Category Archives: Rural Thailand

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.

floating market thailand-502480_1280

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…

market-3233394_1280

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

Advertisements

Down on the Farm…Proud parents.

The first pictures of our new turkey babies:

 

 

If you look closely you can see they are just making an appearance…we didn’t want to disturb them or frighten them by getting too close.

They are now a bit bigger and mum is taking them outside for daily walks…However, we have a young puppy and he has very quickly learnt to keep his distance he got too inquisitive and mum got quite angry with him ..apparently jumped on him and made him squeal and sent him on his way… Natures way of giving a clip around the ear… Methinks!

Our black baby chicks are getting quite big now…They are quite beautiful and hand tame…

One of the turkey mums has opted to lay on her eggs outside she didn’t like the new home we have made for them so we will leave her in peace to hatch her babies where she wants…Sometimes nature knows best…

On the fruit and vegetable side….the kale is looking very nice and much better than the markets and lasts a good few days when it is picked.

The young coconut trees are doing well but it will be a few more years before they fruit. The Papaya tree has many fruits so lots of Som Tam(Papaya Salad)…A LOVELY yummy recipe for you 🙂 Just click the link 🙂

Papaya on tree

The Jackfruit trees are full of fruit so it looks like a bumper crop this year… To read all about the Jack Fruit on WEDNESDAY on my food column on Smorgasbord… Click here to read last weeks post 🙂

Bananas as always are plentiful…

Our babies are now growing well… A little bigger and venturing out for a walk with mum keeping a watchful eye on them.

 

That’s all for now Down on the Farm my timer has just gone off…The ham is ready..there is nothing better than home-cured ham is there??

Until next time..enjoy your weekend and laugh a lot xx

 

 

 

Some of my more unusual recipes from 2017

You probably all know by now that I am slightly quirky, whimsical and often laugh ( when) I really shouldn’t…Oops.

Given to coming up with some unusual foods which even make me baulk at times, however, more often than not and I know the saying says ” We eat with our eyes” But you miss some damn good food by bypassing that bit… just close your eyes and go for it…

My first one came about from a request from one of my readers who are looking at alternative food sources and asked me if I had a recipe…

Do I have a recipe???? Haha

Would you eat me?

inchworm-1732290_12801

My next food came about from a challenge and I am never one to shirk a challenge and that is not an invite…haha

Elephants Ears.

taro-1707892_1920

I did tell you I looked for the unusual. Are you still with me ??? We now have…

Dock leaves and Dolmas

dolmas

Have any of these tickled your taste buds yet ???

My next one is from one of my Down on the farm posts…I have discovered so many fruits and vegetables this last year and am still getting new things coming up…The nearby jungle is providing some weird-looking fungi and vegetables and I love finding out about them and what I can cook with them…

Snake Gourd Raita

snake gourd 1

Now when I saw these growing I walked among those very, carefully as we do get lots of snakes here and I don’t particularly want to disturb one or find one hanging down right in front of my face… They look quite spooky, don’t they??

My next one came about on a visit to the village where my grandson’s other nanny lives and she had been out foraging and was making soup..so an ideal opportunity for me as I love learning and watching …It was also a beautiful refreshing soup and the addition of the ant’s eggs gave it a lovely lemony taste.

Authentic Thai Village Soup recipe.

Melientha Soup

Doesn’t that look awesome so fresh and the taste was amazing and made from a few simple foraged ingredients…

I hope you have enjoyed this little trip down memory lane…

Please let me know in the comments and if you loved it please share as sharing is caring and make a note in your diaries that I will be bringing a Cookbook out this year….amongst my chatter, there will be some awesome recipes as you know I can’t just deliver a recipe …I am a storyteller.

Happy New Year ❤

 

 

Down on the Farm and deep into the Jungle…Man Saeng

Just after I co-wrote my post with Sally on “The Potato” I was sent this one called Man Saeng it is only found in the jungle and not sold commercially…..If someone has been foraging in the jungle you may find a few being sold very locally on a market.

