Category Archives: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘R’ for Rice, Ras el Hanout, Rhubarb, Ricotta Cheese and Rice Noodles

The letter R…Rice and noodles(rice) staples here and in many other parts of the world…also lots of other interesting titbits all beginning with R…Thank you, Sally, for running this series…I hope you all enjoy…Please leave your comments we love to hear from you Hugs xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

The Culinary Alphabet, The Letter R.

Welcome to this months edition of the Culinary Alphabet, where I am bringing you ingredients and cooking terms beginning with the letter R

Starting with my favorite carb which is?    Rice

There are several grains called rice, which have been cultivated for thousands of years. Asian rice (Oryza sativa) is most widely known and most widely grown, with two major subspecies and over 40,000 varieties. When I first came to Thailand that is when I realized just how many different rices that there were and also colors. The main kinds of rice I cook with are Jasmine Rice, Brown Rice, Black Rice and sticky rice ( glutinous rice)…Thailand is also one of the major exporters of rice and it is the staple food for many here even the dogs eat rice…Mine will not touch dog biscuits or tinned food and many dogs here are…

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Saturday Snippets…12th September 2020…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where anything goes…whatever catches my eye or my imagination could be on this post…something for everyone…I hope so…so whatever your timezone grab a coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy!

Everyone knows how I love to cook and I am pretty good now at cooking Asian food I have had a few years practise and practise makes perfect…Fried Rice …all the chefs are making fried rice some better than others…my grandson showed me this video and although there are a few foofs in it it is funny…so just a little warning there are a few profanities personally I  am not given to profanities myself but I found this very funny…I give you Uncle Roger reviewing for want of a better word Jamie Olivers Fried Rice…

Personally, I will never eat fried rice for a while without thinking of Uncle Roger…

How many boys ask for a metal detector I know Aston did as did my sons they took them to the beach, the local woods and parks and unearthed a few things but mostly nothing of any worth…This young Irish lad however like my boys started out with a dream and that dream became a reality when he unearthed a Historic Irish Sword as he was prospecting along a local river bank…How often does that happen?

Sadly Johnny Cash passed away on September 12th 2003…he was an American Singer and Songwriter who fired up country and western music…raised in the rural South he grew up listening to songs of work and lament, hymns and folk ballads it wasn’t until he joined the army that he learnt to play the guitar and write songs when he reti=urned from his military service in Germany he settled in Memphis, Tennessee with the aim of pursuing a career in music…He sang at county fairs and local events until he was signed up after auditioning with Sam Phillips of Sun Records, who signed Cash in 1955. Such songs as “Cry, Cry, Cry,” “Hey, Porter,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “I Walk the Line” brought him considerable attention, and by 1957 Cash was the top recording artist in the country and western field. His music was noted for its stripped-down sound and focus on the working poor and social and political issues. Cash, who typically wore black clothes and had a rebellious persona, became known as the “Man in Black.”

Did you know?

Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browing on September 12, 1846.

Barrett was already a respected poet who had published literary criticism and Greek translations in addition to poetry. Her first volume of poetry, The Seraphim and Other Poems appeared in 1838, followed by Poems by Elizabeth Barrett Barrett (1844). Born in 1806 near Durham, England, at her father’s 20-bedroom mansion, she enjoyed wealth and position, but suffered from weak lungs and tended to be reclusive in her youth. She became even more so after the death of her beloved brother in 1840.

Recycling is high on my agenda and especially circular recycling especially when the artist produces something like these …

I think they are spectacular I just wish I had a talent like that…Awesome use of scraps of wood…

Wellness Corner by Sally Cronin…Liver health and the Milk Thistle.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/smorgasbord-health-column-the-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-herbal-medicine-liver-health-and-milk-thistle/

This week I have been soup making...Carrot Soup normally I stick to chicken, mushroom or tomato but this week it has been carrot soup..which was really nice very orange but a soup I would make again it needs a few tweaks and then the recipe will be in my cookbook …

But I will as I promised to give you the recipe for foraged wild mushroom soup…

Here in the northeast of Thailand, there are various kinds of tasty mushrooms (hed), all filled with nutrition. Three favourites are hed kay, hed tub-tao and hed ra-ngok. In the villages, these mushrooms are often prepared in a soup along with bai yangang juice (Tiliacora Triandra), sweet basil and pla-ra ( fermented) fish which is often added to the soup…

I have adapted the recipe as you would most probably not be able to get some of the ingredients or want to use them like the Pla-ra…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups various kinds of mushrooms
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, lower tender portions, cut into 2-inch pieces and slightly crushed
  • 5 – 7 each chillies, slightly crushed
  • 3 – 5 each red shallots, slightly crushed
  • 2 stalks spring onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp pla-ra juice (liquid of pickled fish) (optional)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 – 5 sprigs Thai basil leaves

Let’s Cook!

