Category Archives: Cooking from scratch

CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen 3rd April…Foraging and scraps all cooked from scratch…

Good morning…a cooler day today which is very welcome as it has been in the lower 40’s for most of this last week.

This week in my Kitchen 3rd April 2020

Firmly cocooned indoors my thoughts have been turning to what the kids can help make to help ease the boredom and to give them a break from their electronic gadgets and phones.

Homemade pizza...our pizzas are always an anything goes project and ideal for using up those bits and bobs of fruit and veggies…This one was no different…Homemade pizza with some kohlrabi and apple slaw…a jacket potato with sweetcorn for the men…

I made up a quick no yeast pizza base…

  • 5 cups of flour of your choice
  • 6 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of water plus 2 tbsps if required
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt whisk to combine it just makes sure the baking powder is evenly distributed.

Mix your oil and 1 1/2 cups of water ina small jug and add gradually to the flour the dough should be soft but not sticky if it is too dry use up to 2 tbsp more water although the amount of water will depend on your flour.

This makes enough for two large pizzas.

A couple of tomatoes and some tomato puree with some garlic and onion was cooked up for the tomato base…I then took one loin pork chop and my trusty meat cleaver and it was soon minced meat which we cooked with some taco seasoning…Lily likes meat on her pizza…Some grated mozzarella cheese a few slices of red bell pepper and some basil.

15 minutes in the oven and ready to eat…which in this house took less than the time to cook it…

meat feast pizza

I know it has or is a worry for many of you in these unprecedented times …It is a worldwide pandemic which although greatly restricting and worrying is also uniting us…Countries are helping each other, people are looking out for their neighbours it is lovely to see…My dearest wish is that it continues…

Now I am going to have a look at where we can make our food go a little further…Firstly I am going to ask a question…Who cooks with Brocolli? Who throws the thick stem away or into the compost? Generally, that is the weightiest part of the Brocolli and we are paying for that…I was the worlds worst culprit if I remembered I would use it in soups mainly it wasn’t eaten …Not until I realised that if you peel off the hard outer it makes a lovely vegetable we love it…

smart

Sliced and steamed with your other vegetable or added to a stir fry…

Which takes me nicely on to another wasted skin…The banana skin…I was reading the news and this article from Nadia Hussain of  Great British Bake of fame…Not only does she use the banana peel in her Banana bread but she makes this Banana Peel “Pulled Pork” Recipe…

banana-peel-3404376_640

 

Who would have thunk…Here’s how…

  • Chop and shred banana peel into strips
  • Fry diced onions in a pan with some garlic
  • Add the peel to the onions and garlic and cook down for five minutes
  • Add barbecue sauce (and other sauces such as ketchup or siracha if you want)
  • Cook altogether for a few more minutes
  • Add to a bun with your toppings of choice

This I haven’t tried …Have you?… However, when my next crop of bananas are ready to pick I will be giving this a go…If cooking and eating banana peels doesn’t appeal to you because of the texture or mouthfeel of the banana skin this video gives you some tips and you wouldn’t know they were in your cake…

Foraging…is another pastime which is very popular here…Tik my daughter in law loves foraging today she was up and out early and these are what she picked today…Quite a good crop of mushrooms and some of the Krachiew flowers which I featured in last Friday’s post.

Mushroom soup is a firm favourite here my favourite is made with ants eggs and Melantha a beautiful foraged herb…

Melientha Soup

https://carolcooks2.com/2017/02/21/authentic-thai-village-soup/

Another popular wild vegetable is fiddlehead fern…It grows mostly all the year-round here and is popular particularly here in the North of Thailand…It is also found around the world but in many places just in the spring…Dorothy from Vintage Kitchen loves foraging and cooking this beautiful vegetable and has some lovely recipes to share with us as well as some great tips on cleaning and cooking Fiddlehead fern…Please pop over and have a look…

Fiddleheads and dandelions

Made with fiddlehead ferns and dandelion greens it looks very nice and so tempting…Thank you, Dorothy, for sharing this with us it looks lovely and great tips…

https://vintagekitchen.org/2019/04/29/spring-foragers-supper/

I hope this has given you some ideas...with food shortages in some places and curfews, self-isolating or just cocooning yourself in the safety of your own home many of us are having to rethink our cooking maybe use some of those tins and dried goods which have taken root in our larders but also made us think about waste are we using all we can…The weeds in our gardens..many of which can be cooked and eaten…I think we could see changes in the way we think about food how and what we cook and eat…

Certainly food(pun) intended for thought…

That’s all for this week from me please stay safe and think of others we are all in this together…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!

