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Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome to my world and whimsical Wednesdays…

The battle of the Christmas ads has started…and every year they seem to get better and better…I use u tube a lot and based on U tube views….Mogs Christmas is tops…I wonder if any of this year’s ads will knock it off its top spot…? That little dragon is cute…

I love this because of the safety aspect…dodgy Christmas lights, it promotes reading and that is always a good thing and mainly…Kindness…

We should remember those less fortunate than ourselves at Christmas …BUT …That old saying of Christmas comes but once a year is also true …What about the other 364 days?

Please be kind and take it a step further…Social media is wonderful but it can also be so very cruel…Please think before you comment and before you share…Or better still do what I did the other day…

More and more I am seeing cruel, nasty comments on FB…There are many things we see which we may like, we may agree with, it may not be our opinion BUT we live in a democracy and I was brought up to keep it buttoned if I didn’t have something nice to say…Above all if you do have something to say don’t make it personal especially in these upcoming elections…I also see it on celebrity pages people get personal to me that is not on …Have your say everyone has a right to have a say whether we agree or not…Be nice and don’t get personal…

If we all did that the trolls couldn’t and wouldn’t prosper...Nuff said…

Did you know? The first artificial Christmas tree was made of goose feathers…Originating in Germany over 100 years ago and was meant to replicate the snow-covered fir trees in the forests…Now they come in all shapes, sizes, and mediums, we have leaves and glitter and so many colours…Nothing beats a real tree though especially if you can dog it up and replant it again my dad used to do that and they were pretty resilient they came up bigger and better the next year…He did that until they got too big and then started again.

I even love just a twig or a branch decorated quite simply they look stunning and with all this wind and rain I am sure on your travels you might see a small branch which has broken off which would be ideal…

When my children little we used to make our own chocolate decorations it was good fun…This video shows you how to make chocolate Christmas trees, simple and easy to do and they look lovely…

 

Time for some music…

I am taking a trip down memory lane here…I remember quite clearly singing along with What do you want to make those eyes at me for…Moon River…Return Sender…I love me a bit of Elvis…

1959 WHAT DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THOSE EYES AT ME FOR? EMILE FORD & THE CHECKMATES
1960 I LOVE YOU CLIFF RICHARD & THE SHADOWS
1961 MOON RIVER DANNY WILLIAMS
1962 RETURN TO SENDER ELVIS PRESLEY
1963 I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND THE BEATLES
1964 I FEEL FINE THE BEATLES
1965 DAY TRIPPER/WE CAN WORK IT OUT THE BEATLES

Each week until Christmas I will pick my favourite. from the chart I publish..The Beatles are in town three years on the trot…on this chart…Out of all these my favourite? It has to be Moon River followed by Elvis…I liked the Beatles but I wasn’t an out and out fan…there were no, out and out Christmas tunes in the early ’60s or if there were any they didn’t top the charts…

Time for a story…

The Charade

 Chapter 12

 by SC Richmond

 

download-3the-charade

Carl hurried towards her and swept her into his arms.

   “You look lovely, so beautiful, that dress, is it one of George’s grandson’s designs?”

   She wriggled free, blushing “Yes” she stammered. She was about to tell Carl about her wonderful discovery but something stopped her. Something wasn’t right… Carl sounded strange, something was up. He always seemed to appear, no matter where she was, she was beginning to feel as if he was watching and waiting for her. It was beginning to make her feel uneasy.

“What time shall I pick you up tonight Cinders?

He laughed at his own joke. The girl was no longer excited about going but knew she had to make the effort.

‘Is seven ok?”

   Carl nodded and smiled “seven it is.”

   The girl wandered home her thoughts all in a whirl… who was he? She also decided that she would visit the shop in the morning to collect her clothes and see if she could persuade George to tell her more,,, What was he afraid of?

