Tag Archives: Figs

The Culinary Alphabet with a twist…The letter G ( nutmeG)

Good morning everyone and Pete… time for another post which is this crazy idea from one of my fellow scribes …but food fun…

G is not quite another doozy…  more processes but still culinary processes with a few foods thrown in…

 

Butterflying:

pork loin gruyere cheese onions

To butterfly in cooking terms is to cut a piece of meat, fish or poultry nearly in half and flatten it out…Prawns are often butterflied when being prepared for the BBQ…A leg of lamb butterflied and stuffed then rolled is a wonderful thing as is this loin of Pork...All you need is a sharp knife and the know how…click the link above and I will show you how easy it is to do…

Charbroiling:

Charbroiler grilling is defined as “the process used when an item is cooked on a grated surface to sear in the flavours and impart a degree of charring which gives the product a light charcoal smoke flavour.” Charbroiling will expose food to temperatures often in excess of 260 °C (500 °F).

Egg:

Comes from a chook/duck/goose/quail/turkey, ants or fish…Caviar being one of the most expensive of eggs…The most expensive of all caviar, and indeed the world’s most expensive food is ‘Almas’, from the Iranian Beluga fish – 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) of this ‘black gold’ is regularly sold for £20,000 (then $34,500). Almas is produced from the eggs of a rare albino sturgeon between 60-100 years old, which swims in the southern Caspian Sea where there is apparently less pollution.

Caviar is traditionally eaten directly from the skin between the index finger and the thumb. The eggs are rolled slowly around the mouth and pop to release the flavour.

Ant eggs are a popular food here and can be found on most market stalls and indeed make a lovely salad or are good in a soup…But if you want to know the weirdest of eggs to eat think shark egg, penguin, Emu, Turtle, Snail eggs…and of course the most expensive chocolate egg comes from Choccywoccydoodah – €31,000. When it comes to luxury Belgian chocolate, look no further than British-based chocolaterie, Choccywoccydoodah. …Hows that for an Easter Egg?

Etrog:

Is the yellow citron or Citrus medica used by Jews during the week-long holiday of Sukkot as one of the four species. The Etrog (citron fruit), Lulav (frond of date palm) Hadass (myrtle bough) and Aravah (willow branch) – are the four species the Jewish people are commanded to bind together and wave in the sukkah, a temporary booth constructed for use during the week-long festival of Sukkot.

Fig:

There is nothing quite like a beautiful fresh fig...one of my favourite things …

Glug:

Is a hollow gurgling sound or series of sounds as of liquid being poured from a bottle. i.e some recipes call for a glug of Olive oil…it is a word I am quite familiar with as my mother used to refer to a glug of oil or wine…is a British thing I ask…so many of my American friends have queried my use of the word.

Gochujang:

My new favourite chilli paste…it is a Korean hot pepper chilli paste…used for marinades, added to dipping sauces or your soups and stews if you want to spice things up a little…

Goreng:

A Malaysian word which is applied to noodles or rice which are fried with meat, fish or vegetables as in Nasi Goreng a popular Malaysian fried rice dish often served for breakfast.

Homogenising:

Is process milk goes through where fat is emulsified thus the cream then does not separate. As a child, a treat was the gold-topped milk which had a layer of cream…it comes from Jersey or Guernsey and although pasteurised it is not homogenised…One of my childhood memories…

Icing:

Icing, or frosting, is a sweet, often creamy glaze made of sugar with a liquid, such as water or milk, that is often enriched with ingredients like butter, egg whites, cream cheese, or flavourings. It is used to coat or decorate baked goods, such as cakes.

Jug:

To “jug” is to stew or boil a hare or a rabbit in an earthenware jug or a jar…an old fashioned method of cooking before we had slow cookers and the like.

Maprang:

Or Marian plum is a lovely golden plum grown here in Thailand…

Maprang fruit is a smallish lemon colour fruit…This lovely fruit has a very short season and is likened to the mango but the taste is nothing like a mango…Also called the Marian Plum by some this small, oval-shaped fruit, small enough to fit wholly within the palm of your hand, is green when young, but will turn a deep yellow-orange when ripe.

