Category Archives: Fruity Fridays

Fruity Friday…#Buddha Hand Fruit…

Fruity Friday is where I bring you a fruit I have discovered some I find here and others I have discovered while doing my research and would try myself…Like last weeks fruit the Jabuticaba a fascinating fruit which grows on the trunk of the tree and one which I will most certainly be looking out for…I just love discovering new fruits and vegetables as it opens a whole new world, doesn’t it?

This Buddhas Hand Fruit looks like a mutant Lemon…Often used for decorations and Halloween themes…for which it is perfect…It is however perfectly edible it has no juice and no pulp you can just eat it sliced and raw…it’s lack of bitterness means it makes perfect candied fruit…

With a sweet lemon blossom aroma, it can be just popped in the middle table and the scent can waft around…

Its mild-tasting pith is not bitter which means the fruit can be zested or used whole…

How about infusing your vodka or making a simple syrup for cocktails? How does A Buddhacello sound?

Add to sugar or salt and viola a lovely flavoured salt/sugar to enhance your cooking…

Shave thin slices and add to a salad or slaw…a vinaigrette…a topping for fish…use as you would a lemon…

I am loving the sound of this fruit so much that I have ordered a plant for my garden plus a finger lime…it is native to China and India although it has been grown here …it seems not commercially…Buddhist monks are said to have taken its ancestor the citron from India to China where at least 6  six distinct types of Buddha’s Hand are cultivated on 5,000 acres just south of Shanghai. sometime in the mid to late 80’s the fruit was cultivated in California commercially…

Although many fruits are the size of a hand with fingers the fingered canopy has been known to grow between 6 and 12 feet in height this is why it is often used at Halloween and is sometimes known as the Ghost Hand…

Medicinally it has been used for centuries and for thousands of years used for pain relief…namely due to the chemical composition of the fruit, which includes coumarin, limonin, and diosmin. In combination with its anti-inflammatory capacity, Buddha’s hand can relieve swelling and pain caused by everything from injuries and surgeries to simple bangs and bruises and be often believed to speed up wound healing and discolouration of bruises.

This fruit needs a warm or at least temperate climate in which to grow. Where lemons and oranges can grow, so too can Buddha’s hand. Also like other citrus fruit, it ripens and is harvested starting in winter and may be available to buy into spring. It tends to come into season a bit more in-line with grapefruit than oranges, so we may be well into winter before you’ll see it piled up at markets.

As it is warm and sunny here I am hoping I can successfully grow this weird looking beautiful fruit…

I do hope you have enjoyed learning about this weird looking fruit as much as I have and if you are lucky enough to have tried this fruit please let us know in comments…I love to chat…Love Carol xx

 

 

 

 

 

I do hope you have enjoyed learning about this fruit as much as I have and if you are lucky enough to have tried this fruit please let us know in comments…I love to chat…Love Carol xx

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…7th February-13th February 2021…Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week… It’s Valentines Day…Happy Valentines Day to you all xx

Let’s go and see what goodies I had for you last week…so snuggle up in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine…Cheers!

Meatless Monday’s…

 

Where I did commit a faux pas…the salad had prawns in it although I will say it would be just as lovely without…my bad…However, it proves someone read the post as young Jim kindly let me know the error of my ways…Ooops…Thanx Jim…x

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/08/meatless-mondayweek-5-spicy-lentil-soup-with-crispy-shallots-and-a-thai-pomelo-salad/

Tuesday…My 2nd Protein Shake…Mango and Green Apple…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/09/homemade-protein-shakes-mango-and-green-apple/

Wednesday…The Culinary Alphabet in reverse…The Letters V & W…

This series is drawing to a close now only two more posts…But…it is not the end there will be another one coming which I do hope you enjoy…

I couldn’t find many for the letter V but, Pete came up with a cracker…Mazeltov (there’s my v, haha) for finding any food words ending in v. I was about to give up, and then I found one. (Of course, I had to look it up.) The word is “sev” which means “an Indian food of deep-fried strands of flour.”…Well Done, Pete! x

