Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘T’ for Tea and Toast, Turmeric, Tobasco, Tahini, Tamarind and Elephant’s Ears (it is a T)

Welcome to a repeat of the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful Culinary A – Z and a reminder, not only of the amazing variety of food we have available to us today from around the world, but delicious recipes to showcase them. Carol also introduces to cooking methods and kitchen equipment that assist in creating meals for all occasions.

Welcome once again to Carols Cooking Column and today in my culinary trawl we have the letter T.

Tea and Toast

How many times in your life have you been offered tea and toast. Maybe never but it was something which when I was growing up was a telling example of your class and status.

Drinking tea and eating toast revealed more about you than you could ever imagine…For example, the taking of sugar in your tea was seen as a definite habit of the lower classes…even just a tincy winsy tiny bit more than one spoonful and you were definitely in the lower middle class ( at best)…More than two….working class and not only that cemented your status if you added your milk first and stirred noisily…Working-class…

To the English tea also had practically magical properties and that was across all the class lines. Headache or a skinned knee, out came the teapot. Bruised ego, bereavement or divorce, and out came the teapot. It was the balm to soothe most ills.

Photo credit: trawets1 on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Add toast to the equation and we really came into our own, haha

It must be cool and dry, no soggy toast and it was also a matter of class how you ate that toast. I mean if you slathered it with butter and marmalade and god forbid if it wasn’t Dundee marmalade, and then proceed to take a bite. So vulgar it was the height of bad manners. The correct way: Take a small piece and add just a smidgen of marmalade before taking a gentile bite. That guys and gals are how Toast and Tea are taken in England, according to your class of course.

Tabasco Sauce – TABASCO®

Original Red Pepper Sauce is made with three simple ingredients and aged in oak barrels for up to three years on Avery Island, Louisiana, before bottling. The recipe originating from Edmund McIlhenny in 1868 has been used by the McIlhenny family for nearly 150 years, just aged vinegar, salt, and peppers make this versatile hot pepper sauce.

Image by iSAW Company from Pixabay

Are you familiar with the following The Culinary Alphabet T terms?


Traditionally served as part of a Meze in the Arab world it has fast grown in popularity in the Western world. I do love how increased travel and the internet have broadened our Culinary World. Tabouli salad or Tabbouleh is a simple Mediterranean salad of very finely chopped vegetables, lots of fresh parsley and bulgur wheat, all tossed with lime juice and olive oil.


Tahini is a thick paste-like sauce made from sesame seeds, with a little bit of oil mixed in to make it the right consistency, and usually not much else. Tahini is similar to peanut butter in texture: creamy, oily, and smooth, and like peanut butter is rich in calcium. Tahini is a common ingredient in many vegetarian and vegan recipes (particularly in salad dressings and homemade hummus) and it is often used in Middle Eastern cooking.

How to make your very own Tahini paste/butter, it is so quick and easy and the cost of a packet of sesame seeds is virtually pennies against the cost of a store-bought jar of tahini and no nasties.

  1. Into the kitchen, just quickly toast the Sesame Seeds,
  2. then into the mini blender,
  3. 3 tbsp Olive oil, and a quick whizz,
  4. scrape down the sides,
  5. another tbsp Olive oil and another scrape,
  6. a bit more oil and a quick whizz and voila your Tahini Paste is made.

How easy is that?


One of my favorite cooking ingredients I love tamarind either just eaten as a fruit or used in cooking. Available everywhere here it is very popular and healthy. To learn more about the Tamarind tree and some recipes where Tamarind is used. Click Here

My favorite is the young tamarind pictured here only available for a very short period but a lovely way to eat the tamarind…


I prefer the lightness of tempura batter and it is used often in Asian recipes. Specially formulated tempura flour is available in worldwide supermarkets. This is generally light (low-gluten) flour, and occasionally contains leaveners such as baking powder. Tempura is very prevalent in Japanese cookery today most of the major changes to the tempura were In the early 17th century, around the Tokyo Bay area, tempura ingredients and preparation underwent a remarkable change as the Yatai (food cart) culture gained popularity.

