Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column – 1990 – Michael Bolton and M. C. Hammer


Welcome to the next episode in our adventures and the music I was listening too back in 1990… that is still on my playlist today.

On a ferry trip in Portsmouth with my mother 1990

It is 1990 and I am 37 years old. Work was going well and I was now Advertising Sales Manager for the paper I worked for, bringing a fair bit of stress but nothing that I could not handle. I had a full-time telesales team during the day and part-time team that came in until 9.00pm each evening and all day Saturday selling private property and car adverts. This meant that I tended to be in the office from 8.00 a.m. to 7pm each weekday and on call on Saturdays. I had some great supervisors thankfully which meant I rarely received a call. It was also pre-mobile phone days which meant that if we had headed off to London to the cinema they had to make the decisions on their own.

There were some interesting moments at work as keeping 25 young telesales staff motivated enough to achieve the tough weekly targets we were given was challenging. Rejection is part of the package in outbound cold calling and we focused on building up regular advertisers who booked weekly. They were offered incentives of course for longer- term bookings and there were bonuses for those sales people who managed to obtain these preferred customers.

This did not always involve spot prizes such as money, cinema or theatre tickets. It also involved some personal forfeits by their sales manager. On one occasion I promised that if they hit a particularly heavy weekly target that I would do the splits; a skill left over from my ballet days at age seven. To be honest I did not expect that this target handed down from head office was achievable despite my team’s best efforts, and it was in desperation that I put my well-being on the line. Bless them they pulled out all the stops and at the eleventh hour they overtook the target in spectacular style. I am a firm believer in keeping promises and despite being a fairly hefty 15 stone at the time I honoured my commitment and descended into the splits. They of course were delighted but it did take three of the more substantial lads to get me back up into a standing position!

Some of the aforementioned regular advertisers who had taken out six-monthly or annual packages were sometimes treated to lunch. I was not into three hour business lunches as there was far too much work to be done, but I would meet them at Ho-Ho Chinese Restaurant up on the high road in South Woodford (since closed I am informed by Jessica Norrie) and we would have the set lunch accompanied by a bottle of warm Saki served in very small china cups. Since I was a very regular customer (David and I used to frequent often), I knew the owner and the head waiter very well, and we came to an arrangement, that when I brought in a client, they would serve the Saki in the much larger tea cups so speeding up the process.

On one occasion as I was walking up the high street with an important client on our way to Ho-Ho’s I noticed a pretty Chinese girl coming towards us. As she came level she held her cupped hands way out in front of her breasts and smiled at me. ‘Hello Miss Big Cups, how are you today?’ Recognition in any form is always excellent customer service!!

Now to the music of the year….

With limited time music was something I listened to whilst I prepared the evening meal. I tended to stick with my long-term favourites on the CD player in the kitchen and only bought a couple of new albums. To be honest I thought that a lot of the chart hits were not great that year apart from stand outs from artists such as Elton John with Healing Hands still being played on the radio from 1989, Phil Collins I Wish It Would Rain Down, The Beautiful South A Little TimeThe B-52’s Love Shack, Kylie Minogue Tears on my Pillow and Better the Devil You Know. I am a huge fan of Michael Bolton so his CD was definitely added to the collection that year and his single How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, was and still is, amazing. One track; M.C. HammerU Can’t Touch This was up there with my top ten of the year and is still on my iPod today.

So here are those two tracks .. How Am I Supposed to Live Without You..….MichaelBoltonVEVO

Buy Michael Bolton music: Amazon

U Can’t Touch This...MC HAMMER 

Buy M.C. Hammer Music: Amazon

As part of this series I would love to hear what your favourite music is and if you put the title of the track in the comments, I will play as a request as part of next week’s post.

Thanks for tuning in… Sally

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a book for Christmas #Children – Andrea Balsara, Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Annabelle Franklin and Jemima Pett.


Another group of books that are suitable for children and would make great gifts this Christmas. I am sharing these books first as most are in print as well as eBook and will need to be posted.

The first author today is Andrea Torrey Balsara with Greenbeard the Pirate Pig… which Andrea wrote and illustrated. She is also the illustrator for other lovely children’s books that you can find on her Amazon author page and I have that link for you later.

About the story

Ahoy, my Piggywinkles!

Sail into adventure with GREENBEARD the guinea pig pirate, as Snug Rumkin, Greenbeard’s ratty first mate, tries to teach him how to be a “proper” pirate!…

One of the reviews for the story

A guinea pig takes to the high seas for treasure and adventure.. Greenbeard the Pirate Pig, written and illustrated by Andrea Torrey Balsara, is about a guinea pig who decides that a pirate pig he will be. With his lettuce beard (thus “Greenbeard”) and his carrot sword, he takes off for adventure. Greenbeard is hilarious. I read each entrant’s book out loud; this story required singing. A so-bad-it’s-so-good ditty about being a pirate. Even Greenbeard’s reluctant sidekick, a rat named Snug Rumkin (who looks suspiciously like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean) sticks his fingers in his ears to reduce the pain of the guinea pig’s rousing song. I read this story several times and cracked up laughing every time. Ms. Balsara’s page design is so well done. Greenbeard the Pirate Pig teaches children how some hard work and self-confidence can help them achieve their dreams — without ever saying those words. I love books that teach but don’t preach.

