Category Archives: Cooking from scratch

Christmas Recipes…Mince Pies and Sausage Rolls.

sausage rolls mince pies home made

It’s that time of year when there is never enough hours in the day isn’t it or they are and because we have been dashing about frantically we are just too tired…

I always get my mince pies and sausage rolls made and store in the freezer uncooked and just take them out as required.

Pastry Recipe.

This recipe is my mums she makes the best pastry ever and I try really hard to match hers but she once told me that no two batches of pastry are ever alike and that the only person who realises that is moi….and I think she is right..mums usually are 🙂

I use half fat to flour so for example 8 oz  Flour and 4 oz fat.

Ice cold water added 1 tbsp at a time( the amount depends on flour used)

1 egg beaten for the glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust. But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or Crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use the pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from the fridge and fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub the fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten pastry and roll gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep the pastry cool.

Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

 

If you haven’t made your sweet mincemeat yet then never fear the recipe is here

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my shortcrust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting, I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to breadcrumbs before adding water.

I also use the same pastry for my sausage rolls…

Now….if you make them now omit the cooking stage and freeze uncooked in a sealed container separate the layers with greaseproof paper and just take out however many you want as needed and cook…Simples!

For sausage rolls, I use the same pastry. I add finely chopped onions, garlic and a little sage to my sausage meat or I did in the UK….i can’t get sausage meat here so I make my own very finely chop my pork making sure I add a little of the fat and then add the seasoning as above.

To make the sausage rolls just roll out your pastry take some sausage meat and roll it to form a sausage put the sausage meat on the pastry and roll. Just wet the edge slightly and either use a fork to make some holes in the top or as I do make a couple of slice on the top of the pasty as in the picture.. Cut into equal size pieces and put on a baking tray and then brush the top if the pastry with milk or an egg wash and pop in a preheated oven 200C for 15 mins then reduce the heat to 180C for another 10-15 minutes or until your pastry is golden…It also depends on the size of your sausage rolls.

sausage-rolls-pastry

Home made sausage rolls

Once cooked put on a cooling rack and then store in a lidded container.

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!

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

If you love this recipe please pin me xxx

Christmas Recipes…Home Cured Ham & Bacon…

Christmas Ham and Bacon (2)

I have home cured my own ham/ bacon for a long time now…

Those of you who know me are well aware of my aversion to anything processed and ham/ bacon is no exception to that rule. The ham you purchase from the shops is just slimy, and not nice at all….The bacon of doubtful origins at best especially where I live now…In the Uk you could get some lovely home cured kinds of bacon and hams not so here or if there is I have not found them….I have also been experimenting with various different ways of curing bacon and ham which may be more healthy…

Bacon contains nitrates which some people have an aversion to using or it causes headaches and other adverse symptoms.

Today I am using celery juice..just put the celery into the juicer and out the other side and viola this lovely vibrant green juice.

Now celery also contains nitrates but they are naturally occurring nitrates although for some people it may still cause headaches but if your aversion is to chemicals only then celery may be a better way to cure your bacon.

I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use I used:

  • 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
  • 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
  • 12 Pepper Corns,
  • Celery Juice as required to make the mix damp.

Lets Cook!

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with liberal amounts of celery juice until damp.

Rub into the Pork.

Belly pork bacon Naturallly cured

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag). Turn halfway through the week. That is why I like using the brining bags as it is much easier to turn the pork belly over.

Store in the fridge for 5 Days.

After 5 days remove the belly pork and wash thoroughly.

Cook in the oven @ 100 C for 2 hours. Cool and slice.

Home cured belly Streaky bacon

It also looks lovely and pink ( no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a home-made smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee..some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat…

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Now the tester…How will it taste?

Home cured Bacon frying

Naturally cured with celery juice

It smells like bacon, looks like bacon and made a lovely sandwich….  Most households have some who love thick bacon and some who like thinner bacon the beauty of making your own bacon is everyone can have their bacon sliced to their own requirements …How cool is that?

