Tag Archives: christmas recipes

Smorgasbord Health – Christmas Cook From Scratch – Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Perfect and Healthy Brussel Sprouts

Awww Brussel Sprouts love them or hate them…I am in the love them camp… they always bring a lovely memory of my dad to mind as one of the last Christmas he spent with us he sat at the table saying “Love Brussels, must eat my Brussels ..repeated a few times over we were all in fits of laughter and it always makes us remember him with much love he made us smile ..Enjoy your Brussels daddy I am sure you have converted them all up there 🙂 xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

It is that time of year when we bring out the decorations and over here – The Cook from Scratch Christmas recipes... I look at the health benefits of the food.. and my friend Carol Taylorturns them into something delicious the whole family will love.

Brussel sprouts are not necessarily the most asked for vegetable by children as they do have a slightly bitter taste (actually the healthy element of the Brussels), but if you prepare them following Carol’s guidance, they should be a hit with all the family.

At this time of year they are readily available in the stores and are a wonderful side dish for Turkey on Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Variety is the spice of life….and our bodies need a wide variety of foods to extract all the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

We are just coming into the Brussel sprout season and…

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Mistletoe and Wine…Time to pickle…Eggs and Star Fruit…

Goodmorning and although sunny it is a cool 14 degrees here this morning…Time to get out a shawl for my shoulders…Tuesday is the day where all you Pickle addicts can pickle and pucker…Don’t you love that initial intake of breath when the vinegar hits your taste buds…?? Makes you give a little involuntary shiver…

Love pickled eggs??

But want a change ?? Love the colour pink? Then add some beet juice…Fancy a bit of spice  ?? Then check out these recipes…

Jalapeno pickled eggs:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 a cup of Cider Vinegar.
  • 3/4 a cup of water.
  • 1/2 cup of sugar plus 1 tbsp sugar.
  • 6 cloves.
  • 2 Jalapenos cut in half lengthwise and deseeded.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 onion sliced.
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 9 Hard-boiled eggs, peeled.

Let’s get pickling!

Boil eggs for 10-15 mins until hard. Remove from heat and put into cold water.

In a medium pan, put vinegar, water( or beet juice) if using, onion, jalapenos, sugar, and spices. Bring to the boil and cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Pour vinegar over eggs making sure they are completely covered.

If using beet juice also put some beet in the jar with the eggs. You will then have pickled beets as well.

Make sure the lid is tight and refrigerate. The eggs will be ready to eat in a few days and will keep for up to a month if you haven’t already eaten them.

Curried Flavoured Pickled Eggs:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cider vinegar.
  • 3/4 a cup of water.
  • 1/4 of an onion.
  • 3/4 cup white sugar.
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds( yellow or brown)
  • I tbsp yellow curry paste.

Let’s Pickle!

As above bring all the ingredients to the boil until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool a little and then pour the vinegar mix over the eggs making sure they are completely covered.

Allow to pickle for a few days in the fridge they are then ready to eat… Left with lots of pickle juice ????

Don’t want to waste that pickle juice???    Then have a …

Pickleback

What is a pickleback? You are about to find out! Let’s pickle and pucker…

It’s a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice and some even follow that with a beer chaser…

A popular drink in bars around the world and apparently very good….Have you tried a pickleback????

I pickle everything well almost…

Here in Northern Thailand, the Star fruit is now in season and the trees are laden with the lovely fruit much still green at the moment but some are yellow and they are such a pretty fruit. I can smell them as I walk past the tree they have such a fragrant smell…

Star Fruit or Carambola as it is also known as is a lovely vibrant yellow and due to its distinctive ridges when it’s cut it resembles a star hence its name.

The entire fruit is edible it has a firm, crunchy flesh and is quite juicy. The taste is likened to that of a grape. There are two main types of star fruit the smaller fruit is sour(tart) and the larger fruit like I have in my garden is sweeter. But although sweet they very rarely have more than a 4% sugar content.

Here in Thailand they are cooked with shrimp or chicken or eaten raw dipped into the sugar/chilli mix which is commonly eaten with fruit here or just eaten with rock salt. It can be made into relishes, preserves and juice drinks, stewed with cloves or apples.

They are also used as a pretty garnish or in a salad with papaya and pineapple.

Star Fruit Relish:

  • 8 cups of star fruit, thinly sliced and any seeds removed.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves tied in a muslin bag and slightly crushed.
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg( optional) see note below.

