Tag Archives: Sourdough Starter

The Culinary Alphabet …..Series 3… the letter D

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet…WHERE the middle letter is D…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing…my followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete, however, will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…so I hope you have started brainstorming Chel…haha x

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Brawn, Cabbage, and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…I also don’t want to use plurals to form a word as I may need that word for another letter and its sort of cheating I think…unless of course I really get stuck…which I am sure will happen…

Today it is words where the middle letter is D...A list of ingredients or a Hot Toddy on a cold and rainy day or a soothing cup of Burdock tea… but if it is a warm one a nice Vodka with a soda of your choice and there are certainly lots of sodas to choose from…


Burdock is such a pretty plant which is found in many countries around the world…Burdock root, also known as gobo, is popular in Asian dishes. It works very well in stir-fries, braised, roasted and soups. Burdock root can also be peeled, sliced and eaten raw or on a salad. It resembles a radish with a slight artichoke flavour when eaten this way.

Used and drunk as a tea in traditional medicine…People take burdock to increase urine flow, kill germs, reduce fever, and “purify” their blood. It is also used to treat colds, joint pain (rheumatism), gout, bladder infections, complications of syphilis, and skin conditions including acne and psoriasis…

Many treatments are offered here and I know many of my friends who take them…Because in my younger days I had 2 adverse reactions and quite bad ones to something I had taken/given ..one was a diet potion the other was a drug I was given while in hospital …I was young and stupid regarding the first incident the 2nd was I was told an adverse reaction which could not have been foreseen…so please before taking any supplements check with a health practitioner and make sure you read about any contraindication.

The reason I am saying this is a dear friend of mine is taking a turmeric concoction but when I asked her what else was in it she replied that she was told it was a secret family recipe…this always rings alarm bells with me and I hope I am wrong…I like to know exactly what I am taking and also what are known side effects which we all know doesn’t happen to everyone…I don’t want to be the one it does happen to…


Candies fruits have existed since back in the 14th century…preserved by being coated and impregnated with sugar syrup… one of my favourites is candied ginger…most fruits and nuts can be candied but so can flowers. and even yams..This delightful video shows how you can candy violets…

A 17th-century technique…


Made from apples or pears…my preference is a dry cider…made from crab apples as long ago as 3000 BCE by the Celts…Cider has a colourful history and some cool names like Angry Orchard Green Apple Hard Cider. …A very popular drink in the West Country(UK) and Ireland The UK has the world’s highest per capita consumption, as well as its largest cider-producing companies.


Is to cook an egg in water that is below boiling point…A  coddled egg.

Eggs are coddled for a Caesar dressing in order to make the yolk slightly thicker. This in turn allows for a slightly thicker dressing.


If a liquid curdles, or you curdle it, it gets thicker and develops lumps known as curds…


Is a type of icing used to decorate or sculpt cakes and pastries…or it is a delicious chocolate pudding with a wonderful molten centre which if properly cooked just oozes out when you dig your spoon in…we have seen those cookery programmes where the fondant is a disaster and solid…


Something I love is a hard fudge-like butter tablet or a soft buttery fudge…I cannot resist either but do prefer the harder fudge-like butter tablet.


A griddle is a heavy flat bottomed iron plate for cooking… it has little ridges across the bottom which when heated gives you those loves char marks on your steak.


A creeping shrub of eastern North America having white bell-shaped flowers followed by spicy red berry-like fruits and shiny aromatic leaves that yield wintergreen oil…oil of wintergreen is the oil obtained from the leaves of groundberry or teaberry which is another of its names…made by steam processing of warmed, water-soaked wintergreen leaves. The leaves and oil are used to make medicine. 

Wintergreen leaf is used for painful conditions including headache, nerve pain (particularly sciatica), arthritis, ovarian pain, and menstrual cramps…I never cease to be amazed at how many plants have medicinal properties…


Smoked haddock with poached egg used to be one of my favourite breakfasts sadly I can’t get haddock here. Haddock is a saltwater ray-finned fish known as a “true cod” it is slightly more flavoursome than the cod which has thicker fillets and is firmer..Haddock is most fishmongers choice for fish and chips as the flavour pairs better with the batter.


Hotdogs probably don’t need any introduction …found at every football match and other big venues they seem to be many peoples food of choice … consisting of a grilled or steamed sausage served in the slit of a partially sliced bun. It can also refer to the sausage itself. The sausage used is a wiener (Vienna sausage) or a frankfurter (Frankfurter Würstchen, also just called frank).


Also called lardoon, is a small strip or cube of fatty bacon, or pork fat used in a wide variety of cuisines to flavour savoury foods and salads. In French cuisine, lardons are also used for larding, by threading them with a needle into meats that are to be braised or roasted.


Indigenous to Australia specifically New South Wales, central and southeastern Queensland.


The Médoc is a region of France, well known as a wine-growing region, located in the département of Gironde, on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, north of Bordeaux.


To muddle means to press the ingredients against the side of the glass with a muddler.   Muddling helps to release the flavours of the fresh ingredients so that they bind with the alcohol better…as in a Mojito one of my favourite cocktails.

Best drunk on a balmy summer evening…


Quite simply a Pound cake is a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar…then cooked in a loaf tin or a bundt mould.