Please stay safe and well and follow your governments safety guidelines remember we are all in this together xxx

CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen…Chocolate Cupcakes, Morning Glory, Miang Kham, Sea Bass with Fennel

Welcome to Carol’s Kitchen and it just happens to also be Valentine’s Day…For those of you who are being taken out or having a meal cooked for them…Enjoy!

This week in my Kitchen 14th Feb 2020

I don’t cook very many chocolate cakes apart from brownies and cupcakes are little Lily’s forte…

Lily’s Chocolate Cakes… Makes 12.

Preheat the oven to 177 C/Gas mark 4

  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of good cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar I used raw cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 tsp real vanilla essence

Let’s Bake…

Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl except for the sugars and stir or whisk to combine.

Lily making cupcakes

In a separate bowl add the eggs and whisk with the sugar and vanilla essence.

Pour half of the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and combine, then half of the buttermilk and repeat stirring until combined the mixture will be quite thin and batter-like.

Pour the mix into 12 cake cases it will only come halfway but will rise… Cook for about 20 minutes…The recipe stated 20 mins but my (Thai) oven needed a further 7 mins…and I increased the heat to Gas 5…

When the cakes are cooled then the fun begins …The icing…

Lily is getting to be quite a little cake maker…

I love Tamarind and it is that time year when the young tamarind can be found on the market stalls …

fresh young tamarind fruit

They are very pretty looking and have a soft nutty texture with just a slight hint of that sweet-sour tamarind taste which I love…

This tamarind sauce is a lovely dipping sauce or you can drizzle it…

 3 tbsp tamarind pulp with cup water in a small pan, bring to boil and simmer 5 mins.
Remove from heat and stand 15 mins you can help break tamarind down with a spoon, strain through sieve extracting as much liquid as possible.
To the tamarind liquid add…
  • 2cm peeled finely chopped ginger
  •  2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp chilli/garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
Bring to boil, simmer 5 mins.
Whisk 1 tbsp cornflour with little water and whisk into sauce cook 1 min or until the mixture thickens.
Taste and adjust seasoning add more sugar if required.
Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
I love this tamarind sauce with my favourite snack...Miang Kham…although I have made it at home some markets sell all the little bits ready cut in bags with the sauce much easier and they taste just the same as much of the food sold on the markets here is made in home kitchens and brought to market…
miang-kham-1188212_1920
I just love snacks here as many are just so healthy..fresh ginger, garlic, lime, shallots, nuts and wrapped in a Betel leaf after drizzling with tamarind sauce…definitely a favourite…
If you are at home and cooking a Valentine’s meal how about fish…easy to do it cooks itself while you are either chilling with a cocktail and reminiscing or watching a favourite movie…

This recipe was just sort of made up ..we had a friend staying with us from England and decided to steam some fish the Thai way but it was too big for our steamer so instead, we baked it in the oven covered with foil and just removed the foil 5–10 minutes from the end of cooking and it was very nice.

Sea Bass with Lime, Ginger and Fennel

Ingredients:

  • 2  Sea bass/ Bream or Carp – whole, scaled and gutted
  • Bunch fennel fronds or you can use while fennel sliced we just stuffed the cavity with the fennel fronds.
  • 3 Shallots – peeled and halved (for fish cavity)
  • 1  Bulb Garlic – unpeeled, halved (for fish cavity)
  • Thumb of Ginger – Sliced finely (for fish cavity)
  •  Lemon or Lime, (remove the skin because the skin makes it bitter)

This was a tip I picked up after we had made ours… from my  Thai daughter in law…. Always something to learn about cooking…

For the Sauce:

  • Dark & Light Soy Sauce
  • Splash of coconut oil  or a splash of Chilli Oil
  • Sugar
  • Lime
  • Fresh Chilli

Garnish (optional)

  • A few sprigs Coriander chopped
  • Spring Onions – sliced longways

 

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 180 C

.
Place the fish on a baking tray.

Fish with Lime and fennel

Prepare the vegetables and stuff inside the fish and around the tray. Make some diagonal cuts across the fish and push in a slice of lime… Drizzle with some olive oil and cover with foil.
Bake for 40 mins, then remove the foil and turn up to 250 C for a further  5-10 mins till skin is golden brown and crispy.