   The night passed in a whirl. Carl was very thoughtful and attentive, she had so many thoughts going round and round in her head that she really didn’t notice. Maybe she would find her parents. At last, she felt there was some hope. Something she hadn’t felt before.

Carl had noticed a change in her, she was preoccupied and no longer hanging on to his every word. He also noticed the admiring glances she was getting from other men and he didn’t like it one bit.

   Home, at last, she kicked of her shoes and slipped out of her dress. She hung it on a hook on the outside of the wardrobe door. She fell asleep dreaming about her dress and the young man who made it and also about what an adventure she had today and tomorrow she may find out a bit more about her mother.

For the first time in a long time, she slept like a baby, a small smile playing on her lips she dreamed about what she may find out and tonight those nightmares didn’t appear.

   The day dawned and she was up and dressed in no time at all. She left the flat and almost skipped to the shop she was so happy. Rounding the corner she noticed that all the shutters were still down. As she drew closer she could see a bag propped against the door. It was her clothes.

There was also a note from George telling her how beautiful she had looked in the dress and how like her mother she was but also mentioning that due to a family crisis the shop would be closed for a while. It was almost as if he was saying goodbye to her. She stood and burst into tears.

  Out of sight across the road, stood Carl… watching.

 

Tommy Steele...I can still see those twinkling eyes…He was Britains 1st rock n Roll star discovered in a coffee bar in Central London way back in the early 195o’s…

Tommy Steele was also a guest on the Six-Five Special does anyone remember that show which was presented by Pete Murray? Petula Clarke my dad liked her…Lonnie Donegan all the stars I was brought up listening to…

Like a smile kindness is infectious…xxx

A recipe… I can’t go without leaving you a recipe can I?

Music and food are an integral part of who I am…

A Christmas Starter…Beetroot Tartare…

Beetroot tartare with capers

Note my Christmas plate the tartare hides the father Christmas…The recipe can be found here …xx

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!

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food Column with Carol Taylor – #Thanksgiving/#Christmas Traditional Menu

I am rather proud of this menu as it was the first time I put anything like this in print…The beetroot tartare I will be making again as we loved it…I hope you enjoy reading it and find something that you love as well…Thank you, Sally, for reposting this menu…Hugs xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I little bit earlier than last year, but with Thanksgiving not until 28th of November, I thought those of you having Turkey for that celebration might enjoy some of the dishes Carol Taylorcreated for this menu.

Traditional Christmas Menu (and some ideas for Thanksgiving)

This menu is a mix of the traditional with a couple of other dishes thrown in…I always like to make at least one new dish every Christmas some I never make again as they were ok..Just not that memorable…You know what I mean don’t you…

Prawn Cocktail

As far back as I can remember Prawn Cocktail has been a must-have for our Christmas starter…..One year I fancied a change and we had a fantastic fresh seafood platter with Oysters, Langoustines everything you could think of and some Thai dips made by the daughter in Law…The only way to eat Oysters. But we also had to…

View original post 3,391 more words

Mistletoe and Wine, Christmas Cheer…

In the run-up to Christmas, you will find everything here from recipes to trivia and traditions…I would also ask that when you are shopping for presents, food, and decorations that you think about its origin and how it was produced…carbon footprint, child labour…Please think about can the packaging be recycled or reused…Do you really need it? Every little helps…x

Just a reminder…  the 24th of November…Stirup Sunday‘, so put on your apron, gather your ingredients, gather family or friends to make a Christmas pudding. It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so get stirring!

Christmas Cake…

Have you made yours yet? There are so many variations to the recipes for Christmas Cake some people like me like a rich fruit cake others like a lighter fruit cake …If you have a favourite tried and tested recipe then please share it here…Ally has made her Christmas cakes and very tasty they look ..she adds ginger ale to her recipe check it out here…

Christmas Cake …Bake and Mature

I love a rich fruit cake and it lasts as long as you want it too some people love the traditional Christmas or now some make a square cake and cut it into slices it is just preference and of course once it is made I always just sprinkle a little brandy, whisky, rum or sherry over the cake every couple of weeks an age-old tradition in our house and I am sure many others.