Read the reviews and buy the book print and ebook: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1460285018

And on Amazon UK in ebook: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Greenbeard-Pirate-Andrea-Torrey-Balsara-ebook/dp/B01MTKZ3D2

Other children’s books illustrated by Andrea Balsara

Read the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Torrey-Balsara/e/B077TKWPBY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrea-Torrey-Balsara/e/B077TKWPBY

Also writing as A.T. Balsara for Teens and Young Adults.

A recent review for The Great & the Small

This book has great illustrations and it’s written in a way that reminds me of the tragic tale of Watership Downs. It’s a clean read and I already love domestic rats, so I very much enjoyed this book. It does cover diseases and I think the time frame is either fictional, from history, or dystopian in nature. It actually doesn’t matter, because the book is so good, who cares when it was, just that this is a fascinating read. I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Net Galley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and this review is left of my own free will.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/A.T.-Balsara/e/B077THW3QL

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Small-T-Balsara-ebook/dp/B07GBFHDKK

Read more reviews and follow Andrea on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5630985.Andrea_Torrey_Balsara

Connect to Andrea.. and for her illustrations: http://www.torreybalsara.com/

Now time to look at the children’s books of Robbie and Michael Cheadle, a mother and son writing team that combines wonderful stories in the Sir Chocolate series, with recipes that are suitable to be made in the family kitchen. Here is Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees story and Cookbook

About the story

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.

One of the reviews for the book.

on January 11, 2018

This is the most creative children’s and bakers’ heavenly book I’ve ever experienced! This is definitely a one-of-a-kind treat! There are no illustrations, just incredible photographs of “… visions of sugarplums that dance in their heads …”; made of chocolate with vivid colors and totally edible. What an amazing collection of literature with uniqueness I’ve never encountered before, and I’m a collector of classic and unusual books as well as an avid reader and reviewer! This little book is a treasure of mixed art for all ages. This BOOK is for families and generations to come. An incredible, delectable keepsake.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XXR7JGY

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chocolate-Sugar-Dough-Story-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B06XXR7JGY

Other children’s books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle.

Robbie Cheadle has also published books for adults and poetry

One of the recent reviews for While the Bombs Fell

Oct 27, 2018 Darlene Foster rated it really liked it

A lovely memoir written by a mother and daughter team about a young girl living in the UK during WWII. Elsie is very little during the war but can’t help feel the fear and anxiety of her parents, siblings and neighbours. What I found interesting is that in spite of the threat of invasion, bombs falling on homes, air raid shelters, and food shortages, everyday life carried on. The cows were still milked, children attended school, went swimming and to the movies, neighbours met for tea, Christmas cake was made and Christmas was still celebrated. Never having lived under these circumstances, it was a good insight into another time and place. An added bonus is the wartime recipes at the end of the book. Well done Elsie Hancy Eaton and Robbie Cheadle!

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie and Michael Cheadle: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

The next book that would make a great adventure story gift for a pre-teen is The Slapstyx by Annabelle Franklin.

About The Slapstyx

The sea is dying, poisoned by greedy businessman Zachary Zigstack, who has enlisted the help of the Slapstyx goblins to make sure everyone buys his highly toxic detergent. These grubby goblins fill human homes with grime that can only be removed with Zigstack products. Psychic twins Georgie and Gem must use their magical skills to put an end to Zigstack’s unholy alliance with the Slapstyx.

Twin sisters Georgie and Gem care about the environment and are deeply ashamed of their stepfather Geoffrey, who sells detergents made of bad chemicals that fill the sea with toxic slime.

The twins try to convince Geoffrey to get another job, but he refuses. ‘ZOOM’ is the world’s best-selling cleaning product, and Geoffrey loves being a superstar salesman – even though his boss, Zachary Zigstack, only pays him peanuts.

Together with a tribe of grubby goblins called the Slapstyx, Zigstack has hatched an ingenious plan to make sure everyone buys his dastardly detergent. He has promised the Slapstyx a mountain of gold, which he has yet to deliver.

Georgie and Gem can leave their bodies at will and fly around in an astral vehicle they call their ‘dreambody’. This ‘dreamwalking’ enables them to travel to other dimensions and meet the creatures that live there. One night they dreamwalk to the goblin dimension and rumble Zigstack’s pact with the Slapstyx. The goblins threaten to kill them if they tell anyone about it.

