Category Archives: National Vinegar Month

Saturday Snippets is back! Week 2…

Here we are again…I hope you all have had a productive week and are still safe and well…Time to tell you what has made me laugh cry or cringe this week…time to tell you what I have been cooking…of course…

It was interesting to read about Salt Water Taffy lovers last week and how some us treasure our pearly whites and Salt Water Taffy is no longer an option for us…Thank goodness for fudge I say…

chocolate fudge with walnuts

I made this fudge way back in 2015 when I lived at the Blue House in Phuket…I am the queen of dairies and notebooks they can be found in many places around the house and in my bags, I never leave home without my little notebook and I am always delighted when I am given pretty notebooks or pens for a gift…

This was a lovely fudge and I can sort of remember some of the ingredients…So you think(said) through gritted teeth that I could find the said recipe…I have been through my notebooks thrice…and nada…zilch…Therefore I am sending out a plea for a recipe for this fudge which didn’t use chocolate but powder, walnuts and I don’t think I used condensed milk…I wait with bated breath and hope in my heart…sigh..x

Yes, I could look it up myself but the disaster which was coconut ice still haunts me…sigh

I need fudge…

In the meantime like I am sure hundreds of others are I have been baking bread…Some have turned out better than others…I have experimented with different flours…made buttermilk bread and soda bread, olive oil and rosemary rolls…I also have to make white bread although I do use unbleached flour but my family like white bread now and again…This loaf was cooked in a dutch oven a first for me and I was pleasantly surprised how much the crust was like ones I have purchased in bakeries.

loaf made in dutch oven

Probably from the steam produced using the dutch oven method…

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  •  2 1/4 tsp of rapid yeast
  • 2 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp of olive oil.

Let’s Bake!

In a large bowl add the flour and salt whisk to combine.

Make a well and add the raid yeast granules and the lukewarm water then with wet hands bring the mix together. If it is too sticky add a little more flour and likewise if too dry add a little more water a tsp at a time…This will vary as it depends on the flour used.

Cover and leave in a warm spot to double in size again this depends on the temperature where you live it can be anything from a 1hr to 1 1/2 hours…if it is very warm mine takes a little less time.

Once risen using your hand or a dough scraper work the dough loose from the sides and working around the edge bring the sides to the middle.

Cover and leave to double in size again about 1 hour it rises slightly quicker this time.

Once risen transfer to a lightly floured surface sprinkle the top with a little flour and shape and fold the dough under itself several times then pinch the seams together. Coat your bowl with the olive oil and put the dough in the bowl cover and leave the dough to rise once again.

Then put on the oven and set the heat at 230C/450F and put your dutch oven into the oven to heat up for 45-1n hr. By the time this has heated your dough should have risen.

NOW VERY CAREFULLY REMOVE THE HOT DUTCH OVEN ONTO A TRIVETT…It is hot then turn out your dough onto a lightly floured surface and carefully put in the dutch oven.

Put the pot back into the oven and cook for 45 minutes then carefully remove the lid and cook for a further 15-30 minutes …

loaf made in dutch oven

Remove from the oven and cover with a cloth to cool for about 15 mins before slicing and enjoying…

After eating and baking all this bread and goodies I need to just lose a little or keep it in check…

Wellness Corner:

In these times of quarantine and shortages, many of us have taken to baking our own bread and cakes…we are confined to our homes and gardens are cooking more and eating…snacking…I have added a few pounds and I know I am not alone…

My friend and fellow blogger Sally…is here to give us all a helping hand…No tricks, no fads, no cutting out carbs or other food groups just a common-sense approach something we all need…

Sally herself has had struggles with her weight over the years although she now has it under control…A qualified nutritionist her aim is to help others…This week she talks SLEEP…or, not as the case may be…me I could sleep on a clothesline…I will now hand you over to the expert …Sally @ Smorgasbord Health…

National Vinegar Month.