Ingredients:

• 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
• zest and juice 1 orange
• zest and juice 1 lemon
• 150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
• 250g pack butter softened
• 200g light soft brown sugar
• 175g plain flour
• 100g ground almond
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp mixed spice
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp ground cloves
• 100g flaked almond
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Let’s Cook!

Put 1kg mixed dried fruit, the zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon, 150ml brandy or other alcohol, 250g softened butter and 200g light, soft brown sugar in a large pan set over medium heat.

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.

Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.

Add 175g plain flour, 100g ground almonds, ½ tsp baking powder, 2 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, 100g flaked almonds, 4 large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.

Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.

Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.

To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it.

Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

That’s the cake and pudding recipes sorted but don’t forget your pickles ...Homemade pickles are so much nicer and cheaper to make …We love pickles and I pickle so much more than I have ever done…

For the next few weeks, I will share my pickle recipes…. let’s get pickled…

https://carolcooks2.com/2017/07/26/healthy-eating-just-pickled/

Who loves Christmas Kitsch? My Christmas kitsch has travelled the world with me and on the 1st Dec, it will all come out of its wrappings, mugs, teapot, t/towels and towels, plates and dishes…I love my Christmas crockery…

I also love those quirky Christmas toys that as you move past it goes Ho Ho Ho…Merry Christmas and then plays its tune…Yes, it is Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas in this house and it will never ever be any different….Others can call it what they like…Me….I stick with tradition…

Back on the subject of my quirky Christmas toys…we have some grinches here who remove the batteries…How mean is that???

Bah Humbug I say…So for all you grinches…

Smile and be kind…

Christmas lights…I love small twinkly Christmas lights….Do you have a few tasteful, pretty displays or do you go the whole hog??? If you do then please share…I love Christmas lights and did you know who made the first Christmas lights? Thomas Eddison of course…He draped the first set of Christmas lights around his Menlo Park Laboratory but wasn’t until nearly 40 years later that Christmas lights became a tradition…

If you love Coldplay you may like their take on Christmas Lights…A tune…

Only a few weeks now to Thanksgiving…I am looking forward to seeing a few new recipes that I haven’t tried before…as a cook, I am always looking for new recipes…

happy-thanksgiving-4567939_640

I would like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and to ask if you would please share your recipes with us here…x If you are looking for recipes then pop over to Sally’s tomorrow where I will be there with Sally where we will share some of our Thanksgiving recipes.

That’s all for today …I hope you have enjoyed this post see you next Tuesday…x

P.P.S…There will be a Christmas jumper corner…I just need to see yours???? So come on don’t be shy…Share…x

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…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

 

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 that 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

Recycling and Climate change…The Good …No!… the Great News…

Yes, you read it right it is not the good BUT the great news today…

If England had a Prime Minister like Jacinda Arden ( New Zealand) I would happily use my proxy vote and vote for her…To me, she is what a prime minister should be…Jacinda Ardern’s landmark climate legislation has passed in New Zealand parliament, with historic cross-party support, 

A heart map held by a hand

It is those words cross-party support…which gladden my heart …Politicians everywhere on important issues should be working together across the parties and we certainly do not see enough of that…

This blog is not political as you know...Jacinda Arden deserved a mention…She was decisive about the TERRIBLE shooting AND guns and plastic got short shift as well…

Germany has unveiled a zero-emissions train…

 

Ikea…To use mushroom packaging…     That Will Decompose in a Garden Within Weeks

 

Although not without its critics...Sweden has a state-of-the-art waste collection system with recycling stations located no more than 300 metres from residential areas. There are also pipelines under roads that vacuum garbage which is sent by households to the stations.

The waste collection system helps to get rid of the smell of rubbish from neighbourhoods thanks to the use of underground deposits, it also means the rubbish does not occupy any space at street level.

