Category Archives: The Charade

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome once again to Whimsical Wednesdays where I unashamedly indulge myself…I do hope you enjoy my meanderings today….Come with me and let’s begin…These posts are never planned… if I come across anything which I love or which tugs at my heartstrings then I save it… the rest happens as I type…It is wherever my thoughts take me at that time…Mainly they are random and unplanned…Enjoy! xxx

Firstly most of you know Sally Cronin @Smorgasbord Magazine where I have a Food Column and contribute recipes to Sally’s health posts…Today Sally has posted a beautiful Thank you to me for which I am touched...Tissue Alert …

Thank you so much, Sally, the pleasure is also mine as I love working in collaboration with you…xxx

Team cook from scratch…xxx  

Time for a story…

This is a continuation of a short story started by author Steph Richmond with the offer to contribute which I took her up on so as you will see I write the occasional chapter…Will this be finished who knows.?.. The girl as yet doesn’t have a name just an unknown past…Enjoy!

Today’s Chapter is written by Steph...The story continues…

The Charade – Chapter 13

 by S C Richmond…

download-3the-charade

She had been looking forward so much to talking to George and finding out more about her Mother, she hoped he was well. She looked around, the shop looked grubby and unkempt in the bright light of day. The previous evening it had looked so magical, she picked up the bag that was left for her and decided to go and visit Mr. James, maybe he would know George, Mr. James seemed to know just about everyone in town.

   When she arrived at his house he was out too, she was beginning to feel that no one wanted to speak to her today, then she heard someone singing, a voice coming from the garden. She poked her head around the hedge and saw Kathy, she looked up from her gardening. “Come in girl.” She walked into the garden, her face must have given her mood away because Kathy asked. “Whatever’s the matter?”

   “I met George last night and now he’s gone.” She finally gave in to her emotions and began to cry.“ He said he knew my Mom.” She continued to weep and Kathy approached her and hugged her tight.

   “Now, now… dry your eyes and tell me about this George.”

   She told Kathy about the shop and the dress and what George had said to her. Kathy listened carefully, especially to the news that Carl Ward had been sniffing around her again. “You want to stay away from that Mr. Ward, he’s a bad ‘un, maybe he does like you but I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could spit.”

   She looked up, not really understanding what Carl could be up to, she had nothing to offer but she too had certainly been getting an uneasy feeling about him.

It was time to find out what he was up to. Next time she saw him she decided she would follow him and see where that led her. She felt better in herself now she had a plan but she was still worried about George, he could have helped her and told her more about her Mother.

Kathy fed her and cheered her up before sending her on her way, Kathy had promised to speak to Mr. James about George for her.

   She returned to her room and took her old dress out of the bag and hung it up, as she did a piece of paper fluttered to the ground. She picked it up assuming it was the receipt for the dress, but on it was written 23 Coal Street, nothing else just an address. It looked like it had been written in a hurry, the writing was uneven and rushed.

She placed it on her sideboard, maybe that was where George had gone today, whatever it was, it was none of her business. She would stop by his shop tomorrow and return it to him.

T.B.C

Time for some music ...

Of course, it is a Christmas tune…I was listening to Now Christmas most of the day yesterday…

This tune from author and musician Kevin Cooper gives you the feel-good factor it is happy and joyous so please take a listen and pop over to youtube as my one like is looking lonely let’s give Kev’s tune some love and likes…xxx

 

 

Enjoy!

Now for some trivia…Today the Day before Thanksgiving is National Tie One On Day…

When I first saw this I was puzzled what could that mean and then I had a light bulb moment…An Apron…

Aprons have been around forever it seems and I am sure many people receive a Birthday or Christmas gift of a funny apron or probably many of you remember Barbra Windsor in her little apron or the fancy dress parties where an apron was a cover-up for the front and not so for the back…haha…Get the picture?

amalfi-italy-holiday-apron-colorful-summer

Photo on VisualHunt

Aprons my grandmothers wore them and my mother ..me not so much…The apron has protected many a hand from hot dishes, who has had their tears wiped on an apron? Who has hidden behind an apron? Aprons make you feel more like a cook, they protect your clothes, used as a fan or to mop a brow in a hot kitchen, used to swat a fly or a hand which is trying to pinch a pie…I remember that one…haha…

Apron visual hunt

Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images on VisualHunt.com / No known copyright restrictions

Picking some vegetables, holding the chickens feed, collecting eggs or picking up toys an apron has many purposes…

There has even been a book wrote about an Apron…Best-selling author, Ellyn Anne Geisel, created National Tie One on Day. She’s also the author of the book titled, The Apron Book.

Time for a recipe…Trifle… there are many variations of the trifle and everyone’s nan or mum makes the best trifle…Today Darlene is sharing her trifle recipe with us and it looks and sounds most delicious…Here is what Darlene said…

 

Here is the trifle recipe I had to marry my hubby in order to get the recipe. I have made a few changes to make it mine. My family just loves it.