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/10/the-culinary-alphabet-with-a-little-twistfood-terms-ending-in-the-letter-v-chicken-kiev-and-w-tallow/

Thursday was time for another Homemade Protein shake this time Banana and Papaya

Bananas...my Thai family came to a visit loaded up with lots of tomatoes, bananas and salad so I think tomato chutney will be next on the agenda…they also brought me a nice big bundle of snake beans which I love and cauliflowers so again cauliflower will be on the menu…maybe some soup or roasted I haven’t decided yet it is so lovely, freshly picked and grown without pesticides…I am so lucky…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/11/homemade-protein-shakes-banana-and-papaya/

Thursday was also the day for Part Five – Anti-Aging and The Immune System by Sally Cronin.

This is a fabulous series which I am enjoying immensely I mean who doesn’t want to turn back the clock just a little and also call a halt to those little telltale wrinkles…I know I do…#recommended read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/02/11/smorgasbord-health-column-turning-back-the-clock-2021-part-five-anti-aging-and-the-immune-system-by-sally-cronin/

Fruity Friday’sJabuticaba Fruit…

Although I have seen fruit growing on the trunk of trees and indeed my own Jackfruit tree grows its fruit from the trunk this fruit looks amazing just like it has all been just placed there…I love discovering new fruits and vegetables and I love even more if I can come across them here, unfortunately, I haven’t come across this lovely fruit here yet but I know some of you lucky people have…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/12/fruity-friday-jabuticaba/

Saturday Snippets…The end of another week and where I release my whimsy…Enjoy!

It is mostly warm and sunny as our high season approaches and I have lots of fruit and vegetables and am enjoying some lovely sunshine breakfasts…I don’t think I have ever eaten as much fruit or vegetables as I do now…but I am loving it…

My walking is on the up 4 days on the bounce 10,000 plus steps I am even succeeding in getting Saangchai to lap me a bit more exercise for Muttley…Today is my rest day in so much as I will just take my evening walk but tomorrow I will be back on track…

I hope you enjoy Saturday Snippets…Happy Valentines Day x

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/13/saturday-snipppets-13th-february-2021/

Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…I hope you have enjoyed the read…if you have please head over and leave a comment it makes my day to hear from you …Love Carol xx

Fruity Friday…Jabuticaba

 

Similar in size to plums, with the flavour of a grape, this fruit-often called the Brazilian tree grape-is unique because of its strange growing habits. Unlike most fruit, which grows on a vine, jabuticaba grows directly on the trunk and branches of the Jabuticaba tree. The fruit can be picked and eaten raw, made into jelly, or fermented to make wine.

Although called the Brazillian grape tree it is also native to Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru and was introduced into California, USA at the beginning of the 20th century where it is successfully grown…

Not a fruit that I have come across here but I am certain some of my readers have…Have you? It is also said that every Jamaican grandmother has a tree in her garden however it also seems that nowadays many Jamaicans have not heard of this fruit…from the videos and images I have seen it is a very stunning tree with beautiful flowers and fruit…

They do look almost as if they have been stuck on the trunk…Jamaicans say just pick and eat them raw… You can make jams, preserves, eat them fresh, you can use them in meat dishes. If I could obtain some I rather fancy trying them with duck…

We do have fruit like the jackfruit which grows on the trunk of the tree… other fruits which grow on the trunk of the tree are Cauliflory, Mountain Apples, pickle tree, Cluster Fig Tree, cocoa tree and the Parmentiera Aculeata which bears an ancient Mayan fruit…I can get a few blog posts out of these fascinating trees…

If I haven’t told you then know that I love a cocktail…If you are lucky enough to be able to get a bottle of the liqueur then enjoy this Jabuticaba Mint Julip...Cheers xx

I do hope you have enjoyed learning about this fruit as much as I have and if you are lucky enough to have tried this fruit please let us know in comments…I love to chat…Love Carol xx

 

 

