Category Archives: musings

Back up my hard drive? How do I put it in reverse?

What a week…….it’s like losing your right arm…..

untitled

But don’t panic …harmony and Peace now reign….” IT’S BACK”

Thanks to the lovely people @ Computers…a big red sign……who worked wonders on my little laptop.

My i-pad takes great photos and is great when you are on the run but instead of my trusty laptop..no contest!

Now busy ..backing up……

On reflection though it gave me time to THINK…..now that’s dangerous some will say..but I have short stories to complete..deadline 1st November for our second Anthology of Phuket Writers Short Stories…….. A cook book with a twist is planned…..may be titled..” They will only grate their fingers once”……. you don’t want to be inside my mind…. it scares me..ha ha

Another new project in the offing..yikes I’m scaring myself…. Retired? No One did tell me!

Saang Chai is busting to get on my laptop..indeed the big lump is on my lap as I type…he sure is a big puppy weighing in at 22kilos @ 7 months…those big paws don’t lie……..His blog will come later…and let me tell you he best tell the truth …he has been so disobedient this week but he gives lovely cuddles….and don’t get me started on his dinners…..the fussiest Soi Dog in the world…but  I love him…

SAM_7022

Who could not?

The predicted storm and bad weather well it’s sunny…shhhhhhhhh so maybe just maybe it won’t  happen……..I need a gardner…do you think I can find one in this nation of gardeners so that’s this weeks mission and a half……one of my bestest arrives tomorrow for a few days of girlie fun   …Oh yes! ..my alter ego…Roxy will be on top form…will you get pics…..mmmmmmm I know not..he he

Woof move over………………….Ok , Ok Saang Chai……….time to go…have a fun week…until next time 🙂

You don’t have to put an age limit on your dreams!

I truly think that is true..in my wildest dreams and imagination I would have never, ever thought I would be doing what I do now or live where I live…..even my thoughts are different to even 5 years ago..maybe this is what I really always wanted but life sometimes overtakes you, gets in the way all sorts of reasons or maybe I just didn’t have the courage…I am certainly braver than I was…I speak about things I would never have before and to strangers…I respond to blogs with an ..I don’t know…maybe abandon….I am definitely calmer…pfffff that’s a relief..not so hot-headed as when I was young…..still don’t like my photo taken ……..I have been reading many blogs lately..some political so I can try to understand some of the things going on in the world..but I also think that sometimes however much you learn or think you understand..some people are just bad, through and through…

I read blogs about what is being put in our food and drink,  again so much to plough through…… once you start clicking on links….so I have decided that rather than becoming paranoid I will do what I think is reasonable for me, for us..my family……some things we eat very rarely or the quantities are so minute..for example…I brine my own ham and baconSAM_6497..why?….well because I have more time to do so…Because I don’t like slimy, processed ham..yuk…so again… research…so much information….do I use ” Salt Petre” or natural brining agents…mmmmmmm well tried celery juice..it was ok and I like celery but not as an after taste in my bacon…..well I deduced from all my findings that for the amount used and the dilution ratio that it wasn’t that much of a risk..my opinion let me say…..the human body can process  small amounts….however if we contracted botulism because I didn’t use it..it’s likely that the human body would not fight that successfully…no brainer really…my opinion guys…so as I don’t eat bacon sarnies every single day and two on Sundays as well as having a shop bought,additive laden BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich for lunch 5 days a week…..and eat ham or bacon in every other guise  for the remainder of my weeks meals then I’m pretty safe I think.

I read blogs about vaccinations..or one blog that I chanced upon and it presented both sides of the argument/discussion…… again my opinion but the increase in bad cases of measles and whooping-cough lead me to think that immunisation is not a bad thing….again my opinion.

I  also read a previous post on this blog which was about people who ..like me….have lovely island views, dogs, cats, food,etc but no pic of themselves and saying…. “Who are you really?”..it was actually well written and made me think …that in this day and age we have to be really careful who we chat to…so after much deliberation …I have decided that you lot are all grownups and if I post a mug shot of me…..it won’t keep you awake at night …so…..Ta Da!

