Category Archives: Recipes

Saturday Snippets…

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

Success came in the form of coconut ice...well it very nearly didn’t…I don’t buy condensed milk at all but as I intended making fudge (16th June) I did…I thought I had read the label but upon opening the can it was evaporated milk without thinking I added the icing sugar…In the words of Julia Roberts…Big mistake…

I gathered my thoughts, gritted my teeth and headed over to Mr google…You can make it with evaporated milk…HOWEVER…you add a little to the icing sugar…not to be deterred I weighed out more icing sugar and did just that then added the coconut…It worked…a little sweeter than it should have been due to my earlier enthusiasm…Ooops…

coconut ice take 2

Ingredients:

  • 200 g icing sugar
  • Evaporated milk to mix
  • 125 g desiccated coconut
  • Red colouring

Let’s make sweeties…

Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in enough evaporated milk to make a stiff paste.

Divide the mixture into two halves and colour one-half pink.

Put the white mixture into your prepared tin I lined it with greaseproof paper.

Top with the pink mixture pressing it down slightly.

Leave for at least 3 hrs to dry or overnight then cut into squares.

I noticed many of the recipes said to roll it out to the shape of your dish…I couldn’t be bothered I just added it to the tin too much faffing about.

As I purchased two tins of this evaporated milk next time I make it I will double up and give the neighbours some and make a mousse-like my mum used to make…She whipped the evaporated milk and then folded in a jelly made with just half the liquid…and let it set we loved it as kids…

Wellness Corner:

I think particularly in today’s environment many more people are getting stressed…not only do we have Coronavirus with all the stress it brings but there are now riots and demonstrations around the world culminating in more stress…

We have never needed advice on how to destress more than now…So pop over to Sallys and read her words of wisdom backed up by her numerous experience and qualifications she knows her stuff…

project-101-2 Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/project-101-resilience-stress/

Today is also National Gingerbread Day...I love gingerbread cake so methinks I will make on today…Do you love gingerbread? Have you a favourite recipe you like to share?

smart

Where did it all start? Gingerbread dates from the 15th century and figural biscuit-making was practised in the 16th century. The first documented instance of figure-shaped gingerbread biscuits was at the court of Elizabeth I of England. She had the gingerbread figures made and presented in the likeness of some of her important guests.

Of course, gingerbread houses and gingerbread men are very popular over the Christmas season…personally I much prefer the cake…

I am using a slightly different recipe today as the last one I made was a little dry…

We have also been experimenting and having a go at making Sato which is an Issan home-brewed rice wine…It all started when I could find any Shaoxing for a recipe and looked for a substitute…this is what is apparently …

After speaking to a few Thais and doing some research my daughter in law said I can get those starter cultures…they came wrapped in newspaper and were these white chalky flat discs…it is also sort of illegal like many things are here but can be bought if you know a man who knows a man…

The first stage was to soak and cook the glutinous rice. The chalky flat round discs were crushed in the mortar and pestle then mixed by hand into the sticky rice which was then put into the sterilised jar and covered with water.

We are now on day 6 and the rice is separating from the water it is not very clear in the picture but there is a definite separation…Tomorrow we can taste and top it up…There is definitely something going on we shall see…

I have tried to find out what is in those chalky discs with no success…no one either knows or is not saying…

More on my homebrew next week…

This month is also National Fruit and Vegetable Month and National Papaya Month an opportunity for me to share some fruit and vegetable recipes all favourites of mine…

I know that my friends and family have taken this lockdown as an opportunity to cook more all verified according to preliminary results from a worldwide Corona Cooking Survey.

Based on an analysis of answers to the survey by 11,000 people in 11 countries, consumers reported fewer purchases of microwave-prepared foods and fewer purchases of sweet and salty snacks.

People are eating healthier, cooking their own food, and consuming more fruit and vegetables which means this is an ideal month to promote fruit and vegetables.

The fruit is very plentiful here everywhere you can buy it whole or ready cut up..no difference in price everyone just loves fresh fruit…

smart

Fresh Lychees.

