Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

 

One year on! My way forward

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And what a year it has been!

Living in the north of Thailand is completely different to Phuket but I have also discovered much more about Thailand and its culture, traditions and discovered so many different fruits and vegetables.

So in some ways because of the move, it has taken me a while but I have decided now on my way forward.

The last post I wrote had a very good response with reblogs, shares and views/reads on a few of the different social media’s.

People are obviously interested in health both bodily and mentally and looking at food to help them achieve that and food which can work alongside any medications that is prescribed for you.

Like this one: Foods which may help lower your cholesterol

As those of you who know me know that none of my recipes are just a recipe but also contain other titbits of information.

I know I can waffle with best of them…lol

My recipes will now contain at least one and possibly more ingredients which will help you reach that goal of eating more healthily and also start to learn that it is important what we put in our mouths for our children’s health and our health.

We read a lot about buying organic foods and yes it is sometimes way out of some of our budgets but even if you only have a window box I hope I can help you learn what it is best to buy organically and what you can buy through your normal shopping channels knowing it is safe and also what you can grow.

 

A lot of the articles I read bombard me with information and sometimes I just switch off because I am either too busy or I just haven’t got a clue or just because I don’t like the sound of the foods which it is suggested are good for me. Who wants to eat boring unappetising food?

So my aim is to keep it simple and not bore you with jargon.

I want to give you recipes for the whole family that encourage those who are faddy eaters to try things. Give you alternatives for some ingredients that may be cheaper or more palatable to some and indeed a lot of the recipes I have come across I don’t really want to eat ….I may change my mind when I try them or make a few changes and that is also what food is about adapting it and of trying new ways of cooking and it makes food fun and enjoyable and that is what food should be about.

Whether you only have the weekends to cook or when you are on holiday but learning how to adapt your cooking to your lifestyle take one step at a time because it is no use running yourself ragged as that is not good for your health either.

For example, a lot of the food I cook is just for me. So I buy my meat or fish and cut it into portions and freeze it. If I cook a chilli I freeze individual portions it is all about planning.

No one has to spend hours in the kitchen if you plan and prepare. Put the slow cooker on before you go to work and when you come home a beautiful meal is ready to eat.

Put porridge in your slow cooker overnight and it will be ready and waiting for when you come down in a rush with no time to cook and just enough time to eat.

I plan to write some cookery e-books with my favourite recipes in for you.

So in a nutshell, I want to give you the information so that you can make your own decisions on how to feed your family for optimum health. Feed your family normal food. Food which encourages faddy/picky eaters because then you stick to it because you love what you are eating.

Feed your family normal food. Food which encourages faddy/picky eaters because then you stick to it because you love what you are eating.

I plan to self-host my blog very soon and I will be adding affiliate  links for products that I use and love not just a fancy product which costs an arm and a leg and doesn’t do what it says or is so difficult to clean that it puts you off using it or you just plain don’t have the cupboard space to store it.

The final part of my plan is that when I have this in place I will have the time to finish my novel which is a long time coming…lol

Oh, and I haven’t started on the chooks and farming but that is also on track.  We are the proud parents of some baby turkeys …..Why Turkeys? Because I haven’t been able to buy one for Christmas dinner for the last two years and so I thought I would grow my own…They are adorable, so friendly and make lovely soft, happy noises…They seem to love their new home although they are having to stay in the smaller bit for another few days..just so they get used to their surroundings and where their food is…

 

But I am focused and ready to move forward.

Thank for reading this post I do hope you enjoyed it.and our new adventures in Northern Thailand…If you did ..please share it or reblog it….

And lastly, if I can do it so can you…cos I am not a spring chicken anymore but having so much fun and feel I have a new lease of life….

Please feel free to give me any advice, suggestions anything at all. That is what comments are for.

Any photos I use are by myself( Carol) or are from Pixabay and free to use.

Eating for health… Roasted Onions with sun-dried Tomatoes.

 

lady holding veggiesLet food be thy medicine and no it is not boring or eating a dish of tasteless seeds and such like…Gone are the days when Vegetarian was this dry tasteless meatloaf and healthy eating was just plain boring.

I love this recipe so much and what isn’t there to love..luscious sun dried tomatoes, beautiful onions and tangy goats cheese. Over the years I have made many variations of these stuffed onions by swapping goats cheese for feta cheese,cheddar or blue cheese all lovely cheeses but now because everyone is becoming more aware of what they eat and how it impacts on their health I am more aware of what I am eating and serving to my family.

