Dead markers NEED NOT end up in landfills or our oceans. Did you know that Crayola has a program called ColorCycle? Crayola ColorCycle will accept all brands of plastic markers, not just Crayola markers.

That includes dry erase markers & highlighters. If you collect the dead markers, they’ll send you a free shipping label & you can ship them back to Crayola to be recycled!

Great idea whether you have kids or not or you could start a communal box among you closest neighbours or friends and ship them for free…

My last recipe is a version of Thai Larb made with duck…

Thai Duck Larb

Ingredients…Serves 1-2 people.

  • 200 gm Duck (Pork or chicken mince.)
  • 3 shallots finely sliced.
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced green tops as well.
  • A handful of fresh Mint, pick the leaves from the stem and tear the leaves into large pieces( mine is a big handful)  I love mint.
  • A handful of fresh coriander chopped.
  • A few Thai Basil leaves for the decoration.
  • I Lime.  use half to a whole lime juice depending on personal taste.
  • Dried chillies..dry roasted in a pan and grind in pestle and mortar.
  • 1 large tbsp toasted rice.( recipe below)
  • 1-2tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • A small amount of palm sugar….I use it sparingly.
  • Mint, whole dried chillies and sliced cucumber to garnish

Let’s Cook!

Using a small saucepan dry cook the mince, I add a small amount of water to stop it from sticking.

Stir until cooked, remove the pan from the heat.

Stir in toasted rice, sm amount palm sugar, chilli( as desired) start with 1 tsp and once all ingredients added ..taste and add more if required.

Stir in the mint and coriander, shallots and spring onions, stir well but carefully.

Add fish sauce and half of the lime juice.

Taste! if required add more chilli, fish sauce and or lime juice and Taste again as lime and chilli. Put in a serving dish.

Garnish with Mint leaves, dried chillies and cucumber slices as pictured here we would also add any other raw herbs that we had available or picked.

Traditionally here in the North of Thailand the duck livers will be fried and thinly sliced and added to the larb, As duck has a gamey taste then I think the livers are a nice addition.

NB: To make the dried rice mix, take a thick bottomed pan put it on a medium to low heat, cover bottom with uncooked sticky rice( if you don’t have) normal rice will do. Stir until rice turns a golden brown colour, tip into pestle and pound until powdery but slightly coarse.

N.B. Glutinous rice is gluten-free. The misleading name simply comes from the fact that glutinous rice gets glue-like and sticky when cooked. … It all comes down to starch content.

You can store the rice in a small container and it will keep for 6-8 weeks…

Kitchen Disasters…

If anyone was under any illusions that everything I cook comes out perfect then you are sadly wrong…I have kitchen disasters and generally, they are the worst kind like this one when I took my eyes of the mango chutney…I was writing and got carried away until I heard hubby…I mean he is downstairs so why he doesn’t smell it until it gets to that stage I haven’t a clue…

Burnt mango chutney

This batch was well and truly burnt as was the bottom of my saucepan…

I hope you have enjoyed this week in my kitchen if you have any recipe requests please let me know and I will be happy to find them and try them…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 will be more on this on my blog this year

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have had a creative week and enjoy the weekend xx

 

 

 

This week in my Kitchen…Chettinad Chicken Masala and more…

This week in my kitchen…It is too hot to stay in the kitchen for very long and when it is hot and humid I don’t want to eat.

Fruits in season this month here are Mangoes of all sorts, Custard Apples, Sala Fruit, Mangosteen, Pineapple, Watermelon, Lychee, Dragon Fruit, Rambutan, Small Banana all delicious and readily available everywhere street corners and markets…The good thing here is it can be cut while you wait which means no waste and no difference in price and always a lovely dip to go with it…

The small bananas are nice and creamy, sweet and very nutritious lovely for snacking on they are also BBQ or fried with or without batter …Very nice served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…

Dragon fruit is one of the prettiest of fruits and always catches my eye which this lovely red fleshed one did the other day…Lovely to look at but not much flavour so into the blender it went with a few blackberries and blueberries, some greek yoghurt and some raw honey…

 

Look at the colour of that and it tasted awesome…

I seemed to come back loaded from market this week mangoes as I need to make more mango chutney I mean an Indian curry just isn’t the same without it is it? Some beautiful, red tomatoes to make my sauce for spag bol, chilli or anything else which needs tomatoes…Because of the BPA lining in tins of tomatoes, I won’t buy tinned tomatoes just when you think you are winning the war on plastic in your home…It is what manufacturers coat the inside of many tinned foods…

A bowl of ripe tomatoes

BPA is an endocrine disruptor that interrupts hormones and, in laboratory experiments on animals, has been linked with breast cancer, prostate cancer, hyperactivity and other metabolic and behavioural problems, diseases which are all on the rise in the West. But the plastics and chemicals industries insist its use is safe and accuse campaigners of misleading the public, pointing to industry-funded studies involving large numbers of rodents that have shown no harm…How many times have we believed manufacturers to then find out years later that it was all true and just what they wanted us to think for the sake of their profits…

Recycling Corner:

Would you recycle more at home if you had the correct recycling bins, can crushers and other tools to make recycling easier? Well, have a look at this…I think it is such a cool idea…

What else was cooking in my kitchen this week…

Chettinad Masala Powder:

Ingredients:

  • 16 dried red chillies
  • 4 tsp of black pepper
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp dried unsweetened coconut
  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • 4 x 1-inch sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 20 fresh/dried curry leaves

Dry roast all the ingredients you may have to do this in a couple of batches depending on your pan but be careful not to burn the spices.

Transfer to a plate or dish and allow to cool down before grinding to a powder.

Indian-spices- roasted- curry

Chettinad Masala roasted spices

 

Store in an airtight container. This recipe makes enough for 3/4 curries.

The original recipe I found on Madraasi @ a Tamilian Tales and is now my go-to Indian curry spice mix and one we all love…

Now to the recipe for the Chicken Masala.

  • 500gm Chicken.
  • 2 tbsp Oil or ghee
  • 1 large Onion.
  • 2 Large tomatoes pureed.
  • 1-2 sprigs Curry Leaves.
  • 1 Bay Leaf( Optional)

Marinade:

  • 1/8th tsp Tumeric.
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Powder.
  • 2 tsp lemon juice or Natural Yoghurt.
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped finely.
  • 1in piece fresh ginger chopped finely.
  • Salt as required.

Marinade the chicken.

Add oil to the pan and cook onions until golden, this adds more flavour.

SAM_7725

Add  3 tbsp of Masala mix and stir.

Add chicken, curry leaves and tomatoes.

SAM_7726

Add little water, bring to a slow boil and reduce heat to simmer until chicken cooked.

imagesXL6V2C5LServe with boiled rice, Mango Chutney and or nan bread.

This is a lovely curry well-flavoured and not over the top spicy.

That’s all for this week have a great weekend…xx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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!

MeWe

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all are having a great weekend and have a creative week ahead xx