Blondieaka.

Blondieaka.

Things to do today: 1. Get Up… 2. Survive…..3……. Go to bed!

Well that’s my day sorted!

So I stretched, opened my eyes….sun shining through the window…reached for my little silky number that I put on in the morning…must have slipped to the floor…..picked it up, put it on…and it slipped slowly straight off……no straps….and there they were beautifully displayed on the floor.!

Saang Chai!  I got this sleepy one-eyed look and then it dawned on him..he crept to my feet, literally doing that slidey movement dogs do when they know they shouldn’t have and gave me the baby browns…morning mum..love you….I wonder methinks that on Monday whether he will tell the whole truth and nothing but?…..Just licked it my arsss……..

Soi dogs_street dogs-Saanchai

Pretending to be asleep with one ear cocked

He is now snoozing at my feet now without a care in the world..

Today I am sorting out my e-mail and my media …and of course WP reader…

Because guys I do read your blogs, well most of them ..like everyone the odd blog is not for you..but I do read most and they are great…I have met some wonderful people….and some not so ……I like happy blogs..blogs that help me, blogs that teach me something I didn’t know…blogs that make me laugh, blogs that make me cry and realise how lucky I am……

So why am I lucky?? I have wonderful children and grand children who I love with a passion….I live in Paradise……except for the ANTS who are the bane of my life ..I have had pest control who are probably wishing I had never signed that contract..the odd scorpion..Scary the daughter in law just wacked it…HARD…

Spiders galore…..gekos and lizards..they are ok….beautiful butterflies and birds and fish and the pesky termites who were eating my kitchen cupboards…ha ha but not any more..thanks to pest control..they got that bit right..but to be fair we do have lots of ants…oh and the odd Cobra or two….and it’s warm..we get spectacular storms……and POWER CUTS……The electric is the worst..cables everywhere..and just a drop of rain and of it goes…tomorrow it’s  off 9-4..

How do I know that as all the announcements are in Thai……but this one ..they must have listened to me was in the paper!

So tomorrow….sun allowing, it will have to be the beach folks …. That OF COURSE was  10521879_10152472184109865_5630515386234439606_nSAM_6522SAM_5120.

Then and this is now I have swapped the beach for rural Thailand so it is lakes and waterfalls… and water buffaloes…

Water Buffalo- Red Lotus Lake

But today…I am also pickling onions……

Onions- pickled-home cooked-from scratch

Home made pickled Onions

Pickled Onions:

Ingredients:

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

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

Let’s get Pickled:

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

Enjoy!

Well  that’s me…. done the first two…bit early for bed…well maybe a siesta…….and then a sundowner x

I hope you enjoyed this revamped earlier post..One of my first…Sorting my media out …Headache and all my fault…

Until next time have a lovely day xxx

About Carol:

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 cook with have 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 for reading xx

 

 

 

 

I won’t be impressed with technology until I can download FOOD!

So love that title! This old grey matter is still puzzling how it could be done but at least it has given me something to think about…like I need another thought in this brain of mine….I’m sure if anyone travelled through my mind they would  come out staggering,their face a picture worth taking for posterity….. it would probably go viral…such are the workings of my mind…ha ha

Come on! Come on! I can just hear you ….she is rambling again!  Is it not RECIPE time??????

Oh Yes!

Treacle Tart:

An old favorite….ok..ok recipe…SAM_7123

Ingredients:

For pastry:

225 gm Plain Flour.

115 gm butter.

55 gm Sugar.

1 egg yolk.

Chilled water to mix.

For Filling:

450 gm  Golden Syrup.

85 gm Breadcrumbs.

Pinch ground ginger( optional)

Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tbsp juice.

Method:

Sift flour into bowl and rub in butter to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar. Add egg yolk and chilled water a tbsp at a time until mixture comes together to form ball. Wrap in cling film and chill 20/30 mins in fridge.