Has been a revelation for me as I have discovered and cooked with black vinegar…with great success I will add it is not so astringent as white kinds of vinegar more mellow and slightly smoky…I really like it…

Today keeping my policy for waste not want not in mind I am giving you a dish made with the stems of napa/Nappa Chinese cabbage. Most days I start my day with a bowl of vegetable stir fry with rice…we all love veggies and on my plate, my veggies far outweigh the amount of meat I eat…

Who throws this away?

smart

It is the stalk of the napa cabbage cut on the diagonal and stirfried…with some chopped garlic, dried chillies and chopped green onion. A sauce made from black vinegar, oyster sauce, soy sauce and a pinch of sugar.

Start by heating a little oil in your pan and adding the chillies, garlic and onion and cook for 1 min.

Then add your Nappa cabbage stalks and stir fry for a further 2-3 mins. Add your sauces I always mix mine beforehand so they are ready. Cook for another minute…

This can either be served with rice/noodles or as a side to your main dish…we liked it but next time I will add some chopped ginger.

That’s it for National vinegar month I hope you have enjoyed the recipes…

What will June bring?

National Candy Month, National Dairy Month, National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, National Iced Tea Month and National Papaya Month
First Friday in June: National Donut Day.

Well, candy and iced tea are out for me …unless it is a little fudge…

Fresh fruit, vegetables and Papaya are shouting out to me …What are your thoughts?

Well…16th June is National Fudge Day so that’s me sorted says she with a big smile…Also throughout June, there are Chocolate pudding, praline, pecans, apple strudel, onion rings and Mai Tai days…

Plenty of scope and yumminess there then…

That’s the recipes sorted…we will most certainly need Sally’s help…Moderation she will say use your 20% just not every day and every snack time…

Now last week on one of my posts I talked about the Auckland wild pigs, Pork crackling and shared the 3 little pigs(Disney) Pete Springerwhose blog I follow sent me the link to the wolf’s tale and it is delightful so I am going to share it with you…Yes, I am a kid at heart…

I loved this …Thank you, Pete, for the intro…

I will leave you with this…I have been very upset and disturbed at some of the sad news over the last few days…To say I am appalled that once again we are seeing these headlines is an understatement…But this blog is not the place for that…This action made me smile and made me think what a wonderful idea and I will be buying a pack for Lily…

For the whole story please click here or just watch the video…

Take care all of you…xxx

That’s all for Saturday Snippets this week…Stay safe and be well…Wash your hands and please wear a mask when out in public and practise social distancing.

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

 

 

National Vinegar Month…Chinese Black Vinegar…

Originating in the city of Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province, it is quite literally black in colour and has a full-bodied, malty, complex taste. It is just mildly acidic, less so than a regular distilled white vinegar, with a faintly sweet flavour I hesitantly tasted a little as some vinegar can be quite acidic this was not… It had a slight smoky after taste I liked it.

Chinese black vinegar is widely used in Chinese cooking for all types of cold appetizers, braised meats and fish, noodles and as a dipping condiment for dumplings.

Also known as brown rice vinegar, black vinegar is used as a tonic in Chinese and Japanese cultures. It is made by fermenting unpolished rice, wheat, sorghum or millet. The vinegar ferments for 1 to 3 years and it is during the fermentation process that the colour of black vinegar darkens, its aroma and flavour get more intense and the content of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients increases.

Because black vinegar is believed to have many health benefits, many people in China and Japan make a drink out of it that they consume as a part of their daily diet.

Because black vinegar produces good-tasting substances while maturing, it is “easy to drink even for people who have difficulty drinking ordinary vinegar.” Black vinegar is also said to contain more amino acid than ordinary vinegar.

smart

Black vinegar is rich in a number of essential nutrients. Some of these nutrients help in the detoxification of the body. This rich vinegar also keeps the pH levels in your body well-balanced.

According to health experts, black vinegar helps in keeping the digestive system healthy. It aids in the improvement of digestion. When digestion is improved, you keep constipation and other abdominal problems away.

Substitutions for Black Vinegar:

If you can’t find black vinegar, you can substitute white rice vinegar/rice wine vinegar, which is usually more readily available, even in regular supermarkets.

