Tag Archives: Retirement

Some days you just have to create your own sunshine!

Well so far all’s well on the sunshine front but another severe weather warning has been posted!

No small boats to go out..means no fresh squid for salad but hey ho I can live with that, we have had enough drownings this season because people don’t heed the warnings  or the Red Flags…… does a red flag not mean the same in any language on a beach?  or they presumably think they are strong enough swimmers…some will never learn will they? So I can forgo my squid as long as everyone is safe.

Saang Chai is settling in well he is finding plenty to chew but I will let him relay that in his own blog on Monday folks. If you haven’t read his very first blog( I am told ) it’s very funny then drop by you won’t want to miss an episode.

OHHHH I can see some big clouds looming which means rain soon and more ants, I am over run with them got 3 big ant nestsSAM_7032 in my garden I think they like it here, 2 termite ones, this weather is certainly making them want to nest build and make the grass grow…. Methinks it’s time to call a man who can!

Wow sunshine again…….SAM_7041Here I am sitting in my office looking out , one minute it’s sunny and the next we have rain. So methinks best get to market before the heavens open because I’m sure they will..it’s Thai Green Curry  tonight if you would like the recipe let me know…I will be posting it on my next recipe blog along side Brownies made with Coconut Flour they look yummy ( in the picture) will they be yummy ? Will let you know for sure.

Bye for now have a lovely weekend , have fun, stay safe if you are swimming and you see a red flag…Love you all….   🙂

 

Recipes !

Kozhi Milagu (Pepper Chicken Curry)For all you hot curry Lovers…

Kohzhi Milagu ( Pepper Chicken Curry) Recipe courtesy of my friend Mamik who provides me with authentic Indonesian Recipes….. Thank you Mamik another Cracker of a recipe but a scorcher or as my son put it he gets ring burn the next morning…….

Ingredients:

500 gm chicken, thighs or breast cut into pieces.

1 chopped Onion.

1 cup chopped Tomatoes.

2cm cinnamon stick.

2tbsp ginger garlic paste..can use store bought, I just blitz tbsp garlic and tbsp ginger to paste.

1 tbsp ground chilli

1tbsp ground coriander.

1 tbsp ground white pepper.

1 tbsp Fennel Seeds.

1 sprig Curry leaves.

Salt to season.

Method:

Heat the tbsp oil in a wok and saute onion.

Add garlic and ginger paste mix well and cook 30 seconds. Add dry spices and stir to release the aroma. Add chopped tomato, stir and add chicken…….N.B. if too dry add some water.

Add salt and curry leaves.

Cook on low heat until chicken cooked if using thighs then these will take slightly longer.

Serve with steamed rice and Raita.

For Raita I grate or chop finely a small cucumber, put in clean t/towel and squeeze out excess liquid…I was surprised how much there actually was.

Add to 8oz Natural yogurt and a large handful of chopped mint and mix together. Serve chilled.

If liked can add 1/2-1 finely chopped green chilli.

Warning: This is one hot mama of a curry.

Now from Indonesia to Thailand one of my favorite salads…

Yum Takrai (Spicy Lemongrass Salad)

15 stalks fresh lemongrass.

14 cup finely chopped ginger

2 tbsp. toasted cashews
2 tbsp. whole dried shrimp
1 12 tbsp. fish sauce
1 12 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2-1 12 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. whole dried shrimp, finely ground
4-6 red Thai chilli stemmed and thinly sliced
2 shallots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
3 raw stemmed long beans, cut into 4″ pieces for garnish.
Method:
Trim and slice lemongrass very finely. Transfer lemongrass slices to a medium bowl, separate rings with your fingers. Add ginger, cashews, shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, ground shrimp, Thai chiles, and shallots, and toss well. Garnish with long beans. Serve on Banana Leaf or Betel Leaf as in my picture.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice.SAM_2834
We also serve with a tamarind sauce made by combing 3 tbsp tamarind pulp with cup water in small pan, bring to boil and simmer 5 mins.
Remove from heat and stand 15 mins you can help break tamarind down with a spoon, strain through sieve extracting as much liquid as possible.
Add 2cm peeled finely chopped ginger and 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, 11/2 tbsp palm sugar,2 tsp fish sauce,1 tbsp chilli/garlic sauce and 1 tsp soy sauce to tamarind liquid. Bring to boil, simmer 5 mins.
Whisk 1 tbsp cornflour with little water whisk into sauce cook 1 min or until thickens.
Taste and adjust seasoning add more sugar if required.
Keep in airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
I hope you enjoy these recipes the Lemongrass salad is one of my favorites.
Until next time laugh a lot and have fun 🙂

“Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.”

