Category Archives: National Pumpkin Month

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 11th October -17th October 2020… Recipes, Health, Whimsy, Dreams and Tik Tok…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week… whatever your time zone grab a coffee or a glass of wine…Take a pew, get comfy… have a read… I hope you enjoy this much-shortened version…Relax and Enjoy! (1) Weekly Roundup

My first post of the week was on Tuesday 13th…Halloween Tales and recipes…

From what I have been reading Halloween in many places is not happening this year and in others, it has been curtailed or there may be some virtual goings-on planned…

however, for those of us with kiddies, I am sure you can make it happen with a little inventiveness in your own home and gardens…

Apple or doughnut bobbing is always good fun and if it gets too much then a black widow shot or two will help calm those shattered nerves…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/13/fang-tastic-recipes-apple-bobbing-and-black-widow-shots/

Wednesday:…I am over at Smorgasbord Blog Magazine  – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘T’ for Tea and Toast, Turmeric, Tobasco, Tahini, Tamarind and Elephant’s Ears (it is a T)

Tea and Toast anyone? How you take your tea and eat your toast tells the experts a lot about you or so they say…In our house hubby adds milk first… I add the milk last…Please head over to Sallys and don’t forget to say hello we love to hear from you …xx

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-t-for-tea-and-toast-turmeric-tobasco-tahini-tamarind-and-elephants-ears-it-is-a-t/

Thursday:

These posts are one of my favourite posts of the week at the moment…I love the fragrance of oils and Aromatherapy…I, of course, have my favourites and not only am I learning about the therapeutic use and benefits but the safety and what they can be mixed with…#recommended read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/15/smorgasbord-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-essential-oils-and-aromatherapy-bergamot-essential-oil-by-sally-cronin/

Fruity Friday…The Fang-Tastic Pumpkin and Recipes…

Pumpkin is not only for carving scary faces it is for baking and there is also a different type of pumpkin used for carving…but at this time of year when roasted, made into soups and pies it is a lovely comfort food also nutritious. I am seeing so many lovely recipes online if you have any family favourites please share and I will credit back to you…Darlene told me in comments that as a child they used to paint faces on the pumpkins rather than carve them and then the pumpkin was used for soups, stews and purees which could be frozen and used throughout the year… Darlene is also the author of Amanda Series of Books…Alex mentioned that the flavour of the pumpkin does differ depending on the cultivar used. She also mentioned that any pumpkins that aren’t used are dug back into the garden. A great example of Waste Not! Want Not! from Alex… 

pumpkin-ghosts-Halloween

It also seems that many you love the roasted pumpkin seeds as a healthy snack…Pumpkin is an all-round highly, nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Pumpkin seeds, leaves, and juices all pack a powerful nutritional punch.

There are many ways pumpkin can be incorporated into desserts, soups, salads, preserves, and even as a substitute for butter. Yes, and I will tell you how…

…Dolly the author of koolkosherkitchen told me she had made a lovely soup out of the pumpkin with kale and black beans in her Instant Pot …Thank all for leaving such informative comments xx

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/16/fruity-fridaythe-fang-tastic-pumpkin-and-yes-it-is-a-fruit/

Saturday Snippets:

Where anything goes…whatever catches my eye or my imagination could be on this post…something for everyone…this week has seen unrest here and the increase of Covid restrictions in many countries around the world as Covid is coming back with some big increases in infections which are worrying…At the moment due to certain sections of society openly flouting quarantine rules I am beginning to wonder how far into next year this virus will encroach…it seems many countries haven’t got a firm hold on the spread of this virus…

Back to Saturday Snippets after my mini-rant… There are recipes, how Tik Tok gave Stevie Nicks the incentive to join up…Hydrogen fuelled trucks, where the saying Goodnight…Sleep tight originated from and much more whimsy…also the arrival of some storks…Enjoy!