My post on diet and depression was very popular over a few different social media sites and I believe it is because people are concerned about the food they eat and the impact it has on their health.

Now those of you who read my posts know that I can never ever just give you a recipe…Yes, I ramble on a bit… I know.

So it will not really be any different I just feel that I should incorporate the benefits to your health of the foods I use in my recipes and what impact they can have on your and your family’s health and well-being.

I never use processed ingredients in my cooking anyway but that is how I have always been..make it from scratch is my mantra and then you know what is in it.

My family and friends used to think I was a bit eccentric and over the top as to what I would allow my children to eat and drink I would now say that 99% are now in total agreeance with me.

What a turnaround and I am not fanatic just careful and mindful as to what I buy and make.

 I don’t use a microwave for our families own reasons which stems back to when my daughter had a life threatening disease.

Yesterday I was watching a program about sugar or added sugar, I was not surprised but felt justified because muesli bars, soft drinks i.e  Apple Juice and low-fat yoghurts were the subjects. So many people eat them because they are promoted as being healthy.

Well, they are not!

I just don’t trust any claims to anything unless I read the ingredients and I can spot a no-no at 20 paces…trust me!

So I suppose what am saying is you can be healthier in an instant just by reading a packet or being aware of what is in your food and at no extra cost.

And baby steps, if you want to change do it gradually and just be aware of what is in your food.

There are some great tasting foods out there which are good for you and gradually your taste buds and awareness will change ..mine have but it takes time.

I know….. Let’s Cook!

Onions stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and cheese.

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Ingredients:

4 large onions.

150 gm goats cheese

50 gm fresh breadcrumbs ( I use olive oil breadcrumbs)

8 sun dried tomatoes in oil chopped and drained. I am lucky that I live somewhere nice and sunny so I can sun dry my own tomatoes please click here to see how.

2 tbsp oil from the sun-dried tomatoes

1 small egg, beaten

3 tbsp toasted pine nuts

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1/2 Tsp chopped fresh thyme

1/2 Tsp chopped fresh parsley

Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Just reading that list of ingredients makes my mouth water….I am salivating.

Add the onions in their skins to lightly salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the boiling water, drain and cool. When they are cool enough to handle cut in half and remove skin.

Using a small dessert spoon scoop out the centre leaving a thick outer layer.. 3 layers is sufficient.

Reserve the flesh for later.

Pre-heat your oven to 190C/375F

Place the onion shells in an oiled oven proof dish.

Add all the other ingredients except for the tomato oil and pine nuts to the scooped out onion flesh and season well. Stir in the pine nuts.

Divide the mix between the 4  scooped out onion shells and cover the dish with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and drizzle with the sun-dried tomato oil cook uncovered for a further 25-35 minutes until bubbling and cooked.

Baste occasionally during cooking.

And smell…. your kitchen will be filled with such a lovely aroma and even those who are not onion lovers will be salivating…I have had many a convert to this dish.

It is lovely just served with warm bread or as a side to some lovely grilled sardines.

Now all of those ingredients have amazing health benefits.

Some lovely variations to this recipe include using Feta cheese instead of goats cheese and substitute mint and pitted green/black olives instead of the other ingredients for a real Mediterranean taste. Just stir into the scooped onion mix, you could also add some currants or sultanas.

If you don’t want sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts use 75 gm chopped walnuts add them to the scooped out onion mix add 115 gm chopped celery and cook in a tbsp oil until the celery is soft and put in the onion shell.

Experiment by substituting your own favourite ingredients that is what cooking is all about.

Further benefits of the ingredients used in the above recipe.

Eggs:

Eggs contain choline which is a nutrient that is found in many foods. Your brain and nervous system need it to regulate memory, mood, muscle control, and other functions. You also need choline to form the membranes that surround your body’s cells. You can make a small amount of choline in your liver, but most of the choline in your body comes from the food you eat meat, eggs, poultry, fish, and dairy products.

Sun-dried Tomatoes:

Sun drying tomatoes preserves the tomatoes and enhances their flavour. A 1 cup serving of sun-dried tomatoes has 39% of the daily recommended intake of potassium.Full of iron, thiamine, riboflavin as well as 31% of niacin these B vitamins are essential for converting food to energy which is needed to maintain the nervous system and for keeping our skin healthy.