It is also said, you can substitute a bit of balsamic vinegar, though be careful because some balsamic vinegar can be very syrupy and sweet.

Personally, I would opt for the black vinegar having tasted it and I am pleased that I waited until it was delivered. We all loved the Braised pork shoulder in black vinegar which as you know was the first time I had cooked with it…

Having tasted it though I also recognise the taste and have connected the dots that it is the dipping sauce we have had with dumplings…which I always thought was some sort of soy sauce.

Dumplings

My next two dishes I am going to try with be vegetable/vegan one will be a side dish of Cucumber…This delicious, cooling salad with a sweet edge helps to counter the chilli in very spicy dishes.

cucumbers-1588945_640

Ingredients:

  • 2/4 cucumbers depending on their size…Thai cucumbers are small but for this, I am going to use Japanese cucumbers as they are crispier and do not have as many seeds.
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 100ml Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Chinese light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh black fungi, torn into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Let’s Cook!

Cut the cucumber in half lengthways then, using a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds. Cut them into large, angled chunks. In a bowl, dissolve castor sugar in the black vinegar and soy sauce then whisk in oil, garlic and ginger. Check to season.

Dress the cucumber and black fungi, coating well. Serve on a shared plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

cucumber black vinegar and black mushrooms

 

This dish comes together very quickly, so remember to prepare the sauce first in a mixing bowl before you start cooking. This is a very nice sauce…my testers were not keen on the mushrooms I liked them…

This second side dish a stir fry is using the stalks of the Chinese/napa cabbage only…as you know I use every part of an ingredient that I can, for example, I use the broccoli stalk sliced or in a stir fry it is a lovely vegetable…I will let you know later on in the week how this one turned out.

brocolli stems sliced

likewise, the stalk of Chinese cabbage is often wasted…cut away…I use this stir-fried as it has a little crunch and to use the leaves they wilt and add water which we don’t like… this stir fry is better with just the stalks and the napa cabbage leaves make another meal… They’re great in soups or just stir-fried with a little garlic and salt…Waste not want not…

For the sauce: 

  • 4 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

For the rest of the dish: 

  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 3-6 dried red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 pound napa cabbage (stems only, sliced at an angle?
  • Salt, to taste

Start by making the sauce by mixing together all the sauce ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. In another small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tbsp of water to make a slurry. Set aside. (Remember, cornstarch settles quickly, so remember to stir the slurry again before adding it to the dish later).

Is it just me or does anyone else dislike the feel when the cornstarch settles?

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, chillies, and green onion, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the cabbage and turn up the heat to high. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Now add the prepared sauce and cook for another minute. Taste before you season with salt I generally don’t add salt as for us the soy sauce is salty enough. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and stir-fry for one more minute, until the sauce is thickened.

Serve this hot and sour napa cabbage stir-fry with steamed rice as a light snack or as a side with the main dish.

Isn’t stir-frying great? A dish can come together in 5 minutes! Enjoy!

I will giv youour opinion on this srir fry I am making this tomorrow.

Thats all for today I hope you are enoying the recipes with blackn vinegar…

smart

black vinegar

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

 

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 17th May-23rd May 2020…Climate Change, Recipes, Whimsey, Morels, Vegan Chocolate Cake and Black Vinegar…

Welcome to this weeks edition of my weekly roundup…I hope you are all staying safe and well…There are lots of talks this week about relaxing curfews, opening schools and shops I just hope it is not too soon and we get a second wave of infections…

My black vinegar arrived and it is different not as acidic as some kinds of vinegar and made a lovely sauce….More on this a little later…

great reads a weekly roundup lady with electronic reader

Firstly take a pew and have a read I hope you enjoy!

