Category Archives: Recipes,Lifestyle

This is a general blog charting my life with the addition of a recipe or two.

Travel and Traditions …Down on the farm…… Snake gourd Raita.

 

Welcome to this week’s travel and traditions where I am taking you down on the farm where everything is still done how it was many years ago no mod cons just hard, back breaking work…

snake gourd

Everything in the garden is coming up roses as the saying goes it looks like we will have fruit and vegetables galore.

Some of the fruit and vegetables I am familiar with as you can get them almost everywhere.

Others are very new to me and I am having to do a little research as sometimes there isn’t an English pronunciation for the Thai word.

This one looks quite creepy I think and I was quite expecting to see a snake so I go along quite gingerly watching where I tread.

snake gourd 1

Snake Gourd Riata.

2 cups of natural yoghurt.

2 small snake gourds diced.

The snake gourd has a naturally occurring waxy white surface so rub some salt on the surface before cooking or using to remove.

4-5 green chillies

2tbsp grated fresh coconut

10-15 shallots finely chopped.

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp urad dal powder/paste

A handful of coriander leaves chopped

Salt to taste

Oil as required.

Let’s Cook!

Heat some oil on a medium flame and fry the mustard seeds and urad dal for 20 seconds.

Add green chillies and chopped shallots saute for 2 minutes, add diced snake gourd cook 1-2 minutes and add grated coconut and mix well.

Remove from the heat allow to cool slightly, stir in yoghurt and add salt to taste.

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Garnish with coriander and serve. What is raita served with? Cool, creamy raita is vegetarian and gluten-free. It is an excellent foil to the searing heat of Indian recipes and spicy foods in general.

Here…Thais choose young fruits for cooking use. The flesh of young fruit is extremely crunchy and attractive, good for soups and stir fry. Cook the leafy tendril shoots and leaves as greens. It would be unusual for Thais to make raita but as I make Indian curries for me it is ideal…

Here are some more facts about the fascinating Snake gourd.

The snake gourd or Buap nguu, serpent gourd, chichinga or Padwal are some of the other names it is known under.

Native to south-east Asia it is a vine which grows around a tree or trellis and then unfurls its large white frayed flowers. Then fruits which grow straight down towards the ground.

Can grow up to 5 feet in length sometimes a stone is tied to the small gourd to help it grow straight down as it can grow into all sorts of shapes.

Also because of its length, it is used to make the traditional didgeridoo in Australia.

It turns orange when it is fully ripe but this is when it is very bitter so it is usually used in curries and raitas before it ripens fully. When ripened the flesh is sometimes used as a replacement for tomatoes.

The leaves, tendrils and other leafy parts are used as vegetable greens lightly steamed or raw.

It’s strange names and appearance have often caused it to be overlooked for its health benefits. It is proven to be very effective at improving the strength of the body’s immune system, reducing fevers and treating diabetes. Currently there much medical research into other health benefits of the Snake Gourd.

Update on the farm: The rice is growing nicely as we have had plenty of rain it does mean though that a few holes have appeared as we have a stream running through the land and when we get torrential rain the water gets quite high and can overflow ..Water also finds weak spots and comes up causing holes sometimes quite big but of course they have to be filled in so there is always plenty to do in the rainy season…

It also means that the nets can be cast and fishing is good when the rain comes and there are also plenty of frogs they are everywhere …When I went to the market not only were they being sold fresh but there were lots of BBQ frogs for sale…

I hope you have enjoyed your trip down on the farm…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 are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…These honeybees dining on forget me knots say it all to me…

forget-me-not-257176_640

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: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

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

Whimsical Wednesdays…with Carol…

Thank you for joining me once again on Whimsical Wednesday when anything goes..wherever my thoughts take me or when something stops me in my tracks and makes think or when something just wows me…

So come with me and see what has astonished or wowed me this week and what memories have been evoked…I do hope you enjoy and please if it evokes any memories for you please share…

I love honey it has numerous health benefits and healing properties I am also so lucky that I have a source of fresh honey here…

World Honey Bee day is held on the 3rd Saturday in August which is this coming Saturday…Becoming more and more important as Honey Bees are under threat …  Playing an important role in our ecosystem threats to their habit, crop spraying with chemicals so many things are now threatening the existence of honey bees…

What should we do? 

