Category Archives: No to food waste

Waste Not, Want Not… Kitchen composting for City Dwellers …Part 7

compost green waste garden waste

Welcome back… How is your war on waste working? I have had many comments from my readers about what they are doing to combat waste and it makes me happy that so many people care about the world we live in.

These posts and my Monday posts do bear many similarities and crossover sometimes my sadness at the amount of poverty and starvation which still exists in this world and how we can address that as mothers, fathers, chefs and chief bottle washers.

How we can make our homes safer and our world …Well, I would like a world to leave to future generations…Wouldn’t you?

I was pleased to hear from Sue and Rob that single-use plastic bags are banned…

Sue said:

Here in the UK, the ban on Free single-use bags has been in place a couple of years now with a charge of 5p for a bag if you now want one, which goes into local fundraising funds..
We have bought cloth bags and to be honest Carol I have not missed them one bit, All you did with them was to push them in a draw then throw away…

Sue Dreamwalker has a lovely site where you will be met with love and peace with a touch of common sense thrown in 🙂

Rob said:

Hi Carol. These are great ideas that most people can easily implement. Here in San Francisco, we have a ban on single-use plastic bags. If you forget to bring a bag you can buy a paper bag at checkout.

Robert M Goldstein is an artist extraordinaire whose art is awesome… do pop over and have a look and he also cares about the world we live in…It doesn’t get better than that…Does it?

That was great news to my ears HOWEVER upon further investigations I found it most interesting that it is African countries who have taken the lead on this  https://study.com/blog/which-countries-have-banned-plastic-bags.html

Countries which in parts have wars and atrocities going on, food shortages and yet they see the need to reduce plastic. waste…I think that is awesome but I also think many western countries need to up their game…

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I have also noticed that on many huge company websites that wording is very clever…”We fully support the….. ” Doesn’t actually say they DO… 

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I have for many years recycled glass, cardboard, plastics and made compost from green waste…

How many of you compost your green waste?

To me, there is no better feeling than that newly composted waste in your hands…

fresh compost green waste

I know many of you are city dwellers and maybe only have window boxes and tubs but you can still compost…Here’s how!

https://www.zipcar.com/ziptopia/city-living/how-to-compost-guide-city-dwellers

This is a brilliant guide which will cover everything you need to know and also worm bins now as we know worms are very good for aerating the soil.

As I said earlier I have always done what I thought I should but looking back it wasn’t enough and since I have started these posts it has very quickly dawned on me the sheer size and enormity of the task.

I have just scratched the tip of the iceberg…

Clothes…I have always given my old clothes to charities and shops but have I ever remodelled them…No!

Well, Anne Copeland does very successfully…All in a day’s breath…

A lovely blog and Anne’s philosophy of life is very much in tune with mine …

Anne said:

Textile too is a horrible contaminant in the trash heaps, etc. So I belong to some recycling groups for recycling textiles instead of throwing everything away. You would be amazed at how many beautiful and sometimes still have tags on them garments I find in our trash bins at our senior mobile home park. And I take them out, save what I or my dear man can use, and what we cannot gets to the thrift store. I am good at taking garments and upcycling them too, so I have the lowest garment bill in town. All I buy new is skivies and socks, though if I find some good ones, they will go for me too.

The reality is that we need to recycle every single thing that can be recycled or upcycled. It helps our earth in so many ways. And it is exciting too when we find new ways to do things to help our earth.

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Anne’s comments opened up a whole new world for me…I was gobsmacked by her commitment to recycling and she has agreed to do a guest post in the future and I for one am looking forward to that…

Have I ever thought about the thread that is used? No!

Have I ever thought about what the material has been treated with? No!

Did I realise that every time we wash something or brush against something tiny little fibres are dropped? The microfibers, which are mainly released when clothes are washed, end up in wastewater plants, where a significant proportion pass through water filtration systems. Even the ones that are filtered end up in the sewage sludge that can be applied to farm soils as fertilizer or dumped in landfills.