Many Thais prefer to eat this fruit before it is fully ripened…a cross between mango and plum, with just a hint of sour flavour on the surface right under the skin which gives way to a sweet fruit beneath.  It’s a lovely combination of sweet and sour, which many look forward to eating each year! In fact, the entire fruit is edible, from the skin to seed, however, the seed is quite bitter, so not many will eat them.  The leaves are used in salads or cooked.

Due to its short season, it is one of the more expensive fruits here ..it is high in Vitamin C, fibre and has quite a high water content…I like this fruit very much.

Nutmeg:

Originating from the dark-leaved evergreen Myristica fragrans tree in Indonesia, the seed is now grown and used globally, mostly for cooking but sometimes as a narcotic. However, for the purposes of getting high, nutmeg is not a commonly used substance.

One of my favourite spices which is great as a topping for rice pudding or an egg custard tart…

Nog:

Any beverage made with beaten eggs usually mixed with alcoholic liqueur…Egg Nog is a good example especially popular during the cold months of the year. There is nothing like a good glass of egg nog topped with a sprinkling of nutmeg I have lovely memories of my nana making egg nog and letting me have sneaky sip…

That’s all for this week see you in two weeks for the letter H (noocH)…

Please stay safe as it seems in some places lockdowns are being introduced again…not good xx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there 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!

Please stay safe and well and follow your governments safety guidelines remember we are all in this together xxx

 

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 23rd August -29th August 2020… Recipes, Health(Sugar) and Children’s Teeth, Whimsy, and …A murmuration of Starlings…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week…

Take a pew and get comfy… have a read… I hope you enjoy it!

Relax and Enjoy! (1) Weekly Roundup

Monday always starts with news and my views… always something new to discover…This week was no different…

Does food labelling go far enough…Personally, I don’t think it does some countries are better than others ..it would be lovely if labelling was standardised although maybe that would be difficult depending on the country…

Image by Igor Ovsyannykov from Pixabay 

Seeing all the shelves like that is pretty daunting if you have to check all the labels…maybe the supermarket shelves should be colour coded and marked when goods are high in certain ingredients it would make our shopping so much easier ..Wouldn’t it?

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/24/food-labelling-does-it-go-far-enough/

Wednesday: The Culinary Alphabet with a twist…The letter D (charD)

I was challenged way back at the beginning of this year by Pete…who suggested that maybe I should use ingredients and cooking methods where the letter used, for example, was the last letter i.e Pizza(A)…

On reflection, I think it was a good idea although how I will fare when I get to some letters I am not sure if it will be doable, but, I will give it a good go… I am not one to back off if challenged…hehe

Today is the letter D ..easy as pie but not so many fruits and veggies it is more processes which I hope doesn’t bore you and at least one is new to you…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/26/the-culinary-alphabet-with-a-twistthe-letter-d-chard/

Thursday: 

Sugar…Children’s Teeth and Obesity…

So much has been said about children’s teeth and decay over the years and around the world…There are many dentists and organisations who are working as hard as they can to stop the rot…is it working not quickly enough…

Teeth and childhood obesity to me should be in the same sentence…I lay the blame squarely on the manufacturers, advertisers and governments …I know all three try to blame the parents and to a point yes…not everyone is as aware as I am, not everyone has the enquiring mind I have..so many reasons but it doesn’t alter the fact that manufacturers should be called to account and stores should display nutritional value far more clearly for those who cannot read the labels and decipher what they really say…It should be a priority and not a token gesture …

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/27/sugarchildrens-teeth-and-obesity/

Fruity Fridays:…The Fig…

The Fig…You can get it dried almost anywhere in the world and fresh and luscious from September through to autumn.

dried-2825_1920

There is nought like the taste of fresh figs and dried they are different but sweet, with a chewy flesh and crunchy edible seeds.

Figs start off as an enclosed inverted flower. The shape of their flower inhibits them from relying on bees or wind to spread their pollen in the same way other flowers can. Instead, figs must rely on the help of pollinator wasps to reproduce.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/28/fruity-friday-the-humble-fig-2/

Saturday Snippets…29th August 2020

Is the day where I indulge my whimsy or maybe something I feel is too good not to share or where I might even have a mini-rant which I did yesterday …I am a patriotic old biddy and although I embrace most change I do not when it comes to tradition and is at the whim of snowflakes…If you are not aware snowflake is a modern generation(slang)…it was also one of Collins English Dictionarys 2016 words of the year. Collins defines the term as “the young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations”.  

