Wednesday, April 29, 2009

FRIENDS, FAMILY, and MANGOS


It really makes Ciejay happy to be able to share from her garden and fruit trees

It doesn't take long and you've got a box full ready to send off with friends


Here is our friend B-Bie , he wants some to take back to Bangkok for his friend's ,the ones on our trees are so sweet , maybe because I give them lots of water , and also they are organic , no spray, or bug killer or fertilizer at all.



By now I am a ole hand at picking the ripe one off the trees, a good eye, but if you get a green one you don't have to worry , they (the Thais ) love them too.


This little basket on the end of a long bamboo stick is great for picking fruit of the trees.

Mango season is a great time of the year, not only are they good to eat and make fruit roll-ups for the rest of the year, but it's also lots of fun sharing you harvest. And this year I am going to make mango jam , I made lots of different kinds in America, in fact, I won a blue ribbon one year at the county fair for my raspberry ,rubarb jam. And it is a good time for friends and family, to visit and spend a few days picking and eating fresh mangos( with sticky rice and sweet coconut milk) right off the trees, It don't get any better than that,and then sending home a box with them to share with their family and friends . One of the things that I love about the LOS is that when it comes to sharing and giving to friends and neighbors, it does'nt have to be something expensive and showy, it can just be a bowl of rice , a glass of cold ice water , coffee , or a small plastic bag of fresh mangos picked from your own backyard . Malcolm

If you want a jar of my famous (maybe) Mango Jam you'll just have to plan a trip to Whang Pho, just ask anyone you see where does the farang live and they will point you the way .



Sunday, April 26, 2009

MANGOS , MANGOS EVERY WHERE , FOR A SHORT TIME , SADLY


































































  • Well it's my favorite time of the year , the mangos ARE ripe and I can eat them three times a day and for snacks inbetween, I always loved mangos, even in the USA , but there are so many varities in Thailand , that you can eat and enjoy till your hearts content . Ciejay says I eat to many and I need to be careful about my sugga, but what the heck, I wait all year for the trees to bud, then ,flower, and then those little tiny mangos that seem to take forever to get ripe ,and then all of a sudden you look and one has fallen to the ground ,a sure sign that it's ripe and you look up and you see hints if yellow and gold on the once hard green skin , now I'm in heaven. I tell her thats why I take all those herbs she forever making me take , like it or not , just so I can indulge ,and over do IT once in a while ,ha ha .











    The locals always have lots of company from BKK and other cities , all the relatives come for a few Tesco bags full of Aunt's good ,oklong and mong dok mai, mango's . My neighbors here sell to strangers pulling up in their Red tags. They set the mangos , ripe and green, on a table in front of their house , for 5 or 10 baht per kilo , in BKK they sell them for 35 to 40 baht per kilo and these are tree rippened and they can even pick some green ones too ,a favorite for eating with chiles and sugga, to and besides there is nothing better than home grown and fresh mangos from Aunt or Grandma's tree.











    Then before they get ripe we have folks coming from BKK and they come with the whole family and want to buy all they can load in a pick-up to take back to the big city and sell for a profit or to the factorys to make pickled mangos , my neighbors sell to them this year for 2 1/2 baht per kilo and they pick for themselves. Lots of takers too , it seems that everyone waits for this time of the year JUST LIKE ME .











    And just when it's you think it's all over for the year , the locals , start to make another one of my favorite snacks ,mango fruit roll -ups or as we call them in the USA fruit leather, all the neighbors and locals come around with baskets to pick up the ripe and over ripe mangos that have fallen on the ground , they peel them and put in a pot and add nothing , all natural and boil them till it is a real thick almost jam like liquid and then spoon it on to saran wrap (modern) or banana leaf (old way ) and set in the sun to dry for a couple days till it turns hard like leather , during this time the bees will cover it and get some sugar for their hives , nothing to harm the fruit , bees are very sanitary , not like the flys. when it is done they will peel the little circles off and put in plastic bags sometimes they will roll them up thus called fruit roll-ups , to sell or to give to friends and family , it will last all year and it is so good for a snack.. The pictures are of a friend of mine who makes it to sell, his Mom and Aunt help him and they share the money .And we all get to share in the FRUIT of their labor .











    Hope you enjoy this post about mango time ,and if you want to try this favorite snack of mine , come on over to our house , I have lots to last me till next year , I HOPE. Malcolm











    Like I aways say "not a thesis" , just a post for fun and info if you want to know more , I'm sure there is lots of information on the WWW , but I just look around our village and ask question and then try in my limited ability and knowledge to pass it on to you my friends and readers , hope you enjoy.











