Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – #Halloween Party Food


Carol Cooks Halloween Food.

Welcome to this week’s edition of Carol’s cookery column well we are halfway through October and those of you who celebrate Halloween probably already have your porches and front gardens decorated…I am here to help you with the food but not just for Halloween as I have seen and heard that a few of you are already experiencing flurries of snow…and only October whereas here it is hotting up as our high season is coming…

The potato is ideal Halloween and cold weather food a simple food that can be elevated into something quite warming and special.

Before we get to the fillings we need to bake them…

How to bake…Simply select your potatoes and scrub them clean, dry them and poke a few holes here and there…I am sure many of you have witnessed the mess when potato bursts its skin in the oven…

I oil my potatoes very lightly and pop straight onto the shelves of a preheated oven… Cook on 400 F/200 C and cook for about an hour or until soft and the skin is crispy …I turn mine a couple of times to ensure they crisp evenly.

Now for the fillings…

Of course you have the normal cheese and beans, cheese and coleslaw or chilli fillings and all very nice…Chilli Con Carne  and Homemade Coleslaw

A favourite in our house is to scoop out the flesh of the potato and put to one side add a tbsp butter to the inside of the potato shell and crack an egg into the shell then top with some ham or bacon and chopped spring onions and season …Pop in the oven on 350F for about 20 minutes or until the white is set and enjoy… it is a lovely thing.

 

For those of you who fancy something just a little different… A baked sweet potato is very nice and they lend themselves to some slightly different fillings like feta cheeses, olives and sundried tomatoes or roasted grapes with goats cheese and honey is just to die for …especially if you have a slightly sweet tooth… Not a filling hubby likes he prefers cheese, bacon and the like in a normal potato as he puts it…

Me I like something a little different… This is a nice treat… A recipe given to me by a friend who used goat’s cheese I use feta or ricotta if I can get it…

Sweet Potato with goat’s cheese, honey and roasted grapes.

Ingredients:

• 4 sweet potatoes
• 2 cups of red seedless grapes
• 1 tsp of coconut or olive oil
• ¼ tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
• 4 ounces of goats cheese or feta/ricotta
• Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
• 2 tbsp of honey plus additional to drizzle if required

  1. For 4 potatoes take 2 cups of small seedless grapes and put on a baking tray drizzle with oil and a season with salt and pepper then roast them at 350F for about 20 mins or until the skins just start to burst… Do check them as ovens vary and they can tend to burn…
  2. Remove from the oven and leave to cool then take your cooled sweet potato and gently remove the flesh those skins are not as hardy as a normal potato are they? So my advice is to leave some of the potato attached to the skin or you may struggle to fill them.
  3. In a bowl mash the potato with 3 oz of the goats cheese, honey, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste then put the potato back in the skins and crumble some more goats cheese on top …To serve add the grapes and drizzle more honey if desired…

Enjoy!

A couple of weeks ago I showed you how to make Homemade Sausages. If you are making them for Halloween, then this recipe for my homemade mustard is just the thing to add that little zing…

My mustard is a WIP I think I need to either dry my seeds in the oven or in the sun as dry frying it is so easy to burn them…which I did with the first batch so had to start again.
My quest for smooth mustard like the famous Colman’s mustard is not yet over but a work in progress……I will keep you updated…

In the meantime, my son taste tested …we had a little Colman’s mustard left so he used both on his dinner and said he really couldn’t taste any difference so it got the thumbs up from him and as he is a very good chef that was praise indeed!

I would never probably have thought to attempt to make my own mustard if it wasn’t for the fact that sometimes you can get it and then you can go months without seeing any and I know some people stock pile and I may keep an extra one of some things but it just doesn’t sit well with me to buy everything on the shelf… I don’t agree with stock piling…

Homemade Mustard.

• 1/4 cup cold quality vinegar (wine vinegar, rice vinegar etc.)
• 1/2 a cup of cold water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1/4 of a cup of mustard seeds

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix together the water, vinegar, salt, and turmeric, then chill this in the refrigerator for a half hour to an hour.
  2. Grind the mustard, and then pour the cold liquid over the ground mustard immediately. Set it in the refrigerator for 2/3 days before using, for the best flavour.
  3. If you don’t want yellow mustard, simply omit the turmeric.
  4. The reason for the emphasis on cold vinegar and water is because this retains the flavour of the mustard; otherwise, it loses its pungency quickly. Letting the mix stand in the fridge for 2/3 days reduces the bitterness of the mustard seeds.
  5. Also, as it chills, it should thicken up. This is the reason that store-bought mustard can be difficult to get out of the container if it comes directly from the refrigerator and isn’t at room temperature.
  6. This mustard will keep in the refrigerator for about a year due to its vinegar content.
  7. Mustard is much easier than I originally thought it would be to make but I have learnt that the final taste depends on the vinegar you use and also the mustard seeds…

Potato wedges are also very nice and maybe a little easier to serve as you can put them in a bowl and add the topping or serve separately and also not everyone can eat a whole jacket potato with filling so easier for portion control.

To make your wedges

  1. Cut a potato into 6 pieces although this depends on the size of your potato.
  2. Place potatoes in a baking dish; coat in oil making sure the potatoes are covered evenly.
  3. Sprinkle fresh bread crumbs over potatoes (this makes them) a little more crispy and coat each wedge well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to 355 degrees F (180 degrees C) and continue cooking until wedges are tender enough to puncture with a fork, about 30 minutes more.
  7. Potato wedges are easy to do and you can add fresh rosemary, garlic or make a marinade and if you are running short of time just pre-cook slightly and then pop into the oven.

Lastly a lovely bowl of homemade soup always goes down well

Soup ingredients:

  • 1 small squash/ pumpkin peeled and deseeded. Cut into pieces.
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and cut up
  • 1 carrot washed and cut
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Piece fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 3 Broccoli stalks, peeled and cubed (I always save the broccoli stalks) for when I make soup. Waste not, want not and I think ideal for soups for flavour.
  • 1-1½ litres fresh chicken stock or stock cubes.

Lets Cook!

  1. Heat a glug of olive oil and gently cook the garlic, ginger and onion to just soften and not colour.
  2. Add other vegetables gradually and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, then add stock and seasoning.
  3. Simmer gently for about an hour or until vegetables are lovely and soft and remove from heat.
  4. I let it cool down before I blend the soup.
  5. This makes a lovely vegetable soup but I also use it as a base for a heartier soup and freeze in portions.
  6. When I reheat I add little-dried chilli flakes and 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut milk. It just gives it a creamy flavour.
  7. Sometimes I add crushed lemongrass stalk and add a little fish sauce, it depends on how I feel, it is a versatile soup base so play with it, and have fun.
  8. Add some curry powder, a squeeze or 2 of lime juice or coriander, whatever you fancy.
  9. It is also lovely with some added prawns or some picked crab meat.
  10. Serve with some lovely garlicky croutons and enjoy!

That’s all for this week I hope you enjoy your Halloween festivities and stay warm and safe xxx

©Carol Taylor 2018

The other posts in the Food and Cookery Column can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

My thanks to Carol as always for the time and effort that goes into these posts.

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally

Advertisements

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – St. Kitts, Mother Sauces, Family Drama, Music, Short Stories and Humout


Welcome to the weekly round up and October has raced in with high winds and very high seas in the Irish Channel… Thankfully not bringing the devastation suffered by residents in Florida and along that coastline. But in Ireland the weather does not get us down for long and wellington boots are to be found in all our porches, and sometimes put into service around the house.

The nights are drawing in, and just as the sun goes down we are treated to a visit from hundreds of crows who gather on the electricity lines. We had to take out three 30 foot trees that were undermining the outside wall to the garden facing the road, with roots beginning to cause the pavement to crack. We think these trees might possibly have been a roost for many years for one of the murders of crows in the area and they still return to glare through the windows at us.

