Category Archives: Down on the farm

Travel and Traditions…Down on the Farm…Sesame Plant(Ngaa) and Barking Deers Mango

Good morning and welcome…It was a lovely sunny one earlier and now it has clouded over…Are we in for some rain? It is rainy season but we have had a few days of sunny shine and no rain…My weather report tells me 50% chance of precipitation today with scattered thunderstorms…. the temp is hovering around 30C and set to rise a little today…No rain yet…

Today I am taking you on another trip down the farm…

The Sesame plant or Ngaa as it is known here is another plant which has popped up…I am loving it as I am constantly being surprised at what plants and fruits are appearing  Down on the  Farm...It makes it easier for the future I will know and can plan a little it will also help as I will know what and where so we can transplant and not build and destroy.

It is a beautiful and quite delicate looking plant with pretty white flowers.

Sesame seed plant

Of course, I now wanted to know what uses this plant had if any apart from producing seeds which are used mainly in desserts in Thailand. Here on the farm they are dried and used for just that really and to make the lovely sesame biscuits which we love…

The oil from the seeds is not really used in Thai cuisine like it is in Chinese cookery.

The sesame seed is one of the most ancient seeds on earth there have been remains of Sesame seeds found and dated as far back as 3500BC. It was also widely traded in parts of Mesopotamia and the Indian subcontinent around 2000BC.  Always highly valued in Eastern, African and Mediterranean culture it has been used for thousands of years in cooking to flavour foods. Sesame oil has one of the highest oil contents of any seed and a rich nutty flavour. Across the continent’s world-wide sesame oil, tahini and the seeds are widely used.

It is a good source of vitamins and minerals that boost nutrient absorption, it is beneficial to human metabolism and the bodies fat-burning ability.

Sesame oil is a strong antihypertensive and can also help normalize blood pressure levels.

Sesame butter or Tahini is a pretty calorific dense food with 89 calories plus 8 gm of fat per tablespoon BUT the majority of that fat comes from healthy unsaturated fat like Omega 3 oils which help lower inflammation thus lower the risk of heart attacks. However, as always I advise moderation.

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! 

Into the kitchen, for a quick toasting of 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 is now made.

How easy is that?

Tahini Paste I have been making tahini for a couple of years…I think I need an updated image as my first batch was back in 2015…

Sesame seeds come in white or black, the white seeds having the highest iron content thus are used in food or as oil.

Black seeds are stronger, more flavorful and have 60% more calcium than white seeds and are used in medicines.

There has been some exciting news on a breakthrough in the research conducted at the Thailand Excellence Center for Tissue Engineering and Stem Cells at the Chiang Mai University  where  it was discovered that “Sesamin” extracted from black sesame seeds contains properties that hinder cancer cell growth as well as stimulate antibodies in the human body to fight cancer.

Dr Prachya stated that patents for the medical breakthrough have been filed and received for the research both in Thailand and internationally.

This is great news.

As I have said before I am always being amazed by the extraordinary benefits that so many plants and seeds are being proved to provide… so much better in many cases than prescribed medicines and supplements although if you are already on prescribed medicines PLEASE speak to your doctor and discuss what alternatives you are looking at taking and remember with plants and seeds …No one size fits all…. All of our bodies are different and react differently…..But ask! Talk to your doctor, do your own research from reputable research bodies.

Called Man Saeng this potato-like root is only found in the jungle surrounding the farm and not sold commercially…..If someone has been foraging in the jungle you may find a few being sold very locally on a market.

Thai potatoes- man saeng- down- on- the-farm

Thai Potatoes called Man Saeng

Man Saeng is not only native to Thailand but neighbouring Burma, Cambodia and Laos.

Here in the North they are often found growing by the river and the vines often attach themselves to a tree and then what I call the runners have the tubers which are light brownish and slightly hairy.

It can be added to soup or fried like the fried bananas in a batter or breadcrumbed and my son who had them boiled for his supper last night said that they tasted a little like our new potatoes and he really liked them. They can also be steamed or ground into a flour to make desserts.

They are quite fibrous and if overcooked have a sticky texture… somewhat glutinous.