The Sapodilla tree can grow as tall as 100-feet high…originally native to Mexico but now found all over the West Indies, Florida, Thailand, The Philippines and India…a super sweet fruit which one ripe does not store well…if picked too soon you will see a white latex oozing out of the stem it is this latex which is called chicle which is the same tree sap which the original Chiclets gum was made from…nowadays because of cost gum manufacturers use  synthetic rubber but it how the tree also got the nickname of the “chewing gum tree”


My abiding memory of sardines is when we used to holiday on the Costa Del Sol and vendors would cook these delicious little fish on the beach…belonging to the herring family they are small. oily forage fish…my hubbies favourite way of eating these is mashed with a little vinegar on toast.


My first sourdough loaf

I’m sure over the last year sourdough has gained a few more converts…made with a live fermented culture, a sourdough starter, which acts as a natural leavening agent…which means no commercial yeast is required to make your bread just some of the starter…


Swordfish is a low fat, low-calorie fish which provides an excellent source of selenium.  Sold in steaks it is a mild-tasting, white-fleshed fish with a meaty texture. Swordfish is particularly good grilled, either as a steak or kebabs, and it’s also delicious broiled and sautéed.


A clear distilled alcoholic beverage…originating from Poland, Russia and Sweden and trust me my Russian neighbours taught me just how to drink vodka…traditionally made from potatoes, wheat or rye there is a vodka made in the South Of England from milk and aptly named ” Black Cow Vodka”

That’s all for today for the letter D…

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

Week 5…In my Kitchen…

Welcome to my kitchen already one month has gone and we are in February…I still haven’t tackled that cupboard as I have been sorting out bookshelves and moving them.

My sourdough starter which was on day 7 has died I think because it was lively and I put it in the fridge overnight it was not strong enough ( Celia did warn me)…I killed it!

Today I started again…Day 1… Still, it gives my proving basket time to arrive and I found a bargain half the price of Amazon and the same make…

Our chicken dish this week was another Thai curry this time a Massaman Curry…

Thai massaman is a rich, creamy fairly mild Thai curry sometimes tomatoes are added and traditionally cashews but can be optional. Vegetables are also varied depending on what is available or in season… play with the flavours. some variations add fruit like pineapple or oranges. The curry paste also has a distinctive orange colour and is in oil so immediately recognisable from other Thai red curry pastes. Some of the ingredients used in the making of massaman paste are not traditionally used in other Thai curries for example star anise, cloves and cardamom but are believed to have been introduced to Thai Muslims by Persian traders. The name massaman is believed to have evolved from the word Mussulman which is another word for Muslim.

chicken massaman gai Thai curry

  • 500 gm chicken breasts/ thighs
  • 2 med potatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp of massaman curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Bunch coriander chopped
  • 6 baby corns halved
  • Handful sugar snap peas halved
  • Few mushrooms quartered
  • Med tomato sliced ( optional)
  • ¼ cup unsalted cashews( optional)
  • 400 ml Coconut milk

Let’s Cook!

Add oil to a pan and stir in 1 tbsp massaman curry paste add tbsp fish sauce and cook for a minute to release flavours.
Add chicken and stir to combine with curry mix add coconut cream and potatoes. Bring to a soft simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. And potatoes are soft.
Taste and adjust seasoning if required more fish sauce or curry paste.
Add corn, peas, mushrooms and tomato if used and cook for a further 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Stir in coriander reserving some for garnish.
Add cashews and cook for 2 mins.
Serve with steamed rice and garnish with coriander and chopped cashews.


My new dish this week is a vegetarian one the recipe given to me by Darlene author of the Amanda books… A lentil stew from Syria.

Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)

  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup rice, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fine noodles
  • 2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried crushed basil

Place lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onions over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic and rice and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
Add frying pan contents along with remaining ingredients, except basil, to lentils and bring to a boil. Cook another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Enjoy! Nice with pita bread.

Note: I usually cut the recipe in half as it makes a lot.
*Did you know that lentils are good for anaemia, low blood pressure and ulcers.
From my favourite cookbook, Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum.

Thank you, Darlene it was delicious I used really fine vermicelli noodles, fresh ginger as I grow my own and don’t use dried and Thai basil…It definitely makes a lot though I am pleased I halved the recipe on your advice xxx

Lastly, I am trying to cut down not only on added sugars but fat and I have seen many recipes for making a non-dairy cream with coconut cream/milk that I thought it was time I tried it as this is the home of coconuts…haha…

Coconut milk is in the fridge as is the stainless steel pot and the whisk blades…Christmas Pudding on to steam …Yep you heard it correctly my Thai daughter in law loves Christmas Pudding and we have some left so our treat after dinner is a bit of Christmas pudding with this coconut non-dairy cream…

Wow..that was easy it whipped up in about 2 minutes if that I added nothing and it was very nice even hubby who loves fresh cream and lots of it had to admit it tasted good…I think it is easier here as our coconut milk is 100% no additives at all…I will be making this in future and it is so much healthier. A non-dairy cream which would go with any dessert.

I would also like to thank everyone who follows my blog…If I don’t message you a thank you it is because I can’t as your Gravatar doesn’t link to your blog or there is no outside link to your self hosted blog …Not having that could potentially lose you, readers, it does seem to be a common mistake when setting up a blog and indeed one I made until someone kindly pointed it out to me…Pete has outlined everything in this blog post which for me was most opportune I hope it helps you…How to link your Gravatar to your blog.

Have a great weekend and please share with us anything you have made this week or even any kitchen disasters all your comments make my day 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 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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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