Category Archives: The Culinary Alphabet

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘D’ for Dates, Dragon Fruit, Drupes, Durian and Dirty Rice.

Thanks to Sally for rerunning this series while I am concentrating on my writing…I have been so pleased with the comments for which I thank you…I love this series and love that many of you love it as well…Enjoy the letter D…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

Welcome today it’s the letter D …I have some exotic fruits for you and some lovely recipes I hope you enjoy!

Dates

I do have as pictured above a date palm in my garden but dates don’t fare well here they like hot, dry temperatures not hot and humid.

The dates that are on my tree are picked while young and unripe and we take them to Lily’s other grandmother who loves them…so they don’t go to waste as the village ladies like them unripe but unripe the texture in your mouth is like when you eat banana peel but a lot drier and sour and not something that I like to eat but…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘C’ for Calabash, Cajun, Curry, Cloud Eggs, Chilli, and Calamari

This series is my baby and one I have loved writing and researching…Thanx to Sally it is getting another airing slightly revised in places…I hope you enjoy…xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

The letter C in my journey through the culinary alphabet…I do hope you enjoy it I certainly am it is quite interesting especially now I know that Pork crackling something most of us love is number 6 in the top 100 of foods which are beneficial to your health…Lots of fat but good fat and plenty of vitamins ..so fill your boots… well not quite …Moderation is best but no need to go on a guilt trip it is ok to enjoy it now and again.

Californian Sheep’s head…

A saltwater fish which belongs to the wrasse family. The wrasses are a family, Labridae, of marine fish, many of which are brightly…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Cook from Scratch – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – Baking Soda, Bananas, Broccoli, Butterflying food and cooking with a Bain Marie

Bananas begin with B as do so many more culinary treats, My thanks go to Sally for re-posting this series…I do hope you all enjoy…Thank you so much for all your comments, likes and shares for the letter A…I do hope you enjoy the rest of the series…Today it is the letter B…Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

Hello from sunny Thailand …this is the next post of my Culinary tour through the alphabet.

Baking Soda – A leavening agent which is used as an essential ingredient in baking powder. When used alone as a leavener, recipes must include some type of acid to neutralize the resulting sodium carbonate in the finished product. Either Buttermilk, yoghurt, sour cream, and citrus juice are all adequate acids to use. You may also use baking soda to help neutralize the acid in recipes that call for large amounts of fruit.

Bananas…Living where I do Bananas are everywhere sold on every street corner and almost everyone has at least one Banana tree in their…

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The Culinary Alphabet XYZ…

Finally after two years …I have reached the end of this series we are on  XYZ…No zebras in sight…haha…I have enjoyed writing this series and my thanks go to Esme for indulging my passion… I love researching and finding out new methods of cooking and foods…

Here we go then…The Culinary Alphabet The Letter XYZ (1)

 

Xawaash Spice Mix…

Xawaash (pronounced Hawash) comes from the Arabic word Hawa’ij (حوائج). Hawa’ij can be translated as ‘requirements’ or ‘essentials’. For example, there are the essentials accompaniments for Arabic coffee, Hawa’ij al-Qahwa (حوائج القهوة). The Hawa’ij spice mix is believed to have originated in Yemen.

In the southern regions of Somalia, Xawaash refers to the spice mix that is added to savoury dishes: meats, stews, soups, etc. However, in the northern parts of Somalia, Xawaash is used in a broader sense and it refers to any spice mix, even the spices that are added to tea and coffee.

Keep in mind that the types of spices used and their proportions are not cast in stone. There are regional variations dictated by personal taste as well as the availability of certain spices.

The use of the aromatic Xawaash is what gives Somali food its unique character and flavour.

Xoconostle…

Or cactus fruit a cousin of the prickly pear…The bright red centre of the Xoconostle cactus fruit has a few dozen, small edible seeds that have an appearance similar to the seeds of passion fruit. The flavour is described as complex with a sour tang and an acidic finish.