This video shows them being harvested from the jungle and also where a few are being grown for the farmer’s own consumption. To me, that soil looks pretty hard and for a few tubers that is hard work…

This week we also harvested a few nuts which are now ready to eat..my nutcrackers do not work as in cracking them..my son’s partners uses a knife..mmmm…I think I will leave that to her or I  will end up minus some digits…That’s for sure…

They taste a little like a cross between a brazil nut and macadamia nuts again I will shell them all and use them in my cooking..well I won’t..lol..That shell is impervious to my nutcrackers…

These nuts are from the Irvingia Malayana, which has the marvellously fanciful English title of the Barking Deer’s Mango. According to The University of Melbourne, it also has the much more prosaic Khmer name of Cham Mo. There’s a similar tree (Irvingia gabonensis) distributed about Western tropical Africa, whose nuts are used fairly extensively as a soup thickener and bread ingredient.

The name Barking deer’s mango is a strange name I can only surmise that it originated from the Indian Muntjac also named barking deer as it was often hunted around the outskirts of agricultural areas as they are considered a nuisance for damaging crops and ripping bark from trees.

indian-almond-289181_1920

This wild evergreen tree can grow as tall as 50 metres high the wood which is of low quality is used for general construction or fuel but is also very sought after and popular here for making charcoal.

The seeds of the tree are a source of a non-drying oil called cay-cay fat which is used in the manufacture of candles and soap making.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s little trip around the farm…there are always lots of surprises to be found and also things for me to learn..my knowledge has increased tenfold since I have lived always something to learn…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…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!

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

 

Travel and Traditions …Down on the farm…… Snake gourd Raita.

 

Welcome to this week’s travel and traditions where I am taking you down on the farm where everything is still done how it was many years ago no mod cons just hard, back breaking work…

snake gourd

Everything in the garden is coming up roses as the saying goes it looks like we will have fruit and vegetables galore.

Some of the fruit and vegetables I am familiar with as you can get them almost everywhere.

Others are very new to me and I am having to do a little research as sometimes there isn’t an English pronunciation for the Thai word.

This one looks quite creepy I think and I was quite expecting to see a snake so I go along quite gingerly watching where I tread.

snake gourd 1

Snake Gourd Riata.

2 cups of natural yoghurt.

2 small snake gourds diced.

The snake gourd has a naturally occurring waxy white surface so rub some salt on the surface before cooking or using to remove.

4-5 green chillies

2tbsp grated fresh coconut

10-15 shallots finely chopped.

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp urad dal powder/paste

A handful of coriander leaves chopped

Salt to taste

Oil as required.

Let’s Cook!

Heat some oil on a medium flame and fry the mustard seeds and urad dal for 20 seconds.

Add green chillies and chopped shallots saute for 2 minutes, add diced snake gourd cook 1-2 minutes and add grated coconut and mix well.

Remove from the heat allow to cool slightly, stir in yoghurt and add salt to taste.

SAM_6995

Garnish with coriander and serve. What is raita served with? Cool, creamy raita is vegetarian and gluten-free. It is an excellent foil to the searing heat of Indian recipes and spicy foods in general.

Here…Thais choose young fruits for cooking use. The flesh of young fruit is extremely crunchy and attractive, good for soups and stir fry. Cook the leafy tendril shoots and leaves as greens. It would be unusual for Thais to make raita but as I make Indian curries for me it is ideal…

Here are some more facts about the fascinating Snake gourd.

The snake gourd or Buap nguu, serpent gourd, chichinga or Padwal are some of the other names it is known under.

Native to south-east Asia it is a vine which grows around a tree or trellis and then unfurls its large white frayed flowers. Then fruits which grow straight down towards the ground.

Can grow up to 5 feet in length sometimes a stone is tied to the small gourd to help it grow straight down as it can grow into all sorts of shapes.

Also because of its length, it is used to make the traditional didgeridoo in Australia.

It turns orange when it is fully ripe but this is when it is very bitter so it is usually used in curries and raitas before it ripens fully. When ripened the flesh is sometimes used as a replacement for tomatoes.

The leaves, tendrils and other leafy parts are used as vegetable greens lightly steamed or raw.