Let’s Pickle!

Wash and thinly slice the star fruit removing any seeds. Cover with the cider vinegar and stand overnight.

Drain the vinegar add sugar, salt and clove bag. Cook gently until the relish starts to thicken then allow to stand overnight.

In the morning remove the spice bag and reheat the mix after adding the nutmeg if used and bring back to the boil.

If you plan to store the star fruit chutney then omit the nutmeg as it will turn the relish a brown colour although it does add another dimension to the taste.

Put into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Enjoy with some cold meats or on bread and butter.

N.B. Pickles make a lovely Christmas Present…With a pretty ribbon and a handwritten label, even the Queen of England was happy to receive a jar of homemade pickle.

I hope you have enjoyed these pick…le recipes if you try then please let me know …I like some of these as they don’t have to be left too long and can be eaten almost immediately unlike some pickles which need time to mature..xx

Don’t forget please let me have your Christmas images, jumpers, food, Christmas parties anything Christmas…Let’s get into the Christmas zone…x

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

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

In the meantime …These cute pooches will fill the space…Their mum is the lovely, Tori whose lovely children’s books would make awesome stocking fillers…

Lilie and Logan in red Christmasy bandannas

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

Christmas…’Tis the season of love and laughter…

The magic which is Christmas...I try although it is hard when it is sunny and no one else celebrates it…But Chrismas is in my soul and I hope that I can share some of the magic I have always felt with you and of course make you remember and smile…

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

As a child Christmas was always a happy time a time when we got little treats which we didn’t get year-round…I mean take the hot cross bun you can get those any time of the year …I like to enjoy things in season and which I only have at certain times of the year…Do you?

We always had a stocking…Nothing fancy like today just one of my dad socks with a satsuma in the toe, a chocolate Christmas Santa, a sugar mouse and a small toy or maybe a pretty handkerchief…

A pillowcase for our main presents…I hated dolls and the like so my sisters got toys and dolls… I got books, pencils, and jigsaw puzzles…Always a Rupert Bear Annual…such happy days…

Midnight Mass...when I was old enough I was allowed to attend and then as I was in the church choir…sing…How I loved those Christmas Hymns…Do you have a favourite?

One of mine is…The First Noel…

The First Noel, the angels say
To Bethlehem’s shepherds as they lay.
At midnight watch, when keeping sheep,
The winter wild, the light snow deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel.

Of Cornish origin, it is unusual in that one musical phrase is twice repeated…A song which traditionally is sung Christmas Eve, especially in the west of England. This was when the entire village gathered for singing and celebrating the bringing in of the Yule log. At this time carols were thought of as popular religious songs meant to be sung outside the church rather than within.

I love listening to The Kings Choir, Cambridge…

 

Traditions around the world at Christmas…

A Christmas tale …What fun they can be…We all love to regale our children and grandchildren with tales from Christmas past…most real, some imagined and we all…Come On…Admit it!

We have all stooped to bribery, corruption or just plain tall tales to make the kiddie winks BEHAVE!

Forget boring advent calendars….

Icelandic parents enthrall their children (and scare) them into being good with tales of the Ogress living in the Icelandic mountains.

She is one scary Mumma, described as half-troll/animal and the mother of 13 naughty boys known as the  “Yule Lads”. Grýla lives in the mountains with her husband, her thirteen children, and a black cat.

And that cat is pretty scary too….

Old Icelandic folklore states that every Icelander must receive a new piece of clothing for Christmas or they will find themselves in mortal danger. An enormous black cat prowls Iceland on Christmas Eve and eats anyone who doesn’t follow this simple rule. This obnoxious feline is known as the Christmas Cat.

cat-2540940_1920

The legend goes that every Christmas, Grýla and her sons come down from the mountains: Grýla in search of naughty children to boil in her cauldron and the boys in search of mischief. She can only capture children who misbehave but those who say sorry must be released.

Wow…that story will get the kiddies hiding under the bed covers or behind nannies apron…See yesterdays post…

The husband is not as wicked as her…  but a  bone-idle,  lazy slob.

The boys aka “The Yule” lads are naughty and mischievous and have wonderful names…Oh, what stories you could weave….and what fun you could inject into your stories.

the-icelandic-yule-lads

And what funny names they have.. Spoon- Licker is tall and thin. He steals unwashed spoons, which he licks clean.  and Door- Slammer well as the name implies….    Slams doors which are kept ajar at night, keeping people awake.