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/17/saturday-snippets17th-october-2020/

That’s all for this week’s roundup a rather short week again…one of the positives… less writing has made my stats boom…go figure… I do hope you have enjoyed it and I look forward to your comments xx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…especially those of my readers who are affected or in the path of these wildfires in California…Please stay safe…x

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learned..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe 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 well being.

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 stay safe and healthy xx

National Pumpkin Month…Facts…Trivia and allergy-friendly mummy bars…

Good morning…The witching hour is soon to be upon us… I expect all you lovely Halloweenies are prepared and ready…

Firstly I have a recipe for some lovely allergy-free mummies as I know many people have peanut allergies and this lady has recipes and tips if you have allergies. So please pop over to her blog and have a look…

allergy free mumie bars

https://foodallergypi.com/2018/09/27/allergy-friendly-mummy-bars-biscoff-mummies/

Don’t they look cute?

Did you know??? 

In what year will the next full moon occur during Halloween?

2020…The last Halloween that had a full moon was in 2001 and the next full moon on Halloween after 2020 won’t occur until 2039.

Of course, the weather, especially at night, is getting cooler and nothing goes down as well as a good, spicy chilli on a cold Halloween night…it is one-pot cooking which is even better…

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here very often and beef is not hung here like it is elsewhere so can be very pale and not too tasty.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3/4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh-made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)

Enjoy!

Halloween Trivia! Did you know?

The 1978 blockbuster, Halloween, was only made in 21 days on a very limited budget.

Some more Halloween Trivia...

The round orange pumpkins that are used for most jack o’ lanterns today are native to what continent?

North America…The oldest pumpkin-related seeds were found in Mexico and were dated to sometime between 7000 and 5500 BC.

 What are some of the most popular Halloween costume for pets?

dog halloween costumes -2832245_640

Pumpkin…Next up was a hot dog, undoubtedly the top pick for dachshund owners. That Dobie looks less than impressed. Third were characters from Batman, followed by the devil. And for 5th place, bumblebees ( that bulldog doesn’t look impressed either does he….lol…Maybe that is where the saying comes from it looks like you have sucked on a wasp…

It wouldn’t be Halloween if there wasn’t some gore and gruesome goings-on would it?

Now in the Middle Ages, there was a thriving trade of mummies being bought and sold? Not what you think…haha

egyptian-museum-630297_640

To be ground into medicine…Mummies were ground up during the middle ages to make medicine because they were thought to have healing properties.

After the Middle Ages, the buying and selling of mummies remained popular. During the 17th and 18th century mummies were used to make a type of paint called mummy brown or mummia.

 

My second Chilli recipe from a friend of mine …Richard and it is his vegetarian chilli…Thank you Richard it is very nice. It is Richards recipe with a Thai twist and tasty…

Vegetarian Chilli with lentils.

vegetarian chilli with lentils

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 2/3 cups of pumpkin roughly chopped
  • 1 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 chillies
  • 125 gm mushrooms chopped
  • A handful of chopped green beans
  • 100 gm black lentils
  • 1 tbsp each of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar
  • Basil Leaves

Then cook as normal ensuring lentils are cooked through.

The instructions are as I received them as Richard obviously knows I can cook…lol

For anyone needing more details then cook as my chilli recipe above but adding lentils instead of the meat. I did add a couple more tomatoes some pumpkin and some kidney beans to Richards original recipe….I also soaked my lentils… he doesn’t as he likes his lentils al dente…

Cooking is all about personal taste and I sometimes just chuck it in the pot and take it from there… That’s how I cook most of the time and TASTE…

Enjoy!

Did you know?

Pumpkins are not only orange, but also white, blue, and green?

Some mocktails for the kiddywinks.

Hundreds of vampire clubs and societies exist and claim to have real vampires as their members.

fangs

They may have had dental work on their teeth but really vampires?? What do you think ??

Did you know?? 

 In what country was the first written account of children using the phrase “trick or treat” on Halloween?

halloween trick or treat bag-151422_640

Canada…Here is the line from the newspaper:

The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.

