Country #29 – The Caymen Islands

Country #29, and my third Caribbean destination, are the Cayman Islands. I don’t have much of an image of the place really, beyond just beaches and banking. I’m interested in finding out more!

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Reading about Trinidad & Tobago: The Dragon Can’t Dance

On a hot streak with the books I’m picking: The Dragon Can’t Dance by Trinidadian author Earl Lovelace is another absolute winner.

Delving into life in Calvary Hill, a marginalized neighborhood in Trinidad’s capital city of Port of Spain, this novel takes on the topics of colonialism, racism, poverty, gender roles, aging and more in the most masterful way.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever read a book with deeper character development, especially the interior journey of the protagonist, Aldrick. Now that I know him, I’ll never forget him. I feel like I’ve been allowed a glimpse into a world that I would never have otherwise been exposed to, and am grateful for the introduction.

Carnival Band

Carnival Band
(image by Dr. Ted Hill, via Wikimedia Commons)

Country # 23 – Trinidad and Tobago

Back to the Caribbean! Country #23 is Trinidad and Tobago. A nation I have always been interested in, and am excited and happy to learn more about. Here we go!

 

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Food to Cure What Ails You

Every place has just that certain special comfort food that will always cure what ails you. In this case especially if what ails you is a hangover…

Chicken Souse is often served in the morning, after a night out on the town. Regardless of when- or why- you make it, you’ll be pleased with the results. Comforting, super flavorful and easy to prepare, it’s food to make your soul happy.

Chicken Souse

Adapted from a recipe at http://bahamamamakitchen.com/2012/02/02/bahamian-chicken-souse-recipe/

It does indeed smell as good as you would think
(image by The Global Reader)

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh lime juice (takes about six to eight large limes. Good quality bottled is ok, too)
  • 1  habanero, cut into thin slivers
  • 2 tbsp whole allspice
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 large potatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Extra lime slices for serving

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in large enough dish that each piece has its own space.
  2. Mix lime, salts, hot peppers, black pepper, all spice and bay leaves. Pour over chicken. Marinate for at least an hour, preferably two.
  3. Transfer all ingredients to a large stock pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking at least 30 minutes, or until meat falls off the bone & potatoes are cooked through.
  4. Serve with lime slices and warm, buttered Johnny Cake on the side
  5. Note: don’t eat the allspice!
Chicken Souse
(image by Todd Farmer)

Johnny Cake

Adapted from a recipe at http://bahamamamakitchen.com/2012/06/25/bahamian-johnny-cake-recipe/

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup sugar (can add more, less or even omit)
  • 3 tsp oil ( I used a standard vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup milk or water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. In a medium to large mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients together,
  3. Add oil and milk (or water). Knead together gently, taking care not to over-mix. Dough will be on the sticky side.
  4. Place dough in greased 8 inch baking dish
  5. Let sit for 30 minutes, covered with a clean towel.
  6. Put in preheated oven and  bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Bahamian Johnny Cake
(image by Todd Farmer)