October my Green Kitchen with Carol Taylor.
Welcome to October’s edition of my Green Kitchen…where I aim to cook food which is chemical free, in season and grown either by myself or purchased locally and in season…
Produce which is in season has far more taste than produce which is forced and grown out of its natural season …I also think it is the anticipation and taste that first of the season produce brings to the enjoyment of our food…
There is nothing better than cooking and serving that first crop of new potatoes or that first crop of peas, the first of the root crops, new ginger or lovely strawberries it brings such pleasure and we should savour every mouthful as many don’t have that option.
I am a firm believer that if we didn’t crave more and more of foods which aren’t natural to our particular environment that there wouldn’t be so much starvation and hunger in the world ..we live in a world of supply and demand and if we didn’t demand there would be no need…
Sometimes we have to deny ourselves for the good of others…
Recipe for October…Yeast free Raisin and Cinnamon Bread.
This bread is easy to make, smells wonderful because of the cinnamon and makes a lovely breakfast bread. If you don’t have any buttermilk then it’s easy to make just enough for this recipe I never buy it I just make it as requires. A few minutes is all it takes.
• 1 cup raisins -soaked
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup dark brown sugar
• ⅔ cup granulated sugar, divided
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp coarse salt
• 1 large egg, at room temperature
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and divided
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• Pinch ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350° F / 177C and grease an 8×4-inch loaf pan.
Soak the raisins in hot water for 15 minutes, drain, and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, ½ cup of the granulated sugar, the baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, and 3 tbsp of the melted butter.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry until the batter is moistened. Fold in the raisins.
In a separate small bowl, mix together the remaining granulated sugar, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Reserve 1 tbsp of this cinnamon-sugar for finishing the bread.
Spoon half of the batter into the greased loaf pan and then sprinkle with half of the larger amount of the reserved cinnamon sugar.
Repeat with the second layer of batter and cinnamon sugar, and then cut through the batter with a knife to swirl the cinnamon sugar throughout.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes.
Evenly baste the top of the bread with the remaining 1 tbsp of butter (making sure not to over-butter one spot or the inside will be soft) and sprinkle with the reserved 1 tbsp of cinnamon-sugar…I didn’t use the whole tbsp as I felt it would have been too much it depends on how sweet your tooth is methinks.
Cool the bread in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack, and then cool for an additional 10 minutes.
Slice and serve with butter and or jam.
My testers loved it...I liked it…it was a tad too sweet for me but the bread had a lovely texture and I would make it again for hubby…
Now for a recap on last month’s projects
Hair Conditioning Bar…called Foamie that has now arrived…
Lily is my little tester for this as she has quite fine hair which knots easily so needs a conditioner…it also has no nasties is not packaged in plastic which means so far it a winner.
• 0% parabens, silicones, sulphates, microplastics, nano particles
• 100% plastic free, vegan and cruelty free.
• Dermatologically tested.
• Ergonomic design for easy use.
They do two one for normal hair which contains coconut oil and one for damaged with Hibiscus.
Lily’s verdict: She loves the smell and the softness of her hair…my verdict I think she loves having something of her own and something her brother is not going to use…
Well, my in-house testers would have had something to say if it’s not doing the job…I have been using it for a few weeks now and no one has said anything…I take that as a win…and another plastic bottle less coming into the house… plus nothing nasty is going in to the water system so a little less to harm the little fishes…
To make the fabric conditioner…You will need:
- 500ml Glass bottle/jar
- 500ml White vinegar
- 30 drops Essential Oil of your choice
Fill your bottle/jar with vinegar, and add around 30 drops of essential oil to your vinegar.
Shake well before use
When you are ready to add the fabric softener to your machine, fill the fabric conditioner compartment of the drawer up to the line with the scented vinegar. For a half load of washing, decrease the amount by half.
Using this mixture in place of fabric conditioner will give your laundry a delicate and clean aroma without a hint of vinegar — promise! If there is still a trace of vinegar on your wet clothes, this will dissipate as the clothes dry.
This is my first attempt at homemade conditioner and the oil I used was the lemon grass essential oil I made last month… but depending on your preferences any essential oil will do…as I love the smell of Jasmine methinks that will be my next choice and after that who knows… Alternatively, you can skip the oil for a scent-free conditioner.
