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The Culinary Alphabet with a little twist…The last in this series…Y and Z…

The end of the line, finished, all done…I bet Pete is heaving a sigh of relief…it’s been fun though, Pete…I am now penning my last post in this series…

Y & Z…a few food terms ending in Y not so many for Z…But I am looking forward to my next challenge it should be interesting and as I said in my weekly round up I will changing it about with some environmental terms…never boring here…it also keeps the old grey matter on its toes…


Is a small common forage fish…very fishy and salty in taste and they have to be balanced as they could overwhelm all the other flavours in a dish…like Marmite you either love them or have an extreme dislike for them…Filleted, salt-cured and canned in oil to me they are the difference between a good dish and a great dish…


Native to Southeast Asia and northern Australia…its leaves are used to treat snakebites…some other names are bugnay or bignai, Chinese-laurel, Queensland-cherry, salamander-tree, wild cherry, and currant tree …for a tree which can grow as tall as 50 to 100ft it has tiny fruits which are edible, usually eaten raw, cooked and used in jam, jellies and preserves.

The Cherry:

There are around 1,200 varieties of cherries in the world, each with its own unique taste and appearance…with colours ranging from deep purple, bright red and a beautiful peachy hue the cherry is a popular fruit. From North America’s leading commercial sweet cherry and a favourite of many a cherry connoisseur. The Bing cherry is large with an intensely sweet, vibrant flavour. The fruit, when ripe, is firm, juicy and a deep mahogany red.

Of course as with many things we have the worlds most expensive cherry…from Japan

Bok Choy:

Bok choy or Chinese white cabbage is a staple ingredient in Asian dishes. The tender dark green leaves and crisp off-white-coloured stalks provide a nice fresh crunch. The greens have a spinach-like taste with a very mild bitterness…Great for stirfries, steamed as a side dish or pickled.

Borodinsky bread:

Is a Russian dark Rye Bread…rich in flavour as with many traditional breads there are varieties of ingredients depending on regions where recipes are handed down through generations sometimes wholewheat flour is used… there are many tales as to the origins of this bread but not being Russian I would not profess to know the truth from a fairy tale…I just know it is a delicious bread…

The Berry:

Where to start there are so many… Strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry, blackberry, loganberry, blueberry, lingonberry sloe berry’s …my dad used to make gin with them…There are the botanical berry’s which include banana, grapes, tomatoes, eggplants and more…


My nana used love carraway seeds she added them to cakes and bread and buttered cabbage… often as they look so like the cumin seeds it is asked are they the same…No!…Carraway has quite a distinctly earthy, liquorice taste whereas cumin is milder…Carraway is delicious added to buttered cabbage.


A marshland plant with a long fibrous stalk tapering into leaves…both the stalks and leaves are eaten raw or cooked…I find green celery quite bitter and much prefer the taste of white stemmed celery…Celery stalks provide a crunchy low-calorie snack and eaten with some hummus or peanut butter is delicious.

Celery and peanut butter, or any other type of nut butter, is a simple snack that will provide you with plenty of fats and protein to keep you satiated. Nut butter is also a great source of fibre, vitamins B, A, and E, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.


Many varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons, or roots, which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and food additive.

Chicons au gratin is a Belgian national dish consisting of braised Belgian endives (aka chicons) wrapped in slices of baked ham and covered with a Mornay sauce and some grated cheese. Steaming hot with a creamy cheesy sauce…Delicious…

It is often used as a caffeine-free coffee substitute due to its resemblance IN colour and aroma to the coffee. The perfect blend of chicory to coffee enhances coffee taste and aroma by imparting a slightly woody and nutty taste to the coffee. Chicory blend coffee is also economical when compared to 100 per cent coffee.

I remember my mother buying Camp Coffee which was a liquid coffee and chicory(chicons) mix…Does anyone else remember that? I also remember her coffee and walnut sponge cake…This recipe for coffee and walnut sponge is from the Camp Coffee Club...


