Tag Archives: Rural Thailand

Retired No One Told Me!..Weekly Roundup… It’s all about the Flavour…

Welcome to my weekly roundup …you know the procedure by now..comfy chair, a drink relax and enjoy!

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My first post week was one which bought back memories of a lovely holiday in Malta and their lovely National dish of rabbit stew which in turn made me remember my granddad and my uncle Ken…Both of who worked on the land and taught me much when growing up…The rabbits were mostly poached(shhh) and his ferret definitely not a pet but that is life and how it is…The rabbit stew, however, my mum and Nan used to make..I loved it!

Enjoy recipes and I think I will be making my first octopus dish as Jovina’s recipe sounds and looks glorious…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/cooking-the-mediterranean-island-countries/

Then it was my regular Tuesday No more Diets …Healthy Eating… I started keeping a food diary as I had decided no more biscuits with my morning cuppa…Day 6 and No biscuits I sent Lily home with the biscuits so as to avoid temptation…How did all this come about? I read the lovely Sally’s post and perused the chart she provided and was shocked that those two biscuits could have such an impact so I duly weighed myself and started my food diary…

The plan??? Keep the diary and weigh myself every Monday( no hopping on and off the scales)…Well…Today is Sunday and the lure of the scales just too much…4LBS… OFF!

 

You two are so dumped from my diet…

I will also be truthful and did dump the Haribos only little packets of jellies but nearly every night… 2 things and 4 LB in 6 days…

Thank you, Sally, for getting me refocused …Hugs! xxx

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/healthy-eatingno-more-dietseat-yourself-slim/

Wednesday is the day I can indulge my passion for cooking courtesy of Sally and this week it was my favourite recipes …The recipes I make the most instead of buying them…

Healthier, it saves me money…A no-brainer really and it takes less time to make them than it takes to get in the car, negotiate the traffic, find a car parking space and then queue at the till and you still have to drive home…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-fajita-spice-tahini-peanut-butter-hummus/

Following on from Fruity Friday and the red Bananas I discovered along with some things I didn’t know …That all red bananas are not naturally red…The ones on the bunch are but not the pretty looking red bananas in a dessert…They are red because they are cooked in Lime water?? A trip to the local market with my daughter in law and we found the red paste…Spoiler Alert!

Small cooking bananas

Today I will be cooking the green bananas and turning them into a red dessert and all will be revealed on Friday…..

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/what-is-lime-water-nam-pboon-sai/

It was then the turn of one of my archived posts about the tradition of charcoal making down on the farm which the lovely Sally once again showcased for me …Such a generous lady is our Sal xxx

charcoal-pit

The tradition of making charcoal here in rural Thailand.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-thailand-down-on-the-farm-making-charcoal-by-carol-taylor/

Date time…I should be so lucky as sung by Kylie… Stuffed with blue cheese they are a wonderous thing or wrapped in bacon… I love those beautiful patterned Tagines, don’t you???Fruity Friday Dates (1)

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/fruity-friday-dates/

Lastly …Are you still with me??? Do you need to take five, top up your cuppa ???

Lastly, I took you on a journey through the 5 tastes of  Thai cuisine the ingredients which make up those tastes of Spicy, Sour, Sweet, Salty and Bitter…

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How you don’t get a starter, main course and then a dessert here… Even in a restaurant that serves western food Thais don’t get the concept of individual courses as their food is about the whole meal and how the flavours compliment each other how if you have a hot curry you will get a mild but tasty soup and stir-fry…

Which is why a Thai recipe is a guide as chillies vary in heat, fish sauce can vary by brand, depending on the time of year the taste of limes vary which takes me back to what I always say to you TASTE and TASTE again build your flavours to suit your palate and then you may be able to say I can cook Thai Food …

It has taken me 10 years and I am still learning…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/thai-cooking-sweet-sour-spicy-salty-and-bitter/

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup if you have please share or pin to your favourite board or media…Thank you xxx

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you so much for reading this I hope you have a lovely weekend …xxx

 

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

A post from my archives shared by Sally @ Smorgasbord I hope you enjoy discovering how tough life is for many people here in the rural areas 🙂

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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…

View original post 818 more words

Travel Thailand… Street Food and Markets…

street food and markets

The one thing which I hope will not change for a very long time is the street food stalls and the markets.

As a child, I remember the thriving markets my mum used to take me to and now they are all gone disappeared…Yes, cities like London, York and others still have thriving Markets with organic produce and speciality goods but proper local markets seem to have all but disappeared.

It is different here wherever I have lived or visited in Asia there is a market or two…every single day no matter where you live. We can drive from one town to another through local villages and there are markets, not just the odd one but many they are the heart and soul of Asia to me..wonderful street food and beautiful fresh produce…They range from a small group of 10 stalls just selling meat or vegetables to huge markets selling everything.