The twins make friends with a mermaid called Eltra whose tribe – known as the Delphinae – look after the dolphins. The ZOOM overload in the sea has created toxic plankton-based monsters called Sloyds who are out to destroy all the other sea creatures. Eltra begs the twins for help.

Though they are terrified of the Slapstyx, Georgie and Gem promise Eltra they will try and stop them working for Zigstack. But can they do it before the world’s oceans are turned into toxic plankton soup?

More to the point, can they do it before the goblins put them out of action for good?

One of the reviews for the book

I have an eight year old step son who I think would absolutely adore this novel! It is a middle grade story about twin sisters who can leave their bodies and fly as spirits, and in Slapstyx by Annabelle Franklin, the twins are on a mission to stop an evil magician and his goblin cohorts from selling their uncleanly and unsafe “cleaning” product to the world.

Zachary Zigstack wants to take over the world with his product ZOOM!!! which is apparently going to rid the world of dirt and grime. In reality, he wants to pollute the ocean, and make the entire planet as unsanitary as possible. the twins, Gem and Georgie use their magical projection powers to spy on Zachary and his evil goblins and try to find a way to stop them from polluting the planet.

This was a cute book for a pre-teen, I definitely think that my step son would enjoy it. It’s clear, concise, and has a message that all kids should learn about. The characters of Georgie and Gem were likable, though I felt that the girls weren’t strong in their differences, and they were kind of paper dolls (meaning that they didn’t have very distinct personalities that a pre-teen would look up to), I did think that they were fun and enjoyed their relationship with each other. I however did enjoy the character of Zachary much more, I could just seem him using his dark magic, and bent over himself rubbing his palms together.

One of my favorite things in movies, television, and even books, is when the title is odd, or doesn’t make sense, until you watch or read, and this is the perfect example of that! Slapstyx is an interesting title, but works great with this book! I give this a 4 out of 5 stars, a fun, charming adventure that any kid would love to go on, it’s a socially conscious one too.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TQTX0

And  Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Slapstyx-Annabelle-Franklin-ebook/dp/B00TQTX0UI

Also by Annabelle Franklin

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0/

And read more reviews and follow Annabelle on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6904737.Annabelle_Franklin

Connect to Annabelle through her blog: http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com

The next children’s author is Jemima Pett witha wonderful selection of children’s books and pre-teen/YA.. The Princelings of the North is book eight in the series featuring adventurous guinea pigs.

About the book

Dylan and Dougall are princelings at Castle Haunn, a remote place to the far northwest of an island off the coast of Scotland. So when they discover a prince locked in a tower, their thoughts turn to rescue and returning him to his rightful place in a castle hundreds of miles away. But nothing is ever that easy, and what starts as a simple mission turns into a nightmare that rocks the foundations of the Realms.

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads

Apr 18, 2018 Ahdev rated it it was amazing  ·

A very nice read. Adventurous ride which adults can enjoy as well!

This is the book 8 in the series but one can even read it as a standalone, as the author has given character introductions in the beginning itself. It’s very easy to grasp the story and get engrossed with the Princelings Dylan & Dougall and exiled Prince Kevin’s journey!

The writing is simple and neat, engaging throughout. The chapter drawings and its one-two line details are great ideas! I loved the story and all the characters, a nice travel with fantasy and kingdoms and power games! And happy with the good ending too!! Recommended for all :

Buy the book on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princelings-North-East-Book-ebook/dp/B0785RY891

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Princelings-North-East-Book-ebook/dp/B0785RY891

A small selection of other books by Jemima Pett

 Read all the reviews for all the books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5388872.Jemima_Pett

Connect to Jemima via her blog:  http://jemimapett.com/blog/

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s selection of children’s books from authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and thank you for visiting. Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the shelves for Christmas #thriller – Desperation Rules the Day by Colin Guest


Very pleased to share the latest book by Colin Guest – Desperation Rules the Day

About the book

Nathan, the captain of a ship, finds himself in serious trouble. Unless he can pay his gambling debts, he is liable to lose his fingers. Given this, when offered a large sum of money to accept two containers on his ship, Nathan is only too willing to agree. He later finds he has jumped from the frying pan into the fire. To his shock and horror, he finds himself the unwilling accomplice in a terrorist plot targeting America. After the authorities learn of this, Nathan makes a failed bid to escape a possible death prison sentence. As a result, he takes his own life. On the American President hearing about the failed attempt, he wants answers on who was behind the plot.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J5S1FBR

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Desperation-Rules-Day-Colin-Guest-ebook/dp/B07J5S1FBR

A selection of books by Colin Guest

One of the reviews for Impending Disaster

Impending Disaster by Colin Guest is a short story that follows Ian, Mark, and Jane on a nice day out that quickly turns calamitous after their pilot loses control, their plane crashes, and they are thrown onto a mountainside. Instantaneously, they are bound into survival mode as they attempt to navigate a descent to the bottom…but, inevitably, the mountain (and the forces of both man and nature) have other ideas. As a series of events create a seemingly endless stream of bad luck, the trio work hard to not just save themselves, but a town at the mountain’s basin that could potentially be deluged and the entire population of residents swept away to certain death.