Chutney there is nothing like it with a ploughman’s lunch…which for those who are not familiar with the term it is crusty bread, butter, cheeses and or meat and chutney..it got its name as it was what was lovingly wrapped in cloth and given to the farmworkers for their lunch while working in the fields…Chutney is basically a strong-tasting mixture of fruit, vinegar, sugar, and spices.

Mango Chutney...no curry should be eaten without it…My mother used to make chutneys in the autumn with the last of the tomatoes, apples, onion chutney, garlic chutney, apple chutney, pear chutney is my latest addition to my chutney collection…

Ingredients for Pear Chutney…

  • 200 gm demerara sugar
  • 200 ml Apple cider vinegar
  • 100 ml pear cider
  • 1-star anise
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 red onions chopped
  • 10 firm pears peeled and chopped
  • 2 red chillies halved and deseeded
  • 50 gm sultanas

Let’s Pickle!

In a large pan bring the sugar, APV, pear cider, star anise, ground cumin, ginger and red onions to a rolling boil.

Add the chopped pears and bring down to a rolling simmer for about 40 mins or until the pears are just cooked.

Stir in the sultanas and the chillies. Remove from the heat and leave to cool before spooning into sterilised jars.

Pear ChutneyThis is a lovely chutney that goes well with cheese and homemade focaccia…


Clarify is to make something clear or pure…Clarified butter (Ghee) for example or a clarified soup or stock..consomme for example…where the soup is clarified using a raft and then passed through cheesecloth.


Cray Fish are aquatic arthropods and very tasty cooked on the BBQ with some garlic butter…

Day Lily:

Daylilies are a popular staple in Asian cuisine and they are used both fresh and dried. Every part of the daylily plant is edible: you can pluck the young shoots, boil the tubers like potatoes, or spruce up your salads with its bright orange petals. But my very favourite part is the flower bud which we steam and eat with a spicy chilli dip…where we lived before in Phuket the security guard used to pick the flowers at dawn and bring them to me they were a favourite of Aston’s grandad who loved to eat them…

Good King Henry:

Also known as poor man’s asparagus…native to much of central and southern Europe many liken the taste to spinach but it needs to be picked young as it becomes bitter as it matures. The leaves, stalks and flower buds are edible. The leaves can be boiled, steamed or eaten raw in salads. The young shoots and stalks can be picked before they go hollow and steamed or boiled, eaten like asparagus, while the flower buds are delicious just sautéed in butter.


Hominy is a food made from kernels of corn that have undergone a special chemical process to make the grain easier for use in cooking and eating. The kernels are soaked in an alkali solution that removes the hull and germ of the corn, causing the grain to puff up to about twice its normal size, giving it the appearance of giant corn. Hominy has become a staple of Mexican cooking, traditionally used in soups, stews, and casseroles.


What a lovely name for a rustic fruit pie…Apples, peaches or plums…delicious


Salsify is a root vegetable that has an oyster-like flavour when cooked…a root vegetable that belongs to the dandelion family. The root is similar in appearance to a long, thin parsnip, with creamy white flesh and thick skin. In the same way, like many root vegetables, salsify can be boiled, mashed or used in soups and stews.


A species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses. Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tofu and tofu skin are made. Fermented soy foods include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, nattō, and tempeh.

The letter Zzzzzzzz…


A popular cigar-shaped pancake filled with cheese or fruit…


To purée or chop (food products) using a food processor or blender. To make a nut roast, you have to blitz the nuts in the food processor before adding the parsley and breadcrumbs.


Chametz includes grains like wheat, oats, rye, barley and spelt, which are prohibited if they’ve had contact with water/moisture for longer than 18 minutes, leading to rising or “leavening.” Leavening agents, like yeast and sourdough, are also considered chametz.


A “fizz” is a mixed drink variation on the older sours family of the cocktail. Its defining features are acidic juice (such as lemon or lime) and carbonated water.


