Category Archives: Salt farming

This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Dried herbs and stock (Bouillon)cubes…

Welcome to the final week of Store Cupboard Basics where this week I will explore dried herbs and stock cubes…

I hope you have found these posts on store cupboard basics helpful…It does take time (and) money to build up a store cupboard which is why I broke it down into easy stages…Just for those of you who were not sure just where to start…

Whether you call it a cupboard or a pantry a savvy cook knows it helps them create delicious, economical dishes without using expensive ingredients or having to pop out and hope no one sees us without our slap…Picture the scene… we are halfway through making a new recipe…We can taste it…Then up pops the ingredient we thought we had in the cupboard or we missed that bit of the recipe…The shop is shut…It is raining…We are in our house clothes…Don’t they always though…haha

Dried herbs and stock cubes…

Both cheap and very useful dried herbs and stock(bouillon) cubes are convenient standbys when you don’t have fresh stock or herbs to hand.

Some recipes, of course, you will be only able to use the fresh type.

Dried herbs are much more concentrated in flavour than fresh herbs so bear that in mind as you will overpower your dish. You can always add more but once added sometimes the dish is just spoilt as too much can be overpowering.

Salt…

I am very lucky and this is where I get my salt from as these salt flats are quite close to my home in Northern Thailand.

A key ingredient salt adds flavour and brings out the flavour in other foods. It also acts as a preservative when it is used in pickling and chutney making or when curing meats and fish where it draws out moisture and prevents decomposition. It is worth paying a little extra for rock or sea salt since these do not contain any added chemicals which are often found in cheap table salt.  Sea salt has a stronger taste than table salt so use in moderation and add a little at a time and taste to prevent oversalting.

There have been a lot of scare stories regarding the use of salt and of course, we should watch our intake BUT much of the salt people consume is hidden and in highly processed foods which if you exclude THESE from your diet it will reduce your consumption of salt. If I am using stock or bouillon then I am careful and sometimes I don’t add additional salt to a dish this is where tasting frequently during cooking becomes important…

Bay…

dried bay leaves and jar

A fragrant leaf from a laurel tree that is used as an herb. Bay leaves can be used fresh or dried; dried bay leaves tend to have a slightly stronger flavor.

Bay leaves are not generally eaten but are rather simmered in a sauce or included in a braising liquid like a stew or casserole, and then removed before serving. A bay leaf is sometimes ground into a powder and used almost like a spice I dry roast them an grind them when I make my Indian curry powders.

In addition to simmering them in soups and stews, bay leaves are great for stuffing into the cavity of a chicken before roasting it, and they can be added to the liquid for cooking rice.

 

Basil…

Although my preference is for fresh basil I do always have a small pot of dried basil in my store cupboard. The sweet and pungent basil is an essential herb in the kitchen because it can do wonders for a whole bunch of dishes. While cooking with dried basil, ensure that you use it, in the beginning, to allow it to develop its flavour.

Fenugreek…

Another kitchen essential in my cupboard…Kasoori methi or fenugreek leaves have an incredible ability to instantly elevate the flavours in a dish. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, being credited for popular dishes like butter chicken and methi aloo. Even adding a spoonful of it to dal can make the humble dish taste divine. Sprinkle some while making and kneading your dough for rotis and parathas for a flavour boost.

Oregano…

oregano-2119598_640

Again a much-used herb in my cooking I mean can you imagine biting into your favourite slice of pizza without sprinkling some oregano on it? This is possibly the one herb you should have, and the one that you must, especially if you love Italian food.

The bitter and lemony flavour of the herb makes it blend well in pasta sauces, salads and pizzas. It is extensively used in Mediterranean cuisine, and the good part is that it doesn’t overpower the other flavours in a dish. You can use it in your everyday cooking by adding it to toasts, sandwiches and even quick stir-fries.
Sage…

Sage is a herb which is commonly used in Italian cuisine it is one I always use when I am cooking pork although I prefer fresh sage dried it has its uses when making tomato-based sauces and again one I use quite a lot we love sage. I also make my own stuffings so again dried sage is a wonderful addition.

But fresh sage as above is wonderful cooked in butter or crispy as a garnish.

Tarragon…

The summer French herb can be used in everyday cooking by getting your hands on the dried version. The sweet and almost vanilla flavoured herb pairs best with eggs, cheese, seafood, chicken and fruits, and is an important ingredient in French cooking. Use it while making baked dishes, pasta, vegetable au gratin, soups and grilled meats.