Impending Disaster by Colin Guest was a pleasant companion as I whiled away a couple hours on the beach. As expected, it’s a short story that takes a reader right in and continues with non-stop action until the end. It’s not always easy for a writer to develop their characters when working within a smaller word count but Guest does a great job of making them feel authentic. Brevity can also cause problems when multiple subplots come into play, but on that front Guest also had the skill to effectively keep pace and timing in line with his narrative. Whether you’re spending an afternoon in an armchair or on a picnic blanket, this is a good piece of adventure fiction that is easy to recommend to readers who enjoy quick escapes into worthwhile stories. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Colin-Guest/e/B00OM3VCLW

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Colin-Guest/e/B00OM3VCLW

Read more reviews and follow Colin on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9857414

About Colin Guest

Colin Guest was born in Cheshire England in 1940, and raised in Plymouth, Devon. On leaving school, he started a five-year apprenticeship as a joiner/shopfitter, and went on to fit out shops, banks and offices throughout England. In 1978, he accepted an offer to work on the fit-out of a five-star hotel in Iran. Unfortunately, due to a revolution breaking out, he and his colleagues had to leave with the hotel unfinished. After a short time in Qatar on another hotel contract in 1979, Colin did not work overseas until 1983 when he went to work in Saudi Arabia. This became the start of his working for nineteen years as an expat in thirteen countries, spread through the Middle, Far East, and North Africa. After obtaining a married status contract in Turkey, Colin & his wife moved to live there in 1990. As a result of his living there for over twenty years, Colin wrote An Expat’s Experiences of Living in Turkey. He recently had his memoir, Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps published, which covers his incredible life as an expat. Since the death of his wife in 2007, Colin remarried and now lives in Istanbul,

Connect to Colin on his website and social media.

Website: www.colinguestauthor.com
Blog: http://www.turkmed.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tigerman55
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Tigermanguest
Pinterest:   http://www. pininterest.com/colinguest9
Google + :     https://plus.google.com/114915246700348284463/about
Linkedin :     https://tr.linkedin.com/in/colin-john-guest-33457256

Thank you for visiting today and please help spread the news of Colin’s latest book.. thanks Sally

Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Thomas the Rhymer (Jack Hughes Trilogy Book 1),” by Author, Paul Andruss


A wonderful review for Thomas the Rhymer by Paul Andruss by Colleen Chesebro. The book is amazing and so pleased that Colleen has given it five out of five faeries…well deserved. Please head over and read…

Colleen Chesebro ~ The Faery Whisperer

book review logo

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

‘Fans of Harry Potter and Narnia will love Thomas the Rhymer’

‘Thomas the Rhymer leaves you feeling like a child curled up in a comfy armchair on a wet and windy afternoon, lost in a good book’

‘Spellbinding! An ideal Christmas read for young and old alike!’

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.

Haunted by nightmares about his brother and pursued by a mysterious tramp (only seen by Jack and his friends) Jack fears he too will be stolen away.

The tramp is Thomas the Rhymer, who only speaks in rhyme. Lost and frightened Thomas needs Jack’s help to find his way home.

The race is…

View original post 1,100 more words

Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro – Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 110 – #Etheree “Pleasant and Read” – Sally Cronin


This week the synonyms required for Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 110 are “Pleasant and Read” –  I have gone for “Engaging and Peruse”

How you can participate..

JOIN US EVERY TUESDAY

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below but do head over to find out exactly what you need to submit.

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Haiku is written about seasonal changes, nature, and change in general.

TANKA IN ENGLISH 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of five lines written in the first-person point of view. This is important because the poem should be written from the perspective of the poet.

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH Every Haibun must begin with a title. Haibun prose is composed of short, descriptive paragraphs, written in the first-person singular.

The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all unnecessary words should be pared down or removed. Nothing must ever be overstated.

The poetry never tries to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail. Thus, the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – different yet somehow connected.

Etheree The Etheree poem consists of ten lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The trick is to create a memorable message within the required format. Poets can get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but the idea is to follow suit with an inverted syllable count. Reversed Etheree Syllable Count: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Double Etheree Syllable Count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Cinquain ALSO: Check out the Cinquain variations listed here: Cinquain-Wikipedia These are acceptable methods to use. Please list the form you use so we can learn from you.

Senryu in English 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and have IRONY present. Click the link to learn the meaning of irony.

To find out how to participate in this challenge, head over to Colleen’s: Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 110

I hope you have enjoyed my efforts and will throw your syllables together too in one of the forms above… have fun. Thanks Sally.

 

Christmas Smorgasbord Health – Cook From Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – #Turkey – If you can catch it you can eat it!!