I have never seen such lovely big lychees and they are lovely a little tart which is how we like them …This lychee salad can be made with or without the prawns both are lovely.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2- 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp lime/lemon juice
  • 1-5   Chilli sliced and deseeded if you prefer.
  • 300 grams lychee
  • 2 small shallot sliced finely
  • Celery (optional)…the celery is very fine here so I would add 1-2 stems chopped finely.
  • 4-6 shrimp (boiled)
  • Few cashew nuts (optional)

Mix the fish sauce and palm sugar and lime/lemon juice. Stir until the palm sugar dissolves. Then add the chillies as you like

Add lychee, sliced ​​shallot and celery, followed by boiled shrimp. Then blended together and serve immediately either with rice or rice noodles.

Enjoy!

If you are stocking up with fruits and vegetables as you are not shopping so frequently then here are some great tips for keeping your fruit and vegetables fresh…

That all for Saturday Snippets this week…Be safe and stay well…xx

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

 

 

Whimsical Wednesday…with CarolCooks2

Welcome to Whimsical Wednesday…we are enjoying some cooler temperatures as it is our rainy season but when the sun comes out it is a tad hot and steamy but everything is growing super quick and is lush and green…

Who didn’t love the story of Cinderella as a child…I know I did and when Walt Disney released his film it was loved by people of all ages as Disney films do…

30 years ago another film was released..I can’t believe it was that long ago…my doesn’t time fly…I still love that film and it is still one I watch every so often…All about a modern day Cinderella …it was none other than Pretty Women starring the handsome Richard Gere and the beautiful Julia Roberts there are so many ahhhh and tissue moments in that film…

I could listen to Roy Orbison all day long…You got it! Only the lonely!Crying ! In dreams! I drove all night!

I was trawling the internet trying to find something and came across this ..such a fascinating concept…

I watched it with my grandson and the first two groups of people who were inside these domes eventually split into two opposing factions …Astons question to me was why do groups normally only split into two? Why not three?…He loves to tax my brain…

I don’t drink coffee not because I don’t like it...I just drink other things…the rest of my family love it especially my daughter in law and this frothy coffee seems to be the latest craze….Here’s how to make it at home…

Enjoy!

I’m sure if I had to live in this maybe I wouldn’t like it as much but it looks so pretty…

Like Narnia almost, magical…

After my last disaster with making coconut ice I tried again…Initially I made a boob…Because I don’t buy tinned condensed milk ever really…It wasn’t until I opened it I realised and the fact the tin was mostly in Thai language…Oopps so I did my own little tweek to the recipe and hope it works or that will be disaster numero two…Just going to check…so far so good…

homemade coconut ice

Not quite set yet and the image is not very clear but 100% better than the last effort…Recipe and better images to follow later…

Respect” is a song written and originally released by American recording artist Otis Redding in 1965. The song became a 1967 hit and signature song for soul singer Aretha Franklin. Otis Redding peaked at number thirty-five with “Respect” in the summer of 1965, but it was Aretha’s version that became legendary. The feminist anthem won two GRAMMY Awards and hit number one on the Hot 100 in June 1967.

Although I love Aretha I think she has got better and better and I love seeing her sing in this video….

So for two reason at this moment in time …I am making a comparison…A great singer and a great couple who made America proud…

That’s it for this week…Take care stasy safe and be well …xx

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

Saturday Snippets is back! Week 2…

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

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

chocolate fudge with walnuts

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

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

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

I need fudge…

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

loaf made in dutch oven

Probably from the steam produced using the dutch oven method…

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Bake!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

loaf made in dutch oven

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

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

Wellness Corner:

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

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

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

National Vinegar Month.

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

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

Who throws this away?

smart

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

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

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

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

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

What will June bring?

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

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

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

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

Plenty of scope and yumminess there then…

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

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

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

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

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

Take care all of you…xxx

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

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

 

Saturday Snippets…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I could be writing about something I came across this week which made me laugh, cry or cringe…it may be a recipe…it may be a request..it may be totally off the wall or it may be just me!

Enjoy!