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/29/saturday-snippets29th-august-2020/

I have an extra treat for you…Sally from Smorgasbord Magazine with her weekly roundup…Something for everyone, health advice, book reviews, book launches, something to make you smile if all else fails and from Moi ..recipes and rants…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/08/29/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-23rd-29th-august-2020-barbra-streisand-ireland-houston-book-reviews-childrens-books-health-and-laughter/

I will be back next week with more news and views and of course recipes…A lovely wild mushroom soup recipe and a beautiful giant jalapeno popper rolled up in a butterflied pork loin…

Thank you for reading and please stay safe and well…xxx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…be safe and stay well…

My hopes…for the future…

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

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe xxx

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all stay safe and healthy xx

Fruity Friday…The humble Fig

The Fig…You can get it dried almost anywhere in the world and fresh and luscious from September through to autumn.

dried-2825_1920

There is nought like the taste of fresh figs and dried they are different but sweet, with a chewy flesh and crunchy edible seeds.

Figs start off as an enclosed inverted flower. The shape of their flower inhibits them from relying on bees or wind to spread their pollen in the same way other flowers can. Instead, figs must rely on the help of pollinator wasps to reproduce.

Nearing the end of her life, a female wasp will crawl through the tiny opening of the inverted fig flower to lay her eggs. She will break off her antennas and wings in the process, dying shortly afterwards.

The wasp’s body is then digested by an enzyme within the fig, while her eggs prepare to hatch. Once they do, male larvae mate with female larvae, which then crawl out of the fig, with pollen attached to their bodies, to continue both species lifecycle.

This is where some controversy creeps in...Some followers of veganism profess that as figs are a product of a wasps death then this fruit should not be considered vegan…however common sense prevails in most case and it is seen as a symbiotic relationship which allows both species to survive.

Figs are sweet with a chewy flesh, smooth skin and crunchy edible seeds. They are also one of the only fruits to ripen on the tree.

Did you know? Fig puree can replace fat/sugar in baked goods? Well neither did I until fairly recently a fig puree can be used as a sugar and fat substitution.

Just combine 8 ounces of fresh figs and 1/4 -1/3 cup of water in a blender; puree until smooth. If using dried figs, soak figs in water until softened before pureeing. Use as you would applesauce in baked recipes, as a substitution for both fat and sugar. Replace up to half the fat in a recipe with fig puree, and reduce or eliminate the sugar required.

Or use the puree as a spread over toast and fruits; or thin it out with more water and use as a liquid sweetener for coffee, drinks and in place of honey or maple syrup in your recipes.

The fig is also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. It has Vitamin A, B1, and B2…. 3 figs have  5 gm of fibre..so if you are not careful you could if you eat too many figs end up with the “back door trots”. This is an old English saying just in case you were wondering.

In the Indian sub-continent, it is made into a soothing, calming salve which if applied by a topical application it can provide relief to Venereal Disease.  Although more research needs to be done to prove its effectiveness.

The Spaniards introduced figs to California in the early 16th century. The priests who lived in San Diego at the “Mission” originally planted the figs and the dark purple figs became known as Mission figs.

Native to the Middle East and western Asia the fig tree Ficus Carica is also a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness cultivated since ancient times it is mentioned many times in the bible and probably why many also believe that it was not apples in the garden of Eden but figs which tempted Adam and Eve. Now that is a thought.

figs-2662883_1920

Figs made their first commercial product appearance with the 1982 introduction of Fig Newtons cookies…I just love fig bars.

Did you know that eating one-half a cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking a half a cup of milk?

Figs also go wonderfully with blue cheese and wrapped in parma ham they are to die for. Just saying…

The Fig like lots of herbs, fruits and vegetables we eat have amazing healing properties and I think we should look at what we have growing naturally in our beautiful world instead of buying all these ready-made processed foods which are not even convenient most of the time and full of nasties…

Here endeth the sermon…

This fig sauce is lovely over duck breasts or chicken.

duck-breast-2729838_1920

Fig Sauce

  • 12  dried black figs with the stems trimmed off.
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh chicken stock
  • 2 sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 1 sprig rosemary although I will admit to adding a bit more…
  • Salt and pepper to Taste
  • Fresh Figs (optional)

In a small saucepan cook the black figs in the chicken stock for about 10 minutes until soft, remove from the stock and chop finely and return to the stock. Set to one side.