I’m digging deep here as Ritz is a brand name of crackers lovely with cheese…


Is rendered (clarified) chicken or goose fat. It is an integral part of traditional Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, where it has been used for centuries in a wide array of dishes, such as chicken soup, latkes, chopped liver, matzah balls, fried chicken or schmaltz herring used either as a  cooking fat, spread, or flavour enhancer.


Made from melted milk by adding cream. Melted milk is baked milk for many hours in the oven. Verenez is nice to add to coffee or tea.

That’s it…THE END…I do hope you have enjoyed this series and I hope you will enjoy what follows next week…Thank you, Pete, for the idea and thank you to everyone else who has stayed with me through this series and left comments and ideas you are all stars…xxx

Thank you so much for your visit today I hope you have enjoyed the read…Please feel free to leave a comment as you know I love to chat…Love Carol xxx

National Banana Bread Day and National Dog Biscuit Day…


Who doesn’t love Banana Bread?

Made with fully ripe or overripe bananas banana bread is a moist, sweet cake-like bread…sometimes made with yeast and in the West Indies the age-old tradition is to sun dry banana slices and then grind into a powder…Banana Flour…

Banana bread made with yeast had a denser texture and is usually sliced, toasted and spread with butter…my taste buds are zinging as I type…

In Hawaii during World War I, a surplus of bananas resulted from very few ships available to export the fruit.  To prevent waste, alternative uses for bananas were developed. For example, bakeries started incorporating the fruit into their bread.

This recipe was printed in The Maui News on April 12, 1918, for banana bread:

2/3 banana
1/3 flour
Yeast, coconut milk or water

There was also rationing of staple food items such as flour.  Banana flour was a suggested substitute.  It was recommended as a health food and suitable for a vegetarian diet.

The Big Island is the largest domestic producer of bananas in the United States. The Tarring’s Ohana Banana Farm is one of the largest suppliers of fresh apple bananas in Hawaii – and the world’s only supplier of Hawaiian Candy Apple Bananas.

Nutrition Facts.

There’s a lot of variation in the nutrition info for banana bread recipes. Those made with butter and eggs come out higher in unhealthy saturated fat and cholesterol, while those made with vegetable oils are still high in fat and calories, but contain more heart-healthy fats.

The best bananas for banana bread aren’t yellow; they’re black. Or they’re at least streaked with black/brown, with just the barest hint of green at the stem. And again, the darker the better: there’s no such thing as a too-ripe banana when you’re making banana bread.

My Banana Bread recipe has been tried and tested many, many times eb=ven more today as I had only a little cake flour…more than little ripe bananas and had started mashing them before I realised…so I improvised which you cannot always do with cakes and bread but on this occasion, it worked…I used mainly bread flour added a tsp ob baking powder and some coconut milk…The result a nice banana bread…I was more than a little amazed as I thought it might be heavy and it wasn’t…The only reason I added coconut milk as earlier recipes used coconut milk or water…

How to Observe #NationalBananaBreadDay

Bake your favourite version of banana bread to celebrate. With so many varieties to try – banana nut, chocolate banana and more – you can make more than one! Invite someone to join you or give a loaf or two away. The celebration is just too good not to share!

Examples are Buttermilk Banana Bread, Banana Sour Cream Bread, Apple sauce Banana Bread, Banana Chocolate Chip Bread or Peanut Butter Chocolate chip Banana Bread…or as I did today add coconut milk…You can also top the banana bread with some cream cheese icing and a few walnuts…so many different combinations…Enjoy!

What is your favourite banana bread recipe do you use yeast or make quick banana bread…Pls share your tried and tested recipe…

Use #NationalBananaBreadDay to post on social media.

Just a piece of trivia...did you know? That more songs have been written about the Banana than any other fruit.


All dog owners, remember that February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day! This day is also observed around the world as International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.

Dog biscuits come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and flavours. They serve to reward a man’s best friend for good behaviour as part of their training.