For the next couple of weeks, whilst Carol Taylor slaves away in her Thai kitchen preparing some alternative delicacies for you to eat over the festive season, I shall be repeating our collaboration series from last year.. I provide the nutritional background to the ingredient and Carol prepares it from scratch to give you some wonderful recipes..

This week… The Turkey.. a bird that was usually eaten mainly at Thanksgiving (coming soon) and Christmas, but is available all year in supermarkets and butchers. Before handing over to Carol.. a look at all the health benefits this large bird brings to the table.

Meleagris Gallopavo (you can eat if you can catch it) Turkey

The wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo (something to do with difficulty in catching it I think) is native to North America. The bird was brought into Europe, in the early part of the 16th century, by the Spaniards. The English name “Turkey” arose because of a confusion with Guinea Fowl – which were imported through Turkey, from Africa. Both birds were originally known as “Turks”. Eventually, in the 18th century, it was given its Latin name but the original name stuck.

The Native American Indian used the turkey as a staple of their diet. They introduced it to starving pilgrims, along with their native plants and seeds including corn and squash. The pilgrims were so grateful they celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 where their American Indian friends were guests of honour.

Why is turkey so good for you?

Turkey is first and foremost a lean source of protein – 4 oz. gives you 65% of your daily protein requirement and has about half the amount of saturated fat that red meat does.

We are made of protein and we need it to repair ourselves – a bit like the bionic man – we take animal and vegetable protein, add some amino acids and rearrange the nitrogen from the mix to repair or make parts of our body. Don’t forget we are meat – and still a savoury delicacy in certain parts of the world.

Turkey is very high in methionine, which is an essential amino acid that ensures that any protein that we eat is completely used. This means that we get the maximum benefit from the turkey and is particularly important if we find it difficult to digest food as we get older.

Turkey is very high in the amino acid tryptophan, so it stimulates the B3 vitamin, Niacin, into producing serotonin the neurotransmitter. This has a calming effect, and helps depression (particularly useful after a family festive lunch!) And also helps us sleep well and feel good (afternoon siesta). Niacin is involved in cell health. DNA requires Niacin to be healthy and a deficiency of this B-vitamin – and the other B’s like 6 and 12 – has been linked to DNA damage that can lead to Cancer.

Turkey is very high in Selenium, which is a trace mineral and is fundamental to our general health. It is involved in thyroid hormone metabolism – antioxidant defence systems and our entire immune system health – many studies into this mineral are revealing its positive effect on cancers. As an antioxidant, it encourages DNA to repair cells and damaged cells to self-destruct.

Turkey is richer in calcium than any other meat and has over twice the calcium of chicken or beef. It also contains B6, which is extremely important for blood cell health.

It is also high in phosphorus, which is a fundamental need for bone and teeth formation and the production of red blood cells. Phosphorus is also part of the chemical energy store in each cell and in DNA – so is vital for cell health. One of the things to watch for with phosphorus, however, is that it you eat a great many processed foods you will find that they are far too high in the mineral and can cause an imbalance with other minerals.

So, Turkey is low fat – half the fat of chicken – low in cholesterol, sodium and calories. Finally it is also called a short fibre meat which means that it is very easily digestible for any age group.

How to select the best Turkey

I am a carnivore at heart (apologies vegetarians) and even though I do not eat a lot of red meat, I do eat fish and poultry. However, I was put off for a couple of years from eating Turkey at Christmas or any other time of year following the advert for cigars in 1989. For those who missed it – a flock of turkeys are surveying the darkening skies and flakes of snow begin to fall. They look at each other resignedly and head off into the turkey house where they light up a Hamlet Cigar. It was heart wrenching and I think it was salmon for lunch that year.  Just so that you can all feel the emotion here it is….sorry…..

There is usually some debate around the table on Christmas day as to who is getting the white meat and who the dark. Usually you end up with a bit of both but it is the white meat that is the most prized.

I am reliably informed that in the United States, turkeys are often bred by artificial insemination because they have now grown too large to get close enough to mate, which seems very sad considering they are also destined for the table. You would have thought they might have been granted a little fun along the way. A turkey can grow up to 70 lbs. but the average for a male (tom) is 20 lbs. and for a female (hen) around 12 lbs.

Buying your Turkey

Although I eat poultry I always buy from guaranteed organic and free range sources.  I am also keen that any food that we eat is farmed humanely as possible.  The fact is we as humans have been carnivores from the outset but there is still a long way to go in many parts of the world as to the level of respect we afford the animals we consume.

As the turkey has become more popular all year round, smaller breeds have been developed that weigh around 5 to 8 lbs. and fresh and frozen turkeys are now available at any time.

If the turkey is fresh the meat should be smooth, creamy and soft. If the turkey is whole make sure there are no bruises or cuts in the skin as this can lead to bacterial infection.

