Category Archives: Thai Pumpkin Soup

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

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

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

Does China celebrate Halloween? 

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

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

witch and black cat-1461961_640

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

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

pumpkin-soup-1804351_1920

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

Enjoy!

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

owls-1461952_640

Some Pumpkin facts…

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

pollination-3572147_640

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

Halloween Superstitions: 

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

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

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

Now for a real life witches house….

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

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

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

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

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

A Halloween quiz question for you…

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

Answers in comments, please …

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

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

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

witch-1424756_640

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

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

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eat Smart, Eat Healthy…No more Diets

Winter warming Soups and chilli

Good morning from sunny Thailand… we are warm here as we are coming into our High Season soon while many of you I know are feeling the winter chills… This week some healthy lunches…which will warm you up …

It is quite difficult to think of what to suggest as when I worked in my last job although we had the heating on  the doors were continually opening and closing so if you were working on the ground floor it was a tad cold most of the time so a warm bowl of soup or a jacket potato was very welcome at lunchtime.

I always used to make extra if I made a stew or chilli and freeze in portions it was then easy to take to work and I know from experience that if I ventured out at lunchtime as I hadn’t bought anything in with me it was over to Marks & Spencer who do the most divine sandwiches and of course all their yummy sweet things are by the till…Do I need to say more???

Not taking in lunch is a trap many of us fall into without realising, isn’t it? Plus it is more costly…

As I am at home and  Lunch is my main meal I generally have a stir fry they are quick to do and cook while the rice is cooking which Is why I like them…

Fried Fish with peppercorns in black bean sauce.
Serves 1.

fish black bean sauce

  • 100 gm white fish cut into smallish pieces and rolled in rice flour.
  • Small onion roughly cut
  • 2 spring onion sliced
  • 1-2 chillies sliced diagonally
  • 1 stem of fresh peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Sm piece fresh ginger minced or finely Julienne
  • Fish sauce to taste.

Lets Cook!

Heat up the oil in a wok and shallow fry fish quickly on each side until it becomes golden brown, it will take around 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
In the same wok where fish is fried sauté garlic, chilli, onion and ginger.
Add green onion and peppercorns then stir-fry for a minute. Then add fish.
Add splash water, black bean sauce bring to a rolling boil, add fish and turn over once to coat with the sauce and simmer for 2 mins. If the sauce is thin you can add a bit of cornstarch/arrowroot slurry to thicken it.
Flavour with fish sauce and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with steamed rice and a chilli dip( optional)

You could also make this at home and heat gently at work for lunch or microwave it.

Jacket Potatoes…Easy to do and will fill you up…If you have an oven at work then in your pop one in the oven and take a portion of chilli, baked beans, cheese, coleslaw, sweetcorn, caramelised onions and mushrooms what is your favourite topping?

jacket-potato-2906023_640

My favourite is chilli be it a meat or vegetarian one or cheese and coleslaw if it isn’t too cold.

Carol’s Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3/4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)

Enjoy!

NB. HELP! I would rather use dried kidney beans rather than tinned HOWEVER I soak them for hours then cook then add to my chilli and they are still not soft…I don’t have a pressure cooker but is there anyone who can give me some tips and I don’t add salt while soaking.

My second Chilli recipe from a friend of mine …Richard and it is his vegetarian chilli…Thank Richard it is very nice. It is Richards recipe with a Thai twist and tasty…

Vegetarian Chilli with lentils.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 chillies
  • 125 gm mushrooms chopped
  • A handful of chopped green beans
  • 100 gm black lentils
  • 1 tbsp each of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar
  • Basil Leaves

 

vegetarian chilli with lentils

 

The instructions are as I received them as Richard obviously knows I can cook ( there wasn’t any) just ingredients …he is also male…lol

For anyone needing more details then cook as my chilli recipe above but adding lentils instead of the meat. I did add a couple more tomatoes and some kidney beans to Richards original recipe….I also soaked my lentils… he doesn’t as he likes his lentils al dente…

Cooking is all about personal taste and I sometimes just chuck it in the pot and take it from there… That’s how I cook most of the time and TASTE…

Enjoy!

Both of these make great toppings for jacket potatoes or with rice …

Soup is also very good...You make a batch at home and freeze in portions it just needs reheating or take it in a thermos flask…

Yesterday I made a lovely mushroom soup …a new recipe and it needs tweaking my little taste tester told me what I needed to do….lol

It pleases me though because it means that he tastes the food and knows when it needs something else so that is good for a child.

Mushroom Soup…

2 lbs of mushrooms…mixed I used straw, button, crimini and some small ones which I can’t remember the name.

1 onion sliced

6 sprigs of thyme tied together

3 cloves of garlic

6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups of water

1 cup of cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter and add the mushrooms and add a pinch of salt and cook until they give up their juices and reduce the heat. Cook stirring until the juice has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown.

crimini straw button mushrooms

Pick out a few nice pieces and set to one side for the garnish.

