Category Archives: Curing

Tonight I dream , Tomorrow I do !

Another archived post from 2015..Cured Pork Belly, Art and Spiders. I hope you enjoy my older posts as they give you the reader some insight into what makes me tick…

Retired? No one told me!

Well, I flipping hope so.

I have spent days trying to figure out this linking. Had some great advice thank you, you know who you are.

Thought I had cracked it. Wrong! Published it and nought but blanks this picture is soooooo me at the moment.

questions-1922476_1920 (1)Photo source:

Where’s the vino???????

Rant over.

I’ll start again.

Good Morning everyone what a lovely sunny day it is.

The bacon has been sizzlingSAM_6497 and sampled so as promised here you go folks.

The Recipe:

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.


Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other Spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with Celery juice until damp.

Rub into Pork.SAM_6494

Place Pork in a sealed container…

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26 Week Photo Challenge: “H”

This weeks challenge is the letter ” H ” to check out the lovely Lori’s photos Please Click Here

Now what can I come up with…now let me see….my lovely ” Home Cured Ham”


I also have ” Hats and Hair” Enjoying the Songkram Celebrations.


My home-made ” Hot Cross Buns” lovely and hot… fresh from the oven and spread with butter. Yum!


And this is not the drink of the Gods..close…but my boys favorite tipple and those who know me just know that alcohol will feature somewhere in my posts..ha ha



Have a lovely ” Mothers Day ” and for those who getting through this day will be a struggle I send you the biggest virtual hug… be at peace, stay safe and smile 🙂

Merry Christmas One and All.

Phewww nearly there and nearly over and I bet I’m not the only one who will sit down, put their feet up with glass of vino or whatever your tipple is and give a big sigh……

In the meantime..ha ha…where shall we start???????

Bacon brining check, pressies wrapped check, well still waiting for 3, yes 3, princess dresses for my 3-year-old granddaughter to arrive..this is not because she doesn’t already have a wardrobe full..but she wants a long the ground Nannie???SAM_4095And if you aren’t familiar with ” Frozen” and no I don’t mean when you have been out in the cold and snow , walking the mutt and your fingers and feet are fit to drop off…… I mean ” Frozen” and that song is forever etched upon my brain..ha ha….I meant to order one but when said child is on your lap whilst you are perusing the can you say NO??????  Yeh, Yeh I hear you ……

Sausage rolls sorted and when you can’t get sausage adapt and I have  and I will say so myself you would not know the difference.SAM_7407

Woof…sneaked in while she ( my mistress) is taking a break……haven’t been around much lately……been a bit..just a tad…naughty……I like chasing joggers on the beach woof ….they spoil all my fun so now I have to stay on the lead…..sorted that one..chewed through it..he he……Well it was old I had it 3 days..ooopppps…. But woof I think I have learnt…because every time I growled and barked…and I must say…I sound fierce… mistress slapped me with her flip flop….and I thought they were for chewing and I can jump the wall even though my master has put something on the top …….woof…..pesky cats..gotta chase them…so when their friend came over the other day …woof…..I grew a brain…. Didn’t bark, let him stroke me and they were happy… I think I know what to do now…….those pressies look nice …I wonder if I can peek……do you think? woof…. Merry Christmas …

Oh I see Saang Chai has added his two penneth  ha ha……. he was such good boy the other day when a friend came round didn’t growl or bark, hopefully he has learnt, he is so lovely and I hate scolding him but he has been so naughty at times….puppies…..

So it’s nearly upon us …..just the last-minute bits to do and then it’s the New Year…..


I hope you all have a wonderful time, eat , drink and be merry as they say and laugh a lot…play all your christmas oldies and enjoy! Love you all xxxxx


Christmas Recipes Part 3.

Ham Brined, cooked and yummy. After a few trials and stupid here who had her silly head on and just cocked it up! We have perfection! Well close..ha ha.

Mincemeat soaked overnight ( standing on a tray filled with water)SAM_7360 and wet t/towel..pesky ants..didn’t want to swim..ha ha. Where there is a will there is way says the human to the ants…. For those of you who want to make their own then here is the recipe..


36oz of dried fruit…..I used raisins, sultanas, chopped prunes and some dried cranberries.

12oz brown sugar.

Zest and juice of 2 oranges and 2 lemons.

2oz chopped almonds or nut of your choice.

1lb Apples peeled and chopped.

8oz vegetable suet.

4tsp mixed spice.

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4tsp fresh nutmeg grated.

6 tbsp Brandy.

Mix all ingredients except for Brandy, cover and leave overnight SAM_7359for fruit to plump up and absorb flavours.

Cook on very low heat for 30 mins.

Cool and stir in Brandy.

Spoon into sterilized jars , cover tightly. Store in cool dark place.

Home brined and Cooked Ham.


2 kilo Piece of Pork Loin.

For Rub:

4tbsp Salt.

2 tbsp sugar.

scant 1/2 tbsp Salt Petre.


21/2 Litres of Water.

900 gm salt.

2tbsp sugar.

1/2 tbsp salt petre.

Method Day One.