“‘Trick or Treat’ Is Demand,” Herald (Lethbridge, Alberta), November 4, 1927, p. 5, dateline Blackie, Alberta, Nov. 3.

I do think trick or treating got out of hand and now parents generally confine it to friends rather than just random door knocking…

Finally, I can’t go without a lovely colourful Halloween drink for you all…

 

I hope you are enjoying these Fang-Tastic Pumpkin posts and please if you have any tried and tested Halloween recipes I will post them and credit you so please let me have them…xxx

I am just off to check out the cocktails…Laters xxx

 

witch-1424756_640

 

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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…

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 creative week ahead xx

National Pumpkin Month…Facts…Trivia…and a delicious Thai Pumpkin Soup…

Halloween is drawing near and I am sure lots of you have decorated your homes already please send me some photos so I can share your marvellous or scary themes and decorations…We would all love to see them…I would as Halloween is not really celebrated here or only by the American communities so no decorated homesteads just a few Halloween themed parties…

So don’t be shy share away and promote your blog on here…

Does China celebrate Halloween? 

There are several days and a whole entire month in China that are similar to Halloween. These are the Hungry Ghost Festival, the Qing Ming Festival, the last day of the seventh lunar month, and the Spring Festival. …

The UK celebrates Guy Fawkes …However  not so widely celebrated by many although growing in popularity… the manufacturers are jumping on the commercial bandwagon.

witch and black cat-1461961_640

Did you know? The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” The plural for wicce is Wiccan. Wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.

This recipe is an authentic Thai recipe … Pumpkins and squash grow very well here and are found on every market stall and on every street food stall and so much is done with this versatile  vegetable  lots of lovely Thai desserts and soups…but I digress this lovely soup would look equally at home in your hollowed out Halloween pumpkin shell  and add a bit of Thai spice to your table. If you have little pumpkins then it would look beautiful served as individual portions.

Ingredients:

  • 400 gm  pumpkin peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 tsp white peppercorn
  • 2 coriander roots
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass  very finely sliced
  • 3 small shallots diced
  • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste…You will be able to purchase this from most Asian stores or online.
  • 300 ml of prawn stock….I always keep my prawn heads and bits in the freezer until I have enough to make some stock.
  • 700 ml coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp roasted chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 16 prawns /shrimp, peeled and deveined or crab meat
  • A handful of fresh Thai basil leaves save some for garnish
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil to stir-fry

Let’s Cook!

Firstly pound the peppercorns and the coriander root into a smooth paste. Then in a large saucepan, over a medium heat stir-fry the peppercorn/coriander root paste, pumpkin, lemongrass, onions and shrimp paste, stirring all the time for about 3 minutes until all those lovely Thai flavours are released.

Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan with a lid and cook very gently for about 20 minutes until pumpkin is soft, stirring occasionally.

Next, transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend with the shrimp stock until smooth. Pour back into a saucepan and add the coconut cream and bring to a slow gentle boil.

Add your seasonings, lime, fish sauce, sugar, chilli paste and stir to combine, add your prawns/ crab meat and cook for 1-2 minutes…Now taste and adjust seasoning if required.

Remove from the heat and pour into serving bowl or bowls. Stir in the basil leaves and garnish with extra leaves.

pumpkin-soup-1804351_1920

The true Thai way is to also garnish with spring onions or garlic stems, some fried crispy garlic or chicken skin and it always looks so vibrant and you just want to dive in and drown in the lovely flavours.

Enjoy!

Owls are one of my favourite birds but in medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches and if you heard an owl hoot then someone was about to die.

owls-1461952_640

Some Pumpkin facts…

Pumpkin flowers are edible and a pumpkin contains on average about 500 seeds which when roasted make a healthy and delicious snack… the flowers are so pretty and it looks like Mrs bee loves the pumpkin flowers as well…

pollination-3572147_640

Even what I call the scraggy bits of the pumpkin which…hands up I have thrown in the bin…No longer… add it to your stock pot…waste not…want not…

Halloween Superstitions: 

I wonder if anyone still believes or carries out these traditions? What Halloween traditions have been passed down through your family???