Fruity Friday’s…Nutmeg and Mace…

An autumnal and winter spice which is often used in autumn and winter desserts, soups, hot beverages it also pairs well with cheese and cream-based recipes…my abiding memory is rice pudding and that lovely brown skin which formed by my mother grating nutmeg over the top before baking the pudding we used to argue over it…now I get it all as hubby doesn’t like it…he doesn’t know what’s good for him…lol..but I am not arguing the point over this or sharing…

Traditional Rice Pudding…just like mum taught me…I know some cooks add cream and lemon/orange zest my mum didn’t and this is how I like it just a simple rice pudding no bells and whistles…

Ingredients:

  • 1tbsp butter (for greasing the dish)
  • 2 pts whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod (split)
  • 4 ounces short-grain white rice (about 2/3 cup)
  • 4 tsp grams golden caster sugar (or superfine white sugar)
  • Ground nutmeg (for topping, preferably whole grated)

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 300 F/150 C.

Lightly butter a 1.25-litre ovenproof pudding dish.

Gently heat the milk in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod using the back of a knife. Add the seeds to the pan and stir to disperse them. Drop in the vanilla pod. Heat the milk gently do not let it boil.

Move the pan off the heat and leave the milk to infuse for 5 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod.

Spread the rice and sugar in the buttered dish. Pour the warmed milk over it and stir thoroughly.

Grate a thick layer of nutmeg to generously cover the top.

Place the dish on a baking sheet and carefully put it in the centre of the preheated oven. Bake the pudding for about 2 hours, until it turns creamy and thick and forms a skin of nutmeg on top.

Let the pudding cool and set for about 15 minutes. Serve the rice pudding on its own or with stewed fruit such as poached pears or roasted rhubarb. You could also add a dollop of homemade jam on top…

Enjoy!

The history of nutmeg dates way back to the first century A.D…a treasured spice as it commanded a high price when trading…it even caused wars the Dutch conquested the Banda Islands, which ended in a massacre, to monopolize the nutmeg trade. This resulted in the establishment of the Dutch East India Company, an amalgamation of several Dutch trading companies.

Nutmeg has a long culinary history and can be part of both sweet and savoury dishes. It can be used whole and grated directly into a recipe or measured or shaken from a canister of pre-ground nutmeg. To use the whole nutmeg, you will need a Microplane or nutmeg grater to shave off a small portion of the seed. When including nutmeg, make sure not to use a heavy hand, as this intense spice can easily overpower the flavours of a dish.

Nutmeg is also an ingredient in different spice blends, such as pumpkin pie spice, ras el hanout, and garam masala (mace) which comes from nutmeg is what I use in my Masala Powder.

Garam Masala… I make all my own spices and this is no exception easy to make and it means spices rotate quicker so they are always fresher which one reason why I make my own spice mixes and also it is cost-effective and they contain no fillers and nasties like store-bought mixes.

Some ask the question is it the same as curry powder? The answer no…Curry powder contains many of the same ingredients, for example, fenugreek and cumin along with other spices however garam masala consists entirely of pungent spices and has a stronger flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamon pods green
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 piece of mace ( the outer covering of nutmeg)

Let’s Cook!

Dry roast all your spices individually until warm and fragrant. Leave to cool completely and then grind to a fine powder …I have a little coffee grinder which I use to grind my spices and it works really well prior to that I used a pestle and mortar which is hard work but brilliant as an arm toner.

Store in an airtight container and use within 3 months as the spice will start to lose its potency …If you use a lot of garam masala then just double or treble the quantities.

It is also sprinkled over a variety of hot beverages like cappuccino and eggnog for added flavour and garnish.

Nutmeg and Mace…although both spices come from the same tree, nutmeg and mace do differ from each other. The mace is the outer coating of the nutmeg seed, this is removed first and ground into a red-coloured spice, while the nutmeg pit or seed can either be kept whole or ground up.

Nutmeg has a milder taste compared to mace and is sweeter and more delicate; mace is a little spicier and can be described as a combination of pepper and cinnamon. Even though they grow as one, they are rarely used together in a recipe.

Also called the aril, this outer layer can be removed, dried, and used as a spice in its own right. Ground mace is sold in powdered form, or you can find it in dried, whole pieces called mace blades.