HOW WE CAN OBSERVE #WorldHoneyBeeDay

  • Collect and spread local wildflower seeds to promote honey bee pollination.
  • Flavours of honey vary depending on the variety of flowers and nectar available to the bees.
  • Clover, alfalfa, lavender, orange, and chestnut are just a few to choose from.
  • Replace your usual sweetener with honey for the day. Taste the difference!
  • Give the gift of honey to a friend, neighbour, co-worker or family member.

Don’t forget to share with your honey, too! Use #WorldHoneyBeeDay to post on social media.

Now for a short story…

.My Friend...

My mind, at sixes and sevens I strolled from Boat Avenue towards Bliss Beach Club…..would Annie like what I had carefully picked for her, a beautiful Pashmina and that cat…It had jumped off the shelf. Saying buy me!

The first to arrive, that Pineapple shake went down a treat.

It was lovely here…calm and peaceful, the waves gently lapping on the sand, telling a story to those who can hear.

bangtao-beach-Phuket

Soft music, everyone carefree and beautiful.

A virtually cloudless sky!

Me, my heart is sad.

Sad Annie is leaving, sad that this beautiful island has lost its charm for my friend.

Sad for the girls who take what they want.

Sad for the men who think the girls really want them!

Sad for the innocent who will replace them.

A perpetual never-ending cycle.

Sad it won’t change for a while or even a long time.

So much sadness and yet what is displayed in front of me masks all that. Affluent men still attached to their phones, their home so far away… their eyes searching, predatory. .But who is the prey….they think they know…..But do they?????

Goodbye Annie. God bless, may you find peace and love when you get back home x

By Carol Taylor…

August 1971 …Paula and Linda McCartney released ” Back seat of my car”

 

London always has lots to do during the school holiday many exhibitions and shows to keep the kids(and0 parents happy…

This one will appeal to the boys, big or small and their dad’s…

BA 2019 Flights of the Future…

Look to the future of flying when jet propulsion and automation could be a reality.

Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s Square, King’s Road, London, SW3 4SQ

Tube: Sloane Square Station

Dates: 1st to 26th August 2019

BA 2119: Flight of the Future

British Airways celebrates 100 years of flying this summer with its major new exhibition, BA 2119: Flight of the Future. Taking place at the Saatchi Gallery and created in partnership with the Royal College of Art, the exhibition is the first-of-its-kind and will explore the future of aviation based on in-depth global research commissioned by the airline.

Just what will flying look like in 20 to 60 years with advanced jet propulsion, hyper-personalisation, automation and AI? An immersive, full-motion VR experience will chart the history of aviation while 40 postgraduate students from the Royal College of Art present a new project that imagines the future of flying in both digital and physical form.

You all know that I love food...I also love great restaurants, quirky restaurants…One of my favourite chefs for that is Michael O’Hare from Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds…

To me, it doesn’t matter if it is a tiny place with plastic chairs if the food is memorable I will love it and remember it…

I read this post the other day…and it struck a chord with me it is a place I would love to visit …my hubby would not…He is a meat and two veg man who likes a full plate and doesn’t like fancy food…He always asks… that was my starter where is the main course? No finesse…haha…I don’t even think an 18-course gestation menu would please him…

road to the restaurant

Pop over to Freja Travels and you will be treated to glorious photos of all the course from this little restaurant in the middle of nowhere with 2 Michelin stars…Enjoy!

Amazing restaurant in the middle of nowhere…

 

Did you know?

Tomorrow is Lemon Meringue pie day…My fellow blogger Sheryl featured a lovely blueberry meringue pie the other day and a conversation about how meringue pies didn’t seem to get a mention much now …Maybe we can start a revival?

Limelemon meringu Pie

Carol’s Lime Meringue Pie …

 

Sadly for the world of music on August the 16th 1977…The King of Rock & Roll…Elvis Presley died…I remember it well as we were on holiday with my mother in law…

Can I pick a favourite track? In a word…No!

 

Floating markets...we have many here and they are exotic and quite spectacular…This one you will be able to find on the Grand Union Canal which is part of the British canal system when some of the barges will be opening their hatches as from today 14th for 5 days there will be the return of Paddingtons floating market…

 

floating market london

Photo credit: wirewiper on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Enjoy the sun wherever you are in the world and if it is a tad nippy then wrap warm and have a piece of meringue pie…..xx

Thank you for reading my whimsical ramblings I do hope you enjoyed and it bought back some memories… 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…Down on the farm making charcoal…

July…It must be BBQ time of the year? Did you pick a bag or two of charcoal when you did your weekly or monthly shop? Do you know how charcoal is made? Come with me and I will show you how charcoal is made in the villages here…

 

A mud charcoal making house.