  • If a person wears their clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, they will see a witch at midnight.
  • Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween.
  • Girls who place the apple they bobbed for under their pillows are said to dream of their future love.

Some of these traditions seem a bit far-fetched to me I would image not very comfortable to sleep with an apple under your pillow…

Now for a real life witches house….

Yes, literally three blocks away from the Waldorf-Astoria is one of the city’s most unique houses!

Tourists gather daily to check out one of the most unique attractions in the 90210 zip code!

Located on the corner of Walden Drive and Carmelita Avenue, this house is just steps away from the ritzy 90210 shopping area of Beverly Hills – but it looks like a world away!

To read all about it head over to John Rieber’s place..He has an amazing blog full of trivia and great recipes..Fact and fiction and the utterly ridiculous at times but always good fun…

But did you know that Agatha Christie’s Halloween Party Mystery Novel was about a girl who was drowned in the Apple bobbing tub ??

A Halloween quiz question for you…

Every Halloween, Charlie Brown helps his friend Linus wait for what character to appear?

Answers in comments, please …

Pumpkin was a cure for freckles? Another old wives tale methinks…

This weeks Halloween cocktail is by Martha Stewart ably assisted by Brendan Foster who measures spirits just the way I do…lol

I am just off to check out the poison Apple cocktails…Laters xxx

witch-1424756_640

Checked and very nice that cocktail was…That Brendan Foster has much to answer for…I followed his advice and nearly fell off my broomstick xxx

I hope you are enjoying these Fang-Tastic Pumpkin posts and please if you have any tried and tested Halloween recipes I will post them and credit you so please let me have them…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…

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 creative week ahead xx

National Pumpkin Month …Carving Pumpkins …

 

Halloween…Dates all the way back to the ancient Celts and was known as the festival of Samhain…pronounced (Sow-in). It marks the end of the summer and the harvest and marks the beginning of the cold, dark winter…

I have many happy memories of  Harvest Festival when I was young with all the lovely produce and how the church displayed it all such lovely colours oranges, golds and browns and I loved the harvest festival hymns especially ‘ We plough the fields and scatter” such a joyous hymn.

 

Halloween also has a darker side and the ancient Celts believed that on the night of All Hallows the world and the boundaries between the living and the dead became blurred and the night of the 31st was when ghosts of the dead were thought to return to earth.

The colours of Halloween Black, Orange, Browns and Golds are beautiful with the orange symbolising Strength, endurance, harvest and autumn in contrast the Black is a symbol of death and darkness and Halloween marked those boundaries between the two.

It wasn’t until about the 1930’s that the custom of trick and treating began and it still continues to this day…

The Pumpkin features very prominently in today’s celebrations of Halloween, however, the very first Jack O ‘ Lanterns were carved out of turnips.

Did you know that the largest pumpkin recorded in 1993 was a massive 836 lb… That’s a lot of pumpkin pies…

pumpkin-2327488_1280

Pumpkins also look very pretty and some of the carvings are awesome but quite difficult to do so be careful you don’t cut yourself the incidence of accidents is very high and that includes traffic accidents where children get excited and just run/walk across the roads.

How to carve a pumpkin?

 

 

Did you know Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween????

Enough of all this I am sure you want some recipes?? 

Pumpkin Sage Sauce…by Tori Zigler…

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • A large handful of sage
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • Grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree

Let’s Cook!

Sauté’ the onion with the butter. Add some cracked black pepper and sea salt and stir in the sage.

Sprinkle with the flour, and stir for a couple of minutes. Then add the milk and the grated nutmeg.

Once you see the sauce thickening, stir in the pumpkin puree.

When well combined, remove from the heat.

Serving suggestions: serve with pasta and cheese.

Thank you, Tori this recipe sounds delicious I can’t wait to try 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.

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂 xx