I attached a couple of pictures if you wish to use them. Thank you, Darlene xx

Darlene´s English Trifle

darelen (2) Christmas Trifle
  • Amounts vary according to the size of the bowl
  • Swiss rolls or jelly roll (you can use sponge cake if you can´t find the rolls)
  • Sweet sherry
  • 1 can of fruit cocktail, drained
  • Fresh fruit of choice (I use mandarin orange segments, sliced bananas, blueberries/strawberries/raspberries whatever is available, diced kiwi is nice too)
  • I or 2 packages Raspberry or strawberry jello
  • Bird´s custard powder
  • Milk
  • Whipping cream
  • Chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips.

Slice the swiss roll into 1-inch thick rounds, place at the bottom of a clear glass bowl and soak with 1 – 2 tablespoons of sherry (have a sip yourself)

Pour the drained fruit cocktail on top of the swiss rolls and add other fresh fruit if desired.

Prepare the jello according to the package directions. Let cool a few minutes then pour over the fruit and rolls.

Put into the fridge until jello sets (I often make it this far the night before and finish it in the morning)

Prepare custard with milk according to the package instructions. Let it cool to room temperature.

Take the trifle from the fridge and let it sit out for a bit before pouring the custard over everything making a nice layer

Chill in the fridge so the custard sets. Cover with a piece of wax paper or cling film so you don´t get a skin on top.

Darlenes Christmas Trifle

Top with whipped cream and decorate the top with chocolate flakes or chocolate chips.

Sometimes I decorate the top with extra fruit like mandarin sections or kiwi slices.

The layers look so pretty and every time I serve it, I get many oohs and awes.

Enjoy!
Thank you Darlene you are getting some Ooohs and awes from me and your recipe is my kind of recipe no amounts just using the eye and the hand especially where the cream, chocolate, and the booze are concerned…
I have a chocolate mousse cake to share with you courtesy of Meeks and bacon covered turkey from John, pictures of Xmas puds from Hugh, a lovely poem from Ellen Best all of which I will share over the next few days so make sure you don’t miss a post and please if you have anything recipes or crafts, Christmas jumpers please share and I will credit you back…You can email me on carolcookstwo@gmail.com  
Did you know?
Today way back in 2013 Frozen the highest-grossing animated film of all time was released and the merchandise is still going strong and now we have Frozen 2 released last week…Not so good as Frozen 1 for me but Lily and her friend loved it…
Also way back in 1952, the young Richard Attenborough starred in the lead of The Mousetrap which has smashed all theatrical records…A murder mystery The Mousetrap was written by Agatha Christie the show has run continuously since then…
Time for some more music…Christmas No1’s

 

1966 GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME TOM JONES
1967 HELLO, GOODBYE THE BEATLES
1968 LILY THE PINK THE SCAFFOLD
1969 TWO LITTLE BOYS ROLF HARRIS
1970 I HEAR YOU KNOCKING DAVE EDMUNDS
1971 ERNIE (THE FASTEST MILKMAN IN THE WEST) BENNY HILL
1972 LONG HAIRED LOVER FROM LIVERPOOL JIMMY OSMOND

This little lot brings back a few memories my dad was always singing along to Benny Hill and Ernie it drove us mad…It makes me smile now…Long-haired Lover from Liverpool…I was never an Osmonds fan…A Tom Jones fan I am although I like Green, Green grass but don’t love it…Lily The Pink A nice catchy tune…My two favourites from this little lot are Hello, Goodbye and I hear you knocking…Which for me …I like lively tunes so without any ado…I give you…Dave Edmunds…

 

Finally, I would like to wish all my American and Canadian friends and family a Happy Thanksgiving…

happy-thanksgiving-4567939_640

That’s all from me today on Whimsical Wednesday… I hope you have enjoyed reading this post…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…

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

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome to my world and whimsical Wednesdays…

Who doesn’t love the window seat on a plane?... I love flying and love just gazing at the clouds there are so many wonderful cloud formations and I always get the urge and wonder what it would be like to walk among the clouds…Just a fantasy which plays out in my head …

Windowless planes would make that fantasy a reality…Designers are saying that within the next 10-15 years that could actually happen…Reading the comments the majority of people expressed a horror…Is my brain wired wrong? I think that is such an exciting concept…How cool is that?

Do you love this concept or does it fill you with horror ???

I am sure everyone’s thoughts now are on what they are having for Christmas dinner…My mum always cooked either a Goose, turkey or a capon…Years ago the traditional Christmas lunch was a swan…Now in the UK, it is only the Queen who is allowed to eat the swan however as she officially owns all the mute swans I am sure she doesn’t…

Insect-eating is becoming more popular among the masses and it is certainly the norm here…Sold everywhere..crispy and salty they are big business…

Traditionally for South Africans, they were a Christmas snack…The caterpillar from the emperor moth was or is deep-fried and served as a snack.

Would you eat me?

I’ll leave the question with you…

 

Time for a story…

The Charade

 Chapter 11

 by SC Richmond

 71414cb886ccacb9a175dafd2b49776c--vintage-evening-gowns-vintage-gowns

She was so shocked at this man’s words she staggered slightly and the old man pulled a chair from behind the counter for her to sit on. He watched her with concern. “Sit, sit.”

