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Random Chiang Rai Thoughts


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Why is dried/crystallized ginger rarely included in the stock of local shops which sell similar products?

I finally found a supply at the flower market but noted yesterday that her jar was almost empty.

I can only live in hope.

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Plenty of dried ginger up at Doi Mae Salong and it's at Mae Sai if you're prepared to look around, just hard to find in the 'Rai.

Not sure about garlic powder Don, it's something I used to reluctantly use in the the absence of fresh, hardly a problem here.

Not sure what powdered lime is... must be a 'Merkin thing. tongue.png

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I bring in commercially packed powdered garlic, tumeric, pepper (whole kernels) etc from the middle east. The herb sections in the shops can be fairly extensive.

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I have noticed a new and improved attitude here on the forum. People seem to be making more of an effort.

Yeah. I'm seeing that too.

Must be something in the smoke in the air up there.

Think I'm gunna head over to a Pattaya thread for a bit of good, old fashioned and unreasonable forum ranting and raving for a while...


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The powdered lime is used as an excellent preservative. I used it extensively in guacamole that I froze for commercial sales at Don's Foods in Bangkok. I produced guacamole, pickled jalapeno peppers, dill pickles, sauerkraut, red and green salsa, jalapeno sauce, habanera sauce and green tomatlilo salsa. The tomatillos grew good in Chiang Rai.

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Don, you mentioning sauerkraut caught my interest, I found some imported cans in Tops but they were hardly sour.

As far as I know it calls for white cabbage and have not seen that around here.
Would you please share a recipe for C'Rai kraut?

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There are hundreds of recipes for making sauerkraut. It is basically salt and cabbage in a pickling container. Regarding the cabbage, the ordinary head of cabbage you find at the market and Makro is fine for use. It is difficult to go wrong.

This one works good for my former commercial applications..

25 pounds cabbage

1/2 pound pickling salt, about 3/4 cup


Remove outer leaves and any undesirable portions from firm, mature, heads of cabbage; wash and drain. Cut into halves or quarters; remove the core. Use a shredder or sharp knife to cut the cabbage into thin shreds about the thickness of a dime.

In a large container, thoroughly mix 2 tablespoons salt with 3 pounds shredded cabbage. Let the salted cabbage stand for several minutes to wilt slightly; this allows packing without excessive breaking or bruising of the shreds.

Pack the salted cabbage firmly and evenly into a large clean crock or jar. Using a wooden spoon or tamper or the hands, press down firmly until the juice comes to the surface. Repeat the shredding, salting, and packing of the cabbage until the crock is filled to within 3 to 4 inches of the top.

Cover the cabbage with a clean, thin, white cloth (such as muslin) and tuck the edges down against the inside of the container. Cover with a plate or round paraffined/waxed board that just fits inside the container so that the cabbage is not exposed to the air. Put a weight on top of the cover so the brine comes to the cover but not over it. A glass jar filled with water makes a good weight.

An alternative method of covering cabbage during fermentation consists of placing a plastic bag filled with water on top of the fermenting cabbage. The water-filled bag seals the surface from exposure to air and prevents the growth of film yeast or molds. It also serves as a weight. For extra protection the bag with the water in it can be placed inside another plastic bag.

Any bag used should be of heavyweight, watertight plastic and intended for use with foods.

The amount of water in the plastic bag can be adjusted to give just enough pressure to keep the fermenting cabbage covered with brine.

Formation of gas bubbles indicates fermentation is taking place. A room temperature of 68 to 72 degrees is best for fermenting cabbage. Fermentation is usually completed in 5 to 6 weeks.

Fully fermented sauerkraut may be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for a few months, it can be frozen in sealed freezer bags, or it may be canned as follows: Hot Pack: Bring sauerkraut and liquid slowly to a boil in a large kettle, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and fill jars rather firmly with sauerkraut and juices, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Raw Pack: Pack jars with sauerkraut and cover with juices, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids and process.

Hot Pack:

Pint jars...........10 minutes Quart jars........15 minutes

Raw Pack:

Pint jars.........20 minutes Quart jars.......25 minutes

Makes about 8 quarts.

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Not a bad day today, my UPS battery crapped itself but it was overdue so I went to town and paid about half what I did for the previous one.

Pleasantly chuffed I went to pay my house insurance and not only did they knock a thousand off what I expected to pay but offered to insure my car for 4000 less than I'm paying now.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

It's not about how much you save it's just getting a win occasionally. smile.png

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Here is a random story from earlier today.

A truck pulled into our drive and three guys claiming to be police (later confirmed) tried to sell us 2000 baht tickets to a fundraising event. There was a flyer, official looking document and three tickets handed to my wife. I joined my wife as she looked outnumbered by the three guys and I thought she might need support.

We didn’t feel comfortable being pressured into handing over 6000 baht so we asked for time to consider it and to call the police station for confirmation. They confirmed over the phone but we did not like being put in that situation of not wanting to offend the police or of being taken advantage of.
Everyone was very polite and we avoided paying but still it was an uncomfortable situation.
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I would consider it very unusual, I've never experienced anything like that in my time in Thailand.

I know the police in my village well and I doubt that they would try anything like that with my wife.

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