Tag Archives: blogging

Christmas Recipes… Gravy

 

Wow, the days are just flying by now…1st December already…. and before we know it there it was GONE! and we are bringing in a New Year.

Today I am going to give some recipes for gravy which can be made 2-3 days in advance or frozen. I am all for advance planning for Christmas and gravy freezes well…

Firstly this is my easy to make tasty turkey gravy and we need a lovely tasty gravy to go with our Christmas dinner…Don’t we?

sunday roast

Turkey Gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg chicken wings halved with kitchen scissors
  • the turkey neck, if you have it, cut into pieces
  • 3 large carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 2 onions, unpeeled and chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • small handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp  Coconut oil
  • 2 tsp golden castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5-litre fresh vegetable stock

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oven to 220C/390F/gas 7.

Tip the chicken wings into a roomy roasting tin with the turkey neck (if using), carrots, onions, celery and thyme. Scatter over the sugar, toss in the oil and roast for 50 mins until brown and lightly charred.

Put the roasting tin on low heat, stir in the tomato purée and flour, and cook until sticky. Splash in the balsamic vinegar, pour over 1.5 litres of stock to just cover all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer. then using a potato masher to mash all the ingredients together so as to release the flavour.

Simmer everything for 20 mins until you have a tasty thickened gravy, then strain it through a sieve, pushing down hard on all the mushy veg. Cool and chill for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Heat the gravy to serve, adding roasting juices from your turkey, if you like.

Serves 8.

Prosecco and Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 500 gm chicken wings, chopped into pieces (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • Turkey backbone and neck, hacked into pieces
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Carrots, cut into small chunks
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into small chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small bunch Fresh Thyme
  • 30 gm dried porcini
  • pinch of golden castor sugar
  • 100 gm plain flour
  • 250 ml Prosecco, plus a splash (optional)
  • 2-litre chicken stock (preferably fresh)
  • A squeeze of lemon

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a large shallow saucepan or flameproof casserole dish. When it’s shimmering, add the wings and the turkey pieces, and spend a good 20 mins browning them well in the oil – sticky bits of meat in the pan will add flavour.

Tip in the vegetables, herbs and porcini, scatter over the sugar and stir everything in. Turn down the heat and brown the vegetables for another 10 mins. Stir in the flour, then pour in the Prosecco and simmer down to a paste.

Stir in the stock and bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir. Skim any scum off with a ladle and simmer steadily for 30 mins until thickened and reduced by about a third. Season to taste with salt and stir in a squeeze of lemon. Leave to cool slightly, then strain through a sieve into a container and chill. Can be made three days ahead, or frozen for up to three months.

On the day, simply reheat or pour into the turkey roasting tin and reheat with the roasting juices.

If not serving to children, finish with a splash more Prosecco just before serving, if you like.

Lastly, I have a nice red wine vegetarian gravy. if the onions are nicely caramelised then you get a great flavoured gravy…

Red wine vegetarian gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Brown Onions
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 200 ml Red Wine
  • 200 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp  Flour
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 sprig thyme

Let’s Cook!

Peel the onions and cut them in half. Lay each half with the flat side down and slice so you have semi-circle shaped pieces.

Head 1 tbsp Olive Oil over medium heat in a frying pan and add the onions. Saute for 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften and become translucent.

Then reduce the heat to low and add the balsamic vinegar. Spread the onions into a flat layer and let cook for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Once done, the onions should be a deep golden brown.

Turn the heat back up to medium and add the red wine, let it reduce for 2-3 minutes before adding the vegetable stock and thyme. Let everything simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix the flour with the water to make a paste, then add to the gravy. Stir the gravy constantly until it’s nice and thick and can coat the back of a spoon. Remove the thyme sprig and season with salt and pepper.

Sometimes I use this gravy as it is which still has visible pieces of onion or I push it through a sieve if I want a smoother gravy.

All of these recipes can be made in advance or frozen…Which again eases that Christmas day stress… And I am all for that a nice leisurely lunch enjoyed by all including the cook…

Until tomorrow when it’s my alphabet with a twist at the end…Culinary delights and tips ending with the letter L  x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Mousse Day…Yet another one!