So it is very important to realise that when we buy these cheap throwaway fashions made in sweatshops by often forced child labour that the thread used and what the fabric is sprayed with is more than likely carcinogenic and harmful to humans and the environment.

It was this interesting project which caught my eye … It will also be a topic for another day…

https://scienceblog.com/504504/first-model-of-how-plastic-waste-moves-in-the-environment/?

I hope you are as excited as I am about how these posts are taking shape and that it is making you think about how you can make changes…If it has and you are please share with us as we are becoming a little community who cares…xxx

Thank you for reading and if you loved what you read here and know someone who also loves reducing waste  please share 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!

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 week xx

My Weekly Roundup of Recipes and Rants…Sprouts and Christmas…

Recipes and reveals what is in our food

Welcome, it’s that time of the week again and if you busy peeps have not had time to read my posts and there are a few…lol…

Sit down take a bit of me time and enjoy the read…

Part two of my posts on Palm oil...I think it is such a shame that man seems intent in so many ways of killing our world and it’s inhabitants…

Is it lack of care and thought? Really just greed or in the case of someone I spoke with yesterday… Who asked me what can you do to change it? and told me I was only one person and did I think that anything I did was going to make a difference?

What would your response to that be…I am just interested to know…

Eat Smart, Eat Healthily …This weeks topic was lunching especially during this busy time of year and the cold weather which some of you are experiencing I hope you can all find something to tickle those taste buds.

 

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/20/eat-smart-eat-healthy-no-more-diets/

Brussel Sprouts!

Love them or hate them…I think it is a bit like the Marmite scenario… I love them and so does Sally where you will find this post… Where Sally with all her expertise will give you the health benefits and I provide the recipes… You may even get to love the humble sprout…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-brusselsprouts-bitterly-healthy/

My Thursday’s posts on Waste Not! Want Not! Are gathering momentum I am enjoying my research and discovering so much…So much that is wrong and also so much that is being put right which is heartening and makes me happy that many people do care just not the ones who should…

Waste pollution climate change

Christmas Traditions and Treats is going really well the interaction is awesome and I have some Christmas Jumpers to show you next week and I am sure you will love them so thank you…You know who you are,…But No Spoilers…hahaha

There was Robbie with her beautiful Gingerbread houses and Hugh who jogged my old memory about Stir up Sunday which is today…So don’t miss next weeks as it will be jam-packed with Treats and Trivia like you haven’t seen before…

Christmas Treats and Traditions 23rd Nov

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/23/christmas-traditions-treats-and-a-touch-of-trivia-2/

Now Christmas brings so many foods and drinks that maybe we haven’t had for a while, maybe we have an allergy but are too busy to check the labels …Food Allergies and Food intolerance can be a nuisance or life-threatening…Sally’s post on this is worth a read as it could save a life or a lot of discomfort and we all want to enjoy our Christmas celebrations …Don’t we??

Health Column

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-allergies-and-intolerances-christmas-can-be-a-challenge/

Thank you so much for reading this post enjoy your Sunday and if you are celebrating stir up Sunday then do make sure as tradition denotes that you stir East to West…xxx

christmas-cracker-3012548_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.

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 Sunday xx

 

Waste Not, Want Not…Part Six

Waste pollution climate change

Welcome back… How is your war on waste working I have had many notes from my readers on what they are doing to combat waste and it makes me happy that so many care about the world we live in.

Every time I go to the Farmers Market now I am so impressed as more and more of the goods are wrapped in banana leaves can you see the cone those little green buds are wrapped in it so lovely to get my fruit and vegetable wrapped like that or just loose without a wrapping if vegetables are too big like carrots and things, everyone is using brown paper bags and it takes me back to when I was young and you never saw a plastic bag they were all paper… Or my mum and all her friends used to take their wicker baskets shopping …That was a few years ago now…

wicker basket-2268218_640

Today I am going to look at how we can reduce waste of single-use plastic bags in the home.

