Friday, February 21, 2014

Fried Bakes

I'm just now getting around to posting about the Fried Bakes that Nesta cooked for us.  I know everyone will want this recipe because they are awesome! Unfortunately, I let Darnell sail away with the recipe that Nesta wrote down for us. I will make sure to amend the post with the recipe. Of course, Nesta does it all by memory and didn't need a written recipe.

The bakes are fantastic! They are all warm and fluffy. We even sliced them open and popped in a piece of cheese. Nom, nom, nom.

Nesta and Darnell - ready to fry some bakes!
All the good stuff - yeast, four, a little sugar and some lard.
Nesta is an expert kneader - not too much kneading.
Troy volunteered to keep the guys entertained while we cooked. What a guy!
Just look at that perfect dough - time to let it rise.
Then roll it into perfect balls.
Let the frying begin!
Here is the result - lovely, yummy fried bakes!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Chive N Thyme

Nesta with me and Darnell
One of the (many) things that I am falling in love with in Grenada is the cooking. I'm having a blast trying out the local dishes on my own. Thanks to our friend Nesta, a Grenadian AND a fantastic cook, Darnell (s/v Island Dream), Carolyn (s/v Moondance) and myself have been having a ball learning to cook Grenadian style.

We took a trip to the fruit and vegetable market in St. Georges, with Nesta at our side to help make sure that we are charged the local prices. Just buying the vegetables is a pleasure, as you walk through the market, you see the lady washing her beautiful heads of lettuce in buckets and bagging them for you.  The tomatoes too were picked that very morning. I just love the sight of a well stocked vegetable market.

My bundle of chive n thyme
One thing you can never leave the market without is your chive n thyme. It's basically a bundle of seasoning goodness that you can be sure will include chive and thyme, but it's even better than that. You will almost always find a few extra goodies such as local basil, celery, or, if you're really lucky, a few leaves of chadon bene (pronounced shadow benny, it a local herb that tastes like cilantro). It's fun to cut the string on your chive n thyme and see what you find inside.

I decided to try my hand at pumpkin soup.  I used a big hunk of local pumpkin that I bought at the market and added  my bunch of chive n thyme, some fresh ginger, garlic, coconut milk and a few other goodies and let me tell you - Campbell's will be calling me for the recipe any day now! 

Nest week Nesta is making a visit to Storyville to teach Darnell, Carolyn and I how to make bakes. One hint about what makes bakes so good - they're fried!

Pumpkin soup, ready for the heat

This is some yummy soup (I grated a little nutmeg on top, just because I could

My chadon bene, growing in Storyville's cockpit

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Calabash Bowl

My Calabash Bowl, filled with salad

Check out my Calabash Bowl! It's a bowl made from the fruit of the Calabash tree. It's like a gourd in appearance and different trees actually make different shaped fruit. They are carved and used for cups, bowls, bottles (in years past sugar cane field workers carried Calabash bottles filled with water into the fields with them) and even for musical instruments and decorative uses.

The bowls are popular here in Grenada for use on the beach during oil downs. Lucky for us, our friend Jude has a Calabash tree growing next to his house. He happily made two bowls for us and also a beautifully carved candle holder.

This is the tree growing next to Jude's house
Calabash have grown all over the world, from Africa and Europe and the America's, for thousands of years before Columbus even discovered America. They have been carved and used for everything from carrying water to making music.
This is Jude. He made our Calabash Bowls!
Calabash growing on the tree

Our bowls came from this tree
Jude also carved this beautiful Calabash candle holder for me