Author Archives: blondieaka

About blondieaka

Retired amongst the pineapple and rubber plantations. Writing, reading, curing ham and bacon, pickling, recycling, making jewelery my dreams becoming reality....well one has, I am now a published Author as of January 2015. Scary? Sometimes, and now i've tried improv and wow never thought I could, "Could you ?"...lol.. Retired? No one told me! Having an amazing ride!

The Red Lotus Sea( Lake)

I have reblogged this post from a year ago as there was so much interest in the comments on the Lotus flower…We did return again and were very sad to see that the military had ..well trashed the tiny temple and forced the monks to leave it was such a sad sight to see forlorn and abandoned…Why? I don’t know..maybe they shouldn’t have been there…..So I treasure these photos of a lovely little oasis in the middle of the wetlands which is no more…..

Retired? No one told me!

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It was a lovely sunny morning and we decided to take a trip to The Red Lotus Lake( Sea) locally known as Talay Bua Daeng. It was the wrong time of year to see the Lotus in full bloom so will going back in December to see that sight.We still saw a few but not many but witnessed a lot of birds and Water Buffalo who didn’t look best pleased with being disturbed…look at that grumpy face. The Buffalo are brought over in the morning and taken back to terra firma in the evening.

and also the boatman took us to a little temple on a tiny, tiny island.

This island when the water is high is virtually submerged hence the big and I mean big steps leading up to the Buddha’s. The name of the temple is Wat Don Leung on the Nong Harn Lake. One of the monks…

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Will things ever change?

Oak tree

Photo Source:

Wow..that’s a big ask..but a can do….. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow…

Maybe if we all thought, really thought, before we do or say something hurtful the world would be different…I think it would.

If we stood up to be counted..would things be different?…I think they would.

If we led by example…would things be different? I think they would.

Globally, around the world since the start of 2017, there have been 535 attacks, with 3,635 fatalities (at the time of writing) across the globe.

Source:

That is seriously worrying…… Did you know that? Neither did I because much is not reported in main stream news. That upsets me because no matter where it occurs it occurs we are all human beings whatever our colour or religion and in my grandsons words when I was trying to explain how wrong it all is…He said ” Nannie we all have red blood” AND he is totally correct.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we opened a newspaper or tuned into the news and we read or heard nicer, heart warming stories….there will always be natural disasters, an engine that fails, a rope that breaks…….I could go on…but deliberate acts: aimed at maximum hurt or impact… it’s those I am talking about.

If they all stopped…

It still wouldn’t be a perfect world…but who wants perfect? Just better, a nicer place to bring our children and grandchildren up in………a nicer place to live ……..

Well ..we can dream…

But all is not lost…..

Some fun and some wow facts are next AND not to detract from current events but ..to show a bit of light AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

To show we will not be beaten and cowed….To show we stand united against terror and ungodly acts…

God bless all those who lost their lives or lost a friend or family member or who like me is just so sad at the goings on….

Enough! I say!

Pink Fibbin’ A popular ” fun fact” holds that flamingo egg yolks are bright pink, but flamingo experts are perplexed by the claim…It is of course ” Not True”

Arsenal ( Football) team beat West ham… just saying..ha ha

A granny goes skydiving for her 100th Birthday….wow

NASA captures solar flare….amazing

Canadians asked to stop ” Spocking ” bank notes..that made me laugh.

“Pee power ” toilet generates electricity…… waste not, want not …just saying…

No Babees? A Snapple ” fun fact” and commercial created the misleading impression that bees are born fully grown.

A small South Pacific island whose legal currency portrays Disney, Star Wars and Pokemon characters…cool or what?

Did you know that more songs have been written about the Banana than any other fruit?

By now you probably think I am a very eccentric ex.pat…… and British to boot…..you are probably right…..ha ha..but it’s my blog and today I am just writing what I feel…..

Much love 🙂 To you all….Normal service will resume tomorrow…..

Kerala Prawns

A lovely spicy prawn dish…

The Dish Served

In the last few months I’ve closed down my beloved Malabar Aaanaa food business for various reasons and returned back to paid employment (it’s not that bad), but to keep my hand in so to speak I’ve created The Dish Served to satisfy my need to create food and to share with lovely people.I had a number of recipes on my old site and wanted to share them afresh, so I’m in the process of transferring all my recipes over to here.

Kerala Prawns is a spicy little dish to serve, that will satisfy those cravings for deep flavours of the sea and warm destinations.

SERVES: 2

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOKING TIME: 20 mins
INGREDIENTS

RICE:

1 cup basmati rice

1 inch cinnamon stick

1 star anise

2 green cardamom

salt to taste

drop of oil

MARINADE:

1 inch of ginger, grated finely

1 fat garlic clove, finely grated

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Home Style Cream Cheese

Wow, this is so easy and I cannot always get cream cheeses here unless I go into town so this recipe is ideal for me and no nasties which make it even better…Thank you, Reena, for sharing this recipe

Cook With Reena!

In India Cream Cheese is not available in all local markets.  This has less  shelf life. So after buying it has to be consumed fast.  This ingredient is mostly required in European cuisine. In my family it is required frequently. So thought of giving a trial a home made version of Cream Cheese recipe.

Believe me, this is super easy and super hit recipe. Prepare it as you require it, consume it fresh and that’s it.

Yields 50 gm cream cheese

Ingredients:

  1. Premium Full fat milk- ½ ltr
  2. Lemon juice – 1 tblspn

Tools required:

  1. Blender or small grinder
  2. Muslin cloth and a strainer
  3. Glass jar for storing

Method:

Heat the milk. When it reaches almost boiling point, simmer the gas flame. Pour the lemon juice and keep stirring. The milk will curdle and green liquid will be seen and the curdled milk will float over the green liquid. If …

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Papaya Salad…. one of Thailands iconic dishes.

Papaya Salad Som Tam

Papaya Salad or as it is known here, Som Tam.

One of my favorite dishes which is eaten with nearly every meal and sold everywhere on markets, by the roadside with lovely chicken or fish and a dish that I would say every visitor to Thailand will sample and remember.

You will see the trees growing everywhere in gardens, by the roadside and waste land we have at least  6 in our garden alone and not sure how many on the farm and have planted one outside our house so that anyone passing can help themselves.

The papaya tree laden with fruit:

Papaya on tree

 

For those of you who are not lucky enough to be able to buy green Papaya then here is the recipe for you and some alternatives if you can’t buy green papaya.

Ingredients:

A Green Papaya…1 papaya unless you are making a huge dish full will make at least 3 two serving portions. If you keep it covered or put in a plastic bag it keeps very well in the fridge and doesn’t go brown like some fruits and vegetables once peeled.

1 Carrot

Handful cherry Tomatoes or 2/3 med sized tomatoes.

2 long green beans.

Dried shrimp (optional)

1 Lime

4/5 birds eye chillies

Fish Sauce.

Sm amount of palm sugar about a half teaspoon.

Method:

Shred green Papaya and Carrot.

Cut tomatoes up roughly in smallish pieces or cherry tomatoes in half.

Put the chilli, sugar and little fish sauce in pestle and mortar and pound away.

Add papaya, carrots, tomatoes and dried shrimps ( a bit at a time) and keep pounding.

Add lime juice and the lime cheeks, peel ..all of it….. a little more pounding, stir and serve.

Tip 1: TASTE, Taste and taste again because it is about balancing those hot, salty, sweet, sour tastes of Thai Food and your personal taste.

I find that in papaya salad the heat of the chilli is more pronounced so if you only like a little heat start with half a chilli or 1….and TASTE……lime juice and fish sauce the same… taste……..Thai food is all about balancing of the sweet, sour, spicy, salty flavours so once again TASTE as it’s very personal and individual…

I love fish sauce so I am probably..well… nought probable about it… I am….bit free and easy with it…..but that’s my taste and maybe not yours ……I am now becoming in danger of overusing a word…but TASTE…….

Tip 2: If you cannot get Green Papaya where you live then you can use shredded Cucumber or Swede as a substitute. Both are good and particularly with the swede unless you are a connoisseur of Papaya Salad then it would be hard to call.

Another variation on the Papaya is substituting shredded  Green Bananas ..I have not seen it made everywhere… it seems to be more regional but it was good, very good.

I hope you enjoy my little recipes they are not all precisely measured but just how we do it here ….whatever we have goes in the pot or pestle i.e the addition of crab ( in its shell) and yes you do get mucky fingers because again it’s eating with what you were born with.

Som Tam with Phla

Oh, and you serve Papaya Salad with Khao Neow (sticky rice), Chicken or fish..fresh veggies of your choice….

Whatever you fancy and this is one of my favorites and so many variations..but I have found me a little man who makes it just the way I like it…. Sometimes I just want to eat and the beauty of Thai street food is it is just like it has come from your own kitchen…. How fresh does that  Papaya look? Freshly shredded…

SAM_7497

So when I am on my morning walk …I tell my favourite papaya man I will be 30 mins or however long I think I may be..pick up my fresh coconut juice and then my Som Tam and maybe some freshly cooked chicken on the way back home …

I am so blessed that I have such lovely food on my doorstep.

I hope you enjoyed this post if you did please share or reblog as I am sure at least one of your friends would also love the recipe for an authentic Papaya salad and sharing is caring…

It is simple food at it’s best…

Until next time stay safe, have fun AND laugh a lot as laughter is the best medicine and IT’S FREE so please also do me a favour..ASK a question because as you know….I love it when I hear someone question something, please don’t be a follower be a questioner and ask!

And don’t forget if you haven’t already read it…Please look at my new weekly collaboration with Sally from Smogasbord.Health…Healthy recipes made from scratch ( from moi) and great health information on the ingredients from Sally  and how they benefit you and your families health and well being…All in one post…How good is that????

Please click here    It is fun and informative…HAVE A LOVELY WEEKEND!

 

 

 

 

 

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 of 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…..

 

 

Smorgasbord Health – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol – Banana – Nutrient Boost, no packaging required

Well, here it guys and gals …Nicely packaged into one all the information that you require about the healthy banana and with recipes…How good is that? I love this collaboration and hope you do to…Please let us know in comments and if you have a favourite banana recipe please share it with us and reblog this post if you loved it….We hope you enjoy! Love and hugs xxxx

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

I am delighted to welcome Carol Taylor as my co-conspirator on this project. Most of you are familiar with my Medicine Woman’s larder and Carol and I have teamed up to provide you with recipes to make the most of these amazing foods.

I am providing the ingredients and sharing their nutritional and medicinal properties and Carol is taking them to a whole new level with her delicious recipes. You can find out more about Carol at the end of the post.

Today we are looking at the health benefits of one of the most versatile fruits, the banana. Carol has then put together some very tasty way to incorporate bananas into your life.

You can find the previous posts in the directory:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

The Banana – Nutrient Boost, no packaging required

The banana is not only a superfood packed with nutrients but it is also a definite winner in…

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