Category Archives: Pumpkin seeds

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

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

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

Does China celebrate Halloween? 

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

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

witch and black cat-1461961_640

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

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

pumpkin-soup-1804351_1920

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

Enjoy!

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

owls-1461952_640

Some Pumpkin facts…

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

pollination-3572147_640

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

Halloween Superstitions: 

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

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

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

Now for a real life witches house….

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

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

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

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

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

A Halloween quiz question for you…

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

Answers in comments, please …

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

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

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

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

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

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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

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

Blog:
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Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

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

Fruity Fridays…The Pumpkin and yes it is a fruit…

Halloween-pumpkin
Hands up who thought the pumpkin was only for Halloween decorations and to make pumpkin pie???
 It is also a fruit…Did you know that?? That plump round, this nutritious orange ball is, in fact, a fruit…

A highly nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Pumpkin seeds, leaves, and juices all pack a powerful nutritional punch.

There are many ways pumpkin can be incorporated into desserts, soups, salads, preserves, and even as a substitute for butter.

It still makes a great Halloween decoration though, doesn’t it??

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Healthwise the potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure and the antioxidants in pumpkin could help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes. Pumpkins are also a fantastic source of fibre.

Fresh is best though so please avoid canned pumpkin pie mix, as it typically contains added sugars and syrups so check the label and look for that 100% sign…Then that’s good, isn’t it? Actually, it isn’t …Many tins of canned pumpkin puree are actually squash.

Here is a little article from Snopes which is interesting as the Pumpkins you carve are not the ones used for pumpkin pie…

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/canned-pumpkin-isnt-actually-pumpkin/

Any uncut pumpkins should be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.

Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes. I myself have not tried this as I don’t bake often but Weight Watchers recommends using pumpkin puree for one-third of the amount of butter; so if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, plan to use 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree and 2/3 cup of butter. The proportions may vary with what you are making. You may have to experiment with the exact amount of pumpkin to use until you get the exact consistency you want.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? If anyone has tried this please let us know.

My recipe for pumpkin or squash soup …

squash-pumpkin- soup

The squash I always make into a vegetable soup and freeze in portions. When I reheat the soup, I then add chilli (of course) and a little coconut milk and gently warm through.

Soup ingredients:

  • 1 small squash/ pumpkin, peeled and deseeded. Cut into pieces.
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and cut up
  • 1 carrot washed and cut
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Piece fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 3 Broccoli stalks, peeled and cubed (I always save the broccoli stalks) for when I make soup. Waste not, want not and I think ideal for soups for flavour.
  • 1-1½ litres of fresh chicken stock or stock cubes.

Let’s Cook!

Heat a glug of olive oil and gently cook garlic ginger and onion to just soften and not colour.
Add other vegetables gradually and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, then add stock and seasoning.
Simmer gently for about an hour or until vegetables are lovely and soft and remove from heat. I let it cool down before I blend.
This makes a lovely vegetable soup but I also use it as a base and freeze in portions.
When I reheat I add little-dried chilli flakes and 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut milk.
It just gives it a creamy flavour.
Sometimes I add crushed lemongrass stalk and a little fish sauce, it depends on how I feel, it is a versatile soup base so play with it, have fun.
Add some curry powder, a squeeze or 2 of lime juice or coriander, whatever you fancy. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Seeds...Raw are roasted are classed as one of the worlds healthiest foods with many health benefits.

pumpkin-seeds

For more information on the health benefits of Pumpkin seeds here is a very good article from Sally over @ Smorgasbord Magazine…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-pumpkin-seeds/

Pumpkin Pie Muffins:

pumkin-pie-muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 tsp of pumpkin spice mix ( see recipe below to make own spice)
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30 ounces of pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of sultanas or chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 large eggs

Let’s Cook!

Set the oven to preheat on 330 F or 166 C

Mix the dry goods together sieving the flours and whisk the wet ingredients together and then add the dry ingredients a little at a time gently stirring to combine.

Fill muffin tins to just below the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Allow to cool down on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Mix.

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all the spices together and keep in a lidded pot and use as required for muffins, pies or a nice spiced latte..

Thank you for reading if you loved this post please share on your favourite social media…x

 

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine -Weekly Round Up – Dionne Warwick, Thomas Crapper and Pumpkin Seeds

Another brilliant roundup..What a week and some amazing posts and reviews…Thank you, Sally, for your unfailing promotion of us all xxx