Today is National Taffy Day…

I hadn’t heard of Taffy either…Salt Water Taffy to be precise until…while I was a participant at a residential Writers Retreat we were invited to take one, unwrap it and pop it in our mouths…We were then given 15 minutes to get our thoughts on paper…

Salt Water Taffy by Carol Ann Taylor…

Salt Water Taffy( 3)

Brilliant turquoise in colour, my fingers now sticky on my screen, sweet nothing on my tongue with a sort of fudge-like texture.  Would I eat another?

“No”

The disappointment flooded over me when I realized it wasn’t a blueberry flavour.

But, instead, it invoked pictures in my memory of a hazy blue sea,  sailboats, men in boaters,  ladies in bloomers and those wonderful beach huts which are now so in vogue. Children running along with kites, donkey rides on the clean white sand. Ice Cream and Candyfloss

How one tiny rectangle of sweet stickiness could evoke long-forgotten memories of an idyllic childhood was truly amazing.

Long Live Salt Water Taffy.

What is salt Water Taffy then where did it originate?

No one really knows but a man called Joseph Fralinger who was a former glassblower and fish merchant from Atlantic City opened a small concession in the mid-1880’s selling lemonade. After taking over a taffy stand he began to perfect his own recipe for Taffy. An entrepreneur at heart he packed one pound oyster boxes with Salt Water Taffy and launched the first ” Atlantic City Souvenir” today this one-pound box still remains the most popular souvenir.

Today there are over 155 flavours of Salt Water Taffy and not a drop of seawater in view.

If you follow me and are a regular reader you will know it is National Vinegar Month…The Braised Pork with Black vinegar was amazing everyone loved it…

It was a unanimous decision to make it again…The only changes I would make would be to serve Pak Dong which is the Thai pickled greens using salt and sun to make sour but the pickles in the recipe were too sour for even me so I am taking those out of the recipe. The cooking time was also way of base so I will amend that but apart from that, it was a lovely sauce…

Chinese black vinegar is more mellow rather acidic …a nice vinegar and I would definitely use in other dishes…a good buy.

Time for a laugh…I can be a bit funny sometimes but Donna she is something else…she really makes me smile…So No-one told you life was going to be this way…Funny and entertaining ..words and pictures…I laughed and smiled from start to finish…1funny25 Donna Parker

 

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/05/04/so-no-one-told-you-life-was-gonna-be-this-way/

Captain Tom...now an honourary Colonel of his regiment…He has made a record with Michael Ball…he is also now going to be knighted… I am guessing a normal unassuming man who wanted to do something…

Arise…Sir Tom Moore…A true gentleman and a hero…

It’s National Vinegar Month and I have been celebrating it to the full…I made a Chocolate cake using no eggs just vinegar…A throwback to the war when eggs were in short supply…my latest recipe originally one from BBC food was Pork shoulder braised with Black Vinegar…a first for me and a great success with my very honest taste testers…

The chocolate cake was a revelation…made in the pan it was baked in…I honestly didn’t expect it to be that good…and vegan to boot…She who will never be vegan/vegetarian had made a not bad chocolate cake that ticked all the boxes…

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

Covid-19...I think it dominates everyone’s thoughts…certainly mine …I feel relatively safe living here in Thailand…I don’t consider my human rights or whatever violated …But the low figures speak volumes…I am happy to wear a mask when out shopping and indeed I am not allowed in a shop without it…Of course, there are opinions on whether or not the wearing of a mask actually offers protection…It protects people from my coughs and sneezes if I had some…I also think our figures speak for themselves…54 recorded deaths is very low…

corona-4971013_640

https://acflory.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/covid-19-to-mask-or-not-to-mask/

Wellness Corner:

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

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

Sally herself has had struggles with her weight over the years she now has it under control…A qualified nutritionist she wants to help others…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/smorgasbord-health-column-project-101-resilience-improving-lung-function-no-2-weight-loss-hack-no-2-improving-lung-function-no-2-musical-therapy-by-sally-cronin/

I think these times of being quarantined have hot everyone in many ways the barbers and hairdressers have been closed, Massage parlours and manicurists have been closed, flights stopped, buses stopped, so many changes to our everyday lives…