Icelandic children place a shoe in their bedroom window each evening in the 13 days before Christmas. Every night one Yuletide lad visits, leaving sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes(Yuk), depending on how a  child has behaved on that day.

I think it’s much better than a boring advent calendar, just think of the tales you can weave and what fun you and the kids could have and such a cool way to keep the little darlings in check.

How about  Sausage -swiper he hides in the rafters to snatch sausages which are hung up for smoking.

Nothing is safe from these wicked boys…

♦♦♦♦♦♦

What tales do you tell your children?

I was really lucky…because my youngest daughter believed in Santa Claus until she was about 13 years old…she was much ridiculed by her peers but stood her ground and insisted that she had seen Santa.

Well, she had….She was 3 yrs old and one of my son’s friends asked if he could ( while dressed) up as Santa and take a little present upstairs and put it in Laurens stocking.

He was told by me in no uncertain terms ” Do NOT wake her up”

Well, she did wake up..but the clever boy put his fingers to his lips and told her to shhhhhh and go back to sleep or I can’t leave your Christmas presents.

Which she did, from that Christmas onwards for many years she was insistent to all and sundry when they laughed and told her Santa didn’t exist…..That she knew he did because she had seen him…so thank you, Adam, .for keeping a little girl’s dreams alive!

I wish I had known about the 13 trolls though….

Now for some recipes…Thank you so much to those of you who have already shared your Christmas recipes please keep them coming…

Stir up Sunday has passed and the puddings are made and young Hugh shared his pudding mix and the finished cake which looks beautiful…They look so yummy and for those you who don’t like Christmas pudding, Meeks has shared a yummy and delicious Chocolate Mousse Cake...It looks and sounds so delicious…I could just dive in and indulge my self right now…Thank you so much, Meeks and Hugh, for sharing your Christmas fare…Just as a side note any Christmas Jumper pictures? I have last years not this years yet…

I know many people who have already got their tree up…Although I love Christmas I think having a tree up too early takes away the magic…I used to put mine up Christmas Eve when the kids were in bed and then get up early so that I could put on the lights and then I would wake them up and take them downstairs all sleepy to see the tree it was always such a lovely, magical time…

That was of course until they got older and demanded the tree went up a bit earlier…

The Christmas tree …I have seen a few magazine headings saying real or artificial? I have always had a real tree and that was that… Like many things Christmas…You don’t get a real tree here and somehow a palm or banana tree although they look very nice with lights on are a tad too big to bring inside…So it is now artificial I am also the only one for miles around who has a decorated tree in the window…

For me, however,, there is nothing as pretty as a tree covered in the snow such a beautiful sight.

In India however, Instead of having traditional Christmas Trees they do decorate banana or mango trees.

In Southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to show their neighbours that Jesus is the light of the world.

Christians in Mumbai use many Christmas traditions from Goa including the star lanterns and the stable manger scenes.

In India, Father Christmas or Santa Claus delivers presents to children from a horse and cart. He’s known as ‘Christmas Baba’ in Hindi, ‘Baba Christmas’ in Urdu (Father Christmas); ‘Christmas Thaathaa’ in Tamil and ‘Christmas Thatha’ in Telugu ( Christmas old man); and ‘Natal Bua’ (Christmas Elder Man) in Marathi. In Kerala state, he’s known as ‘Christmas Papa’.

I  do love the many traditions which surround Christmas around the world ..What is your favourite tradition?

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed this Christmas post of Traditions and treats and I would like to thank everyone who has made a contribution I think most bloggers love it when you get some interaction with your posts it makes the time spent very worthwhile so thank you and please if you have any favourite Christmas Tips, recipes anything please share with us xxx

Lastly, remember not everyone is fortunate and some people dread this time of year be aware and if you can add a little cheer please share your joy but also remember the other 364 days of the year pass your smile around and be kind… 

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you are all having a great week so far..busy given the time of year…Enjoy! 🙂 xx

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup… week ending 24th Nov 2019…

Welcome to this week’s roundup and do I have some goodies for you…Lots of things going on in the world …The election in the UK is gathering momentum…I have watched a few live clashes between the leaders of the parties and to say I am not impressed by much is an understatement…Here all is well and sunny …We had some aftershocks from the earthquake in neighboring Laos the other day…my bed shook somewhat and made me jump out rather quickly but that’s all nothing major…

Let’s see what I had for you this week….Enjoy!

