Tag Archives: blogging

Travel and Traditions…Down on the Farm…Sesame Plant(Ngaa) and Barking Deers Mango

Good morning and welcome…It was a lovely sunny one earlier and now it has clouded over…Are we in for some rain? It is rainy season but we have had a few days of sunny shine and no rain…My weather report tells me 50% chance of precipitation today with scattered thunderstorms…. the temp is hovering around 30C and set to rise a little today…No rain yet…

Today I am taking you on another trip down the farm…

The Sesame plant or Ngaa as it is known here is another plant which has popped up…I am loving it as I am constantly being surprised at what plants and fruits are appearing  Down on the  Farm...It makes it easier for the future I will know and can plan a little it will also help as I will know what and where so we can transplant and not build and destroy.

It is a beautiful and quite delicate looking plant with pretty white flowers.

Sesame seed plant

Of course, I now wanted to know what uses this plant had if any apart from producing seeds which are used mainly in desserts in Thailand. Here on the farm they are dried and used for just that really and to make the lovely sesame biscuits which we love…

The oil from the seeds is not really used in Thai cuisine like it is in Chinese cookery.

The sesame seed is one of the most ancient seeds on earth there have been remains of Sesame seeds found and dated as far back as 3500BC. It was also widely traded in parts of Mesopotamia and the Indian subcontinent around 2000BC.  Always highly valued in Eastern, African and Mediterranean culture it has been used for thousands of years in cooking to flavour foods. Sesame oil has one of the highest oil contents of any seed and a rich nutty flavour. Across the continent’s world-wide sesame oil, tahini and the seeds are widely used.

It is a good source of vitamins and minerals that boost nutrient absorption, it is beneficial to human metabolism and the bodies fat-burning ability.

Sesame oil is a strong antihypertensive and can also help normalize blood pressure levels.

Sesame butter or Tahini is a pretty calorific dense food with 89 calories plus 8 gm of fat per tablespoon BUT the majority of that fat comes from healthy unsaturated fat like Omega 3 oils which help lower inflammation thus lower the risk of heart attacks. However, as always I advise moderation.

How to make your very own Tahini paste/butter..it is so quick and easy and the cost of a packet of sesame seeds is virtually pennies against the cost of a store-bought jar of tahini and no nasties…

Let’s Cook! 

Into the kitchen, for a quick toasting of the Sesame Seeds, then into the mini blender, 3 tbsp Olive oil, and a quick whizz, scrape down the sides, another tbsp Olive oil and another scrape, a  bit more oil and a quick whizz and viola your  Tahini Paste is now made.

How easy is that?

Tahini Paste I have been making tahini for a couple of years…I think I need an updated image as my first batch was back in 2015…

Sesame seeds come in white or black, the white seeds having the highest iron content thus are used in food or as oil.

Black seeds are stronger, more flavorful and have 60% more calcium than white seeds and are used in medicines.

There has been some exciting news on a breakthrough in the research conducted at the Thailand Excellence Center for Tissue Engineering and Stem Cells at the Chiang Mai University  where  it was discovered that “Sesamin” extracted from black sesame seeds contains properties that hinder cancer cell growth as well as stimulate antibodies in the human body to fight cancer.

Dr Prachya stated that patents for the medical breakthrough have been filed and received for the research both in Thailand and internationally.

This is great news.

As I have said before I am always being amazed by the extraordinary benefits that so many plants and seeds are being proved to provide… so much better in many cases than prescribed medicines and supplements although if you are already on prescribed medicines PLEASE speak to your doctor and discuss what alternatives you are looking at taking and remember with plants and seeds …No one size fits all…. All of our bodies are different and react differently…..But ask! Talk to your doctor, do your own research from reputable research bodies.

Called Man Saeng this potato-like root is only found in the jungle surrounding the farm and not sold commercially…..If someone has been foraging in the jungle you may find a few being sold very locally on a market.

Thai potatoes- man saeng- down- on- the-farm

Thai Potatoes called Man Saeng

Man Saeng is not only native to Thailand but neighbouring Burma, Cambodia and Laos.