Ximenia…

A small fruit, only about 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) long. It will ripen to orange, or red with white spots, or yellow, depending on the diversity. The Ethiopian variety goes yellow. There will be 1 seed in every fruit. The pulp is sour and tart. Birds also love this fruit. Known as a powerful healthy fruit it is packed with Vitamin C as well as Vitamin E, phosphorus, fibre, carbs, starches, magnesium, calcium, and lots of protein too… The stems, bark, and leaves of the tree also contain lots of natural steroids that may be used in the future for treating diseases such as cardiovascular disease and strokes… New studies are underway…

ximenia

Photo credit: berniedup on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

In traditional medicine, the bark is used to treat oral infections and toothache… It is also commonly known as tallowwood, hog plum, yellow plum, sea lemon, or pi’ut (Chamorro), it is a small sprawling tree native to the tropics, a sour plum found in South-East Africa also a related species grow in the Western United States.

Xiaolongbao…long bun…

Quite simply are the popular bao buns which.is a type of Chinese steamed bun from the Jiangnan region, especially associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. They are made from either leavened or unleaved dough with minced pork or another meat filling. Many of these buns are eaten here they come in different shapes and colours and look very pretty…

bao bun pork filled

 

Photo credit: wallyg on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Yams

Yams are a relatively low-protein food, yam is not a good source of essential amino acids. Experts emphasize the need to supplement a yam-dominant diet with more protein-rich foods to support healthy growth in children. Although often in the poorer countries this does not happen. This is the purple yam there is also white yam and some are quite hairy they are a common sight on the markets here.

Yam is an important dietary element for Nigerian and West African people. It contributes more than 200 calories per person per day for more than 150 million people in West Africa and is an important source of income. Yam is an attractive crop in poor farms with limited resources. It is rich in starch and can be prepared in many ways. It is available all year round, unlike other, unreliable, seasonal crops. These characteristics make yam a preferred food and a culturally important food security crop in some sub-Saharan African countries.

Yokan

matcha-cream-green-tea-yokan

Photo credit: Kirinohana on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Is a Japanese sweet similar to Turkish Delight…which is a favourite of mine and generally a treat at Christmas… The above yokan is made with matcha green tea, chestnuts are also used and other colourings mainly natural colours…Like pandan leaves…

Yeast

The first known yeast was some hundreds of millions of years ago…There are some 1,500 different species which are currently recognised. Most of us know yeast is used in baking, winemaking and brewing…Yeast is a single-celled microorganism that is classified, along with moulds and mushrooms, as members of the Kingdom Fungi. It is also the subject of much research.

Yellowtail Fish…

The Yellow Tail fish or Amber Jack is native to the North East Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. It is also not related to the Yellowtail Tuna.

Sesame crusted Yellowtail fish

In Japan, this fish is eaten cooked or raw and known as Hamachi or Buri…For further info and the recipe for the fish …

We thoroughly enjoyed this recipe which was tried and tested in my kitchen and are looking forward to this fish coming into season again although the recipe could be used with any fish steaks.

Yerba buena

Yerba buena or Hierba Buena is the Spanish name for a number of aromatic plants, most of which belong to the mint family.

Za’atar

A Middle Eastern spice blend …this aromatic spice blend has been around for ages, but the recent surge in popularity of Mediterranean foods and flavours has sent the demand for this bold blend through the roof. And as the spice grows in popularity in mainstream culture, it’s gearing up to become the next everything bagel seasoning: sprinkled on just about everything by just about everyone to make dishes instantly ten-times tastier.

Zest

zest-4180654_640 (1)

Doesn’t the zest of citrus fruits just liven up your cooking? As a garnish, in baking, it just adds that extra zing. I am a big fan of adding lemon, orange or lime zest to my cooking…Both sweet and savoury dishes…

Zingara

Popular in French cuisine it is a sauce made from chopped ham, tongue, mushrooms and truffles combined with tomato sauce, tarragon and sometimes Madeira wine. Additional ingredients may include white wine, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and orange rind. It is also known by the name of gypsy sauce…

Zucchini

smart

I have always called it courgette which is the British/ English name whereas Zucchini is the American/English name…Classes as a summer squash it is harvested when the skins are soft and immature as the skins harden and it grows in size I know it as the Marrow…Very popular now and cooked in many ways …It can be baked, stuffed made into zoodles and used as a healthier answer to pasta…It can be used in baking bread, cookies, shaved in salads or rolled with veggies or prawns so many recipes.

