Tag Archives: Recipes

Whimsical Wednesday…CarolCooks2…

Hello and welcome… I would like to say that here on Whimsical Wednesdays it is a Corona free zone but this sneaky virus has crept into every single aspect of our lives…Awake or asleep it is there…It dominates the headlines and our thoughts…It invokes great sadness but also great joy…and a smidgen of hope…My focus is coming out the other side with hope in my heart for much-needed changes…

We are in unprecedented times…

Pigs...I love a bit of pork crackling…I mean most people do…I make the perfect Pork Crackling and can often be found shrieking at the screen when someone is trying to make pork crackling and failing…turn the oven up and leave it alone…Perfect Pork Crackling…

Way back in the spring of 1866, the American General Grant struck the western cliffside of Auckland Island, a remote, subantarctic mass of rocky land in the middle of the South Pacific. Shipwrecked and trapped inside a rocky cavern, the ship began its fateful plunge into the frigid water, dragging most of its passengers down with it. Things looked bleak for the few who survived—the uninhabited island was often plagued by severe winds, heavy downpours, and harsh cold spells. But the castaways benefited from an unexpected resource that helped keep the majority of them alive for 18 months until their eventual rescue. Deep in the forest lay a herd of long-haired, narrow-faced pigs—or rather, strange, precious island pork….Crackling!

Today, well over a century later, as many as 1,000 of these pigs still roam along the misty shoreline, thrusting their narrow snouts into the earth to find edible roots, flipping beach stones in search of fly larvae, and devouring the occasional whale carcass that’s been washed ashore. “They’ve adapted well,” remarks Michael Willis, director of Rare Breeds International and founder of Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. At his Christchurch nature reserve, Willis cares for a small group of Auckland Island pigs that have been scooped from the edge of the world and transplanted onto mainland New Zealand. “Their tails are hairy, their ears are hairy, and some have a bit of a down on them to stay warm.”

wild boar

Scrappy, agile, and, according to Willis, “good-natured things,” they’re incredible creatures that were never supposed to exist. It was not only pigs but rabbits, goats and also cats..it is the pigs however who are decimating other species on the island…They eat the plant roots, albatross eggs, and penguins. They all but forced white-capped mollymawks into breeding in the island’s steep cliffs, after tossing adult birds from their nests and devouring their eggs and small chicks. According to New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC), they’re largely responsible for the disappearance of over 30 native bird species from the island. I don’t know what the answer is…But I do hope a solution can be found one which protects all of the biodiversity of these islands.

Nature is wonderful but it can also be destructive I don’t know what the answer is but it seems to be causing Pig Wars…

While we are on the subject of pigs...on this day back in 1933 Walt Disneys released …3 Little Pigs…who didn’t and doesn’t love that film???

Ahhhh that revived some memories of watching watching this as a child and with little ones…A timeless film as are most Disney Films loved by generations …

Let’s have a tune...some music…my music tastes are very varied and my starting point today was top ten bands…No 1…The Beatles..now while I think some of their tunes are catchy I was never a great Beatles fan…I prefer heavier rock bands…Music with a bit of soul or grit…What’s your musical preference?

Early May in 1977 the Sex Pistols released God Save the Queen…on the 31st May it was BANNED( no surprises) there from being played on the BBC for “gross bad taste”

A week after “God Save the Queen” was banned, the group played a show on a boat going down the River Thames. The Sex Pistols performed “Anarchy in the UK” when the boat passed the British Parliament…

Do you think it should have been banned?

I much prefer Van Halen…

Nice and lively and gets you foot tapping…

Not  many things surprise me…Dogs Roasted Sweet Potato Stall is manned by yes you have it an adorable 3 year old dog named Ken-Kun…

How adorable is that ?

Spirit Houses are very popular here and every home and business has one they cold highly ornate or just a small shrine Most of them have one thing in common…Bottles of Red Fanta…Nam Dang which means red water is the spirit drink of choice ..Ni one really knows why it could be the colour as Thais like bright colours.

