Category Archives: Northern Thailand

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 3rd May-9th May 2020…Recipes and Mothers Day…

Good Morning and welcome it’s time for my weekly roundup of posts…Like everyone else, I am getting used to being cocooned in my home and garden with just the occasional quick trip out for essentials…Cooking has always been a passion but not like this…There are not really abnormal shortages of food here but I am not popping out every day or at will…Shopping is planned and the storecupboard and those tins/packets at the back of it are seeing the light of day…

I have also had my fair share of disasters …maybe its because I am cooking more or maybe it’s the heat and humidity and my temperamental oven although I learnt something the other day thanks to my eagle-eyed son…The temp gauge read spot on for my cake…Because my oven heat comes from the bottom like most ovens here I have to double tin anyone who is used to ovens in Asia knows exactly what I mean…

Cake in the oven and the temp gauge shot up…the only solution we came up with was that as the heat was directly under the tin that caused the heat/temp to rise…Any other thoughts on that.?.. The way forward seems to be to put my tin in the oven while it is heating thus getting a more accurate reading and then putting my cake tin in…Thoughts?

Cake making here is not for the faint-hearted…

Monday: Recycling and Climate Change…4th May 2020…and Covid-19…

A new month already nearly half a year gone…A few months of sadness and grief for many but for all of us unprecedented times and restrictions which many of us haven’t experienced in our lifetimes…All of this is having an effect on climate change, air pollution, waste, recycling…

corona-4971013_640

I wonder what 2021 will bring will it bring changes for the good or will it instead of starting a new norm just go back to how it was?

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/04/recycling-and-climate-change4th-may-2020and-covid-19/

Tuesday: Exotic Spicy Thai Food…Ant Egg Salad…Koi Khai Mod Dang

National Egg Month which meant we will talk eggs with a difference…Spicy Ant Egg Salad…something the Mexican call caviar on land…Many of you may not have heard or tried it…some of you may have tried it or decided it wasn’t for you…Opinion is most certainly divided…

macro photography of ant

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

Personally, I love it!…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/05/exotic-spicy-thai-food-ant-egg-salad-koi-khai-mod-dang/

Wednesday: Whimsical Wednesday with CarolCooks2…

Hello and welcome… I would like to say that here on Whimsical Wednesdays it is a Corona free zone but this sneaky virus has crept into every single aspect of our lives…Awake or asleep it is there…It dominates the headlines and our thoughts…It invokes great sadness but also great joy…and a smidgen of hope…Nope, I refuse to mention the other 10%…My focus is coming out the other side with hope in my heart…

We are in unprecedented times…Captain Tom who has now been made an Honorary Colonel cheered me up and made my day…Here is a clip of his memories…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/06/whimsical-wednesday-with-carolcooks2-6/

Thursday: Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – #Asparagus – Nutrient-Packed and Delicious by Sally Cronin…Plus a bonus of some Asparagus recipes from me…Who doesn’t love asparagus wrapped in bacon???

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/07/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-asparagus-nutrient-packed-and-delicious-by-sally-cronin/

Thursday was also National Roast Leg of Lamb Day…

I also shared our favourite Egyptian Flat Bread made with leftover lamb and some hummus…

Ehyptian-lamb-flatbreads

The plating was done by Aston who then duly tucked in… he loves his food…I don’t think I have ever seen a child who eats with such joy on his face…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/07/national-roast-leg-of-lamb-day/

Friday: Nought to write…

I came to a standstill…I started writing and then realised it was Saturday post I was writing…Doh!…my days have merged into one…the heat has gotten in and I had nothing to write…Every time I tried to do some research something on Covid-19 popped up it was also the day after my brother in laws funeral…I was sad, dispirited and just didn’t know what to write so I had a drink or two, ate some crisps and all the things I wouldn’t normally eat, cursed my oven and gave up…Not like me at all but I have this little niggle which is getting bigger…I also thought if I feel like this how the heck must someone feel if they are on their own …made me realise how selfish I was being…

sundowners maxiko-2684386_640

Image by heidi_ziller from Pixabay

I thought how old I was…next year…So I started to plan a party…I intend to celebrate that milestone in style …We are going to Koh Samui and anyone who would like to join us is most welcome…