Monday…Recycling and climate change…

circular recycling the world and a green leafAll good news though and there is a lot of that… it is not all doom and gloom…but we have to have hope and there is a lot to make us hopeful for but please remember there is a lot we can do to bring hope to many more around the world who maybe have no hope and just maybe we can help give them hope.

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/18/recycling-and-climate-change-the-good-no-the-great-news/

Tuesday…Mistletoe and Wine…

 

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

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/19/mistletoe-and-wine-christmas-cheer/

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

This week Sally very kindly republished my Christmas Menu which is also ideal for Thanksgiving…Lots of choices for all the courses and no I don’t make them all for our Christmas Meal may be a choice of two starters and desserts but just one main course…I hope you find something which tickles your tastebuds…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-thanksgiving-christmas-traditional-menu/

Wednesday…Whimsical Wednesdays with Moi…Carol Taylor…

The Christmas adverts have started I think the adverts are sometimes better than the TV programs… every year they seem to get better and better…I use u tube a lot and based on U tube views….Mogs Christmas is tops…I wonder if any of this year’s ads will knock it off its top spot…? That little dragon is cute… I just loved him…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/20/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-19/

Wednesday…Sally very kindly added my post to her daily blogger where she promotes bloggers from around the world…Today I was with one of my favourite bloggers who has cooked a wonderful blueberry pie and Debbie the dog lady with a wonderful heartwarming tale…I was in excellent company and of course my teammate Sally…xx

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-20th-november-2019-christmas-carol-taylor-dogsitter-debbie-the-doglady-odessa1941-blueberrypie-by-dolly-aizenman/

Thursday…Christmas and more recipes and trivia…

I love Christmas and all the glitz, kitsch and trivia…BUT…I also remember the little things, the traditions and Christmas here is not so frantic…Thais do not celebrate Christmas…I am the only one where I live who has a tree and lights but my Thai neighbours always bring me a little gift and honour our Chrismas as we honour their festivals…I was very touched when they did that on our first Christmas here…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/21/christmas-tis-the-season/

Friday…The Culinary Alphabet…The letter V…

You will find me once a month over at Esme’s where I work hard to find unusual foods and cooking methods on my trawl through the culinary alphabet…This month I started with food which could be a dessert or a savoury meal…Which is Vacherin which is a beautiful French meringue dessert or it is a cheese to read more please click the link below…

https://esmesalon.com/the-culinary-alphabet-the-letter-v/

Friday…Christmas …in my house…

Where I took you down to the farm and told you about our black chicken one of which will be part of our Christmas dinner …I also discussed whether or not stuffing is what you call it or dressing…an interesting debate and lastly I gave you some recipes for starters for either your Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner which I hope you will enjoy…x

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/22/christmasin-my-housetraditions-treats-and-a-touch-of-trivia/

Lastly, I reblogged a post from Sally…which disturbed me greatly…It is about the debate on whether or not to vaccinate your child and the fallout from those decisions…New statistics out show that as many as 6 children per hour are hospitalised in the UK with pneumonia…That is appalling and scary and the result of not having vaccinated your child…#recommended read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/18/smorgasbord-health-column-pneumonia-pneumonia-appalling-statistics-six-children-per-hour-hospitalised-in-the-uk/

I read Jane’s blog this morning and it resonated with me so I would like to share it with you…It puts Christmas into perspective ...It is only a short read but very pertinent please if Christmas makes you frantic …Pop over and have a read and remember there are always unicorns…x

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

That’s all for now ..Enjoy your weekend xxx

Lastly, remember not everyone is fortunate and some people dread this time of year be aware and if you can add a little cheer please share your joy but also remember the other 364 days of the year pass your smile around and be kind… 

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!

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

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome to my world and whimsical Wednesdays…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Time for some music…

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

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

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

Time for a story…

The Charade

 Chapter 12

 by SC Richmond

 

download-3the-charade

Carl hurried towards her and swept her into his arms.

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

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

“What time shall I pick you up tonight Cinders?

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

‘Is seven ok?”

   Carl nodded and smiled “seven it is.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Like a smile kindness is infectious…xxx

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

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

A Christmas Starter…Beetroot Tartare…

Beetroot tartare with capers

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

That’s all from me today on Whimsical Wednesday… I hope you have enjoyed reading this post…xx

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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

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

Christmas… Mistletoe and Wine and all things good …

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

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

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

christmas puddings and pies

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This time of year is also mating season.