If you start experimenting now you can have some lovely home-cured bacon for Christmas or as a lovely present for someone you love …

My next two ham recipes are using Salt Petre I made the conscious decision that for the amount used and the dilution per litre of liquid that as the body can cope and disperse with the nitrate I would use that rather than getting botulism which the body generally doesn’t cope with. Also for the number of times, I make ham we are not eating it day in day out week after week the risk is minimal and considering the number of chemicals which are in foods by cooking my own food from scratch I have control. That is my decision. It is also extremely likely if you buy your ham ready to cook that nitrates have been used in the curing process I believe I use far less than any ham I buy ready to cook.

Christmas Ham Recipe.

A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.

Suitable plastic( not metal) container to brine meat in.

Ingredients for the Rub:

  • 4 tbsp salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp  Sugar.
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter(saltpetre) See note at the end of the post 
  • Ingredients for Brine:
  • 5 litres water
  • 900 gm salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Day one:

Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.

Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.

Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave the liquid to cool and save in a cold place. I put it in the fridge.

Day two:

Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.

Store the ham somewhere cold. If you have  a larder or cold store that is great I keep mine in the fridge

Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.

Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.

IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.

Warning: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing. Clever clogs here didn’t the first time and I had a skin reaction all my own fault.

When the ham is cured use your favourite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.

I have cooked mine all ways usually I cover with water, bring it to the boil and then drain off all the water. Add fresh water and all my spices…I add a couple of bay leaves, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, about 3/4 cloves, a star anise and maybe a cardamom pod also about 2 tbsp of brown sugar…I cook for 20 mins per 500 gm of meat and then allow to cool overnight in the cooking water it is then ready to eat.

Ham- cloves- home cooked

Ham with scored skin studded with cloves

I have also once it has finished cooking scored the fat and studded with cloves, brushed with honey and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

My third way of making ham which I did last Christmas was to use loin of pork instead of the leg. It is also much quicker to brine than a whole leg and only takes between 4-6 days depending on the size of your meat and how salty you like your ham.

I used 2 kilos of Pork Loin.

Ingredients for Rub:

  • 2 tbsp salt (coarse)
  • 1 tbsp  Sugar.
  • 1/4 tbsp Saltpeter(saltpetre)

Ingredients for Brine:

  • 2 1/2  litres water
  • 450 gm salt (coarse)
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tbsp Saltpeter.

Mix the ingredients for the rub together and rub over the pork loin.

Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.

Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two:

Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.

Store the ham cold.

Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.

Let the ham brine for 4-6 days.

Tip: The first time I used loin I left it for 4 days the second time I left it for 5 days which suited our taste… It is always wise to do a test run I think as personal tastes vary.

If I am making crackling ham I buy pork with the skin on and score the fat….when I get to the boiling stage I added water to just below the fat and then when it was cooked I covered the meat with foil leaving just the fat exposed then oiled and salted the fat put it in a high oven to crisp of the crackling…It went down a storm everyone loved it…A bit more work but crispy crackling with your ham…Awesome!

Ham- crackling-home cooked-sliced-platter

Home cooked ham and crackling

Most of the time I but my pork loin without the fat…When curing ham or bacon the meat must be fresh and not frozen.

I hope you are enjoying my Christmas recipes please let me know in comments and also what are your favourite maybe you cook something I haven’t tried or heard of…Please let me know…

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 week xx

 

 

My Weekly Roundup…Kiviak and Chrismas Jumpers…

Recipes and reveals what is in our food

Welcome, it’s that time of the week again and if you busy peeps have not had time to read my posts and there are a few…lol…They are all together here for your enjoyment. It is also a very busy time buying pressies, wrapping pressies and decking the house inside and out if you are one of those people who put up all those lovely lights…Then thank you as I used to enjoy getting in the car and driving around it is so lovely seeing some of the house so very festive and pretty…If you are one of those then please send in your pictures we would love to see them…

Time to sit down take a well-earned rest and enjoy!Carbon Footprints

Deforestation...Started as a plea to raise awareness of the plight of the Orangutan…But the picture which is evolving is showing that the problem is so much bigger than that… The response has been both enlightening and pleasing …

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/26/deforestation-and-our-carbon-footprint/

Eat Smart Eat Healthily is my last post on this subject this side of Christmas as many of you have done so well and eating is to be enjoyed so I left you with just a few hints and tips on how you can both enjoy guilt-free festivities and still enjoy that Christmas pudding x See you in the New Year.

