Category Archives: musings

Whimsical Wednesday with CarolCooks2…

Good morning from sunny Thailand…not for long methinks as the chance of rain stands at 80% and the clouds are gathering which they did yesterday AM…the heavens opened…and it is the same forecast for the next 8 days at least but it is low season so expected and the rice fields love it…

Me… I love a walk in the rain and a lovely puddle to walk through…it also clears the air…

Welcome to Whimsical Wednesdays where I indulge my whimsy…

Seen first on Darlene’s FB page…What a lovely idea…Darlene has followed my blog since day one …Thank you, Darlene and she herself is the author of the very popular Amanda Books which are loved by many…The bear idea was started a while ago by a Paris cafe owner…

Teddy bears always make us smile, don’t they? Unlike clowns who scare the bejesus out of me…We are talking Stephen Kings IT here…

Did you know that fear of clowns is called Coulrophobia?… Neither did I…

One of Elvis Presley’s most embarrassing moments was when he appeared on the Steve Allen Show on July 1st, 1956 singing “Hound Dog” to a Bassett Hound…Elvis’s fans were not happy…

I love dogs and think they are very cute and intelligent…Zoom is something quite new to me and many others and has taken off during this pandemic…There have been some very moving moments and some funny ones and this one is quite funny…Enjoy!

It was however on July 6th, 1971 that one of the world’s most influential musicians sadly passed away but his legacy plays on…one of my favourite Louis Armstrong tracks is Mack The Knife…although Bobby Darin also comes a close second and recognised in the billboards top 100…I could write a whole post on the life of this track…and it’s birth in a Threepenny murder opera …Franks version is also high on my list…

Who loved to sleep under the stars as a child with a tent made by throwing a sheet/blanket over the clothes line? I know I did…it is a childhood dream that carries through to adulthood for many of us…

This secluded retreat in South Iceland caters to guests who want to be surrounded by nature—and you will be literally immersed in it, staying in your own private bubble nestled in the forest.

You can sleep under the vast sea of twinkling stars and be entirely enclosed in the glass bubble—and if you are lucky, you’ll get a once-in-a-lifetime view of the aurora borealis over your head.

Robert Robertsson, the owner and managing director of the Bubble project based in Reykjavík summed it up saying, “Some childhood dreams stay with us for our whole lives.”

Buubble-room-in-Iceland-SWNS

“Sleeping under the stars or watching the aurora borealis dance is one of those lifelong dreams.”

This made me smile…everyone knows who Charlie Chaplin is…Don’t they?… Not everyone it seems because Charlie Chaplin once lost a Charlie Chaplin look-alike competition…In 1975, a few years before he passed away, Charlie Chaplin entered a look-alike contest in France. He came in third, not first. A theory as to why he didn’t win is that he has blue eyes that couldn’t be seen in black and white, so the judges didn’t recognise him. Whatever the case, though, he was apparently a good sport …

Lastly to all my American readers have a great July 4th...I know that usually as its a National Holiday that there are Fireworks, family reunions, concerts, barbecues, picnics, parades, baseball games some of which may not take place this year but however you safely celebrate wear masks and observe social distancing it does work look at Thailands figures…and enjoy!

That’s all for today…Be well and stay safe don’t forego those precautions too quickly as many areas are seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases…It ain’t over yet folks…Better to be safe than sorry…xx

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

Whimsical Wednesday with CarolCooks2…

Good afternoon from a very warm Thailand…The morning has passed in a whirl of catching up on reading posts and then getting sided tracked sorting out my categories and I haven’t even started on the tags. Thanks to the lovely Hugh I think I have finally got the gist of categories and tags…it is going to take me a little while to do the housekeeping on them but hopefully, it will be a benefit.

I don’t know about you but however long you have been blogging there is always something to learn…If you are like me and just write something in the box..hands up I did then pop over to Hugh’s and read his post on Categories and Tags.

Now for some whimsy…

architecture big ben-21577_640

Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) in London is leaning over so much it can now be seen with the naked eye.

The lean was discovered when Transport for London commissioned a report because the extension of the Jubilee Line passes under Parliament. Experts are unsure of what is causing the tower to lean.

But one theory is that the London clay on which the tower was built is drying out.

Mike McCann, the keeper of the great clock, told BBC London: “We have been monitoring it since 1999, so we’ve got some pretty good data. “Our resident expert believes it will be between 4,000 and 10,000 years before it becomes a problem.

I know many people think that film stars etc earn obscene amounts of money but it is always heartening when they put some of that money and their influence to a good cause such as animal welfare.

At last…Kaavan the elephant will soon know kindness and freedom…

Did you know?

The human nose can remember 50,000 different scents.

Nina Simone…Such a gifted musician and singer…

A prominent figure in the Civil Rights movement in America, Simone was also a noted jazz and soul singer. Her famous recording includes versions of “I Loves You, Porgy,” “My Baby Just Cares for Me” and her own civil rights anthem “Mississippi Goddam”.
Angered by racism in America, she permanently left the country in 1973.

That was in 1973 was she wrong?

Nina Revisited… A Tribute to Nina Simone was released along with the Netflix documentary in 2015. On the album, Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan, Usher, Alice Smith, and more paid tribute to the legend by performing covers of 16 of her most famous tracks.

Did you know?

Japan is facing a ninja shortage.

ninja-5260928_640

There is a high demand for “ninja shows,” but it is a dying tradition and companies have trouble time finding properly trained ninjas.

Who doesn’t enjoy a slice of toast?

toast-759670_640

The process by which bread toasts is called the ‘Maillard Reaction’. The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. Seared steaks, fried dumplings, cookies, and other kinds of biscuits, bread, toasted marshmallows, and many other foods undergo this reaction.

Snails don’t you love to hate them especially when they decimate your seedlings and plants …I have often wondered just how they can munch through a plant that quickly…Well with 14,000 teeth they have the capacity to do just that…and some can even kill you!

Thankfully it isn’t your common garden snail but a Cone Snail which live in the sea…Even so, I will certainly look at the snails I see in a different light…

Technology….is a modern phenomenon or so one would think well oft times it is…But as with many names they have connections which go back years…Bluetooth is one…Bluetooth” technology was named after a 10th-century king, King Harald Bluetooth. He united Denmark and Norway – just like the wireless technology united computers and cell phones. Who would have thunk?

Everyone knows I love trees and I think this is a super idea…

For every child born in Wales since April 2014, the Welsh Government has donated a fruit tree to Ugandan families, to celebrate the birth or adoption of every child. The Welsh government chose Uganda as Uganda is one of the most biologically diverse countries in Africa. Home to endangered species like Chimpanzees, wild dogs, and most of the region’s endemic bird species, planting trees here gives them a better chance of survival.

Jack Fruit on tree in my garden

Uganda has a rapidly growing population which is putting a great deal of stress on the country’s forests. A larger population and an influx of refugees are increasing demand for firewood, pushing agricultural expansion, and expanding land settlement – all of which is having an adverse impact on tree coverage. Uganda now experiences one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. Like most of the country, Western Uganda (part of the Albertine Rift) is a biodiversity hotspot, home to the most endemic and threatened species of vertebrates on the continent, many of which rely on the forest for habitat and food.

That’s it for today..running a bit late…Lots of little bits and pieces have put me back today…

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

 

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!

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….   🙂