It’s strange names and appearance have often caused it to be overlooked for its health benefits. It is proven to be very effective at improving the strength of the body’s immune system, reducing fevers and treating diabetes. Currently there much medical research into other health benefits of the Snake Gourd.

Update on the farm: The rice is growing nicely as we have had plenty of rain it does mean though that a few holes have appeared as we have a stream running through the land and when we get torrential rain the water gets quite high and can overflow ..Water also finds weak spots and comes up causing holes sometimes quite big but of course they have to be filled in so there is always plenty to do in the rainy season…

It also means that the nets can be cast and fishing is good when the rain comes and there are also plenty of frogs they are everywhere …When I went to the market not only were they being sold fresh but there were lots of BBQ frogs for sale…

I hope you have enjoyed your trip down on the farm…xx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…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!

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

Thailand…Travel and Traditions…Down on the farm making charcoal…

July…It must be BBQ time of the year? Did you pick a bag or two of charcoal when you did your weekly or monthly shop? Do you know how charcoal is made? Come with me and I will show you how charcoal is made in the villages here…

 

A mud charcoal making house.

This is the mud charcoal house where the charcoal is made primarily for fuel to cook…no mod cons here at all. Well not yet pretty much everything is done how it has always been done through the generations. The skills passed down and that is what I like here so much tradition still and in the main so much happiness.

But the lifestyle is hard there are some concessions to this and progress is slowly coming but much is still done the old way and by getting your hands dirty.

Making charcoal is an art…me I just said do you just throw the wood in and light it?…. The look this crazy English lady got was a look of I suppose bemusement.

Of course, you don’t, for a start, the charcoal house cannot be built on or close to the water table or where the drainage is poor.

The wood must be properly stacked so that when it burning the air can circulate correctly but the beauty of it being on your land is that you can stack over a period time as you come across the wood. The wood must, of course, be dry and the time needed to complete the burn does depend on the moisture content of the wood and also the evenness of the stacking of the wood so this is all very important.

SAM_8713

WOOD DRYING PRIOR TO BEING STACKED.

Once it is correctly stacked it must be stacked vertically into the charcoal house then a fire is started or burning coals are put through the air vent at the top of the charcoal house once this has taken then the door must be sealed effectively to ensure proper air circulation.

The initial smoke which comes out through the top air vent and the air holes around the base is dense white smoke which after a few days turns to a blueish colour finally it becomes practically clear smoke.

Once the burn is complete then the opening at the top of the charcoal house is sealed as are the bottom vents.

This then takes 2-3 days to cool down, when the earth kiln is cool it can be opened but there must be a supply of water available in case there are any red fires still burning as they need to be extinguished.

carbon-592598_1920 charcoal

Once the charcoal is completely cold then it is bagged or put in baskets for home use or sale.

A typical fire for cooking on.

SAM_8461

Cooking the steak

This is a time-consuming and backbreaking task no one has an easy life here as I am finding out but kudos to them I am often just amazed and it has made me realise what an easy life I have had. With my running water, gas, electric all the mod cons and it has changed me and I hope for the better. When the house is built here yes there will be some luxuries but you know what I am not so bothered anymore.

The last time I was here I ate the softest tenderest piece of steak with the hottest chilli sauce(ever) I declined the Mek Hong it was too early for me ..although it is known as Thai Whisky it is actually a spiced rum…Still very potent and too many and you wouldn’t be standing you would be Mau(drunk)

Back to BBQ, I won’t be cooking over a small charcoal fire unless it is a proper BBQ but lots of things I used to have no longer hold the same allure for me it is definitely an eye-opener and maybe not the life for everyone. Just for this crazy, whimsical English lady, it is the life I have adopted and I love it!

Thank you for reading about my life in Thailand I do hope you enjoy 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.