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/27/eat-smart-eat-healthily-no-more-diets/

It was over to Sally’s for health tips and recipes …The Lovely Cranberry…

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/28/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cranberries-bittersweet/

Waste Not, Want Not! Is proving to be a popular topic and the response has been awesome…I am loving what I am learning and much more about what is going on in the world…

fresh compost green wastehttps://blondieaka.com/2018/11/29/waste-not-want-not-part-7/

Likewise with my monthly posts and my serial on the Culinary Alphabet over at Esme’s Salon…This month it was the letter K and I tried to find some festive dishes and failed but I hope I found some interesting little snippets for you.

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

Friday’s Christmas treats and traditions is proving to be popular and I wish to thank everyone for their contributions and there are more unknown facts coming up this week… They just keep coming xxx Isn’t he cute?

 

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/30/christmas-traditionstreats-and-festive-fun/

Lastly, with all that rich food… no one likes a dodgy tummy…Do we? So pop over to Sally’s and see how you can avoid it…x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-allergies-and-intolerances-dairy-leaky-gut/

Thank you so much for reading these posts I do hope you have enjoyed them…Until next time Take care, have fun and enjoy the festive season 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!

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 week xx

 

My Weekly Roundup of Recipes and Rants…Sprouts and Christmas…

Recipes and reveals what is in our food

Welcome, it’s that time of the week again and if you busy peeps have not had time to read my posts and there are a few…lol…

Sit down take a bit of me time and enjoy the read…

Part two of my posts on Palm oil...I think it is such a shame that man seems intent in so many ways of killing our world and it’s inhabitants…

Is it lack of care and thought? Really just greed or in the case of someone I spoke with yesterday… Who asked me what can you do to change it? and told me I was only one person and did I think that anything I did was going to make a difference?

What would your response to that be…I am just interested to know…

Eat Smart, Eat Healthily …This weeks topic was lunching especially during this busy time of year and the cold weather which some of you are experiencing I hope you can all find something to tickle those taste buds.

 

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/20/eat-smart-eat-healthy-no-more-diets/

Brussel Sprouts!

Love them or hate them…I think it is a bit like the Marmite scenario… I love them and so does Sally where you will find this post… Where Sally with all her expertise will give you the health benefits and I provide the recipes… You may even get to love the humble sprout…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-brusselsprouts-bitterly-healthy/

My Thursday’s posts on Waste Not! Want Not! Are gathering momentum I am enjoying my research and discovering so much…So much that is wrong and also so much that is being put right which is heartening and makes me happy that many people do care just not the ones who should…

Waste pollution climate change

Christmas Traditions and Treats is going really well the interaction is awesome and I have some Christmas Jumpers to show you next week and I am sure you will love them so thank you…You know who you are,…But No Spoilers…hahaha

There was Robbie with her beautiful Gingerbread houses and Hugh who jogged my old memory about Stir up Sunday which is today…So don’t miss next weeks as it will be jam-packed with Treats and Trivia like you haven’t seen before…

Christmas Treats and Traditions 23rd Nov

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/23/christmas-traditions-treats-and-a-touch-of-trivia-2/

Now Christmas brings so many foods and drinks that maybe we haven’t had for a while, maybe we have an allergy but are too busy to check the labels …Food Allergies and Food intolerance can be a nuisance or life-threatening…Sally’s post on this is worth a read as it could save a life or a lot of discomfort and we all want to enjoy our Christmas celebrations …Don’t we??

Health Column

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-allergies-and-intolerances-christmas-can-be-a-challenge/

Thank you so much for reading this post enjoy your Sunday and if you are celebrating stir up Sunday then do make sure as tradition denotes that you stir East to West…xxx

christmas-cracker-3012548_640

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 Sunday xx

 

Christmas…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Christmas Treats and Traditions 23rd Nov

Welcome to week 4 of Traditions, Treats and of course some Trivia…

Only 32 sleeps…Christmas always seems so far away and …explosion-147931_640

 

It gets real…..