Did you know about 300 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide every year and some 8 million tons is just dumped in the Oceans how much of that is recycled…ONLY 9%… That is disgusting…

How can we help?

  1. Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. Purchase a reusable stainless steel, glass straw or bamboo straw and take it with you…It soon becomes a habit…
  2. Use a reusable shopping bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often!
  3. Give up gum. Gum is made of synthetic rubber, aka plastic. I get so angry when I am walking and gum gets attached to the bottom of my shoe…If you have to chew wrap it and put it in a bin when you have finished… However, if you click the link you may not ever want to chew gum again.
  4. Buy boxes instead of bottles or glass bottles instead of plastic as they are recyclable.
  5. Cereal, pasta, and rice buy from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. It saves money and unnecessary packaging.
  6. Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
  7. Use a reusable bottle or mug for your drinks, even when ordering from a take-out shop…All you need to do is ask or measure how much is in your takeaway cup and go and buy a suitable sized reusable cup…Sorted…

plastic-waste-3698194_640

  1. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
  2. Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. Plus you’ll be eating fewer processed foods! 
  3. Don’t use plastic cutlery at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your takeaway box.
  4. Make freshly squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It’s healthier and better for the environment.
  5. Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
  6. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
  7. Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.

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Dolly from koolkoscherkitchen  is a keen supporter of reducing waste and plastic and came up with a great idea…She is having a book launch at one of her local stores soon and is going to take the advantage and ask what they are going to do to reduce waste and plastic waste…What a great idea…

Well done, Dolly please keep us updated …

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Here is a copy of a letter which you could write to your local store, council or government representative or even a manufacturer… the wording would need to be changed slightly depending on the recipient but we are bloggers and authors so that should be a doodle…

Dear …..

I support the initiative to ban single-use plastic bags in your store at …..

I hope this ban is the first step in which ……. your company shows vision and leadership in the region and perhaps in the nation by taking bold actions to reduce waste and litter and protect and improve local wildlife and marine life.

People coped before plastic bags and will do so again.

Without easy access to free bags, one quickly becomes accustomed to their own reusable bags.

Banning smoking from bars and restaurants was met with an uproar several years ago, and now it almost seems outrageous that this was ever allowed. People very quickly adapt …

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the steps you have taken already by having days in the store where plastic bag are not available and by using banana leaves as packaging rather than a plastic bag…I would though like to bring to your attention the piece of plastic in the sushi packaging I noticed the other day could it not be cut from a banana leaf?

I await your positive response.

Kind Regards.

My local store is responding very positively about reducing waste and plastic which given that Asia is a haven for plastic and waste  I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased…

 

The cream coloured flower buds are called Daylily ดอกไม้จีน usually used in soups and very popular with Thais and often used in herbal medicine and healing but also used in stir-fries we stir-fried ours with the Ceylon Spinach and it was very nice. The Ceylon spinach had a sort of beetroot taste. It is also used in natural medicine here and is believed to have many healing properties…

vegetable stir fry

We just washed and cut and stir-fried with a little garlic and oyster sauce it made a nice vegetable side dish. It was a vegetable which none of us had seen or tried before and which I love about this market as the food is local and many of the fruits and vegetables not really grown commercially but by local people and farmers. The red Noodle snake beans were also a new variety for me very similar to the green and quite a rare bean so I will enjoy them while I can. It holds its colour when cooked and ideal for salads and stir-fries.

green and red snake beans

Notice how they are tied now with banana leaf and a bamboo tie instead of in a plastic bag and I think it is so much nicer isn’t it?

Thank you once again for indulging me in my war against waste… I have certainly opened a can of worms…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!

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 week xx

Eat Smart, Eat Healthy…No more Diets

Winter warming Soups and chilli

Good morning from sunny Thailand… we are warm here as we are coming into our High Season soon while many of you I know are feeling the winter chills… This week some healthy lunches…which will warm you up …

It is quite difficult to think of what to suggest as when I worked in my last job although we had the heating on  the doors were continually opening and closing so if you were working on the ground floor it was a tad cold most of the time so a warm bowl of soup or a jacket potato was very welcome at lunchtime.