Very important …Put on gloves..I use surgical gloves.

Mix salt,Sugar and Salt Petre together. Rub over Pork and put in container , cover and leave in fridge overnight.

Brine: Measure out water into saucepan, add salt,sugar and salt petre. Bring to boil. Simmer 10 mins and cool. I cool overnight.

Day Two:

Remove Pork from Container..clean container with weak bleach solution.

Put Pork back and cover completely with Brine.

Put in fridge and leave for 4-5 days.

Cook by chosen  method either bake in oven or cook on hob. I prefer cooking on hob as I think it keeps ham moist. SAM_7362

I cover Pork with water bring to the boil then drain of water. Add fresh water and Bay leaves, Peppercorns, Coriander seed, mustard seeds black and yellow,Piece cinnamon, 4 or  5 cloves, cardamom seeds and tbsp brown sugar. You can use any mix you prefer I generally use what I have in my cupboard on the day,  I have also added cider to the water on occasions or beer.

Cook for 35 mins per kilo. Allow to cool in water.



This is my opinion and I have considered this seriously…I have used celery juice mix to brine which was ok but it had that underlying taste of celery which although I like celery did not particularly like the taste on my ham. Salt petre for the amount used and the dilution which according to my research the human body can cope with,  against the fact that if I contracted botulism because of my brining my body was unlikely to cope with .. my personal decision for myself and my family was to use it….You must however use gloves as if it comes into contact with your skin it will cause a reaction.

My personal take on this was I am sure that during my lifetime I have unknowingly consumed far more and maybe far worse than I could envisage so this to me was a considered decision and I believe this way I am consuming less preservatives than in bought ham or bacon. Again my personal take on this.

Wow that was a lot of spiel for me…


A writer is simply a photographer of thoughts….

I love this quote,  it certainly resonates with me.

This warned….may become a rant…I have had a mixed  couple of weeks ..some happy times and some very, very sad times…

I am happy because my not so little Soi Dog has settled in well…has his own blog …and although he chews it’s because he wants to get in or out, well maybe not all of it but he is lovely and I wouldn’t do without him……Soi Dogs do a wonderful job and if you can donate or adopt it would make a little dog very happy.. I have put this link on so you see what great work they do to save the dogs on the streets…….

I am happy because back from my retreat my fingers are flying….All of  my short stories are edited and typed up ready for our book to celebrate our retreat and also for the 2nd volume of The Phuket Writers Anthology…which will be out early next year. My cookbook is taking shape and although my novel is a bit on the back burner due to other commitments I have lots of ideas…so all good. So if any of you lovely bloggers want to come along next year it would be great to meet you click on this link to read all about it and the lovely Annie my friend and mentor who is an amazing lady……

I am happy  because I have ham brining Ham home curedand there is nothing better than homemade ham. Next week I’ll put the recipe I use on my blog as Christmas is coming and it’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to what we should be making our mincemeat and puds so I think I will do a Christmas recipe one..mmmm now that’s a good idea methinks..talked myself into that one..ha ha

I am happy because  one of us  Lori Jean Grace has published a book on Amazon …  A Michelle Angelique Urban Action Adventure Thriller Series Book #1 (Michelle Angelique Avenging Angel Assassin) Kindle Edition…Just click this link to buy :  Sista’z Revenge is a pacy thriller and Book 1 of a series…….  Love the cover, I have my copy and I can’t wait to read…I know the blood , sweat and tears which have gone into this …….so this afternoon I will settle down with my glass of chilled vino and read.

Sista'z Revenge

Now to the sadness I am heart-broken for a good friend of mine..who lost her son Phillip to Cancer this morning Friday 13th, he was 1 year and 11 days older than my son. None of us think our children will go before us..none…I keep reading of all these alternative cures maybe they work, maybe they don’t, maybe they can be used alongside conventional medicine..maybe it will stop being about money…maybe the big pharmaceuticals will lose their stranglehold on the world of medicine…so many maybe’s ..

I am sad that human life is worth less in some parts of this beautiful world than a bottle of water.

I am sad for Phillips mum and dad who now have the added pain of watching their only daughter fight cancer . Their only two children and both have this disease???

I am sad for those two little boys who have lost a beloved uncle and have a sick mother.

I am sad of being sad and wish with all my heart that God would step in and right some wrongs, that governments, teachers,anyone who can..and doesn’t….does…

I am sad because I have woken up and read about the terrible loss of life in France … Bombs and shootings …so many innocent people…….so many lives lost.

So if I only had two wishes in my life…. it would be for a cure for Cancer and other terrible diseases and World Peace……. methinks none of that will come to pass in my lifetime…I hope it does in my children’s and grand children’s……..

maudlin or What????? Next time it will be Christmas Recipes and all bright and jolly…….today  I just can’t muster that feeling of heart broken for my friend and her family…..


Until next time stay happy and love your neighbour unless of course the bass Music blaringis banging out at silly o’clock………….

You don’t have to put an age limit on your dreams!

