Smorgasbord Food Column – Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – July 2021 – Plastic Free, Buttermilk Bread, Buying Bulk, Stuffed Mushrooms, Grow Your Own, Conservation.

Good morning and welcome to the July’s edition of my Green Kitchen… Just to recap for those who are new here…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.

Plastic Free July…Be the Change and Join me and  sign up here.

I would like to say “well done” to those of you who are well on the way to a plastic free home and some have been raised where the reliance was not on using plastic which is great while others it’s all they have known and to sign up for a challenge gives focus…I signed up not to give me focus but to give me ideas maybe something I could do but didn’t know how or hadn’t even thought about.

I have also come to realise that around the world recycling is different …some countries seem to be more advanced with their technology as many plastics need specialised machinery or facilities to enable recycling.

Take France for example 16 billion pots of yoghurt or fresh dairy products are sold and consumed every year BUT only 30% of this packaging can currently be recycled.

That is shocking and manufacturers should be taken to task and be required to produce pots which can be easily recycled and not require specialised facilities or machinery if they can’t they should bear the cost…Governments need to get tough.

One solution from the consumer is cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients, far better for the environment and it does ensure that the food you make for your family is clean and as chemical free as it can possible be…

I would also love to know that instead of counting calories and cost that more people counted chemicals as it is the chemicals in processed foods which affect our health and wellbeing.

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.

This Month’s Recipe… Buttermilk Bread…


• 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water.
• 1 cup of Buttermilk.
• 1 tbsp quick yeast.
• 1 tbsp salt
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 6 1/2 cups of unbleached bread flour.

Let’s Bake!

  • Mix water, buttermilk, yeast, salt, sugar in a bowl. Add the flour. No need to knead…
  • Just combine all the ingredients together. Lightly cover the bowl and leave to rest/rise for 2 hrs.

The bonus of living here is dough rises quickly…I love using yeast now.

  • You can use the dough immediately, store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
  • If you are using now preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Dust the dough with flour and very lightly knead, shape into a round. Cover and rest for 90 minutes.
  • Oh, and I made a cut into the top of my dough just like a cross.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for approx 40 minutes until golden brown and delicious.
  • Remove from the oven and brush the top with melted butter.
  • Leave to cool before slicing.


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.

Buying bulk…dried goods is one way to reduce packaging…again this varies around the world and for me buying foodstuffs spanning two entirely different cultures is more difficult…

I have no chance of buying pasta/cereals loose but I can buy rice, flour, dried fish, dried fruits, nuts, lentils and pulses, dried mushrooms…my answer is that where I can I buy the biggest pack available which means one bag/packet rather than 4 which go in the waste…I try to reduce my waste any which way I can which is why I say it is individual and down much of time to where you live…Please don’t beat yourself up about what you can’t do but celebrate what you can do…

Stuff Them…

My mother used to stuff a marrow with mincemeat flavoured with onions, carrots and some herbs I have done it occasionally in the past but I think it is more popular now to make your vegetables the star of a dish by stuffing them with something even more delicious like seasoned rice, some cheese, bacon and fresh herbs it can make those veggies sing and even the kids will eat them. Stuffed peppers are a popular option, but you can also hollow out and stuff eggplants, zucchinis, mushrooms, squash, potatoes, and artichokes.

Here is a tasty quick recipe for button mushrooms…


• ¼ cup breadcrumbs
• ¼ cup grated Pecorino-Romano
• 2 Tbsp shredded mozzarella
• 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
• 1 tsp chopped fresh mint
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 4 Tbsp olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 36 white button mushrooms (about 1 1/2 lbs), stemmed

Let’s Cook!

  • Combine the breadcrumbs, Pecorino-Romano, mozzarella, parsley, mint, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl and toss to blend.
  • Toss the mushrooms with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl and arrange on a small baking sheet or plate with the cavities facing up. Divide the breadcrumb mixture among the mushrooms, filling the cavities and pressing down gently to secure.
  • Place the mushrooms in a single layer on a baking try lightly sprayed with oil. Put in a pre-heated oven 180 F and cook until the filling is bubbling and browned, about 15 minutes depending on your oven.

Growing Your Own: When your space is limited… Lettuce, Cucumber and Peas…

3 Vegetables Easy to Grow in Hanging Baskets 🥒☀️🥬

Conservation Corner…

I have been very heartened by much that is happening in the world how people are really thinking how they can make a difference…

Scheduled to be demolished…A bridge over the Mississippi River the I 180 …I think this is a great idea for the Bison, the environment as to demolish that bridge would be an enormous undertaking and costly…

Business owners and leaders weigh in on Bison Bridge proposal

Along with saving Illinois millions in demolition costs, city authorities and regional planners hope re-purposing Fred Schwengel Memorial Bridge on the I-80 will draw tourists to a part of the country where the population hasn’t risen in 30 years.

I hate waste and am always on the lookout to utilise what I can…my current project entails apple skins and cores I am having ago at making my own Apple Cider Vinegar…

I have started by collecting Apple peels, cores and any browning/discoloured flesh but not rotten or mouldy flesh from pesticide-free apples I make sure of that by cleaning the skin thoroughly before I peel my apple what you need is (approx 6 large apples) and a quart sized jar…

Today the day…I started my Apple cider Vinegar…I filled my glass jar ¾ full with apple scraps and then covered them with water… 1 cup of water to 1 tbsp of sugar I used raw sugar.

This needs to be left on a dark shelf, on top of the fridge is where mine is going for two weeks…It can be stirred every two days if you like.

