Monday, December 16, 2013

Oil Down

Our Grenadian family invited us to an oil down on the beach yesterday. Oil down is the national dish of Grenada. It's a hearty, one-pot meal, cooked over an open fire on the beach. The ingredients vary, depending on who the cook is and what is available, but some of the staples remain the same, such as breadfruit and callaloo. The ingredients are layered in the pot, starting with a layer of breadfruit, green bananas and meat. Some seasoning is added, then another layer on top of that. The dumpling are next, followed by a layer of okra and callaloo.

The whole family was involved, some with getting the fire going, some with prepping the meat, some with peeling and chopping the veggies. Dog the Bounty Hunter was in charge and he let Stacy and I help as much as we wanted. A few of the things I helped with were staining the coconut water (by hand), making the dumplings and chopping the callaloo. What a very fun day we had, just hanging out on the beach and helping with the cooking and playing with the kids. I hope we get to do it all again one day soon.

We are very blessed to have this wonderful family here in Grenada that took us under their wing. Thanks to Rene and Stacy and Lisa and Sea Dog for meeting them and letting us join in the family.  They include us in their family gatherings where we love to sing (at the top of our lungs)..... "We are famileeeeee, we are one famileeeeee". They are such fantastic people and they truly do make us feel right at home on their lovely island.

Here is the story in pictures:

It all starts out innocently enough, a couple of limes, some
seasoning peppers and onions.
Some breadfruit and green bananas.
Everyone got in on helping peel and cut up the breadfruit.
Some chicken wings and turkey wings were added to the pot.
Time for the onions and seasoning peppers. Interestingly, other
herbs were added when someone picked them and brought them over.
I think it was lemongrass and maybe some kind of wild basil and
possible shadow benny (a wild herb that tastes like cilantro).
Time for the seasoning - lots of turmeric!
The callaloo (or dasheen) was chopped, to be
added on the last layer, along with some okra.
Stacy and I (with supervision from Dog) strained the coconut
milk by hand.
Then we made the dumpling by hand - also closely supervised
by Dog.
Coconut milk, herbs, meat, green bananas, dumplings, breadfruit.
This looks ready for the fire.
Then we added the chopped callaloo to the top.
Put a lid on and let it boil!
This is the finished product. Looks yummy, can't wait to
give it a taste!
Move the pot off the fire.....
Remove the cooked okra and callaloo from the top and stir
it together in a bowl, forming a kind of sauce.
I was too busy eating to take any more pictures. This stuff is fantastic. I ate until I couldn't eat another bite. Thanks again to our family for another great day!

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. ~Voltaire


RETA said...

What a wonderful thing to share! Thank you for your post! Some of us never see - nor get to taste such things! Great blogspot!


Anonymous said...

What wonderful people to take you under their wing, but I have heard this before about the Grenadians. Welcoming island and not to be missed.