Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Cook from Scratch – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – Baking Soda, Bananas, Broccoli, Butterflying food and cooking with a Bain Marie


Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

Hello from sunny Thailand …this is the next post of my Culinary tour through the alphabet.

Baking Soda – A leavening agent which is used as an essential ingredient in baking powder. When used alone as a leavener, recipes must include some type of acid to neutralize the resulting sodium carbonate in the finished product. Either Buttermilk, yoghurt, sour cream, and citrus juice are all adequate acids to use. You may also use baking soda to help neutralize the acid in recipes that call for large amounts of fruit.

Bananas…Living where I do Bananas are everywhere sold on every street corner and almost everyone has at least one Banana tree in their garden…Every single part of the banana is also used…The leaves are used to serve food on or used as wraps to steam food like rice or fish. The banana flowers are can be steamed and eaten…The banana flowers can be used in a stir fry. There are also more types of banana than I ever knew before I lived here…

Bananas can be used to make  Bread, Smoothies, Shakes and Banana Koftas bread, smoothies shake even green Banana Koftas…

Barding... The practice of wrapping lean cuts of meat to be with thin slices of back fat. The converse of this is larding, in which long strips of fat are inserted into the cut of meat to keep it moist during cooking.

Beetroot...Comes in different colours it can be pickled, baked made into chutney…Beet greens Who throws them away or composts them…?

Here’s a tip:

When you’re washing and peeling the beets, and you trim off the green leafy tops, don’t toss them away! The greens and the stems are edible and make a great substitute for any green such as spinach, swiss chard, and bok choy. They can be steamed, sauteed, braised, added to soups, and eaten raw…

Bierre douce, A Louisiana Creole beer made from pineapple skins, sugar, rice and water. Who throws pineapple skin away? Tough on the outside and sweet on the inside, pineapples are a tasty tropical fruit packed with nutrients.

Bind, To thickening a sauce or hot liquid by stirring in ingredients such as roux, flour, butter, cornstarch, egg yolks, vegetable puree or cream.

Blanch, To partially cook vegetables by parboiling them in highly salted water then cooling quickly in ice water.

Bouquet Garni, A bundle of seasonings; bay leaf, thyme and parsley stems tied with leeks, carrot and celery stalk. It’s used to season braised foods and stocks.

Broth or stock, A liquid made by gently simmering meats, fish, or vegetables and/or their by-products, such as bones and trimming with herbs, in liquid, usually water. Broths usually have a higher proportion of meat to bones than stock.

Broccoli…Mini trees…

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips. These nutrition powerhouses supply loads of nutrients for few calories.

If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli should be at the very top of your grocery list…

Bruschetta – Grilled slices of bread brushed with olive oil and fresh garlic. This was the original garlic bread.

Butterfly, To cut food down the centre without cutting all the way through to open and then spread it apart. Shrimp cut this way is popular and also enables the vein to be removed for food safety reasons.

Meat may be butterflied when cooking it well done so it isn’t burned during the process as if it remained thick.

Buttermilk – Originally a by-product of butter making, buttermilk is commercially produced by adding lactic acid culture to skimmed or partially skimmed milk.

Bain-Marie – Simply a water bath. It consists of placing a container of food in a large, shallow pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces and savoury mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep foods warm.

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

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  Amazon US

Connect to Carol

Blog: Carol Cooks 2
Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo
Facebook: Carol Taylor

My thanks to Carol for sharing this new series with us as she also works on her cookbook and novel this year…As always we are delighted to receive your feedback and if you could share that would be great.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Cook from Scratch – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – Almond Milk, Arrowroot, Aubergines dip #Thai and Avocado Guacamole.


Welcome to a new series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs.

Hello from sunny Thailand …today is the first post of my Culinary tour through the alphabet.

The foods or recipes which I choose will all be made from scratch..from foods readily available and if they are not I will suggest substitutes…Some of the foods or recipes will also be alternatives to some standard foods either because it is what I prefer to use or to offer you a healthier option.

Today I have chosen to start with Almond Milk…

Why? Well, I know many people whether it is choice or because of health reasons are looking for alternatives to cows milk.

Before you make the Almond milk you must ensure that you do the following:

Very Important: First sprout the almonds to get rid of the enzyme inhibitors that impede digestion. To do this simply soak the almonds overnight in water, then in the morning let them dry on a plate.

When the almonds are dry you are ready to use them to make your almond milk…

Almond Milk.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw sprouted almonds
  • 1 cup pitted dates (use more or less to control desired sweetness)
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1½ cup of raw coconut water

Let’s Cook!

  1. Blend all ingredients in a vita-mix or blender until thick and creamy.
  2. Line a fine strainer with a “nut milk” bag or cheesecloth and strain.
  3. Put your Almond milk in the refrigerator for several hours to cool and enjoy.

Arrowroot powder …is fast gaining in popularity in the western world as people are looking for substitutes and alternatives to cornstarch either because they have corn allergies/sensitivities or they want to avoid anything GMO and laden with pesticides.

A starchy substance which is extracted from the root of a tropical plant known as Maranta arundinacea which is cultivated to produce Arrowroot it is also known as Prayer Plant due to the way the leaves close at night they also when harvested look very similar to cassava or underground tubers.

Arrowroot, however, does not go through the same extraction process as cornflour by using high heat or harsh chemicals it is extracted using simpler traditional methods.

It is simply a white, powdery starch that is naturally gluten and grain-free. I used to use cornflour which has a slight taste and a cloudy appearance Arrowroot, on the other hand, is much better as it has no taste and leaves food glossy and clear…It is a great thickener and can easily replace cornstarch.

Arrowroot powder is also great mixed with dried herbs and used to coat chicken or fish before frying and produces lovely crisp and crunchy food.

Asparagus Pea or wing bean as I call them are pretty beans with four winged edges very unusual looking beans.

Winged beans are nutrient-rich and all parts of the plant are edible. Leaves can be eaten like spinach, flowers can be used in salads, the tubers can be eaten raw or cooked and the seeds used in similar ways to the soya bean.

Sliced and cooked with garlic, oyster sauce and a little magi (Thai) seasoning sauce they are delicious as a light meal with rice or as a side dish.

Simple and easy and quick to cook…

Aubergines nice just sliced, seasoned and put on an oiled baking sheet in a hot oven for 5-7 mins then brushed with a mixture of herbs of your choice and popped under the grill for 30 seconds. Serve immediately. Nice as an accompaniment to chicken or fish with a nice salad on a summers evening.

Fancy a quick dip for unexpected guests…

  • 2 aubergines
  • 100ml natural yoghurt
  • juice ½ lemon/lime
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Olive oil, to drizzle

Let’s Cook

  1. Char the aubergines over a flame or cook in the oven and remove the skin.
  2. Tip into a food processor with the yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, chilli, coriander and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Blend until smooth tip into a bowl, and drizzle with more olive oil.
  4. For a chunkier dip, the aubergine, garlic and chilli can be chopped by hand and mixed with the other ingredients.

Enjoy!

Aubergine dip the Thai way.

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2-4 chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 med shallots
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Big handful coriander

Let’s Cook

  1. BBQ your eggplant, shallots, chilli and garlic the chilli and garlic will be done first, pop the chillies into a sealed plastic bag to cool it makes it easier to remove seeds and skin.
  2. When eggplant is soft then scoop out the flesh and add all the ingredients to your food processor or just a pestle and mortar like it is done here.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if required more fish sauce or lime juice.
  4. Serve with noodles or raw vegetables.

Lastly on my culinary trip through the letter A is the Avocado

Guacamole.

homemade guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 finely chopped shallot
  • 1 birds eye chilli finely chopped
  • 1 -3 tbsp fresh coriander
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt & Pepper for seasoning.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Peel and roughly chop the avocado stir in the chopped onion, chilli, tomatoes and the coriander.
  2. Season the guacamole to taste with salt, black pepper, and a generous squeeze of lime juice.
  3. Cover bowl with clingfilm and chill before serving.

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

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  Amazon US

Connect to Carol

Blog: Carol Cooks 2
Twitter: @TheRealCarolT
Facebook: Carol Taylor

My thanks to Carol for sharing this new series with us as she also works on her cookbook and novel this year…As always we are delighted to receive your feedback and if you could share that would be great.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Phosphorus


In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

This is the final post in the series as we have covered most of the essential nutrients over the last 18 months and from next week Carol Taylor  will be starting her new column and sharing her A – Z of food for the rest of the year.

In this post on phosphorous I give you the information on why this nutrient is so essential for our health and then Carol will provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Phosphorous is a mineral that you will not find in your multi-vitamin and mineral supplement because it is considered that we obtain sufficient through our diet.

Phosphorus and bone health

However there are some interesting facts about phosphorus that makes it worth taking a closer look at. Many women as they approach the menopause will begin to supplement with additional calcium to prevent bone loss and take up weight bearing exercise such as walking and yoga. However, very few women realise that phosphorus is also very important for bone health and without it calcium is less effective.

Clinical studies have shown that calcium supplementation without enough phosphorus may actually lead to bone mass reduction. Although most calcium supplements are combined with Vitamin D to assist absorption, trials have shown that with the addition of phosphorus bone fractures in high-risk patients was reduced by 43% within 18 months.

What is phosphorus?

Phosphorus is an essential mineral usually combined with oxygen as a phosphate. Most phosphate in the body is found in our bones. But, phosphate containing molecules, (phospholipids) are also important components of cell membranes and lipoprotein particles such as HDL (healthy cholesterol) and LDL (lousy cholesterol). A small amount of phosphate plays a role in many of our biochemical reactions including the production of our essential fuel ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and the formation of red blood cells.

What are the causes of a phosphorus deficiency?

Deficiency is rare in a person with a normal diet. Alcoholics however are at risk as are people who are constantly taking antacids because of the aluminium content in some brands.

Osteoporosis sufferers who are heavily supplementing with calcium are also at risk of deficiency and it is usually recommended that they take phosphorus at the same time.

The far bigger risk with phosphorus is the amount we are consuming in processed foods such as soft drinks. A diet high in phosphorus may decrease the absorption of other minerals such as iron, copper and zinc.

Phosphoric acid for example in soft drinks has been linked to kidney stones in some trials and certainly people with kidney disease should avoid taking in any food or drink that contains large amounts of phosphorous.

Some symptoms of a phosphorus deficiency

  1. General weakness and loss of appetite.
  2. Spikes in energy levels particularly associated with cravings for caffeine and sugar.
  3. Tingling or numbness in fingers and toes.
  4. Bone and joint pain.

What are the best food sources of phosphorus?

  • Sufficient phosphorus is found in a diet that includes plenty of protein rich foods such as turkey and other poultry and meats.
  • Dairy products are rich in the mineral and eating beans regularly will also provide good amounts.
  • Vegetarians need to include plenty of whole grains and nuts in their diet to ensure that they obtain sufficient phosphorus.

Time to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include ingredients that are healthy sources of phosphorous.

Today I will be giving you some recipes which contain Phosphorus…Sally has explained the importance of phosphorus in our bodies and I have tested some recipes which if you have a deficiency then these will help you ensure you are getting enough phosphorus in your diet.

Roasting or cooking with a dry heat preserves most of the phosphorus in foods.

I have chosen to use the two meats which have the highest amounts Pork tenderloin and chicken livers…

Pork Tenderloin with peppercorns.

Ingredients:

• 1lb Pork Tenderloin.
• ¼ cup maple syrup
• 3tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 2 tsp dijon mustard
• 2 tsp vegetable oil divided
• Salt and pepper to season meat
• 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
• 2/3 stems fresh peppercorns

Let’s Cook!

  1. Combine the maple syrup, balsamic in a small pan cook over a medium heat until the liquid reduces about 2/3 minutes remove from the heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard.
  2. Slice your pork into about 8 pieces then put between two layer of greaseproof paper and pound to flatten to about ¼ inch.
  3. Heat tsp of the oil in a non stick pan, add the garlic and stir then add your seasoned pork.
  4. Cook for a minute and a half and turn and cook the other side. Repeat with your remaining fillets.
  5. Return the cooked pork to the pan and add your sauce stir and heat for one minute.

Your pork is now ready to serve either with rice or potatoes and some steamed vegetables. I served mine with roasted fennel.

It is a dish which was quick to make and the sauce was nice although I didn’t think there was much sauce it actually was enough…

Spicy Chicken Livers.

This lovely spicy chicken liver dish is very easy and quick to make…..In Thai it translates to Pad Ped Kuang Nai Gai Tua Fuk Yaao … try saying that after a few vino’s.

This dish is a family favorite.even hubby eats it and he doesn’t really do spicy but I think his love of liver takes over …Although we prefer chicken liver to lambs or pigs liver is is softer and has a milder flavour.

Ingredients:

• 350 gm Chicken Livers
• 4 or 5 long green beans.
• Tsp Red curry paste….. depending on red curry paste you use you may need to add more…I use a locally made one which blows your head off …so only use a tsp and it is still hot!
• 1-2 tbsp Fish Sauce.
• 6/8 Lime leaves very finely shredded.
• 4 tbsp Coconut Milk.
• Small amount of coconut oil.

N.B You can use oil of your choice I just always cook with Coconut oil.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Clean and cut up chicken livers..I do bite size pieces.
  2. Cut up long beans into half-inch long pieces.
  3. Finely shred lime leaves…..I roll them and shred.
  4. Heat Pan over fairly high heat, add a small amount of oil, add chilli paste and 1 tbsp Fish sauce stir until paste is liquid, add finely sliced lime leaves and chicken livers , stir until just cooked.
  5. Add green beans and coconut milk and cook gently for 2/3 mins.
  6. Taste and add more fish sauce if required…I generally add about another half tbsp.

It is now ready to serve…Serve with rice and additional vegetables if desired.

This is quite a dry dish so can be served with a small bowl of miso soup with chopped spring onions if liked.

If you are vegetarian and have a phosphorus deficiency Whole grains and nuts are high in phosphorus therefore I would advise making a lovely wholegrain loaf with nuts or making a crumble topping. This crumble topping could be used to top fruit or yoghurt either as a dessert or breakfast. You can use any choice of nuts…

Crumble Topping.

Ingredients:

• 1 cup Pine Nuts
• ½ cup cashews
• ½ cup of pecans
• 1.5 cups of coconut either fresh shredded or desicatted…I used fresh toasted coconut
• 3 tbsp coconut oil
• 3 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• Pinch salt.

Method

  1. Blitz your nuts in short bursts I left mine smallish pieces a little smaller than I wanted so short sharp bursts or it may be too fine.
  2. Then add the cinnamon, salt , coconut oil and maple syrup and mix tocombine then spread on a greased tray and cook for about 20 mins on 180…
  3. Check a few times just to ensure they don’t burn and give a little stir halfway through cooking.
  4. Allow to cool or if you want a hot pudding then layer with fruit of your choice.

I had a few mangoes so cooked them down with a little raw sugar and a few cumin seeds.

I then layered the mango with the nut crumble… You could use any fruit apples, blackberries, raspberries even bananas if you sliced them and added some spices or maple syrup. Play with your flavours…

My thanks to Carol for preparing these delicious dishes to ensure you and your family are obtaining adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals in your diet. 

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog: Carol Cooks 2

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have any questions for either of us then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments. Your feedback is always welcome.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – Festive Stories – Snow Storm by Carol Taylor


Most of you will know Carol Taylor from her Food and Cookery Column here on Smorgasbord as well as her own eclectic blog located in Thailand, where she shares the wonderful food on her doorstep and recipes that turn them into delicious meals.

Carol also is passionate about the environment and has some down to earth things to say about our contribution to the state of the world, and the loss of habitat leading to the extinction of far too many species. You will also find her quirky and whimsical sense of humour coming through in all her posts..

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: Carol Cooks 2

Carol also writes short stories and contributed to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology Amazon US

Which leads me to the reason you are here today, which is to read the poignant short story by Carol that I am sure you will enjoy.

Snow Storm by Carol Taylor

The snow was coming down thick and fast, the weather had changed from a few light flurries of snow which didn’t settle, into a raging blizzard with frightening speed. The wind screen wipers struggling to keep the snow off the windscreen, it was building up with alarming speed and ferocity, Jenny knew if she didn’t get to Sally’s soon she would have to stop and clear the windscreen as her driving visibility was fading fast the windscreen wipers getting slower and slower as the snow built up, she was squinting to see clearly. There were already cars and lorries abandoned on the roadside, the weather was getting pretty dire and Jenny was getting worried.

Wearing heels and a short dress was definitely not the most suitable clothing to brave the elements, if she had to get out of the car and walk.

To make matters even worse she had forgotten to put her warm jacket and boots in the car, well, the weather man had said a mild Christmas was on the cards.

I hope Sally is ready, and I don’t have to wait or we will be lucky to get to mum’s in time for lunch. Then snow or no snow she will have something to say. Jenny could just hear her mother…

“I see the pair of you turned up just in time to eat and I suppose you will both be off soon after, some work excuse or other, you don’t think about your old mum and dad spending most of Christmas alone do you?  Just wait until you have kids and they treat your home like a restaurant. Then you will know how we feel, you mark my words.”

“There will be no both of us now mum” Jenny thought.

The car spluttered to a halt outside Sally’s little flat. Jenny could hardly see out of the windows and she recalled that time 10 years ago when getting out of the car had also been a struggle as she battled the wind and driving snow while trying to open her car door, how she struggled up the path to the front door her face stinging from the driving snow.

Stamping her feet to remove the snow as she went up the steps to Sally’s front door, how the door was swinging backwards and forwards in the wind and how she thought that Sally couldn’t have closed it properly when she came home last night.

Jenny remembered calling Sally’s name as she stepped inside the tiny flat, how the heat hit her and how she involuntarily shivered and felt a chill run through her.

How the kitchen was tidy except for last night’s dinner plate in the sink, the cat was mewing outside sounding desperate to come into the warm, his scratching getting more and more frantic, breaking the silence.

The living room was quiet except for the Christmas tunes that Sally loved, playing quietly in the background, the tree lights twinkled, the presents unopened around the little tree, except for one which lay on the chair the pretty wrapping paper discarded on the floor.

Tap, tap on the window, the noise made Jenny jump it was Mrs. Brown next door saying.

“Come on in lovie don’t sit out here all on your own, you will freeze to death. Come on in and have a hot toddy with us before you go to your mum’s.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Brown I was just……

“Oh love, don’t cry said Mrs Brown. Sally has gone, she is not coming back, you know that don’t you?”

“I know, said Jenny tears running down her cheeks, I know.”

©Carol Taylor 2019

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  Amazon US

Carol Taylor’s Food and Cookery Column 2019

Cook from Scratch to avoid Nutritional Deficiency with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: Carol Cooks 2

Connect to Carol – Facebook  Twitter

Thank you for dropping in and I know Carol would be delighted to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiencies with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – #Minerals – Magnesium


In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few weeks we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Magnesium – Calcium’s BFF and a deficiency alert

One of the minerals that most people focus on is calcium (the last column) but it is in fact magnesium or the lack of this mineral in our diet that may be the contributory factor in many of the diseases that we suffer from, particularly as we get older.

Deficiency alert

It is believed that the availability of magnesium in drinking water and in our soil is now greatly decreased.

Not only is the soil depleted but the plants that we eat are also becoming more and more magnesium deficient for two reasons. There is less magnesium in the soil that nourishes them, and the use of potassium and phosphorus-laden fertilisers, alter the ability of the plant to absorb the mineral.

When we cook food we lose magnesium and if we restrict our calories during a diet and remove specific food groups such as whole grains; it can create an imbalance.

pH balance – Acidity and Alkalinity

It is important that our bodies have a pH level that maintains the correct balance being too much acid or too alkaline. Major organs and our blood have their own healthy pH level and this also applies to our intestines. Our modern diet of high sugars and processed foods compromises the pH balance in our gut creating a high acidity environment, leading to malabsorption of not just magnesium, but of all the nutrients the body needs to maintain health.

It is staggering how many diseases are linked to a deficiency of this mineral including:

• Alzheimer’s disease
• Angina
• Asthma
• Autism
• Auto immune disorders
• Congestive heart failure
• Depression
• Diabetes
• Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Insomnia
• Kidney stones
• Headaches
• Multiple sclerosis
• Muscle weakness
• Parkinson’s disease
• Osteoporosis.

How Magnesium works with Calcium (the most abundant mineral in the body)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-that-need-others-to-be-evitamin-c-d-k-calcium-and-magnesiumfficiently-absorbed-by-the-body/

Magnesium works with calcium in a number of ways but fundamentally the absorption of calcium is severely compromised if there is not sufficient magnesium.

Calcium is stored in the body including in our bones and teeth. Magnesium however is not stored and we therefore need to include in our diet daily.

Humans now consume more dairy than they have in the past and although magnesium is present in dairy in small amounts the amount of calcium is ten times more.  If there is not sufficient magnesium, calcium is not absorbed into the bones as it should be and instead it collects in soft tissue, including around our joints leading to inflammation and arthritis.

Because it is not being absorbed into the bones, that leads to loss of bone density over time leading to osteoporosis.

Muscle contraction is made possible by calcium but muscles also need to relax and that requires magnesium.

Magnesium has a critical role in the health of our major organs and systems including:

  • Brain health- Magnesium lowers the risk of heavy metal poisoning and deposits in the brain leading to dementia. This is turn will corrupt nerve transmission and the secretion of hormones such as insulin.
  • Reproductive health. As magnesium is essential for the transmission of oestrogen a deficiency in young women’s diets can result in irregular periods and other PMS symptoms. This is particularly relevant to cramps due to a calcium (contract muscle) magnesium (relax muscle) imbalance.
  • Apart from our bones magnesium is needed in the formation of protein and fatty acids, new cells throughout the body, activating the B vitamins, clotting blood and helping form the ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) fuel that we run on.The good news is that by consuming magnesium in high quality fresh products (not necessarily organic but not the cheapest) daily is usually effective provided you are not over consuming calcium rich foods every day in excess.

The best food sources for magnesium are to be found in dark green vegetables such as spinach also in fish, meat, seafood, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, whole grain cereals such as brown rice, beans and nuts.

Time to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include ingredients that are great sources magnesium

Welcome to this week’s food column where I am looking at incorporating magnesium in the diet.

As Sally has stated as the quality of much of our soil is depleted it means plants are becoming more and more deficient in Magnesium…

Magnesium is also lost during cooking processes…There is much debate about cooking processes and although I eat a fair amount of raw vegetables and herbs purely for the taste some foods need cooking and in some cases heating can enhance some vitamins…

I eat a varied diet and don’t exclude any food group and believe that is the best way to get the nutrients my body needs.

Personally I don’t use a microwave and although I steam some vegetables it does leave them bland tasting and that’s when we pile on the butter or dressing…

I tend to favour stir frying most of my vegetables as I can add chilli, garlic, herbs and other aromatics.

Today…I am giving you a lovely slaw recipe which is loaded with lots of vitamins as well as its share of Magnesium…

Ingredients

• 12oz broccoli, cabbage, salad mix, shredded carrots are a nice addition..one of my favourites it always brings back memories of the very odd occasion when I was allowed as a child to have a school lunch and the grated carrots were a big favourite of mine…But really just use your favourite veggies…Shredded finely…Sometimes I even add an apple.
• 1/2 cup cooked bacon, crumbled (vegans can omit or use coconut bacon)See below.
• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 1/4 cup dried cranberries or craisins
• 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (roasted)
• 2 tbsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup plain kefir yogurt (can use plain yogurt too)
• 1 tsp smoked paprika or chilli flakes
• 1/4 cup chopped nuts .again pick your favourite…I love walnuts and almonds.
• 1/2 tsp mustard powder (optional)
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil

Preparation

  • Place your vegetables in mixing bowl.
  • Add in your kefir/ yogurt and vinegar. Mix well.
  • Then add seasonings. Mix again.
  • Finally, add the remaining ingredients, berries, seeds, bacon, onion, etc. Mix and chill in fridge until ready to serve.
  • This is also great to mix into wraps, as a topping for your jacket potato or as a side dish
  • Makes 3-4 servings.

N.B…Coconut Bacon…

Did you know?

1 ounce of pumpkin seeds will give you 37% of your daily value of magnesium. However if you have heard that dark chocolate will provided 100% of your daily magnesium…Yes it does contain magnesium …There is always a but isn’t there? You would need to eat at least 2/3 of a big bar…Not your best source of Magnesium if you are watching the weight.

A take on Tom Yum Soup… This is one of my favourite Thai soups and so easy to make from scratch. Adding a portion of salmon and you are on your way to topping up your magnesium.

Ingredients

• 2 litres of water
• 4 stalks of lemon grass
• 1-inch chunk of galangal
• 10 kaffir lime leaves
• 10 Thai chillies
• 5 cloves of garlic
• 85 gm salmon per person
• 100 gm noodles of your choice per person
• 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
• 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
• 5-6 shallots halved if really small if a little bigger quartered
• 1 and a half tsp of sugar
• 7 – 10 tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
• Juice of 5 -8 limes.
• A handful of cilantro ( Coriander)
• Half hardboiled egg per person…optional

N.B I recommend using the lowest amount of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Let’s Cook!

  • The first thing to do is put about 2 litres of water in a large pot to boil.
  • Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it’s best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don’t need to rush to squeeze them all.
  • Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a rolling-pin or the handle end of a knife to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavours. Then just slice it diagonally into 1-inch strips or so.
  • Take about 1 thumb-sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.
  • Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves – no need to cut them, just tear them – which is going to help release their flavour.
  • Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.
  • I used about 10 Thai birds eye chillies for this recipe, but you can use however many you’d like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you still like the chilli flavour but not as much heat.

  • Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies into the water.
    You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.
  • Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.
  • Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre-rinse beforehand.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes. .Add the tomatoes and onions.
  • Cook for further 6-8 minutes.
  • Now add your noodles and after 2 mins add your salmon and cook for a further 5 mins until salmon is just poached…
  • Remove from heat and gently stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.
  • Taste and adjust if necessary.

This delicious soup is now ready to serve. Garnish with half a boiled egg and some coriander…

Enjoy!

Another source of Magnesium are dark greens simply just stirfried…If you want you could add a few almonds…

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.

This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.

Ingredients:

• 1 bunch of Morning Glory
• 4-6 cloves of garlic
• 3 or more Thai Chillies
• 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
• 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
• 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans ( optional)
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
• 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock

Let’s Cook!

  • Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
  • Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
  • Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.
  • Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry (stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.

  • Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
  • Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.
  • Serve with steamed rice or as a side dish.

Enjoy!

This is a lovely vegetable dish and you could use any dark greens and cook the same way I sometimes shred kale and the stems or broccoli and again I take of the outside and used the stem either cut in slices or julienne depends on what I am cooking but any dark greens are lovely cooked this way it is quick way to cook and retain as many of the vitamins as possible.

Until next time…xx Thank you for reading xx

My thanks to Carol for these recipes that will bring magnesium into your diet deliciously… and that coconut bacon looks interesting..

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

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: https://carolcooks2.com/

My thanks to Carol for all her efforts to bring great cookery and healthy options into our diets and I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 20th September 2019 – Brigid P. Gallagher, John Rieber and Carol Taylor


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is from inspirational author Brigid P. Gallagher who has been taking a course in Beekeeping.. this post from last week is the second part, but there is a link to the first.

My beekeeping studies continue – this post follows on from An Inspiring Introduction to Beekeeping

A big thank you to my teachers at The Glasshouses, Killult http://www.natithegloine.com
Smokers

Smoke is puffed over the top of the frames, to calm the bee colony when inspecting a hive.

Scraps of newspaper are first set on fire inside a metal container in the smoker, before adding pine needles to create smoke for the inspection.

The smoke is then dispensed using the small bellows attached to the main metal container.

IMG_7693

Hive Inspection

The roof of the hive is removed gently to allow for close inspection, before smoke is puffed over the top of the frames.

You will see that these outer frames are beginning to get covered in wax comb by the bees. You can also see small residues on the inside cover.

Head over to read the rest of this interesting post: https://watchingthedaisies.com/2019/09/11/an-inspiring-introduction-to-beekeeping-part-2/

Brigid P. Gallagher, BUY: https://www.amazon.in/Brigid-P-Gallagher/e/B01N8UCYYD
Blog: https://watchingthedaisies.com/  – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16119226.Brigid_P_Gallagher

The next writer with a post that I am sure you will enjoy if from John Rieber.. and in this week’s Bookmobile takes us to the sunny and very beautiful Provence.

Time To Celebrate The Terrific Cookbook Author Patricia Wells!

This Wednesday’s Bookmobile is heading to France to hang out with one of the greatest and most prolific Cookbook Authors ever – Patricia Wells, who along with bestselling cookbooks also wrote a terrific memoir about her life, along with her husband Walter!

“We’ve Always Had Paris…And Provence” by Patricia and Walter Wells.

Wednesday’s Bookmobile is going on a delicious journey to Paris and Provence, as Patricia tells her fascinating story and love of food.

Here is the Amazon writeup of their memoir:

Patricia Wells, long recognized as the leading American authority on French food, and her husband, Walter, live the life in France that many of us have often fantasized about. After more than a quarter century, they are as close to being accepted as “French” as any non-natives can be. In this delightful memoir they share in two voices their experiences—the good, the bad, and the funny—offering a charming and evocative account of their beloved home and some of the wonderful people they have met along the way.”

Head over and enjoy the rest of the post and take your appetite with you: https://johnrieber.com/2019/09/18/the-delicious-life-of-patricia-wells-wednesdays-bookmobile-heads-to-provence-for-her-memoir/

johnrieber

About John Rieber

I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, “everyone eats!”

And finally today, our resident food expert Carol has a very whimsical post on Wednesdays and here is a snippet from this week….everything from National Cheeseburger Day (and one in a can), The Royal Opera House and the upcoming Oktoberfests…something for everyone…

Thank you once again for joining me on Whimsical Wednesday when anything goes..wherever my thoughts take me or when something stops me in my tracks and makes me think or when something just wows me…

So come with me and see what has astonished or wowed me this week and what memories have been evoked…Wednesday is the day when I leave controversy at the door…It is the day I can reminisce and indulge myself..generally about things past…Yes, I get maudlin…But memories are good..sometimes they make you a little sad as you wish you could see that person or be in that place and that time again and for a moment or two you are….Enjoy!

Today there are two National Days…Actually more than two but none which piqued my interest…National Play-Doh Day…Yes, mums, dads and grandparents…

Do you really love Play-Doh as much as the kids? I blimmin didn’t… it got stuck everywhere…In the hair, in the carpet, on the clothes, the dog and it stuck fast…

Fast forward….It is National Cheeseburger Day

Head over to find out more about cheeseburger in a can and much more whimsy: https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/18/whimsical-wednesdays-with-carol-2/

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.

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: https://carolcooks2.com/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will head over to enjoy the posts in full…more Blogger Daily posts next week.. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Chinese Chicken/Pork with Water Chestnuts, Quick Pickling and Bread Rolls.


Good morning form sunny Thailand where the weather is either steaming hot or we have a fierce tropical storm with the loudest thunder I have ever heard in my life.

Well Wimbledon is done and dusted for another year with the men’s title going to Djokovic who was my favourite to win and a new ladies champion…Will she become one of the greats or will she be a one time winner? Nethertheless I will extend a well done and well deserved…

On the political front will the outcome be as predicted and Boris will be the New Prime Minister or will Jeremy pip him at the post? By the time this post is published we will know the answer to that one…

I think it is generally much safer in the kitchen…Don’t you?

Well unless it is me having one of my bad days…which has its upside as I wasn’t allowed to cook the chilli last night…Result…ha-ha…

Today as I know many of you are having some sunny days and some are having a heat wave which makes it very hard to know what to cook sometimes doesn’t it?

I like stir fry’s as once you have prepared your ingredients they are quick to cook…I love Water Chestnuts and sometimes ( not) often I am lucky enough to get fresh ones from the market…

Usually available in specialty groceries or supermarkets, they should be washed thoroughly and peeled with a sharp knife, especially if to be eaten raw. At this point, adding a few drops of lemon juice keeps them from turning brown when steamed or sautéed. Once peeled, they’ll only remain fresh in water that’s changed daily for two to three days.

Chinese Chicken/Pork with Water Chestnuts.

Ingredients

• ½ lb of chicken breasts or pork finely sliced.
• 1 tbsp dry sherry
• 3 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp of corn flour or arrowroot
• 3 tbsp sesame oil
• 2/3 cloves of garlic crushed
• 3 tbsp of spring onions
• 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated or julienned
• 2 cups of water chestnuts peeled and sliced (tinned are fine) and can be found in most Asian sections of supermarkets.
• 1 cup of bamboo sliced (optional) or bean sprouts.

N.B…I have started using arrowroot instead of corn flour it is tasteless and gives a glossy sauce and where corn flour has a slight taste and cloudy appearance arrowroot is glossy and clear. It is a great thickener and can easily replace corn flour.

Arrowroot powder is fast gaining in popularity in the western world as people are looking for substitutes and alternatives to cornstarch either because they have corn allergies/sensitivities or they want to avoid anything GMO and laden with pesticides.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix the sherry, soy sauce and arrowroot together, set to one side.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add chicken /pork and stir fry for 2 minutes add garlic, spring onions, ginger and bamboo and stir fry for a further 3 minutes or until meat is cooked.
  3. Add water chestnuts and stir fry I minute then add the arrowroot mix and stir fry for another minute or two until juice thickens slightly add beans sprouts if using.
  4. I always add my bean sprouts if using add the very end as I like mine crisp and just cooked.
  5. Serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles…

Summer is also the time to make lovely crispy chicken or fish bites or goujons with an assorted salad and pickles maybe some lovely fresh rolls …There is nothing better than sitting in the garden or on your balcony with a nice cool drink and just pick and nibble and talk..Soft music in the background perfect…

Not so the batter I have had some disasters with batter in the past…Not sticking being the main one ….

Thai Style Batter for Chicken or Pork or fish

Traditionally Thais use rice flour for batter:

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups rice flour.
• 1 tsp salt.
• 1 Cup water + 2 tsp Baking Soda.( Or you can use a cup of soda water)
• For the dry coating, you will need 2 cups of rice flour.
• 1 tsp chicken stock granules (If you are coating chicken drums).

Let’s Cook!

  1. Coat your chicken or pork in the flour…I find it easier to put in a bag and roll it around until all the meat is coated.
  2. Dip your meat/fish in the wet batter.
  3. Heat oil but don’t overload the wok as it will cause the temperature of the oil to drop and you won’t get crispy batter…
  4. Sometimes on the street stalls, you will see the cook remove the chicken/pork and then put in another pan (double dipping) to make sure it is crispy.
  5. This is an authentic recipe given to me by our Thai chef when we had our restaurant as are all my Thai recipes.
  6. If you are cooking a large batch just double or triple the recipe.

If you love a whole chicken and this one is delicious….Then Beer Butt Chicken should fit the bill…A bit messy but well worth it as it is so tender and succulent just right for sunny days…

Beer Butt Chicken…

I have seen this recipe many times over the years but never tasted it until my son gave me a demo…It was lovely and moist and even the kids and they are good eaters demolished it like there was no tomorrow.

He tweaked the recipe as it would have been too hot for the little ones and served the sauce separate rather than basting the chicken at the end with it…But for all, you die-hard spicy food lovers go ahead…

You will love it!

Pickles always go down a treat and at one time I thought all pickles took weeks to mature …But now pickles can be made in 5 mins or just a day or two…

I used 4 cucumbers ( they are short) ones here not like the ones we used to get when in the UK although I have discovered Japanese cucumbers and they are nice, crispy and very similar to the cucumber I know and love.

The cucumbers here are much smaller with larger seeds in the centre and not quite as crispy and flavoursome. In fact, I think I prefer them pickled.

Lets Pickle!

• 1 peeled and sliced (quite thickly) 4 cucumbers.
• 1 large Onion peeled and sliced.
• 3 cups of vinegar.
• 1/4- 1/2 cup of sugar or sweetener of your choice. I only used a 1/4 cup of sugar and some salt to season as required.
• 1 cup of water.

Method

  1. Whisk vinegar, sugar and water together in a jug.
  2. Put alternative slices of cucumber and onion in pre-sterilised jars, and then pour the vinegar mix over the cucumber and onion making sure to cover completely.
  3. Screw the lid down tightly and refrigerate they will be ready to eat in 2 days in fact if you leave these too long they get too vinegary.

They are really a quick pickle recipe.

This second recipe is ready in about 5days

• 3 medium cucumber
• 1 large Onion thinly sliced.
• 85g sea salt flakes (essential- table salt will render your efforts inedible)
• 500ml cider vinegar
• 250g granulated sugar
• 1 tsp Coriander seeds
• 2 tsp yellow mustard seed
• 1 tsp peppercorn
• 1 tsp ground turmeric
• Small bunch dill

Method

  1. Wash the cucumbers, split along their length and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Cut each half into finger-length chunks, and then cut into 5mm strips.
  3. Mix with the onion and salt in a large bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight.
  4. Next day, drain the juices, rinse the vegetables in cold water and drain well.
  5. Put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a very large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins to let the flavours infuse.
  6. Add the vegetables and bring the pan to a rolling boil over a high heat, stirring now and again. Boil for 1 min, and then remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Tear in the dill, and then pack into sterilised jars making sure that no air bubbles are trapped.

Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use about 5 days.

Alternately if you want really quick pickles for a BBQ or buffet and don’t want to bother sterilising jars…

  1. In a freezer-weight re-sealable plastic bag, combine 3/4 cup distilled vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 4 tsps sugar, 1/2 tsp salt; 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, and 1/2 tsp peppercorns.
  2. Then add 2 pounds cucumbers quartered lengthwise.
  3. Seal bag and refrigerate overnight. They’ll keep in the fridge for up to a week.

As easy as 1, 2, 3…

Bread Rolls…I am having to resort to this as the only decent baker is still not open again… The bread here in Thailand is so sweet. I detest store bought cut bread it is sticky and claggy just horrible…so am resorting to doing my own at least the dough proves quickly here it is an ideal climate for bread making.

Olive Oil Bread Rolls with Rosemary… These rolls were nice, soft and had a good texture but I still haven’t mastered the crusty top type yet…lol they were also nice toasted.

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 lbs Unbleached Bread Flour
• 1 tbsp of instant yeast
• 3/4 cup of Olive oil
• 1 tbsp of coarse salt
• 2 cups of warm water
• 2/3 tbsp of chopped rosemary.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Combine water, flour, yeast, salt, rosemary and olive oil mix together you will now have sticky dough.
  2. If dough is really too sticky then add a bit more flour.
  3. Lightly grease a bowl with olive oil and turn dough in a bowl to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise approx 60-90 minutes here it is more like 15-20 but it all depends on where you live and your heat and humidity.
  4. When the dough has risen turn it onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 16 pieces.
  5. Shape the pieces into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet lined with cooking parchment leaving a 2-inch gap between each roll.

Stage two.

  1.  Leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
  2. Heat your oven to 450F/230C
  3. Sprinkle the top of the rolls with a little sea salt.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops of rolls are golden brown.
  5. Cool on a wire rack, they are now ready to eat. So yummy slightly warm with proper butter.

Now that was easy, wasn’t it?

If sunny days are a little sporadic for you then I hope you enjoy them and find these recipes give you a little more time catching those rays…

Thanks to Carol for working away in her kitchen to share these delicious recipes with us…

©Carol Taylor 2019

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

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#PotLuck – Waste Not! Want Not! …Australia plans to dump one million tons of sludge on the Great Barrier Reef! by Carol Taylor


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Carol Taylor does an amazing job each week with the food column and healthy eating posts here on Smorgasbord, and she deserves a break to get on with her own writing projects for a few weeks. Time for the last of the posts from Carol’s archives and next week she will be back with recipes to ensure you are getting sufficient Vitamins B12 and E..

This week one of Carol’s very thought provoking posts on the environment, with an emphasis on waste and our responsibility to do what we can as individuals to make a difference.. In this post a look at how nations can undermine our efforts.

Waste Not! Want Not! …Australia plans to dump one million tons of sludge on the Great Barrier Reef! by Carol Taylor

Good morning from sunny Thailand although we have had the mother of storms this week and huge hailstones it has cooled the air down somewhat…

I am really heartened by the initiatives which I am discovering that are happening from all around the world…Your comments are also a revelation when I hear from you guys what is going on in your neck of the woods all good stuff…How you are reducing the carbon footprints and coming up with ideas to cut waste and protect the environment.

green foot prints eco system

Then just the other day I heard and read something which shocked me to the core…One of the biggest, most beautiful countries in my part of the world with breathtaking natural wonders is allowing an absolutely abhorrent action to take place…

Australia plans to dump one million tonnes of sludge in the Great Barrier Reef.

Great barrier Reef

Image by 127071 on Pixabay

Despite strict laws on dumping waste, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) gave the go-ahead.

A loophole was found – the laws don’t apply to materials generated from port maintenance work.

It comes one week after flood water from Queensland spread into the reef, which scientists say will “smother” the coral.

Dredged from the sea bed near Hay Point Port who are one of the worlds largest coal exporters and a substantial economic source for Australia this industrial residue is going to be dumped on that beautiful reef…

My thoughts on that statement..substantial economic source equals money/backhanders for someone…

The North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation have said the dump will have a minor environmental impact… Please, it should not be happening and then there would be no impact…Their investigations of course ( it is in their ) own interests ( profit) showed risk to be predominantly low with some temporary short-term impacts.

So let’s be clear the Bulk Ports Corp is paying for reports to justify their own dump and which probably also found the loophole which they now are now exploiting …

My question is WHY? When Australia has pledged A$500 million( 275) million to protect the reef… Are they allowing this dump?…

If this doesn’t smack of cronyism, blatant pocket lining and profiteering then I don’t know what does…

Read the full story here… When you have please if you feel the same as me share the hell out of it…

https://www.iflscience.com/environment/australia-greenlights-dumping-1-million-tons-of-sludge-in-great-barrier-reef-waters/

That beautiful coral home to lots of sea life which has already lost 30% due to bleaching… and now they plan to dump sludge they say well away from that but given the tide and weather conditions, no one can guarantee where the sludge will end up …

Whitsunday islands

Whitsunday islands Image by werner22brigitte on Pixabay

I myself cannot believe that government/ politicians can sanction this …It is their country for God’s sake and after pledging all that money to save the Barrier Reef they are allowing this? It is an abhorrent, cruel, wicked way to treat that beautiful place…

Humans are the worst perpetrators of harm to the environment…

The dredging is due to start in March and is set to last 40 days.

I defy anyone to try to justify such actions or to tell me it has nothing to do with pure unadulterated greed and profiteering.

I have lost heart and don’t feel I want to dim the importance of these actions unless anyone can stop it happening by telling of some of the wonderful efforts to save the environment …They are for another post on another day…

Thank you so much for reading this post …Please share your ideas on how we can save our carbon footprints and the environment and if you live in Oz please try to stop this happening…I love to hear from you in comments xxx

Thanks to Carol for allowing me to dive into her archives and she will be back next week with more recipes.

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 Carol’s Food and Cookery column articles in this folder: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2019/

Thank you for dropping in today and we would love your feedback thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Travel Thailand…Koh Samui…A Secret Garden by Carol Taylor


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Carol Taylor does an amazing job each week with the food column and healthy eating posts here on Smorgasbord, and she deserves a break to get on with her own writing projects for a few weeks. So I am going to share four posts from Carol’s archives instead and she will be back with us on June 12th.  This week one of Carol’s posts on travelling in Thailand.

Travel Thailand…Koh Samui…A Secret Garden by Carol Taylor

Koh Samui The Secret Garden

On our very first visit to Thailand in 2002 many years ago now with our two young grandsons, we visited this lovely Island of Koh Samui. A beautiful island where I first fell in love with Thailand. At that time, never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would be living that dream.

Here I am in 2018 and living that dream…

Out exploring the island one day we saw a sign which said: ” Secret Garden” It piqued my curiosity as a few years ago while driving in England we saw a similar sign which said, ” Secret Bunker”… so seeing this made me smile at that memory as that also was a day to remember and not what we expected.

Would this ” Secret Garden” be the same?

An unexpected delight?…

At the sign, we took the turning and was it a steep hill…we slowly made our way upwards, the uneven road presented us with sheer drops either side and the road was barely one car wide…

Yikes if we meet anything coming the other way and thank goodness the only vehicle we did meet was a motorcycle and luckily it was able to edge its way past us and away it went.

My son was driving and does not like heights at the best of times and was a tad nervous. I think we were all relieved when we spied a restaurant and were able to pull into its small car park…we were presented with the most amazing views and then came the food which was awesome…just delicious.

Enquiring about the “Secret Garden” the restaurant staff pointed upwards with a big smile… Really?…at that point, it was unanimous to leave the truck and walk!

We walked and walked and all we saw was the occasional bike which passed us going the other way…Down!

The noises which we heard coming from the jungle as we walked up the steep track were quite magnified and sounded like a chainsaw…well that was the story I told my open-mouthed grandsons it did make them walk a little quicker though …haha. It was only later that I discovered they were Cicadas and due to the acoustics on the mountain when they rubbed their wings together in unison they did sound like a chainsaw.

Suddenly the road plateaued out…We were at the top…

A group of children thailand-471700_1280

Thirsty and worn out…Our first view was a small shop selling water and a group of bemused local children were watching us and laughing probably thinking ” mad Farangs” walking in this heat up the mountain. At that point, I was happy to agree with them…

Looking around we spied a lone kiosk…

No secret garden?…

I had this mental picture of pretty flowers…orchids and a statue or two… There was nothing like that in sight!

Walking over to the kiosk we paid for our tickets…well, we were here so we may as well have a look…

Where is this garden? The smiling woman pointed to some steps…from where I was standing they looked wooden and slightly rickety…Oh No! My legs could not take any more…

Down and down we went… That first glimpse of this “Secret Garden” was amazing..statues carved out of stone, a tiny house, little streams and miniature waterfalls trickling and running through the middle of this garden, a small amphitheatre, all among the trees which were growing on the mountainside…Not a flower in sight…

Did it matter? Not at all…This was magical and a memory which has stayed with me over the years…

My research since then has told me that an old Durian Fruit Farmer in 1976 at the grand old age of 77 started to fulfil his life’s ambition and carved all these wonderful statues which he had seen in his dreams and he created them to honour Buddha.

The statues depict a number of animals, deities and humans in various poses, including one of the man himself Khun Nim in a relaxed position sitting on a rock. Khun Nim continued to work developing his garden until his death at the age of 91.

The garden is now cared for by his relatives.

This also reinforces to me that…

“You can dare to dream” and that dreams do come true…albeit you have to work hard and you must have that will and determination to make it happen just like this old Durian farmer called Uncle(Khun) Nim did.

We visited this magical place which was way off the beaten track back in 2002 so a few years ago now and the road is no longer open to the public but only to experienced 4 x 4 drivers. But, local tour firms offer day trips up the mountain.

The new road lies directly opposite the temple Wat Khunaram near Lamai and the road leads you through some very steep hills to the Secret Garden. It is also now known locally as the Magic or Buddha garden and magical it certainly was for me.

A beautiful magical garden which I hope to revisit one day… I have never forgotten my visit to the Secret Garden and it has been the subject of a presentation I did for work. A short story I wrote in the Phuket Writers Anthology and a lovely memory for me which I am now sharing with you… If you ever get the chance to visit I am sure it will not disappoint. I hope you are left with that same magical feeling which I experienced.

©Carol Taylor 2018

Thanks to Carol for allowing me to dive into her archives and I am sure you enjoyed this post as much as I did.

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 Carol’s Food and Cookery column articles in this folder: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2019/

Thank you for dropping in today and we would love your feedback thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #PotLuck – Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole by Carol Taylor


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Carol Taylor does an amazing job each week with the food column and healthy eating posts here on Smorgasbord, and she deserves a break to get on with her own writing projects for a few weeks. So I am going to share four posts from Carol’s archives instead and she will be back with us on June 12th..  The second post shares the story of Saangchai, the little rescue pup that Carol and her family adopted who also shares his thoughts.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole by Carol Taylor

Day 6 of the life of a Soi Dog called Saang chai who is now our forever friend and companion.

Well the first few days were okay we were just doing a lot of sniffing around and getting to know every nook and cranny. It was strange as I had never lived in a house.

I spent my first 4 months on the streets and the man who I belonged to said he would do something nasty to me if someone didn’t take me and my sister away……. so a nice lady took us to Soi Dogs who were very kind to us and we lived with other street puppies in a big run. They fed us, gave us injections and an operation..woof not sure about that…lots of people came to see us and my sister went with one of them which made me sad but…..then one day a boy and some grownups came to see us….I liked the boy and he liked me so they came back and took me to their forever home.

My first night I was a bit sad so my mum put my new bed in her room, it was lovely I got spoken too and stroked and felt very safe and I was soon asleep and dreaming about a forever home with lots of love.

After breakfast the next morning……woof

My mum took me shopping for a new bed and a collar and some toys.

SAM_7022

It was very nice of her but I much prefer the little humans toys in the box for when she visits.. I mean who wants the latest squeaky ” Kong”

The gates my new master made for me are very nice and even nicer to chew…..I can even put my paws on the ledge and if I really tried I could even get over.

But my mistress…clever lady…she reads my mind and they came home from shopping with this silver stuff which made a funny noise and it’s now too high for me…at the moment..woof…do you think she knows that? I heard them talking and they reckon that by the time I can do that …I will be allowed out there anyway and I will come back and not run away..mmmmm now that’s a thought…just look at all that nice room I have to run and play in…so maybe, just maybe… what do you reckon.?

SAM_7029

I get lots of nice food , treats , lots of pats and cuddles and the boy they call Aston he runs around and plays with me a lot…I quite like him and he stops me from getting told off sometimes too…now that’s a good friend…woof..

But when they took me in the truck to the playing field that was scary I didn’t like it, so they bought me home but when my master took me for a walk up the road in my ” New Harness” yes I have a new collar and harness it is a pretty blue colour…. I liked that and I was joined by a mummy dog and her 2 puppies so we had fun.

SAM_7021

My forever family keep telling everyone what a lovely boy I am and that I am sooooo good….well it is a nice house but I have now found some labels at the bottom of the sofa that I can chew…my mistress didn’t tell me I was good boy for taking them off she told to go to my bed. Now that’s not fair is it?..she thought when I had taken the label of that I would then chew the sofa…now would I ? She didn’t give a boy a chance ..woof….

And this morning one of her pots just fell of the top and she sent me to my bed again! I was just lucky that it didn’t have a plant in that one cos she keeps calling them her babies and saying how well they are growing…strange these humans…talking to plants…

SAM_7030

Well that bin in the corner of the lounge looked as if it might be worth a sniff..nothing in that ….she had emptied it! But she caught me nose in bin and quite nicely said no you must NOT do that..so before she toldme, I thought quick get in the bed….but my paw caught the fan lead

SAM_7028

…woof ..did I scoot…. it made a loud noise when it crashed to the floor and I think it’s broken woof…..but my nice mistress did say it was her fault and I didn’t get sent to bed.

I did hear her saying that it was only 10am and I was just looking for something to do….. so I thought….. I know…… join the master in the garden……..Lets keep out of her way for a while and then she came and gave me a big cuddle woof, woof ……..I think I will like it here….

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Saangchai… and next week Carol will be taking us on a tour of a magic garden in Thailand.

©Carol Taylor 2015

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 Carol’s Food and Cookery column articles in this folder: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2019/

Thank you for dropping in today and we would love your feedback thanks Sally