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

Thailand…Travel and Traditions…Village Life…Northern Thailand( Essan)

Whenever we visit our Thai family’s village on this occasion it was to collect our grandson, he often stays with his brown Nannie ( as he calls her) no racism intended during his school holidays. They live in a little village in the middle of nowhere in Northern Thailand where he has the freedom to climb trees, go fishing or lizard hunting he gets to ride his nan’s scooter as the roads are very quiet and safe all the things boys love without too many rules…They get dirty but so happy…

The shower was a bucket of water or a hose pipe in the early days but now they have a wet room of sorts but still, the tub of water is there …a mixture of the old and new…squat toilets are still the norm in many homes here…A habit I have had to embrace…

We are always made soooo welcome..chairs are bought out and we sit and gradually the whole village comes to see us…Lots of happy smiling faces.

The welcome is second to none..always the same…lots of smiling faces and the food comes out…Thai dishes galore…I always take treats for the kids and maybe some toys or clothes I pick up on my travels or that Aston or Lily have outgrown …Those are the ones the kids love as often they are trainers or something from England…then the fashion show begins they just love getting something of Astons…

Circular recycling is the norm here and there is no stigma about hand me downs it is a way of life…

Food…

Uncooked prawns with a blow your head off chilli dip. It consists of very finely chopped white cabbage, finely sliced and halved…Khiewchanta……arranged round the edge of plate……..Fresh prawns, cleaned, deveined and soaked in Soda Water…..Fresh mint leaves and finely sliced garlic.

bitter-gourd-raw prawnsEaten with steamed rice and very lightly cooked squid in a salad with tomatoes, spring onion, coriander, fish sauce and lime juice…… all fresh from the market about an hour before or freshly picked from the garden that’s the great thing about living here every day there is fresh produce available everywhere.

I watched and helped prepare a red ant soup made with local herbs and leaves some of which I had not seen before. One of the ingredients Pla a fermented fish which is very popular in dishes here in the North of Thailand is not one of my favourites, the look, the smell and the taste are not for me. Saying that my natural curiosity to taste everything is often an overriding factor so what I am saying is I am getting used to it…Still not my favourite but getting used to it… I never thought I would say that…so never say never.

Firstly we stripped the leaves from the Thai vegetable called Melientha sauvis or in Thai Phak waan paa which comes from a wild evergreen tree which grows up to 10 metres high and it is the young shoots which are picked to make soup or dried fish curry.

It is classed as a delicacy here and a quite expensive indigenous vegetable. I was told that the soup is also good if you have tummy problems…..I love that the Thais in the villages still practise the old ways with herbs and roots to cure a number of ills… Rather than conventional medicines which some cannot afford or trust.

Before I start I will say that there are no weighing scales here but TASTE is king and that’s what cooking is about. A handful of this and a touch of that.

Let’s cook! 

Take a bunch of Melientha and strip the leaves also take a small bunch of lemon basil and do the same. Put in water.

Tear the yellow oyster mushrooms into smallish pieces and put in another pot.

Yellow Oyster MushroomsA few teaspoons of pla was put in the pot and some water added as well as a shake or two of fish sauce and a little msg….I do not use this in my cooking but I know that it still used in the majority of village homes. As I have become more proficient with my Thai cooking and the family have tried it without MSG and liked it…I am hoping I can get them to change…Slowly but surely I am getting my point over…

Melientha cooking in potThis was bought to the boil and the mushrooms were added, this was simmered for 5 mins and then the picked greens were added alongside a portion of red ants eggs.

It looked lovely and fresh and vibrant…I was however not looking forward to the tasting because of the amount of pla…Pla or Phla is a fermented fish which is popular here and added to most dishes…

A dish was duly given to me with smiles of expectation …Would I eat it? Would I like it?

Very tentatively I tasted it…Wow, it was good…The lemon basil and the ant’s eggs.which have a lemony taste overrode the strong taste of the pla but I will say the taste mellows when cooked…..A truly lovely taste of Thailand.

If you ever get the chance to cook with the locals then take the opportunity…I feel truly blessed that they are family and I have many opportunities to do this.