There are many Christmas traditions practised  around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition would be very welcome to showcase them here  I know my friends across the pond and my relatives celebrate Thanksgiving on the 22nd November with  turkey and lots of other goodies … So please share and I will link back to your post…

Last week I mentioned Gingerbread Houses and Robbie came up with not just one but six…Robbie is the Queen of cake decorations and also has some awesome Cook Books aided very ably I will say by her son, Michael… so without anymore twittering from me head over to Robbie’s and see what beautiful Gingerbread houses she has created…Thank you, Robbie x

robbies gingerbread house

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/baking-a-gingerbread-house-or-six/

I just love it when I get interaction with my posts it is so much more fun and personal isn’t it?

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Christmas Jumper Corner.

nicholas-201281_640

I really cannot believe out of all my readers no one has a Christmas Jumper that they want to share…So don’t be shy…

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Christmas Pudding is one of the mainstays of British Christmas traditions …it just would not be Christmas without the pudding! Now I know that and even here I have always made my Christmas pudding and there have been a few converts to this traditional Christmas fare…My Thai friends love it!

But forget I did until young Hugh from Hugh’s views and News...jogged my memory…Stir Up Sunday he said to me…and then it all came flooding back…Hugh’s blog is one I always pop over to if I have a query as he is the man with all the tips…Thank you, Hugh 🙂

After church and guess who was a choir girl?... Everyone congregated in the Church Hall and the ladies of the Women’s Institute made a huge batch of pudding mix and we all got to stir and make a wish then all the puddings they made were put in with the hampers they gave out for the old, poor and needy….So thank you, Hugh, for jogging this rusty old memory… I had forgotten.

Held on the last Sunday before the First Advent Sunday and that pudding mix had to be stirred from East to West in honour of the Three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus. I wonder if that tradition is still carried on by those wonderful ladies of the Women’s Institute?

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Did you know?

“Silent Night” is the most recorded Christmas song in history, with over 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978?

Silent Night is also one of my favourite Christmas Carol’s. Although I love Michael Buble’s version I just love to listen to the Kings College Choir …

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Do you know?

Two of Santa’s reindeer are named after weather phenomenon. Name the reindeer.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

I can’t go without giving you some recipes now some recipes can be made in advance which saves so much time on the day…So here they are tried and tested …

These are all recipes that you can make now and freeze for later… How many of you have tried Bread Sauce as when I made it here for our Christmas Dinners at Sugar Reef ( Our restaurant) I was surprised at how many people didn’t know what it was…It turns out that the sauce has been passed down through the generations for a good 500 years. A  culinary relic of the Middle Ages, one of the few remaining examples of the bread-thickened sauces, stews and soups that were once served at Christmas feasts, and other celebration dinners, across medieval Europe. Even Nigella couldn’t envisage a Christmas dinner without it…

https://blondieaka.com/2017/12/07/christmas-recipes-prepare-now-freeze-for-later/

Happy Cooking!

Thank you very much for reading this post and please you must have a Christmas Jumper picture and many thanks to Robbie and Hugh for their contributions 🙂 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.

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

 

Waste Not, Want Not…Part Six

Waste pollution climate change

Welcome back… How is your war on waste working I have had many notes from my readers on what they are doing to combat waste and it makes me happy that so many care about the world we live in.

Every time I go to the Farmers Market now I am so impressed as more and more of the goods are wrapped in banana leaves can you see the cone those little green buds are wrapped in it so lovely to get my fruit and vegetable wrapped like that or just loose without a wrapping if vegetables are too big like carrots and things, everyone is using brown paper bags and it takes me back to when I was young and you never saw a plastic bag they were all paper… Or my mum and all her friends used to take their wicker baskets shopping …That was a few years ago now…

wicker basket-2268218_640

Today I am going to look at how we can reduce waste of single-use plastic bags in the home.

Did you know about 300 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide every year and some 8 million tons is just dumped in the Oceans how much of that is recycled…ONLY 9%… That is disgusting…

How can we help?