This is the mud charcoal house where the charcoal is made primarily for fuel to cook…no mod cons here at all. Well not yet pretty much everything is done how it has always been done through the generations. The skills passed down and that is what I like here so much tradition still and in the main so much happiness.

But the lifestyle is hard there are some concessions to this and progress is slowly coming but much is still done the old way and by getting your hands dirty.

Making charcoal is an art…me I just said do you just throw the wood in and light it?…. The look this crazy English lady got was a look of I suppose bemusement.

Of course, you don’t, for a start, the charcoal house cannot be built on or close to the water table or where the drainage is poor.

The wood must be properly stacked so that when it burning the air can circulate correctly but the beauty of it being on your land is that you can stack over a period time as you come across the wood. The wood must, of course, be dry and the time needed to complete the burn does depend on the moisture content of the wood and also the evenness of the stacking of the wood so this is all very important.

SAM_8713

WOOD DRYING PRIOR TO BEING STACKED.

Once it is correctly stacked it must be stacked vertically into the charcoal house then a fire is started or burning coals are put through the air vent at the top of the charcoal house once this has taken then the door must be sealed effectively to ensure proper air circulation.

The initial smoke which comes out through the top air vent and the air holes around the base is dense white smoke which after a few days turns to a blueish colour finally it becomes practically clear smoke.

Once the burn is complete then the opening at the top of the charcoal house is sealed as are the bottom vents.

This then takes 2-3 days to cool down, when the earth kiln is cool it can be opened but there must be a supply of water available in case there are any red fires still burning as they need to be extinguished.

carbon-592598_1920 charcoal

Once the charcoal is completely cold then it is bagged or put in baskets for home use or sale.

A typical fire for cooking on.

SAM_8461

Cooking the steak

This is a time-consuming and backbreaking task no one has an easy life here as I am finding out but kudos to them I am often just amazed and it has made me realise what an easy life I have had. With my running water, gas, electric all the mod cons and it has changed me and I hope for the better. When the house is built here yes there will be some luxuries but you know what I am not so bothered anymore.

The last time I was here I ate the softest tenderest piece of steak with the hottest chilli sauce(ever) I declined the Mek Hong it was too early for me ..although it is known as Thai Whisky it is actually a spiced rum…Still very potent and too many and you wouldn’t be standing you would be Mau(drunk)

Back to BBQ, I won’t be cooking over a small charcoal fire unless it is a proper BBQ but lots of things I used to have no longer hold the same allure for me it is definitely an eye-opener and maybe not the life for everyone. Just for this crazy, whimsical English lady, it is the life I have adopted and I love it!

Thank you for reading about my life in Thailand I do hope you enjoy it 🙂

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 had a creative week and enjoy the weekend xx

Healthy Eating…Intermittent Fasting…

Good Morning…Today I am going to be talking about intermittent fasting what it means and what you can do when fasting…And how it works for me…

steaming tea in a cup a book and a flower

Tea Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay

For quite a while now I have been intermittent fasting and didn’t know it… Last week I discussed the Keto diet as my son is following this eating plan… I  listened to him and some things I agree with and Keto does recommend that you do take part in intermittent fasting.

As you know I believe in a healthy balanced eating plan, eating normal food not calorie counting unless you really want to…Healthy eating should be a way of life …There are very few people who can stick to a restricted diet for any length of time…

Unless medically advised our diet should be balanced and not loaded one way or another with certain food groups.

I also know how hard it can be for some who are addicted to sugar either soda drinks or sweet processed foods…I have been there …Sometimes though as Sally explains it is not you who is lacking in willpower but a fungus which is living in your tummy and the sugars which feed it… To read more about the subject pop over to Sally’s it is a very good series and although I don’t have a problem with sugar I have learnt quite a lot about healthy eating…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/smorgasbord-health-column-candida-albicans-part-two-sugars-and-yeast-free-bread/

Well… we only have one body and when you look at it we can abuse that bod but if we start treating it properly it responds really well…To me, that is an awesome piece of machinery…Don’t you think…

Fasting has also always conjured up that image of being starved of food or a feeling of calm…I certainly didn’t look upon my eating pattern as fasting or starving myself but I am calm …Most of the time …

Intermittent Fasting.

What is it?  Short term fasts which mean you are consuming fewer calories and that is it!