After the 2 weeks you strain the apple scraps and compost them or feed the chooks and then recover the jar and leave for another 2-4 weeks…

You will know when it is ready as it will have that unmistakable vinegary taste and smell…I can’t wait to see how it turns out…

Another area of waste is furnishings and furniture ...In the UK over 20 million pieces of furniture/furnishings are discarded annually and only a fraction of that is discarded…90% end up in landfill…

How often do you replace your cushions? They can change the look of a room or a bed but what do you do with old ones?

If you have cushions with a removable cover then maybe you don’t need to swap as often but sometimes you see a cushion cover and it’s the wrong size or many cushions now are all in one …

I think this is a great idea as I love new cushions…Cushion Swap has arrived…

Sustainability is on the agenda…Food and jobs are on the agenda…a healthy world is on the agenda…

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 and cost? 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 fascinating post about how we 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 – July 2021 – Plastic Free, Buttermilk Bread, Buying Bulk, Stuffed Mushrooms, Grow Your Own, Conservation.

  1. Thank you, Sally, for hosting today…the ACV is going well it has the colour of ACV nice and golden can’t wait for it to finish fermenting so I can try it… Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great ideas on thrift and eco-friendly Carol. I don’t want to have to tell you how much I just had to get rid of and still do after the move from hell. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Packed full of great advice and tasty recipes! It’s also encouraging to hear that many people are waking up to the need to protect our environment. Many thanks, Carol.x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that it’s good people are waking up at last. The only thing that worries me is that companies and governments aren’t. Governments are making the right noises, but action seems to lag behind. Even contradict what they say. For example, they say we need to cut the use of fossil fuels, but encourage the aircraft industry, and make big noises about how great it is when their country wins a new, big contract to produce more polluting goods.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I am with you on that issue Viv.. especially when those in power and so called influencers film themselves in exotic locations having travelled there by private plane. The issue of electric cars could be catastrophic in a few years time as there is currently no sustainable source of power for millions to drive them. The grid currently could not support it.. xx

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I make my own bread (not every time, but quite often). Your buttermilk bread sounds good. I’m going to have a go at it.
    For those of us in cooler climes (especially this summer in the UK. Currently16C at almost midday) bread will take an age to rise. I have a combination microwave and oven. I set the oven to 50C and pop the kneaded dough in there to rise. It works a treat. I suppose it would work in a conventional oven if you can set the temperature low enough. If you have it too high, it would cook the unrisen dough. 50 is the lowest my oven will go, but I would use lower if I could.
    I also bake most of our cakes and always cook meals from scratch. I hate the idea of consuming chemicals. That’s why I object to the so-called sugar tax in the UK. Instead of weaning people off sweetness, the manufacturers simple swap sugar for chemical sweeteners.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Well done Viv we are the same cooking from scratch to avoid eating chemicals…Good tips for anyone making bread in cooler climes. I make more bread now as my climate is brilliant for anything which requires yeast although at times it gets too lively or it did with my first crumpet attempt…lol… I agree “sugar tax” has made the chemical problem far worse…
      Enjoy the soda bread, Viv 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lots of lovely tips and information Carol, thanks.
    I was talking to someone about avoiding plastic bread wrappers by making her own (she reuses other people bread bags). She said the trouble was storing it. I felt sure freezing the dough was an option, and you’ve suggested it here.
    1) Is it only buttermilk dough, or can you freeze all dough?
    2) Do you cook from frozen (so shape it before freezing), or do you have to defrost thoroughly beforehand?
    3) Have you ever tried microwaving bread dough to bake it – I have, and it works, but best if you do a ring-shape 🙂



    • Hi Jemima…You can freeze any dough although we don’t eat as much bread as we used to and to save on freezer space I cook a loaf from scratch every 2/3 days. Years ago I used to freeze the dough in portions then when I was ready to use my dough, I just defrosted the dough and put it through a second rise before baking as normal in the oven. Do not thaw your dough in a microwave oven, as the yeast can easily be killed.
      The only dough I freeze now is my flatbread dough as depending on how many I am making I often have some dough leftover for another one or two pieces of flatbread it also doesn’t take long to defrost here just left covered on the kitchen top and those I just roll out and cook I don’t do a second rise.
      Question 3…I don’t own a microwave so no not something I have tried…Thank you for popping over and leaving a valued comment, Jemima…I am doing a plastics update over the weekend so will link back to your posts..I was impressed with your project…:) x

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Food Column – Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – July 2021 – Plastic Free, Buttermilk Bread, Buying Bulk, Stuffed Mushrooms, Grow Your Own, Conservation. | Retired? No one told me!

  7. Excellent post, Carol. I particularly like the button mushrooms idea. Do have a great summer and I’ll be looking forward to following you in the fall. Thanks for sharing, Sally. Take care. Hugs
    Reblogged on Improvisation – “The Art of Living”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Carol, I share your view that manufacturers should have to take accountability for the packaging they produce. The current status is not fair to humanity as a whole. Big business has also encouraged overpopulation so they have bigger markets for products with no thought to the planet we live on. It is all about greed. Thanks for these two delicious recipes.

    Liked by 3 people

      • That is true in some ways, Sally, but here in South Africa everything is heavily package in the stores. This is due to shop theft. We don’t really have options as this is how the produce comes and the alternatives are limited. It is very different to UK stores like Tesco where you select your fresh produce and weight it and bag it yourself. People have complained here so the stores have moved to brown paper bags from plastic so we are trying.

        Liked by 3 people

      • It such a shame when it’s people actions that have to guide how we shop but I’m sure there is a far bigger picture here that needs addressing you can only do what you can at the end of the day, Robbie…I hope your father is improving…thinking of you all xx

        Liked by 2 people

    • You are most welcome for the recipes, Robbie and yes no one who should takes responsibility or our health into account so we have to do it…we shouldn’t but we have to xx

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 4th – 10th July 2021 – 1970s Music, Green Kitchen, Poetry, Short Stories, Book Reviews, Children’s Books, Health and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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