Saturday: Exotic Thai Fruits…Matum Fruit, Thai Cherries, Gac Fruit and Mangosteen…

Some of my favourite fruits… I particularly love the Thai cherries pickled…I am partial to a pickle or two…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/09/exotic-thai-fruits-matum-fruit-thai-cherries-gac-fruit-and-mangosteen/

That’s all for this week…I hope you have enjoyed this weekly roundup xx  

I invite your comments…Let’s chat!

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 are having a great weekend, stay safe and wash those hands xx

Travel and Traditions…Go Bananas…

Bananas grow everywhere here…In gardens, by the roadside and on plantations…

Its scientific name is Musa Sapientum which roughly translated  means  Fruit of wise  men

Here it is called Kluay pronounced glue eye.

Seasons vary slightly around the regions and it is a tree-like perennial and officially classed as a herb, the world’s largest herb as it can reach 25 feet in height. The fruit is also classed as a berry. Did you know that?

Here in Thailand leaves are used to serve food on or wrap food in like these little parcels of tri-coloured sticky rice topped with shredded pork floss.

Tri Cloured sticky rice with pulled pork

The saying that you eat with your eyes certainly applies here as so much of the food is just so beautifully served and such lovely colours like this rice isn’t it pretty and all wrapped in a banana leaf.

Banana flowers are, as the name suggests, the blossoms from a banana tree. Left on the tree, considered as a vegetable.  It’s a very good source of fibre and has many medicinal values.

Banana flower

Banana flowers are the purplish-red flowers growing at the end of the long banana stem. The mature flower often has hard husks on the outside. When the husks have been peeled away, the leaves in the middle can be used to cook. It is also used to make a salad in some countries as well. If you are about to buy some for cooking, you should make sure to choose the fresh ones which are tight and undamaged. The outer husks should be closely overlapped each other for freshness purposes.

The flower can be eaten steamed with a spicy dip or made into a salad…For banana, recipes see this post…

We also have Plantain…

The plantain is a member of the banana family but unless it is very ripe should not be eaten raw…Boiled it is similar to the potato…Raw they have a bitter taste but ripe they are full of flavour …

A good source of fibre and Vitamins A and C with most of its calories coming from carbohydrates.

Not so sweet as a banana the plantain is a staple food in tropical countries a non-seasonal crop it is available year-round.

Plantains can be simmered in soup or turned into mash, but their subtle taste is maximised by roasting or frying. They act as a foil to rich flavours such as spicy meat or bean stews. Salted fried plantain chips are a popular snack in the Caribbean.

Spoiler Alert: These recipes are quite calorific but as a very occasional treat…Very nice…

Very popular in West African baked with eggs and peppers they make a lovely breakfast frittata. Fried the onions and pepper before adding it to the egg mixture to give it added flavour. Together with garlic, scotch bonnet pepper or hot sauce, smoked paprika, and thyme.  You may add other additional spices to make it more flavorful. Also lovely with some added sausage or bacon.

If you have some really ripe plantains then blitz one or two in your food processor and add to your pancake batter it will take the humble pancake to another level.

Serve with a Coconut sauce and you will never want to eat pancakes any other way… To make the sauce take a can or 14 fl ounces of coconut milk add a cup of brown sugar bring it to a slow rolling boil then stirring cook until the mixture thickens and had reduced by half you know have a beautiful coconut sauce which is lovely over the pancakes or any other sweet dessert.

This lovely dry spice mix goes well with the plantain.

  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tbsp ground cloves

Measure and mix the spices together and store in a small container with a lid.

Spiced Plantain chips…

  • 1 heaped tbsp of the spice mix
  • 1 sm red onion, grated
  • 2 in a piece of fresh ginger grated
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4-6 plantains peeled and sliced
  • A handful of roasted peanuts, crushed.