Pour the water into a pot over the high heat. When it begins a boil, add lemongrass, chilies and shallots. Then follow by adding the mushrooms. Let simmer briefly until cooked. Season with the fish sauce and pla-ra liquid. Add  basil and spring onion. Remove from the heat.

Serve in a bowl.

Thais would also add some local vegetable called Cha-om which is a vegetable native to here… It has a particular fragrance that may seem unpleasant at first to the unaccustomed, but when it’s cooked up, it’s so tasty that most people can’t stop eating it and the aroma is just part of the package and soon becomes quite likeable.

Many Northern Thai dishes use quite sour tasting vegetables and of course Phla the fermented fish…it is a taste our western palates are not used to but if you eat it enough your taste changes and it becomes quite palatable.

Now for some music…I have selected “Million Dollar Quartet” which is a recording of an impromptu jam session with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash …recorded on December 4th 1956 in the Sun Record Studios in Memphis Tennessee…

Impromptu jam sessions are one of my favourite kinds of music…

How young is Elvis there he must have been star struck…
That’s all for today’s Saturday Snippets I hope you have enjoyed it…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…5th September 2020

Welcome to Saturday Snippets…

If you are like me and plagued with junk mail and spam and many with offers of great wealth or pleas to part with your hard-earned pennies then this TED talk is brilliant…I laughed from start to finish it was hilarious…

Right having watched this again…I have lost the thread…where was I?

Toast...

  • Sliced bread browned on both sides by exposure to radiant heat, such as a grill or fire.
  • A call to a gathering of people to raise their glasses and drink together in honour of a person or thing, or an instance of drinking in this way.
  • A person or thing that is very popular or held in high regard by a particular group of people.
  • Cook or brown (food, especially bread or cheese) by exposure to a grill, fire, or other sources of radiant heat.
  • Warm (oneself or part of one’s body) in front of a fire or other source of heat.

The advances in technology and pure imagination, innovative ideas of some people just blow my mind which is not creative or innovative on that scale at all…

The Worlds First Remote Operation…

This operation, using Huawei’s 5G network technology’s large bandwidth, low latency, large connection technology advantages, has achieved this goal.

I myself have reservations about 5G but when it is used for something this which could effectively improve the quality of life of sick people...you have to applaud the technology.

September 5th 1948…Boris Pasternak’s romantic novel, Doctor Zhivago is published in the United States.

Although banned in the Soviet Union the book still won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958. Doctor Zhivago was an epic love story set during the tumult of the Russian Revolution and World War I. The book infuriated Soviet officials, particularly Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

The Soviet government refused to allow him to accept the Nobel Prize, and he was banished from the Soviet Writers Union. The latter action ended Pasternak’s writing career. Pasternak died in May 1960 from a combination of cancer and heart disease. Doctor Zhivago refused to die with him, though.

In 1965, it was made into a hit movie starring Omar Sharif as the title character. In 1987, as part of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s democratic reforms, Pasternak, though dead for nearly 30 years, was readmitted to the union and his book was finally published in Russia.

I had such a crush on Omar Sharif…

What Is Organic September?

In the face of climate change, diet-related ill-health and widespread decline in wildlife, the need to change our food systems has never been greater.

Organic September is a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the many benefits of organic food and farming, which include:

  • Supporting biodiversity and wildlife
  • Helping to combat climate change
  • The highest standards of animal welfare
  • Reduced exposure to pesticides
  • Food as it should be, and food you can trust

I am increasingly becoming aware of just how widespread globally the use of chemicals is in the production of our food…even here where food is produced commercially I have been shocked by the chemicals that have been used although it seems that other methods are being looked at and tested and the fact Thailand has the most banned chemicals of the Asian countries they could still do better.

Organic farming when applied correctly means that food is produced without the use of Synthetic (human-made) pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. However, all is not equal and it could be down to training or the fact that labelling is less than correct…I don’t feel there are enough guidelines and checks are not stringent enough…

My advice is to buy organic produce or grow your own where possible and if you buy organic buy local and know your source…it is the only way to ensure that the food we eat and serve our families is clean and has a trackable footprint.

Be aware!

Wolverines hadn’t been spotted in the forests of Mount Rainier National Park in over 100 years. These animals are so rare, wildlife ecologists struggle even now to determine how vulnerable or endangered they are. Wolverines are sensitive, shy animals that need a lot of help to recolonize the wilderness they were hunted out of, They are also very fierce when threatened.

Wellness Corner by Sally Cronin.

