Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Feasting on Christmas Memories - Xmas gone mad part 2

I will not be denied.

Hello there, yes it is now boxing day, the day after Christmas (yes, I wrote this two days ago, leave mi alone nuh, cho) and I will now commence the part Deux as promised. Okay, so that is not quite what I wrote the first time before I accidentally deleted my blog but I will recapture what I wrote becuase I liked what I wrote, damn it !! As best I can that is, bloody ass computers. alright, enough of that. Yes it is Boxing day and when I was growing up for me that meant a day at the movies. Oh please, put on new clothes that came in the barrel my sister sent down. Me push gawn a town to see the triple or quad martial arts (kickers) bill at either Carib, Odeon or State theaters. But alas, I can't really expand too much on that because the only food I would talk about it is that putrid tasting popcorn they had back then along with the gas infusing soda water. Mi hear seh dem a style now, all have imported flavored water, cooyah, sclaaatt!!
In my last blog we were looking forward to having Christmas dinner at my house. Well, let's get on with it already.  Now that the table is now cleared, time for some cousin to cousin catch up and maybe get some nibbles from the kitchen, see what mama can let off. Maybe a little fry up chicken neck, gizzard or something. I must try tief off a piece of cake, from the bottom of course silly..pardon me, professional at work here..and of course at sometime during the day I will try and lend a helping hand. My cousins and granny are here but I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the family. Christmas is a family treat for me seeing as it was only me, papa and mama in the house. I'm excited to see my Uncles (R.I.P. gentlemen) because dis boy is getting a little pocket change. Hey, I'm just keeping it real man, always hustling bro. I will also see the rest of my cousins and any other family friend that may stop by. Knowing my mama, even some of the estate workers will be fed today, beats some dry bread and D & G soda. mama used to sell dat pon payday but that is another blog coming soon at an Irie Spice blog page near you.
Dinner time..oh hell yes, we have to fast forward this ting ya man, for the xmas food memories dem wreaking havoc on my craven belly...well former craven belly that is, for you know that as a yute I could put it away. Dinner is almost ready but in the mean time, let me give you a run down on what the feast will be like. Did I mention that it is now 4.30, just four or so hours after breakfast? Mama got skilz - please, pay no never mind to my Ebonics. I now understood though that everything was not all done within that frame time for she knew how to plan and prioritize, both important tools in any kitchen I dare say.  Wicked carrot juice made with lime juice, brown sugar and rum; Sour Sop (Guanabana) juice made with condensed milk, nutmeg and need I dare say it, rum of course. And you wonder where I get my love for my favorite brown liquor. Sorry, that Baccardi white stuff just won't do. Can't have Chrismas without the jewel of Xmas beverages. Yes man there MUST be Ginger Sorrel (refreshing beverage made from the fruity flowers of the Hibiscuss plant) drink on the ready, nice and cold mi seh. Just not the same without it. So those are the libations, now for the really gooood no particular order that is.
Rice with coconut milk and Gungo (Gandules) peas, salad with shredded carrot, tomatoes and whatever else mama want to throw in with a quick vinaigrette of lime juice, sugar, vinegar and oil served on the side. One big roast chicken, free range of course - what di hell we did know bout free range back then. We would just ketch di little ras and chop off im head. Dip him in some hot water and pluck off feathers - you better recognize. Nice well done roast beef wid all kind a sinting stuff up in it...yes it was well done. Rare meat at Jamaicam table!! but u musi waan get your cook card revoked and get fling out a kitchen. Curried goat, some oxtails, potato salad with; green peas, onion and eggs. Man, I could eat a whole bowl of that just by itself right now in the wee hours ya right now. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that killer home cured ham that was scored, laced with pineapple and implaled with tiny cloves. I mention the ham because this leg came from the pens in the back of the house. Yes bless you Jerry, weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!  