I myself have been doing far more online shopping as I am guessing so has half of the world…My hair…Well, being a trained hairdresser I am very fussy about who comes anywhere near my hair… I also have it cut regularly…My son who takes after his mother in many ways…he may not admit it…haha…in his words is anal about his hair…so I trusted him with mine and the clippers which is what he uses on his hair…

I am really pleased he has made a good job…I don’t know what my hairdresser will say but I am happy with it…

Monty Python is something of a British Institution…

It seems however that pedestrians all over the world are being encouraged to loosen up on their daily strolls through their neighbourhoods by showing off their best silly walks reminiscent of the iconic Monty Python sketch from 1970.

Homeowners from Michigan to Ontario have been erecting signs in their front yards asking passersby to strut their goofy stuff similar to the original “Ministry for Silly Walks” comedic sketch.

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

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

It’s National Pickles Week! Piperies Mikres Toursi…Star Fruit Relish and more…

Who doesn’t love a pickle…? Pickles are eaten across all cultures around the world..we love pickles and I pickle anything and everything from garlic, jalapenos, cabbage of all sorts, cucumbers, onions, eggs, peppers, pineapple, tomatoes, star fruit, fish and more…

Pickles are mentioned at least twice in the Bible (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8), were known to the ancient Egyptians (Cleopatra attributed some of her beauty to pickles), and Aristotle praised the healing effects of pickled cucumbers. The Romans imported all sorts of foods from the countries they conquered, pickling them for the journey in vinegar, oil, brine and sometimes honey. Garum or Liquamen, a fermented, salted fish-based condiment which was a dietary staple and has been found as far north as the Antonine Wall built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde.

That’s some history for a pickled cucumber which is said to be one of the first recorded pickles… sometime around 2030 BC in Mesopotamia…

I have also been called a little pickle in my time and have applied that description to my own kiddies it is a term of endearment to me it means they are bright, witty and a tiny little bit cheeky. A child who can stand up for themselves with a good sense of humour.

The name pickle as in the English word ‘pickle’ derives from the Middle English pikel, first recorded around 1400 and meaning a spicy sauce or gravy served with meat or fowl. This is different to but obviously related to the Middle Dutch source, pekel, meaning a solution, such as spiced brine, for preserving and flavouring food.

Star Fruit Relish:

Star Fruit or Carambola as it is also known as is a lovely vibrant yellow and due to its distinctive ridges when it’s cut it resembles a star hence its name.

The entire fruit is edible it has firm, crunchy flesh and is quite juicy. The taste is likened to that of a grape. There are two main types of star fruit the smaller fruit is sour(tart) and the larger fruit like I have in my garden is sweeter. But although sweet they very rarely have more than a 4% sugar content.

Here in Thailand they are cooked with shrimp or chicken or eaten raw dipped into the sugar/chilli mix which is commonly eaten with fruit here or just eaten with rock salt. It can be made into relishes, preserves and juice drinks, stewed with cloves or apples.

They are also used as a pretty garnish or in a salad with papaya and pineapple.

Star Fruit Relish:

  • 8 cups of star fruit, thinly sliced and any seeds removed.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves tied in a muslin bag and slightly crushed.
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg( optional) see note below.

Let’s Pickle!

Wash and thinly slice the star fruit removing any seeds. Cover with the cider vinegar and stand overnight.

Drain the vinegar add sugar, salt and clove bag. Cook gently until the relish starts to thicken then allow to stand overnight.

In the morning remove the spice bag and reheat the mix after adding the nutmeg if used and bring back to the boil.

If you plan to store the star fruit chutney then omit the nutmeg as it will turn the relish a brown colour although it does add another dimension to the taste.

Put into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Enjoy with some cold meats or on bread and butter.

Did you know? 

Here in Asia, more pickles are consumed per capita than any other region? I think as well as being delicious that it is a method given the hot temperatures of preserving food.

Foods are generally pickled in one of three ways salt/brine, oil or vinegar…Here Thais tend you use salt/brine rather than vinegar which many find too sour…Wherever you eat out you will find pickled vegetables either served with the meal or as a side dish.