It also boasts nearly zero percent of waste…a system so successful it is importing waste.

This is good news...Pilot plant to recover rare earths using Hydrogen…

Global Science Award for Removing microplastics from the sea goes to Irish teenager…

Here’s how he does it…

I love how young people are taking an interest and doing something about the world’s problems…Kudos to them…

All of the garbage trucks in Toronto, Canada will soon be powered by the biogas produced from the very trash they collect.

Toronto is set to be one of the first cities in North America to launch such an initiative, thanks to its newly-constructed Dufferin Solid Waste Management Facility.

Starting in March 2020, the city’s fleet of garbage trucks will collect all of the organic waste and food scraps from the Toronto Green Bins and bring them to the facility for processing.

How encouraging is that?

I love that around the world much is going on to minimise rubbish and clean up the world …I do think we all need to take part though and learn just how and what can be recycled as many things are made from a mixture of various types of plastics which then means they need specialist recycling. I am much more aware when I buy something now as to its composition so that in the event it will need recycling at some stage I know where and how…or even if it can be recycled.

Lots of good news today…Please share your good news stories we would love to hear them…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…We all need to be aware of our own homes carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

 

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

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…Health, Recipes, and plenty of Christmas cheer! …Week ending 17th Nov 2019…

Welcome to this week’s roundup and do I have some goodies for you…Lots of things going on in the world …The election in the UK is gathering momentum…There have been floods and lots of rain around the world, snow so many lovely images which I love seeing from the warm…haha…Loy Krathong is over for this year a lovely Thai Festival one of my favourites… which dates back 6,000 years…It is a beautiful festival I mean water, candles, flowers and beautiful girls however as ancient as it is I am pleased that certain things as in the making of the Krathong are being changed.

This is our little grandaughter with her Krathong made from banana leaves and fresh flowers…Isn’t it pretty?

So without any more ado let’s see what has been going on this week in my blogging world?

Monday… Recycling and environmental News…

Here in Thailand, the government means business and they have said a resounding NO!

In an effort to minimize plastic waste, Thailand will be curbing the use of plastic bags at shopping malls and department stores nationwide, from January of 2020.

This will be the first step for Thailand to eradicate any single-use plastic by 2021.

Photo credit: European Parliament on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Already you can see the signs the bags are disappearing faster than the speed of light here…

Sweden… well my admiration knows no bounds have no recycling waste…More on this tomorrow…It is impressive what they have achieved…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/11/recycling-and-environmental-news-11th-nov-2019time-to-say-no-to-plastic-bags/

Tuesday…Time for mistletoe and wine it’s Christmas time…

I love that song..made famous by Sir. Cliff Richard…

gingerbread-men-3084961_640

For a few weeks, Tuesdays will be devoted to everything Christmas…So please let’s have your recipes, pictures of your decorated houses and porches, gingerbread houses, Christmas jumpers/sweaters, homemade fudge or other sweeties anything Christmassy…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/12/mistletoe-and-wine-christmas-time/

Wednesday…Whimsical Wednesday with Carol…

I was feeling rather lonely last Wednesday…NO COMMENTS…Then the lovely Pete kindly sent me a message …comments were disabled…How, when, where I hadn’t a clue but a Happiness engineer sorted it out for me so please if you wanted to comment and couldn’t it isn’t too late I would love to hear from you…Thank you, Pete, once again…

This is an example of what I really love about the blogging world someone is always ready to help…You all rock xxx

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/13/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-18/

Also on Wednesday this week, I was over at Sally’s…

Where Sally discussed what the mineral Manganese provides and how we can increase manganese in our diets if we need to …The recipes which are tried and tested in my kitchen at home include ingredients which contain manganese…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/13/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-minerals-manganese/

Thursday…Christmas… Mistletoe and Wine and all things good …

The first of my Christmas posts…You can expect tried and tested recipes which were passed down from my mum, recipes I have been gifted by friends and family from all over the world and which are now our family favourites.