It does explain why  Thailand is 4th biggest market for fanta ahead of China and the USA…You will see offering of anything from a full meal, a plate of fruit , Strawberry fanta complete with a straw…all lovingly offered…

Trees are also very special here and you may also come across a tree gaily adorned with ribbons and silk scarves…a spirit tree…

The spirit tree we saw at Wat Kam Sanot a temple near my home the spirit house is the one from my home in Phuket…Here in Udon Thani there is no spirit house in the garden but I have a prayer room in my bedroom which was used in the same way..it has a buddha, vases of flowers and candles but no red fanta.

An ancient Hat from the Song dynasty has been given a revival..By schoolchildren…

Maybe politicians and news reporters should be wearing them to stop their Chinese whispers…

For those of you who eat eggs...They will never be the same again…This Japanese mum specialises in food art…This is one to get your kiddie to eat his egg…

https://www.odditycentral.com/art/japanese-mom-specializes-in-deliciously-cute-fried-egg-art.html#more-69870

How cool are they?

Thats it for now..I didn’t manage to delete the post this week….Thank you for reading I look forward to your comments 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.

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 week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘J’ for Jelly Beans, Jalapenos, Jack Fruit and Jerky all with a little Jus

Time for the letter J…I am enjoying reading it again myself for the second time. Many thanks to the lovely Sally for rerunning this series…I hope you all enjoy the Letter J….From Jelly Beans to Jalapenos and Jackfruit….xxx

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.

This week in the A-Z of food it is the letter J

I hope you are enjoying this series of the A-z of food as much as I have the research and writing.

Starting with one of my favourite little sweeties the Jelly Bean…

Jelly Beans are primarily made of sugar with a jelly inside a candy shell…There are some awesome flavours…Tabasco Flavour, Chilli Mango, Marguerita and some beautiful fruity flavours…Cringe-worthy flavours like Earthworm, Earwax and vomit are for me a No No! But I suppose for Halloween revellers they will be on someone’s list…

Jelly:

Depending on where in the world you live Jelly can be a wibbly wobbly fruit jelly made with…

View original post 1,719 more words

National Vinegar Month…Chinese Black Vinegar…

Originating in the city of Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province, it is quite literally black in colour and has a full-bodied, malty, complex taste. It is just mildly acidic, less so than a regular distilled white vinegar, with a faintly sweet flavour I hesitantly tasted a little as some vinegar can be quite acidic this was not… It had a slight smoky after taste I liked it.

Chinese black vinegar is widely used in Chinese cooking for all types of cold appetizers, braised meats and fish, noodles and as a dipping condiment for dumplings.

Also known as brown rice vinegar, black vinegar is used as a tonic in Chinese and Japanese cultures. It is made by fermenting unpolished rice, wheat, sorghum or millet. The vinegar ferments for 1 to 3 years and it is during the fermentation process that the colour of black vinegar darkens, its aroma and flavour get more intense and the content of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients increases.

Because black vinegar is believed to have many health benefits, many people in China and Japan make a drink out of it that they consume as a part of their daily diet.

Because black vinegar produces good-tasting substances while maturing, it is “easy to drink even for people who have difficulty drinking ordinary vinegar.” Black vinegar is also said to contain more amino acid than ordinary vinegar.

smart

Black vinegar is rich in a number of essential nutrients. Some of these nutrients help in the detoxification of the body. This rich vinegar also keeps the pH levels in your body well-balanced.

According to health experts, black vinegar helps in keeping the digestive system healthy. It aids in the improvement of digestion. When digestion is improved, you keep constipation and other abdominal problems away.

Substitutions for Black Vinegar:

If you can’t find black vinegar, you can substitute white rice vinegar/rice wine vinegar, which is usually more readily available, even in regular supermarkets.

It is also said, you can substitute a bit of balsamic vinegar, though be careful because some balsamic vinegar can be very syrupy and sweet.