Some popular pickles/vinegar here is Banana vinegar, naem hed (pickled mushroom), dok sa-no dong (pickled sesbania flowers and lotus stem) and kimchi.

Banana vinegar is made from a type of local banana and many Thais replace the commercially-produced vinegar that often comes with preservatives with banana vinegar. Pickled sesbania is a good side to any main dish or nam phrik. Sesbania is a small edible pea-shaped flower which is very popular here.

Food preservation was a good way to deal with the abundant supply of vegetable, especially those grown in the rainy season, before the invention of the refrigerator. Seasonal vegetables that were often pickled included spring onions, ginger and mustard greens, which can be found anywhere in Thailand; phak sian (cleome) is found in the North and Northeast, while luk Niang (Djenkol bean fruit), and sa-tor (stink beans) are mostly found in the South.

In some rural places, the big clay pots are still used to preserve food…

Any container can be used to pickle as long as it is non-reactive…Mason Jars are a popular Jar for pickles the first one was designed and patented by John Mason back in 1858 he designed it to specifically withstand high temperatures when it was necessary to sterilise the jars.

Pickles range from mild to spicy or fruity and never waste the pickle juice as it can be used in a Martini aptly named a Pickletini, I ad some to a bloody Mary and it is now a popular chaser a shot called a Pickleback…

Just going to check my Pork as my Braised Pork in Black vinegar should be braising nicely…Will let you know with images tomorrow…It is the first time I have used Black Vinegar…

International pickle week fits in nicely with National Vinegar month don’t you think?

Are pickles healthy? 

Well, some store-purchased pickles contain sugar so beware or make your own and then you can omit the sugar…However, a medium-size pickle might pack 12 cals and who can only eat one? Just be aware…moderation. But pickles do contain sodium. Preserving any kind of food requires the addition of salt, and salt makes up about 5 per cent of most pickling recipes. Two small spears contain almost 600 mg of sodium, more than one-quarter of the recommended daily limit.

Fermentation is one method of pickling, but not all pickles are fermented.

When vegetables and fruits are fermented, healthy bacteria break down the natural sugars. This process is what gives fermented pickles their sour taste. The pickles sit in saltwater and ferment over many days.

When pickles aren’t fermented, vinegar gives them their tang. Vinegar itself is produced through a fermentation process, but only the kinds of vinegar that remain raw and unpasteurized, such as raw apple cider vinegar, retain parts of the “mother culture,” which provides that good bacteria.

Eating fermented foods may help with everything from insulin resistance to inflammation. Sauerkraut, one of the most popular fermented foods worldwide, has been shown to have anti-cancer benefits.

Pickles that are not fermented still deliver the benefits of vinegar, spices, and cucumbers. As I mentioned above drinking pickle juice has become a trend because media sources are promoting the benefits related to muscle cramps, weight loss, diabetes, and more.

Pickle juice is also a favourite of those following a ketogenic diet, who might need more sodium to manage electrolyte balance. 

Cooking any food can break down heat-sensitive nutrients, including antioxidants. Pickling raw vegetables and fruits preserve their antioxidant powers.

Like anything else, I tend to discount wacky claims of instant inch loss/weight …I tend to eat what I eat because I enjoy eating it and also because I may know it contains certain vitamins and minerals for my well being…however moderation is the key and I don’t go overboard and only eat the one food item for every meal we need balance in our diets.. a good combination of food… if we are eating well and sensibly it should be enough…

We love pickles so what have I been pickling lately? Well not have I been fancying a lovely piece of Cod and Chips but I have been fancying a Doner Kebab…Where we used to get them years ago when in the Uk was a little Greek place which did the best kebabs and served with these wonderful pickled green peppers…That is what I am pickling…They are called  Piperies Mikres Toursi…

  • 36 thin peppers, such as Anaheim peppers, about 3 inches long, stems trimmed to 1/4 inch long
  • 3 tablespoons coarse-grained salt
  • Water, enough to cover the peppers
  • 5 cups red wine, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or spiced vinegar (any flavour)

Add the peppers to a large glass bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and then fill the bowl with cold water until it just covers the peppers. Soak for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Drain the water after 6 hours. Lay the peppers on clean towels until the peppers dry. When the peppers are dry, stuff them into clean and sterilized 1-quart mason jars. Pour vinegar into each jar, making sure to cover the peppers. Seal the jars according to the package instructions for the Mason jars.

