Saturday, July 13, 2019

Organic Yard and flowers

Organic Yard

We don't live on a farm , but we have farm animals in the yard from time to time .
Just when I was saying to Ciejay
that I needed to go to the Farm Store to buy some fertilizer for the grass and plants , here comes the neighbor to the rescue and brings a couple of organic fertilizer producing walking machines to take care of the job for me and it's all for free, I just had to stand guard around my flowers , they like them as a appetizer, ha ha . You never know what you're going to find in your yard some days, that's what makes life here in the LOS interesting . Ever have cows grazing in your front yard??? well it's a first for us too, but it does have a side benefit, I'm just glad we have some sunshine to dry the cow dung quickly. Malcolm

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Loving Thailand

A few things we love about Thailand

All my life,everywhere I have lived, I have always looked for things to be proud of ,rather than looking for things to criticize or complain about or find fault with,and here in my adopted home of Thailand I try to do the same. I am proud of the fact that here in Thailand we have to freedom to live and love and enjoy all that life has to offer , as long as we live by the rules.I am proud of the fact that most expat folks who make Thailand their home and realize their dreams come true ,are very decent people. I could go on and on about things that I am proud of here in the Land Of Smiles And Gentle People . I would like to say that the thing that I am most proud of is the little village that I call home ,Wang





Pho. All of our local leaders do all they possibly can to make sure that all the people that call Sai Yok their home ,live in the cleanest , safest,and most enjoyable place they can make it . I have even notice that they pay close attention to even the smallest detail to make sure that it looks good and not a eye sore , and the thing that amazes me the most, is that they seen to understand the meaning of maintenance.

This coming year , my goal is to look for all I can be proud of and if at all possible to thank the person or persons responsible and give them a big pat on the back, and to remind myself that  This is Thailand. Lets all give it a try. Just one more reason why We're Retired in Thailand and Loving It.  Malcolm and Ciejay

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Fresh Bamboo Shoots --hunting , cleaning , and eating





Every season in Thailand ,brings with it a special fruit or vegetable that can be harvested during it's time, usually for a couple months.This time of the year is no exception (the rainy season) and with it comes two of my favorites.And additions, to use in cooking many Western and Thai dishes .Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots are plentiful this time of the year , and can be found at every Tuesday and Thursday market here in our small village of Whang Pho , you can also find then for sell on roadside stands all along the highway between here and Kanchanaburi , with most of their customers coming from Bangkok, after a trip in the country ,to visit the many caves and waterfalls and the famous hot springs ,up the road from us .They love to stop on their way home and buy fresh veggies along the side of the road and from the country farmers , they just taste better than the supermarket veggies for some reason, maybe it's all in our minds.



 Ciejay and me grabbed a bucket and a long knife and headed up to the mountain just a few hundred yards, from our house. Ott, our neighbor always goes there every few days during the rainy season and ,always comes back with a rice bag full of bamboo shoots for the meals she cooks for her family , and she always shares fresh bamboo shoots with us . We wanted to give it a try for myself and also to be able to write home to my family back in the USA , that I had cut,boiled and peeled and cooked bamboo shoots fresh, right out of the jungle , what an adventure. And what a adventure it turned out to be , noone warned me about all the mosquitos, that we would encounter while cutting fresh bamboo shoots, I thought they were going to eat me alive, we got a bucket full and then got out of there . I did it one time and that's enough for me , now it's Market Day for my bamboo shoots from now on. We haven't given mushroom picking a try yet because, most of the places where they grow are closely guarded, and also a secret known only to the gathers, because mushrooms are a real money crop for lots of the Thai families in our area,lots of mushrooms grow around our mountains and jungles.



Today ,while we were visting a neighbors new home being built , the workers were taking their lunch break and they were eating fresh bamboo shoots , they invited me to share (and you know me when food is offered ) so I joined in and what a wonderful tasty dish they had prepared right there on the construction site , fresh bamboo shoots and scrambled eggs with thai chilies and onions, of course. WOW, was it ever good.. When we were leaving the boss came up to me and gave me a bag of fresh bamboo shoots to take home and cook and enjoy, which I did .



A bamboo shoot is the start of a young bamboo plant,if not harvested, it will grow into a tall bamboo plant.The leaves that cover the shoot are black and covered with tiny hairs. The black leaves are peeled off untill you can see the off-white meat inside.The white meat turns yellowish after it is cooked.When the shoot is cooked on the day that it is harvested it is very sweet.



There are many different types and sizes of bamboo shoots depending on the plant. Big ones are usually sliced and used as an ingredient in a main course dish.The little ones (half a inch in dismeter) are cut into finger size pieces and eaten as a vegetable with sauces like nam prig gapi.



In Thailand, bamboo shoots are available during the rainy season,May through October.Otherwise,they are available in cans and jars . In the US,bamboo shoots come in cans and glass jars, pickled or sour, non pickled.



When I lived in America ,I never saw fresh bamboo shoots for sell ever, but then again, I was not married to my sweet Thai wife ,except the last few years we lived there .And I had never visited an Asian Market until , I married Ciejay, and even then before ,moving to Thailand ,I was not use to the spicy and smelly (sometimes)Thai dishes, or their way of cooking things .Ciejay's sister would come for a visit and bring all kind of strange stuff with her and when they started to cook , most of the time ,I would leave the house until all the smells were gone ,and I would try and eat a little of what they had cook and act like I was enjoying it , some things I did , but some things I endured, for my sweet Ciejay's sake .