Thyme…

A relative of oregano, thyme is used extensively in cooking while preparing soups and meat-based dishes. Its pungent minty flavour works wonders in stir-fries and baked pies as well. It is a key ingredient in the popular Middle East condiment called za’atar.

Of course, these are dried herbs which I use a lot in my cooking you may use dried parsley, rosemary, mint… I don’t find I have any use for those dried I always use fresh…What are your favourite and most used dried herbs? Do you dry your own?

Stock(bouillon) cubes…

These come in handy little cubes and are an excellent way to add flavour to your cooked meat and vegetable dishes, although if you are making soup the taste will be far superior if you make your own stock if you can.

It is also worth paying that little bit extra for good quality stock/bouillon cubes because cheaper ones tend to contain a lot of salt.

I always carry a small stock of different flavours just in case I run out of fresh stock or am in a hurry just always ensure if using the cubes that you taste before you add extra salt to your dish.

This is the last of my store cupboard basics I do hope you have found it useful…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 well being.

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

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a relaxing weekend xx

 

 

Salt Farming in Northern Thailand.

I thought I would repost this as it has been 2 years and I am still loving it here in the North of Thailand and discovering traditions which are still being passed down through the generations…I hope to visit the salt farming area again very soon and take advantage of the massages they offer ….I also hope to find some more traditions which are being passed down which I can share with you …Enjoy!

Retired? No one told me!

SAM_9065

Driving to Nong Khai towards the Mekong we suddenly started to see lots of roadside stalls selling salt and then I remembered nothing grew here because the land was so salty …No rice…Nothing!

Proud of their salt producing heritage there is now a 3 day Salt Festival with talks, educational displays and the most beautiful sculptures crafted from salt.

Before I show and tell you about the salt I will show you how I use salt …Which produces the most succulent fish you have ever tasted and eaten with Som Tam Green Papaya) Salad and Sticky Rice ( Kow Neow) is one of the most amazing meals you could wish to eat.

Salt-fish-Thai BBQ Salt Fish

Just take 3/4 stems of lemongrass and tie in a knot, stuff it in the cavity of the fish and then roll the fish in sea salt do not descale the fish as it…

View original post 626 more words

Retired No One Told Me…Weekly Roundup…Salt Farming, Matcha and the Little Penguin.

Retired No One Told Me! Weekly roundup

Welcome once again to my weekly roundup and I thought I would have fewer posts as I now only have the one blog but no…even more although we had the Bloggers Bash and I have started my travel ones so it soon tots up… So I would make a pot of tea or have that coffee percolator brewing as you get comfortable in your favourite chair and have a read… I hope you enjoy x

First, we have one of my Travel Thailand posts and it is Salt farming in Northern Thailand.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/17/salt-farming-in-northern-thailand-2/

Fruity Fridays and one of my favourites the Tomato which goes with nearly everything…I just love them pickled, dried and I love my fried bread cooked in the tomato juice … Don’t they look lovely just eaten like an apple with a little salt…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/18/fruity-fridays-the-tomato/

Matcha and Green Tea …The differences and how to make a lovely cup of green tea which is not bitter. I always drank Green tea now and again and had to force myself and tell myself it was good for me…Now I know how to make it I can savour a cup and it is lovely.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/matcha-green-tea/

The Charade it is getting exciting and I am loving co-writing this and even I don’t know what is going to happen next…The only thing I do know is who is the villain here but is he the only one?

 

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/the-charade-chapter-17/

Well, lots of people love Green tea and Matcha but it did raise the question which is better for you?? All will be revealed so step inside…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/matcha-or-green-tea/

Perth is where my beloved daughter lives and I love it…The very first place we visited was Perth and it did not disappoint…That little penguin on Penguin Island was so cute..