I always used to make extra if I made a stew or chilli and freeze in portions it was then easy to take to work and I know from experience that if I ventured out at lunchtime as I hadn’t bought anything in with me it was over to Marks & Spencer who do the most divine sandwiches and of course all their yummy sweet things are by the till…Do I need to say more???

Not taking in lunch is a trap many of us fall into without realising, isn’t it? Plus it is more costly…

As I am at home and  Lunch is my main meal I generally have a stir fry they are quick to do and cook while the rice is cooking which Is why I like them…

Fried Fish with peppercorns in black bean sauce.
Serves 1.

fish black bean sauce

  • 100 gm white fish cut into smallish pieces and rolled in rice flour.
  • Small onion roughly cut
  • 2 spring onion sliced
  • 1-2 chillies sliced diagonally
  • 1 stem of fresh peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Sm piece fresh ginger minced or finely Julienne
  • Fish sauce to taste.

Lets Cook!

Heat up the oil in a wok and shallow fry fish quickly on each side until it becomes golden brown, it will take around 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
In the same wok where fish is fried sauté garlic, chilli, onion and ginger.
Add green onion and peppercorns then stir-fry for a minute. Then add fish.
Add splash water, black bean sauce bring to a rolling boil, add fish and turn over once to coat with the sauce and simmer for 2 mins. If the sauce is thin you can add a bit of cornstarch/arrowroot slurry to thicken it.
Flavour with fish sauce and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with steamed rice and a chilli dip( optional)

You could also make this at home and heat gently at work for lunch or microwave it.

Jacket Potatoes…Easy to do and will fill you up…If you have an oven at work then in your pop one in the oven and take a portion of chilli, baked beans, cheese, coleslaw, sweetcorn, caramelised onions and mushrooms what is your favourite topping?

jacket-potato-2906023_640

My favourite is chilli be it a meat or vegetarian one or cheese and coleslaw if it isn’t too cold.

Carol’s Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here.
  • 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.

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

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

Enjoy!

NB. HELP! I would rather use dried kidney beans rather than tinned HOWEVER I soak them for hours then cook then add to my chilli and they are still not soft…I don’t have a pressure cooker but is there anyone who can give me some tips and I don’t add salt while soaking.

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

Vegetarian Chilli with lentils.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot finely 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

 

vegetarian chilli with lentils

 

The instructions are as I received them as Richard obviously knows I can cook ( there wasn’t any) just ingredients …he is also male…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 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!

Both of these make great toppings for jacket potatoes or with rice …

Soup is also very good...You make a batch at home and freeze in portions it just needs reheating or take it in a thermos flask…

Yesterday I made a lovely mushroom soup …a new recipe and it needs tweaking my little taste tester told me what I needed to do….lol

It pleases me though because it means that he tastes the food and knows when it needs something else so that is good for a child.

Mushroom Soup…

2 lbs of mushrooms…mixed I used straw, button, crimini and some small ones which I can’t remember the name.

1 onion sliced

6 sprigs of thyme tied together

3 cloves of garlic

6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups of water

1 cup of cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter and add the mushrooms and add a pinch of salt and cook until they give up their juices and reduce the heat. Cook stirring until the juice has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown.

crimini straw button mushrooms

Pick out a few nice pieces and set to one side for the garnish.

Mix the onions into the mushrooms and cook until the onion softens about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme and garlic and pour in the stock and water simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the thyme before blending the soup, if the consistency is still too thick then add more stock/water…Return to a pan and add the cream…Taste and season with salt and black pepper…

Mushroom Soup

 

I hope this has given you a few ideas about what to have for lunch…What is your favourite lunch?