   “But Sir how could you know my Mother, even I don’t remember her well?” She accepted a cup of some warm liquid from him.

   “I didn’t know her well but still I thought she was a very special lady, maybe I like to think I knew her better than I really did, I don’t suppose she would remember me anyway. I fell in love a little when I first saw her, you are very much like her. Tell me what brings you into this kind of town?”

   She could barely grasp what he was saying to her. Why wouldn’t she live around here? “I’m sorry Sir.”

   “No please call me George, I’m no Sir.” He chuckled.

   “George, please tell me about her.”

   “There’s not much to tell, Elizabeth was a beautiful lady, I didn’t know she had a daughter though, I only thought she had the two boys, but you are so much like her and wearing that necklace then she must have had a girl too. You are so welcome in my shop.”

   “Thank you but can you tell me more about her, please.” She held her breath he must know her he had called her Elizabeth.

   “I don’t know anything else girl.” George was beginning to look uncomfortable, she followed his eye-line to the doorway but there was no one there. “I have to go now and start to close the shop, pop by and see me again won’t you?” With that, he started to usher her towards the door.

   She stood outside the shop only then realising that she was still wearing the beautiful dress and her old clothes were still inside the shop, she turned to go back inside but the door had already been closed to her. She would have to return tomorrow and collect her old clothes from George, she did love the new dress. She turned towards her room and as if from nowhere Carl appeared, looking at her in a totally different way than he had before. Since she had first met him at the party, he now seemed to be everywhere she turned, was he following her.

T.B.C

Did you know?

Today Nov 13th, 1977 saw the last episode of Dad’s Army…it had run for 9 years and such was its popularity it is still being rerun…Keeping it seasonal let’s have a look at Christmas dinner the Dads Army way on the menu…Turkey…

 

I have always loved music and still do...1952 the year after my birth on 14th November the first UK singles chart was published by New Musical Express(NME)

Who was the top of the charts that week? It was that legendary crooner Al Martino with the lovely ballad Here in my heart…

For the first 7 years of the charts, it was…

1952 HERE IN MY HEART AL MARTINO
1953 ANSWER ME FRANKIE LAINE
1954 LET’S HAVE ANOTHER PARTY WINIFRED ATWELL
1955 CHRISTMAS ALPHABET DICKIE VALENTINE
1956 JUST WALKIN’ IN THE RAIN JOHNNIE RAY
1957 MARY’S BOY CHILD HARRY BELAFONTE
1958 IT’S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE CONWAY TWITTY

Each week until Christmas I will pick my favourite. from the chart I publish..As I like a party and the piano Winifred Atwell is my choice she was top of the charts for 5 weeks…

She could certainly tickle those ivories…she played a boogie-woogie style of ragtime and was hugely popular both in Britain and Australia in the ’50s …I have fond memories of my dad singing Boomps a Daisy to me as he bumped me up and down on his knees…

 

Sadly her planned breakthrough performance as a guest on the Ed Sullivan Show in the U.S.A in 1956 didn’t go ahead or was even recorded due to racist opposition to having a black woman as a guest…To read her biography click here…

A glass of wine anyone? Winemaking is an age-old tradition that spans centuries…

wine-1543172_1920

 

Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that winemaking occurred as early as 6,000 BC…

Of course with the time of year approaching a nice glass of mulled wine is often on the menu…

The nicest mulled wine I have had was years ago when I used to travel to Germany each year for the Christmas Markets called  Christkindlmarkt …I still have my mug somewhere as you purchased a mug complete with your Glühwein, wine and sipped your wine as you strolled around the market…Perfect…

 

mulled-claret-550332_640

Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay

These markets are now replicated around the world…I loved the wooden cabin styled stalls I wonder if they are still the same…

My one abiding memory is of my dear friend Maureen ( Mo) who is now no longer sadly with us who when our boat pulled in to dock and she saw the snow… she announced she had only white stilettos to wear…Yes she was an Essex girl…haha

My flowers for her funeral were in the shape of that white stiletto…It will be 19 years on the 1st Dec where does the time go?… I miss you Mo xxx

Time for a recipe…

Glühwein – Mulled Wine Recipe

  • 1 bottle of dry red wine 
  • 1/2 cup of brandy or rum (optional)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 large orange, peeled then juiced
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 lime, peeled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup or sugar
  • 5-6 whole cloves
  • 1 nutmeg, about 10 gratings
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved
  • 2-star anise

Peel large sections of skin from the orange, lemon, and lime. Over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan, pour in agave syrup and water, then add the peels and juice of the orange.

Add the vanilla bean, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg gratings. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. The liquid will reduce, after around 30 minutes, add in about a half cup of wine. This allows the flavors to infuse and will create a syrup.

Once your syrup is ready then turn the heat down to low and then pour in the bottle of wine and brandy if used.

Bring back to a gentle simmer and heat for about 5 minutes or depending on how much alcohol you want to burn off you can simmer a bit longer. Ladle it into glasses and serve warm.