Here in the North they are often found growing by the river and the vines often attach themselves to a tree and then what I call the runners have the tubers which are light brownish and slightly hairy.

It can be added to soup or fried like the fried bananas in a batter or breadcrumbed and my son who had them boiled for his supper last night said that they tasted a little like our new potatoes and he really liked them. They can also be steamed or ground into a flour to make desserts.

They are quite fibrous and if overcooked have a sticky texture… somewhat glutinous.

This video shows them being harvested from the jungle and also where a few are being grown for the farmer’s own consumption. To me, that soil looks pretty hard and for a few tubers that is hard work…

This week we also harvested a few nuts which are now ready to eat..my nutcrackers do not work as in cracking them..my son’s partners uses a knife..mmmm…I think I will leave that to her or I  will end up minus some digits…That’s for sure…

They taste a little like a cross between a brazil nut and macadamia nuts again I will shell them all and use them in my cooking..well I won’t..lol..That shell is impervious to my nutcrackers…

These nuts are from the Irvingia Malayana, which has the marvellously fanciful English title of the Barking Deer’s Mango. According to The University of Melbourne, it also has the much more prosaic Khmer name of Cham Mo. There’s a similar tree (Irvingia gabonensis) distributed about Western tropical Africa, whose nuts are used fairly extensively as a soup thickener and bread ingredient.

The name Barking deer’s mango is a strange name I can only surmise that it originated from the Indian Muntjac also named barking deer as it was often hunted around the outskirts of agricultural areas as they are considered a nuisance for damaging crops and ripping bark from trees.

indian-almond-289181_1920

This wild evergreen tree can grow as tall as 50 metres high the wood which is of low quality is used for general construction or fuel but is also very sought after and popular here for making charcoal.

The seeds of the tree are a source of a non-drying oil called cay-cay fat which is used in the manufacture of candles and soap making.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s little trip around the farm…there are always lots of surprises to be found and also things for me to learn..my knowledge has increased tenfold since I have lived always something to learn…xxx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…These honeybees dining on forget me knots say it all to me…

forget-me-not-257176_640

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

 

One piece of advice! Dare to dream…

I am taking part in the April Ultimate Blog Challenge which is a daily blog post for the month of April…A post with a prompt will be issued for each day where you can go with the prompt or a post of your choosing…

It is Day 5 today and the prompt…One piece of advice?

Dare to dream...Is my one piece of advice…Every great dream begins with a dreamer…Starting with this video…I could have chosen Elaine Paige, Ann Hathaway, Ruthie Henshall but this lady shows without a doubt we can all… Have a Dream…

I grew up in the ’50s  my dad always wanted a son to carry on the family line instead he got 3 daughters…I worked hard at school…Of course, I had my dreams…My mum used to say very nice dear when I did well at school…My dad…Not a lot…I was always told girls grow up and get married…So I did…

I still had my dreams…

Why? I can hear you all saying.

Choices, circumstances, call it what you may….. sometimes we have to just be brave, go with the flow, listen to our hearts, be a little selfish…..yes why not…… years ago and I mean years ago I wanted to study Law…..I got these looks, comments…why Carol? You have a good job, you have a family why…all these puzzled looks…..why? For me, because I wanted to……so I enrolled…… time to study!

” Mum, Can I? Mum, can you? it didn’t stop…

Enter my friend Gilly…….My neighbour, confidante, shoulder to cry on, my independent career driven friend who had no children of her own… my kids were her kids…..for sleepovers, cooking, storytelling and she had plenty of those…..

In she came…..like a stern maiden aunt…..even, I was a tad afraid…..” Now listen to me kids; your mum was herself before she was your mum…….when she is studying…because she wants to…YOU….do not disturb her…anything you want you are to ask before or wait until after she has finished studying ”

To me, she said ” you shut the door and you study, you do not answer any knocks, pleadings, wants ”

” Yes, Ma’am ”…She was one fierce lady…haha

So in I go,  sat down..books open, pen at the ready….” Knock, Knock, mum?”