I have added the link to a Chicken Noodle soup as it also has the recipe for homemade chicken broth.

Noodle-soup-Thai-chicken

https://blondieaka.com/2018/09/13/thai-chicken-noodle-soup/

All of these you could batch cook every two weeks and freeze in portions and you would never have to worry about what is for lunch… Just add your garnishes and herbs if required…

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 that 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 I hope you enjoy the soup …Or maybe you have already tried it…Do you love it?? Please let me know in comments xxx

Weekly Roundup! Recipes and Rants…Christmas Trivia, Palm Oil and how to cook the perfect Turkey…

Recipes and reveals what is in our food

Wow, the weeks are just flying by now aren’t they and I am sure that many of you have got your Christmas socks out and are putting those feet up for a well-deserved rest… It is certainly starting to get a bit crazy out there so grab a cuppa put those feet up. Relax and enjoy …

I am really enjoying writing these short stories from the prompts which Lorna @ Gin & Lemonade is providing #10 was last weeks and it was Time Warp…I hope you enjoy…

red-rose-1056852_640

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/11/a-short-story-10-prompt-time-warp/

Next prompted by a Facebook advert my post was on the plight of the endangered Orangutan, Indigenous tribes and our ecosystem…I was absolutely astounded on discovering the fact that Palm Oil is in almost everything we use and eat…Part Two will be published tomorrow…

The Orangutan and Palm Oil (1)

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/12/the-orangutan-versus-palm-oil-part-one/

It has been a few weeks of discovery for me in so much as I have been reading comment after comment on various subjects and all pretty much the same and then today about the death of yet another alternative practitioner and it has seriously made me question things and join up the dots …So many comments yet nothing is done…The thoughts on why are becoming more obvious and very scary…

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Some of you are now experiencing some cold weather…Winter is coming in some parts of the world…Not here I will add…I have written about breakfast first meal of the day and given some recipes and examples…

 

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/13/eat-smart-eat-healthy-no-to-diets/

My weekly Cookery column over at Sally’s was about Turkey this week a post from last year when Sally and I were working in collaboration and Sally gives you all the lowdown on the health benefits and I provide the recipes so one stop reading… and her comment are quite true we need to catch one of our Turkeys first…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-turkey-if-you-can-catch-it-you-can-eat-it/

Then it is over to Waste Not, Want Not... I hope I am not beginning to sound like a one-woman crusader…lol…

tomatoes banana leaves

I am very packaging aware now and have been pleasantly surprised that although Asia produces so much waste plastic packaging is becoming more environmentally friendly and shops are utilising what they have for example banana leaves and using it more and more for packaging see my tomatoes in their little banana leaf basket…

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/15/waste-not-want-not-2/

It is now the turn of Fun Fridays and Traditions, Treats and Trivia I do hope you are enjoying the read…

ugly-christmas-sweater-3774155_640

Shout Out!

Please send me pics of YOUR Christmas Sweater is it funny, ugly or sexy…We want to see them…

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/16/christmas-traditions-treats-and-a-touch-of-trivia/

Lastly, a cause dear to my heart as our daughter is a lifelong Asthma Sufferer …Sally with her good advice on how it is possible to alleviate symptoms…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/15/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-asthma-causes-and-management/

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 week xx

Waste Not! Want Not! Part Five…

POLLUTION RECYCLE WASTE

Wow, some of you are real stars with your war on waste and I will say that with regards to picking up rubbish that we see we do need to be careful.

If you signed up for the monthly I value food to good to waste challenge I have reduced my waste by over 50% and going down…Mainly by planning and only buying what I need and know I am going to use and also by freezing some things which I know will spoil if I don’t use them…So in essence, I am thinking more and planning…It works!