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl add the plantain and mix gently to coat ( hands are good) and marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Heat the oil to 180 degrees and fry the plantain chips in batches. When golden and they have floated to the surface remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Serve sprinkled with the crushed nuts.

As well as Thailand being a great source of the Banana...How about a trip to  Banana Beach here in Phuket?

A small beach which can only be accessed by climbing down …Just as well I had Aston to help me and take my hand he is such a good boy to his Nannie…

Track to banana beach (2)

It was a little way down and a bit slippery in places…But finally, we were on the beach…

It was well worth the climb apart from somewhere to buy a soft drink and a snack, a few boats offering trips to neighbouring islands just lovely sand and blue sea…

We spent a lovely few hours there just relaxing it was beautiful…

Nam Pboon Sai…A red banana dessert…

How was it made…The translation from my daughter in law was it is lime powder…from limes? Apparently not…It is a red powder she said…Ok…

Where does my red Lime powder fit in well it is sold here and apparently some of the powder is rubbed under the top gum of the mouth…I was warned( not) that I had any intention of doing that …To be careful it may burn!!!!!!!!

I was also getting a lot of surprised looks and smiles which translated I think meant what is this lady doing buying that… just as well I had Tik with me to translate that I wasn’t intending to smoke or rub it under my gums but cook…They still looked slightly bemused but I am used to that now.

I just wanted to know and see what made this Banana dessert red…..

To make red lime, powdered turmeric is added to the mixture. Instead of turning yellow like turmeric, this pasty mixture turns bright red. Nam Pboon Sai or limewater is made when more water is added to the mixture. When the lime settles, the clear, pinkish water above is used in cooking.

Limewater is used in Thai cooking to keep fruit used in long cooking like a banana in syrup or breadfruit in syrup. The fruit is peeled and cut and let soak in the lime water.

The grandmother here stores her red lime paste in a jar filled with water. The heavier lime sinks to the bottom while the clear limewater floats above.  When she needs the limewater, it’s ready. She would pour the clear pinkish water out from the jar. She just tops up the limewater by adding more water to the jar. There is also no need to refrigerate limewater or lime paste.

Just a word of warning…

sweet radish croneck squah and red lime powder

The powder I bought was available in red or white but apparently also comes as a red paste. It is pictured here with the pretty eggplants I found…

If you get pickling lime from hardware stores, which often have canning materials available, make sure you get the food-grade quality. The lime building material may contain a metal such as lead.

This is where I began to get quite scared as I know that there are some who just mix whatever they have to sell with no regard for the consequences.

The bananas in this desert look bright and shiny and sweet but are not as sweet as they look… I have found a recipe and now need to find the right bananas…So that is for another day…

That is all for today...I am still on my girlie jolly so please if I don’t answer your comments I will catch up when I return…Sophia and Roxy are in town…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.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

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Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx

 

Thailand… Travel and Traditions…8 popular Issan dishes…from Northern Thailand with recipes

Most late afternoons I venture down to my local market…I leave it so late one because it is cooling down a little and two because all the street food vendors are setting up and selling their wares…It is busy and high on the agenda for most Thais who are either sitting and eating or collecting their food to take home…

 

sausages - fish balls

It is bustling and the smells …Anyone who experiences this for the first is just overawed we took my daughters partner out one night and he was just awestruck he didn’t know where to look or what to try first…

Found almost everywhere and a dish which anyone who visits for the first time goes away wanting to eat this often…

Khao Krapow Moo Kai Dao (rice with pork in basil leaves and fried egg) would indeed top the list. This dish encapsulates everything that is Thailand and Issan( Northern Thailand)

The grittiness, the heat, the speed, and most importantly, the potpourri of smells and flavours that make up the dish will blow your mind. Add to that the mouthwatering fragrance of garlic, chilli and basil stir-fried with chicken (or any meat) in a burning hot wok and you have a dish most Thais would swear by. Served over a plate of steaming hot rice topped with a crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside fried egg, it’s the perfect meal.