 

 

Are we talking chocolate mousse?… Because whenever mousse is mentioned I never think of the lovely savoury mousses my thoughts always turn to…Chocolate mousse…

It could be milk chocolate, dark, chocolate, white chocolate or a combination of all 3…It could be mint chocolate…It could be just 2 ingredients or you could go the whole caboodle and make the most decadent mouse containing whipped egg whites, whipped cream, or both, and flavoured with one or more of types of chocolate, coffee, caramel, puréed fruits, or various herbs and spices, such as mint or vanilla and not forgetting even chilli… I mean chilli and chocolate…heavenly…

chocolate-mousse-2003019_640

The combinations are endless…I am not in favour of using uncooked eggs …I have tried chocolate mousse with avocado..once was enough and never to be repeated…If I want chocolate mousse I will stick with Nigella I mean she loves to cook and eat with no thought to anything especially calories…

Serves: 4-6

  • 150 grams mini marshmallows
  • 50 grams of soft butter
  • 250 grams good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) chopped into small pieces
  • 60ml hot water (from a recently boiled kettle)
  • 284ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate, and water in a heavy-based saucepan.

Put the saucepan on the hob, over low heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, mixture.

Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about 175ml / ¾ cup each in capacity, or 6 smaller (125ml / ½ cup) ones, and chill until you want to eat.

Enjoy!

That’s it for National Mouse Day…I will now share my thoughts…

It seems that when you do a search that somewhere in the world there is a day for every day of the year and sometimes more than one... There is even an odd sock day…

Now I and many others know that socks disappear down a black hole and we all have odd socks tucked away somewhere…But …the list of ‘HOLIDAYS” may be amusing…BUT who decides these days? how many advertising pounds/dollars/baht/yen went into securing each place at a national table?

Take National Dip and Chip Day couldn’t that money ALL those dollars or pounds be better spent into improving school lunches?

National Fish & Chips Day…I love and miss good old British Fish & Chips a glorious thing especially eaten out of the paper on the seafront on a sunny day…However would we not be much better off enforcing the Clean Water Act so we can eat our fish safe in the knowledge that they have unpolluted water to swim and feed in? Just saying!

Just a suggestion but I think that National Food Days should show a genuine civic engagement instead of greedy corporate interests.

I also think that we should reflect on our actions…we have had all year to see the effects of this virus…it has affected so many areas of our lives…it also continues nearly one year on to do so…

Food for thought as we go into Advent and prepare for Christmas and New Year festivities…muted they may be and I am horrified at everyone who is pressuring their governments to ease up on restrictions so they can enjoy YET another Christmas…in the great scheme of things does a muted Christmas safely spent matter?

To those of you who are doing that and celebrating regardless…I hope you don’t pay the price of it being your last one if you or your family contract Covid-19 and don’t live to see another Christmas…

Because be sure that your actions may cause another rise after the festivities …I couldn’t live with that…Could you?

Thank you for reading …Have a brilliant week as we embark on the festive season and please stay safe and feel free to leave a comment I love to chat…x

Until tomorrow when the Christmas run up starts in earnest…xx

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…22nd November-28th November…Recipes, Health, Whimsy and Christmas …

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week… whatever your time zone grab a coffee or a glass of wine…Take a pew, get comfy… have a read…X

My week started with Mistletoe and Wine…Christmas Chutneys.

We love chutneys and relishes they just add that extra zing to a meal or a snack and of course, it uses up fruit or vegetables where you have a glut of them and means that you can enjoy them year-round.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/11/24/mistletoe-and-winechristmas-chutneys-2020/

Wednesday saw me over at Sally’s again for what is nearly the last in the current series of my A-Z of food as I have toured through the culinary alphabet it is the letter W and then it will be finito as the last one will be XYZ combined…

But you don’t get rid of me quite so easily as I will back in January with a new column…x How exciting is that?

In the meantime head over to Smorgasbord to enjoy the updated letter W say hello to us we both love to hear from you in comments it truly makes our day…x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/11/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-w-for-wakame-wasabi-walnuts-watercress-and-wax-beans/

Thursday was National Cake Day…

Who doesn’t love a slice of cake be a rich fruit cake, carrot cake, a coffee cake so many cakes…Of course, I didn’t leave the recipes for all those cakes but I did leave you a rich fruitcake recipe as it is that time of year. I will be kind though this week as I know many of you don’t like rich fruit cake not mentioning any names, Debs and Pete… I will post some lighter cakes maybe a light fruit cake, a carrot cake or a nice orange or lemon cake…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/11/26/national-cake-day/

Fruity Friday’s…The Sorb Fruit.