A comment on last weeks post made me think …It came from Will Dare who has a lovely blog on music and we should all have music in our lives …Don’t you think? So please pop over and have a look at his lovely blog …Thank you, Will, and please let us know how you get on with your Sushi and that little strip of green plastic…

Hurrah that you are making changes in your daily life and also writing to raise awareness among the rest of us! I remember reading a story a while ago about the huge changes that plastic bags had brought to an island culture which for hundreds of years had used really large leaves to wrap and transport items to and from a marketplace… until some enterprising capitalist introduced plastic bags. Everyone in this culture had been accustomed to throwing their wrapping leaves by the wayside because they would soon decompose… but plastic bags don’t decompose. Rapidly this island became littered with plastic debris! Today I (somewhat ambivalently since it is indeed served in a plastic container — and right now it is a huge question mark if anyone is going to step up in the USA and start recycling all of the various plastic objects which until recently we’ve been sending to China for recycling/reuse/disposal) bought a container of vegetarian sushi for lunch. It was served with a small strip of green plastic which serves no purpose other than some sort of decoration (or nod to cultural history?) It started me thinking that grocery stores (this was a Whole Foods, now owned by Amazon) could STOP including these little pieces of green plastic trash in their packages of sushi. The next time I go there I will speak with a store manager to ask how s/he recommends I send this idea to their corporate headquarters… Obviously, this is a tiny drop in the ocean of plastic contamination on planet earth — but all of those tiny, unnecessary, purely decorative, green strips of plastic probably add up to millions per year! Thank you for blogging about this hugely important topic!!!

Comments like Will’s make my day as those of you who blog know…It makes you feel all the time you have spent agonising over a blog post is worthwhile… It also sent me hot-footing it over to the sushi counter where I purchase my sushi… I was armed with the info on the company I found online and ready with my spiel…

I didn’t need it…I was also really pleasantly surprised as a lot of plastic is used in Asia to find my tomatoes NOT in a plastic bag but in a lovely little cocoon of banana leaves…

tomatoes banana leaves

And a brown paper bag to put them in…I will still be sending a communication but one of thanks as they are making every effort to discourage the use of plastic bags…

I know not everywhere has the luxury of utilising banana leaves but there is packaging which can be used and is eco-friendly and compostable…

It took me just minutes using Google to find out who owned the company and their contact details…So please I ask you can you do the same and send a letter or e-mail it won’t take long but could make a difference …

What else can we do?

DON’T BE FOOLED BY DATE LABELS 
Did you know that almost none of the dates stamped on our food packaging—“best by,” “use by”—indicate safety? They are a manufacturer’s best guess for when food is at peak quality, an unregulated standard that has nothing to do with safety. Next time you think a food has “expired,” use these tips to decide if it should stay or go:

What does “peak quality” mean? For the majority of products, manufacturers use their own methods to determine what dates to list on the packaging. There’s a financial incentive for manufacturers to sell their products when they taste best so that consumers come back and buy those same products again and again. Peak quality is not a standard of microbiological safety. Rather, it is a factor defined by consumer taste testing, lab tests for shelf life and product turnover rates.

My youngest son was a prime example he drove me mad…Literally, on the stroke of midnight, he would go through the fridge and chuck anything in the bin that had that days date on it…Come on we all know when vegetables and fruit are inedible …He was a nightmare and the laughing-stock of this friends…He was the boy who if he said I just have to do my hair …His friends would say we will meet you there…He was the boy who sat in the car on the edge of the seat holding the seat belt away from his shirt that he had lovingly ironed as I di not do it well enough…He was the boy who when he got a cab to work and he had asked for it to be there at 7.40…If it arrived at 7.35 it had to wait …If it wasn’t there at 7.40 he was on the phone…I could go on he was the epitome of the meaning of OCD…Then he came to Thailand….Phew…No more OCD and common sense reigns supreme…

Common sense is required…Any dates are a guide purely for manufacturers and stats…We have common sense, don’t we???

Leftovers…

Once a week have a leftover night…Get creative and please share with us…

Turn your leftover dinner into lunch the next day...With a little planning, you could create a week’s worth of taking it to work lunches.