We had fun times wathcing you grow from a piglet to squirly beast with almost human like personality, but Christmas was coming and I needed new school clothes, did you not see mi big toe a pop out a mi boot?...Sell him, a pound a pork please!!! Lawd gesam pees, Can't wait fo New Year fi Nyam di ham bone Gungo peas soup, you fenne. Boss soup is coming y'all, nutin can't touch this. Yes my Haitian bredrins, I will not infringe on your rights to have Soup Joumou. Rounding out the usual suspects would be some green beans and mac & cheese - don't hate I say. Oh yeah, I can't forget the fry snapper fish, I told you Christmas was the one time of the year we do it up big. Whatever your means were, even if you are knocking two cans of bullybeef with some rice & butter and two piece a slice salad. That would be tomatoes for you wana be yardies or non islanders. Chalk it up to island pride. Well, it sounds like everyting deh pon di table. I guess we need to dig in after Papa say grace. I need to mention that from the chicken, Papa always got the breast, man a house buisness. Mama would take some bony part like the back or wing for herself and everything else for our guests. For me, I had to have a chicken leg. What! but after you never waan see me screw and wrinch up mi face. I remember one Christmas while eating dinner I had my chicken leg hanging over the side of the table and the dog jumped up and snatched it and bolted out the door..Hear mi man, I run him down and grabbed it from his tiefing mouth. I believe that damn dog did lose him mental faculty for a brief moment. Don't worry for I did straighten him out. I shat him a bax and proceeded to just wash off the leg to blousecup. PETA, get the hell off a mi ass.
So dishes are being passed, spoons are serving, forks are clanging on plates, chatter fills the room. I am happy. I am happy because my family is here, my house is filled with familiar genes and DNA. We will dine and later have dessert, for the Christams cake and more sorrel must be unveiled. Lawd gosh, a hope mama nuh look under the bottom a di cake..I guess this would be a good time to mention that I created some new memories this Christmas in 2010. I took a way long overdue trip to go see my Aunt and Uncle on the west coast of Florida in North Port. The fact that it was surprise was fantastic but even more of a blessing for me was that I hadn't seen my aunt in over 20 years and my uncle her husband in over 35years..Wow is right. I won't bother get into the why, let's just say I own that. After hugs and long looks to see what I now looked like, Aunty made me breakfast of fried bacon, eggs, toast, sliced avocado and coffee. Dinner was at friend;s house that evening and my dear peoples was a thowdown. Yes, yu know weh a come, sclaaattt!!! The next morning she made me Ackee and saltfish with fried bacon in it and fried dumplings, toast and sliced avocado with coffee on the side. Yep, I feel a little De Ja Vu tugging on my sleeves. To top off the day there was roast beef with gravy and rice with coconut milk and Gungo peas, steamed broccoli and juice for dinner. At this moment I must take a deep sigh, ahhhhh!!!!

I am happy. I am happy I took the trip for this was indeed a merry Christmas. My Christmas food memories have certainly gone mad. Interesting to see what a Chef Irie Christmas menu would look like...ummmm!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Nice job on parts 1 and 2 Chef! You ask for comments...what can one say after that? You are a tough act to follow.

    Thanks for an amazing journey through your heart and mind. I always enjoy the stories from your childhood! You make me laugh and smile!

    The 3 words that struck me the most were in your closing: "I am happy". I have heard you say that a couple of times over the last week. It warms my heart to hear you say that because I can't remember the last time I've heard you use those words in that way...... And the other words that echoed were: " I own that".

    So, what's the lesson here Hugh? :-) There are many in the words of your blog. What resonates with me is that we are the owners of our happiness. Sometimes the very thing we put off doing or enjoying for such a long time are the very things that would/will bring us our greatest joy. Profound.....? Yes, you are. :-)

    So, as we close out the year Hugh, I challenge you (and all of us) to look to 2011 with a new perspective... one that you own. Do more things that bring you great joy and happiness. The things that you have been putting off for weeks, months and too many years could be...ok,, we know they ARE indeed blessings prolonged. Don't block your blessings my dear friend!