Christmas Treats and Traditions 23rd Nov

Traditions there are many Christmas traditions practiced from around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition then you would be very welcome so please share…  I know my friends across the pond and my rellies celebrate Thanksgiving on the 28th of November and have turkey and lots of other goodies …

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/14/christmas-mistletoe-and-wine-and-all-things-good/

Friday…Christmas …In my house…

This week I posted some Christmas cheer and trivia but starting next Friday my sample Christmas menus…I will be featuring more plant-based menus as I know many people are changing and cooking with more vegetables, lentil/beans all of which I love but the menfolk here not so much…so there will also be some recipes with fish or chicken…

victorian-christmas

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/15/christmas-in-my-house-traditions-treats-and-a-touch-of-trivia/

Saturday…There wasn’t a post this week as I was busy cooking and trying out a new ingredient I found called cowslip creeper…It is an edible flower very pretty and it tasted lovely…It grows in South East Asia, China, and India…I will share this recipe next week…

 

Here are just a couple of images to tempt you…I am nice …haha…The farmers market were selling big bags of produce and I brought a lovely big bag of fennel so looking for new recipes using fennel…

If you are experiencing wildfires or flooding then please stay safe…

Thank you for reading have a great weekend 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 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…

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 that 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 are having a relaxing weekend xx

 

Christmas…In my house…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Good afternoon…A lovely afternoon here though the morning was a tad chilly…Picked up some lovely fennel and some beautiful eggplants from the Kings Project Farmers market also some beautiful peppercorns and some other fresh vegetables…Next Friday will be the start of my sample Christmas menus…I will be featuring more plant-based menus as I know many people are changing and cooking with more vegetables, lentil/beans all of which I love but the menfolk here not so much…so there will also be some recipes with fish or chicken…

Today I am reposting a post from last November which I hope you enjoy…x

Christmas stockings gingerbread houses

Welcome to my Christmas edition of goodies…Lots for everyone… 

Traditions…

There are many Christmas traditions practiced around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition would be very welcome to showcase them here  I know my friends across the pond and my relatives celebrate Thanksgiving on the 28th November with  turkey and lots of other goodies … So please share and I will link back to your post…

Christmas if you are like me then I am still thinking I have lots of time but the reality is we don’t as the time just flies past and then, after all, that panic, last-minute shopping, and preparation it will be over!

We are then left wondering why all the panic, last-minute present buying, cleaning, and cooking. Was it worth it?

All the queues for the sales start Boxing Day and a lot of the presents we have lovingly bought and some of you will have scrimped and saved to buy are now being virtually given away….Why do we do it?

Along the way and through the years the true meaning of Christmas has been lost.

I remember getting a sock with a tangerine in the toe, little packets of sweeties, sugar mice a couple of little presents and being so excited. Tangerines were a real treat at Christmas. My dad would come home Christmas Eve with the Turkey or Capon, Fruit and Chocolates… We would be so excited as we only had those goodies at Christmas and would be eagerly awaiting to be asked if we wanted one.

victorian-christmas

The dustman, milkman, and coalman would get their Christmas tip and a mince-pie. Christmas was a special time and now it is so commercialised it has taken away the magic…

I would always get a Rupert the Bear Annual, new slippers, and a dressing gown. But we were happy…what happened…commercialisation happened…are children as happy with what they get now….I don’t think so…certainly not in the western world….and that’s what is highlighted here…I have noticed the difference in what is in the shops and what the children ask for… even my own grandson who was born in the Uk and spent his first 6 years there…….Is happy to just get a new hot wheels car that changes colour and why?  Because his friends don’t have so much…the shops don’t display or have so much and who wants to play inside when you have lovely beaches, lakes, and waterfalls to visit.

Yes, you can get the latest iPhone, etc and the young teenagers probably hanker after one but also just to have a cheap Nokia is ok too.