Mix the onions into the mushrooms and cook until the onion softens about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme and garlic and pour in the stock and water simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the thyme before blending the soup, if the consistency is still too thick then add more stock/water…Return to a pan and add the cream…Taste and season with salt and black pepper…

Mushroom Soup

 

I hope this has given you a few ideas about what to have for lunch…What is your favourite lunch?

I have added the link to a Chicken Noodle soup as it also has the recipe for homemade chicken broth.

Noodle-soup-Thai-chicken

https://blondieaka.com/2018/09/13/thai-chicken-noodle-soup/

All of these you could batch cook every two weeks and freeze in portions and you would never have to worry about what is for lunch… Just add your garnishes and herbs if required…

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 that I cook with have to improve our health and wellbeing.

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you for reading I hope you enjoy the soup …Or maybe you have already tried it…Do you love it?? Please let me know in comments xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – #Halloween Party Food

Halloween and cold weather go hand in hand, don’t they? I hope you enjoy these recipes ..My favourite the jacket with the egg and as I forgot to say what to do with the potato leftover mashed with some corned beef and browned under the grill it is a lovely thing…Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Carol Cooks Halloween Food.

Welcome to this week’s edition of Carol’s cookery column well we are halfway through October and those of you who celebrate Halloween probably already have your porches and front gardens decorated…I am here to help you with the food but not just for Halloween as I have seen and heard that a few of you are already experiencing flurries of snow…and only October whereas here it is hotting up as our high season is coming…

The potato is ideal Halloween and cold weather food a simple food that can be elevated into something quite warming and special.

Before we get to the fillings we need to bake them…

How to bake…Simply select your potatoes and scrub them clean, dry them and poke a few holes here and there…I am sure many of you have witnessed the mess when potato bursts its skin in the oven…

View original post 1,720 more words

Fang-Tastic Recipes…Tales from Halloween…

 

Halloween-Pumpkins- witches-

I hope you enjoyed last Friday’s post on Halloween… The shops and online stores are now full of fancy costumes and decorations for Halloween it is a big business… I would love to go somewhere like Salem for Halloween where would you love to go???

Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts is famous for its witch trials of 1692… It is both a residential and tourist destination everything about Salem screams witches and witchcraft…Police cars are adorned with witch logos, a public elementary school is known as Witchcraft Heights, the Salem High School athletic teams are named the Witches, and Gallows Hill — originally believed to be the site of numerous public hangings — is currently used as a playing field for various sports.

Tourists know Salem as a mix of important historical sites and a vibrant downtown that has more than 60 restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops. In 2012, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts chose Salem for their inaugural “Best Shopping District” award.

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I would not only want to go for the shopping but the history …Has anyone been to Salem? Does it have that sort of spooky atmosphere or is it just like a regular place?

Did you know?

London Town is known as the most haunted capital in the world?

Highgate Cemetery is one of the spookiest burial places and has featured in many films over the years…The Abominable Dr Phibes, From Beyond The Grave and Taste the Blood Of Dracula, it is also said that Fantastic Beasts was filmed there…

Tower of London with its resident ghosts of Anne Boleyn, The white lady and the poor Princes in the tower…

London Dungeons where you can experience the horror of the Demon Barber himself otherwise know as Sweeney Todd or the infamous Jack the Ripper…I took my boys there when they were little and neither of them would eat there as they said it was dirty it isn’t it is just very authentic and they were having none of it especially food…

Bethnal Green Tube Station used as a bomb shelter in the war and it often was overcrowded and many people died there. Staff say that when the station is closed they can hear running and screams…

Trick or treating was something as kids that we were not allowed to do or a penny for the guy our parents deemed it as being akin to begging…

 

But trick or treating, or ” guising” (from disguising) was a tradition which began in the Middle Ages, children and sometimes poor adults would dress up and go door to door during Halloween begging for food or money in exchange for songs or prayers which were mainly said for the dead. This tradition was called ” souling” and the children “soulers”

It wasn’t until the 1920s and 1930s that trick or treating had a revival with a lull during WW2 because of the sugar rations and now it is big business and very commercial.

In Britain however, Halloween was slow to take off and many householders turned off their lights and pretended to not be at home… and I am sure many still do that….lol

I still think that we lack behind other countries as regards Halloween…

Now for a recipe…

Thai Pumpkin Soup:

This lovely soup would look equally at home in your hollowed out Halloween pumpkin shell and add a bit of Thai spice to your table. If you have little pumpkins it would look beautiful served as individual portions.

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

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

pumpkin-soup-1804351_1920

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

Enjoy!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post on Halloween and if you have any Halloween recipes or tales then please share and I am happy to add to a future post and give you credit 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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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