Now I am happy to report , that after 15  years here in the LOS , that, I not only love the Thai food (almost everything ) , but I also love all the strange and wonderful , spicy and pepper, smells that come out of the kitchen when Ciejay is cooking .



One of my favorite dishes of course ( the reason for this post ) is FRESH BAMBOO SHOOTS, added to many Thai dishes and also to eat as a fresh veggie dish with various sauces that Ciejay mixes up, I love them hot ,drizzled ,with fish sauce and served over a steaming hot cup of Jasmine rice . Wow I'm making myself hungry, glad dinner is almost ready , and of course there will be several dishes made with the fresh bamboo shoots from our friends, the builders. For those of you living here in Thailand, do you like fresh bamboo shoots? and do they grow in your area and do you or your Thai family or neighbors harvest them for cooking at home or as a money crop ?



Some of my info came from a site that has lots of recipes using fresh bamboo shoots , visit them sometimes if you have a chance or need a recipe for a Thai dish, you can find them at http://www.thaitable.com/ . Thanks for the read and hope you 






Friday, March 8, 2019

Cool down with a fresh young coconut, and good for you too.

Today I was sitting at my computer desk and complaining to myself about how hot it was and that I really needed something cold to drink, I had already drank a Coke Zero earilier and at least two tall glasses of Ice water , but nothing seemed to cool me down or quench that taste I had for something good and cold and refreshing at the same time,When all of a sudden Ciejay walked in and handed me a chilled , young coconut that the neighbor had given her and she had opened up the top and stuck in a straw and said " here honey try this I think you will like ", well I was ready for anthing cold and to my surprise , that was some of the best tasting ,cool juice I have ever tasted and when I had finished she gave me a small spoon and said for me to eat the meat inside , I said "get me the hammer to break the shell open first " Ciejay said "no honey , it's really soft and you can just take it out with the spoon . "I can not begin to tell you how surprise I was at not only how soft the meat was , but there are not good english words to describe how yummy and sweet tasting that meat from the YOUNG COCONUT was , you'll have to try it for yourself. I know some folks will have a hard time finding Young Coconut , but I think if you ask the local produce manager at the market where you shop to order some for you they will. Also you can always find them at a Asian or Mexican food store .
Below is some info I gathered from the web about coconuts and the great health value they can provide for lots of ailments we might have , I know that from now on I'll have a few cold ones in the frig. to grab when I need something cold and refreshing to drink ( I'm not going to give up my Coke Zero ) from time to time . Hope you'll give it a try too , let me know what you think .

Coconuts taste GREAT! Besides the incredibly amazing experience one can have when eating coconuts, there are many other reasons to eat this wonderful delicacy! In fact, the young coconut is one of the most important fruits within the tropics because of its potassium and mineral rich water.
Preferably, the water and meat from young coconuts is used as opposed to the meat of older coconuts which tends to be very hard (as well, older coconuts typically have less water...if any.)
Medicinal Value Besides being highly nutritious, young coconuts have also been exceedingly revered as having medicinal qualities for heart, liver and kidney disorders.
Coconut is a tropical fruit that is rich in protein. The meat of the coconut is very good in destroying intestinal parasites, that we get from eating infected food. Coconut water is good for kidney and urinary bladder problems.
Nutritive Values : Per 100 gm.
Vitamin A :
Vitamin B : Thiamine .10 mg.;
Riboflavin :
Niacin :
Vitamin C : 2 mg.
Calcium : 21 mg.
Iron : 2.0 mg.
Phosphorus : 98 mg.
Fat : 34.7 gm.
Carbohydrates : 14 gm.
Protein : 3.4 gm.
Calories : 359
Other Health Benefits of Coconut :
Prevents simple goiter (enlarged non-toxic thyroid) because of its organic iodine content.
Good body builder, so it is a food recommended for building up the body muscles of thin and emaciated individuals.
Constipation and for any build-up of gas in the stomach and intestinal tract.
Coconut milk has been found to help cases of sore throat as well as relieving stomach ulcers.
Coconut oil has been found to heal cuts, scratches, burns and sunburns.
The oil has also been recommended for facial massage and is reported to be good as a wrinkle remover.
Coconut oil is also good for the scalp and hair and makes hair dressing unnecessary.
Intake of at least 2 Tbsp. of Virgin coconut oil per day can lessen your Vitamin E requirement.
Coconut water is good for kidney and urinary bladder problems.as recently been reported to reduce the viral load of HIV. ( info from the www)

Before coming to Thailand , the only thing I knew about coconuts was that my dad us to draw faces on them to make them look like a monkey ,and that shredded coconut was good on a cake and that the milk was kind of sour and the meat was hard and also a lot of work to get it out of the shell . All that has changed and now that I am in the land of fruits and coconuts , I have learned how great coconuts and their milk and juice and coconut oil, are for your health and that the Thai cooks use them in hundreds of their dishes , there are many varities also, and each has it specific use in the Thai kitchens.