Unfortunately from a safety perspective we had no choice, and certainly after the hurricane last year when many trees like ours fell across roads and caused damage, it was necessary. However, they have got their own back by stomping around, cackling and picking the moss of the roof and throwing it all over the back yard at sunrise.. which in the summer is about 5.00 am.  Here they are gathering at dusk. In the next week or so this patch of ground, will welcome a brand new lawn and the garden will be finished.

Anyway.. on with the posts from the week. And as always my thanks to the regular contributors and guest writers who have shared their talent. And to you for dropping in and supporting the guests and my posts. It is much appreciated.

Over the last few months the news that the 5.0 WordPress release would include the Gutenberg editing platform, has caused a lot of uncertainty with recommendations to upgrade to be able to install a plug-in so you could still use the Classic Editor etc. I asked for clarification this week and was delighted with the response.. including a screenshot, that for WordPress.com bloggers at least.. there will be the option to choose when adding a new post. Thank goodness for that..

 

Welcome to the October edition of the Travel Column with D.G. Kaye. This month we’re going to another small, beautiful and still developing Caribbean island – Saint Kitts.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-welcome-to-saint-kitts-caribbean/

This week Carol Taylor takes us through the five basic or mother sauces that every cook will find useful.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-the-5-mother-sauces/

Linda Bethea shares the lengths to which her two grandma’s would go to annoy each other…delighted that Linda will be sharing more about her family on a more regular basis.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-it-was-a-wonder-to-see-my-two-grandmas-in-combat/

Getting to Know You Sunday Interview – Author Jaye Marie

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-jaye-marie

A lovely poem from Joy Lennick on the Third Season ( A Poem for Autumn)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/10/smorgasbord-poetry-guest-poet-the-third-season-a-poem-for-autumn-by-joy-lennick/

Talent runs in the Lennick family, and Jason Lennick shares some entertaining recollections of life growing up.

Jason is halfbananas

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-life-with-the-lennicks-by-jason-lennick/

A short story with a very important message from author Andrew Joyce

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-andrew-joyce-short-story-one-word/

I am enjoying gathering my syllables and participating in Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 105.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-weekly-tuesday-poetry-challenge-number-105-haiku/

Smorgasbord Book Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/smorgasbord-book-reviews-the-glowing-pigs-snort-stories-of-atonement-tennessee-by-teagan-riordain-geneviene/

Smorgasbord Short Stories What’s in a Name? Volume II

Kenneth – A Love for Life

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/13/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-kenneth-a-love-for-life-by-sally-cronin/

Lily – The Collector

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/14/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-volume-ii-lily-the-collector-by-sally-cronin/

Houston and Chester 1986/1987 and Dirty Dancing… also requests from Robbie Cheadle and D.G. Kaye.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/09/the-music-column-houston-and-chester-1986-1987-dirty-dancing-hurricanes-requests-robbie-cheadle-and-d-g-kaye/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-price-she-who-comes-forth-by-audrey-driscoll/

Cafe updates

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-janice-spina-deanie-humphrys-dunne-and-john-quinn/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-judy-penz-sheluk-robbie-cheadle-and-elsie-hancy-eaton-billy-ray-chitwood-and-diana-j-febry/

Blogger Daily and Meet the #Reviewers

Jennie Fitzkee, Balroop Singh and Nicholas Rossis

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-october-8th-2018-jennie-fitzkee-balroop-singh-and-nicholas-rossis/

D.G. Kaye, Carol Taylor, and Jane Bwye.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/09/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-d-g-kaye-carol-taylor-mac-and-cheese-and-jane-bwye-with-lucinda-e-clarketuesday-9th-october-2018/

Sue Vincent, Judith Barrow and Lizanne Lloyd.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/10/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-wednesday-10th-october-2018-sue-vincent-judith-barrow-and-lizanne-lloyd/

Jean Lee, Shehanne Moore, Beetley Pete and Nicholas Rossis.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-11th-october-2018-jean-lee-with-shehanne-moore-beetley-pete-and-hitchcock-nicholas-rossis-amazon-author-page/

Anne Copeland, Carol Taylor and Evie Gaughan

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-12th-october-2018-anne-copeland-youthful-fashion-carol-taylor-chilli-evie-gaughan-with-review-types/

An immune boosting eating programme to help prevent and recover from the flu.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/09/smorgasbord-health-column-immune-boosting-diet-to-beat-the-flu/

One of the herbs that may help you ward off the flu and other infections is goldenseal.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/10/smorgasbord-health-column-influenza-the-herb-goldenseal/

Humour and afternoon video

Cat humour and a joke..Part One.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/09/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-funny-cats-and-a-joke/

Cat Humour and a joke Part Two.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-funny-cats-and-a-joke-part-two/

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – The 5 Mother Sauces.


Sauces can make or break a dish…

I love a good sauce over vegetables, meat or fish and they don’t all have to be calorie laden or made with cream and more cream although I love a good cream and wine sauce with some mushrooms.

A basic sauce is generally used to make other variations of the original sauce. The French take credit for initially perfecting what is now universally recognised and categorised into one of the 5 groups of sauces and any chef who is classically trained will be taught to perfect these sauces…

I am self taught and learnt much at my mother’s knee but I can make a mean sauce or three.

A good restaurant will prepare the basic sauce in large batches to use as a foundation to make individual servings that are seasoned and flavoured separately but using one of the 5 mother sauces as the base.

4 out of the 5 sauces are made using a roux and the 5th is an emulsion.

To get you started, here is a short video that shows you how to make the perfect roux for soups and sauces.

What are the 5 Mother sauces?

A) Brown (demi- glaze) or Espagnole are a sauce that are brown stock based a few examples are Chasseur, Diane, Madeira, Mushroom or Tarragon of course there are others in this group but for a home cook like me who likes simple these are what I would make unless of course I received a lovely bottle of Bordelaise and that would be my piece de resistance and a rare treat…

To make a basic brown sauce you will need:

Ingredients:

• 1 bay leaf
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 3 to 4 fresh parsley stems
• 7 to 8 whole black peppercorns
• 1 ounce clarified butter
• 1/2 cup onions (diced)
• 1/4 cup carrots (diced)
• 1/4 cup celery (diced)
• 1-ounce all-purpose flour
• 3 cups brown stock
• 2 tablespoons tomato purée

Let’s Cook!

  • Fold the bay leaf, thyme, parsley stems, and peppercorns in a square of cheesecloth and tie the corners with a piece of kitchen twine. Leave the string long enough so that you can tie it to the handle of your pot to make it easier to retrieve it.
  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it becomes frothy.
  • Add the mirepoix and sauté for a few minutes until it’s lightly browned. Don’t let it burn, though.

Cooks tip: A mirepoix is mix of small diced vegetables in this case onions, celery and carrots.

  • With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the mirepoix a little bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated and forms a thick paste (this is your roux).
  • Lower the heat and cook the roux for another 5 minutes or so, until it just starts to take on a very light brown colour. Don’t let it burn, though!
  • Using a wire whisk slowly add the stock and tomato purée to the roux, whisking vigorously to make sure it’s free of lumps.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower heat; add the sachet and simmer for about 50 minutes or until the total volume has reduced by about one-third, stirring frequently to make sure the sauce doesn’t scorch at the bottom of the pan.
  • Use a ladle to skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and retrieve the sachet.
  • For an extra smooth consistency, carefully pour the sauce through a wire mesh strainer lined with a piece of cheesecloth.

If you won’t be serving the sauce right away, keep it covered and warm until you’re ready to use it.

Otherwise, serve hot and enjoy!

From this basic brown sauce you would then make your mushroom sauce by adding saute mushrooms and garlic and additional seasoning as required.

B) Veloute are sauces made with a white stock and a roux such as Supreme ala Chicken Supreme, Allemande or a white Bordelaise.