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/travel-australia-penguin-island-shoal-water-bay-perth/

The Bloggers Bash and the Royal wedding came next… The sun shone and the bride was beautiful and the sermon astounding… The Bloggers Bash I watched in between and I was so lucky and got a 2nd place under the Little Gem category….rough diamond maybe and now a Hidden Gem… Thank you to everyone who voted for me…I love you all xxx

hidden gem (2nd)

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/21/the-bloggers-bash-2018/

Sally is a wiz and writes some down to earth sensible posts on Health…That lady knows her stuff so if you have Allergies or intolerances or don’t know which one you suffer from then this is a must read…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/22/smorgasbord-health-column-food-allergies-or-intolerances-the-difference/

Next came the Uk on the obesity chart and I didn’t pull my punches … too many snacks…

Sunday Roast at SR

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/healthy-eatingno-more-dietsobesity-around-the-world-the-uk/

Oh dear…If you didn’t know very much about me if you read this you will…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-getting-to-know-you/

Finally the Kings Park and The Lucky Shag both in Perth and well worth a visit a beautiful park which has some formal gardens but also lots of wildflowers and hidden paths and to finish the day a lovely bowl of mussels at the Lucky Shag…

Flowers kings park

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/travel-australia-kings-park-and-the-lucky-shag/

I hope you still have some coffee or tea left that was a bit of a marathon but plenty to keep you interested so I hope you have enjoyed this roundup, let me know in comments.

If you want to see even more from me????

I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Still, want to see more from me???

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until  next time xxx

 

Salt Farming in Northern Thailand.

SAM_9065

Driving to Nong Khai towards the Mekong we suddenly started to see lots of roadside stalls selling salt and then I remembered nothing grew here because the land was so salty …No rice…Nothing!

Proud of their salt producing heritage there is now a 3 day Salt Festival with talks, educational displays and the most beautiful sculptures crafted from salt.

Before I show and tell you about the salt I will show you how I use salt …Which produces the most succulent fish you have ever tasted and eaten with Som Tam Green Papaya) Salad and Sticky Rice ( Kow Neow) is one of the most amazing meals you could wish to eat.

Salt-fish-Thai

BBQ Salt Fish

Just take 3/4 stems of lemongrass and tie in a knot, stuff it in the cavity of the fish and then roll the fish in sea salt do not descale the fish as it will not stick. Put on a BBQ and cook until fish is just cooked, nice and juicy turning the fish a few times this takes about 30/40 mins and you will have the most succulent fish you have ever tasted.

How is the salt produced:

Thailand’s unique cuisine with its sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty tastes which combined make a Thai meal so memorable. Salty eggs, fish, salt are used in many dishes and the most iconic Thai fish sauce takes pride of place on every table. A meal would not be complete without salt or fish sauce being used in every dish or as a condiment.

Do not try to put salt in a traditional western salt grinder or shaker as due to the humidity here it will just clog or cause the grinders cogs to rust.

Used firstly as a preservative long before fridges were invented, salt has become as essential as breathing.

Here in Thailand it is not only used in food but in the spa industry. Now, who hasn’t been to Thailand and hasn’t had a traditional Thai massage?

Thai massage-2096580_640

From popular skin exfoliating, scrub massages it has great anti-bacterial properties and helps to prevent itching and provides relief from insect bites and stings.

Add lemongrass to your salt and a wonderful massage will let all your stress and jet lag just fade away.

How is salt made? 

salt farming

The ponds are flooded with salt water and left for about 10 days until the sun has evaporated the water leaving the salt, which is then collected and carried away in shoulder baskets to be bagged ready for sale.

salt farming (13)

There is very little if any shade on these salt flats to protect the workers from the sun and it is hard heavy work.

salt farming (10)

 

Health Benefits of Salt.

For years  I have been warned about the use of too much salt whereas here because of the heat and humidity I have used more salt in my cooking and diet.

I have changed the salt I use and use Pink Himalayan Salt or more recently as we live close to the above salt flats I use the mineral salt fresh from there.

The taste is vastly different from the salt I used to buy and I use less as it is saltier but since living here my Blood pressure is now normal…and for those who know me I have never been normal…lol..but it is.

Asians have for many years believed that we have an energy body as well as a physical body. All of our glands, organs, blood and skin consist of cells. They believe that our health depends on the health of those cells. Different cells require more or less of cell salts e.g nerve cells require larger amounts of cell salts but blood cells carry a higher amount of certain cell salts.

Hence salt plays a larger role in the diet in  Asian countries as they believe cell salts provide a rebalancing of the body to enable its natural disease function which controls the bodies mechanism to function fully.

I am finding northern Thailand such a lovely place to live the people are friendly and I am discovering so many fruits, vegetables and ancient crafts which are still being used and passed down to generation after generation.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share or reblog.

————————————————-

All images are from my own private photo collection I have no problem if anyone uses them as long as you just ask my permission.

Want to see more from me???? I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Still, want to see more from me???

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/