Today Sally is discussing Statins…I remember years ago my doctor trying to give me a prescription for statins …I declined mainly because I have an aversion to taking medication…I am so pleased I did…

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/09/04/smorgasbord-health-column-the-cholesterol-myth-part-one-statins-heart-disease-statistics-by-sally-cronin/?fbclid=IwAR2TM8W-gGTCrr8_53_AFKUCMYrirRkx11Fj4qrmRnBjsKjx0Zu9GKwXX1E

It is National Cheese Pizza Day today…

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

I am not a big pizza fan but I do love cheese…so instead of a recipe, I will give you some fun facts about pizza…

  • The average pizzeria uses roughly 55 pizza boxes per day.
  • We consume around 251,770,000 pounds of pepperonis every year
  • Some popular pizza toppings in Japan are squid and Mayo Jaga (mayonnaise, potato and bacon)
  • 36 per cent of all pizza orders want their pizza topping pepperoni
  • 94 per cent of Americans eat pizza regularly
  • Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza a day or about 350 slices per second.
  • Most expensive pizza created was made by the restaurateur Domenico Crolla who created a $2,745.00 priced Valentine pizza which included toppings such as sunblush-tomato sauce, Scottish smoked salmon, medallions of venison, edible gold, lobster marinated in the finest cognac and champagne-soaked caviar.

Music Corner…Let’s have a tune…

When John Lennon met Chuck Berry…

Television history was made when these two legends met it was the one and only time…

Thank you for joining me today I hope you are all keeping safe and well…x

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

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…29th August 2020

Welcome to this week’s edition of Saturday Snippets…it has been quite a hot, humid week this week so not much opportunity to test out how my new ceilings are functioning…will they leak or stay dry?

Let’s have a look and see what has piqued my interest this week…I am always happy when I hear of animals which are thought to be extinct which suddenly turn up again…The long-lost Elephant Shrew has been rediscovered in Africa after 50 years…

After not a whisker having been seen scientists were happy to report that this little insect-eating creature which is neither a shrew nor an elephant is quietly thriving in the Horn of Africa.

The size of a mouse, with powerful legs that allow it to run at speeds of nearly 30 kilometres (20 miles) an hour…This tiny elusive mammal can certainly move…it also loves peanut butter…and Marmite…

The Global Wildlife Conservation group even included it on its “25 most wanted lost species” list.

Get your chopsticks ready!  National Chop Suey Day recognizes this American Chinese culinary cuisine each year on August 29.

As with all popular dishes, there are many tales which often are just that as to the origins of the dish and Chop Suey is no different…

One such tale tells how in the 1860s a Chinese restaurant cook in San Francisco. Thought quickly to avoid a beating when drunken miners arrived after hours, the chef threw leftovers in a wok, providing a makeshift meal to the miners. The miners loved the dish, asking him for the name of the entree. To which the chef replied, “Chopped Sui.”

Although I cook lots of stir-fries I couldn’t honestly say that I make an authentic chop suey...I found this recipe online and it looks pretty good and I will probably will make it just not today as tonight we have a Thai Duck Curry…

Thai Red Duck Curry Kaeng Ped Pett Yang

Most of us go ahhhh when we hear the good news of a baby arriving… fur babies are no different and gorillas are known for being such loving mothers…

A tiny infant was just born at Bristol Zoo Gardens in England, helping secure the future of the critically-endangered species.

Momma Kala gave birth naturally overnight with dad Jock just a few meters away and the rest of the family troop nearby. The new gorilla joins a troop of six at the zoo, which are part of a breeding program to help safeguard the future of western lowland gorillas.

Keepers found the little gorilla nestling in the arms of its nine-year-old mother, who came from Germany in 2018.

Lynsey Bugg, of Bristol Zoo, said the baby arrived in the early hours of Thursday.

 

Wellness Corner. .. Lets now pop over to Sally’s for her health column…

The health supplement industry is worth billions of dollars and pounds annually. However, there is a danger that we will turn to the magic of pills or sprays to provide us with the nutrients that should be provided by foods as we restrict our diets in line with the latest official edicts.

The reality is that your body absorbs the nutrients that it requires from food because, over the last few hundred thousand years, that is how we have evolved. Not just humans but every animal across the millions of species has also evolved that way. Which is why however enriched a dry dog or cat food might be, it can never take the place of real meat, fish, fowl and some plants that animals would consume in the wild.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/08/26/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-that-work-better-together-part-one-vitamin-c-d-k-calcium-and-magnesium-by-sally-cronin/

Music….

I remember this band well it seemed that it was the only tunes my sons played on the highest volume for most of their teenage years or maybe it was just when mum was home as they knew that it wasn’t to her musical taste…it was on the 29th August 1994 that the forever feuding Gallagher brothers released their debut album titled “Definitely, Maybe” it became the fastest-selling album in the UK.