Making the best use of fresh seafood while preserving its delicate taste, tempura used only flour, eggs, and water as ingredients and the batter was not flavored. As the batter was mixed minimally in cold water, it avoided the dough-like stickiness caused by the activation of wheat gluten, resulting in the crispy texture which is now characteristic of tempura. It became customary to dip tempura quickly in a sauce mixed with grated daikon just before eating it.


The name for a dish of pureed or finely chopped olives, capers, and olive is a lovely dip served with beautiful bread or crackers and of course a lovely glass of wine on a lovely summers evening. Quick and simple to make it can also be used as a stuffing for poultry.

Elephants Ears

I had lived here for a while before I realized what these huge leaved plants were in the field near our house and the river that runs alongside had massive ones some of those leaves reached 3 feet long and 2 feet wide and the plants can grow 8 feet tall.

The elephant ears thirst for water is why they are so prolific in soggy areas and they are also popular here not only for landscaping but also near water features they are quite an impressive plant.

The corms or roots are also to be found on every market stall it’s Taro. Silly me!


Tasso ham is a specialty of south Louisiana cuisine. In this case, “ham” is a misnomer since tasso is not made from the hind leg of a pig, but rather the pig’s shoulder. This cut is typically fatty, and because the muscle is constantly used by the animal, it has a great deal of flavor.


As I make all my own Indian curries and spices I temper spices a lot. It is also a term used in many custard and soup recipes when you are required to “temper” an egg which means that you need to raise the temperature of an egg gradually, essentially cooking it without scrambling it. A tempered egg will look basically like raw egg, but will be perfectly cooked, and used as a binding agent or thickener.


Something I always leave to hubby as he knows his knots…It is however a way to tie a chicken…


I think most of us have heard of Turmeric by now. It is most commonly used in Asian food and comes from the root of the Turmeric plant. Used in curries it has a warm, bitter taste and has many culinary uses apart from just flavoring or coloring curry powders. I use it when I make mustard which is where mustard gets its yellow color from also butter and cheeses. I also use the Turmeric leaf when I make the Indonesian dish of Beef Rendang. The root is widely used around the world to make medicines.

Last but not least one more entry on The Culinary Alphabet T


Before we go any further I will tell you that I never have, never will, have no desire to eat tripe. My grandfather and father loved tripe. Tripe is for sale everywhere you look here and eaten and enjoyed by Thais. Tripe is a type of edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals. Most tripe is from cattle and sheep. National tripe day (yes) it is true celebrated on 24th October. I may be writing about it, I most certainly will not be eating it.

I eat many things, Ant eggs, chicken feet, frogs and insects, crispy fried, No squidgy ones, Never tripe. What are your thoughts on tripe, Do you love it? Or are in my camp of never tried it and never will?

Thank you for reading I hope you have enjoyed this little trip through the Culinary alphabet…Until next time when it will be the letter U.

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 creating this wonderful series and we hope that you have enjoyed. As always we are delighted to receive your feedback and if you could share that would be great.. thanks Sally.


63 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘T’ for Tea and Toast, Turmeric, Tobasco, Tahini, Tamarind and Elephant’s Ears (it is a T)

  1. Americans must have different tastes in tea and toast. I can’t abide milk or sugar in my tea, and my toast has to be hot. I am firmly in the no tripe camp. Never had it, never will.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m with you on the tripe, Liz…as for tea hubby is the tea drinker in our house and his toast has to be hot and well done with lots of butter…my tea is either camomile or oolong neither of which requires milk or sugar and toast I rarely eat…Most of the Americans I know prefer coffee to tea it seems 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Definitely a no on the tripe for me but I do understand from my mother that during the war years they ate everything they could from an animal because of rationing and she said most benefited from good seasoning but she never ate it after the war and never gave to us… at to tea I don’t drink milk in mine and tend to stick to green anyway.. xxx

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  2. Hi Carol, I am so working class with my toast consumption. I am gentile with tea – Ha! mom versus dad – teehee! I have started using Tahini recently in cooking for Mediterranean recipes. The Chimes, A Goblin Story by Charles Dickens which I read recently has a long diatribe about tripe and its eating. I thought the piece clearly described how removed the upper classes were from the miseries of the working classes, but I would never eat it myself. I don’t eat any organs or inside bits and pieces.