    Do they make fruit roll-ups from any local fruits in your area , we use to make strawberry , and apricot roll-ups, when me and Ciejay were in America. What about you ??

Thursday, April 23, 2009

WHEN IS A FLOWER MORE THAN JUST A FLOWER??




A flower is more than a flower when it turns out to be a herb that can be eaten ,and is also used for many medicable purposes. Please read till the end for a real good laugh.
The other day when I was watering the plants around the back of the house ,I noticed a flower that I had never seen in our yard before ,and for sure not one that I remembered ever planting .I called for the expert and ask Ciejay what it was and she said" oh thats white ginger or the torch flower"I said "ok" where did it come from , and she told me that last year her sister Pia had given her a piece of the ginger root while they were preparing a meal at her house , she wraped it in a napkin and put it in her purse and when she got home she took it out back and stuck it in the ground under the lime (Thai's call them lemon ) tree and forgot about it till I called her to come look. As you can see it is a beautiful flower and it gets prettier every day. I love it .Soooo I thought I would read up a little on it and do a post about it. This will by no means be a thesis on the subject, but just a good read that I hope you will enjoy and maybe learn a little something about Ginger that you did not know ,just like I did .
Ginger is a herb,a tropical plant ,used in Asian medicine to treat stomach aches,nausea, and diarrhea( needed a lot for us expats our first few months in the LOS and spicy foods.)Ginger, is used to alleviate postsurgery nausea, as well as nausea caused by motion,chemotheropy, and pregnancy.Ginger is also used for rheumatoird arthritis, and joint and muscle pain.Ginger is also used in cooking and baking, a lot of the Thai dishes that we call our favorites ,ginger is a must . Mike you said one of your favs was green curry , lots of ginger to make it just right.I also read that they use it to make lots of different candies and also ice cream, and I have even drink ginger beer. have you ever ?
You can purchase it in many forms, they include,fresh (which almost all Thai dishes call for fresh ginger and most of our cooks will have a little bowl of pickled pink ginger to compliment our meal.),or dried root,tablets,capsules,liquid extracts and one of my favorites ginger tea.
I loved this statement from Epircentre Encyclopedia of Spices.Occasionally, your ginger plant may produce ,yellowish green,with purple lips yellow flowers, altho RARELY SEEN.I love this place Ciejay and me call home, and our little piece of paradise, Just this year to have seen the Queen of the desert flower that only blooms very late at night and early in the morning and to top it all off , it only blooms for one day or should I say night . I have showed lots of folks the pictures we took that night and none of them had ever seen them bloom. the pictures are in one of my first post and if you like you can go back and take a look , just maybe you will see a flower you too have never seen. And now to have this beautiful White Ginger or Torch Flower growing in our own back yard , Ciejay can see it out her kitchen window and when I am drinking my morning coffee on our patio out back I can sit and admire it till my hearts content. I asked all my neighbos if they had seen this one kind of ginger flower and only one had seen one at her aunts home in Chang Rai. Maybe they grow everywhere and I have just not seen them, to me they look like a orchid . Have you seen one of these flowers and do you have one in your yard ?, my neighbor said next year there will be lots of plants to dig up for the roots to eat fresh , but probably no flowers, well at least for a time in my life , I got to see one and enjoy it for a season.
NOW FOR A GOOD LAUGH. A use for Ginger that I had never heard of till now and I thought very interesting and funny (Not for the horse) is because ginger is a minor chemical irritant, and because of this it was used as a horse suppository by pre- WW l mounted regiments for FEAGUING: to make a lazy and slow moving horse get up and go.
FIGGING : to treat a horse in such a way as to make the animal appear lively, and to carry his tail well and high, as by putting a piece of ginger into the anus.-- Taken from The Imperial Dictionary of The English Language 1883
All the diffenitions and statements and puns, were by me ,or found on the WWW or in a dictionary, and I by no means would advocate abuse to any animal , I just thought it was funny that they did it back then , and they still allow it in many shows today,because I read that they still do it in many horse shows all over the world ,when a part of the judging is as to how tall the horse carries his tail, and some still do it to make a older horse act younger , I GUESS SO .
Malcolm