If the turkey is frozen it is more difficult to judge the condition of the bird but make sure that the wrapping is still intact.

Now over to Carol to share her recipes for Thanksgiving and the festive season and as a regular on your dinner table throughout the year.

In the UK alone last year over 10 million turkeys were eaten at Christmas so I expect there are quite a few chefs/people stating they have the recipe on how to cook the perfect turkey and a few who will be cooking the not so perfect turkey aka Mr Bean…

To cook the best turkey you need some delicious stuffing…

Mushroom stuffing using porcini mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 25g pack dried porcini mushrooms
  • 425ml hot vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp shredded basil
  • 4-6 tbsp grated parmesan

Let’s Cook!

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Oil a non-stick 12-hole bun tin and line holes with two strips baking parchment, to form a cross. Put the mushrooms in a bowl and pour over the hot vegetable stock. Leave for 20 mins, then strain, reserve the stock and chop the mushrooms, if large.

Heat oil in a pan, add onion and fry for 5 mins until softened. Add the pine nuts and fry until lightly toasted. Add the garlic, rice and cook for 2 mins.

Tip in wine, let it bubble, then add the reserved stock, mushrooms and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 mins, until the rice is just cooked. Remove from heat and cool, then stir in the egg, basil, pepper, and salt, if using.

Fill the tins with stuffing, sprinkle over parmesan. Bake for 20-25 mins, until golden on top. Cool in the tins, or for 5 mins if serving straight away. Remove by pulling up the parchment crosses.

You can make these up to two days ahead. Then reheat on an oiled baking sheet, at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 10 mins.

You will find several other recipes from a post Carol wrote for The Recipe Hunter: https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/christmas-recipes-homemade-stuffing/

I stuff the neck cavity and just put onion or a lemon with some cloves and butter in the main body cavity. You could use fresh herbs and butter in all honesty mine does vary from year to year.

A tip is to include a small handful of rice in the stuffing as it absorbs all the raw juices from the turkey creating the most delicious stuffing.

I also cook my turkey breast down as then the juices fall into the breast which keeps it moist and succulent…

The turkey must then be turned over 30 minutes before it is done to brown the top….delicious.

Some chefs also push butter under the skin of the turkey…..

It really is personal choice and I wouldn’t presume to tell you how to prepare your turkey as we all have our own way of cooking this bird and all delicious there is no right or wrong way it’s personal preference so I am just going to give you a few different options..

Cooking Times:

Take the turkey from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature while the oven is heating up.

Here is the link to a handy website: http://www.britishturkey.co.uk/cooking/cooking-calculators.html

This recipe is the one I am going to use this year because I don’t trust my oven temperature and I think adding the hot water into the cavity of the turkey will help not only keep it moist but will ensure it cooks properly

The night before roasting, soften some butter and season with salt and pepper mixing well.

I used about 6 oz of butter.

Remove the giblets from the bird and wipe it inside and out with kitchen paper. Remove any feathers… if there are a lot of them you can singe them over a gas flame.

I remember my dad doing that but most of the turkeys now are fully plucked and dressed..ours may not be as it is fresh from the farm so I am guessing it will have a few feathers left to pluck out…

Open the cavity of the bird and season the inside with the remaining salt and pepper. Rub the seasoned butter over the turkey. Take a piece of greaseproof paper twice the size of the breast and fold to give a double layer. Lay this over the breasts (it will protect them during the cooking) and return the turkey to the fridge until morning.

Calculate your cooking times and pre heat your oven… A 5kg bird should take 3 hrs 10 minutes at 180C(fan) 375F/Gas mark 5 approx as it will depend on your oven…

Stuff the turkey neck with your desired stuffing.

Sit the turkey on a trivet inside the tin. Bring a kettle of water to the boil and carefully pour around 250ml of the hot water into the cavity of the bird. Seal with a skewer.

Pour another 500ml of hot water into the roasting tray with some onions and carrots and a few fresh herbs Thyme and Rosemary plus some garlic cloves.

Then cover the whole thing with foil (I use two layers) and make sure that it is well sealed around the edges.

Put the lot in the oven and cook for 20 minutes on 250 C, then reduce the temperature to 180°C/Gas 5 for the remaining cooking time. After 2½ hours, remove the foil and the greaseproof paper and close the door. Don’t open it again until the cooking time is up.

To test whether the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer or knife blade into the point where the thigh joins the breast. The juice should run clear. If it is pink, then roast the turkey for another 20 minutes and test again.

If you are using a meat thermometer then it should read 180F in thigh and 165F in breast or stuffing.

Take the bird from the oven and leave it to rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.

Strain the juice from the bottom of the roasting tin into a large jug to settle. The fat will rise to the top, leaving the aromatic turkey and onion juice beneath. Skim off the fat and thicken the juices if you wish, or serve as it is…..

Enjoy!