I try to keep to seasonable fruits as they are so much nicer and of course it helps with our carbon footprint the lovely autumnal astringent  Sorb Fruit comes from a species of the Rowan Tree and is known as a service fruit.

From my research, I gathered that this tree often grows wild and most recipes are found under wild cooking and foraging however it is used by a German cider-making company it is usually mixed with apples because of its high tannin content…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/11/27/fruity-friday-the-sorb-fruit/

Saturday Snippets…

It was National French Toast day and I was bread making again…I will report that I didn’t have any bread flour so made it using All-purpose Flour and apart from the dough being stickier, I added a bit more flour the end result was as good as the one pictured above this recipe is now added to my favourite 5 Bread recipes…

Other tit-bits included the Six-Five Special and the 2i’s coffee bar…Tommy Steele…from Sally some info on The Alexander Techniques for any backache suffers…and various other titbits…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/11/28/saturday-snippets-28th-november-2020/

Have a wonderful Sunday..please be well and stay safe…xxx

That’s all for this week’s roundup … fewer posts have made my stats boom…go figure… I do hope you have enjoyed it and I look forward to your comments xx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…especially those of my readers who are facing new lockdowns…Please stay safe and wear your mask and practise social distancing or this virus will not go away…x

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learned..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe 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 well being.

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 stay safe and healthy xx

Saturday Snippets…28th November 2020

 

Welcome to Saturday Snippets…

It’s National French Toast Day today...I just love French Toast…or Eggy Bread…It is so very easy to make and for 3/4 slices depending on your bread all you need to do is whisk an egg with a tsp of vanilla extract, 1/4 to 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup of milk…dip your bread in the egg mixture on both sides and griddle the bread in some butter turning so they are golden brown on both sides..serve with a few blueberries and or strawberries and drizzle with some maple syrup…it also has to be the real thing there is nothing like Maple Syrup expensive but so worth it and enjoy!

It is also National Peanut Butter Lovers Month...while I don’t like to eat PB by the spoonful I love dishes with peanut sauces and PB fudge is to die for …it is also lovely on Homemade bread when toasted…

I have been busy this week making mango chutney, sweet mincemeat, Christmas, Puddings and cakes plus bread so haven’t yet made the fudge…

The mango chutney was a must as I had run out and when shopping I saw a jar of mango chutney(Tesco) big mistake…I nearly had a riot on my hands and the uneaten jar apart from the little taken out to taste it was unceremoniously dumped in the bin…I won’t even tell you how my family described Tesco’s attempt at mango chutney as WP would probably ban me…haha

Sandwich Loaf…a Nigella Recipe…

  • 500 gm Bread Flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 7 gms instant yeast
  • 125ml milk
  • 150 ml of cold water
  • 100 ml of boiling water
  • 3 tbsp butter melted

Let’s Bake!

Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl and whisk to combine then add liquids and butter and draw the mix together cover and leave for 10 mins…I now use a shower cap which is brilliant as plastic wrap never stuck to the bowl and the cap stays put…Leave for 10 minutes then knead for 10 seconds(yes) and leave for 10 mins and repeat this 3 times…

On the last one shape and put in a bowl cover and leave to prove for about an hour…Knead and shape and put in a 2lb loaf tin for the final prove of about 1 hour sprinkle a little flour on the top of the loaf…

Once proved put into a preheated oven on 180/200 and bake for 45 minutes…I covered the loaf once I removed it from the oven with a clean t/towel for about 10 mins just to soften the crust slightly.

I followed this to a T and it came out perfectly it slices very well for sandwiches and makes lovely toast or just bread and butter…It is the first time I have followed Nigella’s recipe and one of my top 5 bread recipes now…The whole family loved it!

Conservation Corner:

I first saw this on Meeka’s blog and I think it is a brilliant idea…it covers all aspects of trading for farmers, child labour so much more…#recommendedread

https://acflory.wordpress.com/2020/11/27/making-tech-work-in-the-3rd-world/

Wellness Corner:

Sally and her health posts are a welcome sight here she always has something which is relevant and Backache is very relevant and painful to so many people…Sally has some great tips and techniques which she is sharing which may prove to provide the relief you have been looking for… I do hope so…xx

So pop over say hello, Sally will make you very welcome…x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/11/23/smorgasbord-health-column-alternative-therapies-the-alexander-technique-part-three-standing-sitting-and-walking-correctly-by-sally-cronin/

Time for some music…

It was in November 1957 when The BBC’s first pop music show, Six-Five Special, was broadcast from the tiny 2i’s Coffee Bar in London – the birthplace of British rock ’n’ roll. Live music was played in the basement and it was here that Britain’s first rock ’n’ roll stars were discovered, including Tommy Steele – the biggest pop name of the day.