I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing real Thai cooking just as it is…

The Laos whiskey we bought went down a treat once we had managed to open it of course…haha…That was a job and a half …Once opened it has been packed with straw and then you insert supplied bamboo straws and suck…

It was unexpectedly soft, honeyed whiskey…Very nice, potent, guaranteed to put a smile on ones face…Astons nan taking a sip or three…

Time to come home and we always came away with lots of fresh fruit and vegetable like lemongrass, galangal, morning glory, kale and honey still in the comb..all wonderfully freshly picked, dug up and gave to us with so much love…I, of course, left the wine glasses I had taken for next time, with the promise I would bring more wai Khao( white wine) for the ladies…a treat for them.  The men by now were merry on the Laos whiskey we had bought and some other drink ( not sure ) of the origin but infused with honey and ginger…it tasted quite potent. It was certainly the land of smiles…

A lovely afternoon.

I of course slipped and stacked it…..I hurt my big toe and received an impromptu Thai foot massage…which was very nice.

I hope you have enjoyed this snapshot of life in a Thai Village…

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 a creative week ahead and all you Tennis fans …Enjoy! xx

 

 

 

 

Week 10…In my kitchen…Jackfruit and Jerk Fish…

Welcome to this week in my kitchen …Our high season is here which means it is very hot in the kitchen so methinks it is time to dust off the BBQ and cook in my second kitchen which has doors at either end and is more open so if there is a breeze when it blows through so much cooler.

My jackfruit tree has fruit and for the first year, I have flowers on my curry trees and apparently when it fruits they are edible something new to try…

Jackfruit is also becoming a popular alternative to meat for vegans, vegetarians and anyone wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle as when cooked the texture is similar to pulled pork.

When ripe jackfruit is eaten as a fruit but unripe jackfruit is prepared as a vegetable. Young jackfruit is used in stews or curries, boiled, roasted; or fried and eaten as a snack. The seeds can also be eaten as a snack after being boiled and then roasted.

Spicy jackfruit salad which in Thai is called Tam Khanun or Tam banun it is made by pounding boiled jackfruit with chilli paste and then stir-frying.

First step over and that was cutting the Jackfruit…I can guarantee if you use an oiled knife and grease your hands the latex doesn’t stick…You do have to keep re-greasing the knife though but any which attached itself came off easily with the cooking oil…

My jackfruit slices are now simmering gently on the stove…

Once they are tender and cooled down enough for me to remove the outer skin I will be doing so…

Ingredients for Tam Kanun:

  • 400 gm green, young Jackfruit
  • 100 gm minced pork (optional) if vegetarian or vegan.
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes cut in quarters.
  • 3- 6 tsp Chilli paste ( depending on your taste)

To serve:

  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • 5 dried birds eye chillies fried
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic.
  • 1 tbsp coriander

Let’s Cook!

Once cooked drain the jackfruit well, pound in a pestle and mortar and set to one side. I had heard cooked this looks like pulled pork and it does…Or tinned tuna…

Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the garlic until it is nicely browned add the chilli paste and stir-fry for a minute.

Add the minced pork ( if using) and stir-fry until it is cooked 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and the jackfruit stir-fry to combine well add the kaffir lime leaves and remove from the heat.

Serve with sticky rice and the fried garlic, chillies, spring onions and coriander as garnish.

The first time I made this dish… We were very pleasantly surprised if I hadn’t cooked it and it was put in front of me I would never have known it was Jackfruit…Truly ☺ What do you think??

Tam Kanun Spicy Jackfruit Salad… we all loved it and I would definitely make it again.

The ripe Jackfruit arils (pictured) below are eaten here with sticky rice just pushed into the centre.

♦♦♦♦♦

Sourdough…Update I am feeding it twice daily and it is definitely a lot livelier so we may (fingers crossed) get our first loaf this weekend…What am I going to call it after giving me so much trouble either Matilda or Phoenix ( Sally’s ) suggestion…What do you think???

♦♦♦♦♦

As you know our in-laws bought a few bananas when they came so Banana bread it was…I love Banana bread but could eat it until it goes out of favour so I am limiting myself and

encouraging everyone else to eat it…haha…The passionfruit butter is always a hit when I make it we all love the sweet and tart taste of the passionfruit…

Recipe for Banana Bread and Passion fruit Butter

♦♦♦♦♦

Last week on my trip to the market I bought the lovely Majong fruit which is now in season, green mango, lots of herbs and some fish, Passionfruit is abundant at the moment but I gave that a miss the apples are very nice at the moment nice and crisp and a little bit tart…I also picked my cheese up and a lovely piece of blue cheese which was new in…I have had to be very strict with myself as it needs to last and it is a large 750 gm piece which means I can do some cooking with it.

mackerel green mango marian fruit and herbs

Down on the Farm…The fruit and vegetables on the farm are doing well we have 2 new baby turkeys and the radishes are ready to pick…Nice and hot apparently…Grandad will love these…

 

♦♦♦♦♦

This week’s Curry:-  Jerk Fish.