Christmas Jumper Corner…

Did any of you see the latest in Christmas Jumpers on FB this week…??

It takes Christmas jumpers to a whole new level…Apparently, it is quite easy to make your own from an old jumper… I don’t think I will be wearing one quite like that…Sorry, I didn’t want to copy the picture but it looks like there are plenty of DIY ones on Instagram for those who want to do a search?… Not my taste but then I am not everyone…

ugly-christmas-sweater-3774155_640

But please send in Christmas jumper pics… Let’s have a bit of fun…

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Gingerbread Houses…I have seen pictures of the most elaborate ones and marvel at the talent of some of the bakers …The intricate icing they do is just exquisite…

Me… I am not a baker…Maybe bread, Christmas pies, and puddings… I just don’t have the patience anymore to spend hours… Icing cakes…it’s too hot here…

gingerbread house christmas

These little ones look pretty and I know Lily is after me to make one I think something like this will be my limit…Do you make a gingerbread house every year? If so please share …Any hints and tips will be gratefully received and credited to you…

Where did all of this start?

Well despite the quaint tradition of building festive gingerbread houses, gingerbread was once pretty serious business…….

Spices……. particularly ginger and cinnamon, have preservative properties, and it is thought that gingerbread was first professionally baked in Europe around the 11th century when exotic spices were brought back from the Middle East……..

It is said that Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, introduced gingerbread to France, where highly skilled gingerbread bakers were chosen to form professional gingerbread baker guilds that were highly regarded in the bakery profession.

In certain areas of Europe, only invited members of the gingerbread baker’s guild were permitted to bake and sell gingerbread commercially, with the restrictions only lifted by the Guild at Christmas and Easter – when any old cook or baker could give it a try.

Now, of course, cooks all over the world bake gingerbread at Christmas, some more ambitious than others……….

Did you know?

The largest gingerbread house ever created was made by a group of bakers in Texas, the US – they built a 2,520-square-foot gingerbread house to raise funds for a local hospital, containing over 7,200 eggs, 3,000 kg of flour, and an estimated 35.8 million calories…Wow, some baking… What a marathon.

This gingerbread house recipe won’t bake you a mansion but will show you how to create some pretty gingerbread houses….. So have fun and get making those houses. This recipe is a Paul Hollywood recipe of Great British Bake-off fame so I think it should be pretty good and one I will be trying.

https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/food/recipes/christmas/paul-hollywood-gingerbread-house

Did you know?

Every Christmas elf has a bell on the tip of their shoes…

Did you know?

How  Santa gets back up the chimney??? He touches the side of his nose with his finger, smiles, and nods and in a trice, he is back in his sleigh…Magic 

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Turkey is the traditional meal in our house at Christmas and this year we hope to have one of our own home-raised turkeys… Turkey is lovely low-fat meat which has a lot of health benefits…To learn more about the turkey here is mine and Sally’s post on Turkey and the health benefits plus recipes…Enjoy!

mY BIG BOY TURKEY 21 oct

One of our boys…Happy and carefree… Click the link below for Health tips, recipes and How to Cook that Turkey…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-turkey-if-you-can-catch-it-you-can-eat-it/

Thank you so much for reading Christmas Traditions and Treats I hope you have enjoyed it? xxx

 

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://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 great weekend xx

Christmas… Mistletoe and Wine and all things good …

Good morning and welcome to the first of my Christmas posts…You can expect tried and tested recipes which were passed down from my mum, recipes I have been gifted by friends and family from all over the world and which are now our family favourites.

Traditions there are many Christmas traditions practised from around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition then you would be very welcome so please share…  I know my friends across the pond and my rellies celebrate Thanksgiving on the 28th November and have turkey and lots of other goodies …

I have sampled the smoked turkey my US family make and it is awesome but have never cooked it…The size of their smoker is also awesome…It is painted up and looks like a huge Budweiser can…so cool …

christmas puddings and pies

I have discovered so much about Christmas over the past few years from how many different names Santa is called, the tales of Trolls which come down from the mountains in Iceland, all the different recipes I am gleaning from far and wide..and I love it and this little Christmas Beetle…ooooh so cute!

