Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Cruise ships, Italian Cookery, Weights and Measures and a Badger in the Rose Garden!


Welcome to the round up of posts on Smorgasbord you might have missed this week.

Eureka!  The back garden ground works are completed and the side gate has been attached to the house again. It looks so much better and David is now levelling the rest of the garden which was very deeply sloped. This involves stainless steel cages about four foot in length, filled with stones to form a platform for the top soil.. when they arrived from Germany, and the first one was assembled, I did have a moment of wondering if this was my punishment for over using the debit card!  Then I saw there were several others which was a relief…

One final job is to install a new fence between our house and our neighbours and across to the hedge to enclose the back garden. Even though we have electronic gates we are sure that the next owners are likely to be a family and we wanted to provide a safe and secure place for them to play. Also if they have a dog it too is secure with plenty of space.

Not sure we will be completely finished by the end of the summer as so much is weather dependent.. but certainly by next spring when the next house selling season comes around we shall be. We are currently exploring the coastline further south and to the west looking for our next home, with a sea view.. and dare I say, less to do!

Twitter

One of the ways I try to support people on Twitter is retweeting their pinned tweet when they follow me, and also to zip around regularly to my friends to share their pinned tweet too. There are still quite a few people who are not taking advantage of this additional promotional feature that extends your profile of 160 characters by another 280 characters.

I currently use my pinned tweet to promote my Cafe and Bookstore and it is the first thing new followers see when they visit my account. And it is also usually the first thing that they will retweet out to their own followers.. I do change from time to time. If I have a new book that has been released, or a new series beginning.

It is very easy to use.. Prepare your tweet – edit it so that you are getting the maximum bang for your 280 characters..

  1. What are you promoting?
  2. If it is a book, what are the key words you should be including… along with one or two relevant #hashtags #Romance #Thriller #offer  etc.
  3. Have you removed unnecessary words such as that, and etc and used commas instead.
  4. Would it sell the book to you.
  5. Perhaps you are a blogger looking for guest posts.. what can you offer those submitting and what do you need from them.
  6. You might have a post that you particularly want to promote – don’t forget to add a couple of # and think of a way to hook them that encourages them to read your post.

Once the tweet is edited… next step – easy as 1,2, and 3

  1. Click on the downward facing arrow to the top right of your tweet.
  2. You will be offered several options including Pin to your profile page.
  3. Click and you will then be asked if you would like to view.

I am always very happy to share your tweets… pinned or otherwise but if you would like to tag me when you change your pinned tweet next time.. @sgc58… I will be delighted to share.

Time to get on with this week’s posts you might have missed….

My thanks as always to the contributors, guests and to you for dropping in this week.. you keep me motivated.

Last time Debby Gies (D. G. Kaye) shared some important information on cruise lines, the various standards of cabins available, and the best place on the ship to be if the weather is a bit choppy.  Here is the link to Part One

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-rewind-with-d-g-kaye-cruises-part-two-ship-tips/

With our global obsession with food and recipes, it can sometimes get a little confusing with measurements and the differing names for the foods we are familiar with. This week Carol Taylor clarifies a few things for us. Cooking terms, weight conversions and foods names

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-cooking-terms-weight-conversions-and-foods-names/

A wonderful multi-coloured appetizer or light meal from Silvia Todesco in this month’s Italian Cookery post..

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-italiancookery-with-silvia-todesco-summer-italian-flag-colors-sandwich-an-impressive-appetizer-by-silvia-todesco/

My guest this week is Debby Gies D.G. Kaye talking about her heightened 6th sense, which has forewarned her on a number of times about coming events.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-my-sixth-sense-ias-inner-alert-system-d-g-kaye/

On centre stage this week……

As the night drew to an end, the lights dimmed and the music changed tempo from the rock ‘n’ roll to a more romantic vibe… the oldies were placed on the turntable and we were chaperoned..loosely by the likes of Frank Sinatra… Ole Blue Eyes himself. Who conveniently looked away from any shenanigans going on…. Here are some of my favourites.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-the-crooners-part-one-frank-sinatra/

Time of the week to respond to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 135 and this week the two prompt words are ‘Pretty and Ugly…. And I have selected the synonyms ‘Fair and Unsightly’ Etheree – Fairy Tales by Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-tanka-challenge-etheree-fairy-tales-by-sally-cronin/