Think ” Ingredients” not ” Leftovers”

Leftover Pasta or cooked vegetables make a Frittata.eggs garlic onions potato

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 tbsp oil
3 small cold potatoes  sliced
1 small onion sliced
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of milk
Few mushrooms sliced
Few slices salami or chorizo
Grated cheddar
Let’s Cook!
Add oil to heavy bottomed pan /skillet and add cooked sliced potatoes cover with lid or foil and cook until golden if uncooked then cook for about 10 minutes until tender but firm.
Cook salami/ chorizo…I like mine a little crispy. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until onion softens. Add any other veg you are using I added sliced tomato but you could add anything spinach, finely sliced peppers, leftover cooked vegetables, cold sliced potatoes.
Beat eggs with milk and season well. Pour over your potatoes and vegetables and lower the heat. Add grated cheese. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the eggs are set. Turn out onto a plate and cut into portions. Serve with a mixed salad and crusty bread.
Enjoy!

Blend cooked vegetables with some tomatoes and make a sauce for pasta, Leftover rice then create some burritos with some meat and vegetables, top with sour cream and salsa…

Think soup… The steamed, roasted or grilled vegetables that you served as a side dish one night can become soup on another day. In a blender, puree the vegetables with 3 or 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth, then warm the soup in a pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and finish the soup with a bit of pesto, olive oil or croutons.

There are so many ways you can use leftovers without just throwing them away you can in effect make a tasty meal out of virtually nothing.

What do you make with your leftovers?

Thank you so much for reading and your comments are invited…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!

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 week xx

 

Waste Not…Want Not! Part Four…

Waste and Pollution

 

Hi and welcome to Part Four of Waste Not, Want Not. .. The response from you guys has been awesome…I am impressed by how much some of you do…To combat waste in your own homes so give yourself a pat on the back…

My war on waste does seem to have morphed into something much bigger…I do believe we need to start with combating waste in our own homes and gardens which also saves us money so it is not a wasted exercise.

But I also read the news and see these heartbreaking pictures of starving children and beautiful marine life with fish hooks and plastic embedded in them so it is bigger than just our homes…Having lived on a paradise island for five years I saw the debris that washed up so those images are not staged they are the reality…Many people gave up their weekends to clean the beaches and that is admirable but we need to be tackling it at the source …

How can we do this? We have a voice, many of us are just as eloquent with putting pen to paper…If we bury our heads and close our ears to all this what does the future hold?

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist or scholar to know that…But we do need to stand up and be counted…We need to do OUR bit…

Interestingly and sadly I read a post the other day about waste in the seas seen through the eyes of a tourist…She didn’t want to snorkel and didn’t although that was her plan as the water had a film on it and didn’t look inviting…A waste of a trip and an eye-opener…

sea side beach waste rubbish-1576990_640

I know many people practise waste recycling at home BUT do you do your bit when on holiday???

Just a question… I know here that bins are not at a premium but I carry my rubbish until  I find one I don’t just dump it…But I also think that fishing boats and big liners need to be responsible as much of the waste is the fishing line which causes horrific injuries to animals and I have been told that big liners dump their trash into the sea…I don’t know if that is true but I certainly think many smaller vessels do when you look at what waste is being washed up… Soda bottles, disposable cups, crisp packets etc…

Question???

If you are out and see a piece of rubbish would you pick it up and put it in the nearest bin ??? If you are on a sailboat do you throw your rubbish over the side?…

♦♦♦♦♦♦

I came across this post when I was reading the other day and think this is a lovely idea and the seeds are embedded in the label around the candle it would also make a lovely gift for that special person who cares about preserving wildflowers… and no I am not on commision….lol

hyggelight3

https://lifeandsoulmagazine.com/2018/11/01/hyggelight-the-growing-candle-which-transforms-into-a-wildflower-planter-after-use/comment-page-1/#comment-1848