Fish with lime and fennel (2)
Rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice, some morning glory or Thai Papaya Salad…A lovely light meal…

Morning Glory…One of my favourite vegetable stir-fries…

Thai vegetable morning glory

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.
This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of Morning Glory
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 or more Thai Chillies
  • 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock


Let’s Cook!

Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.

Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry ( stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.
Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.

Enjoy!

Have a great Valentines Day however you are celebrating or not as the case may be…xx

 

Thank you for reading I invite your comments as always 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 weekend xxx

Mistletoe and Wine…Time to pickle…Cucumbers, Rosella Relish…Dill Pickle Bread…

Goodmorning and its sunny shine here my mornings are getting warmer…My shawl is still on standby just in case… my shoulders or knees need warming up…Tuesday is the day where all you Pickle addicts can pickle and pucker…Don’t you love that initial intake of breath when the vinegar hits your taste buds…?? Makes you give a little involuntary shiver…

You still have time to make some last-minute pickles…

Cucumbers are always plentiful here and pickle nice and quick…Lovely with some nice cheeses…

Pickled Cucumbers…

SAM_6880

I used 4 cucumbers ( they are short) ones here not like the ones we used to get when in the UK although I have discovered Japanese cucumbers and they are nice, crispy and very similar to the cucumber I know and love.

The cucumbers here are much smaller with larger seeds in the centre and not quite as crispy and flavoursome. In fact, I think I prefer them pickled.

Lets Pickle!

  • I peeled and sliced( quite thickly) 4 cucumbers.
  • 1 large Onion peeled and sliced.
  • 3 cups of vinegar.
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of sugar or sweetener of your choice. I only used a 1/4 cup of sugar and some salt to season as required.
  • 1 cup of water.

Whisk vinegar, sugar and water together in a jug. Put alternative slices of cucumber and onion in pre-sterilised jars, then pour the vinegar mix over the cucumber and onion making sure to cover completely.

Screw the lid down tightly and refrigerate they will be ready to eat in 2 days in fact if you leave these too long they get too vinegary. They are really a quick pickle recipe.

My number two recipe for pickling cucumbers…

Pickled Dill cucumbers. 

  • 3 medium cucumber
  • 1 large Onion thinly sliced.
  • 85g sea salt flakes (essential- table salt will render your efforts inedible)
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seed
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • small bunch dill

Wash the cucumbers, split along their length and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into finger-length chunks, then cut into 5mm strips. Mix with the onion and salt in a large bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight.

Next day, drain the juices, rinse the vegetables in cold water and drain well. Put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a very large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins to let the flavours infuse.

Add the vegetables and bring the pan to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring now and again. Boil for 1 min, then remove the pan from the heat. Tear in the dill, then pack into sterilised jars making sure that no air bubbles are trapped. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

in jars..pickled

I also had a lovely message today from a lady who had made the recipe and said they were lovely and it was a great recipe and to keep writing…How lovely was that?  It really made my day…

As you know I am always on the lookout for something new to pickle…This lovely flower can be found at the moment, not in great amounts but the small farmer’s stalls carry a small amount ….The Rosella Fruit…

Initially, I tried the flowers dried as a tea which is very nice…For more information on the Rosella fruit please click here…

Rosella fruit-

Rosella Fruit freshly picked

Now you all know me well and know I can’t resist thinking would it be like if I added some ginger and chilli…very nice as it happens…

Rosella Relish

rosella-fruit-relish

Rosella Relish

 

Ingredients

  • 250 gm Rosella fruit
  • 60 ml of sugar
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger grated finely
  • 2 red shallots chopped finely
  • 5 ml red chilli powder/flakes
  • 10 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 375 ml of water
  • A pinch of salt

Let’s Cook!
Remove the red portions/calyces & discard the seed pods
Wash & place in a pan along with water, shallots, ginger, sugar, salt and chilli flakes
Bring to a soft rolling boil and cook until the liquid is greatly reduced. This takes approx 25-30 mins.
When the chutney is almost done, add the vinegar and stir well.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly and put in a sterilised glass container.

Lovely as a relish with cold/ hot meats or in a burger… with brie and freshly made bread it is very nice

Just a reminder… don’t throw away the Pickle Juice…

You can use pickle juice in almost any recipe that calls for vinegar. Try using it in salad dressings, soups, potato salad, coleslaws, and more. Pickle juice adds an extra boost of flavour to anything you put it in!