Nutmeg is a spice found in my kitchen and many kitchens worldwide. Its warm, nutty flavour pairs well with many foods, making it a popular ingredient in sweet and savoury dishes alike.

Aside from its many culinary uses, nutmeg contains powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds that act as antioxidants. These may improve mood, blood sugar control, and heart health, though more research is needed on these effects in humans.

But let’s not forget Mace...a spice in its own right…While mace can be used in sweet dishes similar to nutmeg, this spice really shines in savoury dishes. It’s often used in spice blends for flavouring meat dishes, stews, curries, savoury sauces, homemade pickles, and is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine.

But like its other half the nutmeg it comes with a warning…Mace contains the chemical myristicin which has been linked to hallucinations and other mental side effects. People who have taken larger doses of nutmeg, which also contains myristicin, have experienced nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, agitation, and hallucinations.

Thank you so much for dropping in and for reading this post it would be lovely to hear from you so please leave a comment … Love Carol xx

Until tomorrow and Saturday Snippets have a lovely day xx

 

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…6th December-12th December…Recipes, Whimsy and Christmas…Oh Yeah! …

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during this last week… only 16 sleeps…whatever your time zone grab a coffee or a glass of wine even a mince pie won’t be frowned on now…Take a pew, get comfy… have a read…X…

Santa’s checking out my blog and probably thinking he has got to get the elves to rewrap the presents so they are environmentally friendly …He knows those kids are on the ball…Think green, think waste …

All my Christmas goodies are now cooked and being fed, sweet mincemeat, Christmas pud and Christmas cake this year…so far it smells and looks good… just one more feed for the cake and then I will let it dry and marzipan it…I love marzipan any which way on a cake… covered in chocolate…I just love it!

 

How did this week start…slowly I will add I am just getting over a cold my first in about 6 yrs I have put it down to relaxing the morning ACV and ginger …although I have been drinking fresh coconut juice and green tea…I am back on the ginger and ACV…

My posts from now on are unashamedly Christmasy…Christmas here as most of you know is not celebrated apart from in my little bubble…  I always make the neighbours sausage rolls and mince pies…The downside is this year covid has put a stop to the deliveries of the little festive treats I was able to buy however I will always cook the puddings and pies until I hang up my apron and wooden spoon…

The upside is there is nothing frantic about the Christmas season here no adverts for gifts and expensive toys…I don’t miss that one iota…Bah Humbug to all of that…just a few treats for the kids as they are what Christmas is about for me…

I just stick to cooking and Carol’s which echo through the house…A perfect Christmas…Peace and Goodwill to you all…xx

My week started with Homemade Stuffing…there is nothing better… it can be simple or a tad more decadent but as long as it has a little crispy outside and tasty inside that’s all that matters…no self-respecting Christmas lunch would be the same without it!

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/12/08/christmas-recipes-homemade-stuffing/

Wednesday I was over at Smorgasbord Magazine with Sally Cronin for my last post of the current series of The Culinary Alphabet an A-Z of food and culinary terms …

Revamped and updated it has been a success…Thank you to Sally and everyone who has read and commented you all rock…XYZ is the final one please head over and say hello we both love to hear from you it makes our day…

I will, of course, be back next year with a new column…I know how difficult it is for me to try and have a more sustainable kitchen …it ain’t easy…so much is stacked against us and time is our enemy if we lead busy lives and have children and a career…my aim is to be more sustainable and I hope you will join me on my journey…x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/12/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-xyz-for-xawaash-spice-yams-and-zabaglione/

Thursday…Christmas Special #A traditional Christmas Menu…

I always try to make one new dish every Christmas..not sure what this years will be yet…something with pears maybe or a new desert for Boxing Day as we are eating out Christmas Day…Next week I will bring you some lighter puddings for those who don’t like Christmas Pudding and also some vegan recipes for my readers who are vegan I don’t want to leave you guys out…x

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/12/10/30142/

Fruity Friday…The Persimmon or Sharon Fruit.

A beautiful fruit similar to the apple just a softer crisp when you bite into it…A beautiful vibrant Orange colour… a lovely fruit that goes really well with cheese…Just saying!