How is my waste disposal going in my kitchen at home …Well, my fridge is emptier because I am not buying so much which leaves me more room for my Christmas pickles so that is a bonus because in the run-up to Christmas I am always looking for space for my cooking … I now need to start on the freezers to make room…So many frozen bananas…Which means lots of banana cakes for the whole street…

UPDATE! Nappies/ Diapers…

Vero from With colours and Canito in the Kitchen said…

Hello Carol!  I absolutely agree with the nappy issue. Myself, I was thinking about it a lot before my little boy was born… At the beginning we have chosen eco-friendly nappies which are decomposing without any additional gasses as they do not contain anything chemical, however, the price is almost twice than “normal chemical” ones. But I have chosen to help slightly to our nature. Now, our little boy starts with the potty and we are using reusable ones, which can be washed. However, there always can be done more… step by step! Thank you for sharing this, Carol ❤

Thank you Vero for your comment as a mum who uses disposable nappies…I also am looking forward to reading your post on using fruit and vegetable peels…

In the meantime here are a few tips on how I use my scraps…

First and foremost vegetable broth...Banish stock cubes forever by making your own broth…They freeze well and can be frozen in portions using zip loc bags and not filling too much you can store quite flat thus saving room.

Start by placing at least one large onion, 3 carrots, and 3 stalks celery in a large stockpot. Onions, carrots, and celery are always the base of a good vegetable broth.

N.B Avoid adding starchy vegetables like potatoes that will make the broth cloudy and we want a lovely clear broth to don’t we?

Add any leftover vegetables and herbs that need to be used up, and will add flavour for example:

  • mushrooms
  • garlic
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • bay leaves
  • green onions
  • leeks
  • bell peppers
  • fennel
  • parsley

Add the peels, stems, roots and all! Even papery onion and garlic peels add to the richness of the broth.

To 2 quarts of water add 1 tbsp of good salt and a tsp of peppercorns. Cover the pot and bring the broth to a slow rolling boil lower heat slightly and cook for an hour then strain all the vegetables from the broth…You will now have a lovely clear golden broth. It will store in the fridge for about 5 days or if you know you will not use it store in handy portions and freeze for future use.

This lovely broth can be used wherever you would use a stock cube and uses all of what you would normally throw away…Now that poses a question for me…If we can do that and produce a lovely broth from literally nothing how much do those sometimes expensive stock cubes cost to make???

Just saying? 

Or take a few bits of leftover vegetables and turn it into a tasty stir-fry like this…

Stir fried vegetables

If you look closely it is a few sugar snap peas, 2 baby corns sliced diagonally, some cauliflower florets, sliced cabbage or greens leaves, some carrot slices…Cooked with some garlic, 2 tbsp Oyster sauce, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sesame oil and 2 tbsp water.

Firstly mix your sauce ingredients in the wok and heat with the garlic then add your vegetables, carrots first and stir fry for about a minute then cauliflower and corn ending with the quicker to cook vegetables if using mushrooms add last.

A vegetable stir-fry uses up all those odd bits ..the few peas, the odd mushroom and couple of baby corn and before you know it you have a lovely vegetable stir fry. if you have a few shrimp lurking in the freezer throw them in…So quick, simple and saves those odd bits going to waste…

Enjoy!

kale-825193_640

Kale…love it or hate it? It is healthy and good for us…I know many of you dislike Kale…I love kale…I do not love kale in a smoothie…Well, for those of you who buy greens powders at some expense so I am told …  dehydrate those tough outer leaves that you would normally throw away and turn them into a greens powder to add to your morning smoothie or sprinkle on your salads…

A great money saver…

Just a question when I lived in the UK the kale was what we called curly Kale the kale here is like the one pictured I haven’t seen curly kale here..What kale do you get curly or straight ???

By doing all of these waste free measures who would like to work out what you are saving on your monthly/weekly shop?  ??? Any takers???

Also, are you seeing more of a variety in what you eat?

Thank you for reading this post I hope you are finding them useful and can apply them in your own home or garden…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!

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 week xx