Category Archives: Uncatagorised

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open…John Barrymore, Author

Now isn’t that just the truth you can just be sitting, watching the world go by and something, anything no matter how small unfolds in front of you and you give an involuntarily smile, it makes you happy… we can all find those little moments on a daily basis and put them all together and looking back we have had a pretty happy day.

Something out of nothing, just a brief moment in time that made you happy, a child’s smile or when they put their little hand in yours, baby birds newly hatched… the wonders of nature, a lovely view or a pretty flower, when your cake rises and your dumplings are fluffy….me…I’m still working on that one!

So many moments in our day too numerous to mention but nevertheless make for a happy day. Sometimes it all gets caught up with our day-to-day chores or work what we think is mundane, boring, same ole, same ole.

That unexpected moment, those precious moments that catch you unawares smile and be happy.

The moral of this story is that happiness can be found in many guises, lots of small bursts of that happy feeling throughout your day however brief, are a bonus.

Happiness means something different to us all, doesn’t it? What gives you that warm, happy feeling Leave a comment and share yours.

See you tomorrow for my A-Z and it the letter I in the middle…Olive…is that Olive Oil Or Popeyes Beau you will have to pop in to find out xxx

,

Age and glasses of wine should never be counted!

 

They most certainly shouldn’t…Today it’s just a tried and tested recipe from me…for Lemon Chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken Breasts( skinless)
  • 2/3 cloves garlic.
  • 1 tbsp capers ( rinsed)
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley.
  • Half lemon sliced.
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice.
  • 1/2 pint chicken stock.
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil.
  • 2 tbsp Butter.
  • Parley for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat,  with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When it starts to sizzle, add  2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil starts to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in the same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock, capers and garlic. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavour. Check for seasoning and add lemon slices and parsley. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5/10 minutes depending on the size of the breasts. Remove chicken to platter.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley and lemon slices if desired…

Serve with Boiled Rice or Potatoes and Vegetables.

Enjoy!

If you like Lemon and Capers then this dish is for you… Pair it with a lovely unoaked creamy Chardonnay or a nice Sauvignon Blanc…and enjoy!

Thank you for popping in see you tomorrow for my A-Z with a difference xx

Thailand…Down on The farm… Snake Gourd,Cassava…

 

Good morning after a week of rain it is now steaming hot…the upside of a tropical climate is everything is lush and green…

Last week I introduced you to a very local Thia potato this week it is one which is more widely grown and well known…Thai potatoes which in Thai are called Man sam Palang but are also known as Cassava, Yuca or Tapioca root. It is widely grown throughout the east and north-east Thailand as cattle food and also for starch and Tapioca flour.

It is a very drought resistant vegetable and there are two main sorts sweet or bitter with a hard brown outer shell and yellow or white flesh. It is the bitter one which contains more of the chemical bound cyanide.The smaller sweet rooted varieties which are used for desserts here in Thailand like the famous Khanom man sam palang where cooking is deemed to be enough to break down the cyanide.

There are a lot of warnings about eating raw roots and how they should be prepared carefully before eating as it can cause death.

Modern thinking is that it is not as dangerous as it was originally thought to be however it is always wise to err on the side of caution.

This root should NOT be eaten raw.

Cooking is said to cause the cells to break down and the cyanide to be broken down which renders it safe to eat.

Thailand is the world’s largest importer of dried Cassava.

Down here on the farm it is grown for animal feed and to make flour. The potato is harvested when it is around 3-4months and the roots 30-45cm, harvested by hand although now some farmers use mechanical means generally the lower part of the stem is raised and the roots pulled from the ground.

It is then cut into approx 15cm pieces and sun-dried for 2 days. As cattle feed, it is high in proteins and contains tannins and is valued as a good source of roughage for cattle food.

The cassava root which is going to be used for next season’s crop is soaked and treated for termites before planting prior to the next wet season.

The remainder of the outer shell from which the flesh is extracted is sometimes used for wood or just burnt as it has no further use. The picture below is the empty root with the flesh extracted.