Six-Five Special was so-called because it went out at 6.5pm (6:05pm) on Saturday nights and was created to replace the one-hour “Toddlers’ Truce” on that day. Under the Truce restrictions, no television programmes were allowed to be broadcast on any day of the week between the hours of 6pm to 7pm so that young children could be put to bed.


The Government Minister who oversaw broadcasting in those days was the Postmaster-General, a now-defunct office held at the time by Charles Hill.

He was opposed to the Toddlers’ Truce, saying: “This seems to me absurd. It is the responsibility of parents, not the state, to put their children to bed at the right time.”

Under pressure from the emerging independent television companies, who were losing advertising revenue, Hill abolished the restriction.

Well, I never knew that…Did you????

I could listen to this for hours…

Christmas Corner:

Just a little corner at the moment until next week and then it will begin there will be silent night , jingle bells and all that…

Did you know? Most people think Japanese cuisine is relatively healthy and think of seafood and rice. So it may come as a surprise to know that family Christmas tradition in Japan includes eating their big holiday meal at fast-food giant KFC!

Did you know? Round glass Christmas ornaments were inspired by the shape of apples. Apples were the original Christmas ornaments, put on the tree to symbolize the Garden of Eden.

One of my favourite Christmas Traditions has to be the one that many people in Iceland uphold people will often exchange books on Christmas Eve, then spend the rest of the night reading them and eating chocolate…How good is that? x

The tradition is part of a season called Jolabokaflod, or “The Christmas Book Flood.” As a result, Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country selling most of them between September and November.

Did you know?… Kivak also is known as Mutak or Xmas Catap is an unusual Christmas treat in Northern Iceland but not if you have a delicate tummy or are fainthearted…Made from dead fermented birds, preserved in a hollowed-out Seals body for a minimum of 3 months and often much longer. The taste like very mature cheese so I am told…mmm

https://www.foodista.com/blog/2012/02/15/stinky-foods-10-weird-facts-about-kiviak

It is, however, the Christmas adverts which are for me the best bit about Christmas advertising this one has a powerful message and one I think we all appreciate a little more this year…x

That’s all for this week and Saturday Snippets…xxx

Thank you for reading….enjoy your weekend, stay safe not only from Covid-19 but the wildfires around the world…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!

That’s all for today…Enjoy your weekend and stay safe and well xx

Fruity Friday…The Sorb Fruit…

This lovely autumnal astringent fruit is teamed with apples by some cider makers. in small quantities because of their tannin making properties..this fruit comes from a species of the Rowan Tree and is known as a service fruit.

A service tree in Autumn is a beautiful sight and some can be found in Southern England and Wales however they are not native there they are possibly grown from seeds dropped by birds from Medieval Monastery Gardens.

Like the common Mountain ash or Rowan the fruits hang down in clusters they are about the size of a large cherry.

Also known as The Chequer or the Wild Service Berry this fruit can be used to make jellies, wines or fruit-infused spirits…

When eating raw the berry has to be “bletted ” this means it needs a frost and is left until it is very ripe when its astringent taste mellows and the fruit has a delicious taste it is also best for making fruit liqueurs…for a jelly the fruit is not bletted as its tartness is needed for the jelly.

To make the jelly you need 500gm of sugar to every 600ml of the juice…

A jelly is made by barely covering the fruit with water and cooking until soft then straining by hanging the fruit in a muslin or similar and strained overnight the juice is then weighed and the appropriate sugar added then cooked until the setting point is reached generally 30-45 minutes depending on the fruit.

Then ladle into sterilised jars, label and enjoy..x

It seems that many of these trees are found growing wild or cultivated in gardens and back yards…they seem to be classed as a wild tree…I didn’t find much mention of this fruit just a little more in the wild food category sections…

They seem to be in the same categories as the quince and crab apples an old fashioned fruit I remember my mum making crab apple jelly…

Do have a sorb tree or have one growing wild near you?