Take some sliced red onion, a few carrot batons, some orange or red bell pepper sticks and your pickle juice…

Let’s Pickle!

Heat up the pickle juice in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop until boiling. Put the vegetables and red onion back in the pickle jar and pour the pickle juice over top.

Screw the top onto the pickle jar and let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 5 hours. The pickles will keep for up to 1 week.

One of the quickest pickles on record…Just use odds and ends from your fridge…

Guess what I will be making…It doesn’t get better than this…

 

I reckon some of this bread, pickles, cheese and a Bloody Mary ( with) pickle Juice and my Christmas will be sorted…

I haven’t been on the pickle juice all day…honest…Hic…xxx

I hope you have enjoyed these pickle recipes if you try then please let me know…I like some of these as they don’t have to be left too long and can be eaten almost immediately unlike some pickles which need time to mature..xx

Don’t forget please let me have your Christmas images, jumpers, food, Christmas parties anything Christmas…Let’s get into the Christmas zone…x

That’s all for today…I hope you have enjoyed this post see you next Tuesday…x

P.P.S…There will be a Christmas jumper corner…I just need to see yours???? So come on don’t be shy…Please Share…x

 

This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Dried herbs and stock (Bouillon)cubes…

Welcome to the final week of Store Cupboard Basics where this week I will explore dried herbs and stock cubes…

I hope you have found these posts on store cupboard basics helpful…It does take time (and) money to build up a store cupboard which is why I broke it down into easy stages…Just for those of you who were not sure just where to start…

Whether you call it a cupboard or a pantry a savvy cook knows it helps them create delicious, economical dishes without using expensive ingredients or having to pop out and hope no one sees us without our slap…Picture the scene… we are halfway through making a new recipe…We can taste it…Then up pops the ingredient we thought we had in the cupboard or we missed that bit of the recipe…The shop is shut…It is raining…We are in our house clothes…Don’t they always though…haha

Dried herbs and stock cubes…

Both cheap and very useful dried herbs and stock(bouillon) cubes are convenient standbys when you don’t have fresh stock or herbs to hand.

Some recipes, of course, you will be only able to use the fresh type.

Dried herbs are much more concentrated in flavour than fresh herbs so bear that in mind as you will overpower your dish. You can always add more but once added sometimes the dish is just spoilt as too much can be overpowering.

Salt…

I am very lucky and this is where I get my salt from as these salt flats are quite close to my home in Northern Thailand.

A key ingredient salt adds flavour and brings out the flavour in other foods. It also acts as a preservative when it is used in pickling and chutney making or when curing meats and fish where it draws out moisture and prevents decomposition. It is worth paying a little extra for rock or sea salt since these do not contain any added chemicals which are often found in cheap table salt.  Sea salt has a stronger taste than table salt so use in moderation and add a little at a time and taste to prevent oversalting.

There have been a lot of scare stories regarding the use of salt and of course, we should watch our intake BUT much of the salt people consume is hidden and in highly processed foods which if you exclude THESE from your diet it will reduce your consumption of salt. If I am using stock or bouillon then I am careful and sometimes I don’t add additional salt to a dish this is where tasting frequently during cooking becomes important…

Bay…

dried bay leaves and jar

A fragrant leaf from a laurel tree that is used as a herb. Bay leaves can be used fresh or dried; dried bay leaves tend to have a slightly stronger flavour.

Bay leaves are not generally eaten but are rather simmered in a sauce or included in a braising liquid like a stew or casserole, and then removed before serving. A bay leaf is sometimes ground into a powder and used almost like a spice I dry roast them an grind them when I make my Indian curry powders.

In addition to simmering them in soups and stews, bay leaves are great for stuffing into the cavity of a chicken before roasting it, and they can be added to the liquid for cooking rice.

 

Basil…

Although my preference is for fresh basil I do always have a small pot of dried basil in my store cupboard. The sweet and pungent basil is an essential herb in the kitchen because it can do wonders for a whole bunch of dishes. While cooking with dried basil, ensure that you use it, in the beginning, to allow it to develop its flavour.

Fenugreek…

Another kitchen essential in my cupboard…Kasoori methi or fenugreek leaves have an incredible ability to instantly elevate the flavours in a dish. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, being credited for popular dishes like butter chicken and methi aloo. Even adding a spoonful of it to dal can make the humble dish taste divine. Sprinkle some while making and kneading your dough for rotis and parathas for a flavour boost.