Tomatoes are a little powerhouse of anti- oxidants which contribute to the health of our heart by reducing inflammation in our blood vessels which help our heart muscles relax.

The magnesium and calcium which is in tomatoes help to regulate blood pressure by coordinating a bond to contract and relax the blood vessel walls.

Goats Cheese:

Why use goat’s cheese? Goats cheese is much easier for humans to digest. Lower in calories and fat it is also a good source of calcium, protein, Vitamins A, K, niacin, thiamine and phosphorus. It is also low in fat and cholesterol.

Compared to a 1 oz serving of cheddar cheese which has 9 gm fat, 6 gm saturated fat and 25 mg cholesterol goats cheese only has 5 gm fat, 3 gm saturated fat and no cholesterol.

Onions:

Well no omega 3’s in sight but the antioxidants in onions have great cerebral benefits and can safeguard our grey matter from a disease.

All of this means that this little onion dish is really rather healthy as well as being full of taste.

Enjoy!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post if you liked what you read please share as sharing is caring and it makes me happy.

And if you think I am being too frivolous as health is a serious subject……..Laughter is also good for your health.

Until next time…Stay safe, laugh a lot, have a glass of red wine and  ASK a question.

Some other posts on eating for good health are below in case you missed them.

Healthy foods which may help to reduce your blood pressure

Foods which may help reduce your cholesterol levels

Natural foods to help treat pain and inflamation

July 2017 Share and Inspire Others! – “F”

A lovely collection of recipes from July’s Sharing is caring from The Recipe Hunter and the only criteria? The letter F in the title…Now that was easy.. What will next months challenge be? Why don’t you come and join me …YOU know you want to…..

The Recipe Hunter

July 2017I present you with the wonderful Exchange recipes received for the
July 2017 Share and Inspire Others! – “F”

All participants, have time from now up until midnight July  20th, to Promote and do a Press this/ share a link / or reblog on your own blog, by creating a link back to this post with a pingback.  “Sharing is Caring”  Thank you! 

BLOG thank you

Posted in order of emails received:

Falafel Frida Defies Pharaoh courtesy of koolkosherkitchen
Sitting on his throne, the mighty and proud Pharaoh was lost in deep thought. Seven disasters, one more severe than the other, have plagued his country. Egypt was devastated.
Falafel Frida Defies Pharaoh Fishy Mystery courtesy of koolkosherkitchen
I have a three-volume set of Confucius teachings. Years ago, when we were all young and passionate, and tended to argue earth-shattering issues till wee hours of the morning, with guitars and Georgian wines (that’s a country, not a state), sometimes, when an argument hit…

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Guest Post: Jelly or Jellyfish?

My first contributor post on The Recipe Hunter…..Thank you, Esme, for the opportunity.

The Recipe Hunter

This is my first post as a Contributor  to “The Recipe Hunter”
Thank you for the invite Esmé.

Carol

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WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BALANCE

I think this article is spot on..Healthy means a Balanced, realistic lifestyle 🙂

All About Healthy Choices

Split girl 400

BEFORE/AFTER

The television program, “Good Morning America” had a segment about a 26 year old female that decided to transform her body from competitive physique athlete to average everyday “Jane.” She posted the photo above on Facebook to share her (initial feelings of “shame”) with the world before deciding she was happier with the new person. Her intent was to reinforce the message that HAPPINESS came from within and and that appearance alone could cause more harm than good.

The picture went “viral” and received over 100,000 comments supporting her. As a physician, I have concerns regarding this transition.

I support Ms. Jone’s decision to alter her highly structured and limiting lifestyle as a competitive athlete. It should be recognized and understood that competitive training is NOT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE maintained forever. It is a “period of time” the body is put under enormous stress to achieve a “maximal” outcome…

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Cinnabon Style Cinnamon Rolls

Oh, my…I just could not resist…Sometimes ..Just sometimes, you need that little bit of a treat….This is it methinks…One of these would go down very nicely 🙂 with a nice cup of tea 🙂

the dutch baker

wp-1500294698237Happy Monday peeps 😊 it’s a cinnamon roll kinda day today! this is a recipe long time coming 😉 I’ve actually been working on it for a while and been wanting to share it for agesss! but of course when the time comes to make them and take pics….the pics turn out awful! 😕 

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