Monday: Recycling and Climate Change…18th May 2020…and Covid-19…

This week there has been lots of talk on the benefits of wearing a mask and this track and trace app…Masks …here in Asia we don’t have a problem and the app has also taken off here more about that in tomorrows post…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/18/recycling-and-climate-change18th-may-2020and-covid-19/

Tuesday:  National Vinegar Month…

Vinegar really is a very versatile ingredient and no one was more surprised than me when this cake worked…Apart from Balsamic vinegar which takes years to produce many kinds of vinegar are easy to make and even easy to flavour so many possibilities.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/19/national-vinegar-month-how-to-make-your-own-vinegar/

Tuesday I was also very honoured to be invited to guest post over at a fellow Londoners blog…Young Pete who now lives in Norfolk…I didn’t realise so many were interested in how I ended up here in The Land of Smiles…Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments…A big thank you also to Pete for hosting me…If you missed it then pop over and say hello to Pete and have a read…xx

https://beetleypete.com/2020/05/19/guest-post-carol-ann-taylor/

Whimsical Wednesday…

Sorry, everyone, I wrote it and then deleted it..unintentionally of course…Normal(if) you can call it that service will be resumed this Wednesday..xxx

Thursday: Sally’s new project 101…

I for one after all the nibbling, picking or just overeating and a lack of exercise…Binge-watching Netflix etc…Needed this…It was just in the nick of time…I would rather remove 5 pounds than the whole caboodle…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/smorgasbord-health-column-project-101-resilience-an-opportunity-to-get-fighting-fit-sally-cronin/

Plus…Salmon…Omega 3 on a plate… 

I love Salmon it is one of my favourite fish and its healthy…How good is that…

Yesterday the kids Aston & Lily one wanted sushi and the other sushimi…but far better than sweets for them…they both love salmon also…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-salmon-omega-3-on-a-plate/

Friday: National Pickles Week! Piperies Mikres Toursi…Star Fruit Relish and Pork braised in Black Vinegar.

National Pickles week and International Vinegar month they both go hand in hand, don’t they? I have been fancying a kebab with those wonderful greek peppers for ages…the only way I was going to get that was to pickle my own…all I need to do once the Piperies Mikres Toursi are ready is to dig out my old kebab meat recipe one which I haven’t made since my kids were at home…and make some pitta bread…I can taste it already…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/22/its-national-pickles-week-piperies-mikres-toursi-star-fruit-relish-and-more/

Saturday Snippets:

A new look at my Saturdays as the market is not something I am browsing around at the moment and many of the stall holidays seem as if they are staying at home so it is considerably smaller so…I had a rethink and this is it…I hope you enjoyed it…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/23/saturday-snippets/

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…Can we make this happen? Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learnt ..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 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 stay safe and healthy xx

National Vinegar Month…How to make your own vinegar…

The white vinegar that we have in our kitchens the clear liquid which is generally a staple in our store cupboard generally contains 4–7% acetic acid and 93–96% water.

Historically, white vinegar has been produced from the fermentation of foods such as sugar beets, potatoes, molasses or milk whey.

vinegars bottle-589_640

Today, most white vinegar is made from the fermentation of grain alcohol (ethanol). This kind of alcohol doesn’t naturally contain many nutrients, so other ingredients such as yeast or phosphates may be added to kickstart the bacterial fermentation process.

While you can make vinegar in your own kitchen…it takes a while to ferment so it’s not something you can make overnight.

I am going to have a go at making my own red/white wine or ACV…Balsamic takes years to age so unless you have a nice store and some oak casks its not for most of us…White vinegar is cheap to buy and from the research, I have done it is possible to make it at home but you have to follow so many processes it is said to not be worth the effort.

Ok…Let’s brew… White/Red wine vinegar.

Firstly sterilise your jar or bottle if you are using although I would make the vinegar in a jar and when it is ready to decant into a bottle…

You will also require distilled water…I don’t use or buy distilled water so this handy little video shows you how to make your own at home…

 

Jars(s) sterilised and distilled water ready…Let’s make some wine vinegar.

Add 12 fl.oz(350 ml of wine and distilled water into your sterilised jar.

N.B.The wine you use should be free from sulphates…Again I have read advice which says that it hasn’t made any noticeable difference to the ferment time…

Vinegar is a fussy thing, isn’t she…?

