Sunday, 25 August 2013

Easy like Sunday morning

 Sunday morning snaps.

Ooh, that's why I'm easy
I'm easy like Sunday morning
That's why I'm easy
I'm easy like Sunday morning

Why in the world would anybody put chains on me?
I've paid my dues to make it
Everybody wants me to be, what they want me to be
I'm not happy when I try to fake it, no

 Ooh, that's why I'm easy
I'm easy like Sunday morning

That's why I'm easy
I'm easy like Sunday morning

I wanna be high, so high
I wanna be free to know
The things I do are right
I wanna be free, just me, babe

 That's why I'm easy
I'm easy like Sunday morning
That's why I'm easy
I'm easy like Sunday morning

Because I'm easy
Easy like Sunday morning
Because I'm easy
Easy like Sunday morning


Song lyrics Lionel Ritchie

At the beach this morning enjoying some R&R, drinking a Banks (beer, as you do!) when I was approached by a precocious 6 or 7 year old, whom I didn't know from Adam. 
'You drink beer,? err yes! I thought only men drank beer, blank stare.
You smoke? No.  You go to church, yes, you, No!
You ..........' by this time, little girl picked up on my get lost look
and ran off.

Years later she may reflect on an encounter with a loose woman.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

White Blooms

Beautifully fragrant Jasmine

 As I approached my garden gate this morning a lovely fragrance filled my nostrils.   Looking around I noticed the jasmine plants in full bloom and the white desert roses.   

White Desert Rose

This sent me on a quest to find other white blooms in the garden. 
 Here you go! one of my favourite plant - Orchids

Attached to a clay pot

The same plant in flower.

   Tree orchids flowering
  Purple Crinum with white flower

 White Rain Lillies

I have a large plumeria by the main gate, and the jasmine by the small gates so as you approach my house there’s a gorgeous blend of scents.              

Mini Frangipani

Several white frangipani are dotted around the house, these grow quickly and extremely easy to propagate.  I just put a few cuttings in old coffee containers and walk away.  I find them very attractive and use them to detract from a flawed wall.

In need of water!

 Star Jasmine
  Green and white crinum and the frangipani flower.

Green and White Crinum

Monday, 19 August 2013

The bare fridge ......

Don’t you just hate it when someone comes to your house and ask for

a drink only follow you to the fridge and (the fridge) is very bare.

My little niece is notorious for this.  Of course, she's neither hungry or thirsty, just happens to be a nosey.

My familiar friends may comment ‘you don’t reach the supermarket yet’, or 'someone needs a loan'.  Cheek!  Well some of us also exercise our options when to grocery shop.
Not unlike my fridge!
The cupboards are not too packed either. 
As a result my activity tends to be – check the fridge, find nothing, move to the cupboard, nothing ...… back to the fridge, wait, that’s right, nothing there.  Aha the freezer, eureka!  Not so fast – everything is frozen.
Even though there’s nothing suitable to eat in my fridge at 8.00 pm, (an apple, cucumber, plaintain, lettuce, broccoli water and more water, okra, limes, a potato, lots of herbs, kale and cous cous) there is enough to make a super veggie meal.
On television/films the people with a threadbare fridge generally fall into the category of degenerate, a bad mother, an alcoholic, unemployed, and so forth. It's seldom a white collar worker. 
And haven't we all done this, stock up the fridge and at the end of the following week you end up dumping half the stuff.
 Here’s a tip for my friends in common.
If your fridge is empty most of the time, fill up containers of water and store them inside your fridge. 
For an empty freezer, store some extra bags of ice.  This will create extra thermal mass inside your fridge and will give your fridge's coils a break. 
In a power outage, the extra bags of ice will also help to keep your food from going bad.
My justification for an empty fridge is that grocery shopping is but a stone’s throw from my humble abode and open 24/7.  If someone is coming by there are convenience stores in every direction to my house. 
I try to keep waste to a minimum, ends of food are passed on to Peanuts or combined with another meal and make another meal!


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sharing .... a Caribbean thing.

Do you recall anyone starving to death in the Caribbean? 
Perhaps somewhat malnourished, starving hungry maybe but with breadfruit trees, pumpkin vines, lime trees and people so willing to give you a helping hand its kind of hard to believe we could lose anyone to starvation.


Pumpkin Vine

This particular week, Samaritans were lurking at every corner.  It was a wonder of amazing gestures of kindness, by the end of the week I was dizzy with joy.  Really though, think about it all the little acts of thoughtfulness people did for you this week and pass it on.