In a small pan melt the butter and add the finely chopped garlic and mushrooms cook for 30 secs don’t allow to burn as garlic it catches quite quickly. Add the brandy and simmer for 1 minute. Add rosemary sprig and fig stock and fresh figs (if using) simmer for 3 minutes until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Just serve over your sliced duck breasts it is a lovely rich sauce and nice for that special occasion.

If fresh figs are in season then they are lovely served with the duck breast…

Enjoy!

Figs are not native to Thailand which is why very rarely I only see ones that are imported and very expensive however it is also said that they can adapt to the Thai climate which means maybe I can plant my own fig tree if I can find one…The search is on xxx

I hope you are enjoying Fruity Fridays don’t forget if you have a fruit you would like me to feature please send me a picture…

Until next time be well and stay safe…

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 fabulous weekend and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘F’ for Figs, Finger limes, Flambe, Fenugreek, Fruit Pectin,Fugu

Figs and Falafel…and lots of other goodies for you all beginning with F..Yes itS that time when I have some culinary delights for you and today I bring you the letter F….Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

Welcome once again to Carols Cooking Column and today in my culinary trawl we have the Letter F. I am loving this series as I am discovering foods and cooking terms I didn’t know or didn’t think I knew so I hope you are too.

‘F’ for me was not as easy as some and not so many terms beginning with F although as I was writing I did think of some more it takes me a while sometimes…getting old…lol
Let’s kick off with this Culinary journey…

Falafel…

A deep-fried ball, doughnut or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans or a combination of both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food that…

View original post 1,725 more words

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome it is that time of the week …I hope you all enjoyed Halloween?…

Yesterday the 5th of November was Guy Fawkes in the UK…he was the guy who in 1605  tried and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament…The effigy we make to sit on top of our bonfires is a symbol of Guy Fawkes…

It will then be the start of the Christmas preparations…I always loved the preparation and the run-up to Christmas…The Christmas Carol’s, the pantomimes, the decorations and some of those are just awesome all added to that ambiance which is what I miss here…Christmas is not celebrated here…The big shopping centres, of course, have the tree and decorations and there it stops there is no atmosphere and Christmas joy which I remember… I try to recreate it at home and I am the only house with a tree and fairy lights here…

I do wonder though if I go back at Christmas would I feel the same joy I used to…?

Although pantomime is often seen as something quaint, something utterly British, its origins lie in warmer climes. It developed from the Italian street theatre of the Commedia dell’arte in the 16th Century, with comedic moments, stock characters and great physicality.

John Rich, actor-manager of the Lincoln’s Inn Theatre (opened 1714) and The Theatre Royal, Covent Garden (opened 1732), has been called the father of pantomime because he was the first to realise the potential of the Commedia characters.

What is your favourite panto? Do you have your tickets booked? I loved the panto as a kid and it is still part of English tradition…

Did you know it has been 18 years since the first Harry Potter movie was released…4th November 2001…Who would have guessed that The Philosophers Stone would be followed by so many sequels?…. Oops I got my movie and my book muddled but thanks to Tori who is an avid fan she very nicely corrected me…It’s been 18 years since the first Harry Potter movie was released. It’s been longer for the book version, which was released on June 26th, 1997. Sorry… Been a huge Harry Potter fan since 2000, when the publicity of the release of the 4th book brought it to my parents’ attention, and they got me a copy of the first book.

Going back a few more years to Nov 1996 saw the start of the phenomenon which was The Spice Girls…Love them or hate them they were a success and their debut album “Spice” sold 23 million copies…

After all these years they have evolved and are still news…For me, the best thing is David Beckham…A fine figure of a man…I unashamedly do think he has aged very well…Ahem…

David Beckham in Denver

David Beckham in Denver

Photo credit: ebatty on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Moving on quickly…

Food Waste…starvation…Homelessness always tweaks at my heartstrings…This time of year when the winds get cold and snow and frost prevail it always seems worse…But among all the sad stories there are the most heartwarming tales of the goodness which exists in some peoples’ hearts.