From me…nada..no response…..it got a bit louder…..then went away……came back and tried again…..but after a few days of this ….the kids got the message…I got peace and quiet to study…….yehhhh…so I suppose what I have learnt through life is we all love our kids, we want to do our best for them but a doormat we ain’t and we all need our me time and everyone is happier for this and do you know?

My dear departed friend Gilly made me see that and made me realise that I should “Dare to Dream “

I miss you Gilly……. so much but your spirit is with me…and your pictures ( the painting), The hot air balloons going up, up and away over Weston, my ” Crazy Dancing Cow “ is on my desk…yes, she came with me……..you are in my heart, you are my inspiration and we all have so many memories of fun times shared R.I.P, my friend,.

Dancing cow diva figurine

 

35 plus years later.

When one of your children tells you that you are why they are what they are today and they are proud of  YOU ……….you know you have done something right among all the things you got wrong…and no one is perfect..not me, not you..no one……….But I dared to dream

So good luck with your choices which make you realise your dream..don’t beat yourself up if they don’t turn out quite as you wanted but a little bit of self-belief goes a long way…you tried….. every day is a new day.

AND on that Saturday when…I got to see, to hold, to turn the pages of our book for the first time…my very first offerings to the world in print ……… Now, who would have thought…if I had written my future 20 years ago  I would have got it totally wrong!

I would not be living here in sunny Thailand……….I would not be blogging, I would not be… again…I had a dream, some say ” lucky you,” You are so brave ( not sure I get that one), some may think very selfish …we cannot please all the people all of the time.

It all goes back to that opening line;

I had a dream, I dared to dream…

I just wish I had been a bit braver and followed my writing dream sooner…But I am living proof that you can dare to dream and dreams do come true…You just have to want it enough…Whatever your age…

So to conclude my one piece of advice is …Dare to Dream!

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 I bid you 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/

MeWe is a new social media and one which many of us are turning to mainly migrating over to as FB has banned many of my friends and for what seems no good reason that we can see I hope you will join us there.

MeWe: mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all having a great weekend xx

 

The Versatile Bloggers Award

Man thanks to Brigid from Watching the Daisies for nominating me for this award it was very kind of you Brigid…Brigid’s posts which feature her lovely garden in bloom always make me smile and remember how lovely the spring, summer and autumn blooms are…

We really only have two seasons here a high season and rainy season although as it is tropical the vegetation is always lush and green…

versatile blogger banner

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:

  1. If you are nominated, Congratulations you have been awarded the Versatile blogger award!
  2. Thank the person who gave you the award and include a link to their blog.
  3. Select 10 -15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  4. Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  5. Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

 

Seven things about me!

 