Personally, I would opt for the black vinegar having tasted it and I am pleased that I waited until it was delivered. We all loved the Braised pork shoulder in black vinegar which as you know was the first time I had cooked with it…

Having tasted it though I also recognise the taste and have connected the dots that it is the dipping sauce we have had with dumplings…which I always thought was some sort of soy sauce.

Dumplings

My next two dishes I am going to try with be vegetable/vegan one will be a side dish of Cucumber…This delicious, cooling salad with a sweet edge helps to counter the chilli in very spicy dishes.

cucumbers-1588945_640

Ingredients:

  • 2/4 cucumbers depending on their size…Thai cucumbers are small but for this, I am going to use Japanese cucumbers as they are crispier and do not have as many seeds.
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 100ml Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Chinese light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh black fungi, torn into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Let’s Cook!

Cut the cucumber in half lengthways then, using a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds. Cut them into large, angled chunks. In a bowl, dissolve castor sugar in the black vinegar and soy sauce then whisk in oil, garlic and ginger. Check to season.

Dress the cucumber and black fungi, coating well. Serve on a shared plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

cucumber black vinegar and black mushrooms

 

This dish comes together very quickly, so remember to prepare the sauce first in a mixing bowl before you start cooking. This is a very nice sauce…my testers were not keen on the mushrooms I liked them…

This second side dish a stir fry is using the stalks of the Chinese/napa cabbage only…as you know I use every part of an ingredient that I can, for example, I use the broccoli stalk sliced or in a stir fry it is a lovely vegetable…I will let you know later on in the week how this one turned out.

brocolli stems sliced

likewise, the stalk of Chinese cabbage is often wasted…cut away…I use this stir-fried as it has a little crunch and to use the leaves they wilt and add water which we don’t like… this stir fry is better with just the stalks and the napa cabbage leaves make another meal… They’re great in soups or just stir-fried with a little garlic and salt…Waste not want not…

For the sauce: 

  • 4 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

For the rest of the dish: 

  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 3-6 dried red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 pound napa cabbage (stems only, sliced at an angle?
  • Salt, to taste

Start by making the sauce by mixing together all the sauce ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. In another small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tbsp of water to make a slurry. Set aside. (Remember, cornstarch settles quickly, so remember to stir the slurry again before adding it to the dish later).

Is it just me or does anyone else dislike the feel when the cornstarch settles?

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, chillies, and green onion, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the cabbage and turn up the heat to high. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Now add the prepared sauce and cook for another minute. Taste before you season with salt I generally don’t add salt as for us the soy sauce is salty enough. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and stir-fry for one more minute, until the sauce is thickened.

Serve this hot and sour napa cabbage stir-fry with steamed rice as a light snack or as a side with the main dish.

Isn’t stir-frying great? A dish can come together in 5 minutes! Enjoy!

I will giv youour opinion on this srir fry I am making this tomorrow.

Thats all for today I hope you are enoying the recipes with blackn vinegar…

smart

black vinegar

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 week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 17th May-23rd May 2020…Climate Change, Recipes, Whimsey, Morels, Vegan Chocolate Cake and Black Vinegar…

Welcome to this weeks edition of my weekly roundup…I hope you are all staying safe and well…There are lots of talks this week about relaxing curfews, opening schools and shops I just hope it is not too soon and we get a second wave of infections…

My black vinegar arrived and it is different not as acidic as some kinds of vinegar and made a lovely sauce….More on this a little later…

great reads a weekly roundup lady with electronic reader

Firstly take a pew and have a read I hope you enjoy!

