Monday Meal Review: Haiti & Honduras


Keith's parents would be here in just a few hours. I went to the window. Blue and clear. A good time as any to get cooking. I tore open the gelatin and whisked it together with warm water until dissolved.  Next, I cracked open the thick white coconut milk, and swirled it with the rest of the ingredients, stopping to dab a little vanilla extract on my wrists. Time for the stove top. I clicked on the burner and let things heat up. After a moment, the smell of summer billowed up. I poured … [Read more...]

Recipe: Blancmange (Haitian Coconut Fruit Jello)


Makes a 1 1/2 quart, large molded dessert There's something about jello that's so 1897. So Victorian. So old-school. So... over-the-top-retro. You see, 1897 is the magic year gelatin and fruit syrup were first combined to make the wobbly dessert we're familiar with today.  Fast forward through several decades and continents and you get today's recipe, blancmange. It's loaded up with evaporated and coconut milks, making it jello's creamy counter part. It's the reason Haiti's get up in the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Crunchy Jicama & Chayote Salad


Makes 1 large bowl If you've never had jicama or chayote, you're in for a real treat. Jicama is watery and crunchy, a lot like water chesnuts, but mildly sweet. Chayote is in the squash family, and you can taste it. When dressed with a splash of lime and orange juice, the salad brings together the tropical flavors of Central America. Ingredients: 1 jicama, peeled and sliced into matchsticks 1 chayote, sliced into matchsticks 2-3 large oranges, segmented 1/2 large red onion, sliced … [Read more...]

Recipe: Caribbean Coconut Ice Cream


Makes 5 cups I like to float around in easy, breezy sundresses all summer long. I also like to wear my hair short and laugh really loud at silly jokes. Finally, I like to eat ice cream by the gallon while squeezing my eyes really tight and imagining I'm on a Caribbean island. This is best done while nibbling on a cold spoonful of creamy coconut ice cream, made even sweeter by the fact that I didn't have to turn on the stove - not even for one second - to make it. Call me a glutton for … [Read more...]

There’s *what* in my drink?


Welcome to the wonderful world of "I didn't know that!" Haiti Take a stroll through the Haitian markets. Soak up the sights and smells. See that lady selling jars of brightly colored liquid? She'll tell you "All the medicine you'll ever need is in a jar of rum." She's not selling just any rum, this is the Klerin pharmacy, a.k.a. the white rum pharmacy. All manner of goodies are added to her jars - from spices to bark, fruit to leaves. A few sips of this trempé and you just might find … [Read more...]

Menu: Haiti & Honduras


Hi friends. I have something to tell you. There were some questions yesterday about why I was combining Haiti and Honduras this week. I told you it was because I was building in sick time and vacation. That's true. What is also true is that my mom is coming this weekend, all the way from Boston. She'd like to help with our Hungarian menu. I'd like her to help with our Hungarian menu. It's our heritage. Hungary runs through our veins. We're also hungry all the time, but that's a story for … [Read more...]

About the Food of Haiti & Honduras


This week we're tackling Haiti and Honduras so as to build in a little vacation time later this summer. First up, Haiti. I have a new neighbor. His name is Jonathan. Five minutes into our first conversation I learn that he has been to Haiti. A pretty great stroke of fortune, if you ask me - right up there with the lady from Belarus working at Dillards, the door-to-door salesman from Bulgaria, and Ava's playmate who's daddy has been to Ghana. Most excellent. Well, the first Hatian … [Read more...]