Khao Krapow Moo Kai Dao

 

Khao Kha Moo (braised pork knuckle and rice) is a weight watcher’s guilty pleasure which hours of pilates cannot make up for, it’s definitely worth breaking your diet for just one day. You’ll swoon over the succulent pork knuckle, braised for several hours in a thick, five-spices gravy, it comes out off-the-bone tender. Sometimes though the leg of pork will be used but slow-cooked just the same. Enjoy this with a boiled egg, some kale and top it off with some preserved cabbages and a sweet and sour dipping sauce and officially declare that day National Pig-Out Day and that you are in culinary heaven…

THAI SLOW PORK

Walking through the market stalls more often than not you are greeted with that familiar smell of star anise and cinnamon which is synonymous with Thai slowed Braised Pork it is to be found in huge pots and there will generally be a queue and it just epitomises the essence of street food….One which holds almost iconic status.

It will either be served in a bowl-like above or on a plate with rice, pickled cabbage and miso soup like this one…Both equally delicious…

Thai slow cooked pork and miso soup

Most everyone knows Som Tam but any Thai ( and me) would swear by the marriage of Gai yang(grilled chicken) or BBQ fish(pla pao) with the world-famous Thai papaya salad. Be prepared for a sensory overload as your taste buds do a dance and go wild.

While som tam pla ra is an acquired taste, som tam Thai is much more accessible and has become more popular, especially in central Thailand. In contrast to the salty, spicy and pungent som tam pla rasom tum Thai has a more sweet and sour taste, with the use of palm sugar and lime, balanced with the saltiness from the fish sauce and dried shrimps. Instead of the green seeds from white popinac, you’ll get to enjoy the crunch from roasted peanuts. This is the one I prefer as although I have eaten Payaya salad with Pla( fermented fish) or crab I prefer my Papaya salad without.

Other variations of som tam include tum sua (mixed with rice noodles), tum Kao pode (with corn instead of green papaya), tum tang (with cucumber instead of green papaya), tum ponlamai (with fruits), and many more. Som tum is usually enjoyed with steamed sticky rice or rice noodles on the side. I have also eaten one made with shredded green banana which was quite nice…

How to eat: Take a small helping of sticky rice with clean fingers, tear off a piece of grilled chicken and roll it onto the sticky rice as if making sushi, then add a spoonful of some spicy Som Tam on top of your food. Now open wide and prepare to be amazed by every bite.

Another typical Isaan dish, larb is made with minced meat, cooked or uncooked, mixed with ground toasted rice, shallots, spring onions, mint leaves and seasoned with chilli, lime juice and either fish sauce or pla ra. The preferred meat used in the dish usually includes pork, duck, beef or chicken.

larb Moo

In some areas, you can also find larb luead, where fresh blood is mixed in and other variation of meats depending on local finds. Like most Isaan dishes, larb is usually eaten with steamed sticky rice. Some places also offer a contemporary version of larb tord with similar ingredients as larb but shaped into meatballs and deep-fried which are very nice…

Sausages Tessaban

Another tasty dish is sausage…Isaan people make their sausages with a short fermentation period that’s enough to give them a slight tang. Locally known as sai Krog Isaan, the sausage is made from pork meat and pork fat. Cooked rice is added to the mixture to kickstart the fermentation process which normally only lasts two to three days. Isaan sausages are already seasoned with garlic and salt, making it a handy snack to be enjoyed with fresh chilli, ginger and cabbages. Some of the sausages also have noodles added to the filling…

Here in Issan Noodle Soups are very popular and they come in many different ways some using parts of the animal that I personally would prefer not to eat as nose to tail eating is observed very much here…

 