Does Jerk Fish count? Well, it has some heat and as fish is quite abundant at the moment here goes I hope you enjoy as much as we did…spicy, spicy skin but the fish, sweet and lovely.

Jerk Fish:

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium size Perch.
  • I tbsp Allspice berries or ground allspice.
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 1 large pinch ground cloves.
  • 1/2 tbsp muscovite sugar.
  • Few sprigs Thyme picked and chopped.
  • Few sprigs fresh coriander chopped.
  • 3-6 birds eye chillies finely chopped.
  • 2 clove garlic finely chopped.
  • 3cm fresh ginger.
  • 2 spring onions.
  • zest of 1 lime.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 11/2 tbsp honey.
  • 2 tbsp golden rum ( optional)

Slash fish 3 times across diagonally and put in oven proof dish and put on one side.

Pound allspice, peppercorns and bay leaves together. Mix in cloves, sugar and honey. Add herbs, chillies, garlic, ginger and bash together.

Tip into a jug and add chopped tops of spring onions, lime zest, a drizzle of oil, a pinch of salt and the rum if using. Mix well.

Pour marinade over the fish and massage well in both sides( it’s a good idea to wear gloves for this )SAM_7116

Leave in fridge to Marinade for at least one hour.

Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees or gas 7. Cook for 20-30 minutes until slightly charred and cooked.

SAM_7119   Serve with Lime slices, Salsa and rice or new potatoes. This marinade can be used with Chicken or Pork.

Next week I will ( I hope) to be showing you how well my taco cases turned out made with Crispy Pork skin…We love crispy crackling and the thought of a taco shell made with it has all of us salivating here…Wish me luck…

We are waiting for little Lily to come it is her weekend and then next week she is coming to stay for two months or so she tells me as the schools here have their long holiday during the high season…Happy Days….

That is all from me this week in my kitchen…Tomorrow is my market shopping day I wonder what new fruits or vegetables I can find…I always look forward to Saturdays xx

Thank you for reading I hope you are enjoying my week in the kitchen…

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!

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

Retired No one told me Jackfruit, Fish Friday, Mr Peace…

 

red-lantern-1202514_1920

By now most of you know that I love tradition and Thailand is steeped in tradition… Chinese New Year will soon be upon us followed by the lantern festival… Already the preparations have begun and if you are travelling to Thailand or China and will be here on those dates you will be awed at the sight of the red and yellow lanterns and decorations which are hung everywhere…We have huge Thai/Chinese population here and last year Udon Thani was awash with all the banners, flags and decorations and we had street entertainment..lots of delicious street food and it is time for me to sample different dishes…The fireworks are impressive and the music loud…Oh Yes! I kid you not…

But it is fun and so much to see and do..dancing dragons and lions and stilt walkers and what they do on stilts..the mind boggles…How?

 

Chinese New Year is followed by the Lantern Festival which is celebrated 15 days after Chinese New Year…and the little rice balls are foodies heaven…wonderful little morsels of food…

Which is held 15 days after Chinese New Year…in the past there have been celebrations on each day after Chinese New Year up until the 15th making for one long celebration now you have the Chinese New Year and then The Lantern Festival on the 15th day afterwards.

Last Saturday saw me doing what I love best street food and markets.