  1. England was my home and I lived in the same house for all my childhood my parents didn’t move until they retired. I am the eldest of three girls…Always a rebel at heart, my dad was a strict disciplinarian my mother a kind, gentle soul who probably wondered where I came from and maybe thought I was left under the gooseberry bush…Haha
  2. Don’t ask me why as I really don’t have an answer but I started my adult life after completing 2 years at Tottenham Technical College in London training to be a hairdresser. Maybe it was my exhibitionist streak as my hair was all colours and styles as I was always the model in competitions…and the first to get Biba’s latest fashions…My dear mum was probably still wondering where I came from…Also, Marlene Dietrich was my idol at that time…However that wasn’t my first job as I found perms and the like very boring…
  3. Office work it was and then I married…While my children were young I worked at the local Hospital and that I did enjoy…The Mental Health Unit and Special care/Maternity…From one end of the spectrum to the other…I have never been squeamish or nervous so I think that had a bearing on both of those and I learnt much…From there I went into hotel work which I thoroughly enjoyed…Weddings and Conferences…I loved it… hours as and when required depending on the size of the party…We hosted pop stars when Knebworth was on …Status Quo, Robert Plant, Rod Stewart they were the most memorable and regular guests…
  4. Banking followed that and during that time ( 15 years) I studied Law and gained my banking degree, I then became ill after my surgery and convalescence I decided I wanted a change and went into local government…Oh, boy was that an eye opener… I worked closely with politicians and companies in my role and was that an eye opener…It seemed that every meeting I went to I met a certain arrogant politician never sure whether that meant I was going upwards or downwards in my career…Karma came when they lost the local elections and he came to sign on…He was rude and arrogant to my staff who called for me when he demanded to see a manager… I took great pleasure in telling him (politely) of course that it was his government who made the rules and if he wanted to claim a benefit those were the hoops he had to jump through…Funnily he did not pursue his claim…Karma methinks!
  5. Sadly at that time, my eldest daughter was diagnosed with cancer…15 years later she is a survivor. However, when treatment finished it meant that I also had to honour a promise I had made to her to join her and complete a marathon ( 26.2) miles in the aid of cancer…We did it my one and only marathon but I did it…
  6. Time to retire to Thailand and I started writing, realised my dreams which were so long in the making then had some short stories published in two Anthologies and blog as you know…I also have strong opinions on certain matters most involving sneaky underhand politicians and manufacturers. Living here has enhanced my knowledge of food and ingredients and  I cook so many things I would never have dreamed I would or could and eaten much that I never dreamed I would…haha
  7. We started our retirement in Phuket a lovely holiday island opened a restaurant and bar called Sugar Reef that was a hectic and fantastic 5 years. When we decided enough and we wanted a quieter life we upped and moved to the North of Thailand closer to our grandson’s nan and grandad and family also Lily’s mums family…We live quietly grow stuff, rice, bananas, veggies and herbs we have fish, turkeys, chooks and wall to wall sunshine most of the time…

My nominations…

There are so many lovely blogs out there( so I am not) going to nominate any blogs in particular as I know what busy bloggers/ writers some of you are…But if you want to take up the challenge…  Please do…

Thank you again, Brigid, for nominating me…XXX

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

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

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

 

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

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award…Take 2

Thank you so much, Sally, for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger award…Not my first Sunshine Award for which I am honoured and grateful. I have over the years when I was working always elicited the statement from many employers that I was like ” A breath of fresh air” that statement has always followed me around… It seems people think I have a sunny nature…

sunshine blogger award

The Rules….Well, there are always rules are there not?

Thank the blogger ( Sally) who nominated you in a blog post and make a link back to their blog.

Answer the 11 questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.

Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award, and then write them 11 new questions – or cheat and use the same questions 🙂

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog

Here are the questions I received and my answers:

What is the most daring thing you have done?

That’s a big ask especially when you get to my age…haha…Was it moving to Thailand? Was it completing all 26.2 miles …A marathon ( some years ago now) Was it holding a snake? I will say I am not very daring…

Name one item still on your bucket list.

My bucket list has as many pages as war and Peace…To visit the Seven Wonders of the world…

If you had a time machine, would you choose to live in the past or the future?

I don’t want to know what the future has in store for me…What if I don’t like it? The past I would love to pay a visit back to The roaring ’20s But I am happy in my present…

What is your favourite movie of all time?

How can I choose…So many…Grease….I know…haha

 

What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

I have talked to myself many times over the years and mostly berating myself for my stupidity but I suppose to be true to yourself and others and be kind…
What is one of your guilty pleasures?

Dancing in the rain and jumping in puddles…At my age?… Yes, I still do and get told off for encouraging the grandkids…Who doesn’t love jumping in a puddle?…

Do you have any pets?

Only the one now…Saangchai…A soi Dog…aka A street dog who now has his forever home…He got me…haha

Tell us about one thing that really gets your goat.

How much time do you have? Maybe you should ask my nearest and dearest…Just one thing???…. Eat quietly…Do not slurp, Do not crunch those crisps…

Who would you invite to a celebrity dinner? List 5, dead or alive?

Jonny Depp, John Travolta, Patrick Swayze, Elvis,…Did you not mean eye candy???… Ok Ladies…Stephen Hawking …Quote ” Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet “. Michelle Obama, Victoria Wood, Spike Milligan( my kids favourite silly bedtime poetry) and Benedict Cumberbatch…
What is your most annoying bad habit?