Another popular Issan dish called Mok pla siw which means various small fish. they are cooked on a BBQ wrapped in a banana leaf with chilli, Thai basil and spring onion…Then eaten with sticky rice either on its own or as an accompaniment to other dishes…

fish-chilli-pla-basil-banana-leaf

Street markets are always bustling and busy here …One-stop shopping..food, clothes, household items, bedding, electrical goods, a puppy or a kitten… Fresh fish, dried fish, still alive and wriggling fish, frogs which here in the North are a staple, rats…yes, rats…tasty I am told by the stallholders and they feed on rice they say, so clean not like the sewer rats …But they have them here in the city where I live..where do they come from I wonder…I will not be enquiring or be eating…This I draw the line at…A big black line..nada, No, I am not even going there…

Another Issan favourite is Ant eggs...Which I have to admit do make a nice salad..they have a lemony taste which is quite pleasant…

ant egg salad

Since living here in Issan I have been surprised and pleased at the variety of foods…Coconut milk is not used as much here in Issan…But the curries and stir-fries are tasty without it …very many different herbs and mushrooms are used alongside foraged and hunted insects and other meats that I never imaged I  would ever see cooked and eaten…Life is full of surprises…

Please note I have included the recipes so you can enjoy them at home for the dishes I have made in my own home…Enjoy!

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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://carolcooks2.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 creative week ahead and enjoy the recipes xx

Thailand… Travel and Traditions…Kanom Krok…Thai Pancakes

Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments on last weeks post about the Thai tradition of pancake making…I am happy to share what I find with you and pancakes come in many forms here both sweet and savoury…

Sold along the roadsides they come in all different colours and flavours …softer pancakes are sold with brightly coloured coconut to fill them…Very sweet but if you love coconut very nice for a treat.

These Kanom Krok pancakes are probably my favourite as the pancake is slightly softer with a little crisp and eaten freshly cooked they are very nice one of my favourite Thai desserts…

 

 

The other type of Thai sweet pancake has a crispy shell and is called Kanom Bueng…

Khanom Bueng (th: ขนมเบื้อง) or Thai Crispy Pancake is a traditional Thai dessert in the Central part of Thailand.

Khanom Bueng generally has 2 types of topping – salty and sweet.

The salty topping (orange) is made from cream and served with chopped shrimps mixed with pepper and coriander then stir-fried with added sugar, fish sauce or salt. Nowadays, shredded coconut is often used instead of shrimps.

The sweet topping (yellow) is made of egg yolks boiled in syrup, which is called Foi Thong (th: ฝอยทอง).

I haven’t seen these made in the village just the larger ones may be as these are better hot and fresh they are more suited to making from a street stall…

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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://carolcooks2.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 creative week ahead xx

Travel and Traditions…The Land of Smiles.

Retired No One Told Me! (6)

When you travel to Thailand be ready to be truly amazed the minute you step off the plane.

One of the first places we visited on our travel and explorations around Phuket was Big Buddha one of the most famous landmarks on the island of Phuket.

Big Buddha

Big Buddha, I have lost count of how many times we have travelled up the mountain to Big Buddha and it is always a place we take our visitors… While work is still ongoing there is always something different and new to see… My favourite sight though will always be that huge Big Buddha sat atop the Nakkerd hills sparkling in the sunlight, made of white jade he just shimmers as the sunlight catches that beautiful white jade… An awesome sight… Remember to keep covered up no bare arms and legs. Then on the way down you can stop at one of the restaurants and enjoy some lovely Thai food and of course the spectacular views around the bay.

If you travel to Phuket then you must go and visit Big Buddha.

There are many beautiful beaches in Thailand, my favourites are the ones which are not so crowded…The lesser visited beaches which are so beautiful… How to pick a favourite? Click this link and you will see why I can’t make that choice they all have their own charm. All you need is a beach towel and a camera and don’t forget the sunscreen.

beach and chairs nice pic

You have of course got the very touristy beaches like Patong, in Phuket but if you visit some of the others you can see or do some silk printing, have your portrait painted or just relax at a reggae bar and watch the waves or if you are feeling particularly sporty there is paddle boarding for which you need a fair amount of balance and it is not as easy as it looks… But you can’t travel to Thailand and not do at least one of these.