Other uses for the root  are:

  • To make starch for clothing.
  • To make tapioca, the tapioca beads are balls of Cassava. When fermented it is called garri.
  • Crackers for frying as in a previous post can be made from tapioca flour. Thai pancakes
  • It is used in the making of MSG ..Monosodium glutamate.
  • Boiled as a vegetable it is similar to British potatoes.

Now for a recipe:

 

Khanom man sam palang is a cross between a cake and a dessert and is very popular here in Thailand. It is thick, hearty, smooth and sticky. A steamed tapioca cake.

Ingredients:

  • 2   cups of grated Cassava
  • 6 tbsp of tapioca flour
  • 1 tbsp of mung bean starch
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut.
  • Food colouring

Let’s Cook!

Put all ingredients except salt and shredded coconut in a bowl. Mix well for 5 minutes get your hands in there and work it until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the colour and mix well to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the shredded coconut and salt and mix together. Set to one side.

Put small cups into a steamer and pour some mixture into each cup. Steam for 15 minutes then either stir in the remainder of the shredded coconut or spread over the top of the cake before serving. If you spread it over the top of the cake then it is lovely toasted before spreading it over the cake.

Enjoy!

It was also time to plant some more banana trees as the land has been built up and there are lots of bananas for frying and making Somtam…A Thai salad where banana is used instead of green papaya. These ones are for eating and the trees don’t grow as tall as the other banana trees the bananas are lovely eating ones and a nice sized banana.

Everything in the garden is coming up roses as the saying goes it looks like we will have fruit and vegetables galore.

Some of the fruit and vegetables I am familiar with as you can get them almost everywhere.

Others are very new to me and I am having to do a little research as sometimes there isn’t an English pronunciation for the Thai word.

This one looks quite creepy I was quite expecting to see a snake so I was going along quite gingerly watching where I trod.

Then it was back to the drawing board to find out a little more about this creepy looking gourd…

I was then on the hunt for some baby ones as those big boys are not for cooking…This is what I discovered…A recipe for…

Snake Gourd Riata.

  • 2 cups of natural yoghurt.
  • 2 small snake gourds diced.

The snake gourd has a naturally occurring waxy white surface so rub some salt on the surface before cooking or using to remove.

  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 2tbsp grated fresh coconut
  • 10-15 shallots finely chopped.
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp urad dal powder/paste
  • A handful of coriander leaves chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil as required.

Let’s Cook!

Heat some oil on a medium flame and fry the mustard seeds and urad dal for 20 seconds.

Add green chillies and chopped shallots saute for 2 minutes, add diced snake gourd cook 1-2 minutes and add grated coconut and mix well.

Remove from the heat allow to cool slightly, stir in yoghurt and add salt to taste.

Garnish with coriander and serve.

Here are some more facts about the fascinating Snake gourd.

The snake gourd or Buap nguu, serpent gourd, chichinga or Padwal are some of the other names it is known under.

Native to south-east Asia it is a vine which grows around a tree or trellis and then unfurls its large white frayed flowers. Then fruits which grow straight down towards the ground.

It can grow up to 5 feet in length sometimes a stone is tied to the small gourd to help it grow straight down as it can grow into all sorts of shapes.

Also because of its length, it is used to make the traditional didgeridoo in Australia.

It turns orange when it is fully ripe but this is when it is very bitter so it is usually used in curries and raitas before it ripens fully. When ripened the flesh is sometimes used as a replacement for tomatoes.

The leaves, tendrils and other leafy parts are used as vegetable greens lightly steamed or raw.

It’s strange names and appearance have often caused it to be overlooked for its health benefits. It is proven to be very effective at improving the strength of the body’s immune system, reducing fevers and treating diabetes. Currently there much medical research into other health benefits of the Snake Gourd.

There are so many fruits and vegetables with health benefits which to me is quite amazing…I personally think it should be on the school curriculums and children should be taught about what they are eating and why…maybe that would help curb obesity if kids were more aware. Just my thoughts.