That’s it…Finito, finished, the end…

If you have stayed with me throughout this series then thank you and thank you, Esme…I hope you have enjoyed this series if you are new and have missed it then pop over to Sally’s as she has very kindly offered to repost this series instead of my normal posts on my cookery column over at Smorgasbordto allow me the time to finish my cookbook and novel…It will be the same just with a few tweaks from moi…  Thank you xxx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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

 

CarolCooks2…2019…A recap and some thank you’s…

It’s New Years Eve…My last post of 2019…

A time to cast off the old and bring in the new...

 

Here is how the New Year starts around the world…Just a little taster…

First Footing…Is Scotland’s New Year’s Eve celebration of Hogmanay, “first-footing” is practised across the country. The first person who crosses a threshold of a home in the New Year should carry a gift for luck. Scots also hold bonfire ceremonies where people parade while swinging giant fireballs on poles, supposedly symbols of the sun, to purify the coming year.

In Spain, it is customary to eat 12 grapes one for each of the 12 strokes of midnight…

Columbians have a love of travel so traditionally an empty suitcase is carried around the block…Mmmm I know someone who may be happy to adopt that tradition…Debby Giess…

The Danes throw all their old crockery against the doors of family and friends to ward off bad spirits…They also stand on chairs and at the stroke of midnight leap off into the New Year…

Greece…An onion is traditionally hung on the front door of homes on New Year’s Eve in Greece as a symbol of rebirth in the New Year. On New Year’s Day, parents wake their children by tapping them on the head with the onion…

If they didn’t have a headache from the excesses of celebrating they could well do after getting banged on the head with an onion…

Others celebrate by wearing coloured knickers or burning effigies of politicians or famous people…I bet a few of us could relate to that one…after the political years, we have endured around the world…Mmmmm… Nuff said…

The New Year whether you are out partying or spending a quiet one at home…Like Moi…Then I will leave you with my final cocktail of the year…

The 1953 Atomic Cocktail is the definitive version of this iconic drink. An unknown bartender at the Sky Room, on the third-floor bar at the world-famous Desert Inn, Las Vegas, created it. The Atomic Cocktail arrived before the clouds had even cleared. Before the true extent of the devastation inflicted on Hiroshima was known. It then was renamed the Hiroshima…

This one also reminds me of a Bob Marley and the hangover…lol…It was also where my younger son #2 lost some of his eyebrows…That is another story…For another day…x

Ahhh…Jamaica what memories….xx

Here in Thailand although New Year is celebrated the Thai New Year is the Songkram Festival in April…

Fireworks…Is how most of us see in the New Year…This is my thought for 2020…

It may be in our own homes or at an organised display and of course all the major cities around the world vie with each other to see who has the most impressive display…I wonder how many of those will be Climate-friendly or will no such thoughts be applied? Fireworks originated in China and now they have launched a light show with drones as an alternative…

I mean do we really need the bangs? It scares the animals for one…I think we should be writing to our councillors and MP’S….Just saying…Do eco-friendly fireworks exist? Indeed they do…

Lastly but certainly not least...Some thanks …Many thanks go to Sally as she has let me indulge my passion for cookery in my Cookery Column over at Smorgasbord Magazine also for letting me join her in our joint venture to promote health by knowing what foods address any deficiencies in our diets…Sally is a Health Professional…I provide recipes which contain fruits or vegetables which can aid our good health and any deficiences…Thank you, Sally… xxx

Thanks also go to Esme where I have been writing about the Culinary Alphabet ( A-Z) for the last 2 years…Thank you, Esme …xxx

Special thanks go to you my readers for your constant support and comments…Which I love…I have had the pleasure to meet so many wonderful people over the last few years…A variety of blogs which cover many subjects…Some of which I have learnt much particularly about bravery,  fortitude, music, books, writing, gardening and also the unflinching will to live…I have been in tears and awe at times…

When I started my blogging journey I just didn’t know…I found a wonderful community of such strong, kindhearted souls…You all rock…Thank you …I love you all xxx

 

 

 

 

 

The Culinary Alphabet…The letter W…

It is that time of the month when I am over at Esme’s Salon...This month I am exploring ingredients beginning with the letter W…

The Culinary Alphabet ...The Letter W (1)

Can you believe it, we are getting close to the end of this culinary series.

Welcome to this month’s edition where I am exploring some culinary delights beginning with the letter W…

Walnuts

Classed as one of the world’s healthiest foods the Walnut originated in the Mediterranean region and Central Asia and has been part of the human diet for thousands of years. These nuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods.