Oregano…

oregano-2119598_640

Again a much-used herb in my cooking I mean can you imagine biting into your favourite slice of pizza without sprinkling some oregano on it? This is possibly the one herb you should have, and the one that you must, especially if you love Italian food.

The bitter and lemony flavour of the herb makes it blend well in pasta sauces, salads and pizzas. It is extensively used in Mediterranean cuisine, and the good part is that it doesn’t overpower the other flavours in a dish. You can use it in your everyday cooking by adding it to toasts, sandwiches and even quick stir-fries.
Sage…

Sage is a herb which is commonly used in Italian cuisine it is one I always use when I am cooking pork although I prefer fresh sage dried it has its uses when making tomato-based sauces and again one I use quite a lot we love sage. I also make my own stuffings so again dried sage is a wonderful addition.

But fresh sage as above is wonderful cooked in butter or crispy as a garnish.

Tarragon…

The summer French herb can be used in everyday cooking by getting your hands on the dried version. The sweet and almost vanilla flavoured herb pairs best with eggs, cheese, seafood, chicken and fruits, and is an important ingredient in French cooking. Use it while making baked dishes, pasta, vegetable au gratin, soups and grilled meats.

Thyme…

A relative of oregano, thyme is used extensively in cooking while preparing soups and meat-based dishes. Its pungent minty flavour works wonders in stir-fries and baked pies as well. It is a key ingredient in the popular Middle East condiment called za’atar.

Of course, these are dried herbs which I use a lot in my cooking you may use dried parsley, rosemary, mint… I don’t find I have any use for those dried I always use fresh…What are your favourite and most used dried herbs? Do you dry your own?

Stock(bouillon) cubes…

These come in handy little cubes and are an excellent way to add flavour to your cooked meat and vegetable dishes, although if you are making soup the taste will be far superior if you make your own stock if you can.

It is also worth paying that little bit extra for good quality stock/bouillon cubes because cheaper ones tend to contain a lot of salt.

I always carry a small stock of different flavours just in case I run out of fresh stock or am in a hurry just always ensure if using the cubes that you taste before you add extra salt to your dish.

This is the last of my store cupboard basics I do hope you have found it useful…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 well being.

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 relaxing weekend xx

 

 

National Pumpkin Month …Carving Pumpkins …

 

Halloween…Dates all the way back to the ancient Celts and was known as the festival of Samhain…pronounced (Sow-in). It marks the end of the summer and the harvest and marks the beginning of the cold, dark winter…

I have many happy memories of  Harvest Festival when I was young with all the lovely produce and how the church displayed it all such lovely colours oranges, golds and browns and I loved the harvest festival hymns especially ‘ We plough the fields and scatter” such a joyous hymn.

 

Halloween also has a darker side and the ancient Celts believed that on the night of All Hallows the world and the boundaries between the living and the dead became blurred and the night of the 31st was when ghosts of the dead were thought to return to earth.

The colours of Halloween Black, Orange, Browns and Golds are beautiful with the orange symbolising Strength, endurance, harvest and autumn in contrast the Black is a symbol of death and darkness and Halloween marked those boundaries between the two.

It wasn’t until about the 1930’s that the custom of trick and treating began and it still continues to this day…

The Pumpkin features very prominently in today’s celebrations of Halloween, however, the very first Jack O ‘ Lanterns were carved out of turnips.

Did you know that the largest pumpkin recorded in 1993 was a massive 836 lb… That’s a lot of pumpkin pies…

pumpkin-2327488_1280

Pumpkins also look very pretty and some of the carvings are awesome but quite difficult to do so be careful you don’t cut yourself the incidence of accidents is very high and that includes traffic accidents where children get excited and just run/walk across the roads.

How to carve a pumpkin?

 

 

Did you know Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween????

Enough of all this I am sure you want some recipes?? 

Pumpkin Sage Sauce…by Tori Zigler…

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • A large handful of sage
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • Grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree

Let’s Cook!

Sauté’ the onion with the butter. Add some cracked black pepper and sea salt and stir in the sage.

Sprinkle with the flour, and stir for a couple of minutes. Then add the milk and the grated nutmeg.

Once you see the sauce thickening, stir in the pumpkin puree.

When well combined, remove from the heat.

Serving suggestions: serve with pasta and cheese.