Sea gipsy villages are so very beautiful…They have a life of their own..self contained and self-sufficient, some have a school and one even has its own floating football pitch. Very fresh seafood, some amazing Thai food can be tasted it is all authentic flavours no holds barred when it comes to chillies … Just browse the little stalls set up in front of homes selling anything from dried fish, honeyed nuts, local goods made of silk or bags made by the hill tribes from the North and of course the normal bits and bobs to take home as mementoes of your travels.

houses on stilts Koh Panyee

I just love Krabi...Taking a long-boat to visit all the little islands is a marvellous day out just be ready to get wet and having to wade out to sea a little to get onto the boat but so much better than the speedboats for me anyway…You see far more and the boatmen know the schedules of the big boats so you can see the islands and miss the crowds.

A Thai massage on the beach or some lovely wraps and wall hangings which the beach vendors will be trying to sell to you…Lovely handmade wooden goods … purses and key rings …all sorts for sale and remember Thais love to barter…

If you are hungry the food is fresh from the boats and cooked to order…

You can get the most wonderful Thai massage on the beach while laying and looking out to sea and letting your thoughts just wander and take you where they may …

I will tell you a funny story when we went to one of the small islands massages were not permitted on some of the beaches but you could see the police boat coming as obviously boat was the only form of  access so if the boat appeared everyone upped sticks and we sat and sipped our drinks  as if nothing was going on and when they went on their merry way massage continued it was quite funny really and made me wonder whether the police really knew anyway…

My masseur happened to be male as all the ladies were busy … My lucky day…apparently, I had that look on my face( according) to hubby…I think it is called a blissful look …That masseuse had the best hands…The rest I will leave to your very fertile imaginations..ladies…” smirk”

Temples or wats there are SO many here they range from the very old to the very new. From highly ornate to ones which need some TLC and to the quirky temples like this one which is made entirely out of Heineken and Chang bottles.Recycling at its best 🙂

Called Wat Pa Maha Kaew or the Temple of a Million Bottles it is a Buddhist temple in the Khun Han district of Sisaket province, Thailand. Made from over 1.5 million bottles it took two years to build the main temple.

Can you just imagine a temple built completely from bottles and beer bottles?

Wat Bang Riang

This one is Wat Bang Riang a little drive from Phuket but well worth the trip …

I can’t go without mentioning briefly the food of which there is so much to love…Those Thai flavours are so amazing…

My Favourite Khao Soi a yellow curry with crispy noodles which packs a fiery punch as well.

You can’t visit Thailand and not visit a market…They are many and varied from the huge markets which sell everything to the little local market with 10-15 stalls which sell the essentials and the fresh fruit and vegetables are so very fresh..just picked that morning… Not forgetting, of course, the floating markets.

 

That’s all for this post  I do hope you have enjoyed it. I am looking forward to your comments and if you also hit the share buttons I would love that ….Thanks, Carol xxx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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://carolcooks2.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 creative week ahead xx

 

Thailand…Travel and Traditions…Village Life…Northern Thailand( Essan)

Whenever we visit our Thai family’s village on this occasion it was to collect our grandson, he often stays with his brown Nannie ( as he calls her) no racism intended during his school holidays. They live in a little village in the middle of nowhere in Northern Thailand where he has the freedom to climb trees, go fishing or lizard hunting he gets to ride his nan’s scooter as the roads are very quiet and safe all the things boys love without too many rules…They get dirty but so happy…

The shower was a bucket of water or a hose pipe in the early days but now they have a wet room of sorts but still, the tub of water is there …a mixture of the old and new…squat toilets are still the norm in many homes here…A habit I have had to embrace…

We are always made soooo welcome..chairs are bought out and we sit and gradually the whole village comes to see us…Lots of happy smiling faces.