Just nearly a year later to the day ...14 August 1995…what became a battle of the bands…or the Battle of Brit-pop… Oasis  (Roll with It) and Blur (Country House) release singles on the same day.

The winner’s Blur took the No1 spot and Oasis the No 2 spot…

Of course depending on where in the world you live…

In the northern hemisphere, August is considered to be the last month of summer. In the southern hemisphere, it’s the opposite of course, so it’s the last of the winter months!

Do you know what a murmuration of starlings is?

This is the most fascinating video…such synchronisation…

You will most probably have noticed that I didn’t choose either Oasis or Blur for my music today…The reason is that… I don’t very often get too political..I know I rant about manufacturers etc and chemicals but anything else I have my opinions ..no surprise there…hehe…

However, I am getting exceedingly p…..d off with much which occurs today in certain sectors of society…I also love tradition and for me, the Last Night of the Proms is just that…It seems Auntie known as the (BBC) has got her undercrackers in a twist…

Land of Hope and Glory played but NO LYRICS!

Orchestral versions of Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory will be performed at the Last Night Of The Proms, the BBC has confirmed.

It had been reported the songs could be dropped over concerns of associations with colonialism and slavery.

The pieces are usually sung but will be performed without lyrics this year, although they are expected to be back in full when the pandemic is over.

I for one am not sure I believe that…Anyway, there has been a concerted effort and Land of Hope and Glory has topped the iTunes charts…The Brits have spoken!

 

Thank you for joining me today I hope you are all keeping safe and well…x

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

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…weekly roundup 16th August -22nd August 2020…Labels, Recipes, Health(Sugar), Whimsy, and Beluga Whales…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…I hope you are all staying safe and well…Our rainy season is well and truly underway and my leaky ceilings are fixed…the story of how is for another day and I defy any author to even make that one up…sigh

Anyway back to the job in hand last week’s posts…Take a pew and have a read… I hope you enjoy it!

Relax and Enjoy! (1) Weekly Roundup

Monday always starts with news on the environment there is always something new to discover…This week was no different…WELL, it was just a tad… I have been reading much about plastics but as anyone knows who does research something else always pops up as a link or attachment and that’s how I arrived at labels and from labels to ingredients…which means you can guess the content of my next few posts I also sure that somewhere amongst them plastic will rear its head…everything is interconnected in some way…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/17/food-labelling-and-contaminants/

Tuesday: Pork Loin Recipe…

pork loin gruyere cheese onions

A beautiful Pork Loin rolled and stuffed with caramelised onions and Gruyere cheese and then topped with gruyere cheese and 0nions a real tasty treat…Full recipe on blog and directions on how to butterfly Pork Loin.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/18/recipe-stuffed-pork-loin/

Wednesday: A-Z of food…The letter P and no pizza in sight…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘P’ for Pancakes, Paella, Pomelo, Pate, Pease Pudding, and A Poke Bowl.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/08/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-p-for-pancakes-paella-pomelo-pate-pease-pudding-and-a-poke-bowl/

Thursday: The Horse Chestnut and our circulatory system by Sally Cronin.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/08/20/smorgasbord-health-column-the-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-herbal-medicine-horse-chestnut-aesculus-circulatory-system/

Fruity Fridays are back! 

This week is the lovely Pineapple…a healthy and versatile fruit that can be eaten raw or cooked in a pudding and you can even use the outer skin as a serving dish…

Served as an appetiser topped with some spicy chilli paste adds another dimension to pineapple…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/21/fruity-fridays-the-pineapple/

Saturday Snippets…

Today I shared with you some of my favourite topics…Beautiful Beluga whales found sanctuary, City forests are they a thing of the future? Murals which eat up the smog and purify the air a role which is equal to what 720 trees could achieve …How cool is that? 

Red Rocks a natural amphitheatre, beautiful fish and foraged wild mushroom soup and more…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/22/saturday-snippets-22nd-august-2020/

That’s all for this week not so much as usual as my writer’s muse has been somewhat dampened of late…my get up and go has got up and gone some days…Quarantine blues…or just life and WP…

God bless you all in these turbulent times…be safe and stay well…

My hopes…for the future…

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learnt ..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading 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 well being.

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 stay safe and healthy xx

Smorgasbord Health Column – The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Herbal Medicine – Horse Chestnut (Aesculus) -Circulatory System

Not only do they make great conkers… I mean who hasn’t had a prize-winning conker? That is until the health & safety brigade come and spoil it for future generations but they also have lots of health benefits…


Every week I learn something from Sally ..this week I learned that The Horse Chestnut is an herb that has been used for centuries to either prevent or to ease the discomfort of circulatory disease including varicose veins.

To read all about the benefits of the horse chestnut please visit Sally on the link below…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/08/20/smorgasbord-health-column-the-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-herbal-medicine-horse-chestnut-