Now to add the “mother”…I am going to use my kombucha scoby which apparently you can …The “mother” contains the bacteria needed to begin the process of turning ethanol into acetic acid. It sometimes forms in opened bottles of wine and looks like a slimy blob floating on the surface. You can buy “mother” (sometimes marketed as “vinegar starter”) in this gelatinous form, or as a liquid—look for it in homebrew or natural foods stores, or online.

  • If you’re adding gelatinous “mother” from a store, follow the package instructions regarding the amount to add—you’ll just spoon it on top of the alcohol in your jar.
  • For liquid vinegar starter, pour in 12  fl oz (350 ml), unless otherwise noted on the package.

Once you have made your first batch of vinegar you will have a “mother” for your next batch…the mother reforms every time you make a new batch. It is also fine to use the mother from your batch of red wine vinegar to make your white wine vinegar.

Now seal the top of your jar either with a cheesecloth or paper as the liquid needs to be able to breathe secure with a rubber band or you may have unwanted guests in the form of fruit flies.

Now to store your jar for 2 months in a dark, airy temperate spot with good air circulation if not wrap the jar in a towel but do not cover the cheesecloth or paper towel lid.

Do not shake, stir or move your jar for 2 months this gives the “mother” time to do her work…Ignore and vinegar or other smells for the first 2 months as it will go through the fermentation processes just let it do its thing.

After 2 months now comes the exciting bit…Take a disposable straw and without waking “mother” draw of a little of the liquid cover the top with your thumb and dispense into a small glass…Time to taste…

If it is too weak as it hasn’t fermented for long enough or too sharp it will mellow…Leave for another 2 weeks and test again. Repeat this stage every 1-2 weeks until it suits your palate.

Now your is ready you can scoop the mother into a new jar to start the process again or carefully pour all but a little of the vinegar and start again using the same jar…

vinegar-1924191_1920

Just think if you start now you can have some wonderfully flavoured kinds of vinegar to give as gifts for Christmas and the New Year there is nothing like receiving a homemade gift is there?

I am still waiting for my black vinegar to be delivered I will then share a recipe using black vinegar…

Stop Press: Update:

I have had a couple of enquiries about the” Mother” to start your vinegar. I f you can’t buy one then you can make it yourself…

To make a “mother”  from scratch.

1-litre red wine vinegar
1 bottle red wine

1. Pour the red wine vinegar into a saucepan and warm over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into your pot or barrel.

2. Add the bottle of wine, cover pot or barrel with their lids and keep in a warm place for 2-4 weeks.

3. Now check to see if a mother has formed and taste to see if the wine has turned into vinegar. If it has, siphon some it off and use for a salad dressing or in your cooking and then replace with some more wine. To check if the mother has formed, first make sure that you remove any jewellery from your fingers (and never use any metal spoons inside the pot or barrel). Carefully strain the contents of the pot or barrel through a plastic colander or sieve into a large non-metallic bowl. If a mother has formed and is left in the colander, carefully place back in the pot or barrel and add the contents from the non-metallic bowl.

Thank you for reading this post and stay safe and wash your hand’s 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

 

 

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 10th May-16th May 2020…Recipes, Recycling and more…

Curfews, working from home, only going out when necessary… obviously different restrictions wherever you hail from…some more stringent than others…Not much has been relaxed here a few internal flights but I went out briefly today…shopping and nothing has been lifted in the shops…Everyone is wearing face masks and some full-face masks..screens are in place for cashiers…no buses just tuk-tuks with the hand cleanser bottles taped to either side…in fact, it seems more screens are in place even in the small coffee shops there are screens across the middle of the tables…

great reads a weekly roundup lady with electronic reader

I would say take a breather and settle down to read my roundup but if you are like me we have been settled down for months now…Very surreal still…Enjoy the roundup of my weekly posts and check out my first ever attempt at making a vegan cake and chocolate to boot…

