Smorgasbord Food Column – Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – Bread, Homemade Peanut Butter and Home Grown Vegetables and Herbs.

Hello and welcome to Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I am to be back with a brand- new column at Smorgasbord Magazine… and how welcome you made me feel last month for my first post of the year you are all stars as is Sally for inviting me back x

I am passionate about cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients, the environment and ensuring that the food I make for my family is clean and as chemical free as it can possible be…I would also love to know that instead of counting calories that more people counted chemicals as it is the chemicals in processed foods which affect our health and wellbeing.

Just to recap for those who missed the first post…This monthly post will cover sustainability, news on food production…changes for the better and maybe a villain or three…haha, a recipe or two including some plant- based recipes, hints and tips on making my household a little greener…aka recycling and composting.

It isn’t easy …in theory we know what we should do …THEREFORE I have looked at what I can do gradually…every small change is a bonus.

Positive signs from 2020 are it seems we are becoming a nation of cooks again we are baking bread, cooking from scratch, making small changes to how we live our live…A reset…
I now bake bread every other day… Sandwich Loaf…an update… (The original recipe was in last month’s post)

The only change I have made so far is to substitute stone ground wholewheat flour for some of the white bread flour…everything else is exactly the same…

The original recipe used 500 gm Bread Flour…

I now use 300gm stone ground wholewheat flour and 200gm Bread Flour.

As different brands of flour do vary it can affect the liquid used up until now, I have not had to change the volume of my liquid. Personally, my family prefer this percentage and is how I will make this sandwich loaf in future it has a nice texture and a nuttier taste.

Did you know?

It’s a given that processed foods can save you a little time. But what you gain in convenience, you lose in money, environmental impact and maybe even health.
That’s because processed foods require more labour to convert them from their natural state to something that fits in a box, bag or tub.

You’re also paying for the chemicals added to the processed food to keep them fresh.
You’re paying for the packaging, too, which is totally worthless once you get it home. Indeed, $1 out of every $11 you spend at the grocery store you spend on packaging you throw away.

I will give you a simple example…Peanut Butter…

One of the quickest and simplest, things to make…

Today I was making a hot homemade protein drink and needed peanut butter…it took a little under 15 mins of my time…

Rather than buying store-bought peanut butter which is full of nasties, it is easier and it is very quick to make your own.

It is the quickest easiest recipe to make ever, the kids can help blitz it and as well as being tasty it has no nasties.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Take 500 gm raw peanuts. Put in oven on a tray and cook on high for 10 mins.
  2. Take out of oven and reserve a few (if you like crunchy peanut butter) like me.
  3. Put the remainder of nuts in a food processor and blitz at 1 min intervals scraping down the sides. Do this for 4 mins or until smooth.
  4. Add 1tsp of salt,1 tbsp oil and remainder of reserved nuts if using. If you want to add honey, Nutella or other flavouring, of your choice then add now.
  5. Blitz again for 1 min and put it in a suitable container. Stores in fridge for 3/4 weeks.


How many of you grow your own vegetables and or herbs?

When you are growing your own food, you are in control of every step of the growing process — from selecting your seeds and deciding on how you will manage the soil and the pests which may appear all the way to harvesting and composting …it was my grandfather and my father who taught us about rotating fruits and vegetables and which parts of the garden needed the soil to rest once the crops had been picked.

Plus, a garden can provide a relaxing way to connect with nature and work with your hands.

I know all this can sound intimidating; however, gardening can be done on any scale, from a windowsill of kitchen herbs to a backyard vegetable plot.

With the right plan in hand, a home garden can easily fit the demands of busy lives and tight budgets.