The turkey Carcass…

I have many happy memories of the luscious soup my mum used to make with the left over turkey carcass…Do you????

Ingredients:

  • Turkey Carcass
  • 2 large Onions chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped and divided into 2 halves
  • 3 potatoes chopped
  • 1-2 cups rough chopped cabbage
  • 3 celery stalks 2 rough chopped and one cut into bite sized pieces
  • A Cup uncooked barley or mixed dried lentils
  • A sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ tsp poultry seasoning
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • Worchestershire sauce ( optional)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Water to cover carcass .

N.B. You can use any vegetables which you have available sometimes I add some swede or turnip it depends what I have ….anything goes sweetcorn…just some examples ..What do you use?????

Let’s Cook!

In a large pot put the chicken carcass and cover with water add your roughly cut carrot, onion, a bay leaf and thyme sprig bring the water to the boil reduce heat to very low and simmer for 2 hours.

Take the turkey bones out of the pot and pick off any meat. If required chop the meat and reserve. Throw away the bones and strain the broth through a fine sieve reserving the liquid and discarding the cooked vegetable.

In a clean soup pot add the strained broth add the remaining raw chopped vegetables carrot, onion, celery, potato, cabbage) parsley, barley, and simmer for an hour until the vegetables are tender. Adjust seasoning and add worchestershire sauce if using.

My mum would sometimes add dumplings or we would eat with fresh crusty bread.

It is a lovely soup basically using leftovers and my kids still love this and remind me sometimes of their memories of eating this soup….

I think that is what makes turkey such a special meal..The memories we make…..

My Christmas this year is going to be mixed as my Thai family are coming so it will some of us up the table and some on traditional mats on the floor and I daresay some chilli dips…. I know they will eat the meat and vegetables, they love sausage…The sauces and potatoes maybe not and they tend to like the gravy but we will see …

I hope they will enjoy being sort of part of our traditional Christmas dinner mixed with a few chillies and raw veg…. It will fun and no doubt the traditional whiskey will be lurking around and I know they love my Baileys… well the ladies do…

So this is not so many recipes in this my last post but I hope you have enjoyed it and I hope you enjoy your Christmas….

As always Sally has provided an insight into the benefits of eating turkey and as a meat it is low fat….Her knowledge of the benefits and nutrition of foods is astounding and I wish to thank her for allowing me to complement her health knowledge with my recipes…

©Sally Cronin- Carol Taylor 2017

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 vegetables 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 have 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!

Connect to Carol

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

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

I hope that you have enjoyed this look at Turkey and its versatility… just in time for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas.. thanks from us both.

You can find recipes to keep you going all year in the Food and Cookery Column Directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily #Meet the Reviewers – Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 – Olga Nunez Miret with N.A Granger, Deb’s World with Richard Glover and Joanne Guidoccio


Welcome to a look at some of the posts I have read over the last couple of days and whilst I cannot fit everyone in that I have enjoyed… I have shared on FB and Twitter.

Two regular visitors and supporters of the blog first, author and translator Olga Nunez Miret reviews Death in a Mudflat by N. A. (Noelle) Granger.


Death in a Mudflat: A Rhe Brewster Mystery (The Rhe Brewster Mysteries) by N.A. Granger A cozy mystery with a harder edge and very engaging characters and location.

Fearless detective, ER nurse, devoted mother, and Pequod, Maine’s, answer to Kinsey Milhone, Rhe Brewster is back on the case. When an idyllic seaside wedding is suddenly interrupted by the grotesque sight of a decaying human arm poking out of the tidal mud, Rhe is thrown head first into a treacherous world of duplicity, drugs, and murder.

With her best friend Paulette and her main man Sam, the Chief of Police, Rhe seeks to solve the puzzle of the body found in the muck while also working with the FBI to identify the source of shipments of tainted heroin flooding the local campus and community. Maine’s opioid crisis has hit the town hard, with an escalating number of overdoses. More murders are uncovered, testing Rhe’s detective skills and steely resolve. While she follows the clues, Rhe encounters some sinister inhabitants of Pequod’s underbelly, including a practitioner of the Dark Arts, a hydra-headed crime gang, and an embittered, unhinged lobsterman with an axe to grind and nothing to lose. In her relentless drive to solve the crimes, Rhe narrowly escapes a watery grave, trades blows with Russian goons and unknowingly prompts Paulette to put her life on the line in an attempt to catch a murderer in the act.

Please head over and read Olga’s review for the book: https://www.authortranslatorolga.com/2018/11/13/tuesdaybookblog-death-in-a-mudflat-a-rhe-brewster-mystery-by-n-a-granger-nagrangerauthor-a-cozymystery-with-a-harder-edge-bookreview

Olga Nunez Miret – Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B009UC58G0
Blog: http://www.authortranslatorolga.com – Goodreads: Olga on Goodreads

Please visit Amazon or Olga’s blog to view all her books.