Gently roll out pastry and line 9 inch tin or dish, lightly prick bottom of pastry with a fork , line with baking parchment and cooking beans . Put in pre heated oven 180 degrees/gas 6 and bake 15 mins remove baking parchment and beans and bake for further 5 minutes.Remove from oven and set aside.

Make filling by gently warming syrup in saucepan with fresh breadcrumbs, ginger, lemon zest and juice. When mixed together pour into baked case .NB. Mixture should be fairly thick consistency but pourable …..if required add more breadcrumbs.

Put into oven at 190 degrees and bake for further 25 minutes.

Serve with cream or hot custard.

Lamb is very expensive here and a treat for us…Monday we had a lovely butterflied shoulder and had some left overs ..cold lamb is not very nice so decided to make some flat bread..a first time for me and I was really pleased at how they came out..very quick and easy to make and use the left over lamb. Hence my Egyptian Lamb flat breads.

Egyptian Lamb Flat Breads:  SAM_7141

Ingredients:

Flat Bread:

1/4 cup milk.

1/2 cup water.

2 cups flour.

1 tbsp Baking Powder.

2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp salt.

Filling Mix:

300 gm leftover cooked lamb…can use beef, pork or chicken.

1 lemon finely zested.

juice half lemon.

2 tsp black pepper.

1 tsp oregano or marjoram.

1 tsp dried thyme

I tsp Paprika.

1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted.

2 eggs beaten.

1 tsp sea salt….I always use Himalayan salt.

4 Spring onions finely sliced.

Method:

Make flat breads.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins…. if that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour. Divide into 8 pieces. Flatten with heel of hand and roll out very thin.

My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with .

Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done… finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.SAM_7137 SAM_7138

Lamb Filling:

Chop lamb into rough little chunks and pieces. Put in large bowl with lemon zest and squeeze half of lemon juice into mix. Add all your spices, the eggs, salt and pepper and most of spring onions..retain some for garnish. Mix together thoroughly.

Lay out flat breads and cover half with filling, then fold over and press together. You get half-moon shape.

Get 2 large baking trays rub one with Olive oil Lay flat breads on oiled tray, lightly rub other tray and pop this on top of flat breads. Put trays into pre heated hot oven  and cook 6-8 minutes. This way flatbread will get lovely and crispy on top. If you have small trays you may need to do in batches.

Depending on size of flat breads cut in two …I left mine whole as I served individually( see picture) and not on large serving plate but for party or just because you want to…..  serve on one dish with Houmous….Recipe can be found on a previous blog ..published June 18th ..titled ..If you think sunshine brings you happiness, then you haven’t danced in the rain.

Yoghurt dip made with some chopped mint, good squeeze lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Scatter over reserved onions, sprinkle with little cumin. Serve with lemon/ lime wedges.

Voila   ………… Eat and enjoy!

Wow I got an award!

Well actually two but haven’t got round to the second one yet! The hardest part is not picking other great blogs but thinking of interesting, profound and witty facts about me!

Oh please..I am just a happy retiree who loves her kids and grandkids with a passion..do a bit of cooking…like a drop or three of vino…….love proper chocolate…..hate it when people ” dig ” yes “dig the butter out pleasssse scrape it nicely……..

Really think Noah should have killed those Mosi’s

Loove my not so little Soi Dog……..absolutely think bankers and politicians should get a big, massive taste of their own medicine…..admire all those fantastically clever bloggers who blog about all these hints and tips on how to be??????? ..so wish I was tall and slim and willowy with legs to die for and would I work it..hell yehhhhh..if you got it flaunt it….

Love how I have been welcomed into the blogging and writing worlds and without the help and encouragement and the listening to my dreams of certain friends ” you rock ” I would be doing neither and thank you for introducing me to Kow Soi.SAM_6957..great dish..best Thai food ever……

Sad that some never comment except to ” nicely” critique…..and I wish they would for once say…just say…I liked  that!

I really do not like jellied eels…….would really love to be able to step back to a time of my choosing just for a day …would not want to go forward in time too scary….

Well that’s a little insight into me and for the record have always been blonde..naturally hence the name blondieaka…..my real moniker is Carol or Caz so feel free to call me that…..