I also halved the recipe just in case plus as I had no dark 250/500ml bottles left I improvised and used an empty beer bottle…we are nothing if not inventive in this house…lol
Vinegar makes for a great natural fabric conditioner because it cuts through soapy residue and it won’t interfere with the absorbency of your laundry, making your clothes and towels last longer and smell better. Nor will it leave deposits in your washing machine or plumbing. In fact, vinegar also cuts through grease so you’ll actually clean your machine every time you do a load of laundry. Win! Win! Plus, another plastic bottle or those little sachets are gone…
If you are still wondering why, you should ditch the manufactured Fabric Conditioner then…some brands use “dehydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride.” in layman’s terms “animal fat” pure and simple so if you follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle…check your fabric conditioner.
It goes without saying it is also not good for the environment …many brands contain a cocktail of non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals which are not easily bio-degradable…they can contribute to eczema and may contain carcinogens they are also toxic to those little fishes…
It was world Vegetarian day on the 1st October and on the 16th, it is World Food Day...
Let’s tackle Vegetarianism first…it seems though that there are an increasing number of “isms” … one example is “ Pescatariaism”…. That comes from the Italian word for fish “Pesce” it is the inclusion of fish and other seafood to a plant-based diet…I could happily go with that as I love fish far more than meat…
But what about the lab produced meats …What are your thoughts? What is Cultured Beef?
Meat substitutes …i.e. Beyond Burger…
Plus the Impossible Burger...Womens Health conducts some tests...
More on this next month…
World Food Day…16th October…
Every time I see images of children starving it breaks my heart…it breaks my heart when I see mothers and grandmothers on a screen telling us, begging us to help feed the children… it breaks my heart.
It also makes me so mad when I see the statistics of world food waste… About 17% of global food production is wasted, according to the UN Environment Programmes (UNEP) Food Waste Index...Here’s the kicker...we/us are accountable for 61% from households, 26% from food services and 13% from retail.
Why World Food Day?…This day aims at tackling global hunger and is striving to eradicate hunger across the world.
While doing my research I was astounded that despite the focus being on building sustainable and fair food systems the UN summit was boycotted and criticized by none other than scientists, farming groups and social movements…
I was now reading this with a look of pure disbelief on my face…Why?…instead of giving the platform to groups who were building and advocating for sustainable food systems worldwide…the summit centred around major food and agriculture companies who argue that the way forward is through proprietary tech and more chemicals.
The first feed the world, Band Aid was in 1984…Thats 38yrs ago…
We are now a few months away from 2022 and I am still seeing those pictures and images of starving children…it may be labelled differently …Climate Change and covid are now thrown into the mix…BUT it doesn’t alter the fact that children are still starving worldwide…
I think after reading all that I can only focus on the statistics of household food waste and continue to support local initiatives who help feed the starving children where I live…to do that we need to focus on labels…particularly Use by and best before dates.
Use By: tells us when the food is still safe to eat. Found on perishable foods such as chilled meats, dairy and ready meals. To avoid waste only purchase when you require them there is no point in stocking up on a bargain and then it doesn’t get eaten and is ultimately thrown away…Don’t stock up unless it’s something which can be frozen.
Best before date:
This date is far more flexible than use by dates. After this date and within a reasonable time, dried beans, pasta, lentils can be consumed safely…trust your senses.
Check your fridge and cupboards regularly…once a week have a pot luck meal and any odds and ends of vegetables can be chucked in a casserole or soup, mixed in with a pasta dish, a stir fry or an omelette.
Get creative, find new recipes which only require a few ingredients.
Learn what you can freeze successfully before the use by date…Frozen odds and ends of fruit make great smoothies or fruit compotes.
A vegetable stir fry is one of best ways to use up odds and ends of veggies…that half an onion, those two mushrooms, that lone green onion, that handful of bean sprouts, that half a carrot or those few broccoli or cauliflower florets, the odd piece of cabbage, a tomato, half a bell pepper…even those couple of prawns/shrimp or bit of chicken you can make a main meal out of this with some rice…
Let’s reduce that 60% and make a pledge to avoid processed foods like the plague or bodies don’t need them to stay healthy.
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
My thanks to Carol for another wonderful column and I so appreciate the work that goes into creating them each month. do head over to her blog to follow her informative and entertaining posts every week…. thanks Sally.