There are three main categories:-

Some people reduce their calories over a two day period and consume 500-600 calories a day during those two days …The other 5 days they eat normally…which doesn’t mean binging to make up for those two days when your calorific intake was reduced…It ain’t that easy…

Others opt for 24-hour fasts either dinner to dinner the next day or breakfast to breakfast the next day just 24 hours straight… This they do once or twice a week and eat normally on the other days…

Me…I follow the third option...I don’t eat after 7 or 8pm at night and don’t eat before 10-11 the next day…It is called the 16/8 method…For me this is easy…What I hear you say what’s easy about that???

I dropped quite easily into this eating pattern when I moved here one because of the heat and two I can’t eat 3 meals a day it is too much for me…Now that could be an age thing or the fact my tummy has shrunk…

I will be honest I have cut out certain eating habits for example when little Lily visits it is a treat for her to go to 7/11 after she has eaten her dinner and she has always bought Nannie 2 bags of jelly teddy bears which of course I ate…It would have been rude not to…haha

Sunny evenings also are conducive to a sundowner or three they creep up on you, don’t they?

Numero three was when hubby brought me my morning cuppa he also added two digestives to the plate…Sally’s little chart soon put paid to that habit…Do you know how many calories and lbs 2 digestive biscuits(graham crackers) a day add up to over a year…I do now…That habit was kicked into touch…Those biscuits were the first to go…

The jellies were next to go as because Lily brought Nannie Jelly’s when she was here so did grandad when he went to 7/11…It has now been at least 4 months since a bag of jelly teddies has passed my lips…

The last habit to get kicked into touch was my sundowners…28 days without a drop and that included 2 nights out and a weekend visit from my son…So I feel I have a right to be chuffed with myself…

Why am I telling you this?

To show you that

1. It can be done.

2. It has been done over a period of time and not all at once…

My belly fat is still reducing and I have lost a few pounds and inches…

Do I count calories no and I enjoy my two meals …Lovely curries or stir-fries, maybe a cheese platter with some fruit…I eat what I fancy and I will be having a pancake tonight as it is Shrove Tuesday …

I snack on fruit as it is so plentiful here or enjoy a fruit smoothie…Which is why I will not be following the Keto eating plan as it restricts fruit and certain vegetables and although I have been told there are good fats…Please, how many avocados can one eat in a day…You do invariably then eat the bad fats, the processed fats and that much fat is not good for your long term health…

How do I get through my 16 plus hours without eating???

lady sleeping

Image by xiangying_xu on Pixabay

I will break it down for you…

From 8 pm until whenever I sleep which could be 10pm it could be 2am…During that time I am writing, watching a movie or reading…I also have a pot of green tea…Yes, that is allowed on Intermittent fasting…

You can drink water, coffee, tea or other non-alcoholic drink any beverage which is under 50 calories..a splash of milk is fine in your tea or coffee.

I then sleep ..very well I will add especially since I cut out the sundowners out until my alarm goes off at 6 am…

I then get Aston up… my grandson as he leaves for school just after 7 am…I get his breakfast, iron his school shirt then when I have seen Aston of to school I have my pot of green tea while I check my e-mails and answer any comments on my blog.

I also start writing as I am doing now @ 9.47 am…10 am I feed my sourdough and today I am having Grapow Moo with an egg which I will cook once I have fed my sourdough…It will then be 10.30 ish maybe 11 am…Am I starving…No!

This routine works for me…

I will then go for a walk as hubby wants some grass seed and hang the washing out…

When I come back I will have a glass of coconut water and probably an apple, some Marian fruit and tamarind with maybe a little piece of the lovely blue cheese I bought on Saturday. I have found someone who imports cheese at a very good price…yummy 🙂

During the afternoon I will have another pot of green tea and then probably a Thai green Curry tonight.

Then it is evening, Green tea and bed at some point…As you all know if we get engrossed in our writing/reading the time just flies by.

I really don’t see this 16/8 as fasting as some is sleeping and being busy… I walk every day, some days I am trying out new recipes and of course, I am reading and writing…I honestly am busy most of the time and sometimes I have to remind myself to eat…My bad 😦 

Whichever one of the fasts you choose to follow you can drink which I didn’t know until I did my research I thought fasting meant no food or drink…Especially if you follow these short fasts.

Common Sense should have told me that we need to keep our bodies hydrated…There are so many lovely teas we can drink to help us stay hydrated while we fast.

Tea ginger lemon basil

Image by Leon_Ting on Pixabay

The benefits to our body are many by following intermittent fasting…

Belly fat will reduce, you will lose weight and inches.

It increases fat burning

Increased energy

It lowers your blood  insulin and sugar levels

Helps your memory…

I feel so much better my energy levels have increased and just overall I feel better. Fasting is not starving yourself it is just choosing when you eat.