Christmas Beetle. 1

Image by John Vossen from Pixabay

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

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

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

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

Image by pixel1 from Pixabay

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

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

 

Did you know???

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

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

mistletoe-berries-16393_640

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

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

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

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

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

P.S

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

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

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

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Mistletoe and Wine, Christmas Time…

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

Don’t forget… on the 24th of November…Stirup Sunday‘, so put on your apron, gather your ingredients, gather family or friends to make a Christmas pudding. It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so get stirring!

christmas-46335_640

 

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Christmas is approaching, and to us, that means one thing: Stir-up Sunday.

My mum always used to put a silver sixpence in the pudding ...what are your family’s traditions past or present?

Putting a silver coin in the pudding is another age-old custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it. In the UK the coin traditionally used was a silver ‘sixpence’. The closest coin to that now is a five pence piece!

silver sixpence

Photo credit: seriykotik1970 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

The tradition seems to date back to the Twelfth Night Cake which was eaten during the festivities on the ‘Twelfth Night’ of Christmas (the official end of the Christmas celebrations). Originally a dried pea or bean was baked in the cake and whoever got it, was ‘king or queen’ for the night. There are records of this practice going back to the court of Edward II (the early 1300s). The bean was also sometimes a silver ring of a small crown. The first coins used were a Silver Farthing or penny. After WW1 it became a threepenny bit and then a sixpence.

My mother stopped when my dad chipped one of his teeth and I suspect there were many a chipped tooth from those customs…

You might also get other items (sometimes called ‘tokens’ or ‘favours’) placed in the Christmas Pudding which also meant to have special meanings:

  • Bachelor’s Button: If a single man found it, they would stay single for the following year.
  • Spinster’s/Old Maid’s Thimble: If a single woman found it, they would stay single for the following year.
  • A Ring: If a single person found this, it meant you will get married in the following year! It can also mean you will be rich for the following year

A bit of history…

Christmas (or Plum) Pudding is the traditional end to the British Christmas dinner. But what we think of as Christmas Pudding, is not what it was originally like!

Christmas pudding originated as a 14th-century porridge called ‘frumenty’ that was made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines, and spices. This would often be more like soup and was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas festivities. That sounds like a good idea as I can remember feeling extraordinarily bloated after our Christmas dinner and never wanting to move again.

Christmas Pudding

By 1595, frumenty was slowly changing into a plum pudding, having been thickened with eggs, breadcrumbs, dried fruit and given more flavor with the addition of beer and spirits. It became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650, but in 1664 the Puritans banned it as a bad custom as they could find no justification in the bible to celebrate and indulge in gluttony, drinking, and other such frivolous occupations… 

advert for plum pudding

 

Photo credit: Boston Public Library on Visualhunt / CC BY

 

In 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal, having tasted and enjoyed Plum Pudding. By Victorian times, Christmas Puddings had changed into something similar to the ones that are eaten today.

Christmas is also the time of many lists…I have lists everywhere or I did… I must admit as I have gotten older I have condensed them somewhat and of course, now we have the internet lists can be kept online accessible from your phone…Rather than digging down the bag for that elusive list, you know you had…

It was my dear blogging friend Dolly who reminded me of this she also has goodies like blueberry pie and other such yummies so please pay her a visit…So I found this one for you to download if you are a list person…Thank you, Carmia it is a pretty list and very functional…

Christmas Decorations…Pool Noodles…A great way to upcycle…

3-Holiday-DIYs-From-Pool-Noodles-14

Easy to make with lots of images even the kids could help…

https://chascrazycreations.com/3-holiday-diys-from-pool-noodles/

How many sleeps? 42 days, 11 hours and 42 minutes at the time of writing this…

Now my lucky American family and friends get to eat two Christmas dinners…First comes Thanksgiving …which had been celebrated on the last Thursday of November since the time of Abraham Lincoln. That was until as 1941 ended, when Roosevelt made the final permanent change, as he signed a bill making Thanksgiving Day fall on the fourth Thursday of November, regardless of whether it is the last Thursday of the month or not.

I like that Thanksgiving is before our Christmas as sometimes I find some yummy recipes which I haven’t tried before…as a cook I am always looking for new recipes…

happy-thanksgiving-4567939_640

I would like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and to ask if you would please share your recipes with us here…x

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

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

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

 

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

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