Enjoy!

Back in 1992 the fabulous Joanna Lumbley and friends made their debut on the idiot box…Ad Fab went on to become a comedy Phenomenom which run for 5 seasons and even had its own feature film.

Those ladies certainly were fabulous…Patsy, she was something else…haha…Caution some bad language…

I will leave you with this thought...

Today is World Kindness day…

The World Kindness Movement started World Kindness Day in 1998 and has spread to 28 countries.

Use #WorldKindnessDay to share on social media.

Kindness is generally paid forward… if you can remember someone doing a kindness for you…How did it make you feel and did you then pay kindness to someone else?

Like a smile kindness is infectious…xxx

That’s all from me today on Whimsical Wednesday… I hope you have enjoyed reading this post…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…

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

 

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome it is that time of the week …I hope you all enjoyed Halloween?…

Yesterday the 5th of November was Guy Fawkes in the UK…he was the guy who in 1605  tried and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament…The effigy we make to sit on top of our bonfires is a symbol of Guy Fawkes…

It will then be the start of the Christmas preparations…I always loved the preparation and the run-up to Christmas…The Christmas Carol’s, the pantomimes, the decorations and some of those are just awesome all added to that ambiance which is what I miss here…Christmas is not celebrated here…The big shopping centres, of course, have the tree and decorations and there it stops there is no atmosphere and Christmas joy which I remember… I try to recreate it at home and I am the only house with a tree and fairy lights here…

I do wonder though if I go back at Christmas would I feel the same joy I used to…?

Although pantomime is often seen as something quaint, something utterly British, its origins lie in warmer climes. It developed from the Italian street theatre of the Commedia dell’arte in the 16th Century, with comedic moments, stock characters and great physicality.

John Rich, actor-manager of the Lincoln’s Inn Theatre (opened 1714) and The Theatre Royal, Covent Garden (opened 1732), has been called the father of pantomime because he was the first to realise the potential of the Commedia characters.

What is your favourite panto? Do you have your tickets booked? I loved the panto as a kid and it is still part of English tradition…

Did you know it has been 18 years since the first Harry Potter movie was released…4th November 2001…Who would have guessed that The Philosophers Stone would be followed by so many sequels?…. Oops I got my movie and my book muddled but thanks to Tori who is an avid fan she very nicely corrected me…It’s been 18 years since the first Harry Potter movie was released. It’s been longer for the book version, which was released on June 26th, 1997. Sorry… Been a huge Harry Potter fan since 2000, when the publicity of the release of the 4th book brought it to my parents’ attention, and they got me a copy of the first book.

Going back a few more years to Nov 1996 saw the start of the phenomenon which was The Spice Girls…Love them or hate them they were a success and their debut album “Spice” sold 23 million copies…

After all these years they have evolved and are still news…For me, the best thing is David Beckham…A fine figure of a man…I unashamedly do think he has aged very well…Ahem…

David Beckham in Denver

David Beckham in Denver

Photo credit: ebatty on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Moving on quickly…

Food Waste…starvation…Homelessness always tweaks at my heartstrings…This time of year when the winds get cold and snow and frost prevail it always seems worse…But among all the sad stories there are the most heartwarming tales of the goodness which exists in some peoples’ hearts.

Yesterday I came across Stone Soup when I was reading the lovely Dolly’s blog a post by Dorothy on Stone Soup…I have never heard of stone soup…Dorothy also participates in

” The empty Bowl”…A lovely community project… Please pop over and have a look it is projects like this which give me hope and reassure me that people do care and have a heart but please remember we should care all year round…And please if you have any local community projects like this let me know and I will share…

Anyone for stone soup?…. I would love those stories…  I also love how the concept has evolved…

Fascinating…

Time for a story…S C Richmond…

The Charade…Chapter 10…by Carol Taylor…

71414cb886ccacb9a175dafd2b49776c--vintage-evening-gowns-vintage-gownsIt was getting late and the street lights had just come on. What had started out as an adventure to find a new dress was turning into a fruitless search.

   They were either too much money or dresses that she wouldn’t wear they were tacky and cheap.

The euphoria she has felt earlier had all but gone ….Shoulders slumped she started to make her way back to her room…That lonely room..Where the nightmares always came.

   Turning the corner she saw some twinkling lights come on and noticed a little shop…It lay back from the other shops which surrounded the markets stalls.

   She drew closer and saw a delightful little Christmas scene in the window someone had decorated it so beautifully,  everything twinkled and sparkled, she wondered who had been so artistic and clever, it caught her breathe, it was very lovely. The bell on the door tinkled and a little old man came out “Come in and look, my dear”

   “Oh, No thank you, I was just admiring your window it is beautiful but I am looking for a special dress”.

   “My dear I may have just the dress for you” On an impulse and he had such a kindly face she stepped inside …It was just like a wonderland..

Staring round in amazement…. So many pretty things…why had she not seen this shop before?

Her eyes were drawn to a beautiful pale blue dress….