Yesterday I came across Stone Soup when I was reading the lovely Dolly’s blog a post by Dorothy on Stone Soup…I have never heard of stone soup…Dorothy also participates in

” The empty Bowl”…A lovely community project… Please pop over and have a look it is projects like this which give me hope and reassure me that people do care and have a heart but please remember we should care all year round…And please if you have any local community projects like this let me know and I will share…

Anyone for stone soup?…. I would love those stories…  I also love how the concept has evolved…

Fascinating…

Time for a story…S C Richmond…

The Charade…Chapter 10…by Carol Taylor…

71414cb886ccacb9a175dafd2b49776c--vintage-evening-gowns-vintage-gownsIt was getting late and the street lights had just come on. What had started out as an adventure to find a new dress was turning into a fruitless search.

   They were either too much money or dresses that she wouldn’t wear they were tacky and cheap.

The euphoria she has felt earlier had all but gone ….Shoulders slumped she started to make her way back to her room…That lonely room..Where the nightmares always came.

   Turning the corner she saw some twinkling lights come on and noticed a little shop…It lay back from the other shops which surrounded the markets stalls.

   She drew closer and saw a delightful little Christmas scene in the window someone had decorated it so beautifully,  everything twinkled and sparkled, she wondered who had been so artistic and clever, it caught her breathe, it was very lovely. The bell on the door tinkled and a little old man came out “Come in and look, my dear”

   “Oh, No thank you, I was just admiring your window it is beautiful but I am looking for a special dress”.

   “My dear I may have just the dress for you” On an impulse and he had such a kindly face she stepped inside …It was just like a wonderland..

Staring round in amazement…. So many pretty things…why had she not seen this shop before?

Her eyes were drawn to a beautiful pale blue dress….

“I see you looking at the blue dress my dear ..my grandson made it..he is very talented… Try it on. It looks like a perfect fit for you”. Taking the dress and putting it behind some curtains the old man held the door open.

   Putting on the dress just felt right it molded her body in all the right places, stepping outside to look in the mirror..she gasped was that really her. The young lady looking back at her was beautiful.

   “Just a ribbon for your hair is all you need. Who is the lucky man?”

   The girl twirled around and couldn’t believe her eyes..it was perfect and her necklace would be the finishing touch. Reaching into her bag she fastened the ribbon around her neck. Perfect.

   “How much… Is the dress?’ She held her breath waiting for the old man to speak. Please, please let me have enough.

When he told her she gasped “Are you sure… That is so little for a wonderful dress”

   “It looks like it was made for you my dear and the dress deserves a beautiful lady to show it off..My grandson would be so proud if he could see it on you”.

   “Is he not here?”

   “No, he is away on business buying more silk and satin”.

Paying for the dress the girl felt like a real lady for once, cinders would go to the ball.

   She heard a gasp; the old man was looking at her necklace with a look on his face which the girl couldn’t fathom. “ Where did you get that necklace?”

   “I have always had it… It’s all I have to remind me of my parents… Why are you looking at me like that?

The old man’s face took on a look of such sadness… “You have her eyes girl..Such beautiful eyes”

   “You know my mother?”

   “A long time ago my dear…”

T.B.C.

The first week in November is National Fig week…I love fresh figs…figs fresh and dried

Fig Facts:
  • Figs keep baked goods fresh by naturally holding in moisture
  • California grows one hundred percent of the nation’s dried figs.
  • Early Olympians consumed figs while training.
  • A half-cup of figs has as much calcium as a half cup of milk.
  • Figs, not apples, may have been grown in the Garden of Eden
  • Fig Newton cookies made their debut in 1892.

Did you know? Fig puree can replace fat/sugar in baked goods? Well neither did I until fairly recently a fig puree can be used as a sugar and fat substitution.

Just combine 8 ounces of fresh figs and 1/4 -1/3 cup of water in a blender; puree until smooth. If using dried figs, soak figs in water until softened before pureeing. Use as you would applesauce in baked recipes, as a substitution for both fat and sugar. Replace up to half the fat in a recipe with fig puree, and reduce or eliminate the sugar required.