For me, this is the way forward and I have lost quite a lot over the last 7 years BUT those little treats I mentioned started to notice on the belly etc… Which why I cut them out gradually I have also cut refined carbs and changed to brown /wild rice which will increase my fibre intake…But I actually prefer the taste of brown/wild rice, especially as now I know how to cook it properly…

This has kick started my inch loss and I do feel better for it…

I hope that you now find intermittent fasting a bit clearer…Thank you for reading any questions please ask I love to hear from you and always reply to my comments xxxx

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!

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 great week xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My most popular posts in 2017…

My Top Ten posts of 2017…Did it surprise me?

Not really it seems that many of you love Thailand as much as I do, that you advocate healthy eating with Halloween and Christmas thrown into the mix for good luck…

Numero 1.

Why I love Thailand!  

ancient-1807518_1920

This post  I suppose is my snapshot of the Land of Smiles, the food I love, the sunsets, the people, the festivals and traditions and there is more as you know we now grow our own Turkeys. I have discovered many fruits and vegetables which were previously unknown to me…

Thailand certainly has the power to surprise me… Every day I see something which makes me smile …

Numero 2.

Healthy foods which may help reduce your Blood Pressure.

lady holding veggies

I suppose there was no surprise that this post was as popular as it was as High Blood Pressure also known as the silent killer is something which many suffer from. I hope by writing this post I gave you the tools to better understand how food can be thy medicine I am a firm believer in that…Not always a replacement but something which can work alongside prescribed medication if need be.

Numero 3.

Healthy eating…Turmeric Drinks.

Turmeric

Again no great surprise as Turmeric is being hailed as one of the best cure-alls ever… It has its place like many fruits, vegetable and herbs but no one size fits all…What suits you may not suit the next person and it is moderation…And do not believe everything you read ..do your own research because if it sounds too good to be true..It is!

A good example is my own father who took drinking water…yes water to another level he did not apply moderation and ended up in hospital.

Numero 4.

Fish Friday…Thai Shrimp Cakes

Thai Prawn Cakes (2)

These lovely tasty little cakes are so very popular and are found on almost every menu in Thailand and market stall….very moreish eaten with a lovely spicy little chilli dip. Also so easy to make at home in your own kitchen…

Numero 5.

Some of Thailands most unusual foods.

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Yes, I have tried some of them…As long as they are really crispy and not squidgy I will try them… Hands up who has eaten crispy fried whitebait???? Or crispy prawn heads??? Not too much different… Do you think?

Numero 6.

Halloween recipes…Will you dare to try??

black bean burger

I would be interested to know who did try it???

Did you??

Numero 7

Healthy eating…Waste not- want- not

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From pickle juice, potato water or oil from a can of sardines there is a use for everything …my favourite as a child and we used to fight over it…When my nan used to strain the cabbage water add a little vinegar and give it to us to drink we thought we had been given the world.

Numero 8.

Beat the blues with food and So pretty, so deadly tied in 8th place…

melientha-cookingVillage cooking…I was taught to use herbs to make a healthy soup…

So pretty! So deadly!

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A word of warning when so many flowers are used in cooking…sometimes they can be so deadly and they are used in Brides bouquets even now… So just check which takes but a minute or two and could save a life or a nasty rash…

Numero 9.

Christmas recipes…Drink anyone?

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There is nothing like a homemade drink recipe…

Last but not least…

Numero 10.

Matcha Tea Cookies.

green match cookies

Matcha drinks can be found on every stall and drink outlet here it is very popular… It is also open to tweaking because what I get here is not always what you can get where you live… A prime example for me was and is coconut milk… when my son went to the UK very recently most cans or cartons were only 40% coconut milk and it’s anyone’s guess as to what made up the other 60% but I think we know by now…Don’t we??

It is the same with drinks…many are loaded with sugars so all I am saying is read the labels or buy from a reputable source.

I have to get my little rant in as it bugs me that we have to be so careful because of the unscrupulous practices of manufacturers.

I hope you enjoyed my top 10 of last years posts and if you did please share as sharing is caring…

I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy New Year …

 

Parenting and Food: It’s OK if Your Kids Aren’t Eating the Perfect Diet Everyday

A great post and my sentiments exactly…We should enjoy our food ….and if we eat a Macedo’s occasionally…So What! ..Enjoy this post and Eat happy!