Some of you who have been a follower for a while may have seen these little fellows before…

 

FORGET FROSTED GRASS and snow-covered windowsills, in Australia it’s the Christmas beetle that heralds the start of the festive season. They are so pretty with their metallic coats.

The metallic scarabs are synonymous with summer Down Under – or at least they used to be.

Research suggests that  Australia’s endemic Christmas beetle (Anoplognathus) population is on the decline.

Entomologist Dr Chris Reid, from the Australian Museum, attributes the drop in sightings to drier than usual spring weather, especially along the coast of New South Wales.

Christmas beetles in the greater Sydney region have also been victims of urban sprawl, with species disappearing from the city’s west due to much of their natural habitat being used for development.

I know people have to live in houses but urban sprawl has a lot to answer for and more care and research should be undertaken before permission to develop has been given or provision should be made to keep wildlife disruption to a minimum…Most cannot readjust.

THE  NATURAL habitat for Christmas beetles is woodland, where there are plenty of trees and rich soil. The larvae develop in the soil, and remain there as curl grubs, feeding on grass and plant roots, as well as the surface roots of eucalypts.

As fully grown adults, they mainly eat eucalyptus leaves but are known to consume the foliage of introduced species, such as the peppercorn tree.

The reason we only see these colourful insects during the festive season has nothing to do with Saint Nick aka Santa and there was you thinking it did…Ha Ha

BUT the end of spring and start of summer is when the larvae hatch out. The adults aren’t active during the winter months; they are larvae only during those months. When the adults are spotted during the Christmas month they’re at the stage of laying eggs.

This time of year is also mating season.

Christmas Beetle. 1

Image by John Vossen from Pixabay

If you are lucky enough to see them during the day on young eucalypts… they’re usually in clusters trying to mate, with the males pushing each other off females.

They are very pretty though and Christmassy …Don’t you think?

The information about the Christmas Beetle came from Australia’s National Geographic Magazine.

Now if you haven’t made your cake and Christmas pudding yet then here is the link for the recipes as you need time to infuse that cake with all that booze…Hic…Don’t forget its stir-up Sunday on the 24th November for your puds so still time to gather those ingredients, your family and friends for a stir, a wish and lots of fun…

Image by pixel1 from Pixabay

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-christmas-cakes-and-puddings/

Cocktail Corner…Ta-Da and it has chocolate ladies…

 

Did you know???

Home Alone is the most popular Christmas movie of all time…

Mistletoe... Is synonymous with the festive celebrations and there is always some at Office Christmas parties…Botanically it is an interesting plant as it is a hemiparasite which means that although it does grow on its own it also does attach itself to other trees and sucks all the nutrients from the tree…

mistletoe-berries-16393_640

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

There are many tales and traditions surrounding mistletoe and although it is poisonous to us it is a source of food to animals and birds…Butterflies lay their eggs on it and bees collect the pollen so an important source for wildlife…

It is also a very striking looking plant with the dark green leaves and white berries don’t you think and looks lovely in Christmas Wreaths.

The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe dates back to Norse mythology it was also thought to have magical powers and ward off evil spirits…

I hope you have enjoyed this post …the first of my Christmas Treats, traditions and recipes…Thank you for reading and I invite your comments…I love your comments and also always reply xxx

P.S

An alternative way to eat Christmas Cake from Sue Vincent and I love it… Definitely the best cheese sandwich for a long time…xxxx

https://scvincent.com/2018/10/22/the-best-cheese-sandwich/

See you later today when it is time for my Culinary tour of the alphabet over @ Esme’s…I can’t believe how time flies I am on the letter V already…so please stick around to see what I have found…xxx Just in case you missed last months…The letter U…

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://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 great weekend 🙂 xx