Well that is really true !

I get up in the morning and plan my day and the above is correct really when you stop and think . Sometimes I plan my day around the licensing laws here, yes it’s like being back in the UK eons ago. Between 11 and 2 or  5 onwards. And no I’m not really an old lush ha ha.

But I write and cook early cos it’s hot so I often miss the 11-2 as I only think aah about 1.30 that I need red wine for my planned dinner dish. Then It’s that time when I’m sort of at a loose end sometimes or planning my next step and 5pm is ages away as I want to start cooking and need red wine mmmmm so I think 3 o’clock has similar properties.

Time just flies by, I have been blogging  for nearly 8 months now, here for 4 years where does it go? Me…. well I seem to be packing more in my time as I suppose it is limited now…and no i’m not maudlin just doing the sums..laws of averages etc and thinking  mmm maybe 20 more years..thats not long…ha ha defo maudlin now….so much I would like to do will I fit it all in well I’m gonna have a  good try.

Tomatoes, am on my second batch…my little tester woofed most of the first batch all by himself.11108523_10206972480487448_2019556989950242717_nThey did taste amazing , sweet and yummy.

phew it is very hot, had rain today but still hot, so I will say cheers,  choke dee ka or choke the cat which the guys here think is funny and seems to be peculiar to Phuket as not heard it said like that elsewhere in Thailand.

Until next time I’m off to get ready for some sundowners love you all.

I’d like my crayons back, please.

Love It! It is true to say we are given a pack of crayons when we are very young and then they are taken away to be replaced by the mundane things deemed necessary for our learning and advancement through that which is life!

 However, we all need to be able to soar and fly and reach new heights so yes ” I would like my crayons back,please.”

And learning I am, learning new skills almost every day wether it be how to make ” Sour Dough” or how to ” Track changes on Word” or just “How to.”

Marvelling sometimes at how much this old brain of mine can absorb.

My bestest friend is ” Mr Google ” because if he doesn’t know then it doesn’t exist…well in my world. I’m sure someone, somewhere would disagree with that..but who cares? not me!

And yes that element of being afraid of what people think  seems to have abandoned me and I think  for the best because it brings with it that sense that I can do almost anything if I put my mind to it.

Sky diving NOT being one of my ” I wish I could ” Ha ha….

Today is short story day, very short but a story penned by me as I am finding a penchant for short stories now and again so here goes…… This one is about circumstances and peer pressure.

Kevin.

 

“Why can’t you be like your sister? Look at her school report. Its brilliant. Don’t just stand there like a dummy!  Answer me.”

Kevin had no answer  he  just hung his head wishing the ground would swallow him up.

” Stupid bitch I hate you” he muttered.

“Go to your room and stay there. We are taking Sally shopping.”

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Kevin just switched off.  I hate you all he thought. Talk about Miss Goody two shoes what does she ever do wrong? They don’t like my friends, how I dress….nothing!

Kevin’s phone rang.

“Hey Kev,  what’s up?  Wanna come over?”

“Can’t, me old lady she’s grounded me again”

“Oh come on Kev, climb down the drain pipe your old dear will never know.”

Kev thought for a nano second, and then going to the window he shinned down the drain pipe to the ground. Rounding the corner at the end of the street Kevin saw his friends Tom and Stevie coming towards him.

“What’s up Kev?”

“My old man and lady going off on one again. Goody two shoes got another good school report.”

Tom nudged Stevie.

“Come on then Kev lets show them. I know an old dear who doesn’t  lock her door.”

Kevin followed them.

Don’t normally write about peer pressure but been a lot in the news lately.