To make a Chicken supreme for example you would add crispy fried bacon, garlic and some cream poured over a frilled chicken breast.

C) Béchamel are made with a roux and milk such as a Mornay or Crème
Lovely over a piece of lightly poached sole…

D) Red or tomato sauces such as Spaghetti, Marinara sauce and also a variety of tomato sauces.

I think everyone loves a spag bol…Don’t you? I always use fresh tomatoes as they are plentiful here and I don’t buy tinned for health reasons…leaching etc… Some people put their tomatoes in hot water and then cold to remove the skins I don’t it all goes in the blender …

Ingredients:

• 12-14 fresh tomatoes…blitzed
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 large onion chopped
• 8 oz fresh, mushrooms chopped
• 2 tsp Worcester sauce
• 6 cloves garlic chopped
• 10-12 basil leaves chopped
• 1 tbsp oregano finely chopped
• 1 tbsp brown sugar
• 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
• 1-2 tsp black pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

  • Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until they become soft and transparent.
  • Add mushrooms and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add Worcester sauce and garlic and continue to cook until mushrooms become soft.
  • Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for at least one hour. The longer the better! Ideally 2 hours you will now have a nice rich tomato sauce to make your spaghetti Bolognese.
  • This sauce can be frozen in portions and used as required.
  • To make the Bolognese then cook some ground beef in olive oil and add your tomato sauce cook for about 20mins until the beef is cooked adjust your seasoning.
  • Serve with spaghetti noodles of your choice, parmesan cheese and garlic bread.

E) Emulsions such as Hollandaise or Mayonnaises.

Goan Mayonnaise Ingredients

• 1 egg
• ½ cup of oil
• 1/8 th tsp white pepper
• 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
• ¼ tsp sugar
• Salt to season

Let’s Cook!

Mix together all the ingredients in your blender except for the oil then add the oil at a drizzle a little at time and then blend for a minute or two until mayo thickens…Season to taste.

This would be the base sauce for a Goan fish dish to which flaked pureed fish and fish stock is added to the mayo and it is then brushed all over and inside a scaled and cleaned fish and then wrapped in foil and baked…

A dish cooked by a Goan friend of mine unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures unless you count what was left …lol

How many of these sauces do you make or know?

I was surprised that knew more than what I thought, when I first heard a chef talk about mother sauces a few years ago….I was like what?

But I suppose classical is a little like home cooking just a bit posher, but my mum cooked plain simple food, and as I grew older, I would make that basic sauce as she taught me, and add to it…

Easy when you know how isn’t it…Cooking demystified…

I am practising mine whenever I can just in case I get an invite for Masterchef…lol

Until next time…Thank you for reading this post…

©Carol Taylor 2018

The other posts in the Food and Cookery Column can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

My thanks to Carol for her hard work in putting these posts together. I am learning a great deal from her. She ran a successful catering business for many years and we join all her many satisfied customers.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Book Launch, Birch Maidens, Sausages and Spies by the Sea..


Welcome to the weekly round up and for me it has been an exciting week with the launch of my latest book. And also from a renovation perspective…the weather stayed dry enough for David to paint the outside wall of our garden facing the road. The lawn goes down this week and work will begin on the back patio… it has been two and a half years, so you can see why this is a watershed moment.

I know we are only just into October but I have been making plans for the Christmas promotions starting November 12th.. Primarily to make sure that every author in the Cafe and Bookstore is included, and to that end if you are not in the Cafe and Bookstore yet… here is a post to get you started.  Also if you are in the Cafe already, please let me know if you have a book out in the next few weeks so I can set up your New on the Shelves promotion.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-book-promotion-have-you-a-new-book-available-before-christmas/

As always I am very grateful for the amazing contributions of talented writers who spend time and a great deal of effort to put together posts for us.

Paul Andruss is on a sabbatical at the moment so I am sharing some of his earlier posts from 2017 for you to enjoy. The Birch Maiden is a wonderful legend, and in this post she is brought alive by the illustration by Donata Zawadzka who is the illustrator for my latest book.

picture1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-rewind-writer-in-residence-the-birch-maiden-by-paul-andruss/

Last week Carol Taylor identified some of the unexpected ingredients to be found in some brands off hotdogs. So that you don’t go off the delights of sausages totally, this week she gives us the recipe and spices to make our own.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-homemade-sausages-and-spice-mixes/

Delighted that Jessica Norrie is back with us after the summer break with a post on novels from 1903 to the present day, which feature spies and criminals in a coastal setting. Some classics from authors such as Agatha Christie, Erskine Childers, Graham Greene and in a modern vein…Ian McQuire.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-literary-column-with-jessica-norrie-coasting-with-spies-and-criminals-1903-2018/

Linda Bethea shares the last of her Mixed Nuts family stories… and the good news is that we will see Linda here on a more regular basis as a guest writer.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mixed-nuts-part-3-by-linda-bethea/

Esme gave us her predictions for the coming month….

Hi everyone and I hope you are looking forward to the month ahead. One of the main events, is that Venus is retrograde from this week until mid-November. People assume this means that love is going to fly out of the window… but in fact, what it does, is highlight areas of your relationships that could use some TLC.

October for me is an interesting month, in that I find it a ‘buffer’ month, between late summer, early autumn and winter in the Northern Hemisphere and spring and early summer for the heat of high Summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-esmes-predictions-for-october-2018/

This week – what I was up to in 1985, music from Foreigner... and a request from Darlene Foster. This week 1986 and more requests.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-the-charts-1985-and-darlene-fosters-request/

A highlight for me….

This week was very special for me and my latest book was launched with some beautiful illustrations from Donata Zawadzka. I am very grateful to everyone for liking, reblogging and sharing across their social media. It was amazing and I cannot tell you how delighted I am by the response. I was also thrilled to find my first review for the book and that was wonderful. My thanks to Paul Andruss for creating a gif with the new cover and a selection of my other books which I share with you here and it includes some of the illustrations.

And the book’s first review

Appreciative reader 4.0 out of 5 stars Escape from the real world 6 October 2018

Fairy Queen Filigree moves her court from the dry Spanish plains to the Emerald Isle, where she and her courtiers soon need warm tweed clothing and fortifying amber nectar. But romance is on the cards to warm things up too. If you want a gently paced read full of enchanting detail, soothe yourself in the author’s carefully imagined world of fairy feasts, storytellers and ever so slightly petulant princesses. Like going back to childhood… This isn’t my usual thing but made a welcome change from real life – and there are some beautiful illustrations too.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/booklaunch-tales-from-the-irish-garden-by-sally-cronin/

Other personal ‘stuff’

I responded to Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge with a haiku.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/smorgasbord-poetry-haiku-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-poetry-challenge-rose-hips/

This weekend’s short stories from What’s in a Name – meet Jane and Jack.

Jane – The Surprise

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-jane-the-surprise-by-sally-cronin/

Jack – A VIP Visitor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-jack-a-vip-visitor-by-sally-cronin/

I am catching up with my reviews on the books that I have read over the summer… slowly but surely

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/smorgasbord-book-reviews-psychological-thriller-lies-by-t-m-logan/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/smorgasbord-book-reviews-the-glowing-pigs-snort-stories-of-atonement-tennessee-by-teagan-riordain-geneviene/

Part two of my interview with author Leslie Tate… childhood memories of jungles and monkey poop…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/smorgasbord-magazine-reblog-part-two-of-my-interview-with-leslie-tate/

New books on the shelves this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-offer-son-of-the-serpent-fantasy-angels-series-by-vashti-quiroz-vega/

Cafe Update – Reviews and News.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-colleen-chesebro-jacqui-murray-and-sacha-black/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-covers-and-reviews-shehanne-moore-janet-gogerty-and-c-s-boyack/

If you are a regular visitor you will know that I consider Vitamin D to be one of the most essential nutrients for our health. More and more research is identifying new health conditions that improve with an increase in Vitamin D through absorption of our skin (Sunshine Vitamin) or in diet in combination with supplementation.