Monday: Recycling and Climate Change…11th May 2020…and Covid-19…

Yes unlike much of the western world we mask up and cover-up…Not always recommended by many but I think our social distancing coupled with temperature checks and the wearing of masks has contributed to our much lower deaths and pandemic infection figures…However, after a brief foray into Covid-19, I also featured some wonderful happenings from around the world of recycling and climate change…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/11/recycling-and-climate-change11th-may-2020and-covid-19/

Tuesday: National Vinegar Month…

oil and vinegar baguette-1343480_640
I also made my very first vegan cake…using vinegar instead of eggs…See Saturday’s post for the result was it flop or a success.
Or quite simply some balsamic vinegar with oil and some bread….Quite beautiful…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/12/national-vinegar-month/

Wednesday: Whimsical Wednesdays…

Before I got into my Whimsy ways I was over @Sally’s with my trip through the Culinary Alphabet from A-Z…last week I was looking at the letter I….not an ice cream cone to be seen…

From Immortalittea to everyone’s favourite Irish Stew.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-i-is-for-icing-ink-fish-indian-black-salt-infusing-immortalittea-and-irish-stew/

Time for some whimsy…Musical bamboo forests, Ants, The hazards of rolling out the dough, some cute animals to crotchet and much more…Enjoy!

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/13/whimsical-wednesday-carolcooks2/

Thursday:

I couldn’t think of anything to write my creative thoughts wouldn’t thunk…I just watched Netflix and snacked…

Friday: Apricots and Morels…

Dear Sally came to the rescue with her post on the health benefits of Apricots and also shared one of my posts of some lovely recipes using Apricots which are one of my favourite fruits and a lifesaver…They have lots of iron…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-apricots-no-honeymoon-should-be-without-it-by-sally-cronin-them/

My befuddled brain then woke up and realised that the Morel mushroom festivals had been cancelled and as I have never tried them or didn’t know much about them it gave me something to think about…The exotic hard to find wild Morel mushroom …

morel-1271816_640

Which I have now discovered I can get dried ones here and if I wait until next season I may be lucky to forage and find some…

Saturday: 

After so many disasters lately in the kitchen…I had a win and my chocolate cake turned out great…I was surprised as I always use eggs …but no sweat and less washing up…my go-to chocolate cake recipe now…

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Vegan Chocolate Cake.

I am just waiting for my black vinegar to be delivered to try that out in a dish…I am enjoying National Vinegar Month…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/16/carolcooks2-a-vegan-chocolate-cake-braised-pork-shoulder-in-black-vinegar-and-yanang-juice/

That’s all for this week …I hope you found something to enjoy…Please stay safe and social isolate it ain’t safe yet folks…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.

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 weekend and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

CarolCooks2…A Vegan Chocolate Cake, Braised Pork Shoulder in Black Vinegar and Yanang Juice.

Well, well…I think I have sorted out some of the temperature issues with my oven…so far so good…also as promised I baked this cake with vinegar instead of eggs…For once I followed the recipe step by step well nearly instead of mixing with a for I use a spatula I didn’t want to scratch my cake tin…

Yes not only did this cake have vinegar instead of eggs you made it in the tin it was to be baked in…crazy or what…Less washing up which is always a plus…

I am not a baker I am more of a savoury person but the other half and kiddos like a piece of cake…I am also not vegetarian or vegan but I do like experimenting with food and as it is National Vinegar Month I came across recipes using vinegar rather than eggs…It intrigued me…

I also have friends who are vegetarian or vegan and I thought why not give it a go…I told you I was inquisitive…Why? Years ago in my youth I attempted to go vegetarian there wasn’t a lot of choices and what there was pretty awful…and living on vegetables alone was pretty uninspiring I didn’t cook much either then and all those veggie burgers were quite foul…

Everything now has taken an upturn and there are some pretty tasty vegetarian/vegan meals…and I am happy to eat them as I like well presented tasty food and although I eat meat I eat very little now…

Cake…it came out far better than I hoped…

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My taste testers gave it the thumbs up..they did look a little shocked when I announced the cake had vinegar rather than eggs but they liked it as did I …It had a nice texture a proper cake…and vegan to boot…or to put it mildly for anyone who has run out of eggs vinegar is a great substitute and no one need know…