Small local market

They keep the soul of the place going there are real communities which care not just an estate of houses where no one even sees their neighbours and shop online… A place where there are real friendships and community…Where people share and I have been overwhelmed with that…people I don’t know …people who do not speak a word of English who come to my gate with Mangoes, bananas, little delicacies for us to try and we, in turn, share our produce and when I cook I give them a little plate to try, a jar of pickles… A real community…

bangkok floating market

There are floating markets where you are hauled over to the floating boat to check the wares with a boat hook ..beautiful handmade goods, wonderful fresh fruit and freshly cooked food… If you haven’t experienced the wonders of a floating market then you haven’t lived.

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The vibrant fruit and vegetable market where I  shop open as early as 3 am in the morning...

I normally arrive around 6 am -7 am …they are still bustling with people and shops buying their fresh wares…People on their way to work or coming home from work getting their breakfast…All freshly cooked to order…

Tessabaan fresh vegetables and lady

The markets are generally held right in the middle of a community or on the outskirts… You can buy anything …One stop shopping..food, clothes, household items, bedding, electrical goods, a puppy or a kitten… Fresh fish, dried fish, still alive and wriggling fish, frogs which here in the North are a staple, rats…yes rats…tasty I am told by the stall holders and they feed on rice they say, so clean not like the sewer rats …But they have them here in the city where I live..where do they come from I wonder…I will not be enquiring or be eating…This I draw the line at…A big black line..nada, No, I am not even going there…

Bugs and insects, so many varieties all piled high,

Crispy Fried Insects

Deep fried and crispy, ant eggs, soy eggs, 100-year-old eggs the list is endless… If you would like to create an authentic Thai recipe in your own kitchen then here is the authentic recipe for ANT EGG salad…I hope you enjoy!

Pigs heads…and trotters…My father used to love a bowl of Pigs Trotters… So we were not so very different back then…

Pigs & Chickens

Stalls piled high with Pork, Beef, Fish…

It is a virtual treasure trove of new discoveries for me …I think every single market I have visited holds more new delights and things I haven’t seen or tasted before…Some I recognise…Much I don’t… Much of what is sold is localised from one area to another so always a surprise or a find…I love it!

Do I have a favourite…No!

There are so many and they are so varied that I would be hard-pressed to do so…

I am quite used to seeing stall holders fast asleep on their stall, under their stall, I suppose with having such long trading hours you have to catch a nap when you can…Some even live and sleep behind their stalls ..you will see evidence of this..clothes drying, a telly, sleeping children and babies for some it is a fact and a way of life…

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A way to earn a living, some more successful than others…some only sitting on the pavement surrounded by a few wares to sell…All the produce..generally very fresh, picked that morning…

I suspect many people here live from day to day…hand to mouth… depending on what they sell…

Some quite young but many very old… their only income..here there is no cushion, no social handouts, if you have nothing to eat …That, is exactly what it means … Nothing to eat!

When we say we have nothing to eat… What we mean is ..nothing we fancy ..we want to buy more food to put in our fridges, our store cupboard…

It is a whole different world and one which many have not seen or experienced…But hey…it is out there and we don’t know how lucky we are…

Thank you for reading and I do hope you enjoy these glimpses that I give you of my travels if you do please share on your favourite social media channels…Thank you…

If you really want to see even more from me???? There are many strings to my bow…If you still want to find out more…

I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…  I look forward to meeting you x

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until  next time xxx

Down on the Farm…Sesame Plant(Ngaa)

 

The Sesame plant or Ngaa as it is known here is another plant which has popped up…I am loving this year as I am constantly being surprised at what plants and fruits are appearing  Down on the  Farm...next year I will know and can plan a little it will also help as I will know what and where so we can transplant and not build and destroy.

It is a beautiful and quite delicate looking plant with pretty white flowers.

Sesame seed plant

Of course, I now wanted to know what uses this plant had if any apart from producing seeds which are used mainly in desserts in Thailand. Here on the farm they are dried and used for just that really and to make that lovely sesame biscuit.

The oil from the seeds is not really used in Thai cuisine like it is in Chinese cookery.

The sesame seed is one of the most ancient seeds on earth there have been remains of Sesame seeds found and dated as far back as 3500BC. It was also widely traded in parts of Mesopotamia and the Indian sub continent around 2000BC.  Always highly valued in Eastern, African and Mediterranean culture it has been used for thousands of years in cooking to flavour foods. Sesame oil has one of the highest oil contents of any seed and a rich nutty flavour. Across the continent’s world-wide sesame oil, tahini and the seeds are widely used.

It is a good source of vitamins and minerals that boost nutrient absorption, it is beneficial to the human metabolism and the bodies fat burning ability.

Sesame oil is a strong antihypertensive and can also help normalize blood pressure levels.

Sesame butter or Tahini is a pretty calorific dense food with 89 calories plus 8 gm of fat per tablespoon BUT the majority of that fat comes from healthy unsaturated fat as Omega 3 oils which help lower inflammation thus lower the risk of heart attacks. However, as always I advise moderation.

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, 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 viola your  Tahini Paste is made.

How easy is that?

Tahini Paste

 

Sesame seeds come in white or black, the white seeds having the highest iron content thus are used in food or as oil.

Black seeds are stronger, more flavorful and have 60% more calcium than white seeds and are used in medicines.