Thank you for reading about my life and discoveries in Thailand I do hope you enjoy it 🙂

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!

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

 

Life on The farm… Thai Potatoes, Rice and Banana leaf wrapped desserts…

Thai potatoes which in Thai are called Man sam Farang but are also known as Cassava, Yuca or Tapioca root. It is widely grown throughout the east and north-east Thailand as cattle food and also for starch and Tapioca flour.

SAM_8849

It is a very drought resistant vegetable and there are two main sorts sweet or bitter with a hard brown outer shell and yellow or white flesh. It is the bitter one which contains more of the chemical bound cyanide.

The smaller sweet rooted varieties which are used for desserts here in Thailand like the famous Khanom man sampalang where cooking is deemed to be enough to break down the cyanide.

There are a lot of warnings about eating raw roots and how they should be prepared carefully before eating as it can cause death.

Modern thinking is that it is not as dangerous as it was originally thought to be however it is always wise to err on the side of caution.

This root should NOT be eaten raw.

Cooking is said to cause the cells to break down and the cyanide to be broken down which renders it safe to eat.

Thailand is the world’s largest importer of dried Cassava.

Down here on the farm it is grown for animal feed and to make flour. The potato is harvested when it is around 3-4months and the roots 30-45cm, harvested by hand although now some farmers use mechanical means generally the lower part of the stem is raised and the roots pulled from the ground.

cassava-285033_1920 root

It is then cut into approx 15cm pieces and sun-dried for 2 days. As cattle feed, it is high in proteins and contains tannins and is valued as a good source of roughage for cattle food.

The cassava root which is going to be used for next season’s crop is soaked and treated for termites before planting prior to the next wet season.

The remainder of the outer shell from which the flesh is extracted is sometimes used for wood or just burnt as it has no further use. The picture below is the empty root with the flesh extracted.

SAM_8852

Other uses for the root  are:

To make starch for clothing.

To make tapioca, the tapioca beads are balls of Cassava. When fermented it is called garri.

Crackers for frying as in a previous post can be made from Tapioca flour. Thai pancakes

It is used in the making of MSG ..Monosodium glutamate.

Boiled as a vegetable it is similar to British potatoes.

Now for a recipe:

dessert-1549271_1920 steamed

Khanom man sampalang is a cross between a cake and a dessert and is very popular here in Thailand. It is thick, hearty, smooth and sticky. A steamed tapioca cake.

You will need:

  • 2   cups of grated Cassava
  • 6 tbsp of tapioca flour
  • 1 tbsp of mung bean starch
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut.
  • Food colouring

Let’s Cook!

 

Put all ingredients except salt and shredded coconut in a bowl. Mix well for 5 minutes get your hands in there and work it until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the colour and mix well to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the shredded coconut and salt and mix together. Set to one side.

Put small cups into a steamer and pour some mixture into each cup. Steam for 15 minutes then either stir in the remainder of the shredded coconut or spread over the top of the cake. before serving. If you spread over the top then it is lovely when toasted before spreading over the top of the cake.

Enjoy!

It was also time to plant some more banana trees bananas we also have trees with bananas for frying and making Somtam…A Thai salad where banana is used instead of green papaya. These ones are for eating and the trees don’t grow as tall as the other banana trees the bananas are lovely eating ones and a nice sized banana.

The rice crop is growing well but it is hard work when it is farmed the traditional way …Weeding has to be done as if you don’t then your crop will not be as bountiful but it is backbreaking we also harvest it the old way and not by machine as again you don’t get as much rice…But it is all done with a smile and it is a real community event…

         Harvest time- Rice- rural Thailand

Sticky rice and banana parcels made by Tik’s mum…we couldn’t get a smile out of her still…But? I was allowed to take photos for my blog…These banana leaf-wrapped parcels are hand made and sold almost everywhere…Always check the filling though as it varies somewhat…

25075402_10155396952754865_661740917_o

Everything is ready to make these lovely sticky rice and banana parcels

Bananas cut into halves, uncooked sticky rice ( Khao niao), sugar pot, banana leaves cut into rectangles and bamboo strips to tie the parcels. These are then cooked in hot water for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

The halved bananas are rolled in the sticky rice..which is uncooked with a little sugar added.