24879120_10155390762159865_2011455869_o

Man Saeng is not only native to Thailand but neighbouring Burma, Cambodia and Laos.

Here in the North they are often found growing by the river and the vines often attach themselves to a tree and then what I call the runners have the tubers which are light brownish and slightly hairy.

It can be added to soup or fried like the fried bananas in a batter or breadcrumbed and my son who had them boiled for his supper last night said that they tasted a little like our new potatoes and he really liked them. They can also be steamed or ground into a flour to make desserts.

They are quite fibrous and if overcooked have a sticky texture… somewhat glutinous.

 

 

This video shows them being harvested from the jungle and also where a few are being grown for the farmer’s own consumption.

This week we also harvested a few nuts which are now ready to eat..my nutcrackers do not work as in cracking them..my son’s partners uses a knife..mmmm…I think I will leave that to her or I  will end up minus some digits..That’s for sure…

23848050_10155356605679865_1706786691_o

They taste a little like a cross between a brazil nut and a macadamia again I will shell them all and use them in my cooking..well I won’t..lol..That shell is impervious to my nutcrackers…

We now have lots of turkey eggs at the last count it was approx 30 being incubated but that is probably higher now as I haven’t had an update for a few days…

Turkey eggs

Exciting I can’t wait to get TURKEY BABIES…

Our big boy turkey

My big boy isn’t he handsome????

We have now had a taste of our first Turkey egg …I scrambled one and of course I was the guinea pig it was lovely, creamier than scrambled eggs made with chickens eggs and not strong flavoured like ducks eggs so I think I will be cooking with the others I have.. just to see if they make a noticeable difference to a recipe.

But that is for another post…

Jamie on his return from the farm also bought me some Sticky rice and banana parcels made by Tik’s mum…he couldn’t get a smile out of her still…But he took some photos for my blog..isn’t he a good boy?

25075402_10155396952754865_661740917_o

 

Everything is ready to make these lovely sticky rice and banana parcels

Bananas cut into halves, uncooked sticky rice ( khao niao), sugar pot, banana leaves cut into rectangles and bamboo strips to tie the parcels. These are then cooked in hot water for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

The halved bananas are rolled in the sticky rice..which is uncooked with a little sugar added.

They are then wrapped in the banana leaves and made into a neat little parcel tied together with the bamboo.

The parcels are then stood upright in a pot of hot water and covered with some bamboo and cooked for 2 to 2/12 hours until the rice is cooked.

sticky rice and banana

When ready you have these lovely parcels of sticky rice with a banana they are very tasty and can also be found on all the markets although it is wise to ask what is in the bamboo as it is not always bananas and rice…

Quite a lot this week with Turkey eggs, nuts, potatoes and banana parcels I wonder what next week will bring…Something new is always coming up and surprises me…

Love Thai food?????? Then please pop over and sign up for the newsletter to my new blog Orienthailiving and I will send you a Free PDF on how to make your own Thai curry pastes… You will be the envy of all your friends unless you choose to share…But sharing is caring so please do…

Until next time…have fun and if it is snowing where you live take care…

 

Barking Deers Mango

Of course, you all know exactly what that is …Don’t you????

It is all here in another edition of Down on the Farm!

A busy time of year as the rice has just been harvested, The Goose aka Turkeys are getting fat and the Wild almond tree aka Barking Deers Mango, nuts are ready to eat…

The name Barking deer’s mango is a strange name I can only surmise that it originated from the Indian Muntjac also named barking deer as it was often hunted around the outskirts of agricultural areas as they are considered a nuisance for damaging crops and ripping bark from trees.

indian-almond-289181_1920

This wild evergreen tree can grow as tall as 50 metres high the wood which is of low quality is used for general construction or fuel but is also very sought after and popular here for making charcoal.

The seeds of the tree are a source of a non-drying oil called cay-cay fat which is used in the manufacture of candles and soap making.

nun-with-candle-1826502_1920

The nut is eaten raw or is dry roasted and sold on the local markets as a snack this time of the year. The outer shell is really hard and no mod cons or nutcrackers used here just a very sharp knife and it was wielded very ably if I tried cracking a nut that way I would definitely be minus a couple of fingers…

23846940_10155356605704865_164378478_o

 

Our Turkeys are no longer babies and the girls have just started laying eggs so we are hoping they will produce some lovely little turkey chicks when they hatch.