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Noelle Granger, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/N.A.-Granger/e/B00DN6I8GQ
Website and blog: http://na-granger.com/

Time for another review, this time from Debbie of Deb’s World with a review for an intriguing sounding book – The Land Before Avocado by Richard Glover.

Was there really a time before Avocados?

Yes apparently there was such a time, can you even imagine it??

I enjoyed this book and kept reading interesting bits out to my husband, before he told me that he’d read it himself, so could I not share all the good bits along the way!

As a child during the years of this book, 1960s and 70s, I remember lots of these happenings, but with perspective and age now, it appears they perhaps weren’t quite the heady days we remember. Richard Glover has covered so much in this book, attitudes to women, parenting styles, food, anyone who was different, politics, history…the list is endless.

It was fun reading and looking back. I enjoyed his research findings and thinking about the way things have changed in the decades since the 1960s. Mainly for the better I will add!
I can’t wait to give it to my daughters to read, they probably won’t believe half of it.

happydebbie

Head over and find out more about the book and Debbies review: https://debs-world.com/2018/11/13/the-land-before-avocado-by-richard-glover-book-review

Now time for a reminder from author Joanne Guidoccio that November 13th is World Kindness Day

First launched in 1998, World Kindness Day is honored in 28 nations worldwide. The mission of the day is to create a kinder world by celebrating and promoting good deeds. Individuals, schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations are encouraged to pledge acts of kindness.

Here are ten quotes to inspire you…

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop

“When words are both true and kind, they can change the world.” Buddha

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.” Confucius

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dalai Lama
 

Head over to Joanne’s post and read the other quotes and perhaps add your own favourite quote on kindness...: https://joanneguidoccio.com/2018/11/13/happy-world-kindness-day/

Here is mine…

Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution. Kahlil Gibran

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and enjoy these posts in full – Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Guest Comedian D.G. Kaye and Jokes from the archives


Debby Gies has been scouring the Internet for some funnies to share with you as my guest… D.G. Kaye Writer Blog and I have been delving into the archives for a joke or two.

Thanks Debby…you are a star.

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com – Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Now for a couple of jokes from the archives

Ancient Mummy discovered..

An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert and came upon a casket containing a mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious museum.

“I’ve just found a 3,000 year old mummy,” said the archaeologist. “It’s a man who died of heart failure.”

“Bring it in,” said the curator. “We’ll check it out.”

A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. “You were exactly right about the mummy’s age and cause of death,” he said. “How in the world did you know?”

“Easy,” the archaeologist replied. “He was holding a piece of papyrus that said ‘10,000 shekels on Goliath.’”

Thanks to Silicon India..for that one..

Taxi Driver’s First Day on the Job

During a ride in a taxicab, the rider touched the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question.

Upon the touch, the cab driver flinched, screamed, then went into a panic and almost wrecked the cab. Finally the driver got control and pulled to side of road.

Still shaking, he turned to his rider and apologized. He said, “Sorry about that. This is my first day as a cab driver. For the past 20 years I have driven a hearse”.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you are leaving with a smile on your face…Sally.

Poetry Friday & Book Launch!

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Congratulations to Vashti Quiroz-Vega on the release of her latest book today… Please head over to the link to read the entire post.

Welcome, everyone! I am beyond excited today! Firstly, the 2nd novel in my Fantasy Angels Series, “Son of the Serpent” is released today on Amazon (eBook). Secondly, I just received an amazing 5 STAR review from Readers’ Favorite for Son of the Serpent. I am so happy!

REMINDER: You can still purchase Son of the Serpent (eBook) for 99¢/99p, so please take advantage of this sale and download your copy today.

*Starting tomorrow 11/10/18, the eBook for The Fall of Lilith will be priced at 99¢/99p for a limited time.

 

Son of the Serpent, the latest book in my Fantasy Angels Series is released on Amazon today. The print book will be available soon. Son of the Serpent is a High Fantasy sprinkled with Romance and Horror aimed at an 18+ audience. All the books in the Fantasy Angels Series are standalone books, but it would be more fun to read them in order.

The VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR: Son of the Serpent by Vashti Quiroz-Vega will begin tomorrow hosted by 4WillsPublishing. I hope you can make it to some of the stops. I would greatly appreciate your support. Each post will be different. You will read excerpts from Son of the Serpent as well as The Fall of Lilith and I have also provided poetry, an interview and more.

Blog Tour-Virtual Book Tour-son of the serpent-Vashti Quiroz Vega-fantasy angels series-lilith-gadreel-dracul

BLURB:

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

 

Son of the Serpent-eBook-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Fantasy Angels Series-paranormal-supernatural-Fantasy_fiction-lilith-Gadreel-Dracul-fallen angels-demons-witches-Vashti Q

 

Readers’ Favorite Book Review:

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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

 

 

via Poetry Friday & Book Launch!