Dog owners may also give a biscuit to show their canine companions just how much they love them, too. Sometimes, dog biscuits serve to deliver vitamins and medicines we may have difficulty getting our pooches to take otherwise.

Speciality treats offer dogs and their owners so much to chews from! Even dogs on restricted diets won’t have trouble finding a dog biscuit that’s gentle on their tummy. Others help keep teeth healthy and fresh, too! What better reward could you ask for?

That’s it for today…

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week and please tell me in the comments what your favourite Banana Bread recipe is…I just love to chat and swap recipes xx







#Meatless Monday’s …week 7…Vegan French Toast and pancakes with mushrooms and leeks …


Why Meatless Mondays?…

Introducing more plant-based meals into your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight if you have some weight to lose then adding more plant-based meals has the benefit of removing foods from your diet which cause weight gain.

Plants are high in fibre…this means by introducing more plant-based recipes to your diet that the health of your gut improves so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from your food… you will be eating foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Fibre can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management…

How is introducing more plant-based meals going in your kitchen… Going well or meeting with some opposition?...

This week …it’s French Toast and Pancakes why French Toast because I am aware that some of my readers don’t eat eggs either because of allergies or because they are Vegan…I have two recipes for eggless French Toast one I have tried and the other I am hoping one of my vegan readers will try and let us know as it contains nutritional yeast which I don’t have or use …

French Toast (1)

  • ½ cup milk, regular or dairy-free
  • 1 tbsp corn starch…I used rice flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon, optional
  • 2 slices thick white bread
  • 2 tbsp butter or vegan alternative, for grilling
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • Maple syrup, for serving
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Let’s Cook!


The other recipe is one I came across on a lovely blog written by a lady called Mimi…Her recipe for pancakes with leeks and mushroom filling with cheese sounded delicious and it was…I made half the recipe as is the norm when I am trying a new recipe and all my testers loved it…




CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…14th February-20th February 2021…#Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week… For those of you who celebrate Valentines Day…I hope you had a Happy Valentines Day xx

Enjoyed the chocolate I hope so as it is National Chocolate month… so fill your boots and enjoy! My thoughts turn to Easter with crossed fingers that my moulds arrive in time for me to make a lovely egg for Lily her first…

Let’s go and see what goodies I had for you last week…so snuggle up in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine…Cheers!

Meatless Monday’s: Week 6…#Frittata.

Such a versatile dish and it uses up lots of bits and pieces of veggies that are sitting in your fridge an ideal once a week meal which means less waste as well…


#Protein Shakes…Should you be drinking them?…

I think you should check out the ingredients before you do and also make sure that you are getting as much protein as you should from your normal DIET and if not because you are following a rigorous exercise regime or a vegan diet AND may need to have protein drinks sometimes…


It was Pancake Day last Tuesday…I hope you enjoyed yours as much as I enjoyed mine…


Wednesday I was also over at Sally’s for my monthly POST…  Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – Bread, Homemade Peanut Butter and Home Grown Vegetables and Herbs.

I don’t think I realised just how popular Peanut Butter is…


Time for one of the last posts in this current series of  The Culinary Alphabet with a little twist…Food terms ending in the letter X (loX)

Next week is the last one…The good news is that it will be followed by a new twist of the Alphabet…my fellow bloggers are so kind to me with suggestions and good ones at that…this time it was from Chel Owens…or Chelsea who writes poems at… A Wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing...Lots of great poetry which I love to read and now and again Chel drops little hints but I truly am not a poet even a bad one…Her suggestion was that I find food terms and food where the middle letter is A for example…Thanx Chel…Like Pete, I will expect at least one word from you every fortnight…xx

I have decided as I am also passionate about the environment to run 2  different subjects consecutively and do a week about so every second week it will be environmental terms, for example, beginning with A etc…although with that I will generally only opt for 3 terms if there are three and explain them in a bit more detail as some environmental terms I know the word but not really what it means…so maybe we can all learn a little more…That’s the plan xxx


It was then over to Sally’s for her wonderfully information series on how we can turn back the clock a little…

Please pop over ..say hello and find out how you can stop the clock…see you there #recommenedread


Fruity Friday...and a weirdly beautiful fruit it is this week…

One which I can’t wait until my bush arrives and I can watch it grow…The Buddha Hand Fruit.