Our big boy turkey

The rice harvest has just finished for us…..It is hard work producing the rice and harvesting it and for little money, as rice prices are quite low at the moment but at the very least it will provide rice for eating until the next harvest is due…

rice farming

Lily and Oi picking rice

A food break is always welcome…

lunch time picking rice

That’s about it at the moment we have plenty of morning-glory, lemongrass and galangal so I will be making Tom Yum Goong (Prawns) Soup which is one of my favourites and breakfast most days this week has been morning-glory with rice a simple vegetable dish but very spicy and tasty…

Jackfruit is nicely ripened at the moment and it’s banana time of the year again so they are very plentiful…It is all or nothing with bananas as they are either all unripe or all ripe at the same time….although I will be making more of those raw green banana Kofta’s the recipe courtesy of my blogging friend Reena they are very nice indeed…It was the first time I had made anything using raw, green bananas and well worth it ..very nice they were…I would recommend you try them…

Until next time..stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot 🙂

 

 

 

Why I love Thailand…

Thailand …..The Land of Smiles 🙂 and temples… and so much more…

Golden budha in the forest

 

Many years ago when we first visited Thailand it stole a corner of my heart and although it is a country of many contradictions to me it is home.

Why? I don’t know…I have family in many different countries and have loved my visits..have I wanted to put down roots there ?…No!

Thailand just does it for me…

Whether its beautiful unspoiled beaches and there are many.

beach and chairs nice pic

 

Sunsets which are so amazing, diving, rock climbing or just living among the people.

Sunset (2)

Where we have experienced the real Thailand, the amazing food..which we have tasted which is not cooked purely for the tourists.

For my dear friend Annie I have amended this post..how I could forget our favourite Thai curry…I don’t know..but I did…One of my all time favorite Northern Thai Curries is Khao Soi. I was introduced to it by my dear friend Annie and we would do our research once a month to find the best Khao Soi and have a bit of a girlie chat and maybe a vino or two….as you do!

Khao Soi is a beautiful yellow curry with chicken( Gai) or pork(Moo) with soft yellow noodles and topped with crispy noodles.

Khao Soi

Served with a side of pickled cabbage, lime, shallots and if it isn’t hot enough then some lovely hot, fried chilli mix.

The beautiful countryside and it really is the land of smiles.

We have stayed in villages where the children by our standards have nothing by comparison but they are happy, they have carefree childhoods bought up with love.

Thai boys in tree

Yes there is the seedy side…but so is there in all countries.

Bangkok…..I love it..so vibrant and alive….I have wandered down at midnight to get something to eat at one of the street stalls…do I feel unsafe…never ever. I am given a seat to sit on while I wait..hastily they rub the seat over with a not so clean cloth…do I care…No! They treat madam as they call me like a special visitor and when I say Thai hot …the smile I get and they tell everyone who will listen….”Oh Madam she eat spicy”

What they prepare and cook the food in is spotless..the vegetables so fresh…the food amazing…

China Town and the markets….. I love Bangers as I call it but only for a few days and then I am back to the peace and calm which is home.

 

Pageantry the Thais love it..every procession is so joyous…..The Vegetarian Festival…..Songkram… Loy Krathong…

 

..if you love being part of festivals make sure you come at the right time ..you will not be disappointed.

Aston Songcram my favorite photo

The noise, the street food and partying is amazing and to be part of it so special.

Have you visited Thailand…If not ..you will not be disappointed…

I hope you enjoyed this post and you can see why I love this country…Over the next few months, I will be taking you to some of the beautiful places I have visited, places which are off the beaten track…The real Thailand and the one I love.

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot and if you fancy a boogie then pop over to Sally’s  from Smorgasbord Health 2017 …I will be there as will many others ..lots of fun and frolics….. See you there….

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!

077

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…

View original post 83 more words