There has been some exciting news on a breakthrough in the research conducted at the Thailand Excellence Center for Tissue Engineering and Stem Cells at the Chiang Mai University  where  it was discovered that “Sesamin” extracted from black sesame seeds contains properties that hinder cancer cell growth as well as stimulate antibodies in the human body to fight cancer.

Dr. Prachya stated that patents for the medical breakthrough have been filed and received for the research both in Thailand and internationally.

This is great news.

As I have said before I am always being amazed by the extraordinary benefits that so many plants and seeds are being proved to provide… so much better in many cases than prescribed medicines and supplements although if you are already on prescribed medicines PLEASE speak to your doctor and discuss what alternatives you are looking at taking and remember with plants and seeds …No one size fits all…. All of our bodies are different and react differently…..But ask! Talk to your doctor, do your own research from reputable research bodies.

More news from down on the farm..we have 3 more turkey babies ..2 female and one male and a baby chook who thinks it is a turkey…Yes, it does and any attempts to put it back with the chooks results in it crying and making turkey noises…So we have left it with the turkeys…

The bananas are ripe for picking very soon.

That’s all for now DOWN ON THE FARM…I hope you enjoy these posts of our life and adventures in rural Thailand if you do please share or reblog.

I have also left some links below for previous posts just in case you missed them.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/down-on-the-farm-introducing-our-new-turkey-babies/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/down-on-the-farm-making-charcoal/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/down-on-the-farm-thai-potatoes/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/down-on-the-farm-jambulan-plum/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/down-on-the-farm-snake-gourd-raita/

Until next time stay safe, have fun, laugh a lot as laughter as you should know by now is the best medicine known to man…..

 

 

Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it. Bernard Meltzer

How true is that?….. I seem to have drifted away from how I started my very first blogs and I am not sure if that’s the right thing to do or not…..I always started with a quote and found some really great ones which I could relate too. What do you think?

Today we went to collect our grandson, he was staying with his brown Nannie ( as he calls her) no racism intended. They live in a little village in the middle of no-where in Northern Thailand.

We were made soooo welcome..chairs were bought out and we sat and the whole village came to see us..some had not seen us since our very first visit to Thailand a few years ago, others we recognised even though they were mere children on our last visit. Lots of happy smiling faces.

The welcome was second to none..lots of smiling faces and the food came out…Thai dishes galore….it was lovely.

I came away with fresh lemongrass and galangal, morning glory, kale and honey still in the comb..all wonderfully freshly picked, dug up and gave to us with so much love…I, of course, left the wine glasses I had taken for next time, with the promise I would bring more wai Khao( white wine) for the ladies…a treat for them.  The men drunk some Thai whiskey we had bought and some ( not sure ) of the origin but infused with honey and ginger…it tasted quite potent.

A lovely afternoon.

I of course slipped and stacked it…..I hurt my big toe and received an impromptu Thai foot massage…which was very nice.

Until next time stay safe, laugh a lot and be happy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness is???????

 

What is happiness? Well, I think it’s what you make it…..for me it’s family, friends, my dog, a sunny day..too much, I would be here for ever…. it’s anything that makes you smile.

Our daughter is over from the Uk so we have been exploring, showing her our world here….she has tried fried ants..jury’s out on that one…ha ha..the frogs she gave a miss….

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Bang Phut… a little Sea gipsy village she loved….

Sea gypsy villageWe ate fresh sea food and lovely fresh mango salad a virtual feast. Life so tranquil here, a world away from the hustle and bustle which is London or any other city.

Also on our agenda was Wat Bang Riang..this temple is one I visited a while ago and wanted to take her to see, it is so lovely but very remote..this time we went armed with pictures and like the previous time when we didn’t find it..on showing a little Thai lady our pictures her face broke into a smile as she pointed at this sign, very much hidden by a large bush and we were only 5 minutes away……. little do we know how many other intrepid travellers did the same as us and drove in, saw nothing but an abandoned temple and drove away…. disappointed??? For us ..not this time… We found it!

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A delightful temple tucked away in a valley..absolutely beautiful, we were so pleased we had found this gem on this trip and could show our daughter.

On arrival, you will be given traditional Thai trousers and tops to wear if your attire is not suitable…Shoulders should be covered, knee length skirts or shorts are ok. Monks live here and it is a peaceful, respectful haven where you will see lots of beautiful statues, a lovely seated golden Buddha, a large imposing statue of Kwam Im who is the Chinese goddess of mercy. This is my personal favourite.

There are a lot of steps down to see her but for those who cannot there is seating and they can watch and drink in the views which are all around you, neatly tended fields on the side of the mountain and so steep….How the farmers get there I don’t know but they do they must be as nimble as mountain goats.

view from Wat bang Riang Phrang Nga

I hope if you go, you enjoy this Temple as much as I did…I have been twice and will go again.

That’s all for now..it’s time for a sundowner…Chok dee Ka ( Cheers)

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I hope you enjoy reading my posts and it takes you to Thailand from your armchair. If you did please share or reblog so others can enjoy …