Saturday Snippets…

Recipes, PJ.Proby and The Beatles…some environmental news, apricots and Easter Eggs…


Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…I hope you have enjoyed the read…if you have please head over and leave a comment it makes my day to hear from you …Love Carol xx

Fruity Friday…#Buddha Hand Fruit…

Fruity Friday is where I bring you a fruit I have discovered some I find here and others I have discovered while doing my research and would try myself…Like last weeks fruit the Jabuticaba a fascinating fruit which grows on the trunk of the tree and one which I will most certainly be looking out for…I just love discovering new fruits and vegetables as it opens a whole new world, doesn’t it?

This Buddhas Hand Fruit looks like a mutant Lemon…Often used for decorations and Halloween themes…for which it is perfect…It is however perfectly edible it has no juice and no pulp you can just eat it sliced and raw…it’s lack of bitterness means it makes perfect candied fruit…

With a sweet lemon blossom aroma, it can be just popped in the middle table and the scent can waft around…

Its mild-tasting pith is not bitter which means the fruit can be zested or used whole…

How about infusing your vodka or making a simple syrup for cocktails? How does A Buddhacello sound?

Add to sugar or salt and viola a lovely flavoured salt/sugar to enhance your cooking…

Shave thin slices and add to a salad or slaw…a vinaigrette…a topping for fish…use as you would a lemon…

I am loving the sound of this fruit so much that I have ordered a plant for my garden plus a finger lime…it is native to China and India although it has been grown here …it seems not commercially…Buddhist monks are said to have taken its ancestor the citron from India to China where at least 6  six distinct types of Buddha’s Hand are cultivated on 5,000 acres just south of Shanghai. sometime in the mid to late 80’s the fruit was cultivated in California commercially…

Although many fruits are the size of a hand with fingers the fingered canopy has been known to grow between 6 and 12 feet in height this is why it is often used at Halloween and is sometimes known as the Ghost Hand…

Medicinally it has been used for centuries and for thousands of years used for pain relief…namely due to the chemical composition of the fruit, which includes coumarin, limonin, and diosmin. In combination with its anti-inflammatory capacity, Buddha’s hand can relieve swelling and pain caused by everything from injuries and surgeries to simple bangs and bruises and be often believed to speed up wound healing and discolouration of bruises.

This fruit needs a warm or at least temperate climate in which to grow. Where lemons and oranges can grow, so too can Buddha’s hand. Also like other citrus fruit, it ripens and is harvested starting in winter and may be available to buy into spring. It tends to come into season a bit more in-line with grapefruit than oranges, so we may be well into winter before you’ll see it piled up at markets.

As it is warm and sunny here I am hoping I can successfully grow this weird looking beautiful fruit…

I do hope you have enjoyed learning about this weird looking fruit as much as I have and if you are lucky enough to have tried this fruit please let us know in comments…I love to chat…Love Carol xx






I do hope you have enjoyed learning about this fruit as much as I have and if you are lucky enough to have tried this fruit please let us know in comments…I love to chat…Love Carol xx

CarolCooks2…Week 1…in my Kitchen……Made from scratch…Mustard…

Every Thursday I will show you how easy it is to replicate a processed food in your own kitchen…not only are most recipes easy to replicate but they make far more … are much more cost-effective …Who doesn’t like 3 for the price of one?