The welcome is second to none..always the same…lots of smiling faces and the food comes out…Thai dishes galore…I always take treats for the kids and maybe some toys or clothes I pick up on my travels or that Aston or Lily have outgrown …Those are the ones the kids love as often they are trainers or something from England…then the fashion show begins they just love getting something of Astons…

Circular recycling is the norm here and there is no stigma about hand me downs it is a way of life…

Food…

Uncooked prawns with a blow your head off chilli dip. It consists of very finely chopped white cabbage, finely sliced and halved…Khiewchanta……arranged round the edge of plate……..Fresh prawns, cleaned, deveined and soaked in Soda Water…..Fresh mint leaves and finely sliced garlic.

bitter-gourd-raw prawnsEaten with steamed rice and very lightly cooked squid in a salad with tomatoes, spring onion, coriander, fish sauce and lime juice…… all fresh from the market about an hour before or freshly picked from the garden that’s the great thing about living here every day there is fresh produce available everywhere.

I watched and helped prepare a red ant soup made with local herbs and leaves some of which I had not seen before. One of the ingredients Pla a fermented fish which is very popular in dishes here in the North of Thailand is not one of my favourites, the look, the smell and the taste are not for me. Saying that my natural curiosity to taste everything is often an overriding factor so what I am saying is I am getting used to it…Still not my favourite but getting used to it… I never thought I would say that…so never say never.

Firstly we stripped the leaves from the Thai vegetable called Melientha sauvis or in Thai Phak waan paa which comes from a wild evergreen tree which grows up to 10 metres high and it is the young shoots which are picked to make soup or dried fish curry.

It is classed as a delicacy here and a quite expensive indigenous vegetable. I was told that the soup is also good if you have tummy problems…..I love that the Thais in the villages still practise the old ways with herbs and roots to cure a number of ills… Rather than conventional medicines which some cannot afford or trust.

Before I start I will say that there are no weighing scales here but TASTE is king and that’s what cooking is about. A handful of this and a touch of that.

Let’s cook! 

Take a bunch of Melientha and strip the leaves also take a small bunch of lemon basil and do the same. Put in water.

Tear the yellow oyster mushrooms into smallish pieces and put in another pot.

Yellow Oyster MushroomsA few teaspoons of pla was put in the pot and some water added as well as a shake or two of fish sauce and a little msg….I do not use this in my cooking but I know that it still used in the majority of village homes. As I have become more proficient with my Thai cooking and the family have tried it without MSG and liked it…I am hoping I can get them to change…Slowly but surely I am getting my point over…

Melientha cooking in potThis was bought to the boil and the mushrooms were added, this was simmered for 5 mins and then the picked greens were added alongside a portion of red ants eggs.

It looked lovely and fresh and vibrant…I was however not looking forward to the tasting because of the amount of pla…Pla or Phla is a fermented fish which is popular here and added to most dishes…

A dish was duly given to me with smiles of expectation …Would I eat it? Would I like it?

Very tentatively I tasted it…Wow, it was good…The lemon basil and the ant’s eggs.which have a lemony taste overrode the strong taste of the pla but I will say the taste mellows when cooked…..A truly lovely taste of Thailand.

If you ever get the chance to cook with the locals then take the opportunity…I feel truly blessed that they are family and I have many opportunities to do this.

I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing real Thai cooking just as it is…

The Laos whiskey we bought went down a treat once we had managed to open it of course…haha…That was a job and a half …Once opened it has been packed with straw and then you insert supplied bamboo straws and suck…

It was unexpectedly soft, honeyed whiskey…Very nice, potent, guaranteed to put a smile on ones face…Astons nan taking a sip or three…

Time to come home and we always came away with lots of fresh fruit and vegetable like lemongrass, galangal, morning glory, kale and honey still in the comb..all wonderfully freshly picked, dug up and gave to us with so much love…I, of course, left the wine glasses I had taken for next time, with the promise I would bring more wai Khao( white wine) for the ladies…a treat for them.  The men by now were merry on the Laos whiskey we had bought and some other drink ( not sure ) of the origin but infused with honey and ginger…it tasted quite potent. It was certainly the land of smiles…

A lovely afternoon.

I of course slipped and stacked it…..I hurt my big toe and received an impromptu Thai foot massage…which was very nice.