Monday: Recycling and Climate Change…18th May 2020…and Covid-19…

This week there has been lots of talk on the benefits of wearing a mask and this track and trace app…Masks …here in Asia we don’t have a problem and the app has also taken off here more about that in tomorrows post…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/18/recycling-and-climate-change18th-may-2020and-covid-19/

Tuesday:  National Vinegar Month…

Vinegar really is a very versatile ingredient and no one was more surprised than me when this cake worked…Apart from Balsamic vinegar which takes years to produce many kinds of vinegar are easy to make and even easy to flavour so many possibilities.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/19/national-vinegar-month-how-to-make-your-own-vinegar/

Tuesday I was also very honoured to be invited to guest post over at a fellow Londoners blog…Young Pete who now lives in Norfolk…I didn’t realise so many were interested in how I ended up here in The Land of Smiles…Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments…A big thank you also to Pete for hosting me…If you missed it then pop over and say hello to Pete and have a read…xx

https://beetleypete.com/2020/05/19/guest-post-carol-ann-taylor/

Whimsical Wednesday…

Sorry, everyone, I wrote it and then deleted it..unintentionally of course…Normal(if) you can call it that service will be resumed this Wednesday..xxx

Thursday: Sally’s new project 101…

I for one after all the nibbling, picking or just overeating and a lack of exercise…Binge-watching Netflix etc…Needed this…It was just in the nick of time…I would rather remove 5 pounds than the whole caboodle…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/smorgasbord-health-column-project-101-resilience-an-opportunity-to-get-fighting-fit-sally-cronin/

Plus…Salmon…Omega 3 on a plate… 

I love Salmon it is one of my favourite fish and its healthy…How good is that…

Yesterday the kids Aston & Lily one wanted sushi and the other sushimi…but far better than sweets for them…they both love salmon also…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-salmon-omega-3-on-a-plate/

Friday: National Pickles Week! Piperies Mikres Toursi…Star Fruit Relish and Pork braised in Black Vinegar.

National Pickles week and International Vinegar month they both go hand in hand, don’t they? I have been fancying a kebab with those wonderful greek peppers for ages…the only way I was going to get that was to pickle my own…all I need to do once the Piperies Mikres Toursi are ready is to dig out my old kebab meat recipe one which I haven’t made since my kids were at home…and make some pitta bread…I can taste it already…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/22/its-national-pickles-week-piperies-mikres-toursi-star-fruit-relish-and-more/

Saturday Snippets:

A new look at my Saturdays as the market is not something I am browsing around at the moment and many of the stall holidays seem as if they are staying at home so it is considerably smaller so…I had a rethink and this is it…I hope you enjoyed it…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/23/saturday-snippets/

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…Can we make this happen? 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 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 stay safe and healthy xx

Saturday Snippets…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I could be writing about something I came across this week which made me laugh, cry or cringe…it may be a recipe…it may be a request..it may be totally off the wall or it may be just me!

Enjoy!

Today is National Taffy Day…

I hadn’t heard of Taffy either…Salt Water Taffy to be precise until…while I was a participant at a residential Writers Retreat we were invited to take one, unwrap it and pop it in our mouths…We were then given 15 minutes to get our thoughts on paper…

Salt Water Taffy by Carol Ann Taylor…

Salt Water Taffy( 3)

Brilliant turquoise in colour, my fingers now sticky on my screen, sweet nothing on my tongue with a sort of fudge-like texture.  Would I eat another?

“No”

The disappointment flooded over me when I realized it wasn’t a blueberry flavour.

But, instead, it invoked pictures in my memory of a hazy blue sea,  sailboats, men in boaters,  ladies in bloomers and those wonderful beach huts which are now so in vogue. Children running along with kites, donkey rides on the clean white sand. Ice Cream and Candyfloss

How one tiny rectangle of sweet stickiness could evoke long-forgotten memories of an idyllic childhood was truly amazing.

Long Live Salt Water Taffy.

What is salt Water Taffy then where did it originate?

No one really knows but a man called Joseph Fralinger who was a former glassblower and fish merchant from Atlantic City opened a small concession in the mid-1880’s selling lemonade. After taking over a taffy stand he began to perfect his own recipe for Taffy. An entrepreneur at heart he packed one pound oyster boxes with Salt Water Taffy and launched the first ” Atlantic City Souvenir” today this one-pound box still remains the most popular souvenir.