I truly think that is my wildest dreams and imagination I would have never, ever thought I would be doing what I do now or live where I live…..even my thoughts are different to even 5 years ago..maybe this is what I really always wanted but life sometimes overtakes you, gets in the way all sorts of reasons or maybe I just didn’t have the courage…I am certainly braver than I was…I speak about things I would never have before and to strangers…I respond to blogs with an ..I don’t know…maybe abandon….I am definitely calmer…pfffff that’s a relief..not so hot-headed as when I was young…..still don’t like my photo taken ……..I have been reading many blogs lately..some political so I can try to understand some of the things going on in the world..but I also think that sometimes however much you learn or think you understand..some people are just bad, through and through…

I read blogs about what is being put in our food and drink,  again so much to plough through…… once you start clicking on links….so I have decided that rather than becoming paranoid I will do what I think is reasonable for me, for family……some things we eat very rarely or the quantities are so minute..for example…I brine my own ham and baconSAM_6497..why?….well because I have more time to do so…Because I don’t like slimy, processed ham..yuk…so again… research…so much information….do I use ” Salt Petre” or natural brining agents…mmmmmmm well tried celery was ok and I like celery but not as an after taste in my bacon…..well I deduced from all my findings that for the amount used and the dilution ratio that it wasn’t that much of a opinion let me say…..the human body can process  small amounts….however if we contracted botulism because I didn’t use’s likely that the human body would not fight that successfully…no brainer really…my opinion guys…so as I don’t eat bacon sarnies every single day and two on Sundays as well as having a shop bought,additive laden BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich for lunch 5 days a week…..and eat ham or bacon in every other guise  for the remainder of my weeks meals then I’m pretty safe I think.

I read blogs about vaccinations..or one blog that I chanced upon and it presented both sides of the argument/discussion…… again my opinion but the increase in bad cases of measles and whooping-cough lead me to think that immunisation is not a bad thing….again my opinion.

I  also read a previous post on this blog which was about people who me….have lovely island views, dogs, cats, food,etc but no pic of themselves and saying…. “Who are you really?” was actually well written and made me think …that in this day and age we have to be really careful who we chat to…so after much deliberation …I have decided that you lot are all grownups and if I post a mug shot of me… won’t keep you awake at night …so…..Ta Da!



Wow what a week!

Well where to start……the nest has eggs in it once again and mummy is busy keeping them warm she only leaves when she is hungry and the other day when the heavens opened bless her she sat, she was soaked but she sat on those little eggs.

You could also hear a pin drop…hark! shhhhhhhhh it’s so quiet.

Everyone is away visiting nannies,brothers and mum’s oh and the dreaded visa run…..

So what have I been doing?????

Oh it’s been a hive of activity, courtesy of my Indonesian friend she gave a cooking lesson on how to make Beef Rendang and it’s quite preparation heavy but so worth it and I left with not only …a sample and the recipe but leaves ( turmeric) for when I attempt mine and hints and tips galore..thank you Mamik.

And of course I will share with you.

I have a lovely Pork Loin brining away and it will be ready by Wednesday for my Majong buddies to sample.

Had a glut of Cucumbers so they are now sliced and packed into jars and nearly ready to eat.

SAM_6880………….I used 4 cucumbers ( they are short ones here) not long like in Uk . Peel and slice ( I sliced quite thickly) 1 Large Onion peeled and sliced, 3 cups vinegar, I cup water, 1/4- 1/2 cup sugar or spendida sweetener( I only used just under quarter cup and salt to season if required. Whisk together in jug.Put alternate slices of cucumber and onion in jar until full , pour in vinegar mix to top of jar making sure to cover completely. Screw on lid and refrigerate . Ready to eat in 2 days if you can resist we often can’t.

My lovely neighbour came bearing gifts of Mangoes so they have been duly pureed and in the freezer..would have been Ice Cream cos I came across a lovely recipe for mango ice cream with sea salt and chilli..yum! I was drooling..short lived.. when I read further down the said recipe I need an Ice Cream Machine and guess who doesn’t have one?

Well trawled the second-hand sites as a lot of people only live here a short while and then sell practically new goods before they move on…..and lo and behold I found one but didn’t want the freezer that went with it…or do I..more storage for my cooking……mmmmmm the jury’s out on that one…..

But I need a new camera more? Do I ? mmmmmm Ice cream plus freezer or Camera?

And of course I have been working on my novel and trying to master that pesky will not beat me….. I think if I keep telling myself that often enough I will be a master at it before I can say BOO!

Oh and I was also sent a recipe by a dear Swiss friend for ” Suure Mocke ” , or Sauerbraten, marinated Beef a family recipe so I will try it and pass it on to you my friends…sounds good, the Beef is marinated for 5 days in the vino..yes 5 days folks..sound yum or  sound yummy???

So all in all it’s been a week of learning and experimenting for me I love it.

Well I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings I am now off to see if I can locate my Curry Seedlings that some nice man has sent me …when tracking it said ” out for delivery” address not recognised, does that mean they left a card? if so where?  if address not recognised?…mmmmm no wonder the birds nest in my post box cos the postman sure does not use it we say TIT ( This is Thailand) Wish me luck!

Enjoy until next time happy reading and have fun x