Love you all.. more recipes in my next blog, the Beef Rendang was amazing and Gin & Tonic Cake  is my next to do  cook, doing boring things at the moment like cooking more beetroot to pickle..they keep eating it.

 

Until next time bye for now xxxx

 

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going!

 

 

Well that’s a sweeping statement but true.

I am at a crossroads , I think, what to do?, where to go?, who with? when? why? shall I ? shan’t I ? will I? won’t I? the brain just whirls around and around in never-ending circles.

How many of us have agonised like this over our jobs, our kids, parents, holidays, cars, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, what to have for dinner? …well gotta eat!

I think it’s amazing that we ever get anything done given all of that.

Isn’t the human brain just  awesome ?

At last we have rain..yippee, surveying my garden this morning there are a few branches on the grass , oh yes and we had wind….the sun is showing it’s self albeit with a watery smile. It’s Songkram…Thai New Year…water fights galore..the shops full or not so full now of water pistols of varying colours and sizes..the fun will soon begin….

But not before I have had my morning cuppa.

I have been planning my way forward for the next year as in where I want my book to be..Finished would be good.

I plan to write a children’s cook book as my grandchildren love cooking even little Lily who is four  is a dab hand with the Mortar and Pestle and she can do mushrooms albeit they are different shapes and sizes ha ha. Aston at 12 a bit more proficient so I’m thinking lots of pics and simple recipes for kids to do.

And improve my blog as in change a few things..ha ha should be fun ‘cos the mind knows what I want to do..It’s the doing..so lots of U-Tube Tutorials later it will…I’m being positive here..take shape so that’s some of my plans..oh and finish my book!.

I have been experimenting making my own Smoothies, and I love it…the blender is just about working I needed a new rubber washr it was pouring out the bottom…. so who looked with the lid off.?????… No folks No pictures..just use your imagination …you are writers after all

Still researching the Sour Dough …… but we have Hot Cross Buns ..recipe on  the previous post….

And trying different foods that is one thing I love about living here it is a melting pot of different cultures and recipes..yum..yesterday I had Bobotie it was great…. it is the National Dish of South Africa and very good.

My recipe for you this week is a simple Chicken and Mushroom Pate ( one of my grandson’s favorites) and so quick to make.

Ingredients:

  • 450gm/11b Chicken Livers.
  • 4 Chestnut Mushrooms finely chopped.
  • 220gm/8oz Butter.
  • 2/3 cloves garlic finely chopped.
  • 2/3 shallots finely chopped or small brown onion.
  • 1 tbsp Brandy.
  • 1tsp Mustard Powder.
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • 1 bay leaf and 3 cranberries for decoration.

Let’s Cook!

Melt 4oz of butter in a pan add chopped onions and cook until soft but not coloured. Add mushrooms about halfway through cooking.

Add garlic and chicken Livers and fry until cooked through.

Add Brandy..my hands wobbled at this stage and I deviated slightly from said recipe..I put 2 spoons in..ha ha.

Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place the Liver mix and 2oz of remaining butter in the food processor and blend until smooth.

Taste and season again with salt and freshly ground pepper.

SAM_6863

Put in Ramekin or small dish, decorate with bay leaf and 3 cranberries ( I used small lime leaves as had no fresh bay leaves.

Chill and serve and enjoy!

Well, that’s all for now until next time I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. x

 

“I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Are we all happy with that?

I am because if I hadn’t retired to Phuket I most certainly would not be blogging, I would not be warm( it’s so hot and sunny here), I would not be making my own ham and bacon, I would not be a published author the list is endless.

Why? I can hear you all saying.

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

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

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

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

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

” Yes Ma’am ”

I miss you Gilly……. so much but your spirit is with me and your pictures ( the painting), The hot air balloons going up, up and away over Weston, my ” Crazy Dancing Cow ”

SAM_6498

on my desk…yes she came with me……..you are in my heart, you are my inspiration and we all have so many memories of fun times shared R.I.P, my friend,.

study-1968077_1920

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

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

35 plus years later.

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

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

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

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

It all goes back to that opening line;

I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” Eleanor Roosevelt.