Today there are over 155 flavours of Salt Water Taffy and not a drop of seawater in view.

If you follow me and are a regular reader you will know it is National Vinegar Month…The Braised Pork with Black vinegar was amazing everyone loved it…

It was a unanimous decision to make it again…The only changes I would make would be to serve Pak Dong which is the Thai pickled greens using salt and sun to make sour but the pickles in the recipe were too sour for even me so I am taking those out of the recipe. The cooking time was also way of base so I will amend that but apart from that, it was a lovely sauce…

Chinese black vinegar is more mellow rather acidic …a nice vinegar and I would definitely use in other dishes…a good buy.

Time for a laugh…I can be a bit funny sometimes but Donna she is something else…she really makes me smile…So No-one told you life was going to be this way…Funny and entertaining ..words and pictures…I laughed and smiled from start to finish…1funny25 Donna Parker

 

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/05/04/so-no-one-told-you-life-was-gonna-be-this-way/

Captain Tom...now an honourary Colonel of his regiment…He has made a record with Michael Ball…he is also now going to be knighted… I am guessing a normal unassuming man who wanted to do something…

Arise…Sir Tom Moore…A true gentleman and a hero…

It’s National Vinegar Month and I have been celebrating it to the full…I made a Chocolate cake using no eggs just vinegar…A throwback to the war when eggs were in short supply…my latest recipe originally one from BBC food was Pork shoulder braised with Black Vinegar…a first for me and a great success with my very honest taste testers…

The chocolate cake was a revelation…made in the pan it was baked in…I honestly didn’t expect it to be that good…and vegan to boot…She who will never be vegan/vegetarian had made a not bad chocolate cake that ticked all the boxes…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/05/16/carolcooks2-a-vegan-chocolate-cake-braised-pork-shoulder-in-black-vinegar-and-yanang-juice/

Covid-19...I think it dominates everyone’s thoughts…certainly mine …I feel relatively safe living here in Thailand…I don’t consider my human rights or whatever violated …But the low figures speak volumes…I am happy to wear a mask when out shopping and indeed I am not allowed in a shop without it…Of course, there are opinions on whether or not the wearing of a mask actually offers protection…It protects people from my coughs and sneezes if I had some…I also think our figures speak for themselves…54 recorded deaths is very low…

corona-4971013_640

https://acflory.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/covid-19-to-mask-or-not-to-mask/

Wellness Corner:

In these times of quarantine and shortages, many of us have taken to baking our own bread and cakes…we are confined and are cooking more and eating…snacking…I have added a few pounds and I know I am not alone…

My friend and fellow blogger Sally…is here to give us all a helping hand…No tricks, no fads, no cutting out carbs or other food groups just a common-sense approach something we all need…

Sally herself has had struggles with her weight over the years she now has it under control…A qualified nutritionist she wants to help others…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/smorgasbord-health-column-project-101-resilience-improving-lung-function-no-2-weight-loss-hack-no-2-improving-lung-function-no-2-musical-therapy-by-sally-cronin/

I think these times of being quarantined have hot everyone in many ways the barbers and hairdressers have been closed, Massage parlours and manicurists have been closed, flights stopped, buses stopped, so many changes to our everyday lives…

I myself have been doing far more online shopping as I am guessing so has half of the world…My hair…Well, being a trained hairdresser I am very fussy about who comes anywhere near my hair… I also have it cut regularly…My son who takes after his mother in many ways…he may not admit it…haha…in his words is anal about his hair…so I trusted him with mine and the clippers which is what he uses on his hair…

I am really pleased he has made a good job…I don’t know what my hairdresser will say but I am happy with it…

Monty Python is something of a British Institution…

It seems however that pedestrians all over the world are being encouraged to loosen up on their daily strolls through their neighbourhoods by showing off their best silly walks reminiscent of the iconic Monty Python sketch from 1970.