This article appeared last week which would suggest that migraine sufferers could decrease the number of attacks by supplementing with the vitamin.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrient-in-the-news-vitamin-d-could-reduce-number-of-migraine-attacks/

Starting to appear in the headlines across the media is news that following last year’s high death rates from the flu, and the ineffectiveness of the 2017 vaccine, a new maxi-strain format is going to be available this year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/smorgasbord-health-health-in-the-news-flu-season-vaccination-alert-new-mega-vaccine-available-in-uk-and-boost-your-immune-system/

Humour and afternoon Videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-a-few-funnies-and-a-joke-or-two-its-a-dogs-life/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-its-a-dogs-life-funnies-and-a-joke/

A selection of blog posts each day that I have read and enjoyed. Sorry not to mention all that I have visited but I hope I have shared most on social media.

Debby Gies, Leslie Tate, Carol Taylor and Teagan Geneviene

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-monday-october-1st-2018-d-g-kaye-reviews-leslie-tate-carol-taylor-exposes-hot-dogs-and-teagan-geneviene-illuminates-the-1920s/

The Story Reading Ape, Claire Fullerton, Christy Birmingham and Jennie Fitzkee

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-october-2nd-2018-the-story-reading-ape-with-claire-fullerton-christy-birmingham-40shealth-and-jennie-fitzkee-reading-preschool/

Sue Vincent, D.G. Kaye and Annette Rochelle Aben

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-october-3rd-2018-sue-vincent-d-g-kaye-and-annette-rochelle-aben/

Charles E. Yallowitz, John W.Howell, Teri Polen, Mae Clair and Beaton Mabaso.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-september-4th-2018-charles-e-yallowitz-with-john-w-howell-teri-polen-with-mae-clair-and-beaton-mabaso-on-websites/

Jenny in Neverland, Pamela Wight and Noelle Granger.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-friday-october-5th-2018-jenny-in-neverland-onlinefriends-pamela-wight-shortstory-and-n-a-granger-review/

Thank you again for dropping in and your ongoing support… it is much appreciated.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor -Homemade Sausages and Spice Mixes.


Homemade Sausages and Spice Mixes.

Welcome to this week’s cookery column those of you who know me well know that I make most or nearly everything from scratch if possible…https://blondieaka.com/2018/10/01/hot-dogs-those-two-words-should-strike-fear-into-your-heart/

On my Mondays column on my own blog I investigated  Hot Dog Sausages this week and I was shocked so instead of what I had planned, I brought this post forward… I always make my own sausages or buy them from a friend here who makes her own. She was married to a German gentleman so makes really lovely German varieties also many of the markets here make their own sausages which means the natural casings are freely available…

A quick tip on how to spot a natural casing is if the sausages on display are not all a uniform shape but all slightly different and may be wider at one end from the other.

Firstly I will give you two recipes for sausage spices which are easy to make as most people have the spices in their store cupboards and it helps with the rotation of your spices as they do lose their flavour if they sit in your cupboard for an extended period…lol…Now wasn’t that a polite way to put it???

These mixes are lovely if you are buying your meat already minced… I will also give you a recipe for making your own sausage meat from scratch.

Sausage Spice Mix

This spice mix is enough for 1lb of meat once mixed in the meat chill for about 3 hours as the meat must get really cold before filling your casings…but of course if you want to make a larger amount then store in a sealed container but remember not to use fresh garlic but dried if storing which is why with this mix I just make as required.

Ingredients:

• 3 ½ tsp of Paprika
• 1 ½ tsp of salt
• ½ tsp of fennel seeds
• 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
• ¼ tsp of red pepper flakes ( optional)
• 1 tsp of garlic granules ( I use fresh garlic)

Mix all the spices together or if you like your fennel a bit finer then blitz or grind in a pestle and mortar then use as required.

Italian Seasoning

This Italian seasoning is very nice if you don’t have Italian seasoning but have dried oregano and rosemary then use those…

Ingredients:

2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
½ tsp Fennel Seeds
2 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of minced garlic
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp minced shallot

Mix all the ingredients together this mix is enough for 2 lbs of meat.

A Quick Tip I always make and cook a small patty just to check the seasoning and adjust if required.

Sausage Casings.

Natural sausage casings are generally made from pigs intestines although sheep’s, goat or cattle are sometimes used. The intestines are scraped, flushed and washed with salt and water either by hand or machine and have been used for centuries.

A video showing how to clean the casings.

Organic food regulations only permit natural casings.

As I stated above you can spot whether or not natural casing are used in sausage production as the sausages will not all have a uniform shape.

Artificial Casings.

Artificial casings are made from collagen often from cattle skin, cellulose or plastic (not eaten)

If you buy a lot of sausages you may notice some have a plastic skin which has to be removed or it separates when cooking.

Vegetarian Casings.

Are 100% plant based and used in Halal or Kosher food making.

The Sausage.

I expect you were wondering when I would get to this part… I think making sausages is a great idea as you can introduce so many flavours and spices which to buy are generally expensive and unless you are buying Artisan ones the other ingredients are probably questionable…

Ingredients:

• 2 ¾ lbs Lean Pork…Hip or shoulder
• 1lb 2 oz Belly Pork
• 1lb 2 oz Pork back fat
• 3 oz salt
• 1 ½ tsp dried sage
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp ground nutmeg
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• 6 oz breadcrumbs or medium oatmeal
• 250 ml iced water
• 6 metres (20 feet) 28–35mm (3⁄4–11⁄2in) sheep or hog casings, soaked and one end knotted

A quick tip If you put the Pork fat into the freezer for 30 minutes, it will mince more easily without melting.

Let’s make Sausages…

Chop the meat and fat into chunks and chill thoroughly.

Mince the meat and fat through a coarse mincing plate onto a deep, wide tray when mincing alternate pieces of meat and fat.

Mix the salt and spices with the bread crumbs or oatmeal if using and sprinkle this mix over the minced meat and get those hands in there and start to mix. Drizzle in the iced water and mix thoroughly to ensure the spices are distributed evenly.

Now make your little tester patty and cook…Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.

Now mince the mixture again through a fine mincing plate.

If you are lucky to have a filler nozzle then fit it and fill those casings making sure it is not too tight or they will burst when you make your links.

Twist the end of the sausage to close it and decide on the length you desire for each sausage and pinch the sausage easing the meat away to form a gap in the casing then twist the sausage twice…Remember when you do the next sausage twist in the opposite direction or the links will unravel easily.

If you have any air bubbles the prick the skin at that point using a cocktail stick or a sterilised needle. If the mixture is too loose within the skin squeeze from the closest link and twist again…

As with anything new practice makes perfect.

Your finished sausages on the BBQ

I hope that you have enjoyed this post on how to make your own sausages and if you enjoy as there are so many different flavours you can make …

You can mix pork and beef, chicken sausages are nice…

My favourite sausages are:

  • Cheddar cheeses and jalapeno
  • Chicken, pancetta and rosemary
  • Basil and tomato
  • Apple and caramelised onions
  • Red onion and parmesan

The beauty also of making your own sausages is that you can make a mix of flavours something to suit everyone…How good is that?

Do you make your own sausages ? If so what are your favourite flavours?

©Carol Taylor 2018

The other posts in the Food and Cookery Column can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

I do suggest that you read Carol’s post on Hot Dogs that I link to and then I think you will be checking all your sausages out from now on!!

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally

.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – New Look – Amazon Shenanigans and Great Guest Writers and Authors


Welcome to the weekly round up as the blog moves into its new look and also autumn posts. It has been a busy week for me as my latest book went through its final phases and those little snags appeared out of the woodwork… just in time before the official release next week.

