Monday Meal Review: Saint Lucia

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"I don't like nutmeg," a willowy, blond girl of about ten whined. Her mother looked reproachfully at her. "Have you ever tried it?" I asked with what I hoped was an encouraging smile. "No," she quietly replied, eyes downcast. She stood with one hip turned away from me, as if my slightest move would send her scampering away. "Well, here, smell it," I said as I picked up the whole nutmeg and passed it to her. "Isn't it amazing?"  The nut was about one inch in diameter and was round … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cocoa Tea

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When I told Ava that the fine people of Saint Lucia like to wake up in the morning and drink Cocoa Tea, she squinted her eyes, titled her head, and said "what mama?" "It's like hot cocoa," I smiled, "but richer, and seasoned with cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg." Her eyes instantly popped open in recognition and the corners of her lips curled impishly. I showed her my mound of chocolate chips and added that in Saint Lucia they use cocoa sticks and balls to make their Cocoa Tea, but we'd … [Read more...]

Recipe: Caribbean Fry Bakes

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This week I've completely given up: - shooing the cat off our bed - working so hard, I can't see straight. - being in a hurry - doing the laundry - eating boxed cereal Instead, I'm now: - snuggling my cat - not-so-accidentally forgetting my phone at home - dancing with my daughter with the curtains wide open - playing board games with family - gobbling up bakes Thanksgiving week is a time for a little closer look at what matters. It's about family, not work. It's about … [Read more...]

Menu: Saint Lucia (w/ Giveaway)

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When Thanksgiving meal preparations take over the household, I like to do little things to make the rest of the week's meals feel fun. With that in mind, I put together two festive, but relatively quick treats to make the ordinary extraordinary.  After all, why can't every day be Thanksgiving? The theme for both is breakfast, Saint Lucia-style. Caribbean Bakes [Recipe] If your family likes doughnuts and biscuits, these fried discs of soft, doughy goodness will certainly be a big hit. Serve … [Read more...]

About the food of Saint Lucia

The village of Soufriere lit up as night falls. the Pitons in the background are volcanic plugs rising straight out ogf the sea. Photo by Tri-X Pan.

Saint Lucia pops out of the Caribbean Sea like a coy mountain range. She's partially submerged in the deep blue, yet her curves peek out randomly in greeting. Her deep green foliage (oftentimes thick and tropical) and her dusty, tan soil gives the island a "land before time" feel. The occasional free-wandering chicken and the featured "drive-in volcano," where one can drive right up to a bubbling crater, only add to the illusion. (Don't let the threat of lava scare you; Saint Lucia hasn't … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Saint Kitts and Nevis

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Do you ever wonder if you need to get out more?  While I keep stumbling into serendipitous connections in Tulsa, like the young book salesman from Bulgaria who knocked on my door the same week I cooked his country and the Finnish mother I ran into the same day I was to cook Finland, I didn't really expect to find the same thing during our brief 4 night stay in New York City. Who was I kidding? I should have known better. It is New York City, after all. On our first bleary eyed morning … [Read more...]

Recipe: Killer Bee Cocktail with Black Pepper & Nutmeg

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I can't even begin to take credit for this drink. My dear friend Marina wanted to contribute something to our potluck-style dinner but even after I gave her the easy out by suggesting our Caribbean Rum Punch, she insisted on creating something new and unique to Saint Kitts and Nevis. Her research and uncovered this gem of a sipper... the Killer Bee Cocktail. With a name like that, it has to be good. According to her research: The Killer Bee cocktail is by far the most popular beverage on … [Read more...]

Recipe: Peas n’ Rice

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There's a tall, skinny window, in a full-of-love kitchen in Brooklyn, where one can set a giant pot of rice to cool. Under the icy winter sun, steam rolls up and fogs the panes. With a swipe of the hand you can peer out at the city below, but the glass now clings to a dream of sauteed peppers, onion, garlic, celery, and thyme.  This special place is my friend Marina's kitchen, where I cooked our Global Table this past week while I was in NYC. There's nothing to this recipe. And yet it is … [Read more...]