Homeowners from Michigan to Ontario have been erecting signs in their front yards asking passersby to strut their goofy stuff similar to the original “Ministry for Silly Walks” comedic sketch.

That’s all for Saturday Snippets this week…Stay safe and be well…Wash your hands and please wear a mask when out in public and practise social distancing.

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 week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

It’s National Pickles Week! Piperies Mikres Toursi…Star Fruit Relish and more…

Who doesn’t love a pickle…? Pickles are eaten across all cultures around the world..we love pickles and I pickle anything and everything from garlic, jalapenos, cabbage of all sorts, cucumbers, onions, eggs, peppers, pineapple, tomatoes, star fruit, fish and more…

Pickles are mentioned at least twice in the Bible (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8), were known to the ancient Egyptians (Cleopatra attributed some of her beauty to pickles), and Aristotle praised the healing effects of pickled cucumbers. The Romans imported all sorts of foods from the countries they conquered, pickling them for the journey in vinegar, oil, brine and sometimes honey. Garum or Liquamen, a fermented, salted fish-based condiment which was a dietary staple and has been found as far north as the Antonine Wall built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde.

That’s some history for a pickled cucumber which is said to be one of the first recorded pickles… sometime around 2030 BC in Mesopotamia…

I have also been called a little pickle in my time and have applied that description to my own kiddies it is a term of endearment to me it means they are bright, witty and a tiny little bit cheeky. A child who can stand up for themselves with a good sense of humour.

The name pickle as in the English word ‘pickle’ derives from the Middle English pikel, first recorded around 1400 and meaning a spicy sauce or gravy served with meat or fowl. This is different to but obviously related to the Middle Dutch source, pekel, meaning a solution, such as spiced brine, for preserving and flavouring food.

Star Fruit Relish:

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 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.

Did you know? 

Here in Asia, more pickles are consumed per capita than any other region? I think as well as being delicious that it is a method given the hot temperatures of preserving food.

Foods are generally pickled in one of three ways salt/brine, oil or vinegar…Here Thais tend you use salt/brine rather than vinegar which many find too sour…Wherever you eat out you will find pickled vegetables either served with the meal or as a side dish.

Some popular pickles/vinegar here is Banana vinegar, naem hed (pickled mushroom), dok sa-no dong (pickled sesbania flowers and lotus stem) and kimchi.

Banana vinegar is made from a type of local banana and many Thais replace the commercially-produced vinegar that often comes with preservatives with banana vinegar. Pickled sesbania is a good side to any main dish or nam phrik. Sesbania is a small edible pea-shaped flower which is very popular here.

Food preservation was a good way to deal with the abundant supply of vegetable, especially those grown in the rainy season, before the invention of the refrigerator. Seasonal vegetables that were often pickled included spring onions, ginger and mustard greens, which can be found anywhere in Thailand; phak sian (cleome) is found in the North and Northeast, while luk Niang (Djenkol bean fruit), and sa-tor (stink beans) are mostly found in the South.

In some rural places, the big clay pots are still used to preserve food…

Any container can be used to pickle as long as it is non-reactive…Mason Jars are a popular Jar for pickles the first one was designed and patented by John Mason back in 1858 he designed it to specifically withstand high temperatures when it was necessary to sterilise the jars.

Pickles range from mild to spicy or fruity and never waste the pickle juice as it can be used in a Martini aptly named a Pickletini, I ad some to a bloody Mary and it is now a popular chaser a shot called a Pickleback…

Just going to check my Pork as my Braised Pork in Black vinegar should be braising nicely…Will let you know with images tomorrow…It is the first time I have used Black Vinegar…

International pickle week fits in nicely with National Vinegar month don’t you think?

Are pickles healthy? 