“I see you looking at the blue dress my dear ..my grandson made it..he is very talented… Try it on. It looks like a perfect fit for you”. Taking the dress and putting it behind some curtains the old man held the door open.

   Putting on the dress just felt right it molded her body in all the right places, stepping outside to look in the mirror..she gasped was that really her. The young lady looking back at her was beautiful.

   “Just a ribbon for your hair is all you need. Who is the lucky man?”

   The girl twirled around and couldn’t believe her eyes..it was perfect and her necklace would be the finishing touch. Reaching into her bag she fastened the ribbon around her neck. Perfect.

   “How much… Is the dress?’ She held her breath waiting for the old man to speak. Please, please let me have enough.

When he told her she gasped “Are you sure… That is so little for a wonderful dress”

   “It looks like it was made for you my dear and the dress deserves a beautiful lady to show it off..My grandson would be so proud if he could see it on you”.

   “Is he not here?”

   “No, he is away on business buying more silk and satin”.

Paying for the dress the girl felt like a real lady for once, cinders would go to the ball.

   She heard a gasp; the old man was looking at her necklace with a look on his face which the girl couldn’t fathom. “ Where did you get that necklace?”

   “I have always had it… It’s all I have to remind me of my parents… Why are you looking at me like that?

The old man’s face took on a look of such sadness… “You have her eyes girl..Such beautiful eyes”

   “You know my mother?”

   “A long time ago my dear…”

T.B.C.

The first week in November is National Fig week…I love fresh figs…figs fresh and dried

Fig Facts:
  • Figs keep baked goods fresh by naturally holding in moisture
  • California grows one hundred percent of the nation’s dried figs.
  • Early Olympians consumed figs while training.
  • A half-cup of figs has as much calcium as a half cup of milk.
  • Figs, not apples, may have been grown in the Garden of Eden
  • Fig Newton cookies made their debut in 1892.

Did you know? Fig puree can replace fat/sugar in baked goods? Well neither did I until fairly recently a fig puree can be used as a sugar and fat substitution.

Just combine 8 ounces of fresh figs and 1/4 -1/3 cup of water in a blender; puree until smooth. If using dried figs, soak figs in water until softened before pureeing. Use as you would applesauce in baked recipes, as a substitution for both fat and sugar. Replace up to half the fat in a recipe with fig puree, and reduce or eliminate the sugar required.

Or use the puree as a spread over toast and fruits; or thin it out with more water and use as a liquid sweetener for coffee, drinks and in place of honey or maple syrup in your recipes…To read more about the humble fig here is a previous post…

I can’t finish without a tune...Art Garfunkel of Simon and Garfunkel fame was born on the 5th of November 1941…One of my favorites… Bridge over troubled Water…is a beautiful song and often used to express or represent a person, a friend or loved one…

The line “Sail on, silver girl” is often reputed to refer to a needle (meaning the song is about heroin) but it actually refers to Simon’s girlfriend (and later wife) Peggy Harper who found a few gray hairs and was upset. The lyric was meant as a joke – Simon calling her “Silver Girl” because of her hair.

That’s all from me for this week I hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane…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

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

It’s that time of the week again…the time when I can reminisce and just be…

Last week I spoke about Disney’s opening day on 16th October 1923…Today 23rd October back in the year 1941 Walt Disney released that family favourite which is still watched by families and children around the world…Dumbo…

It will soon be time and we have one very excited little girl here as Frozen 2 will be released soon…

FROZEN 2 is expected to be a dark, more sinister sequel to the original film – and the trailer has just dropped giving fans the first glimpse into the follow-up film. When is Frozen sequel out in cinemas?

It is out 21st November here in Thailand and 22nd in the US and the UK… Already the toys have been released so that’s Christmas sorted then for many of us…haha

What will Elsa and Anna have to face…Have a look at the official trailer…

Time for a story… The continuation of the Charade this week chapter penned by moi…Enjoy!

The Charade – Chapter 8

By Carol Taylor

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Mr James sat in his chair his thoughts troubled. What should he tell the child? He still thought of her as a child and was trying to protect her but she was an adult now and asking questions. Questions to which she deserved an answer, but answers which could put her in grave danger.

Kathy burst in the room.

Mr James “That poor girl, you really must tell her about her past and her parents, before someone else does.”

“None of your business Kathy. I will when I am ready and not before.”

Kathy looked at him. Gave a tut and flounced out of the room.

Meanwhile, Carl was pondering and wondering how best he could get a closer look at that necklace without raising the girl’s suspicions.

She was leaving the house and looked happy as she headed in the direction of the market. She stopped at the ribbon stall, the gaily coloured ribbons were lovely and she was picking them up putting them down it was so hard to choose a colour.

A hand reached in front of her and plucked a beautiful violet piece of ribbon with little flecks of silver in it from the bunch she held in her hand.

This one will be perfect. Is it for that necklace? Before she could say anything the ribbons were changed and the necklace was back around her neck.

The girl couldn’t believe Mr Ward was standing in front of her with a shy smile on his boyish face.

“You do like it? Don’t you?

“Oh Yes? It’s beautiful. Thank you.

