Category Archives: Uncatagorised

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.


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.


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.


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 …













Wat Pa Phu Kon, Issan, Northern Thailand

Standing proud on top of a hill in 400 acres of lush green fields and forests  surrounded by other hills  is this beautiful little known temple, unless you have a Thai connection or live in Issan many people are not aware that it even exists. It has a stunning aqua blue roof and literally sparkles in the sunlight and the blue of the roof reflect of the blue sky so there this is shimmering bright blue aura around the temple, it is sight to behold.

It is very popular with Thais and we arrived on one of the busiest of days a holy Buddha day luckily we had left early but even so the queue for the trucks to take us to the top of the hill was fairly long but we were shaded by the trees which surround this lovely temple.

You can drive to the top of the hill but on busy days like this they have trucks to ferry you upwards as the car park at the top is very small for the amount of cars there would be.

The dress code is very strict here. No sleeveless t/shirts or blouses, No shorts or skirts above the knee. Thai style skirts or trousers will be lent to you in the event your dress is unsuitable.

It is quite a new temple and very clean and bright it has spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and although very busy on this holy Buddha day has an aura of peace and calm.

Nga snakes guard the entrance to the main temple and inside is a stunning white marble reclining Buddha which is made out of 43 blocks of exquisite Italian Carrara marble each weighing 15-30 tons each block. The cost of building this  was in excess of 50 million baht and was a generous donation by an elderly Thai lady in honour of the king.This temple also houses  lots of carvings and numerous other Buddha images in gold and marble. The wall painting show a story of ten reincarnations of Buddha. It is beautiful to see.

We were met with the sight of many people holding prayer mats and walking and praying as they circled the reclining Buddha, it is lovely to see people laying bare their faith and love for Buddha it is something which always humbles me here wherever people feel the need to pray  they do…..

If you live in Issan or ever travel to here it is a beautiful temple and worth the visit.The isolation and peaceful natural environment makes this an ideal place for meditation so if you crave solitude and tranquility then this is the place for you.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour around this lovely temple.

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot and if you want to share this post with your friends I would be honoured.

Willie Wonka…

GENE Wilder

The man who enthralled millions of children and adults has  sadly passed away aged 83.

One of our families favorite films and in fact it was only a few weeks ago that we watched it AGAIN for the zillionth time.

And not for the last. time..I couldn’t count how many times we watched it and even the luscious Johnny Depp was never Willy Wonka in our eyes there is only one Willy Wonka and that was Gene Wilder.

So rest in peace Mr. Gene Wilder because you sure must have had a golden ticket to get upstairs to see the big man.

Gene Wilder    11-06 1933 to 29-08-2016      You will live on forever in lots of children’s hearts and their childrens, childrens hearts.



A-Z Challenge “D”(People Edition) 4th Post.

Oh dear…

I spent a good part of yesterday stalking blogs and lo and behold without trying today this lovely lady appeared

This blog is a dream not only does it have delicious  recipes that are Indian spicy and is ad FREE. It is a mixture of travel, food and some amazing art.

Divya is  an artist, teacher and  blogger who at one time had three separate blogs and has now merged them into one. Her photographs are amazing and complement this lovely blog.

Divya is an amateur baker and cake decorator . She experiments as well as  using treasured family recipes from the  South India of her childhood. Her recipes are all vegetarian and egg free unless Divya states in the recipe.

Her blog …A love story of New York… is beautifully written, you must visit this lovely blog to appreciate the work of Divya…..her artistry is also beautiful and I love her table. Lovingly hand painted…

Divya Isn’t it beautiful?


so pop along and explore  you will not be disappointed 🙂


While I have been researching blogs my two biggest bugbears have been ads, comments(grrrr) and Gravatar…yes folks it’s that word again! Boy is this list growing… it could be a seperate blog soon….No!

And ” Just Saying” my baby Luffa is doing great…. still growing at an amazing pace 😉

Thank you Divya for agreeing to help me with my blog challenge…..I hope people enjoy your blog as much as I do 🙂

Oh and nearly forget to mention Gary who is the cause of my headaches…lol..but love the challenge

Phew this like doing an Oscar speech…   😉



26 Week Letter Challenge “N”

It’s that time again just seen the lovely Lori’s ” N’ to view hers please click

What have I got for ” N” am away to peruse my photos…back soon 😉

Nest” The baby birds nesting outside my lounge window. Mouths wide open calling mama bird….

nesting birds

Nam Doc Nua (Thai Beef Salad)

For the recipe click here




This is one of my favorite Thai dishes…yellow curry with soft noodles and topped with crispy noodles and plenty of chilli….It’s a hot one!


Well I hope you have enjoyed my ” N ” as much as I have trawling through my photo until next time when it’s ” O ”





Who me ? Please Click Here. to see who Steph has invited? The one and only Barbara Streisand…I remember seeing Funny Girl, one of the first films I was allowed to go to on my own with friends….

Who would I bring? Well it has to be the one and only Sir Rod Stewart.


I hope you can make a good Mojito….. Steph?mojito-794856_960_720.plenty of mint…we’ll be there in 5 😉

Looking forward to partying!


Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 29 – Open

I love these challenges and love your picture Hugh..trains have always fascinated me and I have found a train near my new house so am planning a trip..a Thai train and definitely not new but a great way to see the countryside methinks…..Tc check out Hugh’s train picture Please Click Here.


Diving in head first!


Open Arms…..this is very special to me my friend bought it for me years ago and depicts me perfectly( in her eyes) ” The dancing Diva” and a cow to boot..ha ha…..I talk to her everyday ( she stands on my desk) and I know she is looking down on me and causing a riot up there…God Bless you Jillie miss you every day 🙂

The End!