|Ackee & Saltfish with fried Plantains|
|Jamaican Christmas Black Cake|
I can smell the fragrant aroma of varying spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, I can smell burnt sugar, melted butter and raw eggs. For now I can smell the assembly of my favorite cake in the whole world, black Christmas cake. My lips and mouth tremble now because in as much as I loved and still love eating this cake, the prize for me was the ceremonial licking of that damn bowl..lawd jesam pees..nutin nuh sweeta dan dat yuh hear mi. If you have ever been around people that bake, the left over dough and batter is priceless for a kid or some unsuspecting adult. Yep I would lick it now if I could. God bless you Mama, R.I.P. Of course, how much I licked was dependent on the skill and dexterity of the index finger of the my mama the baker, and also how tired she may have been at 1 AM. So mama is up shaking and baking and after licking the bowl just like any hungry belly lad that just got a snack my eyes now have started to get dark, heavy and my body is now filled with lethargy. I am sleepy, I can't hang anymore, I am a late night early Xmas morning wuss. I must crawl into bed. Lawd, is a wonder mi never get belly hot... Soon the morn arrives for then it will be time to give my mother that blue Xandu powder set and my papa that tie I bought earlier the day before. Of course papa is asleep for he will rise early to ride the company issued Honda 50 to go to sunrise service at church. Before he leaves though he will concoct his contribution to Christmas day. He will make his famous Christmas guiness punch. He would warm that up when he came back and we would all have a sip..of course before granny came. Extras for me..
Ok, so I was talking about breakfast earlier because my granny and cousins are now at the house. Now hear this, Christmas is no joke because all the fine wares are out. Di good china pon di table, new curtains bought or made pon the window frame dem, new slip covers for the settees and hassocks and di nice chenille spread dem for the bedrooms are adorning the just pledge polished mahogany beds. After we have eaten and got caught up with stories and how everyone was doing - no we didn't have no damn telephone, email or fassbook - the dreaded aftermath looms in the air. With belly full the table must be cleared and reset for later. We the rented free labor related slaves must now wash dishes. Well my cousins will for I inevitably must find an excuse to rid myself of this task that I have done so many a night before. The ritis or the i'm your favorite cousin line gets digged out of the back pocket around this time.. Dirty rotten scoundrel I am. Hee hee he heh heh heeeeee!!
I have thought many times about our Christmas food escapades since I became a chef but I never thought that the connection of Christmas and food was so important to me until now. This was one of the few times if not the only time of the year I knew I would see most of my family. The day is not done yet for big tings lef fi come for in a few hours Christmas dinner will be served at the Sinclair's residence on Farm 2 in Caymanas Estates. Stay tuned for you must come back for the rest...You must I say..