“Well, pretty girl would you do me the honour of dining with me tonight?”

The girls face dropped, she had nothing nice to wear….she turned and fled.

Carl smiled….Mission accomplished, it was definitely the girl he was looking for now to gain her trust.

Food…I am still trying to find Gingko Nuts no luck thus far but I am sure  I will soon find some I am on the trail…We are nearly at the end of National Pumpkin Month as those of you who follow me will be aware it is also National Apple Month and today is National Boston Cream Pie day…

Me I pictured a lavish pie with a fancy top and lots of cream however I was wrong it is in fact not a pie at all but a cake… a lovely vanilla cake with a pastry cream filling and covered with chocolate ganache…Sounds delicious…

But for those of you who love a pie…I am sharing my mothers Apple Pie recipe…

My mum makes the best apple pie in the world…made with Bramley Apples, a few cloves and her amazing melt in the mouth short pastry.

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Picture source: Pixabay

Make the shortcrust pastry.

I use half fat to flour so for example for 8oz of flour I use 4oz of fat. 

The flour is not the same here and very recently when I was comparing items from the UK against the US….I made some startling discoveries of the differences and it has made an instant difference to my cooking especially my pastry…. I will say no more but I had a silent rant!

Again I cannot get the same cooking fat so I use an olive oil-based fat and Crispo. For this sort of pastry when I want a nice soft pastry I used1/3 olive oil fat and 2/3 Crispo.

And cake flour, not all-purpose flour, and the difference was remarkable…….mmmm I am still silently ranting…lol

Prepare your pastry making sure you use ice-cold water from the fridge and wrap in clingfilm and put in the chiller for at least 20 minutes.

Roll out and line a pie plate or dish.

Some prebake at this point and some don’t …I have done both depending on the time I have or just how I feel.

If I don’t prebake I stand the dish on a baking tray so as to make sure there are no  “soggy bottoms”

Peel and core your apples. If I am using Bramleys or large cooking apples I would use 4 apples any other normal-sized eating apples I would use 8 for a pie plate.

 Cook in a pan with a little water until they soften slightly. I like my apples to keep their shape and not be mushy in a pie. But that is down to personal preference. I also add a couple of cloves or nutmeg and cinnamon.

If I use Bramleys I would add a little sugar as we don’t like our filling too sweet but here I cannot get them so I use a new Zealand dessert apple which doesn’t need any added sugar.

Drain off the juice and put into the pie base.

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Photo source: Pixabay

Roll out remaining pastry and put over the top of the apples. Making sure you crimp the edges. Cut 3 slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Brush the top with a little beaten egg and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 40/45 mins or until pastry is cooked.

To check just lightly scrape fingernail on edge of the pastry and if it crumbles off it is cooked.

If you make individual pies the cooking time is slightly less.

When cooked remove from oven and sprinkle with castor sugar..it is nice mixed with a little cinnamon.

Serve with custard or fresh cream.

Enjoy your slice of pie with a nice cup of tea or coffee..a lovely mid-morning or afternoon treat…Go on you deserve it!

Time for a tune…Something a bit newer today…A lady with a haunting voice…Who also happens to be very funny as well…

Her single released 23rd October 2015 called Hello…had over 1 million downloads in the first week…Here she is singing live ably helped by James  Corden…

In a little village in the Peak District…In this real English Village, this lovely lady has baked the whole village in cake and it seems this is now an annual charity event…

It even has a resident ghost…

Now, who didn’t sing this song as a child?

London Bridge is falling down
Falling down, falling down
London Bridge is falling down
My fair lady

Well fall down it did in the tornado of 1091…The tornado struck the heart of the city, causing a great deal of damage. The church of St Mary-le-Bow was completely levelled, to the extent that four huge 26-foot rafters were driven so far into the earth that only four feet remained visible above ground. Many more buildings, including around 600 mainly wooden houses, were also demolished although amazingly, only two deaths were recorded.

It was rebuilt and then 40 years later was again destroyed this time by fire …It was then rebuilt in stone…

Often confused with Tower Bridge they are not one and the same they are situated in close proximity to each other but are two different Bridges…

London Bridge has existed in one form or another for nearly 2,000 years now. It’s the site of the oldest crossing of the River Thames on record. The London Bridge that still stands today dates from 1973. So, despite the fact London Bridge has existed here the longest, the actual bridge standing today is one of the more modern bridges over the Thames in London.

That’s all from me for this week I hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane…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

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Good morning and welcome to my place for whimsical Wednesdays the day when I indulge myself…Well, I did last night as it was my friends 70th birthday bash…We had a lovely time…she who not named started early…11am…me I was on the H2O…That is until the early evening when I was introduced to the dirty martini…Vodka, ice and olives…The olives were very nice infused with vodka…It would have been rude not too…Had a lovely time, lots of nibbles and picky bits and cake…Pictures on Friday so make sure you are there…xxx

7 th October 2018 Jodie Whitaker debuted in her first full episode as the first woman Dr Who…I watched the very first episode of Dr Who back in 1963…23rd November…I do think she makes a great Dr Who…Who was your favourite???