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/12/11/fruity-friday-the-persimmon-fruit/

Saturday Snippets...12th December 2020…

Saturday Snippets where I engage my whimsey and kitsch …well it is that time of year…Christmas is not celebrated here and there are even fewer nods to Christmas here in the North of Thailand …I do believe Christmas is for kiddies and try to keep the magic going for them although this year methinks Covid has highjacked any hopes of buying anything the least bit festive …

Of course, I will bring out the Christmas kitsch and decorations when Lily arrives for Christmas…in the meantime I haven’t dispensed with the making of the cake, puddings, sweet mincemeat and pickles because we love all of those…and just in case you haven’t it is not too late…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/12/12/saturday-snippets-12th-december-2020/

Lastly but certainly not least...Sally from Smorgasbord has just released her new book…Now available on Kindle ( I have just) purchased my copy…A lovely Christmas gift or treat yourself you will not be disappointed…

I love the cover, Sally…Hugs x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/12/12/new-book-release-shortstories-life-is-like-a-bowl-of-cherries-sometimes-bitter-sometimes-sweet-by-sally-cronin/

That’s all for my weekly roundup…Thank you for reading….enjoy your weekend, stay safe and well but remember Christmas comes but once a year stay vigilant and please don’t put yourself or your loved ones at risk there is always next Christmas …xx

Fruity Friday…The Persimmon Fruit…

It is a very Orange time of year…not only are Persimmons in season but oranges, satsumas, Papaya and mango are at their best here…

Persimmon  … a lovely fruit with the texture of a crisp apple fairly sweet but very nice. The Thai name for Persimmon is Lūk phlạb, it is also sometimes called the Sharon Fruit.

The persimmon is one of the classical fruits of China, from where it was introduced in ancient times to Japan. Mainly grown in China and Japan commercially but smaller growers have developed in Italy, Israel, Brazil, California (U.S.A.), Australia and New Zealand. In South-East Asia, it is grown on a limited scale in Java, Sumatra, Malaysia and Northern Thailand.

At present grown by hill tribe growers here in Northern Thailand. Production has been slow to cultivate and they are mostly sold as fresh fruit which is probably why by comparison with other fruits they are expensive.

Many of the hill tribes here are growers which operate under the Royal Project which was started to help the hill tribes. The Royal Project was initially established in 1969 by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej to support farmers in rural areas to plant crops instead of planting opium. Initially, it was a voluntary project cooperated by many famous universities in Thailand such as Kasetsart University, Maejo University, and Chiang-Mai University. Nowadays, the Royal Project has travelled throughout the country covering Chiang-Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Phayao, and Mae Hong Son.

We are also lucky to have a Royal Project shop here in Udon Thani where produce is sold from these farmers all fruit and vegetables are sold in season and it is lovely because I can find unusual fruits and vegetables which cannot be found in larger stores although sometimes I get something once and then not again for a while they only stock what is in season and available rather than having the same regular deliveries which is nice…

It is also where I can get my proper Greek Yoghurt and not this greek style yoghurt which the other stores sell.

Persimmons can be eaten fresh, dried or cooked and are commonly used around the world in jellies, drinks, pies, curries and puddings. Which is probably why I have seen an increase in posts on Pinterest for persimmon recipes.

Now I have tried them I will also be trying a recipe or two so if you have any favourite recipes please share them with me 🙂

Persimmons are also a good source of thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), folate, magnesium and phosphorus.

These colourful fruits are low in calories and loaded with fibre, making them a weight loss-friendly food.

Aside from vitamins and minerals, persimmons contain a wide array of plant compounds, including tannins, flavonoids and carotenoids, which can positively impact your health.

The leaves of the persimmon fruit are also high in vitamin C, tannins and fibre, as well as a common ingredient in therapeutic teas.

So yes an Orange week all round for me… Plenty of vitamin C…

Thank you for reading this post and please leave a comment I love to hear from you and if you have any favourite recipes please share…

Until tomorrow and Saturday Snippets have a lovely day xx

Mimi At 15b

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