Thank you, Tori this recipe sounds delicious I can’t wait to try it…

 

 

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

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

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

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

 

National Pumpkin Month…All things Halloween…

 

National pumpkin moth banner

Pumpkins will soon be on every street corner and in all the stores and as it is National Pumpkin Month I am going to get into the swing with recipes, trivia and it is also the run-up to Halloween…

I also thought that maybe as y’all make the best pumpkin pies..I mean it is not a Brit thing…not where I come from anyway…Maybe you would share your best recipe for pumpkin pie???

Muffins or pies or maybe a nice latte…You need a  nice Pumpkin Spice Mix…

Here is my recipe for pumpkin spice mix ..Quick and easy you probably have all the ingredients in your store cupboard.

Pumpkin Spice Mix.

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all the spices together and keep in a lidded pot and use as required for muffins, pies or a nice spiced latte…

Halloween-pumpkin

Halloween...Have you all got your porches decorated or are you still in the planning stages? I know it is big business in the US but not sure when y’all have everything out and on display…

How do you greet Trick or Treaters? Do you have ghosts and/or scarecrows and what treats do you hand out? If you are stuck for ideas a quick and easy one to do is fill some apothecary jars with bright coloured candy. It makes an eye-catching display and your guests can help themselves.

Fill old glass jars with plastic rats, toy bugs and doll heads then add a little-coloured water. Use manila tags to name your specimen – shrunken heads, poisonous tarantulas, baby rats and the like – and wrap the jar with twine and the tag.

lanterns-halloween-images

 

It is quite easy to make effective decorations from pumpkins or paper lanterns or jars.

But did you know?

The Jack ‘O’ lantern comes from an old Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack. According to folklore, Stingy Jack was out getting drunk with the Devil when Jack convinced his drinking partner to turn himself into a coin to pay for the drinks without spending money. Jack then put the Devil, shaped like a coin, into his pocket, which also contained a silver cross that kept the Devil from transforming back. Jack promised to free the Devil as long as the Devil wouldn’t bother him for a year, and if he died, the Devil could never claim his soul. Jack tricked the Devil again later, getting him to pick a piece of fruit out of a tree and then carving a cross into the bark when the Devil was in the branches. This trick bought Jack another 10 years of devil-free living.

When Jack finally died, God decided he wasn’t fit for heaven, but the Devil had promised never to claim his soul for hell. So Jack was sent off to roam the Earth with only a burning coal for light. He put the coal into a turnip as a lantern, and Stingy Jack became “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack O’ Lantern.” Based on this myth, the Irish carved scary faces into turnips, beets and potatoes to scare away Stingy Jack or any other spirits of the night.

Halloween Games :

Toilet Paper Mummies.

This will keep the kids amused for a while so buy some cheap loo rolls and let them wrap each other up like mummies.

Eat the doughnut(donut)

Tie doughnuts on strings and keep the wet wipes handy and watch the little darlings try to eat the doughnut…

Apple Bobbing.

apple-bobbing-halloween

A big bowl or bucket of water and some Apples always fun to watch.

Halloween themed food.

Don’t the kids just love all this spooky Halloween finger food? What is your family favourite food for Halloween…Let me have your recipes with a picture and I will feature them in a Fang-Tastic Friday post…

Today all you need is sausages and pastry strips ..This is an easy one and even the kids could do it…Just wrap the sausages as pictured by winding the pastry round and if you are really good and make your own sausages or know a good butcher even better… Some little white sweets or rice paper eyes and just cook…The kids love them.

sausage-mummies-Halloween

For the hardworking adults a Halloween Cocktail… The Black Widow Shot…

Cranberry juice and black Vodka…Yes Please!

I hope you enjoy these  posts and please if you have any tried and tested Halloween recipes I will post them and credit you so please let me have them…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.

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!

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx

 

 

The Culinary Alphabet…13 terms for the letter T…

Welcome to this month’s edition of 13 terms of food in
The Culinary Alphabet T…where I guest post over at Esme’s Salon

THE CULINARY ALPHABET T

Tea and Toast

How many times in your life have you been offered tea and toast? Maybe never but it was something which when I was growing up was a telling example of your class and status.

