Category Archives: Rural Thailand

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?


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.


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

Dock leaves and 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 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.


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 nutcrackers do not work as in cracking 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…


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’ 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?



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.


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.


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…



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 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 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 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 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!


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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Down on the Farm introducing our new Turkey babies.

At long last …through rain and shine our turkey house is finished and the turkeys are happy in their new home.

Jamie picked them up this morning and they have made themselves at home and are making some happy Turkey noises. They have to stay in the undercover house for a week so that they know where their food is when they are let out into the main run.

Baby turkeys are called poults or chicks. A young female turkey is called a Jenny and a young male a Jake.

Once they are well settled they can have the run of the farm.

Fruit wise we have a couple of new fruits appearing and one which was foraged from the nearby jungle. Funnily aptly named Jungle fruit…ha ha. They ate them and didn’t take a photo for me so that will be for another time…lol

Thai Olives or Ka Na

Thai Olives


This Asian evergreen tropical tree produces fruit from delicate, white, lacy flowers and they are unlike any of the olives I know and love but nice in their own way. Known as the Ceylon Olive in English it is high in starch and sugar. It may also help treat diarrhoea due to its constipating properties.

My little granddaughter loves them peeled and sliced and then dipped into a Thai stock with fish sauce and away she goes she loves it, that salty, sour taste. It is also a popular street food found on local markets and roadside stalls.

More research is now being conducted on the manufacture of anti-bacterial and anti-depressant medicines using Veralu which is obtained from the olives as a key ingredient.
The bark of this olive tree is used to treat haemorrhages and gastric disorders.

The other one is Governors plum or as it is known here, Mak Keng.needs name

This bushy plant or tree is native to tropical and temperate parts of Asia as well as being found over much of Africa and India.

With a spiny, spiky trunk and branches in shrub form it can grow up to 25ft, as a tree it can reach 50ft. The drooping branches bear oval leaves with a fruit called a pome which is about an inch thick and reddens to a purple colour. The flesh is yellow or white with an acidic tang and reminiscent of a plum. It can be eaten raw by squeezing the flesh out( the skin is quite tough), made into jam or jelly and it can also be fermented to make wine…Now that’s a thought…lol

Its seeds of which there can be up to 10 in a fruit are dispersed by the birds hence why in some areas of Africa or India it is classed as invasive.

As you know I always like to find out as much as I can about any fruits and vegetables that I discover here as many are used by locals and have been for centuries as traditional herbal medicines and some are quite effective.

Just like the one which was used as a poultice when I got stung by a jellyfish..I wish I had asked the name.

In herbal medicine, the leaves and roots are used as a treatment for snakebites.

The bark is believed to be effective against arthritis, indeed most parts of the plant are used locally to treat coughs and bacterial throat infections and also as a treatment for Diarrhea.

On our land, it has been planted as a living fence and indeed as boundaries on many of the homes around here. The wood is used as firewood or for small wooden tools such as plough handles.

Historical Fact!

The inland customs line also called the Great Hedge of India or Indian Salt hedge was built by the British initially to collect salt taxes. This was at the time India was under the control of The East India Company but then continued into the period of British colonial rule. Firstly it was made of the dead thorny material of the Indian Plum but it eventually turned into a living hedge some 12 ft high and compared by some to the Great Wall of China. How interesting is that?

I hope you enjoyed being Down on the farm with me…Until next time thank you for reading and if you liked reading about life in rural Thailand please share or reblog it would be much appreciated.

Have a great weekend, stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot.

If you have missed any of my previous posts then the links are below if you would like to read more about life Down on the farm in rural Thailand.

Down on the farm making charcoal.

Down on the farm Thai Potatoes

Down on the farm Jambulan plum

Down on the farm Snake gourds

All these photos are my own and taken by me ( Carol) If you would like to use any of them please ask….I don’t bite…lol