  1. Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. Purchase a reusable stainless steel, glass straw or bamboo straw and take it with you…It soon becomes a habit…
  2. Use a reusable shopping bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often!
  3. Give up gum. Gum is made of synthetic rubber, aka plastic. I get so angry when I am walking and gum gets attached to the bottom of my shoe…If you have to chew wrap it and put it in a bin when you have finished… However, if you click the link you may not ever want to chew gum again.
  4. Buy boxes instead of bottles or glass bottles instead of plastic as they are recyclable.
  5. Cereal, pasta, and rice buy from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. It saves money and unnecessary packaging.
  6. Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
  7. Use a reusable bottle or mug for your drinks, even when ordering from a take-out shop…All you need to do is ask or measure how much is in your takeaway cup and go and buy a suitable sized reusable cup…Sorted…

plastic-waste-3698194_640

  1. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
  2. Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. Plus you’ll be eating fewer processed foods! 
  3. Don’t use plastic cutlery at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your takeaway box.
  4. Make freshly squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It’s healthier and better for the environment.
  5. Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
  6. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
  7. Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.

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Dolly from koolkoscherkitchen  is a keen supporter of reducing waste and plastic and came up with a great idea…She is having a book launch at one of her local stores soon and is going to take the advantage and ask what they are going to do to reduce waste and plastic waste…What a great idea…

Well done, Dolly please keep us updated …

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Here is a copy of a letter which you could write to your local store, council or government representative or even a manufacturer… the wording would need to be changed slightly depending on the recipient but we are bloggers and authors so that should be a doodle…

Dear …..

I support the initiative to ban single-use plastic bags in your store at …..

I hope this ban is the first step in which ……. your company shows vision and leadership in the region and perhaps in the nation by taking bold actions to reduce waste and litter and protect and improve local wildlife and marine life.

People coped before plastic bags and will do so again.

Without easy access to free bags, one quickly becomes accustomed to their own reusable bags.

Banning smoking from bars and restaurants was met with an uproar several years ago, and now it almost seems outrageous that this was ever allowed. People very quickly adapt …

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the steps you have taken already by having days in the store where plastic bag are not available and by using banana leaves as packaging rather than a plastic bag…I would though like to bring to your attention the piece of plastic in the sushi packaging I noticed the other day could it not be cut from a banana leaf?

I await your positive response.

Kind Regards.

My local store is responding very positively about reducing waste and plastic which given that Asia is a haven for plastic and waste  I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased…

 

The cream coloured flower buds are called Daylily ดอกไม้จีน usually used in soups and very popular with Thais and often used in herbal medicine and healing but also used in stir-fries we stir-fried ours with the Ceylon Spinach and it was very nice. The Ceylon spinach had a sort of beetroot taste. It is also used in natural medicine here and is believed to have many healing properties…

vegetable stir fry

We just washed and cut and stir-fried with a little garlic and oyster sauce it made a nice vegetable side dish. It was a vegetable which none of us had seen or tried before and which I love about this market as the food is local and many of the fruits and vegetables not really grown commercially but by local people and farmers. The red Noodle snake beans were also a new variety for me very similar to the green and quite a rare bean so I will enjoy them while I can. It holds its colour when cooked and ideal for salads and stir-fries.

green and red snake beans

Notice how they are tied now with banana leaf and a bamboo tie instead of in a plastic bag and I think it is so much nicer isn’t it?

Thank you once again for indulging me in my war against waste… I have certainly opened a can of worms…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!

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 week xx

Christmas Smorgasbord Health – Cook From Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – #Turkey – If you can catch it you can eat it!!

It is that time of the year again and I hope you enjoy this post about the turkey with all its health benefits and how versatile it is…This year I hope to have one of our own home raised turkeys for our Christmas dinner. Thank you, Sally, for updating last years post you have done a fantastic job…Hugs xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

For the next couple of weeks, whilst Carol Taylor slaves away in her Thai kitchen preparing some alternative delicacies for you to eat over the festive season, I shall be repeating our collaboration series from last year.. I provide the nutritional background to the ingredient and Carol prepares it from scratch to give you some wonderful recipes..

This week… The Turkey.. a bird that was usually eaten mainly at Thanksgiving (coming soon) and Christmas, but is available all year in supermarkets and butchers. Before handing over to Carol.. a look at all the health benefits this large bird brings to the table.

Meleagris Gallopavo (you can eat if you can catch it) Turkey

The wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo (something to do with difficulty in catching it I think) is native to North America. The bird was brought into Europe, in the early part of the 16th century, by the Spaniards…

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