Drinking tea and eating toast revealed more about you than you could ever imagine…For example, the taking of sugar in your tea was seen as a definite habit of the lower classes…even just a tincy winsy tiny bit more than one spoonful and you were definitely in the lower middle class ( at best)…More than two….working class and not only that cemented your status if you added your milk first and stirred noisily…Working-class…

To the English tea also had practically magical properties and that was across all the class lines.  Headache or a skinned knee, out came the teapot. Bruised ego, bereavement or divorce, and out came the teapot.  It was the balm to soothe most ills.

Photo credit: trawets1 on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Add toast to the equation and we really came into our own, haha

It must be cool and dry, no soggy toast and it was also a matter of class how you ate that toast. I mean if you slathered it with butter and marmalade and god forbid if it wasn’t Dundee marmalade, and then proceed to take a bite. So vulgar it was the height of bad manners.  The correct way: Take a small piece and add just a smidgen of marmalade before taking a gentile bite. That guys and gals are how Toast and Tea are taken in England, according to your class of course.

Tabasco Sauce – TABASCO®

Original Red Pepper Sauce is made with three simple ingredients and aged in oak barrels for up to three years on Avery Island, Louisiana, before bottling. The recipe originating from Edmund McIlhenny in 1868 has been used by the McIlhenny family for nearly 150 years, just aged vinegar, salt, and peppers make this versatile hot pepper sauce.

The Culinary Alphabet T

Image by iSAW Company from Pixabay

 

Are you familiar with the following The Culinary Alphabet Terms?

Tabbouleh

Traditionally served as part of a Meze in the Arab world it has fast grown in popularity in the Western world.  I do love how increased travel and the internet have broadened our Culinary World. Tabouli salad or Tabbouleh is a simple Mediterranean salad of very finely chopped vegetables, lots of fresh parsley and bulgur wheat, all tossed with lime juice and olive oil.

Tahini

Tahini is a thick paste-like sauce made from sesame seeds, with a little bit of oil mixed in to make it the right consistency, and usually not much else. Tahini is similar to peanut butter in texture: creamy, oily, and smooth, and like peanut butter is rich in calcium. Tahini is a common ingredient in many vegetarian and vegan recipes (particularly in salad dressings and homemade hummus) and it is often used in Middle Eastern cooking.

How to make your very own Tahini paste/butter, it is so quick and easy and the cost of a packet of sesame seeds is virtually pennies against the cost of a store-bought jar of tahini and no nasties.

Let’s Cook Tahini – The Culinary Alphabet T! 

Into the kitchen, just quickly toast the Sesame Seeds, then into the mini blender, 3 tbsp Olive oil, and a quick whizz, scrape down the sides, another tbsp Olive oil and another scrape, a  bit more oil and a quick whizz and viola your Tahini Paste are made.

How easy is that?

Tamarind

One of my favourite cooking ingredients I love tamarind either just eaten as a fruit or used in cooking. Available everywhere here it is very popular and healthy.  To learn more about the Tamarind tree and some recipes where Tamarind is used.
Click Here

My favourite is the young tamarind pictured here only available for a very short period but a lovely way to eat the tamarind…

young tamarind fresh from the tree

Tempura

I prefer the lightness of tempura batter and it is used often in Asian recipes.  Specially formulated tempura flour is available in worldwide supermarkets. This is generally light (low-gluten) flour, and occasionally contains leaveners such as baking powder.  Tempura is very prevalent in Japanese cookery today most of the major changes to the tempura were In the early 17th century, around the Tokyo Bay area, tempura ingredients and preparation underwent a remarkable change as the Yatai (food cart) culture gained popularity.

Making the best use of fresh seafood while preserving its delicate taste, tempura used only flour, eggs, and water as ingredients and the batter was not flavoured. As the batter was mixed minimally in cold water, it avoided the dough-like stickiness caused by the activation of wheat gluten, resulting in the crispy texture which is now characteristic of tempura. It became customary to dip tempura quickly in a sauce mixed with grated daikon just before eating it.

Tapenade

The name for a dish of pureed or finely chopped olives, capers, and olive oil.it is a lovely dip served with beautiful bread or crackers and of course a lovely glass of wine on a lovely summers evening. Quick and simple to make it can also be used as a stuffing for poultry.

To continue reading the exciting culinary terms I have found for you then click this link…  

You will then be taken to Esme’s blog where I have a regular monthly post…

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. 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

This is also something I am passionate about there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in.  These honeybees dining on forget me knots say it all to me.

forget-me-not-257176_640

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology 

Connect to Carol
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Email

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you are all having a lovely week xx

For more posts from Carol working her way through the Culinary Alphabet