Amazon has decided to throw a curve ball to authors in Ireland with regard to their print books. There is no separate site for Southern Ireland and it comes under the UK. Despite only ebooks and not print books being liable for VAT, Amazon have blocked Irish authors from selling unless they register for VAT. And that stock must be held in the UK to satisfy their delivery requirements of 3-5 days promise to the customer. Obviously, if we post a book from Ireland to the UK there might be a slightly longer delay, although most of mine arrive within 3 days.

The VAT threshold (compulsory VAT registration)

“A business must register for VAT if its taxable turnover for any consecutive 12-month period exceeds the VAT registration threshold. The current VAT registration threshold (from 1 April 2017) is £85,000 but this tends to increase every year”  https://startups.co.uk/when-do-you-need-to-register-for-vat/

I wish I was eligible.

There are benefits to being registered in that you can claim back VAT on services and products you have bought to produce your own product or service, but in the case of an author like myself…. that is a moot point.

So our seller account for books was blocked for print sales until we registered for VAT by Amazon. eBooks are not impacted because they already have VAT added and it is deducted at source. Crazy!!!

To be honest with post and packaging and the preference for eBooks when selling internationally, it was not worth the hassle. I sell more print copies face to face and events and also by direct one  to one contact. I am set up for most books on our publishing site direct to Paypal as well.

So I have taken my print books off Amazon and will focus on eBooks and doing more book events to sell hard copies. 

It strikes me that this is yet another attempt to discourage the small traders and it is not just authors, it is also those who buy and sell other products and services on Amazon from countries such as Ireland.

I am sharing this so that anyone else who might be faced with the same issue is forewarned. We are not the only ones facing the problem as the forums are filled with others in the same position.

Getting to Know You Sunday Interview.

I have one or two posts scheduled between now and Christmas, but it would be lovely to have more of you participate, as it is a great way to get your blog or books noticed. I will be starting a new themed interview series in the New Year.. but in the meantime it will be soon prime selling season for books and other creative work. Here are the details and also those who have already taken part, to give you an idea of how they look and the response they get.

Look forward to hearing from you: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/getting-to-know-you-sunday-interview-2018/

Anyway time to get on with this week’s posts that you might have missed.

The Music Column

A few changes to the line up whilst William Price King is making some changes to his computer system and schedule. This week I pick up my playlist in 1984 with music from Phil Collins and Queen.. along with my adventures that year.. I am looking for requests to add to the post each week so bring on the music you love.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/smorgasbord-music-column-new-features-for-autumn-request-show-and-sallys-playlist/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Christmas Cakes and Puddings.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-christmas-cakes-and-puddings/

Posts from Your Archives – Linda Bethea with Part Two of her Mixed Nuts family stories.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mixed-nuts-part-2-by-linda-bethea/

Guest Writer – Rationing in World War II by Robbie Cheadle

Author Robbie Cheadle shares some of the hardships endured by the British people during World War II. Food was rationed but in fairness it did produce a generation of very creative cooks.   You can find out more and enjoy some recipes from that era when you buy  While the Bombs Fell which is written by Robbie Cheadle and her mother Elsie Hancy Eaton.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-post-rationing-during-world-war-ii-by-robbie-cheadle/

Smorgasbord Health Column – Guest Writer

My guest this week writing for the health column is D.G. Kaye… Debby Gies. Debby has suffered from chronic intestinal disease for many years and has researched and devised a way to keep herself healthy without medication. It is all about the diet….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/smorgasbord-health-column-guest-d-g-kaye-dietary-restrictions-consequences-and-the-eye-rollers/

Smorgasbord Short Stories – What’s in a Name?

Villagers are preparing for Halloween, but some are devastated by the loss of their cats. One villager decided to investigate. Meet Isobel… Hiding in Plain Sight.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-isobel-hiding-in-plain-sight-by-sally-cronin/

A young boy is taught valuable life lessons by his grandmother.. meet Ifan and the Black Sheep.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-ifan-and-the-black-sheep-by-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Poetry – Haiku in response to Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Challenge

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/smorgasbord-poetry-haiku-in-response-to-this-weeks-colleen-chesebro-poetry-challenge/

Smorgasbord Reblog

Allan Hudson shares his pick of six authors and their books and was thrilled to find What’s in a Name on the list..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/smorgasbord-reblog-six-great-authors-six-great-books-by-allan-hudson/

And another post from Debby Gies who wrote a compelling article on the history and purpose behind the #MeToo movement.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/smorgasbord-reblog-metoo-the-right-to-be-heard-on-sexual-abuse-by-d-g-kaye/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-dog-health-care-7-simple-ways-to-keep-your-dog-healthy-by-rachele-baker-dvm/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shadowed-by-death-an-oliver-wright-ww-ii-mystery-oliver-wright-ww-ii-mystery-book-2-by-mary-adler/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-for-d-g-kaye-sally-cronin-and-don-massenzio/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-for-jacquie-biggar-paulette-mahurin-and-marina-osipova/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily and Meet the #reviewers

Leslie Tate with me, Olga Nunez Miret, Sue Vincent with Sarah Brentyn

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-monday-24th-september-2018-leslie-tate-olga-nunez-miret-and-sue-vincent-with-sarah-brentyn/

Debby Gies, Robbie Cheadle and Frank Parker

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-tuesday-september-25th-2018-d-g-kaye-robbie-cheadle-and-frank-parker/

Geoff Le Pard, Chris Mullen and Cathy Ryan

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-september-26th-2018-geoff-le-pard-chris-mullen-and-cathy-ryan/

Jina Bazzar for D. Wallace Peach, Darlene Foster for Mary Smith and Publishing with Audrey Driscoll.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-thursday-september-27th-2018-jina-bazzar-for-d-wallace-peach-darlene-foster-for-mary-smith-and-publishing-with-audrey-driscoll/

Humour – Laughter Lines

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-random-funnies-and-a-joke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-pharmacy-funnies-and-a-joke-or-two-for-your-health/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Christmas Cakes and Puddings #GlutenFree and Traditional


Now I know that none of us like to hear the C word mentioned but some things just need to be made in advance and then we can forget about them and no last minute panics we can enjoy the parties and celebrations knowing that the main things are already made and matured… All we have to do is ice them and add the finishing touches.

This first recipe is gluten free...for all of my friends who have to eat gluten free for a diagnosed medical condition, and it is delicious, and quite frankly just as nice as my tried and tested recipe I always make…not much difference in taste.

So I am giving you both recipes one Gluten free and my tried and tested one which if you used gluten free breadcrumbs and flour would also be Gluten free..

Hopefully this year I will have proper rolls of wrapping paper as one’s son is in England and will be bringing some back for me…No juggling with those silly little rolls which are just enough to wrap a matchbox…I am not kidding!

So here is the first recipe for a… Gluten FREE Christmas pudding… Enjoy!

Ingredients:

• 100 gm currants.
• 100 gm sultanas.
• 100 gm sour cherries.
• Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
• Grated zest and juice of half an Orange.
• 1 tsp of mixed spice and cinnamon.
• 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.
• 100ml of brandy…this is where my hand slipped…ha ha
• 180gm dark brown sugar
• 1 granny smith Apple ( I can’t get these) so used a new Zealand apple which is quite tart.
• 1 large carrot, grated.
• 250 gm ground almonds.
• 50 gm gluten free cornflour.
• 1 tsp gluten free baking powder.
• 2 med free range eggs.
• 50ml vegetable oil( I use coconut oil) plus extra for greasing.
• 2 tbsp black treacle.

This makes enough for a 2-pint pudding basin or two 1 pints.

Let’s Cook!

In a large bowl put dried fruit, zest, and juice, spice, and brandy, stir to combine, cover and leave for 24hrs.

Then mix in sugar, apple, and carrot, add beaten eggs then stir in oil and treacle.