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Store the peppers in a clean, dry place for up to 3 months.

The only jar I could find was quite a big one and my peppers floated…What I did was fill 2 bags with salted water(just)in case they split and dropped them in the jar…the vinegar rose and my peppers are submerged so if you have jar wich just too big then this little tip is a godsend…

Once they are pickled then I will make my kebab mix which I haven’t made since I was in the Uk so for at least 8 years and those pickled peppers hopefully will be just what that kebab needs…

That’s all for International Pickle week… I hope you have enjoyed reading this post…Tomorrow I will update you on my dish using black vinegar and maybe some sauerkraut…Please stay safe and well..it ain’t over yet…xx

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cake…it came out far better than I hoped…

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

The recipe for the cake is on the link below…

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

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

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

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

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

What is Yanang Leaf?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To serve

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • julienned spring onions
  • steamed rice

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)

SAM_6824

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

Let’s Cook!

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

To Pickle:

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

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

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

Then refrigerate and enjoy!

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

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

That’s all for today…Please be well and stay safe…xxx

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

Whimsical Wednesday… 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…

If you love crotchet then this site has lots of cute patterns free …Isn’t this little giraffe cute?

Crochet-Blue-Giraffe-amigurumi-pattern-by-Amigurumi-Today

https://amigurumi.today/page/2/?fbclid=IwAR3XMvaRIKZRGipat3eM3bJyy9cVf2O2heg4E7vs9CLr-4aoB8w0dHL7xUo

Did you know?

bottle coco cola

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Cuba was actually one of the first three countries outside the US to bottle Coke, in 1906.

But the company moved out as Fidel Castro’s government began seizing private assets in the 1960s and has never returned.

There are now just two countries in the world where Coca-Cola cannot be bought or sold – at least, not officially. They are Cuba and North Korea, which are both under long-term US trade embargoes (Cuba since 1962 and North Korea since 1950).

In North Korea – the other Coca-Cola-free zone – recent media reports suggested it was being sold in a restaurant in Pyongyang. But Coca-Cola says if any drinks are being sold in either North Korea or Cuba, they are being smuggled in on the black market, not via official channels.

I have been playing lots of music from my past lately...getting maudlin…Early 1970’s were when I had my first child…Lots of music…and crazy love…

Ants…I posted about ant egg salad here last week and opinion was most certainly divided…But did you know? That it is said all the ants on this earth weigh about as much as all the humans…? That is a lot of ants…

shallow focus photography of couple ants holding book figurine

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The total population of people who are alive on Earth is 7.8 billion. At the same time, there are 10 quadrillions (10,000,000,000,000,000) individual ants crawling around at any given time. According to wildlife presenter Chris Packham, who appeared on the BBC, when combined, all of those ants would weigh about the same as all of us humans.

However, Francis Ratnieks, professor of apiculture at the University of Sussex, disagrees. He says that while this fact may have been true in the past, these days “we must also remember that humans are getting fatter all the time. We’re not just increasing in population, we’re increasing in fatness, so I think we’ve left the ants behind.”

That’s still a lot of ants...Are you sure that ant egg salad doesn’t now sound more appealing?

Just for all you bakers… it’s not safe in the kitchen…

Beware the rolling pin!

Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province…

Canada is home to some 20,000 bears most of which live in British Columbia…although none have been sighted on Prince Edward Island since the 1930s…All that has now changed they are back…although they are of a different kind…

bear hunt

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/prince-edward-island-bear-hunt?

I have a treat for you…a look at another Whimsical lady…

That’s all for today…Please be well and stay safe…xxx

I will leave you with the calming sounds of a singing bamboo forest…

It is so beautiful xxx

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx