Category Archives: blogging

Wat Baan Waeng or Heaven and Hell.

50 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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All plaques and writing are in Thai so it will enhance your visit if you have someone with you who can read Thai.

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The tree of life depicting the man or king at the top surrounded by ladies. Showing as flowers hanging from the tree of life.

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Do not be fooled!

You are now entering hell.

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You will then come upon statues showing the horrific torture that you would suffer if you went to hell. Depending on your sin your punishment would fit the crime. A liar would have his tongue removed and a thief his hands.

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Forced to climb the thorny tree or be eaten by the waiting dogs. It looks like he wasn’t quite quick enough.

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A liar…Off with your tongue!

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Boiling liquid!

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Cruelty to animals will not be tolerated.

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Karma reigns!  What goes around comes around as the saying goes.

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A fruitless gesture, begging for mercy I don’t think any mercy was going to be granted here.

I hope you enjoyed this trip through heaven and hell, it will be on my to visit again list as there is a temple being built in the middle of the lake there which promises to be a lovely tranquil place to sit and read or write.

If you enjoy my travels around Thailand I can also be found on Niume and Mytrendingstories where I share my travels and recipes, fruits of Thailand and much more.

Toddy Palm    https://niume.com/post/313107

Takhop Tree https://niume.com/post/308167

  https://mytrendingstories.com/article/authentic-thai-herbal-soup/

I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Down on the Farm…Jambulan Plum.

Down on the farm this Jambulan plum- tree is another tree which is bearing fruits for us and another one which I have not seen or tasted before now …It is so exciting all these wonderful tasting fruits that are coming into season.

Jambulan is a nutritious seasonal fruit found in abundance in Asia. It’s season is April to July. It can be found growing in forests, backyards and along the roadsides. Naturally it has a single seed . The hybrid varieties are seedless.

A purplish black oval- shaped fruit when it is mature has a sweet and sour flavour which can be acidic and astringent. It is rich in the plant pigment anthocyanin and if you eat too much it is likely to leave you with  a purple tongue and you may get the same feeling as I did when as a kid I ate too much of that sour lemon sherbet which made your fingers where you dipped and licked wrinkly and your tongue tingle. Who remembers that??

It can be used to make Jams and jellies but due to the very low pectin levels must be mixed with a fruit with high pectin or a commercial pectin substitute.

It makes a lovely accompaniment for pulao or a rice pilaf. Just mix chopped deseeded Jambulan with fresh yogurt and combine . Add chopped coriander and powdered cumin and stir. Taste and season with salt.

The pulp is used to makes sauces and fermented beverages like shrub, cider and wine. Now if you are wondering what shrub is ( and I was) it is flavoured vinegar. Which makes wonderful drinks with soda and ice or with cocktails…But that is another post for another day.

Jambulan Jelly.

13/4 cups of chopped and seeded Jambulan.

1 1/4 cups of water

1/2 cup of liquid pectin

1/2 cup lemon or lime juice.

7 cups of sugar.

Combine the Pectin,juice and water with the Jumbulan and bring to a fast, rolling boil. Add the sugar and stirring bring to a fast rolling boil for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and skim of any foam. Pour quickly into hot pre sterilised jars and seal.

N.B: If the fruit is too astringent then it can be soaked in salt water before cooking.

 

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The Jambulan plum can also be known as Java plum, black plum and Jambul it is also often eaten just as a healthy snack sometimes with a little salt to taste. It is rich in vitamins,minerals, anti oxidants and flavonoids.

The fruit, seeds, bark and leaves all have medicinal properties and it is believed to have its origins in Neolithic times. In  India it is known as  ” Fruit of the Gods

They can vary in size due to the soil and the weather conditions but can survive and thrive in dry , humid conditions.

The seeds when dried and powdered  are a known effective treatment for diabetes. Bark powder mixed with the juice of the fruit is an effective treatment for coughs and colds. Leaves when they are ground are effective against dysentery and also for healing wounds.

Bark powder is also used as a cure for tapeworm. I am always amazed when I come across fruits like this as to how much they are still relied on in the villages  here as cures for so much.

When I got stung by a jellyfish a couple of years ago one of the ladies in a close by restaurant went and picked some leaves crushed them and mixed them with something and put it on my sting and gave me the rest to take home and apply when needed ….It worked..

At the time I was in so much pain and I didn’t ask the name of what she mixed it with or the name of the leaves she picked  but my point being she knew what to use and it was obviously a remedy which had been passed down.

I am not saying that conventional medicine is not an option at all as sometimes it is a necessity and has saved many lives but there are times when if we know what to use we can find very effective drug free ways to heal and cure ourselves and our families.

I hope you enjoyed learning about this little fruit I hope to bring you a few more I habe at least one more which is ripe and ready to eat so until next time.

Stay safe and laugh a lot 🙂

How to make your own Coconut Oil.

Living in the North Of Thailand is so very different from living in the South of Thailand.. I am learning so much about Thai cultures and traditions which have been passed down through families for centuries and I am loving it.

Coconut oil and its benefits are known throughout the world and it is quite easy to buy a bottle from your local shops now….. But how is it made? it is still made by hand in many local homes here..it takes time but you get a far superior product and you also get the lovely by-product which you can eat.

So come with me ……Over a fire…. a pot is put to heat up when the pot is hot then the coconut milk which is extracted from the white flesh is added, in the villages they grate this and as you need the flesh from 10 coconuts to make a litre of oil …it is time-consuming and hard work by hand….

If you  lucky enough to live close to a local market and they have the machine which extracts the milk then it  is far easier although you still have a long way to go before you get the finished product.

Firstly the Coconut milk is  poured into the ready heated pot and it is now a waiting game where all the exciting stuff happens and you can see the stages and transitions that milk goes through to get your oil.

So you sit and stir and watch and wait while still stirring as the milk changes.

The first sign you see are little oil spots which start to appear on the surface of the milk….you still have to keep stirring.

The oil spots spread as the milk bubbles away and indeed will come right to the top of the pot and almost boil over.

So as the milk is coming to the top is not a good  sign you have to stir and stir  so it is simmering and bubbling after a while it takes a few hours the milk disappears and you are left with oil…

At the bottom of the pan you get a thick crust which looks like crumbled digestive biscuits…this is scooped out and kept as a topping for ice cream.

A very small amount is left in the bottom maybe a teaspoonful and this gives the oil a more vanilla/chocolate smell/taste it is then scooped out and the oil is left to cool down.

You now have your very own hand-made  Coconut Oil.

I think it is lovely to see this tradition of making your own oil in the home as so often we buy a carton or bottle and we don’t where it has come from ..what processes it has gone through..Is it pure ? We all know that labelling can be misleading.

I am sampling so much now of lovely home produced oils, honey, vegetables , herbs some grown some foraged and it is not just the marvelous taste but just the knowledge that I have seen it made or helped make it and that I  know where it has come from..it is a marvelous feeling ..

The photos are from my friend Sonya..Thank you so much Sonya Russell for allowing me to use them. It is very much appreciated…Thank you 🙂

I do hope you enjoyed reading this and please feel free to share this post……

 

 

 

Who else could burn hard boiled eggs?

What a week I have had in the kitchen…You couldn’t make it up….

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Firstly…I love black rice but no one else in my family does, well except for Saangchai. So I put a small amount in a pan with some water ..I was not cooking  enough to use the rice cooker..checking and checking it didn’t appear to be cooking so I kept topping up the water again and again, it was drinking it…mmmmm

Then the lights when on!

 

It was glutinous black rice aka ( sticky rice) ……Plan B….so I soaked it.

Popped it in the Sticky rice basket to steam ….

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.Where was my head that day it just exploded ( not my head)…..I had all this really swollen rice to more than twice its size….At least the dog ate it…..So I do have kitchen disasters you will be pleased know…lol

But the bright side of my week was ….The Thai family came over and I said I would cook….I decided to make Nam Doc Moo which is  sliced BBQ pork/beef with Coriander/mint and shallots and the requisite chillies, lime and fish sauce.

I was asked do you not use Msg..shock , horror from me Nooooooooo!

So I presented my plates of Nam Doc and it just went to Ooohs and Ahhhs and a demonstration of how much Msg they use and the translation was that mine was much better than theirs when they didn’t use msg.They loved it!

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To say  that I wasn’t just a tiny bit pleased is an understatement..from a Thai?…It’s taken at least 6 yrs to get this good at making Thai food and now I have cracked it..Yehhhhhh

I was stoked…so happy!

That euphoria didn’t last, yesterday I burnt the boiled eggs….Now those you who are writers will understand how engrossed we get in our work….won’t you?

An hour later…I came down as I was summoned…He shouted at me!

One of the eggs had exploded over the kitchen and the other two were burnt as was the bottom of the saucepan……Oooooops

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So a mixed week in the kitchen with more disasters than I have had for a while.

Oh and after 6 years, juggling with the heat and the different flours I have finally made the PERFECT DUMPLING!

Until next time.

Stay safe, laugh a lot and be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

Nuime ….

 

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By now you will all have guessed that I am writing on Niume.

It is a lovely easy site to write for with a management who do all they can to help us promote and get the maximum benefits from our posts.

We are able to share  our  posts very easily with most social media sites and they have a Niume support page  with lots of hints and tips to help us maximise our profit and which is so easy to use.

They have now introduced a new  payment  method to  help us earn even more spondoolies.

So here is something  to lift your Monday blues. They are always looking for new ways for their users to  profit from their work.  They believe that their  content creators are the heart  of their platform  and should receive compensation for their efforts. They  have created a new feature that allows Niume creators to receive donations from their readers.

You will notice a new sidebar on individual posts that allows readers to donate to creators. They can choose from $2, $5, $10 or $20, or customize their donation.

Yes donations to boost our coffers…

If you want to earn some money from your blogs   like me then to  get you started  please click this link   

I look forward to seeing you there 🙂

Image Credit: Pixabay

Wow! I just don’t believe it!

I am like many you that when I am offered a new opportunity …I tend to think …Oh yeh!

Well depending on whether you want to increase your reads and followers..it maybe that you want to join Ad- Sense and they like to see what readership you have before they let you join and I am sure others do that as well.

I have been blogging for 2 years now and have met so many lovely people and I love WP its ease of use etc and I have no problem at with it. The odd blip but for a free site  it’s great.

I am thinking of changing to Wp.Org for a few reasons……and I hope that will be fairly trouble free…If anyone has any tips or anything they think I should know before I jump …please let me know.

I am also staring an on-line business so am looking at where I will get the most coverage.

Through social media etc.

Now in 2 years I have had 18,343 reads probably quite small by some  people’s reads but I am happyish with that ….I have some lovely followers.

Niume as you  know I have been writing for since mid November so nearly 3 months. I share my posts to WP as some of you will know and Tweet some, Instagram some and Flipboard most.

It is a lovely site to use and the owners are always doing videos to help us with increase our readership and followers. In fact they are very good. There have few grumbles but in honesty it is small team and they have made lots of improvements and some people just want more and can’t wait. But it’s a good community. The site is a joy to use and we get paid. Paid for everyone who signs up through our own personal link and paid for how many reads we get.

I had an e-mail this morning from them which was as follows…and you can see in 3 months my reads outstrip WP by miles and with not that much additional work from me.

Congratulations Carol

Your posts on Niume have reached 50114 reads.

Check out this blog piece with 8 tips to increase your visibility through Social Media.

Social media unlocked: 8 ways to increase your visibility on social media

Social media unlocked: 8 ways to increase your visibility on social media

The letters always come with more tips and most work….All the buttons to share are on account so you don’t have to add them …In fact it is a great site and friendly even the owner chats to us on FB if we have a problem so helpful and hands on.

Flipboard was recommended by them and you create your own magazines and it can be just for you to FLIP articles into or you can name others who can also flip into it.

So it acts as storage for my favorite posts all in one place which is nice..again easy to navigate.

So if you would like to join me on Niume please click the links below. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain…..See you soon 🙂

https://niume.com/42183

 

Flipboard is https://flipboard.com@CarolTaylor6v8l

It’s time to go and cook!… I made scones again today and they still don’t taste like my mum’s so it looks like I will making scones everyday until I get them right….so simple yet  so hard to get right…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://niume.com/?ambassadorID=42183

2017 is here…..Ohhhh yehhhh!

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Yes it is!

Have I made lots of New Year resolutions.?….. No!

Am I going to?…..No!

I am just going to be happy and smile to at least one stranger a day..This is not new  it’s  a continuation as I started doing this a while ago and it works…..It really does.

Last year I moved to the North of Thailand and I like it here…It is different, not so much partying and everything that goes with it…Ladies who lunch etc etc…

Do I miss it? Mmmmmm yes and no….I miss my friends as there are not  any or many european women here…do I miss the lifestyle? Well, yes and no…

I don’t think I would want or could afford to keep  that lifestyle up indefinitely, all that partying takes its toll on your health.

So back to do I like it here?

I walk more, I enjoy it and I am fitter. I get post..yehhhhh

It is quieter and more relaxed…we have had a few visitors… which was nice..I get more time to write and cook…. and I walk…

I sort of missed the New Year celebrations on the beach..Briefly… when I saw the photos people posted on FB I thought ahhhh…but ours was spent in a Thai village.and to me it made a pleasant change…

First of all when we arrived I went for an afternoon stroll, heard music and then as the music was getting louder, all of sudden in front of us were the villagers coming out of their homes and joining the dancing /walking parade it was lovely all those happy faces..I was the only european there…and most look bemused as they probably wondered where I had sprung from so…  joining in with the dancing my little grandaughter.loved it…It was lovely….so unexpected.

We enjoyed an  hour just smiling and dancing and mingling.

Then back for some lovely Thai food and Laos whiskey…just opening that was revelation as I expected top off and pour but no…But underneath that was the most mellow of whiskys.

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At 100% proof I was not going to take many sips…ha ha

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In the evening it was dancing and fireworks to see in the NY…bed and early to rise. Well sleeping on a 2 inch thick mattress and square pillow for your head is  not conducive to a lovely lie in…lol… Taking my feather pillow next time.

So an early morning walk..everyone was slowly coming to life the little shop was just opening and the owner was unpacking his fresh veggies..people were lighting their fires as many still cook out side here…not many mod cons to be had here but a plethora of smiles…so many smiles…

Back to house and I was invited to visit the farm…I am getting quite used to perching on a side car thingy…Down a few bumpy tracks and there were the men standing talking around the fire and the bubbling pot

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….another was cooking some steak….Was that delicious? Oh yes..tasty , soft and a blow your head of chilli dip to die for….. I love my chilli.

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Next came the offal and I participated…next came something I could guess at….But as a man had walked by earlier carrying a bullocks willie….I guessed at his goolies….I passed on that one….

Had a shot of Hong Thong instead but it was a lovely start to my NY day ….most of it impromptu but I suppose that is village life and I had the best time…

 

I hope each and every one of you have a brilliant 2017 which sees you enjoy good health and much happiness.

Love to you all xxx