Well just back from the beach…Saang Chai had a lovely romp and dug a few holes wasn’t sure about the water when the waves started coming back at him…ha ha.. and did the heavens open  or did they open so it was quick stop the truck and put said mutt in the back in the dry as the heavens just opened as they do here..but that’s for Saang Chai to relate to you on Monday…until next time we are curry cooking at the moment well one’s son is and I am supervising  …ha ha…don’t tell him that…

Chat soon…love you all …laugh a lot and be happy….:)

Some days you just have to create your own sunshine!

Well so far all’s well on the sunshine front but another severe weather warning has been posted!

No small boats to go out..means no fresh squid for salad but hey ho I can live with that, we have had enough drownings this season because people don’t heed the warnings  or the Red Flags…… does a red flag not mean the same in any language on a beach?  or they presumably think they are strong enough swimmers…some will never learn will they? So I can forgo my squid as long as everyone is safe.

Saang Chai is settling in well he is finding plenty to chew but I will let him relay that in his own blog on Monday folks. If you haven’t read his very first blog( I am told ) it’s very funny then drop by you won’t want to miss an episode.

OHHHH I can see some big clouds looming which means rain soon and more ants, I am over run with them got 3 big ant nestsSAM_7032 in my garden I think they like it here, 2 termite ones, this weather is certainly making them want to nest build and make the grass grow…. Methinks it’s time to call a man who can!

Wow sunshine again…….SAM_7041Here I am sitting in my office looking out , one minute it’s sunny and the next we have rain. So methinks best get to market before the heavens open because I’m sure they will..it’s Thai Green Curry  tonight if you would like the recipe let me know…I will be posting it on my next recipe blog along side Brownies made with Coconut Flour they look yummy ( in the picture) will they be yummy ? Will let you know for sure.

Bye for now have a lovely weekend , have fun, stay safe if you are swimming and you see a red flag…Love you all….   🙂

 

Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.

Hello from sunny Phuket where some will say I am living my dream ..well never wearing stiletto’s again is one of them realised…Long live bare feet and flip-flops!

Anyway, I digress by popular demand especially for Susan and Ian ( and let’s see how close mine is to an Aussie staple.

 

Ta Daa!

Beetroot Chutney:

Ingredients:

1.5k Beetroot.

3 Brown Onions.

3 Apples (Granny Smiths)

450ml Balsamic vinegar.

80ml Fresh Orange Juice.

350gm raw sugar.

1/2 tsp ground cloves.

2 large sprigs Rosemary.

Method:

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

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

Add remainder of ingredients. Except for Rosemary.

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

SAM_6987

This can be enjoyed in Burgers or with cold cuts meat.

My next recipe for those of you who love fish is a Thai Squid Salad. This is one of the very first Thai dishes I was shown how to make  and a favorite with my grandson and for me who had only ever had the dreaded rubbery battered squid a revelation and a converted eater of squid whether it be in a salad or curried which is also very yum and the recipe to follow in another blog post

Thai Squid Salad.

Thai- squid-salad-authentic

Ingredients:

6 small baby squid, cleaned and sliced in 1/4 in strips.

2 birds eye chillies, sliced.

3 shallots sliced.

10 cherry Tomatoes, quartered.

Bunch coriander chopped, I use stalks as well as love the taste of coriander.

1-2 tbsp Fish Sauce.

Juice of half Lime.

Method:

Cook squid in boiling water for 1 to 1 half mins (too long and it will be rubbery)

Remove from water. Add chopped tomatoes, chillies, shallots and coriander.

Mix gently to combine.

Add fish sauce and Lime juice and Taste and taste again..if more fish sauce or lime juice required then add a little at a time and taste. I use quite a lot of fish sauce and lime but this is not to everyone’s taste so I can’t say it often enough “taste” and if more is required add.

 

This is a lovely refreshing salad, serve with steamed or Thai sticky rice and enjoy.

Have a lovely relaxing Sunday until next time ..Enjoy…Love you all x