The second series of Dr Who featuring the Dalek’s which really scared the life out of me…

Laurel and Hardy…the epitome of slapstick comedy…the first silent film …The Second Hundred Years was the first time Stan and Olly appeared as a team…8th Oct 1927

Did you know?

Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

Even strong-willed individuals can’t eat just one chip (crisp). Although the snack’s high salt and fat content make them irresistible, researchers found another reason it’s so easy to devour a bag of sour cream and onion spuds – and it has nothing to do with taste.

People are more likely to eat more chips when they’re labelled “crunchy,” according to a study published in the journal Appetite. Scientists found that study participants consumed more chips and candy while watching a movie when their snack bags were labelled as crunchy. They also discovered it takes more than just good marketing to make people overeat. People also consumed more chips from their “crunchy” labelled bags when they weren’t distracted by wearing headphones and better able to hear the sound of their snacks.

People often associate the crunchiness of foods with positive food characteristics such as food freshness. This greater enjoyment of food resulting from the salience of the food’s sound leads to greater consumption,” she says.

Of course, this study isn’t perfect, as the authors note. Everyone to whom I imparted this little gem…Just laughed at me…xx

The study used candy and chips, which most people already enjoy eating. The results could be very different if the study looked at carrots and celery, which are likely less appealing.

10th October 1903...Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst formed the Women’s Social and Political Union to fight for women’s rights in Britain.

What a lady…We have a lot to thank Emmeline Pankhurst for…

Time for a story.

The Charade.

I have continued the short story, I still have little idea where it’s going but I will add to it from time to time and hopefully we might have a bit of storytelling going on. If you would like to add to it or give the next part some direction, please feel free. I just thought we could have some fun with it. So what happens next?

If you want to catch up on the entire story just go to The Charade on the website where the chapters are gathered together.

download-3the-charade

Chapter Six by Steph Richmond.

The drawing-room was warm, the fire must have been lit early in the day. Mr James stood before the fireplace looking less than pleased.

“Please sit.” He commanded. She did as she was instructed in the nearest seat she could see. She had no idea what had darkened his mood. “I hear you enjoyed yourself last night.” He paused. “Mr Ward seemed very taken with you. Did you go home with him?”

“No Sir.” Now she thought she understood. “I went straight home, alone.”

“Good, good.” He seemed relieved. “I don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea about my girls.” His look softened a little. He was a handsome man, some of her friends described him as a dandy, always well dressed and well-groomed. She thought she would take a chance.

“Did you manage to find out anything about my family Mr James?” She waited hopefully whilst he paused and thought up an answer, she was convinced he knew something, just from the look that passed over his face. He distracted himself by putting his hand in his pocket and handing her a sovereign. She was stunned. “A sovereign!”

“You did well last night, you deserve it.”

She was pleased this was more than some people with a family to keep, made in a week. Much to Mr James pleasure, it had worked and her mind was off trying to find her family. There was a knock at the door. “Goodbye.” He said. She left the room and returned to Kathy in the kitchen, giddy with the amount of money she had in her pocket, she could pay her rent and still treat herself to something nice, maybe a new piece of ribbon for her treasured necklace too.

TBC next week…

I don’t do heights but I did brave the wheel and loved it…

10th October 1999 Londons Millenium Wheel…The London Eye was lifted skywards…A giant Ferris wheel…

I always marvel at the knowledge and skill of man and the to raise the Mary Rose from her watery grave was an awesome feat and she was not stable and very fragile.

11 October 1982 Mary Rose was raised to the surface after 437 years at the bottom of the Solent…

Nessie the search ends in failure…11 th Oct 1987…and it didn’t stop there ..periodically rumblings of yet another sighting surface…Will we ever know is it fact or fiction???? My favourite the tear-jerker… Loch Ness a 1996 family drama film starring Ted Danson and Joely Richardson.  Loved it!

Anyone who thinks of guinea pigs as pets – cute, squishy, squeaking bundles of fur – might find this idea hard to digest. But it is horses for courses as my dad used to say and depending on where you live …The French eat horse meat…Frogs and snails…Here they eat rats, frogs, lizards, insects…Need I say more…

Part of the rodent family this is a traditional hot dish in some Latin American countries, including Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. In Ecuador, people typically cook guinea pigs with salt and serve them with potatoes and peanut sauce. But one vendor is taking things to another gastronomic level, serving guinea pigs as a cold dessert. n this Sept. 28, 2019 photo, Maria del Carmen Pilapana prepares a cone with guinea pig ice cream for a customer at her stall on the outskirts of Quito, Ecuador. She also makes ice cream flavoured with beetles and a smaller amount of mushroom ice cream.

Shortages and worry about the climate are making people think about alternative foods and to be honest I have tried of these and they are ok…Many types of meat resemble each other when cooked…Insects many of us eat prawn heads, whitebait, sheep’s brains, sweetbreads, tripe…Not so unusual or horrific after all is it???

My recipe for worm bread… Would you eat me?

That’s all for today I am off to the beach…Thank you for reading 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!