Well, some store-purchased pickles contain sugar so beware or make your own and then you can omit the sugar…However, a medium-size pickle might pack 12 cals and who can only eat one? Just be aware…moderation. But pickles do contain sodium. Preserving any kind of food requires the addition of salt, and salt makes up about 5 per cent of most pickling recipes. Two small spears contain almost 600 mg of sodium, more than one-quarter of the recommended daily limit.

Fermentation is one method of pickling, but not all pickles are fermented.

When vegetables and fruits are fermented, healthy bacteria break down the natural sugars. This process is what gives fermented pickles their sour taste. The pickles sit in saltwater and ferment over many days.

When pickles aren’t fermented, vinegar gives them their tang. Vinegar itself is produced through a fermentation process, but only the kinds of vinegar that remain raw and unpasteurized, such as raw apple cider vinegar, retain parts of the “mother culture,” which provides that good bacteria.

Eating fermented foods may help with everything from insulin resistance to inflammation. Sauerkraut, one of the most popular fermented foods worldwide, has been shown to have anti-cancer benefits.

Pickles that are not fermented still deliver the benefits of vinegar, spices, and cucumbers. As I mentioned above drinking pickle juice has become a trend because media sources are promoting the benefits related to muscle cramps, weight loss, diabetes, and more.

Pickle juice is also a favourite of those following a ketogenic diet, who might need more sodium to manage electrolyte balance. 

Cooking any food can break down heat-sensitive nutrients, including antioxidants. Pickling raw vegetables and fruits preserve their antioxidant powers.

Like anything else, I tend to discount wacky claims of instant inch loss/weight …I tend to eat what I eat because I enjoy eating it and also because I may know it contains certain vitamins and minerals for my well being…however moderation is the key and I don’t go overboard and only eat the one food item for every meal we need balance in our diets.. a good combination of food… if we are eating well and sensibly it should be enough…

We love pickles so what have I been pickling lately? Well not have I been fancying a lovely piece of Cod and Chips but I have been fancying a Doner Kebab…Where we used to get them years ago when in the Uk was a little Greek place which did the best kebabs and served with these wonderful pickled green peppers…That is what I am pickling…They are called  Piperies Mikres Toursi…

  • 36 thin peppers, such as Anaheim peppers, about 3 inches long, stems trimmed to 1/4 inch long
  • 3 tablespoons coarse-grained salt
  • Water, enough to cover the peppers
  • 5 cups red wine, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or spiced vinegar (any flavour)

Add the peppers to a large glass bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and then fill the bowl with cold water until it just covers the peppers. Soak for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Drain the water after 6 hours. Lay the peppers on clean towels until the peppers dry. When the peppers are dry, stuff them into clean and sterilized 1-quart mason jars. Pour vinegar into each jar, making sure to cover the peppers. Seal the jars according to the package instructions for the Mason jars.

smart

Store the peppers in a clean, dry place for up to 3 months.

The only jar I could find was quite a big one and my peppers floated…What I did was fill 2 bags with salted water(just)in case they split and dropped them in the jar…the vinegar rose and my peppers are submerged so if you have jar wich just too big then this little tip is a godsend…

Once they are pickled then I will make my kebab mix which I haven’t made since I was in the Uk so for at least 8 years and those pickled peppers hopefully will be just what that kebab needs…

That’s all for International Pickle week… I hope you have enjoyed reading this post…Tomorrow I will update you on my dish using black vinegar and maybe some sauerkraut…Please stay safe and well..it ain’t over yet…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.

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 week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

 

 

 

Salmon is one of my favourite fish…and also one I can easily get here which is a bonus…Today Sally is giving you the low down on the health benefits of salmon and is also sharing some of my favourite Salmon recipes…I love the two combined as often I read articles about the benefits of eating a portion of certain foods and then I have to look for recipes…This is like one-stop shopping Health and Nutrition plus recipes does it get any better than that? I would say not…Enjoy!

 

via Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – Salmon – Omega 3 on a Plate