Tessabaan fish man cutting fish

and last Thursday saw me talking about one of my favourite memories The Secret Garden which is also one of my favourite stories from my childhood…I loved that story…

Every Wednesday sees me over at Sally’s Place where she has graciously invited moi to write a weekly food column. Sally tirelessly promotes and helps everyone she can and what she doesn’t know about the medicinal benefits of food and nutrition you could write on a postage stamp. You can find Sally on the link below.

cropped-for-web Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

For my weekly food column …this week I wrote about the exotic Jackfruit and next week I will be back to something you can all get and love ???? No spoiler this week…lol

Annette Rochelle Aben…a fellow writer and blogger posted a very important message which I felt compelled to share when I was reading this I felt sad that these statistics are so high and hopeful that people like Mr Peace are getting that message out there…These kids are our future and we should be doing all we can as adults to help stop these terrible trends of bullying and peer pressure and protecting our children …So please read and share and let’s try to see if we can help change those statistics and kick them into touch…Tell me a story Mr Peace

Fish Fridays my last fishy post for a while ( I am writing) a recipe book on fish it will now be Fruity Fridays… Spoiler Alert!

pineapple-boat-575802_1280

Book reviews… I don’t usually but I had seen a few for the same book and now I am going to be painfully honest… I have always mainly kept to myself my views on certain subjects and not because I didn’t agree but maybe that I didn’t know enough to feel I should air my views..lack of understanding…lack of knowledge… how certain sections of society reported or portrayed… how it was dealt with…as in what I call knee-jerk reactions and the politically correct part of society….Put that all into the pot and it makes a subject a no-go area or makes one against it without knowing why sometimes… I hope you understand that because I don’t…Maybe now I see the effects of people’s actions and I don’t like it…I want to know more about certain areas and have an understanding … I have purchased the book and it is my next read…Heavens Rage By Leslie Tate.

Proud parents… My Turkey babies

Proud mummy turkey with babies

It is really cold here at the moment 16 degrees and even colder in Sakon Nakon where the farm is and my turkey babies..but as pictured they are snuggling under mum for warmth so all is well.

Soapbox time Healthy Eating..the right way.

What is the right ??? Well for me it is not to diet, to eat what food I like and moderation…

Fads, tablets, drinks, celebrity endorsed money gobbling diets to NOT work… I believe if we eat the right things and in moderation and do some exercise be it going to the gym, swimming, walking…It is your body, YOUR HEALTH, Your choices!

I will be giving you some choices, telling you what I eat, what has made me healthier, what has helped me lose weight, what I eat, why I eat it…I eat because I love food…

There will be no right way or wrong way…BUT Your way…

So together we can find your way… Are you ready???

I hope you have enjoyed this weekly roundup…xxx

Now off to make some prawn toasts…Which I have named Rustic Prawn Toasts as that is what they were..Tasty but rustic xxx

Until next time…Tomorrow… Stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is the best medicine and it is FREE XXX

 

 

 

 

Down on the Farm…Proud parents.

The first pictures of our new turkey babies:

 

 

If you look closely you can see they are just making an appearance…we didn’t want to disturb them or frighten them by getting too close.

They are now a bit bigger and mum is taking them outside for daily walks…However, we have a young puppy and he has very quickly learnt to keep his distance he got too inquisitive and mum got quite angry with him ..apparently jumped on him and made him squeal and sent him on his way… Natures way of giving a clip around the ear… Methinks!

Our black baby chicks are getting quite big now…They are quite beautiful and hand tame…

One of the turkey mums has opted to lay on her eggs outside she didn’t like the new home we have made for them so we will leave her in peace to hatch her babies where she wants…Sometimes nature knows best…

On the fruit and vegetable side….the kale is looking very nice and much better than the markets and lasts a good few days when it is picked.

The young coconut trees are doing well but it will be a few more years before they fruit. The Papaya tree has many fruits so lots of Som Tam(Papaya Salad)…A LOVELY yummy recipe for you 🙂 Just click the link 🙂

Papaya on tree

The Jackfruit trees are full of fruit so it looks like a bumper crop this year… To read all about the Jack Fruit on WEDNESDAY on my food column on Smorgasbord… Click here to read last weeks post 🙂

Bananas as always are plentiful…

Our babies are now growing well… A little bigger and venturing out for a walk with mum keeping a watchful eye on them.

 

That’s all for now Down on the Farm my timer has just gone off…The ham is ready..there is nothing better than home-cured ham is there??

Until next time..enjoy your weekend and laugh a lot xx