They are then wrapped in the banana leaves and made into a neat little parcel tied together with the bamboo.

The parcels are then stood upright in a pot of hot water and covered with some bamboo and cooked for 2 to 2/12 hours until the rice is cooked.

sticky rice and banana

When ready you have these lovely parcels of sticky rice …These type of sweet snacks are very popular here …

These ones are what we were given yesterday by one of our Thai neighbours…It is one of the things I love about living here as when I go out walking I see chillies, mushrooms, fish or meat drying in the sun…Like these little parcels below the coconut was hand grated from the drupe, the bean curd mixed in a bowl by hand and grandma was sitting in the shade cutting the squares from the banana leaves always a proper family affair…They are then steamed as the ones above were…Such a lovely pace of family life…

The brown you can see through the yellow outer is coconut mixed with tamarind the yellow is a type of bean curd which is slightly chewy…

I do hope that you enjoy my tales of life on the farm and can see how many things are still made and harvested the traditional way…

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot …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 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!

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.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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://carolcooks2.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 creative week ahead xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dogs are not our whole life but they make our life whole… Saangchai and Soi Dogs…

Having just returned from my few days away I am still playing catchup…So I thought as Saangchai missed me I would repost one of his earlier posts which also has a link to Soi Dogs the wonderful organisation where we got Saangchai from…Without them, there would be so many more stray dogs on the streets…I will now hand you over to Saangchai…

Yeah…I get to chat with you…Woof…First time in a while but hopefully my mistress will let me on here much more… For now, this is an earlier one I wrote when I was just a puppy… Now I am grown up I don’t chew any more…and I let her friends in now although I do give them the once over a little warning scowl( growl)…

 

SAM_7055

It just fell apart!

It seems like everything I just “lick” falls apart…….well maybe..just maybe I chew it a little bit……Hey, peeps welcome to my Monday blog… have you noticed that I don’t say ” woof ” so often?

It ‘s because my mistress…. she doesn’t like it and I think I am just going to have to do as I am told.

Her friends came round..again!……..So I barked… well I did growl too……but they came in any way and my mistress she got her…you will do as you are told voice on…and kept saying NO!

What’s a boy to do?  anyway I gave one last  ” woof ” and lay down beside her…but that lady seemed very nice, I slowly crept under the table towards her….she let me lick and smell her hand…she seems ok..maybe next time  I’ll be nice….she smelt of lots of other dogs so maybe she has forever dogs too..she must be ok…..my mistress is pretty cool so if she says it’s ok ….

Yehhhhh little master is here, we have so much fun…he plays and rolls about with me…today he is excited and keeps saying we are going to the beach..what’s the beach?

Anyway off we go in the truck… it wasn’t very far and I wasn’t sick..hehe…he is good fun!

Oh, this is nice and soft and I can dig holes! We run and run and went down to the water it was much bigger than that lake the other day…my mistress splashed me and it was fun…but then those things they call ” waves ” they chased me……I run off…  it scared me!

My little master and my mistress gave me lots of pats and told me it was ok…but..those waves still chased me…

SAM_7095 SAM_7096 SAM_7097 SAM_7098 SAM_7099 SAM_7100But It was fun we played ball and my little master can run really fast… just like me…my mistress wouldn’t let me off the lead…she said maybe next time…she is worried I might run off…but come on…would I?

My mistress has asked me if I can tell you my lovely readers about “Soi  Dogs”..she was watching something yesterday and she kept wiping her eyes ..these humans are silly sometimes ….she cuddled me and was really sad for a little while…

Ok..then I’ll do it……please read this and if you can give one of my furry friends a ” forever home”  like me or just……donate some money…what’s money?  I don’t use that!