The first of this weekend’s chapters from Tales from the Irish Garden Last week we met the foxes who had been changed from their human form by the evil goblin, the female was the Storyteller’s daughter.  Summer: Chapter Twelve – The Storyteller to the Rescue

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/13/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-summer-chapter-twelve-the-storyteller-to-the-rescue-by-sally-cronin/

The Storyteller arrives for his daily nurturing of his imported roses when he finds the garden in ruins.. and who might be the culprit?  Chapter Thirteen – Trouble in the Rose Garden.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-summer-chapter-thirteen-trouble-in-the-rose-garden-by-sally-cronin/

This is the second post from the archives of writer Sherrey Meyer whose blog is titled Life in the Slow Lane. Although Sherrey posted this in the spring of 2018, I am always behind with chores like this, as I am sure are some of you… so no time like the present. Time for Cleaning and Decluttering 2018 by Sherrey Meyer

messy desk, clutter, disorganization

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potlucktime-for-cleaning-and-decluttering-2018-by-sherrey-meyer/

This is the second of the  posts that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty. We are currently pet less, but certainly the one dog that we did have made a huge pawprint on our lives and did inspire a book all about himself. Do you have a pet that lies across your keyboard or has inspired you to write? Llamas and Labradoodles 2017 by Janet Gogerty

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-writerspets-llamas-and-labradoodles-2017-by-janet-gogerty/

This is the second post from the archives of Laura M. Bailey who blogs on a number of subjects including history, family, horses, Southern lifestyle and cookery. I selected this post as we love frittata or quiche for breakfast… great recipe thank I know you will enjoy. Barefoot In The kitchen: Breakfast For Dinner? 2018 by Laura M. Bailey

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-barefoot-in-the-kitchen-breakfast-for-dinner-2018-by-laura-m-bailey/

This is the second post from the archives of author Stevie Turner who has an extensive and eclectic archives and it is easy to get yourself lost in there for an hour or so. I selected this post from 2016 as I was always fascinated by Eva Peron and her extraordinary life. Haddon Musings’ Feminist Friday – Eva Peron 2016 by Stevie Turner

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-haddon-musings-feminist-friday-eva-peron-2016-by-stevie-turner/

This is the second post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher.. or perhaps I should say Pearl and Millie do…sadly Millie has now passed on over the rainbow bridge, but as you will see she was a wonderful companion. This post is from 2016 and introduces us to some of the pack. Brother from Another Mother by Annabelle Franklin

No, you’re not seeing double – the one on the left is Tommy, Snip’s new BFF.

https://annabellefranklinauthor.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/a-img_20151016_161604448.jpg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-pets-brother-from-another-mother-by-annabelle-franklin/

This is the second post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them. I selected this post from 2016 because I love eggplant or aubergine and always keep an eye open for recipes.  Eggplant Napoleon 2016 by Dolly Aizenman

Eggpl Nap 8.jpg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-kosherkitchen-eggplant-napoleon-2016-by-dolly-aizenman/

This is the third post from author Christa Polkinhorn who has been blogging since 2010.. This gave me access to her extensive archives. Christa is also a poet and I fell in love with this particular one that she wrote in 2000 and posted in 2016…The Old Man and his Memories by Christa Polkinhorn

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-the-old-man-and-his-memories-by-christa-polkinhorn/

This is the third post from the archives of poet Dorinda Duclos…and for something slightly different, some wonderful photographs from a Wordless Wednesday post in 2016. A Family Affair by Dorinda Duclos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-nature-wordless-wednesday-a-family-affair-by-dorinda-duclos/

This is the third post from author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week I have selected one of the over 100 book reviews in her archives from 2015. This book is by another author in the Cafe and Bookstore Nicholas Rossis.. for Runaway Smile.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-book-review-my-kyrosmagica-review-of-nicholas-rossiss-runaway-smile-by-m-j-mallon/

This is the third post from the archives of a regular contributor to the series and wonderful supporter of us all, apart from challenging us each week with photo and Haiku prompts Sue Vincent wanders the land..in search of the ancient and modern to share with us. This week a post from her Muse and constant companion and contributor to her blog.. Ani. Notes from a small dog – War and peace 2017 by Sue Vincent