24 Carrot Diet

Every parent wants to do what’s best for the kids. Whether that be feeding them healthy foods or setting the right example by eating well ourselves, it can be tough to keep to our own standards all the time. And don’t even get me talking about expert recommendations or trying to keep up with the supermom down the block who grows her own vegetables, raises her own chickens and bees, grinds her own ancient grains, and bakes healthy Paleo breakfast treats for her kids while running between hot yoga and spin class, and still never has a single hair out of place!

We need to be kind with ourselves. Not only that, but we need to understand that it isn’t reasonable to expect perfection from ourselves. We wouldn’t put that on anyone else, so why do we always think we need to be perfect? Same goes for our parenting, and…

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Some of Thailand’s most unusual foods.

I got to thinking…….Ha Ha….Yes, you are right every last one of you, when I do that it’s dangerous!

On a weekend boat trip to the Red Lotus Lake, I was amazed when I learnt what you can make with the Lotus flower. It was so beautiful here just miles and miles of water covered in these lovely lotus flowers. Little did I know until our friendly boatman told us that these wetlands not only had fish but flora which was edible.

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A long time ago the petals were used basically as fag papers..just like my dad used Rizzlas I used to sit and watch him with a child’s fascination as he rolled his tobacco into cigarettes.

The flowers are also edible and make lettuce cups look positively boring. The seed pods are lovely to eat just pop those little circles out..take off the outside and eat.

and some say they taste like popcorn. I now knew what all those lovely green pods we saw being sold on the roadside were and how to eat them. The local people are allowed to harvest these for free.

Even with the stems, you can make a lovely soup. This beautiful lily is not only a beautiful decoration but also a source of food……I never cease to be amazed at what I learn here…

This got me thinking..shhhhhh that word again! Of the things I have eaten since I have been here in Thailand and the things I haven’t ..yuk!

I have eaten different types of veg and things like the banana pod and the lily flowers which can only be harvested at dawn both of which are steamed and eaten with a dip…..Now we come to the more unusual…

Insects of all sorts ..deep-fried and crispy…

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I quite like, well except for the ones which look like the witchety grubs they eat on I’m a Celebrity get me out of here..Not for me! Yuk!Frogs fried

Frogs..I like crispy fried they taste like chicken which brings me on to the Chicken Feet sold by the kilo in Makro and Tesco Lotus are a staple here.

Chicken feet salad.

chicken feet salad

Lizards…not tried them yet…but I love ants eggs, they make a lovely salad..it tastes lemony and it is actually very nice. So if you are in Thailand and see anyone hopping about and brushing themselves down quite frantically  under a tree…They are collecting Ants Eggs…..A dangerous game and why they are by Thai standards a delicacy and quite expensive to buy.

Ant egg salad.

ant egg salad

Ingredients:

3 tbsp Ant Eggs.

1 tbsp Fish sauce

1 tbsp Roasted rice

1/2 tsp chilli flakes.

2 Spring onion finely sliced.

Handful chopped coriander

7-10 Mint leaves

2 tsp. Grounded pepper

1/2 tbsp. Lime juice

3 shallots finely sliced.

Stir all ingredients together gently. Add the seasoning. Serve with fresh vegetables.

Enjoy!

If you get over any initial reticence to try it most people like it….really….I do.

Well, I will be honest.with you…I shut my eyes…How THAT helps I don’t know…ha ha

The fermented eggs and fish called Phla which is fermented fish which a lot of Thais add to Papaya salad and soups….. Is an acquired taste and one which in the main I give a miss but on some occasions I have eaten and can now tolerate it although I prefer my food without.

So when you think no one should ever go hungry here...There is always something to eat……. You are moreorless correct but I guess if you really think about it and be creative wherever you are there is always something to eat. I often think that when we say we have nothing to eat what we mean is nothing we fancy we probably have a store cupboard full of jars and packets. A fridge with at least the basics in and maybe a few veggies…. Am I right?

You know I am…..

I see it here all the time ..nothing to eat means nothing to eat…Truly…

Most of us don’t know the meaning of nothing to eat…..

Well, I guess you didn’t expect that little sermon at the end of this post…ha ha….Just occasionally I  get carried away with my thoughts…which those who know me are well aware of and I hope you just accept that as one of my little foibles…ha ha…I am a writer after all ….so have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is just the best medicine we can all take 🙂

If you enjoyed reading this then please share or rebog so a few more people will get to know this whimsical English lady and the weird and wonderful things she brings to you….

Until next time stay safe , have fun and laugh a lot ….

Rise, Shine & Butterflies

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