BUT ANYWAY….here is the link…. please watch it as I don’t want my mistress to be sad…….and if you help…woof, woof…I won’t bark at you if you come to my home…..DEAL?

dog meat tradehttps://www.soidog.org/

See you soon…Thanks for reading…Saangchai…Woof

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!

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

Down on The farm… Thai Potatoes…

Thai potatoes which in Thai are called Man sam Palang but are also known as Cassava, Yuca or Tapioca root. It is widely grown throughout the east and north-east Thailand as cattle food and also for starch and Tapioca flour.

SAM_8849

It is a very drought resistant vegetable and there are two main sorts sweet or bitter with a hard brown outer shell and yellow or white flesh. It is the bitter one which contains more of the chemical bound cyanide.

The smaller sweet rooted varieties which are used for desserts here in Thailand like the famous Khanom man sampalang where cooking is deemed to be enough to break down the cyanide.

There are a lot of warnings about eating raw roots and how they should be prepared carefully before eating as it can cause death.

Modern thinking is that it is not as dangerous as it was originally thought to be however it is always wise to err on the side of caution.

This root should NOT be eaten raw.

Cooking is said to cause the cells to break down and the cyanide to be broken down which renders it safe to eat.

Thailand is the world’s largest importer of dried Cassava.

Down here on the farm it is grown for animal feed and to make flour. The potato is harvested when it is around 3-4months and the roots 30-45cm, harvested by hand although now some farmers use mechanical means generally the lower part of the stem is raised and the roots pulled from the ground.

cassava-285033_1920 root

It is then cut into approx 15cm pieces and sun-dried for 2 days. As cattle feed, it is high in proteins and contains tannins and is valued as a good source of roughage for cattle food.

The cassava root which is going to be used for next season’s crop is soaked and treated for termites before planting prior to the next wet season.

The remainder of the outer shell from which the flesh is extracted is sometimes used for wood or just burnt as it has no further use. The picture below is the empty root with the flesh extracted.

SAM_8852

Other uses for the root  are:

To make starch for clothing.

To make tapioca, the tapioca beads are balls of Cassava. When fermented it is called garri.

Crackers for frying as in a previous post can be made from Tapioca flour. Thai pancakes

It is used in the making of MSG ..Monosodium glutamate.

Boiled as a vegetable it is similar to British potatoes.

Now for a recipe:

dessert-1549271_1920 steamed

Khanom man sampalang is a cross between a cake and a dessert and is very popular here in Thailand. It is thick, hearty, smooth and sticky. A steamed tapioca cake.

You will need:

2   cups of grated Cassava

6 tbsp of tapioca flour

1 tbsp of mung bean starch

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1 cup of shredded coconut.

Food colouring

Let’s Cook!

 

Put all ingredients except salt and shredded coconut in a bowl. Mix well for 5 minutes get your hands in there and work it until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the colour and mix well to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the shredded coconut and salt and mix together. Set to one side.

Put small cups into a steamer and pour some mixture into each cup. Steam for 15 minutes then either stir in the remainder of the shredded coconut or spread over the top of the cake. before serving. If you spread over the top then it is lovely toasted before spreading over the top of the cake.

Enjoy!

It was also time to plant some more banana trees as the land has been built up and there are lots of bananas for frying and making Somtam…A Thai salad where banana is used instead of green papaya. These ones are for eating and the trees don’t grow as tall as the other banana trees the bananas are lovely eating ones and a nice sized banana. The rice has just been planted also and it is fingers crossed that this last downpour didn’t wash all the rice away…Time will tell.

I hope that you enjoyed this trip down on the farm. Some more posts on life in rural Thailand can be found on my Niume posts.

I do hope that you enjoy my tales of life on the farm. This week’s post was going to be about our new baby turkeys which we went to collect on Saturday. Unfortunately, there was very high winds and very heavy torrential rains during this last week and the chicks got too cold and died. I was so sad as we were looking forward to getting them and settling them into their new home. The plus side was we got to see the baby calves one which had only just been born which will be our next acquisition. He was so very cute and beautiful.

 

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot …