Smorgasbord – Posts from Your Archives – #Travel – #Thailand – Down on the farm making charcoal by Carol Taylor


Welcome to the last in the travel posts from the archive of Carol Taylor, our resident food expert. This week the process of producing charcoal, one of the primary cooking fuels in Thailand.

This is the mud charcoal house where the charcoal is made primarily for fuel to cook…no mod cons here at all. Well not yet pretty much everything is done how it has always been done through the generations. The skills passed down and that is what I like here so much tradition still and in the main so much happiness.

But the lifestyle is hard there are some concessions to this and progress is slowly coming but much is still done the old way and by getting your hands dirty.

Making charcoal is an art…me I just said do you just throw the wood in and light it?….The look this crazy English lady got was a look of I suppose bemusement.

Of course you don’t, for a start the charcoal house cannot be built on or close to the water table or where the drainage is poor.

The wood must be properly stacked so that when it burning the air can circulate correctly but the beauty of it being on your land is that you can stack over a period time as you come across the wood.The wood must of course be dry and the time needed to complete the burn does depend on the moisture content of the wood and also the evenness of the stacking of the wood so this is all very important.

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WOOD DRYING PRIOR TO BEING STACKED.

Once it is correctly stacked it must be stacked vertically into the charcoal house then a fire is started or burning coals are put through the air vent at the top of the charcoal house once this has taken then the door must be sealed effectively to ensure proper air circulation.

The initial smoke which comes out through the top air vent and the air holes around the base is dense white smoke which after a few days turns to a blueish colour finally it becomes practically clear smoke.

Once the burn is complete then the opening at the top of the charcoal house is sealed as are the bottom vents.

This then takes 2-3 days to cool down, when the earth kiln is cool it can be opened but there must be a supply of water available in case there are any red fires still burning as they need to be extinguished.

carbon-592598_1920 charcoal

Once the charcoal is completely cold then it is bagged or put in baskets for home use or sale.

A typical fire for cooking on.

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Cooking the steak

This is a time-consuming and back-breaking task no one has an easy life here as I am finding out but kudos to them I am often just amazed and it has made me realise what an easy life I have had. With my running water, gas, electric all the mod cons and it has changed me and I hope for the better. When the house is built here yes there will be some luxuries but you know what I am not so bothered anymore.

I won’t be cooking over a small charcoal fire unless it is a BBQ but lots of things I used to have no longer hold the same allure for me it is definitely an eye-opener and maybe not the life for everyone. Just for this crazy, whimsical English lady, it is the life I have adopted and I love it!

If you missed my previous posts on Down on the farm I have added the links below. I hope you enjoy these posts please let me have your thoughts. Down on the farm Jambulan Plum

Thank you for reading about my life in Thailand I do hope you enjoy it 🙂

©Images Carol Taylor.

You can find the posts in the Food and Cookery Column 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

Thank you for dropping in today and apart from this post and others on travel, you will find plenty of other topics covered on Carol’s informative and entertaining blog. Thanks Sally

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor #Fajita Spice, #Tahini #Peanut Butter #Hummus


Carol Cook’s …My favourite spice mixes.

Welcome to this week’s Cookery column …This week I thought I would share with you some of my go to recipes ones which I make on a regular basis. My staples really I suppose ones, which I make quite often as they are family favourites.

As you know I mostly cook from scratch and it is something I have always done. Now more than ever as there are so many additives in products on the shelf.

Much of the time I either can’t get what I want here, or as it is imported, it is silly prices, but also because of all the negative articles about processed and manufactured food stuff.  I prefer to make my own as I know what it contains …So much now is laden with added sugars and preservatives that it is quite scary, and also increasing evidence that many chronic illnesses can be prevented or improved by eating less pre-prepared unhealthy foods.

This Chettinad Curry powder is one which I always make from scratch and it has lots of ingredients, but once you have measured them out and roasted them, all you have to do is pop them in a grinder. I have a small grinder and do it in a couple of batches it makes enough for 3-5 curries so it is always lovely and fresh.

Ingredients:

• 2 tsp black pepper
• 8 dried red chillies…
• 1 ½ tbsp cumin seeds
• 1 ½ tbsp dried coconut… I use fresh coconut which I dry but if you are unable to do that buy an unsweetened desiccated coconut.
• 2 tbsp coriander seeds
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 star anise
• 4 cloves
• 2 1” pieces of cinnamon
• 2 tbsp fennel seeds
• 10 curry leaves

Let’s Cook!

Dry roast all your ingredients in a frying pan or wok stirring to make sure you don’t burn them …Turn out on to a plate or board to cool down and then grind to a powder. Store in an airtight container.

Then make your curry as usual using your homemade powder. To test the strength of the curry you prefer, start with a smaller amount and add to it as necessary. I use about 3 tbsps per curry.

My next one is a Buffalo wing mixture which is so easy to make and I just make the amount I need at the time .

Buffalo Wing Spice Mix… For 2 lbs of chicken

Ingredients:

• 1 tbsp of chilli flakes or powder…I just grind some dry fried chillies and blitz.
• 1 tbsp sweet paprika
• 1 ½ tsp cumin powder
• 2 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 ½ tsp dried garlic not garlic salt.
• 1 ½ tsp salt
• 1 ½ tsp black pepper.

Mix all the dry ingredients together put in zip loc bag with the chicken and about a tbsp of olive oil either seal the bag and move it about to coat the chicken or get your hands in the bag like we do and make sure the chicken is all coated. Put in the fridge for at least 20-30 mins and cook as normal.

N.B Depending on who I am cooking for I may add more cayenne or chilli flakes but as with all homemade mixes …Play with the flavours …Have fun.

My Final Mix is my Fajita Mix

Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp Cornstarch.
• 2 tbsp Chilli Powder.( I use dried chillies ground to a powder)
• 1 tbsp Salt.( I use Himalayan pink salt or mineral salt which is produced locally)
• 1 tbsp Sugar.
• 1 tbsp Paprika
• 2 1/2 tsp Powdered chicken stock/seasoning.
• 1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder.
• 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder.
• 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper.
• 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder.

I always make my own mixes as I find that I can save money by buying larger packs of spices and also I have a quicker rotation so the spices stay fresh and not linger in the cupboard forever.

This little dip is a recipe from Bali given to me by my grandson’s girlfriend it is very easy to
make but made more special by the addition of tamarind.

Called Rujak sauce it is lovely with mangoes or with chicken.

• Take 200 gm of palm sugar shaved.
• 15 gm of tamarind flesh and 5 tbsp of water leave to infuse for 5 mins and then drain and keep the tamarind flavoured water.
• 6 or more Thai chillies.
• 1/4 tsp shrimp paste and 1/4tsp salt.

Blitz all these ingredients together and you have fiery little sauce.

Thai Peanut Sauce.

Peanut sauce for use with satay or vegetables, pancakes or anything you fancy as it goes with almost anything. I love this easy sauce as it has so much flavour and can be made up really quickly.

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
• 1 cup water
• 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
• 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar (palm sugar preferred)
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup oil
• 1 heaping tablespoon tamarind pulp (soaked in 1/4 cup water for 15 minutes, squeeze the tamarind pulp for juice and discard the pulp)
Spice Paste:
• 6-8 dried red chillies (seeded and soaked in warm water)
• 3 cloves garlic
• 3 shallots
• 2 lemon grass (white parts only)
• 1 inch galangal
• 1 tablespoon coriander powder (optional)

Let’s Cook!

Crush the peanuts with mortar and pestle or mini food processor until quite coarse and set aside.

Chop the spice paste ingredients and blend until fine. Heat oil and fry the spice paste until aromatic and smells spicy. Add the peanuts, tamarind juice, water, sugar, sweet soy sauce and stir thoroughly.

Simmer on a low heat while continuing to stir for about 3 minutes until the peanut sauce turns smooth. Serve at room temperature with the satay or vegetables.

N.B. I use fresh peanuts and dry cook in hot pan just make sure you keep stirring or shaking them as they cook very quickly.

I just love this peanut sauce and keep a little pot in the fridge… the taste is far superior to any peanut satay sauce I had ever had before I came to Thailand.

While we are on the subject of peanuts I always make my own peanut butter…It is the simplest thing to make and once you have tried it you will never buy a shop brought jar of peanut butter again.

Peanuts are a good source of Vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese as well as providing resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant also found in red grapes and red wine. While it cannot compare with the fruits highest in antioxidants i.e. pomegranate, roasted peanuts do compare with the antioxidants of apples, carrots and beets.

Rather than buying store bought peanut butter which is full of nasties it is easier and it is very quick to make your own.

It is the quickest easiest recipe to make ever, the kids can help blitz it and as well as being tasty it has no preservatives or added sugars.

Let’s Cook!

Take 500 gm raw peanuts. Put in oven on tray and cook on high for 10 mins. Take out of oven and reserve a few (if you like crunchy peanut butter) like me. Put the remainder of nuts in a food processor and blitz at 1 min intervals scrapping down the sides. Do this for 4 mins or until smooth.

Add 1tsp of salt, 1 tbsp oil and remainder of reserved nuts if using. If you want to add honey or flavouring of your choice then add now.

Blitz again for 1 min and put in a suitable container. Stores in fridge for 3/4 weeks…….IT’S DELISH!

Lastly I always make my own Tahini Paste… Very easy and cheap as chips as they say.
How to make your very own Tahini paste/butter…it is so quick and easy and the cost of a packet of sesame seeds is virtually pennies against the cost of a store-bought jar of tahini and no nasties….

Let’s Cook!

Into the kitchen, Take 1 cup of sesame seeds and give them a quick toasting of the Sesame Seeds, then into the mini blender, 3 tbsp Olive oil, and a quick whizz, scrape down the sides, another tbsp Olive oil and another scrape, a bit more oil and a quick whizz and voilà your Tahini Paste is made.

How easy is that?

The next favourite follows on from the tahini…Hummus

• 3 tbsp Tahini Paste
• 2 tbsp fresh lemon/lime juice

Blitz these together in the food processor.
Add

• 2tbsp Olive Oil
• 1 clove Garlic
• ½ tsp ground Cumin
• ½ – 1 tsp salt and blitz.
• 1 can of drained, rinsed chickpeas

Add half a can of the drained, rinsed chickpeas and again blitz 1-2 mins.

Add the other half of Chick Peas and blitz again 1-2 mins.

Put in a suitable container or serving bowl drizzle with tbsp Olive Oil and sprinkle with Paprika.

So easy and healthy and it’s now ready to eat with sliced pitta bread or cut up vegetables of your choice.

This will keep up to 1 week in the fridge.

I hope you have enjoyed some of my favourite recipes and mixes and will let me know how you get on when you try them. I am sure that the whole family will enjoy.

©Carol Taylor 2018

I will definitely be trying out those spice mixes and we eat a lot of fajitas.. also the peanut butter which sounds so much more appetising than the ones on the shelves.

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

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

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 – Posts from Your Archives – Travel – #Thailand – Wat Baan Waeng or Heaven and Hell by Carol Taylor


Welcome to the second in the posts from Carol Taylor’s travel archives and today she visits a statue park with a difference. Photographic evidence of the consequences of straying from the path of righteousness….

Wat Baan Waeng or Heaven and Hell

Fifty km’s north of Udon Thani where we now live is Wat Baan Waeng or Pho Chai Sri as it is also known.

It is home to larger than life statues and sculptures which depict the heaven and hell side of Buddhism. So in other words if you stray from the path of the five precepts of Buddhism then “Hell” is what awaits you.

It shows the fate or karma of these individuals and the gory fates that await them for their sins.

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Initially when we pulled into the temple we were met with the scene of monks sitting, children playing and stalls selling trinkets, spiritual items and a well. The water level of which is always very high so if you do want to peer down into the blackness then first remove your shoes before you step onto the plinth. The well according to local folktales just appeared!

Such tranquility that we thought we had chanced upon the wrong temple(wat).

But no, if you follow the path lined with Buddhas statues you will be led through beautiful gardens, music playing, good food and drink everything that heaven is meant to be.

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Happy smiles and music playing.

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Head over and enjoy the wonderful photographs and the description of this very special place and its gruesome reminder of the difference between the raptures of heaven and the tortures and torments of hell!! :https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/wat-baan-waeng-or-heaven-and-hell/

©Images Carol Taylor.

You can find the posts in the Food and Cookery Column 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

Thank you for dropping in today and apart from this post and others on travel, you will find plenty of other topics covered on Carol’s informative and entertaining blog. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor -#Coleslaw, Potato Salad and Potato Cakes


Time for Salad

Last week I gave you ham and bacon this week as many of you still have glorious sunny weather I thought I would bring you some sides to go with your ham…

Starting with my simple Coleslaw which is lovely as a filling in a jacket potato and equally at home with your main fish or meat dish…

There are so many permutations of this dish and all wonderful in their own way…My version, 5 ingredients plus mayo and you have a beautiful slaw to eat with anything…

I add no sugar as carrots and apples have their own natural sweetness.

So….Lets Get Chopping.

  • Shred half a white cabbage or red or half and half.
  • Peel and quarter at least one apple and then slice thinly.
  • Grate or dice a carrot.
  • Cut up some spring onions or finely chop a few shallots.
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl, add some mayo, pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • I go easy on the mayo as I don’t like slaw with more mayo than vegetables.

Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge maybe covered until the next day but I just make it as I want it…an easy dish to make for 1 or 10.

Enjoy!

Another salad which accompanies many dishes is Potato salad and again there are so many versions made with either crushed new potatoes, peeled potatoes cubed and boiled, cubed and boiled in their skins or steamed.

Whatever potatoes you use I add to mine some chopped spring onions and or shallots maybe some crispy bacon, just enough mayo not too much and stir through I always do mine when the potatoes are still warm…Season really well with salt and fresh black pepper add some lemon or lime juice an easy one to knock up and again a nice accompaniment.

Lovely creamy mashed potatoes also go well with a salad…they are lovely served with cold meats and a lovely mixed leaf salad.

Have you some left over mash then these lovely little potato cakes are so good.

This recipe use diced cherry tomatoes, okra chopped and lightly sautéed in a little butter or oil, and spring onions.

Using one cup of Sally’s Mayonnaise and to that add 6 cloves of roasted garlic, mashed, I tbsp lemon/lime juice and a tsp of cayenne pepper.

Mix well and season with salt and pepper and set to one side until required. Or cover and put in the fridge.

For the potato cakes:

• 3 or 4 cups of mashed potato.
• 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes diced.
• 1/2 cup of okra chopped and lightly sautéed.
• 1/4 cup finely chopped spring onions again some prefer to sautéed the onions before adding to potato I add them raw.
• 1 egg beaten
• Salt and pepper to season.
• 2 tbsp parsley chopped.

Let’s Cook!

Add okra, spring onions and tomato to potato, season with salt and pepper and mix in beaten egg.

Shape into round patties. Heat your oil and cook for 4-5 minutes until they are golden on both sides.

To serve:

Sprinkle with a tbsp of the parsley and also decorate the top of the mayonnaise with parsley.

These little cakes also freeze well but defrost before cooking.

N.B Depending on the texture of your mash some people like really soft mash and others like a firmer mash but it may impact the texture of your potato cakes you may need more or less egg or if very soft add a little flour.

Sometimes I also use fresh breadcrumbs and beaten egg and dip my potato cakes in this before frying it just gives a crispier texture.

Or you could also add some parmesan to the breadcrumbs which is very nice.

Enjoy!

Rice Salad is something I have made for years and years as something to eat with ham/chicken as a salad…

The dressing:

• ¼ cup of lime or lemon Juice
• ½ cup virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves of garlic minced
• 1tsp of fresh oregano finely chopped
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• 1/8- ¼ red pepper flakes

Ingredients for rice…

• ½ each red, yellow peppers chopped finely
• 1/2cup chopped spring onion
• 2 sum shallots chopped
• 1 sm cucumber peeled and chopped finely

Let’s Cook!

Cook rice as per normal. Whisk the dressing ingredients together.

Add the dressing to the rice and allow to cool down.

Add the other ingredients and stir to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Caesar Salad is very popular here the Thais love it…with crispy croutons it is lovely on it’s own as a starter or as a side with ham and salad.

Ingredients:

• anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
• 1 small garlic clove
• Kosher salt
• 2 large egg yolks
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
• ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
• Freshly ground black pepper
• A romaine or cos lettuce.

Preparation

Chop together the anchovy fillets, garlic and a pinch of salt. Use the side of a knife to mash the mix to a paste then scrape it into a medium sized bowl.Whisk in egg yolks, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, and mustard. Adding drop by drop to start, gradually whisk in olive oil, then vegetable oil; whisk until dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in Parmesan. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

This can be made 1 day ahead.

The croutons:

Make your own. Tearing, not cutting the bread ensures nooks and crannies that catch the dressing and add texture.

Preheat oven to 375°. Toss bread with olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10–15 minutes.

The Lettuce:

The whole leaves are crisper and just right to absorb the dressing.

The cheese…use a vegetable peeler to shave a small amount on top for salty little bursts.
I find it best to use your hands to gently toss the lettuce, croutons and dressing then top with the shaved parmesan cheese.

You could also serve just a nice, crisp salad like this…

That’s all for side dishes today to go with your ham or other meat until next week enjoy the sunshine and salads.

©Carol Taylor

As the weather continues to blaze down on us in this part of the world, these salad dishes will be most welcome.. my thanks again to Carol for her efforts each week to bring us a varied and healthy way to prepare our meals.

The other posts in the series 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

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

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 Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – Home cured Ham and Bacon.


Welcome to Carol Cook’s and this week I thought I would bring to you most people’s favourite meats now who doesn’t love a bacon sarnie a BLT or a nice ham sandwich with lots of English mustard ?

Can I get bacon or ham here well yes I can and it is of dubious origins and doesn’t resemble the lovely smoked back bacon I used to love or the lovely home cured ham on the bone which I used to buy from the deli…? It is rather slimy and not something I would want to eat.

Time to make my own … I did my research and I tried alternative cures which were ok just didn’t quite cut the mustard… The celery juice was the most successful and one I do use from time to time…

My research told me that the very small amount of salt petre that I use was not likely to be harmful especially as we don’t eat copious amounts on a daily basis …Our bodies can deal with it however if I tried alternative ways and the deadly botulism reared its head our bodies probably wouldn’t survive … Common sense rules and I decided that for the above reasons using salt petre was our preferred way of curing… Look at that sizzle!

Home cured Bacon

Ingredients:

• 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.
For every kilo of pork use:
• 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
• 4 cloves garlic.
• 2 bay leaves
• A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
• 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
• 12 Pepper Corns,
• Celery Juice.

Let’s Cook!

Finely slice the bay Leaves and lightly crush with other Spices in Pestle & Mortar.
Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with Celery juice until damp then rub into the pork.

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag (I used a brining bag). Store in Fridge for 5 Days. I also turned the bag daily.

Remove and wash thoroughly. Cook in the oven @100c for 2 hours.

Completely cool and then slice to your desired thickness.

It also looks lovely and pink (no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a home-made smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee…some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat…

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Enjoy!

One of my favourite snacks with bacon is Jalapeno Peppers.

I have had an ongoing tussle with Jalapeno poppers and finally found a way which is easier than trying to keep the breadcrumbs on them when you deep fry them so a little healthier…

But everyone liked them and thought they were better baked and easier to eat.

Ingredients:

• 12 Jalapenos halved
• 8 oz cream cheese
• 2 cups of mozzarella shredded (I didn’t have any) so omitted this.
• 2 tbsp coriander
• 2 chopped green onions
• 8 strips of bacon cooked and crispy
• 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
• Squeeze lime juice
• 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
• A little olive oil to drizzle

Let’s Cook!

Clean and halve the jalapenos (use gloves) I don’t I just thoroughly wash my hands after.

Place halves on a baking sheet or dish (I halved this recipe) so a dish was sufficed.

Mix the cream cheese, shredded mozzarella (if using) coriander, squeeze of lime, bacon pieces and season black pepper.

Fill the little Jalapeno boats with the mix. Then mix breadcrumbs and parmesan and spoon over the top of the mix.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and pop in a hot oven 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
When ready cool for 5 minutes and tuck in.

Enjoy!

I personally don’t think it needed the mozzarella as they were cheesy enough.

The jalapenos were still quite crisp…I thought they could do with longer in the oven…I was however outvoted and the men folk liked them very much so I think it is down to personal taste…

This was also far easier and less messy than trying to keep the breadcrumbs on whole jalapenos and they were better to hold and eat.

Next as many of you seem to be having some salad weather is my recipe for Home Cured Ham

If it was Christmas or Easter or some other family occasion when you want a fair-sized ham I would do the leg… For us just for salad or sandwiches then I cook a piece of pork loin which is quicker to cure it only takes 5 days depending on how salty you like your ham and this is trial and error I cured two or three pieces before I got it exactly correct for us.

Ingredients:

• A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.
A suitable plastic (not metal) container to brine the meat in.
Ingredients for Rub:
• 4 tbsp salt (coarse)
• 2 tbsp Sugar.
• 1/2 tbsp Saltpetre(saltpetre)
Ingredients for Brine:
• 5 litres water
• 900 gm salt (coarse)
• 2 tbsp Sugar
• 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Day one:

  • Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.
  • Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.
  • Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. remove the pot from the heat.
  • Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two:

  • Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.
  • Store the ham cold.
  • Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.
  • Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.
  • IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.

Tip: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing. I didn’t the first time as I used my fingertips and thought I was being clever… I wasn’t… I had bad hands for about 10 days and now I always wear gloves… I learnt my lesson the hard way.

When the ham is cured use your favourite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.

I have cooked mine all ways usually I cover with water, bring it to the boil and then drain off all the water. Add fresh water and all my spices…I add a couple of bay leaves, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, about 3/4 cloves, a star anise and maybe a cardamom pod also about 2 tbsp of brown sugar…I cook for 20 mins per 500 gm of meat and then allow to cool overnight in the cooking water it is then ready to eat.

If it is a special occasion then once it has finished cooking I score the fat and stud with cloves, brushed with honey and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Another way which I did last Christmas was to use loin of pork instead of the leg and scored the fat….when I got to the boiling stage I added water to just below the fat and then when it was cooked covered the meat with foil leaving just the fat exposed then oiled and salted the fat whacked it in a high oven to crisp of the crackling…

It went down a storm everyone loved it…A bit more work but crispy crackling with your ham…awesome!

That is my home cured recipes for bacon and ham… I have a plan to buy a small smoker and have a go at smoking some bacon but that will be for another day I am sure once I get it that it will take a few goes before we find the perfect recipe and smoke for us and I do think with cooking and curing your own ham and bacon it is down to personal taste and trying different cuts of meat and herbs and flavourings until you get it perfect for you…

Now as it is salad time for many of you I don’t think that a lovely piece of home cured ham needs anything else but a lovely salad with some homemade dressings and this is where I am handing you over to Sally as she has some perfect dressings and also one for home made mayo and you can’t beat that…

Doesn’t that ham look lovely and the crackling?

Someone has just looked over my shoulder and asked me to make another one with crackling…So once we have eaten this normal home cooked ham I guess I will be making that one …

I will now hand you over to Sally and her lovely salad ideas: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/smorgasbord-health-column-summer-eating-chilled-soups-salads-and-dressings/

You could start with her lovely chilled Gazpacho soup.

Then Home cured ham with a lovely salad and homemade dressing.

Some home cooked bread… With a recipe to make your own buttermilk.
https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/buttermilk-bread/

And if you still have room some lovely fresh fruit salad: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/smorgasbord-health-column-make-the-most-of-summer-fruit-salad/

Who’s coming to dinner???

©Carol Taylor

I think that is lunch sorted for the next few days and I usually boil my own ham but I will whack it in the oven next time and get some of that crackling… thanks Carol… I always learn a new trick or two when reading your posts.

The other posts in the series 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

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

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 – Getting to Know You.


I know that you were expecting some new and delicious recipes here today from our resident cookery expert Carol Taylor… however, I thought instead that I would share Carol’s Getting to Know you post instead. Since you were already here!!!

Carol and I teamed up a year ago for a cook from scratch series (expect that to be reshared at some point). And then as the blog moved towards a more magazine style, I suggested that Carol might like to be the food columnist. Since the beginning of the year we have been treated to recipes for many of our favourite ingredients but also some of the more exotic offerings of her home in Thailand. Always beautifully presented and easy to follow.

Carol’s column directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

Before Carol shares the five questions that she has chosen for her interview, here is a little more about her.

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

Time for you to put your feet up as Carol shares her craziest moment, phobia, her childhood lessons about life, singing and favourite vegetable…..

What can you tell us about your craziest experience?

Come on when you get to my age how on earth do you pick one let alone remember your craziest experience? Was it sitting at the top of the highest ever sand dune in Lancelin WA knowing that there was only one way down? Nope! Was it completing all 26.2 miles around London for the Moon Walk…Close.

I was taken by a friend, and yes we are still friends, to an Improv night, which I hadn’t to my knowledge ever heard of. The only person I knew was my friend Annie. One of the exercises was being in a lift with others. This lift was of course fictional, and the aim was to, for want of a better word, get on the nerves of the other people in that lift, which by the way was stuck.

I chose to have a screaming baby, and I think my impression of that said baby was awesome as I tried to pacify it. There were also other various exercises to perform and what got into me that night I shall never know!  It was the best and craziest fun I have ever had…ever … I do think Annie saw me in a different light that night. The actress in me was born…a crazy night..

Do you have any Phobias?

Those who know me well know by now that I don’t do processed anything or trust anyone (manufacturers) in particular. Where did that start? I put it down to this most traumatic childhood experience. Every year without fail we went to Great Yarmouth and stayed in a B & B.  This particular night we had meat pies lovingly homemade… I cut into mine and all this green stuff oozed out.

My protests were cut short by my father, “Shut up and eat it”.

What happened? The lady who made the pies had pastry left over and made herself a lovely greengage jam pie. Which was the pie I received in error, except I also got the gravy.  The rest is history…

Have you ever played or sung in public?

Both… I used to love playing my grandmothers piano every night after school I would walk to my Nan’s and practise. I loved it!

I was also a choir girl and nothing made me happier than when my oldest son joined the choir at the same church. We used to have our Easter and Christmas pageants and one time I was picked to sing a solo.

I practised and practised until we got to the dress rehearsal; all was fine, then I just dried up…couldn’t sing. The choir master came up with a brilliant idea and asked one of the other girls to sing with me. The opening night came and we all sang and performed and then came our duet. It took me a few bars until I realised that the other (preplanned) girl had stopped singing, but by then I was in full throttle and carried on. My first solo.

What did you learn from your grandparents?

 

Carol’s grandparents, and her mother as a baby.

I loved nothing more than spending my school holidays on my Granddad’s farm he taught me how to milk the cows and my grandma taught me how to cook on her Aga…my first foray into the world of cookery…

I loved every minute and I now think I am back to my roots …I used to run behind the baler and stack the hay, pick peas and potatoes. I learnt so much…

The one thing my Grandfather told me was never eat Veal as the cows were born to die…and I know now, that yes eventually they will die, but not to be born and then die to provide Veal. He was very much against that and the process involved in making foie gras and I have never to my knowledge and never will eat veal or foie gras.

What is your favourite vegetable and how do you like it prepared?

Quite simply Runner Beans. I love all vegetables and in the main just simply steamed, raw or with a lovely simple sauce.

I remember picking runner beans as a child and I can still see my dad’s neat rows of canes shaped like a wigwam … the beans’ little tendrils curling around the canes as they climbed to the top.

Those little red flowers which turned into the loveliest of beans.How I like to eat them. Just strung, sliced and lightly steamed and served with a little proper butter.  Plain, simple but delicious.

Well that was hard Sally…I could have opted to choose a few of the others but I am so opinionated on certain subjects that there would have been no stopping me… I opted for safe ones. xxx

My thanks to Carol for sharing her experiences and I am sure that you enjoyed as much as I did. She will be back again next week with her regular column.

You can connect to Carol here:

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

I am sure that Carol will love to answer your questions and read your comments. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Food Column – Lemon Grass Chicken and Jamaican Chicken Wings


I just love cooking with citrus fruits not only are they healthy but they add such a lovely zing to a dish don’t you think?

Today my dishes includes either Orange or Lemon and when I was thinking about this and don’t ask why because I haven’t a clue my brain just wanders at times and goes off on a tangent.

But the Children’s Nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons, said the bells of St.Clements sprung to mind…Who remembers that? We used to play that game at parties and in the school playground…Did you?

Today I give you a recipe which was originally given to me by my friend Mamik who comes from Indonesia… she makes the most awesome Beef Rendang which I will share with you another day…

These chicken skewers are lovely and moist and making them on lemon grass skewers just enhances that lovely lemon flavour.

Lemon grass Chicken Skewers.

Ingredients:

• 1 kg minced chicken
• 4 – 5 garlic cloves , grated ( adjust to taste )
• 4 tsp white pepper powder
• 2 1/2 tsp salt ( to taste )
• 1-2 egg yolks
• 5 tbsp pounded lemon grass , white part only
• 10 pieces of coriander roots , pounded
• 2 tbsp coriander leaves , finely chopped
• 1 carrot , regular size , grated

  • 10 stalks of lemon grass cut the green bit into 10 cm long pieces to make skewers. Lemon grass is very plentiful here but if it is not so where you live then wooden skewers can be used. The lemon grass used as skewers does however impart that lovely lemon flavour which enhances the taste of the chicken.

Let’s Cook!

Mix all the ingredients above together; you may not need all the egg yolk so just add it bit by bit. If the mixture is too sticky you may add a little bit of bread crumb.

Take one dessert spoon of the mixture and shape it on the lemongrass stalk.

Arrange the chicken skewers on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil

Bake it in preheated oven at 180 degree C, for 20 – 30 minutes. The baking time may vary.

My oven tends to be very hot and it takes only 20 minutes, then I switch the oven off, and leave the chicken there for a while to get the slight brown colour.

Enjoy!

These skewers can be served as part of a meal or with a nice salad for a light lunch.
Serve with a peanut sauce.

Thai Peanut Sauce.

Peanut sauce for use with satay or vegetables pancakes anything you fancy it goes with almost anything. I love this easy peanut sauce as it has so much flavour and can be made up really quickly.

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
• 1 cup water
• 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
• 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar (palm sugar preferred)
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup oil
• 1 heaping tablespoon tamarind pulp (soaked in 1/4 cup water for 15 minutes, squeeze the tamarind pulp for juice and discard the pulp)
Spice Paste:
• 6-8 dried red chillies (seeded and soaked in warm water)
• 3 cloves garlic
• 3 shallots
• 2 lemon grass (white parts only)
• 1 inch galangal
• 1 tablespoon coriander powder (optional)

Let’s Cook!

Crush the peanuts with mortar and pestle or mini food processor until quite coarse and set aside.

Chop the spice paste ingredients and blend until fine. Heat oil and fry the spice paste until aromatic and smells spicy. Add the peanuts, tamarind juice, water, sugar, sweet soy sauce and stir thoroughly.

Simmer on a low heat while continuing to stir for about 3 minutes until the peanut sauce

turns smooth. Serve at room temperature with the satay or vegetables.

N.B. I use fresh peanuts and dry cook in hot pan just make sure you keep stirring or shaking them as they cook very quickly.

I just love this peanut sauce and keep a little pot in the fridge the taste is far superior to any peanut satay sauce I had ever had before I came to Thailand.

I also love cooking with Oranges again they just add that extra zing to a dish and turn an everyday dish into something a little special.

I was given this recipe when I was in Jamaica for my daughter’s wedding.

Which I must say was beautiful, a carrot cake beautifully iced was the wedding cake, steel drums, and a peaceful. Beautiful beach.

It really was amazing and just listening to those steel drums while eating our wedding breakfast it was just heavenly.

It was also while I was there that I discovered how awesome Jamaican food was and do they love their chillies? Oh Yes!

In Caribbean cooking, they have what call is their sunshine kit which includes ginger, bonnet peppers, nutmeg, sweet thyme and bay leaves.

I think I love chilli but those scotch bonnet peppers are something else. They are some hot bad boys. However, I can’t always or very often I should say get scotch bonnet but Thai chillies especially those little Birdseye ones can certainly pack a punch so what I am saying is use whatever chillies you normally cook with.

Jamaican Chicken Wings

Let’s Cook!

Ingredients.

12 chicken wings or drumsticks or a mixture just remember if you mix them cooking times will vary.

For the marinade, you will need.

• 4 spring onions chopped
• 2 tbsp thyme leaves
• 1 scotch bonnet chilli
• A knob of ginger finely chopped
• 100 ml cider vinegar
• 1 tsp cinnamon.
• 3 tbsp of honey
• 1 tsp allspice
• Salt and pepper.

Let’s cook

Put all this in a pestle and mortar and pound away or blitz in a food processor.

Marinate the chicken for at least 3 hours or overnight turning a few times in marinade to ensure even coating.

Cook the chicken on your BBQ or in the oven…wings take about 15 mins on a high heat but test, as they vary, depending on the heat and size and if cooking drums they will take longer.

A nice accompaniment to this is sugared oranges. To sugar, the oranges take two seedless oranges if you can get blood oranges they are better tasting and slice and cut into rings, roll them in 2 tbsp of brown sugar and put on the grill or in a hot pan turning until they are caramelised or they will burn.

I hope you have enjoyed these citrus flavoured recipes as much as we enjoy eating them.

Until next week if you live in colder climes then stay upright and warm…No falling over in the snow and ice and if like me you hail from sunnier climes then drink plenty of water or take lots of ice with it…lol

I think that I shall be trying both those recipes very soon.. sound like real comfort food and perfect for the weather we are having now. Thanks Carol

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

New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

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

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

Looking forward to your comments and it would be great if you could hit a few share buttons..thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Invitation Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Food Column – The wonder tree…Jack Fruit!


The wonder tree…Jack Fruit! by Carol Taylor

Wow, doesn’t time just fly by? I can’t believe it has been a week and what a response I got to the soups so thank you for all your kind comments…I thought I would have a change this week and showcase a fruit of which Thailand is a major producer The jackfruit, they are often cut, prepared, and canned in a sugary syrup (or frozen in bags/boxes without syrup) and exported overseas, frequently to North America and Europe. Made into chips which are very moreish …They are also used in various dishes and curries around Asia…

Many people refer to the jackfruit tree as a wonder tree this is because every part of the tree has its own use. The fruits are eaten, the leaves are fed to livestock, and the wood is greatly valued for the manufacture of wood products because of its termite and fungus proof properties and the roots used in natural medicine to treat fevers, asthma and diarrhoea.

How to prepare the Jackfruit… If I am using green Jackfruit like the recipe below then I just take one from my tree, if I want the ripe arils I generally buy them ready prepared as those of you who have prepared your own Jackfruit know that it has a latex sap…

I have heard and quite recently…my lips are sealed…lol, some horror stories when one doesn’t know how to prepare this amazing fruit.

An old knife and cooking oil…lots of it…

Firstly, coat your gloved hands and a long, sharp knife with cooking oil. A spray cooking oil works well — to protect against that stubborn latex sap.

Cover the work surface with something disposable….lots of newspaper.

Cut the fruit in half lengthwise and then lengthwise again into quarters; the cut skin and core will release the sap. Re-grease the knife after each cut.

Cut out the solid white core and discard any fibrous filaments around the fruit pods.

If you do get ooze on your hands, don’t worry – just put some oil on your hands, and wash them in warm water, it will be gone in no time!

Easy when you know how…Here is a short video for you…I am a visual person and find it much easier when I watch the video…the pause button is a wonderful thing…

I also just prefer to oil my hands as when I use gloves they are guaranteed to stick to the latex…I probably don’t oil them enough…But I prefer oiled hands

In Asia, jackfruits ripen principally from March to June, April to September, or June to August, depending on the climatic region, with some off-season crops from September to December, you may also find a few fruits at other times of the year.

My tree in my garden has started to produce fruit and to stop the squirrels helping themselves I will be covering the fruits in plastic bags… But as you can see they are growing nicely and there are a lot of little babies as well.

The jackfruit’s flesh is very sweet and aromatic and tastes like a combination of banana, mango and papaya.

Because of certain similarities in appearance the oval shape and spiky exterior some people mistake the jackfruit for Durian which is another exotic fruit; however, they are very different fruits.

The ripe jackfruit is eaten as a fruit but unripe jackfruit is prepared as a vegetable. Young jackfruit is used in stews or curries, boiled, roasted; or fried and eaten as a snack. The seeds can also be eaten as a snack after being boiled and then roasted.

Jackfruit is also becoming a popular alternative to meat for vegans, vegetarians and anyone wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle as when cooked the texture is similar to pulled pork.

Today I will be making a spicy jackfruit salad which in Thai is called Tam Khanun or Tam banun it is made by pounding boiled jackfruit with chilli paste and then stir frying.

First step over and that was cutting the Jackfruit…I can guarantee if you use an oiled knife and grease your hands the latex doesn’t stick…You do have to keep re-greasing the knife though but any which attached itself came off easily with the cooking oil..

My jackfruit slices are now simmering gently on the stove…

Once they are tender and cooled down enough for me to remove the outer skin I will be doing so…

Ingredients for Tam Kanun:

  • 400 gm green, young Jackfruit
  • 100 gm minced pork
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes cut in quarters.
  • 3- 6 tsp Chilli paste ( depending on your taste)

To serve:

  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • 5 dried birds eye chillies fried
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic.
  • 1 tbsp coriander

Let’s Cook!

Once cooked drain the jackfruit well, pound in a pestle and mortar and set to one side. I had heard cooked this looks like pulled pork and it does…

Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the garlic until it is nicely browned add the chilli paste and stir fry for a minute.

Add the minced pork and stir fry until it is cooked 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and the jackfruit stir fry to combine well add the kaffir lime leaves and remove from the heat.

Serve with sticky rice and the fried garlic, chillies, spring onions and coriander as garnish.
This is the first time I have made or eaten this dish… I was very pleasantly surprised if I hadn’t cooked it and it was put in front of me I would never have known it was

Jackfruit…Truly ☺ What do you think??

Tam Kanun Spicy Jackfruit Salad… we all loved it and I would definitely make it again.

The ripe Jackfruit arils (pictured) below are eaten here with sticky rice just pushed into the centre.

They also make a lovely ice cream which if you swop the whipping cream for soy milk is suitable for vegans.

Jackfruit Ice Cream.

Ingredients:

  • 300 gm of the ripe arils (as above)
  • 10gm sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 120 gm coconut milk
  • 200 gm whipped cream.

Let’s Cook!

Chop the jackfruit and put in a pan with the sugar cook until the fruit turns to pulp about 30/40 mins depending on how ripe your fruit is. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Place the cooled mixture in the blender with the salt, vanilla extract and the coconut milk and blend until smooth… Chill overnight in the fridge.

Next day whip your cream and fold the jackfruit mix into the whipped cream and place in your ice cream maker following their instructions.

If you are not using an ice cream maker then put in the blender and pulse 3 times.

Put into an airtight container and freeze for 6 hours.

Enjoy!

That’s all for this week so until next week when I will be back to European food…Have fun, stay safe and laugh a lot.

And if you have children or grandchildren they might enjoy this video cartoon on the Jackfruit that they can sing along to.

And don’t forget any questions or recipes you want me to find for you please ask…
Carol x

You can find my previous columns in the directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-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

New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

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

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

My thanks to Carol for showing us how to prepare this exotic if complex fruit… considering the nutrients it contains, well worth the effort. I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Review 2017 – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – Don’t forget to eat your Purples – The Aubergine


 

This was the most viewed post of the Cook from Scratch with myself and Carol Taylor… I hope many more people are including the wonderful aubergines in their diet after reading these recipes.

Welcome to the series where I provide the nutritional health benefits for a food and Carol Taylor works all week in the kitchen to provide delicious recipes to include in your regular diet. I hope you will go over to her new blog which she has just started: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/ and discover more about her beautiful home in Thailand.

Before we enjoy another wonderful selection of recipes from Carol Taylor it is time to look at the health benefits of this richly coloured vegetable.

Don’t forget to eat your purples! – The Augergine history and health benefits.

There are certain foods that on my shopping list regularly as daily or weekly additions to our diet and others that we might have a little less often.. One of these is aubergines which I love but only eat occasionally as I have a tendency towards gallstones. If you do not suffer from either gallstones or kidney stones then you can enjoy a couple of times a week at least.

We were all encouraged to eat our ‘greens’ when we were children, and we know that the brighter the food colour the more anti-oxidants they contain, but I cannot recollect being told to eat my ‘purples’. But it is this colour which gives this food its uniqueness.

When we are enjoying a moussaka or ratatouille made with this versatile food we don’t tend to dwell on its medicinal properties, but like the majority of fresh produce we eat, aubergines have some powerful health benefits.

The History of the aubergine.

The aubergine has its origins in ancient India and is mentioned by different names in Sanskrit, Bengali and Hindustani languages.  It was grown in China as well but only came to Europe around 1,500 years ago.  There is no Latin or Greek name for it but there are Arabic and North African names indicating that it came to this continent via that trade route.

Americans call it the eggplant, and in India it is known as Brinjal.  In Spain, aubergines are called berengenas or ‘apples of love’ for supposed aphrodisiac properties. Something that I take on faith!  In northern Europe they had a strange notion that eating the vegetable caused fevers and epileptic seizures and named it Mala Insana or ‘mad apple’. It is also known as melanzana, garden egg and patlican in other languages.

The aubergine belongs to the nightshade family that includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes.  It grows from a vine and will vary in size and colour although the flesh of all the different types tends to be slightly bitter and spongy in texture.

When you are selecting the aubergine go for the smaller, smooth skinned vegetable.  Gently push with your thumb and if the flesh gives slightly but springs back it is ripe.  If the indentation remains it is overripe and will be soggy inside.  If you knock on the fruit and it sounds hollow it will be too dry and inedible.

What are the medicinal properties of the aubergine.

As with all plants, the aubergine has a sophisticated defence system to ensure its survival.  When we eat it, we inherit some of these properties and our bodies process and use specific nutrients to benefit our own health. The aubergine has an abundance of nutrients including antioxidants, phenolic compounds including chlorogenic acid and flavonoids such as nasunin.

Nasunin is a potent antioxidant in the skin of the aubergine and has been studied for its ability to prevent free radical damage to cell membranes.  Lipids or fats are the main component of cell membranes and not only protect the cell from damage but also regulate the passage of nutrients and waste in and out of the cell.  The research is focusing on brain cell health and eating aubergines regularly may help protect us from degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  Nasunin may also help prevent oxidative damage to the LDL or the unhealthier cholesterol in our blood that leads to plaque in the bloodstream and blockages in the arteries.

Nasunin also assists with the regulation of iron in the body.  Iron is an essential nutrient required for the transportation of oxygen in the blood and our immune function. However, too much iron can increase free radical damage and is linked to heart disease, cancer and degenerative joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.  Nasunin is an iron chelator, which means that it binds with the iron processed from the food we eat and transports it safely in the blood stream preventing excess iron from causing damage to cells.

What are the benefits of Chlorogenic Acid.

Chlorogenic acid is a phenolic compound and one of the most potent free radical scavengers in plant tissues. It is very abundant in aubergines and very effective against free radical damage to LDL cholesterol. Additionally it may help prevent certain cancers and viral infections.  Like Brussel sprouts some varieties of aubergine can be very bitter and it is thought that this is due to very high levels of Chlorogenic acid, which is also responsible for the rapid browning of the flesh when it has been cut.

Other good reasons to include aubergines in your diet on a regular basis.

The aubergine is a good source of dietary fibre, which not only helps prevent constipation but also helps eliminate waste from the body and prevent the build-up of plaque in the bloodstream leading to arterial disease.  Recent research is identifying some very interesting properties in certain fibres including the ability to absorb and eliminate harmful bacteria from the body without the need for antibiotics.  Fibre in the diet has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer and also regulate blood sugar levels

By eating aubergines regularly you will also be including healthy amounts of potassium, manganese, copper, vitamins B1, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin C, magnesium and tryptophan.  It is what I call a well-rounded food.

Are there any drawbacks to eating aubergines?

The majority of us can enjoy aubergines on a regular basis in our diet and obtain its full health benefits, but as I mentioned earlier, a small proportion of people should avoid eating it.

The aubergine contains relatively high concentrations of oxalates, which are found in all plants and humans. If oxalates are too concentrated they crystallise and form stones in the kidneys and the gallbladder.  If you already suffer from kidney or gallbladder problems then it would be best to avoid aubergines.  This also applies to rheumatoid arthritis and gout sufferers, as this vegetable is part of the nightshade family and could increase the symptoms of these diseases.  This applies to tomatoes as well.  I have found that cooked tomatoes cause me less problems and they are too nutritionally rich to avoid completely.  I suggest you try eating cooked tomatoes twice a week, three days apart and monitor your symptoms.

Now time to hand over to Carol, who despite a very busy week, has as always produced some amazing dishes for us.

Aubergines adding purple to your diet.

Aubergines or egg plants as I know them are eaten a lot here in Thailand…They are made into dips, sauces, stir fries, curries …I also had a beautiful Tian but that wasn’t Thai it was in a lovely restaurant on the beach.

It was very finely sliced egg plants layered with tomatoes and courgettes and cooked until the flavours mingled together …I had it with fish and it was very nice…

I am always being surprised at what I find tucked away when I least expect it.
Egg plant also makes a lovely vegetarian curry when they are roasted and paired with a coconut curry .

Image Pinterest

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Japanese eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Thai chili, sliced (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro, to garnish

How to prepare

  1. Make the curry using coconut milk cooked with fresh ginger, garlic, fish sauce and a little raw sugar and onions…
  2. Sear the aubergine over the BBQ FOR 3-5 minutes then add to the coconut mixture…
  3. Cook for a few minutes until the egg pant has absorbed some of the coconut curry and serve with rice or noodles…

Sally has told us how beneficial they are to our health so I am now going to give you some recipes which I hope you enjoy.

Starting with? Thai Green Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into cubes.
  • 6 Thai egg plant. cut into quarters……They are the larger ones in the pictures.
  • 2-4 tbsp green curry paste
  • Bunch small egg-plant (optional) Pea like size in Picture.
  • 10 straw mushrooms quartered or use button mushroom.
  • 5/6 stems of Thai sweet basil (pick of leaves1 large or 2 small cans of coconut milk

Let’s Cook!

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in your pan and add the curry paste I would start with 1/2 tbsp curry paste …You can always adjust the heat later in your cooking… I don’t know how hot you eat curry so would always suggest start small.
  2. Cook for 1-2 minutes to release the flavour, add tbsp fish sauce cook for a further 2 minutes then slowly add coconut milk and simmer gently.
  3. Add the chicken, cook on simmer for 20 mins then add vegetables and Thai basil cook for further 20 mins.
  4. Serve with Steamed or boiled rice.
  5. If you are making veggie curry just omit chicken and add carrots and broccoli or veg of your choice.
  6. When we had our restaurant, chef always put extra veg in mine as she knew I liked veg so can add to chicken curry as well if you like although that is not the norm just how she did mine.
  7. You can use beef or pork instead of chicken if you like but will req longer cooking.
  8. Garnish with sprig Thai basil and extra sliced chilli… if required.

N.B. You can get curry paste called Nam Ploy from supermarkets in the UK which is a good substitute unless you prefer to make your own paste. We buy ours from local markets which is freshly made and the curry is a lovely vibrant green colour.

Image Pinterest

Aubergines are also nice just sliced, seasoned and put on an oiled baking sheet in a hot oven for 5-7 minutes 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 yogurt
  • juice ½ lemon/lime
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • olive oil , to drizzle

How to prepare

  1. Char the aubergines over a flame or cook in the oven and remove skin.
  2. Tip into a food processor with the yogurt, 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 egg plant
  • 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 egg plant, 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 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.
    Serve with noodles or raw vegetables.

The Greek Moussaka is a beautiful dish with luscious layers of minced meat, tomato sauce, béchamel sauce and sweet eggplants.

Also they make a very nice au-gratin layered with potatoes and goats cheese.

Grilled and cubed with watermelon they make a lovely salad using sesame oil as a dressing.

Eggplants are also used in Indian cuisine and pair very nicely with cumin, garam masala and other Indian spices….

All in all a very versatile vegetable….

Quick and easy Aubergine and feta rolls.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, trimmed and sliced into 6 1/2-inch-thick lengthwise slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled or cubed feta
  • 2 Tbs. chopped pitted Kalamata olives optional
  • 2 Tbs. chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as chives, parsley, and basil); more for garnish

Let’s Cook!

  1. Cut aubergines into slices long ways; brush them with oil and season. Grill until the aubergine slices have griddle marks on one side about 3 minutes. In a small bowl combine either crumbled feta or feta cubes and mix with olive oil and herbs.
  2. Put the feta mix or cube of feta on the widest part of the aubergine and roll. Put on a serving dish and sprinkle with olive oil, pepper and herbs before serving.

Egg Plant sauce for pasta

Ingredients – Makes 7 pints or 4 quarts.

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 2lbs egg plants peeled and cubed
  • 8 cups tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp fresh basil
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine

Let’s Cook!

  1. In a very large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic; cook until the onion is soft.
  3. Add tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, and wine; stir.
  4. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Put into hot sterilised jars and seal.
  6. Process the jars of sauce in a hot water bath for 40 minutes.
  7. This is a great sauce served over pasta with Mozzarella cheese.

Baba Ganoush

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves finely diced
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flat leaved parsley
  • ½ cup brine cured black olives optional

Let’s Cook!

  1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.
  2. Preheat an oven to 375°F.
  3. Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire.
  4. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.
  7. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl.
  8. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste
  9. Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well.
  10. Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.
  11. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.
  12. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley.
  13. Place the olives around the sides.
  14. Serve at room temperature.

Once again many thanks to Sally for sharing her wonderful knowledge on the benefits of the Aubergine and allowing me to share my recipes for the Aubergine which I hope you have enjoyed.

As you can see it has been a busy week in the kitchen, and so grateful to Carol for all the hard work that she has gone to again, to make recipes that do the ingredients justice.

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!

Connect to Carol

New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology.

 

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

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

Please feel free to share thanks Sally

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – The 13 Trolls of Christmas! by Carol Taylor


Time for the second of Carol Taylor’s Christmas posts from her archives and this time something a little darker.. but still fun.

The 13 Trolls of Christmas! by Carol Taylor

What fun..We all love to regale our children and grandchildren with tales from Christmas past…most real, some imagined and we all…Come On…Admit it!

We have all stooped to bribery, corruption or just plain tall tales to make the kiddiwinks BEHAVE!

Forget boring advent calendars….

Icelandic parents enthral their children (and scare) them into being good with tales of the Ogress living in the Icelandic mountains.

She is one scary Mumma, described as half troll/animal and the mother of 13 naughty boys known as the “Yule Lads”. Grýla lives in the mountains with her husband, her thirteen children and a black cat.

And that cat is pretty scary too….

Old Icelandic folklore states that every Icelander must receive a new piece of clothing for Christmas or they will find themselves in mortal danger. An enormous black cat prowls Iceland on Christmas Eve and eats anyone who doesn’t follow this simple rule. This obnoxious feline is known as the Christmas Cat.

The legend goes that every Christmas, Grýla and her sons come down from the mountains: Grýla in search of naughty children to boil in her cauldron and the boys in search of mischief. She can only capture children who misbehave but those who say sorry must be released.

Wow….that story will get the kiddies hiding under the bed covers.

The husband is not as wicked as her… but a bone-idle, lazy slob.

The boys aka “The Yule” lads are naughty and mischievous and have wonderful names…Oh, what stories you could weave….and what fun you could inject into your stories.

And what funny names they have.. Spoon- Licker is tall and thin. He steals unwashed spoons, which he licks clean. and Door- Slammer well as the name implies…. Slams doors which are kept ajar at night, keeping people awake.

Icelandic children place a shoe in their bedroom window each evening in the 13 days before Christmas. Every night one Yuletide lad visits, leaving sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes(Yuk), depending on how a child has behaved on that day.

I think It’s much better than a boring advent calendar, just think of the tales you can weave and what fun you and the kids could have and such a cool way to keep the little darlings in check.

How about Sausage -swiper he hides in the rafters to snatch sausages which are hung up for smoking.

Nothing is safe from these wicked boys…

What tales do you tell your children?

I was really lucky…because my youngest believed in Santa Claus until she was about 13 years old…she was much ridiculed by her peers but stood her ground and insisted that she had seen Santa.

Well, she had….She was 3 yrs old and one of my son’s friends asked if he could ( while dressed) up as Santa take a little present upstairs and put it in Laurens stocking.

He was told by me in no uncertain terms ” Do NOT wake her up”

Well, she did wake up..but the clever boy put his fingers to his lips and told her to shhhhhh and go back to sleep or I can’t leave your presents.

Which she did, from that Christmas onwards for many years she was insistent to all and sundry when they laughed and told her Santa didn’t exist…..That she knew he did because she had seen him…so thank you Adam.for keeping a little girls dreams alive!

I wish I had known about the 13 trolls though….

©CarolTaylor 2016

Thanks to Carol for putting the Scary into Christmas!  And here is her chosen piece of music…Silent Night sung by the Winchester Cathedral Choir.

 

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!

Connect to Carol

New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

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

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

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

I am now looking for archive posts for the festive season.. short stories fiction and non-fiction, food and recipes, humour, memorable Christmas’s etc.  Please send one or two posts to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.. I will be resuming the regular archive series in the New Year.  Thanks Sally.