Monday, April 20, 2009

I GOT A BITE

I hobbled in to the front desk
All bandaged up

Whang Pho nurses to the rescue


a punture wound near the ankle



It did hurt a little , but swelled up quickly

I was out back of the house in the neighbors field ,picking ripe mangos that had fallen on the ground and ready to eat, when all of a sudden ,I felt a sting on my leg, I was walking in a lot of leaves so I could'nt see what had bit me , but it hurt a little and started to swell right away , I hobbled home and did'nt say anything to Ciejay just went to the bathroom and washed it off and put a little cream for insect bites and said nothing . well during the night it started hurting like mad and by morning it was infected and red all around the bite, and it hurt even to touch the area around it .Having seen a e-mail sent by a friend of a spider bite and what it had done to a poor guys leg kinda scared me a little , well maybe a lot, I said to Ciejay"let's go to the hospital", and off we went . The hospital is only about 1 mile from our house and by the time we got there , I was hot and had a fever, and hurting , well the sweet nurses got me right in and said they did'nt know what got me , but it got me good , they numbed it and then lanced it and cleaned it real good and put me on some anti-biotics and pain killersand sent me home .
I can report that I am mending well and after the first night ,I have been feeling better and am able to walk ok without limping as the swelling has gone down.
I made it almost 5 years without getting any serious bites, and had ,I had on my long pants ,I probably would not have gotten bitten this time .
Lesson learned " don't go in the woods or fields with shorts and sandals.
Malcolm


Sunday, April 19, 2009

BACK TO THE REAL WORLD (at least here in Whang Pho)

This picture is from the net and shows how they take the cassova to the market, it does nor bruise easy.
Take a look at that good dirt

How do they get them so straight ??????


these fields look so good and the soil smells so fresh after just being plowed ,reminds me of my chilhood and visting Grand-pa's farm



they put the stalks here for a month or two and they come to life , they cut them into pieces 6 to 8 inches long and stick them in the ground and kazam with the first rain they take off.



Taking a well deserved break after all that driving in the hot sun
Well Songkran has come and gone and everyone is happy and friends again, the stuff in the Big City has calmed down , at least for the time being , so I don't have to have my soaps interrupted with updates from the one sided media. Life can now get back to what I call normal here in my little corner of the world I call paradise.

It's almost the rainy season here and folks are getting the soil and land ready for their cash crops that will feed and clothe their families for another year . We have several cash crops that grow well here in our valley, cassova, pineapple, sugar cane , and corn. Lots of other veggies and fruit, grow here as well as this valley is very fertile .

The one in the pictures about to be planted by my neighbor is cassova, easy to plant , and a once a year crop that needs very little water or attention once it gets a good start from the rain fall.

I read somewhere that a lot of countries that need to import a lot of their food are now buying Thailand's cassova instead of potatoes as the potatoes will rot in a few weeks and even quicker than that if they get damp , where as the cassova will last a lot longer and not as effected as much by the dampness. I have been using the cassova in my vegetable soup and it adds a good taste and in fact I can't tell a lot of difference in it and potatoes when cooked with other veggies. Do you have cassova growing where you live? Have you ever had it to eat? And what did you think of the taste and texture.

I just found a picture on the net and it said that cassova is easy to transport as it can take a beating and keep on ticking . Malcolm
What is the main cash crops in your local area? I know that you can grow lots of stuff ,but one crop seems to stand out as a money maker for the locals .



Friday, April 17, 2009

HAVING FUN the second time around

I'm hot too Keep the bucket full there's more people coming

Everyone is really enjoying themselves


If you don't like getting wet this is no place for you today



Think I'll just sit here and cool off a while and chill out




Here I am , the ole stuck in the Mud, I actually enjoyed it this time





Everyone gets in on the fun ,riding on the three wheelers too






My guns bigger than your's It really is a family affair







This cowgirl normally sits quitely behind the table in our local market , and now she's the leader of the pack. ha ha


Well Songran only comes once a year ,so what the heck , lay aside my Ole Stuck in the Mudism and join in the fun as Martin encourged me to do . I took his advise and rode full force right to the gang of folks gathered in and around our town square, it did'nt take long till they spied the old farang, and I was smiling this tme ,a sure sign that I was ready for a water fight. WELL QUICKER than you could bat a eye there was a swarm of them headed my way and I just prepared myself for a good soaking , and I got one too. All in all it was fun and I as they say "let my hair down " and joined in and had a great time , It was something to write home about .Now from a ole mudder I encourge you to join in with the locals and have yourself a jolly good time . No one was harmed and no animals were abused in the posting of this read HA HA HA . Malcolm
I am trying to include a small video I took and don't know how it will turn out , if it doesn't at least I tryed and maybe someone can show me how next time , it's really taking a long time so I don't know whats happening.









video

Sunday, April 12, 2009

HAVING FUN ??????