You just need a plan…for those of you who are experiencing snow and winter weather it’s the ideal time especially if you have been in your home for a while you know where the sunny spots are…If you have time and reasonable weather now is the time to prepare your soil just dig it over and let the elements do the rest and you will have nice soft soil come the spring and early summer…

Of course, think about your goals do you want fruit and veggies or just happy to grow some herbs all this of course depends on space…in our early days we just relied on window sills, pots, hanging baskets and planting a few veggies among the flowers and then I luckily managed to get an allotment and we could grow a bit more but so much depends on the space and time you have to allocate to this…

Then comes fun part choosing your seeds…drawing a little plan…sorting out your shed for pots or anything which may hold soil and veggies…Get Creative and sort out some junk…

If anyone has some hints and tips on how you grow your own please share…we are in this together…

Are you ready to join me in making your kitchen and garden a little greener, are you ready to cook from scratch more often and to count chemicals instead of calories?
Love Carol 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 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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology Amazon US

Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor


My thanks to Carol for another wonderful post about how small changes can make a big difference to our health and that of the environment.. do head over to her blog to follow her and take your appetite… thanks Sally.

67 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Food Column – Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – Bread, Homemade Peanut Butter and Home Grown Vegetables and Herbs.

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Food Column – Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – Bread, Homemade Peanut Butter and Home Grown Vegetables and Herbs. | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Glad to see you back, Carol. Your series are always very informative. I love peanut butter but refuse to buy it in the store because of the “nasties.” Now I can make my own. Thank you very much and thanks to our dear Sally for sharing this. Best wishes with your new column. Hugs
    Reblogged on Improvisation – “The Art of Living”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your kind words, Will and for the reblog on tumblr…I agree about the peanut butter it is so very easy to make as are many other condiments I have a new series starting tomorrow on my blog on how easy it is to make your own sauces, mixes and condiments starting with mustard…:) x

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I think making peanut butter would be fun to do with kids! Otherwise, probably not.

    My herb growing is sketchy now although I enjoy mint, basil, and chives grown in pots on my patio. Thanks, Carol, and Sally for sharing it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Never thought of making my own peanut butter but know some children who’d love to give it a go. I grow lots of herbs and they’re used frequently. We have several different kinds of mint (all grown in pots to stop them colonising the garden) and one of them is eau de cologne mint which smells fabulous and is good in a fragrant nosegay with things like rosemay, lavender, thyme, lemon balm and dill. These all grow easily in the Welsh climate. My mother-in-law gave me four tiny off shoots of bay. Three of them died quite quickly. The fourth did nothing for three years and then it took off. It’s one of the tallest trees in the garden now. I started growing fruit and veg in the garden a long time ago and the grandchildren love to harvest the proceeds. Peas, raspberries and Sungold tomatoes are their favourites but they also appreciate the fresh taste of things like potatoes, beans, onions and cucumbers. Thanks for this series – I think an increasing number of people want to get back to a healthy and more sustainable way of life.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Trish, wow you have made your effort for the environment and wonderful for the grandchildren to be involved.. I am very happy when I see primary schools have gardens where the children learn that all food does not magically come from Tesco.. I am sure your garden is also a haven for wildlife and bees…hugsx


    • It all sounds wonderful, Trish and lovely that you get the grandchildren involved…I agree more people do seem to want to have a more healthy and sustainable way of life…I envy you your potatoes they don’t grow well here it’s too hot 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m just imagining how good that peanut butter would taste on a slice of your freshly baked bread!

    I eat peanut butter just about every day, and have been for over 50 years…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve never made my own peanut butter, but I think I’m going to give it a try. I could eat pb every day, so it’s great to know how to make my own.

    About this time every year, I start getting really eager to get outside and get my hands dirty in the garden. We couldn’t have a garden last year because of a water issue, but we had it fixed and this year I’m hoping to grow lots of tomatoes, raspberries, peas, cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash, and peppers. We always grow lots of herbs in pots on the patio: basil, oregano, rosemary, mint, cilantro, and thyme. There’s nothing like fresh herbs to give a recipe a fresh flavor. Thanks, Carol and Sally!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – February 14th – 20th 2021 – Romance, Songs 1960s, Chilled soups, book reviews, videos and funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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