The recipe for the cake is on the link below…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/12/national-vinegar-month/

In case you were wondering those little fruit were the Thai cherries I mentioned in the vinegar post I came across some while out shopping the other day so will be pickling some as well…

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I have also gifted more mangoes they are not quite ripe yet the cherries though are lovely and ripe much riper than my last ones it must be the sun…

Yanang Juice…I don’t have a sweet tooth especially when it comes to drinks …I also have this aversion to green juices…and this was the darkest of green…No sugar…Well, I stand corrected it was pleasant to taste…Nowhere near as awful as it looked…

On doing some research as I am want to do…I just like to know these things…I found out just how healthy a drink it is…

What is Yanang Leaf?

The Yanang leaf is a powerful herb from Southeast Asia, used as both a medicine and as food for thousands of years, particularly in Northeast Thailand ( where I live) and Laos.

In Thailand, the Yanang leaf is known to restore youthful looks. They call the Yanang ‘Never get old for a thousand years.’ Thais are known to stretch their stories a little but many swear it keeps the wrinkles at bay… This leaf grows on a climbing plant. The leaves are dark green, and it has yellow flowers. It thrives in the tropics…

The scientific name of the Yanang leaf is Tiliacora Triandra, and it belongs to the family Menispermaceae.

It is also used to make soup here…The first time I brought this I was given a cookery lesson at the same time …Such a friendly lovely man…Once I find a recipe I think we will like I will share it…

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Quite simply it is made from the leaves by muddling the leaves in a pestle and mortar and then adding water and squeezing and squeezing the way it has always been made before juicers were around…Then straining the liquid to get this dark green juice…

The juice is neither sweet or sour just quite a pleasant drink with numerous health benefits.

My next project or one my son has offered to undertake is the making of Sato…The reason being I cannot obtain Shaoxing wine here and Sato is a good substitute apparently…Sato สาโท pronounced [sǎː.tʰōː] is a traditional northeastern Thailand (Isan) beer style that has been made for centuries from starchy glutinous or sticky rice by growers in that region. Just as other regional varieties made not from grapes but cereal is commonly called wine rather than beer, sato is commonly called Thai rice wine. When brewed in little brown jugs called hai (ไห), it is called Lao hai (เหล้าไห) or Lao u (เหล้าอุ).

More to come…we are trying to obtain the traditional Thai recipe…

Specially made for National vinegar month is this lovely Pork dish made with Chinese black Vinegar…Pork Shoulder Braised in Black Vinegar…

  • 1½ kg pork shoulder, cut into 4cm/1½ in pieces
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 200ml Shaohsing rice wine (or dry Sherry)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 5cm/2in piece ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 50g light brown soft sugar
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 125ml Chinese black vinegar
  • 500ml vegetable stock

To serve

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • julienned spring onions
  • steamed rice

Let’s Cook!

Put the pork in a bowl and add 1 tbsp each of the soy sauce and rice wine. Toss to combine, then cover and chill for 1 hr, or overnight if time permits.

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for 2-3 mins or until golden. Add the pork and all the remaining ingredients, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 60 mins. Remove the lid from the pan to allow the liquid to reduce, and cook for a further 45 mins or until the meat falls apart.

Serve scattered with the sesame seeds and spring onions, with steamed rice and steamed vegetables of your choice.

Optional to serve Pak Dong...A Thai pickled cabbage which needs to be made in advance…

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)

SAM_6824

  • 1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
  • 8 large spring onions chopped
  • Coarse Salt.

Let’s Cook!

Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy..Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.

To Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

Then refrigerate and enjoy!

That’s all for today.. .life is pretty much the same here not very much has been relaxed I think the Thai government is being cautious and looking at what is happening when the rest of the world relaxes their quarantines too quickly…I am happy with that as although in some ways this staying in is getting to me…I also realise I am lucky …

Thank you for reading this… If you make the cake let me know how it turns out…

That’s all for today…Please 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 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 weekend and stay safe these are troubling times xx