Oh dear…It does depend on who you are asking…Take your pick…Do not dig the butter scrape it nicely…All coathangers should face the same way…Do not put the spoon you have stirred anything in the sugar…I think I will stop there…ahaha

Name your current favourite song playing on your playlist right now.

I  have a playlist ( must) update it but normally just pick at random…Wherever the mood takes me…Today..This morning Japanese Piano music….Soothing and calm…

 

If I nominate you and you have an award free blog, please view the nomination as a compliment: you are under no obligation to respond. (Thanks Mary for that statement)

https://nottomatoes.wordpress.com/

https://debs-world.com/

https://johnrieber.com/

https://ahundredyearsago.com/

https://beyondnorm.com/

https://thellyslifestyleandtravel.wordpress.com/

https://allinadaysbreath.wordpress.com/

https://firefly465.wordpress.com

https://barbtaub.com

https://rustbeltgirlblog.wordpress.com

https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com

These are all blogs which I love for their food, sense of humour or just because  so please pay them a visit they are awesome x

My Questions …

  1. Marmite or Vegemite…Think carefully…lol
  2. If you were stranded on a desert island what two books and 3 music albums would you take and why?
  3. What or who scares you the most and why?
  4. If you could choose who would be your next door neighbour …Who would it be and why?
  5. Having a dinner party? Who would be your 8 guests dead or alive, famous or infamous and why?
  6. Chillies do you love them or hate them?
  7. Would you change anything about your blog and what would it be?
  8. Your three favourite foods ...
  9. Cats or Dogs?
  10. What is your pet hate? Mine is.. I cannot stand anyone digging at the butter.. scrape it nicely…
  11. Which of your blog post is representative of you? Please add a link.

 

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://blondieaka.wordpress.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

You are the author of your life, what will YOU make it about?

During my life I have done a mixture of all of those, some I am glad I did or did not, some I wish I hadn’t and some I didn’t even try.

But “That’s life ”  as the song made famous by Frank Sinatra goes.

And what a life.. would I change anything??? Well, somethings but all of that is with hindsight which is a wonderful thing!  Haha.

still-life-3126536_640

When I think back my dad was a strict disciplinarian but was that a bad thing? No… really my mum countered that by just being our mum. She made all of our clothes taught us to knit, sew and cook and she loved us…

I remember walking for miles over fields to see my nan my grandad was a farmer I loved it there and spent weekends, school holidays and this was at 9/10 years old, we had no phones so at some point my mum would get a call from a phone box to say I was ok but didn’t know when I was coming home. But it was safe to do that then, I could walk for miles and see no one or maybe just one person who invariably knew who I was, knew where I was going and or gave me a drink of water.

How I loved it there, I got to wander around the farm ( with the strictest instructions ) from my granddad of where I could wander and where I could not. I learnt to milk a cow and had great fun in the haylofts and at harvest time. My Nan showed me how to cook on an Aga. So between my nan and my mum, I think that’s where I got my love of cooking.

My other nan lived but  5 mins away and had a lovely piano….so most days after school I would wander up the road to see her and get to play the piano…I loved that piano and one day maybe I’ll get to tinkle those ivories again. But I have special memories of both my Nan’s.

I was a choir girl.. yes folks and I won’t treat you to a rendering on the karaoke. Church every Sunday and at Easter, we got our new Sunday best… We also always had shiny shoes…

Carol, Tina and Fay

I hated frills, bows and dolls!

Dolls I hated them and fringes…. every time we had our hair washed owwww did it hurt when mum got the tangles out..well.. she obviously had enough so took us all for a haircut with a fringe….not for long…madam here.. me…hands up…got a pair of scissors and cut it off. That solved that  It also got me an early to bed with no tea…well, mum snuck up a sandwich a bit later……

My sisters would walk neighbours babies up and down, up and down the street…awwww my worst nightmare,  my favourite was climbing the big oak tree on the village green, except when I climbed it in the NEW pink spotted dress my mum had made me and ripped it… she didn’t get cross often, but I think she made an exception then..oops.