Or use the puree as a spread over toast and fruits; or thin it out with more water and use as a liquid sweetener for coffee, drinks and in place of honey or maple syrup in your recipes…

I can’t finish without a tune...Art Garfunkel of Simon and Garfunkel fame was born on the 5th of November 1941…One of my favourites… Bridge over troubled Water…is a beautiful song and often used to express or represent a person, a friend or loved one…

The line “Sail on, silver girl” is often reputed to refer to a needle (meaning the song is about heroin) but it actually refers to Simon’s girlfriend (and later wife) Peggy Harper who found a few gray hairs and was upset. The lyric was meant as a joke – Simon calling her “Silver Girl” because of her hair.

That’s all from me for this week I hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane…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…

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 Recipes… Lighter Puddings

christmas-1695531_1920

Day 5 on the Christmas countdown and today I have some lighter puddings for you as I know some either don’t like or can’t eat a Christmas Pudding…

I always make a Fresh fruit salad and anything goes in whatever is in season and I have some lovely choice of some lovely  exotic fruits to choose from here but wherever you live check out your fruit section and I am sure you will find something exotic there and you only need one if it is a dragon fruit or something which can be expensive but they are quite big so only one would be required the only fruit I don’t use and not because I don’t like it but just because the texture isn’t right for a fruit salad is the banana but you could always make a lovely banan split and that would be a lovely alternative to a rich, Christmas pudding wouldn’t it?

The beauty of a fresh fruit salad is that you can make it as large or as small as you like one portion or ten. You can use any fruit that you have and it can different every time.

fruit-2305192_1920

The one I always make is very simple I use Oranges, Apples, Grapes, Pear, and section and slice them and add lemon/ lime juice to stop the fruit going brown.

Sometimes I  also add some freshly squeezed orange juice or other fruit juice.

This is now when it gets interesting as you can add a little freshly grated ginger, some crushed lemongrass even treat yourself to one of those exotic fruits you have seen in your local shop or farmers market just to liven it up, change it.

Maybe even a touch of chilli???

Some sesame seeds? Some poppy seeds?? Just sprinkled over the top of your serving???

If I use a soft fruit like melon,  mango, strawberries, peaches, apricots, watermelon or kiwi then I put those in about 15 mins before I serve the fruit salad. Otherwise, they can go too mushy and we like our fruit salad fresh and vibrant, nice and crisp.

And of course here I have access to plenty of fresh pineapples, Lychees and Dragon fruit are plentiful and in season here at the moment so into the mix they go…What is your favourite fruit salad mix???

To jazz it up a bit put your salad into a hollowed out pineapple skin… and make like a little boat…

pineapple-boat-575802_1280

You can use any combination of fruit that you like just make sure you use lemon/ lime

juice to stop the fruit from discolouring and keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

It can be served quite simply with fresh cream or clotted cream if you can get it…

Ice cream there are now so many flavours to choose from or make your own or add some chilli to the chocolate ice cream or as my hubby prefers just a good old fashioned custard.

Serve it with your porridge oats or other cereal with natural yoghurt… the possibilities are endless… Have fun when you make one and try different fruits.

Enjoy!

Banana Split

banana-split-2701128_1920

Now as you know I get bananas by the cartload here and as it’s Christmas then treat yourself just split a banana and create a culinary masterpiece… Ice cream of your choice and why not mix the flavours, some whipped cream or mascarpone and a sauce, chocolate, salted caramel or my favourite a lovely raspberry coulis… Maybe some little marshmallows or some pieces of meringue…Go wild and have fun!

Christmas comes but once a year!

How about a lovely whole baked apple…I remember my dear mummy making these and I used to love them… In fact, I haven’t had one for years…

apple-1883934_1920

Just stuff with some dried fruits, sultanas or chopped apricots maybe a little of the sweet mincemeat? Add some cinnamon or mixed spice… Drizzle with some maple syrup or golden syrup and bake until the apple is soft and the juices are running…A lovely light pudding after your Christmas meal…

Just some baked figs with some cheese also make a lovely lighter pudding so many dishes you can make..A pannacotta with fresh fruit?

What dessert do you make for after your Christmas meal?

I love creme brulee or fruit salad…I also love a small piece of Christmas pudding but normally save that for later when my lunch has gone down.

Until tomorrow for more Christmas recipes and ideas…xxx