Have a great weekend and stay safe and well 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 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!

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

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 the packaging can it be recycled or reused…Do you really need it? Every little helps…x

That’s all for Fruity Friday see you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets…

 

National Cake Day…

I think almost everyone loves a slice of cake…Don’t you?  Cakes in all shapes and sizes have been around for centuries…From plain cakes to very elaborate cakes…to very, very elaborate cakes…

The first cakes were more bread-like and sweetened with honey, nuts and fruit were also added…history tells us that the Ancient Egyptians had quite advanced cake making skills.

The Oxford English Dictionary traces the English word cake back to the 13th century. It is a derivation of ‘kaka’, an Old Norse word. Medieval European bakers often made fruitcakes and gingerbread. These foods could last for many months.

A recipe from 2000 years ago had pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins mixed into a cake made out of barley mash. Later in the Middle Ages, fruitcakes with honey, preserved fruit and spices were popular.

Fruitcake made with butter and sugar was banned for a while in Europe in the 18th century because it was thought to be just too rich and tasty….sinful it was said…From the 19th century on fruitcake became a traditional wedding cake in England.

Barley Mash:

Mash ingredients are what brewers use to produce the wort which goes into alcohol…mashing is the act of creating and extracting fermentable and non-fermentable sugars and flavour components from grain by steeping it in hot water, and then letting it rest at specific temperature ranges to activate naturally occurring enzymes in the grain that convert starches to sugars. I am guessing it is some form of this barley mash which they used to keep the cake moist and from going mouldy.

Fruitcake has been known to last for as long as 25 years it is the sugar and the alcohol which prevents the cakes from going bad.

Cakes either contained alcohol or were wrapped in a cloth soaked with alcohol…

Even in my lifetime, I have saved puddings and cakes from one Christmas to another or the top tier of the wedding cake would be saved for the christening of the first child which used to arrive within the first year of the marriage.

It is a custom which is still upheld by the British Royal Family…Prince Louis, the youngest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when christened one of the refreshments Prince William and the former Kate Middleton served at the private reception following the christening raised a few eyebrows: a slice of their 7-year-old wedding cake.

“Guests will be served slices of christening cake, which is a tier taken from The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake,” a release from Kensington Palace said.

The two also served their wedding cake at the christenings of their older children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, per a British royal tradition that dictates that couples save tiers of their cake for such occasions.

Fruit cake is eaten around the world although Thais like my cake and pudding they don’t seem to have a traditional fruit cake here although other Asian countries do…

In Germany fruitcake is called stollen and has powdered sugar on top. Italy has panforte or panettone. Poland and Bulgaria call it keks. In the Caribbean, fruitcakes are made with a lot of rum — the fruit will soak in rum for months before baking—so it’s not a treat for kids!

Portugal has the bolo rei — each cake has one fava bean inside and whoever gets the piece with the bean is supposed to buy the cake next year! Vietnam has a fruitcake called Banh bo mut that’s made for the Lunar New Year …

It comes in two versions and uncooked one and a cooked one. The uncooked one is similar to some of the Thai desserts and made with candied fruit, coconut and coconut milk it is like a set jelly type of cake with fruit.

The first icing was made from sugar, egg whites and flavouring…the first boiled icing which was poured over the cake which was returned to the oven when this cooled it became glossy ice-like covering.

It was not until the mid 19th century that cakes as we know them made with extra refined white flour and baking powder instead of the customary yeast. Then in the 20th-century buttercream frosting began to replace the boiled icings.

Ancient bread and cakes were often used in religious ceremonies and purposely made in specific shapes some round or in the shapes of animals depending on what was being observed…for example a 12th Night Cake, Kulich a Russian Easter cake…a simnel cake in the UK…there are many examples of where cakes have a specific meaning and history…

But basically many cakes are just a good fruit cake and decorated according to the occasion…

Basic Fruit Cake:

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.

Because fruits and nuts were expensive it was seen as an honour to be presented with a cake whereas now there are cakes for every occasion…Cakes are much cheaper to make and buy but the message remains constant.

Cake says: you’re important and we love you which is why if you make someone a cake as a Christmas or New Year gift it will mean something very special to the recipient that they are loved…

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!

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

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 the packaging can it be recycled or reused…Do you really need it? Every little helps…x