I remember the day I got a bloody nose.. well I did aggravate this boy ..but no need for that.. did my dad jump to his daughter’s defence…..don’t be silly…he asked what I did to deserve it…

AND not a calculator, phone or computer in sight……in fact, I didn’t know anyone who had one!

Camping..I loved camping in the garden…a blanket over the clothesline…which had been lowered made a great tent and we giggled all night long….

Reading under the bed-clothes with a torch…Dennis Wheatley being one of my favourites.

Young Carol.jpg

I remember when the circus came to town how we all loved the clowns on stilts and all our dad’s making us  ” stilts ” …..did we have fun and spills on them that summer holiday… the snow when it came then dad made us sledges made from doors and trays…I remember our hands and legs were red raw and freezing then the pain when we thawed out in front of the roaring fire but the crumpets toasted on the fire and chestnuts in the embers. Made up for that… Love crumpets get the recipe here.

That peeps is a deprived childhood with no computers and games well except for snakes and ladders, ludo, hangman and noughts and crosses.  Oh and Jacks and I bet I could still beat you at that! Hopscotch! the downside was we had to clean the chalk marks off the pavement…

hop scotch

Well, that’s my childhood but I look back and don’t think it was a bad one I think I learned a lot…..How to love, laugh, cook,, earn respect it was not a given.

The computers came later, very much later so a whizz kid on them I am not but also I am not that bad so all in all.

Childhood over and as I started off in life having been bought up being told ” girls just get married and have children”

I did!

After going to college and training as a hairdresser……I never practised as a hairdresser ..just did my mums and friends hairs…I have always been fussy about my hair though I suppose it left me with that legacy. I have even been known to put anything even a carrier bag over my hair if a drop of rain threatened..just so long as not a hair got wet..the only time it got wet was when I visited the hairdressers and they always said I was their only customer who came to the salon to get my hair done who never looked as if it needed doing. I was fanatical even down to the fact that when on holiday…… The first place I ever checked out was the location of the hair salon!

I must have been a nightmare!

Now it’s short and I only go to get it cut and if it gets wet it gets wet…so I have chilled out somewhat in my later years.

Now I look back and think we did rather well… as our children have wonderfully bought up children of their own who are polite, work hard at school and the ones who do work have very good careers….so all in all…..not a bad life……….and when I look forward I am excited about what is to come……Because I have found new hobbies and interests that I can devote more time to…so all in all, life is like a carousel and if we can dream we can do it………hence the title of my blog…….

retirement

In fact, I am wishing I was a tad younger and have more time for what I need to do…..but that’s life…..take it by the horns and live 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.

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!

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 week xx

 

Eat Smart, Eat Healthy…No more Diets

Winter warming Soups and chilli

Good morning from sunny Thailand… we are warm here as we are coming into our High Season soon while many of you I know are feeling the winter chills… This week some healthy lunches…which will warm you up …

It is quite difficult to think of what to suggest as when I worked in my last job although we had the heating on  the doors were continually opening and closing so if you were working on the ground floor it was a tad cold most of the time so a warm bowl of soup or a jacket potato was very welcome at lunchtime.

I always used to make extra if I made a stew or chilli and freeze in portions it was then easy to take to work and I know from experience that if I ventured out at lunchtime as I hadn’t bought anything in with me it was over to Marks & Spencer who do the most divine sandwiches and of course all their yummy sweet things are by the till…Do I need to say more???

Not taking in lunch is a trap many of us fall into without realising, isn’t it? Plus it is more costly…

As I am at home and  Lunch is my main meal I generally have a stir fry they are quick to do and cook while the rice is cooking which Is why I like them…

Fried Fish with peppercorns in black bean sauce.
Serves 1.

fish black bean sauce

  • 100 gm white fish cut into smallish pieces and rolled in rice flour.
  • Small onion roughly cut
  • 2 spring onion sliced
  • 1-2 chillies sliced diagonally
  • 1 stem of fresh peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Sm piece fresh ginger minced or finely Julienne
  • Fish sauce to taste.