They think they are having fun, if so why is it that everyone I know bolts the door for a week and never leaves their house or a lot of folks just "get out of dodge"before all the water cowboys and cowgirls come to take over the town and reek havoic over all the local residents . I have watched in horror(before I bolted my doors ) as water was thrown on passing motorcycles loaded with kids and watched them wreck because of the force of 5 gallons of water being thrown at them from a moving pick-up . I was almost blinded my first year by the white power stuff they put in the water ,it burned my eyes so bad ,and the power if mixed very strong will ruin the paint on you truck or car, I have seen folks bowled over like a bowling pin ,hit so hard with the water and some of the water canons they are selling nowdays will put your eyes out if you are hit in the face. I just think that the Thai folks have pushed the envelope on this one and gone a little overboard to say the least . Let them have their FUN , I'll just get out of Dodge.
Maybe it is a custom from the past to bring ,luck and happiness, and propersity, for the new year, and I certainly wish them all that , and I think in the ole days they were not quite as crazy with the water .
Maybe I'm just a ole stuck in the MUD. Malcolm



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

IS THE DOCTOR IN????





























The term alternative medicine,is used in the Western World encompasses any healing practices that does not fall within the realm of coventional medicine,commonly cited examples include :chiropractic,herblism,traditional Chinese medicine,yoga and acupuncture.
Definition from Wikipedia,the free Encyclopedia
Pictures from WWW and Jackiechan and Malcolm
My grand-mother was a herb gather from the old south in the USA all her life ,she gathered herbs to make home remedies for her family and friends and the folks from the close by farms,some folks would drive from the city just to buy her herbs and homemade remedies.They called her the Herb Lady , we just called her Grand-ma.Remember the T V Hit Medicine Woman, well she was all of that and was a mid wife to.
I can still remember a couple of walks in the woods behind the farm,as she would walk along the paths,so well worn from many seasons of gathering the herbs and ,leaves and bark and berries and nuts, and all kind of stuff ,that she would use to make the home remedies that would keep her family and friends healthy and strong during ,the winter times when colds and flu season was there.My grand-ma and grand-pa had twelve kids and it was a full time job just keeping them all fed and healthy.How I wish I had paid more attention to her then ,instead of throwing rocks at the squirrels and birds and complaining that I was tired and" lets go home now." Grand-ma would laugh and tell me what each thing she picked or dug up was used for,that it was important for me to remember , because one day I may need to use the herbs and plants for my kids.I did remember some of the things she taught me on those trips gathering the herbs for her Home Remedies, but most of all I can remember how awful they tasted.
Have you ever used Home remedies for what ails you ?Do you still use them for some of your aches and pains ? Do they make you feel better ? I think a lot of what ails us is all in our heads anyway and just the thought of grand-ma or mother, and trying to get it just like they made it ,is great therapy, and all of a sudden we felt better .I still have a few of them that I use from time to time and of course , my sweet little wife Ciejay has me taking so many herbs for this and that , I expect I'll live to be at least one hundred.How about you ? Do you take herbs for strength and energy.
If given the choice,would you take the counter with the conventional medicine or would you take the medicine made from herbs and natural stuff.Many times I have found that the side effects from the doctor precribed medicine is far worse that what the meds are suppose to be treating you for.
Here is the Wikipeda definition for Home Remedies. A home remedy is a treatment to cure a disease or ailment that employs certain spices,vegetables, or other common items.home remedies may or may not have medicinal properties,that treat or cure the disease or ailment in question.as they are typically passed along by laypersons,many are used as a result of tradition,or habit,or because they are effective in inducing the placebo effect.A significent number however have been demonstrated to effectively treat some ailments.Some popular examples that have been proven to be effective are as follows .
1. chicken soup for respirotory infection, colds and the flu.
2. willow bark boiled and in a tea to cure headaches and fevers.
3.duct tape for setting broken bones.
4.super glue to treat planter warts.
5.long cooked rice soup with herbs in Chinese Folk Medicine are also part of a healing repertoire.And the extra benefit for all Home Remedies and alternative medicines is most can be found in your kitchen or in your own backyard. Especially for those of us that live in the LOS. Malcolm