I am also really trying to get over the message that we should first and foremost be counting chemicals in our foods, not calories…I was going say count the sugar, salt and fat but we all know how important they are to our health and well being and that we should be aware of government guidelines but it seems the chemicals in our foods ..don’t quite carry the same importance for many…

Many illnesses/diseases are proven to be a direct result of the food and drinks we consume…I would much prefer to change my diet than pop a pill or three… Highly processed foods consumed in excess are known to have consequences for our health and our families health…

I am noticing when doing research the word “likely” crops up very frequently as in “likely safe”…and most times more than once in the same sentence…I don’t like it! It makes me uneasy…

It is also a fallacy that processed foods are too hard or too complicated to make…Many are just a process much like you follow a knitting or crochet pattern you just measure the ingredient and away you go …Yes, my mother and my grandmother taught me much but also much I have learnt myself…Yes, I have and still do have kitchen disasters (ask), my family…they would love to tell you…haha…I’ll do a post on them one day it will astound you…haha…

I make many of my own sauces, mixes and condiments …sometimes because I cannot buy it here and to import it costs far more than the ingredients it is also the preservatives I mean why else would something last for years…

I have also discovered TASTE…sometimes it is the taste… I can taste the ingredients and not just an overriding sweetness…I can see how much I can make in volume against the size of a pack I purchase in a store the cost speaks volumes both in my purse and in our health.

Ingredients: Store purchased Mustard.

Water, MUSTARD flour (21%), sugar, salt, WHEAT flour, turmeric, citric acid, stabiliser (xanthan gum) 8 ingredients…

My Homemade Mustard.

Ingredients: (5)

  • 1/4 cup cold quality vinegar (wine vinegar, rice vinegar etc.)
  • 1/2 a cup of cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 of a cup of mustard seeds

Let’s Cook!

 Mix together the water, vinegar, salt, and turmeric, then chill this in the refrigerator for a half-hour to an hour.

 Grind the mustard, then pour the cold liquid over the ground mustard immediately. Set it in the refrigerator overnight before using, for the best flavour.

If you don’t want yellow mustard, simply omit the turmeric.

The reason for the emphasis on cold vinegar and water is because this retains the flavour of the mustard,  otherwise, it loses its pungency quickly. The original recipe I used stated to let it stand overnight as this reduces the bitterness although I found 2/3 days was much better.

Also, as it chills, it should thicken up. This is the reason that store-bought mustard can be difficult to get out of the container if it comes directly from the refrigerator and isn’t at room temperature.




 This mustard will keep in the refrigerator for about a year due to its vinegar content although it doesn’t last that long here…they eat it!

My second batch was slightly smoother but I think I need to either dry my seeds in the oven or in the sun as dry frying it is so easy to burn them…which I did with the first batch so had to start again.

However, on doing a little research of my own I have found another recipe which recommends soaking the mustard seeds for 24/48hrs and then putting them in a small food processor and you will have a smooth paste after then passing the paste through a fine metal sieve however if you want grainier mustard then pass on the final step.

My quest for smooth mustard like the famous Colman’s mustard is not yet over but a work in progress……I will keep you updated…

In the meantime, my son taste tested …we had a little Colman’s mustard left so he used both on his dinner and said he really couldn’t taste any difference so it got the thumbs up from him and as he is a very good chef that was praise indeed!

About me and my cooking:

I use natural ingredients wherever possible. I do not use a packet or bottled ready-made mixes. I also do not use a microwave ( for personal) reasons.

I cook as far as it is humanly possible with fresh, homegrown or homemade condiments. I support local farmers as much as I can.

Saying that I am not fanatical and on occasions, I buy a bottle of salad cream…I just don’t buy ready meals or meals in a packet or tin I like to make my own.

To be honest, a lot of foodstuffs which I used to buy are so easy to make, more flavoursome and cheaper and importantly better for your health.

N.B. I have added a clickable link on mustard seeds which will give you further benefits and uses of this little seed.

Until next time enjoy!

Thank you for reading this post I hope you enjoy this new series…if you make your own mustard and have some tips to share please leave a comment I would love to hear from you…Love Carol x