Walnut-shell

Walnut showing kernel.

If you’re looking for a snack food that lowers your cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! Ha Ha… In a study published by The Medical Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that people who munched their way through 1.5 oz of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%.

Wasabi

Wasabi aka Japanese Horseradish is so rare that the wasabi you eat with your sushi probably only contains about 5% wasabi. Wasabi is harvested by hand and takes about 18 months…That surprised me…Does it surprise you? It is hard to grow and takes time…Which in turn pushes up the cost to the consumer…

Photo credit: randomwire on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

 

Water Bath

Quite simply a water bath is simply a pan of hot water placed in the oven, this method has two benefits when baking. First, a water bath adds moisture to the oven and this is important for baking foods like cheesecakes, which tend to crack from the heat of the oven, or custards which can become rubbery without moist heat.

Water Chestnuts

Wandering around a food market in Wanon, Northern Thailand…and losing myself among the sights and smells of beautiful tempting Thai food. I spied a few fruits and vegetables which were unknown to me and this one. Although once I knew what it was then I recognised the taste ….without knowing the name I was puzzled I sort of knew the taste but didn’t connect the dots…lol

We were talking and looking for these a few weeks ago when were thinking about what to cook for dinner and reminiscing about the Chinese food we remembered having years ago with these crunchy water chestnuts in..you never got many just a few slices… I was then looking in the shops at imported goods to see if I could them and no luck…Then there they were the other day right under my nose and fresh ones….strange world… When your thoughts take you unexpectedly to what you were looking for.

Usually available in specialty groceries or supermarkets, they should be washed thoroughly and peeled with a sharp knife, especially if to be eaten raw. At this point, adding a few drops of lemon juice keeps them from turning brown when steamed or sautéed.

To read the original post…Click Here

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

The Culinary Alphabet…The letter V…

Welcome to this month’s edition of the Culinary Alphabet…Where I am exploring some culinary delights beginning with the letter V…I can be found over @Esme’s Salon every month…Next month it will be W…

Unusual for me as I am a savory girl and not a sweet girl…I am starting with a dessert…

Vacherin

Well, it could be one of two things they are both spelled the same…

Photo credit: eltham_mob on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Swiss people call this soft, washed-rind cheese  Vacherin du Mont d’Or, in France, it is called Vacherin du Haut Doubs (or just Vacherin in local shops).

Vacherin is made from pasteurized cow’s milk, which offers a full-flavored and slightly acidic taste. The cheese becomes almost liquid after maturation. It has a greyish-yellow blanched rind which has to be removed before eating it. This rare and luxury cheese is eaten like a Fondue. Vacherin is produced only from 15th August to 31st March. The cheese tastes delicious with wines such as Beaujolais Nouveau, Côtes du Jura, and Champagne. It comes in various shapes enclosed with a strip of spruce bark.

Photo credit: distopiandreamgirl on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

OR…It is a sweet yet simple, French dessert of vacherin, which is made by layering meringue discs and ice cream. A very pretty dessert.

Vanilla Sugar

Dried vanilla pods are long and black encasing hundreds of tiny black seeds expensive but so worth it…Just make sure what you are buying as there are many inferior products on the market. Vanilla sugar is when  If the vanilla bean is whole, slice down the side of bean with back of a knife and scrape seeds into an airtight container with the sugar. Bury bean in sugar and seal tightly with a lid. Let sit for 1 to 2 weeks. Use as regular, granulated sugar…

vanilla-pods-sugar

Veal

The meat I have never knowingly eaten or will but one which is quite popular.  Veal comes from young bovine animals aged 6 to 7 months. When the calf reaches the age of one year they are called a cow/bovine animal. The veal is then called beef. The color of the meat has become darker and the structure and taste have also changed.

My grandad was a farmer and kept cows all his life…He never ate veal and it is through his teaching about the cruelty that I never have. Along with foie gras and shark fins, veal has a bad reputation because of the extreme confinement and cruelty involved in the way veal calves are raised on factory farms.

The Culinary Alphabet ...The Letter V

To read more please click the link…

Thank you for reading I hope you have enjoyed this post…We are nearing the end of the alphabet now next month it will be  W…

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

Retired No One Told Me!

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 having a productive week xx

If you’re new to my blog and missed any of the previous Letters in the Culinary Alphabet, we got you covered, as you can always read them all.