Lets Cook!

Heat up the oil in a wok and shallow fry fish quickly on each side until it becomes golden brown, it will take around 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
In the same wok where fish is fried sauté garlic, chilli, onion and ginger.
Add green onion and peppercorns then stir-fry for a minute. Then add fish.
Add splash water, black bean sauce bring to a rolling boil, add fish and turn over once to coat with the sauce and simmer for 2 mins. If the sauce is thin you can add a bit of cornstarch/arrowroot slurry to thicken it.
Flavour with fish sauce and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with steamed rice and a chilli dip( optional)

You could also make this at home and heat gently at work for lunch or microwave it.

Jacket Potatoes…Easy to do and will fill you up…If you have an oven at work then in your pop one in the oven and take a portion of chilli, baked beans, cheese, coleslaw, sweetcorn, caramelised onions and mushrooms what is your favourite topping?

jacket-potato-2906023_640

My favourite is chilli be it a meat or vegetarian one or cheese and coleslaw if it isn’t too cold.

Carol’s Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3/4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)

Enjoy!

NB. HELP! I would rather use dried kidney beans rather than tinned HOWEVER I soak them for hours then cook then add to my chilli and they are still not soft…I don’t have a pressure cooker but is there anyone who can give me some tips and I don’t add salt while soaking.

My second Chilli recipe from a friend of mine …Richard and it is his vegetarian chilli…Thank Richard it is very nice. It is Richards recipe with a Thai twist and tasty…

Vegetarian Chilli with lentils.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 chillies
  • 125 gm mushrooms chopped
  • A handful of chopped green beans
  • 100 gm black lentils
  • 1 tbsp each of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar
  • Basil Leaves

 

vegetarian chilli with lentils

 

The instructions are as I received them as Richard obviously knows I can cook ( there wasn’t any) just ingredients …he is also male…lol

For anyone needing more details then cook as my chilli recipe above but adding lentils instead of the meat. I did add a couple more tomatoes and some kidney beans to Richards original recipe….I also soaked my lentils… he doesn’t as he likes his lentils al dente…

Cooking is all about personal taste and I sometimes just chuck it in the pot and take it from there… That’s how I cook most of the time and TASTE…

Enjoy!

Both of these make great toppings for jacket potatoes or with rice …

Soup is also very good...You make a batch at home and freeze in portions it just needs reheating or take it in a thermos flask…

Yesterday I made a lovely mushroom soup …a new recipe and it needs tweaking my little taste tester told me what I needed to do….lol

It pleases me though because it means that he tastes the food and knows when it needs something else so that is good for a child.

Mushroom Soup…

2 lbs of mushrooms…mixed I used straw, button, crimini and some small ones which I can’t remember the name.

1 onion sliced

6 sprigs of thyme tied together

3 cloves of garlic

6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups of water

1 cup of cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter and add the mushrooms and add a pinch of salt and cook until they give up their juices and reduce the heat. Cook stirring until the juice has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown.

crimini straw button mushrooms

Pick out a few nice pieces and set to one side for the garnish.

Mix the onions into the mushrooms and cook until the onion softens about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme and garlic and pour in the stock and water simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the thyme before blending the soup, if the consistency is still too thick then add more stock/water…Return to a pan and add the cream…Taste and season with salt and black pepper…

Mushroom Soup

 

I hope this has given you a few ideas about what to have for lunch…What is your favourite lunch?

I have added the link to a Chicken Noodle soup as it also has the recipe for homemade chicken broth.

Noodle-soup-Thai-chicken

https://blondieaka.com/2018/09/13/thai-chicken-noodle-soup/

All of these you could batch cook every two weeks and freeze in portions and you would never have to worry about what is for lunch… Just add your garnishes and herbs if required…

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 that I cook with have 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://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you for reading I hope you enjoy the soup …Or maybe you have already tried it…Do you love it?? Please let me know in comments xxx