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  4. I’m definatley with you on Tripe Carol.
    Loved reading this post today and the tea and toast had me giggling.
    I loved tea and toast.
    My aunt Vera was a definate tea aficionado. she loved her tea. She swore that it cooled you down on a hot day and warmed you up on a cold day. Vera always had a cup of tea and a cigarette in her hand.

    I’m sure she lived by the class rule too

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thanks for the education on tea in the UK, Carol. I love green tea with a bit of honey and lemon, and tapenade and tabbouleh are favorites in my household. I admit that I do like tripe. My great-grandmother gave it to me when I was a child. It’s now on the menu in some 4 star restaurants and I’ve had the pleasure of ordering it. Great post. Hugs

    Reblogged on Improvisation – “The Art of Living”

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    • Oh I know that the popularity of tripe has been revived over recent years and in some posh restaurants too, Will…my hubby likes tripe I don’t but I also have never eaten it either so I shouldn’t say that-smile-I drink my green tea on its own but I know many drink it with honey and lemon that I’m sure is a very nice way to drink it…Thank you for sharing on Tumblr, Will xx

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  6. When we were first married – eons ago – my husband told me he liked tripe. For weeks afterwards tripe was on the menu (never eaten by me!🤢), until he eventually told me that I had totally mistaken what he meant. I had said something was total tripe (I think it must be a Northern saying… well my mother and nanna used to say it😊), meaning what I’d heard was complete rubbish.🤣. He thought I was funny saying that. Bless him, he’d gallantly waded his way through plates of the stuff before confessing. Such a load of tripe! 😅😅😅. Anyway, Carol, thank you for all this information on ‘T’ – I use Tabasco and Turmeric. I have Marmite on my toast, and husband won’t come near me, afterwards, until I clean my teeth!! LOL

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  7. First, I’m in the never have-never will – tripe camp! I use tahini in a mushroom pate recipe I have and there’s a huge difference between varieties. Now that I know how easy it is to make my own, I will. Then I come to tea and toast – brilliant! I’m writing about Baby Boomers at the moment and tea and toast most definitely feature. I read two days ago that in 1950 55% of children drank tea with their meals. I like my tea unsweetened and am not a MIF (milk in first), but I’ll have my toast anyway at all – hot and oozing with butter, or cold with a scrape of butter and (yes) some Dundee marmalade. I loved Judith’s load of tripe! Many thanks to you both for the information and entertainment! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Welcome to our camp, Trish lovely to have you here-smile-I loved Judith’s load of tripe too -so funny that’s interesting writing about baby boomers plus you could be correct as I can remember drinking tea with a meal whereas now we have water on our table…funny how times change…xx

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  8. I’m an American but I occasionally like milk and sugar in my tea. I learned the error of my ways while studying in England when I was in college. I don’t think of tamarind as an ingredient per se, I find it already in chutney. I’ll look for it now.

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    • I’m sure you did Ally as depending on where in England you live they have very particular thoughts on how you should take your tea I always add the milk last my mother added the milk first..I hope you enjoy discovering the uses of tamarind, Ally 🙂

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  9. Definitely in your camp over tripe. My uncle used to love it, cooked in milk, I believe. He persuaded me to try a bit when I was a child, but as I remember, it was horrid.

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  10. I love your discussions in the comments. 😉 Here the only drinkable should be beer, but for me it’s espresso. Lol Thanks to Carol for so many new ingredients and preparation tipps. Gosh, it really seems i am very far away from civilisation here. 😉 hugsx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  11. So many foods to try out, even maybe, perhaps, a tiny bit of tripe. It sounds a lot like offals which are a variety of intestinal and organ meats. Those are delicacies here in Uganda.
    Tea and milk is so common here it’s dubbed ‘African tea’ even in the best hotels, with a little tea masala (ginger spice).
    Awesome post, Sally. Huge thanks to Carol for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

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