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-notes-from-a-small-dog-war-and-peace-2017-by-sue-vincent/

This is the third post from Amanda Reilly Sayer and because Amanda has only begun blogging recently, the posts are from 2019. There is plenty to share in poetry, prose and wonderful artwork. I am sure you are going to enjoy. This week I have selected a poem to share with you…Snow Day by Amanda Reilly Sayer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-snow-day-by-amanda-reilly-sayer/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-ages-8-10-pixie-and-the-green-book-mystery-by-coraline-grace/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-july-22nd-the-magic-carpet-by-jessica-norrie/

Author Updates -Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-laura-m-baird-rachele-baker-dvm-and-jacquie-biggar/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-annette-rochelle-aben-barbara-silkstone-walter-rhein/

One of the leading causes of heart attacks in men and increasingly in women is stress. It is a silent killer that lies in wait and pounces when you least expect it. It is not helpful that the stress that we experience is as unique as our own bodies.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-of-the-body-part-three-the-heart-and-stress-connection-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-digitally-enhanced-random-thoughts-on-life/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-or-two-from-sallys-archives/

Thank you very much for dropping in and all the support that you offer each week, it is much appreciated…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Winter Warmers.


For many of use the it is bitterly cold right now with northerly winds increasing the chill factor. Meanwhile, Carol Taylor is experiencing much warmer temperatures in her home in Thailand, and not just because of the weather, but because she is toiling away in her kitchen to bring us something to warm the cockles of our hearts… I will hand you over to Carol to do just that…

I know many of you are in the throes of some seriously cold weather and what you need is something which keeps you warm…

There is nothing better before you go out to brave the cold than a lovely bowl of hot porridge…This is where the slow cooker comes in handy I used to put my porridge on before I went to bed and it was ready in the morning…Hubby was first up so he had his bowl and as the kids appeared they had theirs. The beauty of making the porridge in the slow cooker is that it doesn’t burn and it means you have no pans to scrub clean and it doesn’t matter what time the family get up it is ready and waiting for them… Hot and delicious…

I used to love mine with some fruit compote…I just used to cook some frozen mixed berries with a little honey until it had reduced nicely and it kept in the fridge for about a week…I would then have a couple of spoonfuls with my porridge.

This kept me going until lunch time.

Lunch…Would either be a jacket potato or a bowl of soup…

To cook a jacket potato:

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminium foil.

Scrub the potato clean under water, dry it with a towel, and then poke a few holes through to the centre of it with a fork.

Bake the potato for one hour or until tender.

Slice into it, fluff it up inside with a fork, and then add butter, salt, and pepper and filling of your choice.

Toppings for Jacket Potatoes:

If you have made a pan of chili and have some left over freeze in portions just enough to top a jacket potato… Or add some grated cheese and Beans or caramalise some onions and mushrooms. These are toppings which can go into a container and are quick and easy for you to heat up at work and add to your potato…

My favourite one when we were kids was a corned beef jacket potato my mum used to remove the flesh from the potato mash it with some butter and corn beef return it to the potato skin and cook it in the oven until the top was lightly browned we used to love them.

Soup can be made in advance and again can be taken to work and reheated or if you are at home it doesn’t take long to heat up…There is nothing better on a cold day than a nice mug or bowl of hot soup.

This soup is quick and easy to make either using lentils or I used to buy a soup pack of mixed lentils and add to soup this soup has a little kick to it to warm you up and can be served with some nice fresh crusty bread for a more substantial lunch. It is also lovely with some cooked bacon hock my kids used to love it and still remind me of how they remember me making it.

Spiced lentil soup.

Ingredients

• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 4 stalks celery, diced
• 1 large carrot or two medium size carrots, diced
• 5 cloves garlic, minced
• 26 ounces/737g fresh tomatoes, chopped – you can also use a 28oz can diced tomatoes and drain the liquid
• 1 cup dried brown lentils, picked over, rinsed and dried
• 1 tbsp garam masala or curry powder
• salt & pepper to taste
• 6 cups vegetable broth
• 2-3 sprigs thyme, to be removed at the end
• 1 cup kale, roughly chopped
• Juice of two limes, about 2 tablespoons, squeezed over.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Heat half the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat add the onions, celery, carrot and garlic and cook for about 8 minutes until the onions are softened.
  2. Add the tomatoes, lentils, garam masala stir together and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the vegetable stock, add the thyme bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer cook for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.
  3. Remove the thyme and remove about two cups of the soup mix and blend then return to the soup mix, add the kale and lime juice and stir to combine.
  4. This soup will keep in the fridge for about 4-5 days and is ideal to take to work in a container as it can be heated up quickly.

For the evening this meat free soup makes a tasty meal if you prefer some meat maybe add some chicken thighs for a lighter, healthier casserole just fry them off when you cook the onions. Myself I used to enjoy a tasty vegetable stew on a cold winters evening.

Beer Casserole with mustard dumplings.

Ingredients

• 125 gm pearl barley
• 2 tbsp oil
• 500 gm baby onions
• 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
• 3 tbsp of flour
• 250 ml of homemade vegetable stock
• 500 ml bottle pale ale
• 1 small Swede ( about 450 gm) cut into cubes
• 3 carrots chopped
• 4 sticks of celery chopped
• 350 gm potatoes halved if small or cut into 4
• 1 bouquet garni…

Mustard Dumplings

• 250 gm self raising flour
• 100 gm shredded vegetable suet
• 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
• 3 tbsp chopped parsley.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Rinse and drain the pearly barley, put in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 30 minutes, adding more water if required.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oven 180 C fan, 160C and Gas 4
  3. Heat the oil in a flame proof casserole and add the onions cook for 3-4 mins…stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min.
  4. Sprinkle the flour and cook for 1 min. gradually stir in the stock and ale and bring to the boil.
  5. Rinse and drain the pearl barley then stir into the casserole also add the Swede, carrots, celery, potatoes and bouquet garni.
  6. Season and then bring to the boil reduce the heat and cook for 45 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile make the dumplings, sift the flour into a bowl then stir in the suet, mustard and parley, season and add 100 ml of water mix…It should form a soft dough.
  8. Remove the casserole from the oven and remove the bouquet garni, place 12 spoonfuls of the dumpling mix in the casserole return to the oven and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  9. Serve with wedges of steamed Savoy cabbage.

Or if you prefer fish this lovely fish pie is nice and warming it can be made in one dish or in individual ramekins.

Fish Pie.

Ingredients

For the mashed potato topping.
• 1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
• 2 tablespoons butter, zest of 1 lemon
• Salt & Pepper to taste.

For the fish pie filling.
• 500ml (2 cups) milk
• 1 bay leaf
• 200g frozen hake fillets.
• 200g frozen smoked haddock fillets.
• 300g fresh uncooked prawns ( peeled)
• 2 onions sm or one large finely chopped.
• 1 carrot, finely chopped.
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
• 3 tbsp flour.
• 1 heaped tsp English mustard.
• 40g (1/2 cup) mature cheddar, grated.
• Juice of half lemon.
• Salt & pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot of boiling water or in a steamer and cook until soft. Mash the potatoes then mix in the butter and the lemon zest. Season to taste.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
  3. To make the fish pie, poach the fish (not the prawns) in the milk with the bay leaf. When the fish is cooked, remove the fish and flake into large chunks. Reserve the milk.
  4. In a large, oven-proof frying pan fry the onion and carrot in a splash of olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds.
  5. Add the flour and stir then add the milk the fish was poached to create a creamy sauce.
  6. Add the English mustard and fish including prawns and stir well then add the cheese and lemon juice and stir.
  7. Season to taste.
  8. Top the fish filling with the mashed potato and create indents with a spoon which will become nice and crispy in the oven.
  9. Place the pie in the oven and allow to bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow cooling for 10 minutes then serving.

Note: I don’t cook the prawns with the fish but add prawns right at the end when adding cooked fish to sauce this way the prawns will be lovely and succulent.

My thanks to  Carol for these winter warmers and it has certainly given me some ideas for this week.

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://carolcooks2.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

 You can find all of the previous posts in the directoryCarol Taylor Food Column

We would love to hear from you… perhaps you can share your favourite winter warmer? Thanks 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 – 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