Lastly, stir in dry ingredients with a pinch of salt.

Put mixture into a greased pudding basin it should be two-thirds full. Cover the top with a round of grease-proof paper the cover with pleated tin foil and secure with string.

You can now either sit the pudding in a saucepan on an upturned plate and fill the pan with boiling water about half way up the basin. Put the lid on and steam for 4 hours remembering to top up water as necessary.

I always use a steamer and in this case, it was my wicker rice steamer which the bowl sits in nicely over the pot of water.

If you have made a lot of puddings over the years like me I think you find your own preferred method of steaming your puds.

Once steamed, cool and re-wrap pudding and store in a cool, dry place. It is the fridge for me as it is too humid…I do miss my cool pantry…

To serve simmer or steam the pudding for 1-2 hrs, then invert onto a plate and flame the pud or serve with sauce, brandy butter or cream…

It’s cream all the way for me …and lots of it!

My second recipe is slightly different but adaptable to make gluten free and the one I make year after year….I could do it blindfold now…lol

So for all of you who want to get your Christmas Puddings made so they develop the lovely flavours then here is my tried and tested recipe…..

Ingredients:

• 300gm fresh white breadcrumbs (I use brown)
• 100gm self-raising flour
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ whole nutmeg, very finely grated
• 350gm raisins
• 100g mixed peel
• 50 gm flaked almonds
• 250 gm suet
• 225 gm Demerara sugar
• 225 gm sultanas
• 225 gm currants
• 2 carrots, peeled and very finely grated
• 2 cooking apples, peeled and very finely grated
• (shhhh)Wet ingredients
• Zest and juice of 1 orange
• Zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 small wine glass of brandy shhhhh and a tad more..ha ha
• 2 tbsp black treacle
• 4 eggs, lightly beaten

Let’s Cook!

Put the breadcrumbs in the biggest mixing bowl you can find. Sieve the flour into the bowl with the mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then add the remaining dry ingredients, up to and including the grated apples. Combine all the wet ingredients in a jug. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together, with a big wooden spoon. Take it in turns to give it a stir, closing your eyes and making a wish.

Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight.

Butter 2 x 1.2-litre pudding basins and spoon the mix into them. Place a disc of baking paper on top of the puddings, then seal with a big sheet of baking paper with a central pleat, to allow expansion. Cover with a cotton or muslin cloth and tie with string or foil.

Steam for 6 hours in steamers, or in pans with simmering water that reaches two-thirds up the sides of the basins – be sure to keep the water topped up. Remove and allow to cool.

When cool, re-cover the basins and store in a cool, dry place. On Christmas day, or the day you’re going to eat the puddings, steam for another 1-2 hours. Turn the pudding onto a plate, then pour 75ml of brandy into a ladle and carefully warm over a low heat for 1 minute or so. Light the match and voila a flaming pud

N.B. As I live in sunny climes then I store mine in the fridge as they ferment very quickly here and that’s not quite what we want.

Happy Cooking and don’t forget to make wish.

Christmas Cake …Bake and Mature

I love a rich fruit cake and it lasts as long as you want it too some people love the traditional Christmas or now some make a square cake and cut it into slices it is just preference and of course once it is made I always just sprinkle a little brandy,whisky, rum or sherry over the cake every couple of weeks an age old tradition in our house and I am sure many others.

Ingredients:

• 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
• zest and juice 1 orange
• zest and juice 1 lemon
• 150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
• 250g pack butter, softened
• 200g light soft brown sugar
• 175g plain flour
• 100g ground almond
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp mixed spice
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp ground cloves
• 100g flaked almond
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Let’s Cook!

Put 1kg mixed dried fruit, the zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon, 150ml brandy or other alcohol, 250g softened butter and 200g light, soft brown sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat.

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.

Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.

Add 175g plain flour, 100g ground almonds, ½ tsp baking powder, 2 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, 100g flaked almonds, 4 large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.

Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.

Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.

To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it.

Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

There that’s done and there will be more mention of Christmas until the middle of November as we have our sauces, pate, stuffing, biscuits and stollen to make…

What is the one thing that YOU have made every year since as long as you can remember and so did your mother that if you didn’t make it there would be trouble and strife…

©Carol Taylor 2018

The other posts in the Food and Cookery Column can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

Looks like we will all be busy in the kitchen in the next week getting these puds and cakes made… thanks Carol…

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Music, Language, Honey, Books and Humour


We got back from the UK on Thursday night and it was a terrific two weeks away. The weather was wonderful until the last couple of days, but we had been keeping an eye on the four storm fronts coming up from the south. These days forecasts are very accurate and we saw that Tuesday when we were due to catch our ferry was going to have waves over 20ft high.. We had a flexible ticket so moved our booking to Thursday which looked like the calmest day of the week. As it happened we crossed in the only four hour window of calm which has to be the luck of the Irish.

It was great to be in the company of a dog again, and Miss Ellie is well used to us as a family. The break and spending a lot off time unplugged did us both good and we are now back with batteries fully charged and ready to go.

I tried to keep up with comments once a day, but apologies if I missed yours. I am very grateful for all the generous post sharing that went on in my absence and also your messages.

We had to stay in a hotel due to the change and if you are heading to South Wales we can recommend The Cliff Hotel… fantastic views and great walks. The Cliff Hotel Gwbert Wales

 

Here are the posts from this week…

In the last of the current series by William Price King, who will be moving to a different schedule, he interviews American composer Mark Bradley about his life, work and the future.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/the-music-column-with-william-price-king-interviewing-mark-bradley-composer-classicalmusic/

Writer in Residence Rewind – Proto-Indo Europeans and the origins of language – Paul Andruss.

In this post, Paul explores some of the assumptions made about the development of our individual languages from a common root many thousands of years ago. He also addresses the question of whether languages were spread by conquerors sweeping across continents or farmers gently moving across fertile plains and establishing communities that fed and watered the nomadic tribes who came after them. I am sure that Paul would love to hear your views and answer your questions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/writer-in-residence-rewind-proto-indo-europeans-by-paul-andruss/

Carol Taylor has been taking a break whilst I was away but will be back this week with a new post. In the meantime….. I have started to reshare our joint series last year with the health benefits of what I consider to be essential foods, and Carol turns them into delicious meals. This week – Honey – Nectar of the Gods.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/smorgasbord-health-column-rewind-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-honey-nectar-of-the-gods/

New series of Posts from your Archives from the amusing and talented Linda Bethea

image

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mixed-nuts-part-1-by-linda-bethea/

The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You – Poet and author Dorinda Duclos

If you had intended to participate in this series then can you get your answers to your questions to me soon as I will be starting to get a new series ready for Christmas…..

Here is the link to find out more about Getting to Know You : https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/the-new-series-of-the-smorgasbord-sunday-interview-geting-to-know-you-and-i-will-go-first/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-dorinda-duclos/

Short Stories – What’s in a Name.

Two stories about people with a name beginning with ‘H’. Both of which share the darker side of life.

Hannah – Finding a Way to Move On.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-hannah-finding-a-way-to-move-on-by-sally-cronin/

Hector – The Homecoming

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-hector-the-homecoming-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-fantasy-adventure-lost-war-of-nytefall-book-2-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-while-the-bombs-fell-by-robbie-cheadle-and-elsie-hancy-eaton/

Cafe and Bookstore Update and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-fiona-tarr-and-barb-taub/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-victoria-zigler-d-wallace-peach-and-terry-tyler/

Smorgasbord Health Column

An update on the erosion caused to our teeth by drinking mineral water that is too acidic.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/smorgasbord-health-column-acidity-in-mineral-water-and-tooth-enamel-erosion-update-by-sally-cronin/

An update on the research into the effect of curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and inflammation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/smorgasbord-health-column-food-in-the-news-turmeric-curcumin-cancer-alzheimers-inflammation-update/

Laughter Lines and Afternoon Video

We all love Lawyers… right?

judge

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-rewind-lawyer-jokes/

A shaggy pirate tale or two and a word from their parrots.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-a-shaggy-pirate-story-or-two-and-their-parrots/

Thank you once again for all you support and hope you will drop in next week for more of the same.

Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol – Honey: Nectar of the Gods


Carol is on her summer break and I am house and dog sitting for my sister, so we thought you wouldn’t mind having a reminder of some of the dishes that we put together this time last year. I supplied the ingredients and their nutritional benefits and Carol prepared delicious meals from scratch. Carol will be back next week with her usual Food Column, and I am sure that she will have something special for us.

This week it is the turn of honey which has been providing sweetness to our diet for thousands of years. First a look at its many health benefits and then Carol is going to work her magic in the kitchen.

Many people are enjoying the benefits of plant based sweeteners such as Stevia which are very useful in cooking and as an alternative to table sugar.  I do use at times but I still use honey for its reputation for thousands of years as a healing food.

I doubt that there are many people today who are not aware of the health risks in consuming too much sugar-rich food. Diabetes is on the increase, especially in children, and along with obesity is likely to be one of the top causes of premature death within a few years.

To my mind, the insidious inclusion of sugars in processed foods and equally as bad the introduction of toxic artificial sweeteners is one of the reasons for increased levels of cancer and degenerative diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. We are becoming nutritionally deficient as we become more and more reliant on convenience and junk food laden with fats and sugars.

Honey is the exception and I encourage even my clients with Candida Albicans to use it in moderation as a healthy alternative to sugar or artificial sweeteners.

History of Honey.

For thousands of years it has been used both as a nutritious addition to diet and as an effective medicine and the oldest reference to this delicacy dates back to 5500 BC. At that time Lower Egypt was actually called Bee Land while the Upper Egypt was called Reed Land. By 2500 BC bee keeping was well established and a thriving trade existed between Egypt and India – where honey became associated with religious rites.

Apparently, 110 large pots of honey was equivalent to one donkey or ox. Babylonian and Sumerian clay tablets describe honey’s use as a medicine, some of which included powdered bees, which was considered a cure for bladder stones and dropsy. In all over half of the documented remedies, recognised from these periods in our history, were based on honey.

At first honey was treasured, due to not only its sweet taste but also its rarity. It was considered to be a divine substance and therefore it played a substantial role in many ancient people’s rites and ceremonies. Apart from anointing the dead, jars of honey were sent into the next world to nourish the deceased and in some civilisations honey took on mythical and magical properties.

The Aztecs and Mayan cultures of South America kept colonies of native bees, for their honey and wax, mainly for use as medicine. Sometime in the 16th or 17th century settlers brought European bees into the Americas and honey became more available to everyone.

It is considered to be very pure and therefore used in marriage rites around the world including in our own expression of “honeymoon” as it promoted fertility and was thought to act as an aphrodisiac.

If all that is not enough to tempt you to use honey on a daily basis then some of the health benefits of honey may be able to persuade you.

Raw Irish Honey: http://www.coolmorebees.com/honey-harvest/

Health benefits of honey

Having given honey such a wonderful lead-in I now have to put in a proviso and that is that not all honey is created equal.

Bees make honey for their own nourishment from the nectar collected from flowers and the enzymes in their saliva. They carry the honey back to the hive where it is deposited in the cells in the walls where it dries out and forms that consistency that we are familiar with.

The quality and medicinal qualities of honey are very dependent on the plants that the bees producing that honey have had access to. Most of the commercially available honey originates from bees feeding on clovers, heather and acacia plants but there are some wonderful flavours available from bees with access to herb plants such as thyme and lavender.

Unfortunately, in the processing of wild honey to the commercially acceptable product you find on most supermarket shelves, many of the nutrients can be lost. One in particular that is a very valuable anti-bacterial agent is Propolis, the glue that bees use to seal the hive and protect the contents. This is usually present in small amounts in wild honey but is lost in processing – unless it is marked on the jar. You can buy Propolis honey but it can be a little more expensive but worth it.

One of the best honeys in the world comes from New Zealand and is called Manuka honey and because of its reputation for healing it is very heavily tested and regulated to maintain its high standards.

Active Manuka honey is used both internally and externally to treat a number of medical conditions and research is being conducted to legitimise the claims that are made of its effectiveness which show a great deal of promise. Currently it may help prevent stomach ulcers, poor digestion, gastritis, Helicobacter Pylori (H.Pylori), skin ulcers, sore throats, skin infections, boost immune system and energy levels. It is thought that it might even work effectively against MRSA, which would be very interesting.

If you are eating honey then do buy locally and if possible from source. Visit the beekeeper and you should see someone in glowing health, which will be a testament to the quality of his bees and honey. We had bee farms near where we lived in Madrid and they are miles from pollution and surrounded by wild plants of every variety in the hills.

Internal health benefits

Good quality raw honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It is also an amazing energy source and certainly Greek athletes used both honey and figs to enhance their performance on the track. Modern researchers conducted a study using athletes, some of which were given a honey, some sugar and some maltodextrin as the carbohydrate source. The athletes who were given the honey maintained a steady blood sugar level throughout the two hour training session and their recovery times was much better than those athletes on the alternative energy sources.

For anyone suffering from diabetes, finding a sweetener that does not affect blood sugar levels dramatically is vitally important and honey would appear to raise levels far less than any other refined alternative. However, this still does not mean that a diabetic can eat honey freely but it does mean that breakfast porridge and cups of tea can benefit from a little sweetness if it is required. Please check with your doctor beforehand.

It has also been found that natural honey rather than processed honey can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels (smaller particle cholesterol that when oxidised can attach to the walls of arteries and block them), homocysteine levels and increases the level of HDL (healthy cholesterol) helping to prevent heart disease.

Honey’s healing properties are beneficial for stomach ulcers, sore throats and intestinal damage with a balancing effect on intestinal bacteria. This includes Candida Albicans, which goes against most therapists’ philosophy of eliminating all sweeteners from a sufferer’s diet. All my clients have switched to honey in their programmes and it seems to not only help in the recovery but also provides a small element of sweetness to satisfy cravings.

It has been found that taking natural honey on a daily basis raises blood levels of the protective antioxidant compounds that we need to prevent disease and to heal ourselves. Admittedly the subjects in the study that confirmed this consumed four tablespoons of buckwheat honey per day which would grate on even my sweet tooth. I do believe as you know in the accumulative effect and therefore over a period of time taking a teaspoon or so of honey per day on food or in drinks should benefit you in the long term.

External health benefits

As with ulcers internally, honey is excellent for external wound healing. Honey absorbs water in the wound inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi. Also honey contains glucose oxidase that when mixed with water produces hydrogen peroxide which is a mild antiseptic. There are also specific enzymes in honey, particularly Manuka honey that appear to speed up the healing process in combination with the common antioxidant properties.

Now time to hand over to Carol to share some of the wonderful ways you can incorporate honey into your diet.

Honey, Nectar of the Gods.

What a brilliant post from Sally on the benefits of honey, there is nothing like locally produced raw honey if you can get it, if not buy the best honey you can either Manuka or Propolis honey, you will reap the benefits health and taste wise.

Where do I get my honey? Well my first bottle ……I was sitting on the beach with my sun downer…..fending off the ever-present sellers of touristy bits and bobs……when a man appeared carrying a very heavy-looking bucket ….what did he have…Well I had to look and what a surprise…it was fresh, very fresh honeycomb..and he strained the most glorious bottle of fresh honey…I just had to purchase it…the taste was so fresh and very slightly scented…amazing and a beautiful golden colour.

Just the thing to make some delish Honey, Coconut and Lemon Pancakes.