My frenzied week began with my sister in law; we were sitting around drinks in hand when Miss Sweetness announced that she had something for me, big smile on her face and hope that I don’t take offense!  Now I’m intrigued, especially as she took ages to get the ‘thing’ out of the bag.  No worries! I should know that she has my back.  She happened upon a product that is working for her and she wanted me to look as lovely as she does.  Bless her cotton picking heart.

My new wonder product!
Back home, I popped across the road to deliver some mangoes to my neighbour and she offered me a huge breadfruit the size of a very large melon.  Manners prevented me from declining so I asked for a wedge instead. As I turned to leave, her husband was coming through the door, he greeted me and at the same time reached into the bag he was carrying and pulled out a some limes and two cucumbers and gave them to me.  Wow!

Now I don’t normally visit the telephone company (doctors orders!), but since they are a law unto themselves I became compliant and paid my bill on due date.  I was ever so surprised to see my cousin patiently awaiting her turn as one does in the throes of a monopolized giant.  (You’re right not my favourite provider).  I complimented my girl on looking sharp, nice lipstick and so on, then quipped her about a hot date.  Well would you believe that a couple of days later she surprised me with up a new lipstick and some mangoes.  

Next my good buddy called to tell me that our mutual friend left some cabbage, okra, and bean that she was able to reap from her kitchen garden, before the pesky monkeys helped themselves to the results of her hard labour.  As I went to collect my goodies, the very same buddy, not to be outdone slipped me some DVD’s.  

I’m not done yet, an elderly couple living next door to my office sent over two huge boxes of mangoes.   Same day, as I sat in my office there was a knock on the door, I opened it to find my gardener standing there with some mangoes and two moringa plants.

Moringa Oleifa


All these mangoes were wonderfully delicious, I was only too happy to share them with others.  I sliced and froze the set at the end (above) and took them to a beach picnic where even more people delighted in them. 
Another delight was soup made by a work colleague from Grenada.  We have a little “all Nations” in the office and work stops when presented with something from another country.  Not sure of the complete ingredients in the soup, but it did include pumpkin, spinach, ginger, dumplings of course, green plaintain, lentil powder and it was a winner.
I happened to be in the lunch room later as the evening shift came on.  Whilst unpacking her lunch Ms. Jamaica passed me a container and simply said, ‘you came to mind as I was putting out my lunch." My workmates are amazing.
There’s more, I went over to the Bank and the security guard asked me whether I would be at work the next day?  Next day he turned up with ......... Breadfruit.

Roasted Breadfruit
Roasted Breadfruit - halved

As he handed over the breadfruit I joyful gave him a some Soursop that I picked from my tree that same morning.

Soursop is a versatile and amazing tree, with all the parts of it having important uses in traditional medicine. Juice made from the fruit, as well as the fruit itself, are effective in exterminating all kinds of intestinal parasites and amoeba. I routinely gave my beloved tea made from the leaves when he was ill.

 Back to the breadfruit.....

Breadfruit has a reputation of being bland but there are many ways to cook (baked, boiled, roasted, friend, crushed) and use breadfruit that this lowly tropical staple can be transformed into a gastronomical experience.  

The breadfruit is abundant in the tropics and really quite cheap.  It has been written that “the breadfruit is a nutritional giant capable of alleviating hunger in the world’s poorest nations.” 

Remember Captain Bligh's ill fated mission on the HMS Bounty?  He was to bring breadfruit saplings from the South Pacific to the Caribbean, because the breadfruit tree produced huge, nutritious fruits as often as three times a year, and it was thought they might provide an inexpensive food supply for African slaves working on Caribbean plantations; there you have it!

For the beach picnic I made a breadfruit and tuna salad, consisting of cooked and diced breadfruit, sweetcorn, green pepper, and of course canned tuna.  Normally I mix together with mayonnaise but as we were
beaching it I used grapeseed oil for the mix. 
A simple and quick recipe. 
Quicker still is Pickled Breadfruit:

You will need, breadfruit, lime, onion, salt and pepper
(I use Cajun pepper for the additional seasonings).

Peel, core and cut an under ripe breadfruit. 
Boil in salt water.
Squeeze fresh limes for the pickle and chip the onions,
add salt and pepper to desired taste.
Pour this over the cut breadfruit pieces. 
This can be served hot or cold.

My mother was a great one for sharing. 
Like a lot of the old folks in the country,
she would not allow you to leave her house empty handed. 
Whether it was cherries, soursop, herbs, ground provisions,
avocados, homemade bread,
whatever little she had she believed in sharing. 
She even took her doctor little parcels on visits.