I hope you have enjoyed this snapshot of life in a Thai Village…

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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://carolcooks2.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 creative week ahead and all you Tennis fans …Enjoy! xx

 

 

 

 

Healthy Eating, Eat Smart, No more Diets…

persimmon fruit Carrots Oranges

Welcome to Tuesdays Eat Smart, Eat Healthy post…

This week I seem to be eating everything which is orange I discovered a lovely new flavour combination smoothie which is equal parts carrot and Oranges and it is very nice… A vibrant orange colour as you would expect but so nice…

I also had some lovely Papaya to use and as I was gifted 5 papayas and quite a few bananas meant it was a lovely banana and Papaya smoothie for breakfast the other morning.

My week has been a very Orange week…

Persimmon is in season and I have to admit not a fruit I had tasted… seen never tasted but this week we did my daughter-law hadn’t tasted it either so we bought some and it is lovely the texture of a crisp apple fairly sweet but very nice.

The persimmon is one of the classical fruits of China, from where it was introduced in ancient times to Japan. Mainly grown in China and Japan commercially but smaller growers have developed in Italy, Israel, Brazil, California (U.S.A.), Australia and New Zealand. In South-East Asia, it is grown on a limited scale in Java, Sumatra, Malaysia and Northern Thailand.

At present grown by hill tribe growers here in Northern Thailand. Production has been slow to cultivate and they are mostly sold as fresh fruit which is probably why by comparison with other fruits they are expensive.

Many of the hill tribes here are growers which operate under the Royal Project which was started to help the hill tribes. The Royal Project was initially established in 1969 by His Majesty King Bhumibol to support farmers in rural areas to plant crops instead of planting opium. Initially, it was a voluntary project cooperated by many famous universities in Thailand such as Kasetsart University, Maejo University, and Chiang-Mai University. Nowadays, the Royal Project has travelled throughout the country covering Chiang-Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Phayao, and Mae Hong Son we also have a Royal Project shop here in Udon Thani where produce is sold from these farmers all fruit and vegetables are sold in season and it is lovely because I can find unusual fruits and vegetables which cannot be found in larger stores although sometimes I get something once and then not again for a while they only stock what comes in rather than having the same regular deliveries which is nice…

It is also where I can get my proper Greek Yoghurt and not this greek style yoghurt which the other stores sell.

Persimmons can be eaten fresh, dried or cooked and are commonly used around the world in jellies, drinks, pies, curries and puddings. Which is probably why I have seen an increase in posts on Pinterest for persimmon recipes.

Now I have tried them I will also be trying a recipe or two so if you have any favourite recipes please share them with me 🙂

Persimmons are also a good source of thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), folate, magnesium and phosphorus.

These colourful fruits are low in calories and loaded with fibre, making them a weight loss-friendly food.

Aside from vitamins and minerals, persimmons contain a wide array of plant compounds, including tannins, flavonoids and carotenoids, which can positively impact your health.

The leaves of the persimmon fruit are also high in vitamin C, tannins and fibre, as well as a common ingredient in therapeutic teas.

So yes an Orange week all round for me… Plenty of vitamin C…

Has this week been a good week for you? Have you discovered a new food? If so please share with us how your healthy eating is progressing…

Just in case you missed it here is the link for the little calculation chart that Sally devised I find it really handy and I still have not eaten any biscuits with my morning cup of tea…

fat-accumulation-table SALLY

I also printed off Sally’s food shopping list and worked through it vitamin by vitamin and chose the foods which provided that vitamin or protection and made my own list of what I should be buying.

Then I drilled it down that out of the 40 items I took from Sally’s shopping list I always bought 22 of those items, next I looked at what I do buy but less often and that equated to 13 items which either I could only buy when they were in season or foods which I just don’t eat as often not because I don’t like them just because they are not always available or I prefer something else. The remainder I either cannot get here or are very expensive to buy as imported goods.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/smorgasbord-health-column-health-in-the-new-obesity-research-fat-accumulation-table-by-sally-cronin/

Enjoy your week and eat smart and healthily 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

 

 

 

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