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…

Welcome to Whimsical Wednesday the day of whimsy, wacky tunes and so much more…The day when I indulge myself…Because I can…

I am now going to throw out an offer if anyone would like a guest spot…It needs to be something unusual, weird, funky, outstandingly beautiful or some one-hit-wonder, little known trivia…just unknown or little known tit-bits even old recipes or strange ingredients the weirder the better…See what you can come up with…I look forward to hearing from you…xx

Did you know???

Archie is one of the most famous non-superhero characters around …The Archie character was introduced in the Pep Comic #22 which was first published in December 1941…

But did you know? the show Sabrina…The teenage witch was a spin-off of the animated Archie Show…

Archie and his friends also had a band aka The Archies… It was #1 on the pop charts of 1969 and sold over 6 million copies

Time for a tune…

 

That had me tapping my feet…

2nd October 1902 Helen Beatrix Potters book…The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published by Frederick Warne & Co in London…Who would have thought then that even today Beatrix Potter Books adore many a child’s bookshelves and are a favourite bedtime story…

Have you heard of The Wilhelm Scream? I have to say it was news to me…

I really can’t believe we are in October already where has the year gone? Haloween will soon be upon us and Harvest Festival and then the countdown to you know what will begin in earnest…I am sure many you have already got that smug look and all is wrapped and ready…This lady hasn’t I have a few bits and bobs but that is all…

It was early in this month 5th October 1963  that the Fab Four released their first single …Love me Do…The first of many hits for the Beatles…

Image by thaifly99 from Pixabay

Handshakes were originally meant to make sure that the person you were meeting wasn’t carrying a concealed weapon. The handclasp proved that your hand was empty and shaking was meant to dislodge any weapons hiding up the sleeve.

Time for a story…Started by Steph Richmond

 

The Charade – Chapter 5 by Steph Richmond…

She walked along the street, she still couldn’t shake off the afterthoughts of the dream. The feeling of happiness the card had offered dissipated and she started to feel uncomfortable for no apparent reason, she picked up her stride and headed to her bosses house. She walked past a bakers and the smell of the newly baked bread almost drew her in, she promised herself she would go in on her way home and treat herself to something sweet with the money she was due, the display in the window held trays of oatcakes and a beautiful sponge cake, she silently wished she could afford to fritter her money on something that trivial. She turned right into a long row of houses, these were a much better class than the house she had to live in and here there was only one family to a house. Each house had a master, a life she hoped she would find out more about one day. Suddenly she stopped and turned around, she had the feeling that someone was watching her, but there was no one there, just regular people going about their shopping, nothing seemed out of place. She shook herself and kept walking.

   The house she was going to was one of the grandest on the street and as she opened the gate the housekeeper Kathy opened the door to her. “Master’s not at home Miss, come in and have a hot drink with me.”

   “Good morning Kathy, I’d like that.” With that, they went into the house and settled themselves into the warm kitchen. Kathy put a plate of hot buttered teacakes in front of her and a cup of tea. She hadn’t realised how hungry she was until the smells of fruit and spices enveloped her. Finally, she relaxed, all thoughts of discomfort had gone, now she just had to wait for Mr James to return to the house, she silently hoped he didn’t rush back at least here she was warm and fed. She sat and talked with Kathy for at least an hour before Mr James got home and called her up to his drawing-room.

TBC…

Did you know that squirrels plant 1000’s of trees every year? They simply forget where they buried their acorns… 

October…Yes, It doesn’t have a day…But a whole month… October is National Pumpkin Month…Pumpkins are harvested in October and this month is for honouring the Pumpkin…A versatile gourd the Pumpkin has many uses…They are carved, painted and decorated they are used to decorate yards, front lawns and many a window…

pumpkin-ghosts-HalloweenThe flesh is used to make delicious soup, they can be baked in the oven and served as a vegetable …They are made into sweet pies and pastries…Many a Halloween party plays a game with Pumpkins…

If anyone has some favourite recipes or decorations they would like to share…then please drop me a line with a link.

I don’t think it is often disputed how clever animals are…we have talking parrots, rescue dogs, blind dogs, there really is no end to some animals talents…Have a look at these macaques…

 

Thank you for reading my whimsical ramblings I do hope you enjoyed the read 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 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 creative week ahead xx

The Charade – Chapter 21

The plot thickens…Carl is not so brave as we first thought or so clever…

S C Richmond

Chapter 21

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Carl stood in the darkened room, she was getting feisty, a month ago she wouldn’t have said boo to him and now she was standing her ground. He liked that, it was more of a challenge. He was looking forward to what she had to say to him when she came round. He hadn’t found the necklace in her room, he had looked but to no avail, this job wasn’t going to be as easy as he had initially thought. He watched her as she slept, the rhythm of her shallow breathing calmed him and he found her strangely attractive.

Meanwhile less than a mile away from Carl’s rented room, Mr Joseph Peasbody was pacing around his hallway, worried half to death about where the girl had disappeared to, he had promised Robert he would keep her safe and now he had lost her. He was confused she…

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