This recipe makes 5-6.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of coconut flour.
  • 1 tbsp of honey.
  • 1 cup of coconut milk.
  • 8 eggs.
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda.
  • Coconut oil or butter for frying, lemon wedges and extra honey to serve.

To prepare:

Place all of the pancake ingredients in a large bowl and combine well. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat and add one teaspoon of coconut oil, covering the base of the pan while it melts. Add a large scoop of pancake batter into the frying pan and cook until the top of the pancake begins to bubble and has started to cook. Flip the pancake over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until the pancake has cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter then serve with a drizzle of honey and a lemon wedge for squeezing the juice over the pancakes.

And enjoy!

Now I have moved to the North of Thailand I get my honey straight from the comb…I am so lucky and I know that and it is beautiful.

I always take a little apple cider vinegar with a spoonful of honey in hot water first thing in the morning…on an empty tummy I have been taking it for a couple of years ..it is said to fight off joint inflammation and I don’t suffer from joint pain or anything…..

Almond and mixed nuts

Need a quick gift or a healthy snack then these almonds or mixed nuts are delicious and super easy to make. Just mix honey into some raw almonds or nuts of your choice and sprinkle them with sea salt. Bake for about 25minutes in the oven…You can even get creative with the spices…a little chilli or cinnamon….

Honey mixed with Dijon mustard makes a lovely glaze for BBQ meats. Or one of my favourites is ¾ cup of honey, 1 tbsp red chillies finely chopped, 1 tbsp green chillies finely chopped and 1 tbsp lime juice. Mix all together and leave for 1 hour in fridge it is then ready to use.

Another wonderful dip for a cold meat platter on a summer’s day

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil,
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped,
  • 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes,
  • 1/3 cup honey,
  • 2 tsp soy sauce,
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar,
  • ¼ to ½ cup water
  • and 2 tsp cornstarch.

To prepare:

In a small bowl stir together the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ¼ cup of water and the cornstarch.

Put the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and let the mix warm up for about 30 seconds, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and just starting to colour, 15-20 seconds max.

Add the red pepper flakes and cook for another 15-30 seconds until garlic is very lightly browned.

Restir the honey mixture and pour into the saucepan, bring to a simmer stirring, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins stirring frequently.

Add more water if desired.


.You now have a lovely dip for your cold platter.

What I also love is chilli infused honey… Place honey in a saucepan and warm until it reaches 180 degrees on a sugar thermometer. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. Then pour your honey over a jar of chillies. Cool to room temperature.

Beautiful with meat or fish….

For a lovely honey, ginger and mint tea which not only tastes great but is full of health benefits as it is anti oxidant and anti flammatory.

  • Take a 1 inch piece of fresh ginger and chop finely or grate.
  • 2 cups of water
  • The juice of 1 med lemon or lime about 3 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Mint leaves.

Bring the water to the boil and steep the ginger fro 10-15 minutes, add the honey and lemon juice then strain to catch the ginger bits although if I have grated the ginger then I leave it in. Add the mint.

Serve hot or cold …I like it chilled and keep a jug in the fridge.

Well, we can’t leave you without a cake to have with your elevenses or afternoon tea… Can we???

This lovely honey cake is beautiful and lasts for 4-5 days wrapped and stored in an airtight container.

I definitely need airtight and ant proof container here as those pesky little sugar ants get in the smallest of gaps they even get in unopened packets…grrrr

Honey Cake.

Oven 140C Fan/160C/Gas 3.

Grease and line a 20cm round loose bottomed cake tin.

Ingredients:

  • 250 gm clear honey plus 2tbsp to glaze cake.
  • 225 gm unsalted butter
  • 100 gm raw cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 300 gm unbleached SR flour

To prepare:

Cut the butter into pieces and put in a pan with the honey and the sugar once it has melted then increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Then leave to cool for 10- 15 minutes as you don’t want the eggs to scramble.

Once the mix has cooled down beat the eggs into the mix then add the mix to the sieved flour. Beat until smooth.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until well risen and golden brown. A skewer should come out clean.

Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and melt 2 tbsp of honey and brush the top of the cake with the melted honey.

Leave to cool.

Well that all for this week I hope you have enjoyed mine and Sally’s collaboration because we love doing it.

If you love it then please share with your friends or reblog as we want to show as many people as we can that good, healthy food need not be expensive or hard to find it is just normal foods you can grow yourself or buy from your farmers market or local store.

My thanks to Carol for another fantastic array of foods that bring honey into the spotlight.

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:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

Please feel free to share thanks Sally

The other posts in the Food and Cookery Column can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Round Up – Unplugged and the week ahead.


Welcome to the weekly round up and a shortened version this week as I luxuriate in the windy sunshine of the south coast of England. I am house and dog sitting for my sister, who with my other sister is sailing up the first of their fjords in Norway right about now.

I thought I would take the opportunity to catch up on my reading and also plan more mischief for Smorgasbord beginning in October.

I have left a few posts in the buffer for you during my absence, including the music column and short stories, with some food and cookery from Carol.I know with all the great blogs around around you will have plenty to keep you busy… I will be back fully refreshed on Wednesday 19th of September.

Thank you very much for keeping my seat warm while I am away and I will be popping in and out from time to time and on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are the posts from the week in a slightly abbreviated manner…..My thanks to William Price King and Carol Taylor for their amazing contributions.. and a reminder that tomorrow it is the monthly Travel Column with D.G. Kaye… just after midnight UK time.. and it is the turn of St. Martin and the Caribbean to be the focus of Debby Gies and her expertise.

The Music Column with William Price King – Banjo – Buddy Wachter

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-buddy-wachter-banjo/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor. 

A bit of a rewind whilst I am away with some amazing recipes for bananas, along with their health benefits.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/05/smorgasbord-health-column-rewind-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-banana-nutrient-boost-no-packaging-required/

What’s in a Name short stories

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-fionnuala-the-swan/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/09/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-francis-in-search-of-a-new-path/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore new on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-past-present-by-judy-penz-sheluk-at-preorder-price/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-underneath-psychological-thriller-by-anne-goodwin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-mister-fox-winters-tail-by-stuart-france-and-sue-vincent/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore authors reviews and news

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-news-d-g-kaye-victoria-zigler-and-anita-dawes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-robbie-and-michael-cheadle-richard-dee-and-tina-frisco/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/03/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-september-3rd-2018-t-e-taylor-with-lizzie-chantree-anne-r-allen-publishing-101-sarah-higbee-with-review-for-rachel-vincent/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-september-4th-2018-sue-vincent-don-massenzio-with-victoria-zigler-and-d-g-kaye/

Health Column

Over the counter and some prescription eye drops can have some unexpected side effects.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/03/smorgasbord-health-column-over-the-counter-eye-drops-and-side-effects-by-sally-cronin/

Sepsis can be fatal, especially if not diagnosed in time. Be aware of the symptoms but also an update on a possible breakthrough treatment.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/05/smorgasbord-health-column-update-on-iv-vitamin-c-vitamin-b1-and-steroid-hydrocortisone-in-the-threatment-of-sepsis-by-sally-cronin/

The series on the Female Reproductive system continues with a look at some of the more common health issues.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/smorgasbord-health-column-female-reproductive-system-some-of-the-more-common-health-issues-by-sally-cronin/

If you have an operation scheduled in the next few weeks, it is important that you use the time to get a little fitter. It may decrease your risk factor when you are under anesthetic and also decrease your recovery time.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/smorgasbord-health-column-are-you-scheduled-for-surgery-are-you-fit-enough-for-it-by-sally-cronin/

Laughter Lines and Afternoon Video

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-short-jokes-that-are-easy-to-remember/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-reading-riting-and-rithmatic-back-to-school/

Thank you so much for popping in while I am away… I will respond to your comments when I pop in and I am very grateful for your shares too.. Thanks Sally.