Eat well - travel often

Month: August 2017

Tobago in London: Cocktail Making Masterclass

Tobago in London: Cocktail Making Masterclass

Mr R and I had a fantastic time on our first visit to the Caribbean island of Tobago. We have both felt a strong desire to make a trip there again next year.  There is so much more for us to discover – we don’t […]

Giveaway – Phone Case with CaseStation

Giveaway – Phone Case with CaseStation

At a recent event for bloggers I discovered Case Station – an online app where you can customise your mobile phone case with any photo or design of your choice. Build and design and let your personal sense of style soar! There are covers suitable […]

Tobago: It Takes a Community to Make A Meal/Feed a Blogger – Les Coteaux Community Centre

Tobago: It Takes a Community to Make A Meal/Feed a Blogger – Les Coteaux Community Centre

There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Like it was in the old days when grandparents, aunts and uncles we on hand to help and there were usually several cousins to play with.

With today’s busy schedules and increased technology some families are living on take-aways and ready meals resulting in a loss of many traditional and family recipes and kitchen skills are being lost.

On our trip to Tobago we were invited to join a group of local women who get together at their local community centre to make traditional and local dishes to teach the younger generation these recipes and keep them alive.

We met the group of women and were made to feel welcome and at home immediately, sitting around getting to know each other and quickly realising that it doesn’t matter where you are from or how you have grown up but food brings people together. I think that the greatest gift you can give someone is to share your food with them!

The plan for the session was to make two traditional recipes and also homemade bread.  To start there was a lot of the vegetable cassava to be grated both for the ‘CouCou’ and for the ‘Pone’ – the two very traditional and popular recipes we would be making together.

The tools were simple and traditional (I would have loved to get one of those graters in my suitcase!)

So time to start grating the cassava which is a really hard root vegetable making up the bulk of the recipes.

Mr R felt sorry for the lady grating the cassava and offered to help!

A little bit of ‘chit-chat’ waiting for Mr R to get that cassava grated!

You know they mean business when they infuse the milk with a scotch bonnet chilli pepper!

When the grated provisions are ready for the pot it gets stirred vigorously until it thickens (kind of like an Italian polenta)

A banana leaf is put on top to keep the steam in and keep it warm.

Then the tuna stew which has been marinating gets put in a pan.

The other recipe they wanted to show us was ‘pone’ – I had no idea what it was except that everyone seemed to love it.  It’s something they make on special occasions. It is in fact a cross between bread pudding and sticky toffee pudding served sliced sometimes with cream drizzled over the top.  It is sweet but not overpowering, I really liked it.

Pone is another recipe that uses finely grated cassava (keep grating Mr R!) and when ready for the oven is still very liquid, so much so that I couldn’t imagine it cooked and solid! So off we carried the containers of pone to the community clay oven where it will cook for 6-8 hours.

Inside the oven everything is pushed to the back to make room for the trays of bread that would be baked at the same time but of course won’t need as much time.

The bread was ready well before the pone – lovely fresh bread straight from the clay oven.

When the food was ready Mr R and I sat outside in the delightful Caribbean warmth of the afternoon and we ate with our new friends/family!  We were talking, laughing and sharing life stories like we had known each other for ever! Sonia and Marsha were looking after us and were glad of some relaxing time outside of the office.

Sheena took some time out of the office to join us for lunch and especially hoping to get some pone. It seems the whole office of the Tobago House of Assembly wanted to be brought back some pone. Pone takes a lot of preparation and then a long time to bake so nowadays it is not as commonly made as perhaps it was in the past meaning everyone that hears it is being made seem to pop in just at the right time.

Even the boss of the THA (Tobago House of Assembly) stopped in for some pone.  It wouldn’t be ready for some hours so Mr Arnold told his staff they had better come back into the office with some for him – not a small tray but a big one and he wouldn’t be sharing his!! He said this with a big smile but somehow I got the impression that to go back to the office without any wouldn’t be a good idea!!

Mr R  and I had an amazing day sharing the recipes and culture of the lovely people of Les Coteaux.  We look forward to seeing them all again next year and maybe I can take a British recipe with me to make for them.  Any suggestions what you think would make a great recipe would be appreciated and you can leave them in the comment section below.
Mr R and I were guests of the Tobago House of Assembly and the Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort during our time in Tobago.  I was not required to write any positive reviews and as usual all opinions and photos are my own or Mr R’s.  No photos may be reproduced in any form without my written permission.

Book Review: Veggie Desserts + Cakes by Kate Hackworthy

Book Review: Veggie Desserts + Cakes by Kate Hackworthy

Desserts with vegetables, cakes with courgettes and cookies with swede are all features of the new cookbook by Kate Hackworthy – Veggie Desserts + Cakes, it’s carrot cake and beyond! I always love getting a new cookbook to review however when the author is an acquaintance […]

Blackberry Chutney – Christmas Promise in a Jar

Blackberry Chutney – Christmas Promise in a Jar

Blackberry chutney time is here and looking at a row of jars on the shelf there is so much Christmas promise in those jars. On my allotment this year we have been blessed with an abundant harvest of wild blackberries.  Although these berries grow wild […]

Grenada: Making Pizza at Vendome RC School

Grenada: Making Pizza at Vendome RC School

Last year I visited Vendome RC School in Grenada for the second time bringing them second hand books for their library which had  been donated by my local friends.  As I have already told you about the school (click here for the post) some of the children will not eat from school lunch one day until school lunch the following day!

I had asked the Head Teacher if I could cook something with the older children when I returned the following year.  She was all for it and asked if I could make pizza as even though there is a Pizza Hut in the capital St Georges most of these children would never have the chance to sample this.  Sure I said, pizza it will be!!

So fast forward to our visit this year to Grenada for the 4th Annual Grenada Chocolate Festival.  We (Mr R and myself) were staying after the festival finished and to coincide with the arrival of a barrel of books and other school supplied that we had sent from the UK we arrived at the school with plans to empty the barrel and then to make some pizza.

The pupils from the 6th Grade/Year 6 were really excited to help open the barrel – you would have thought it was Christmas!

Mr R had all he could do to empty the barrel in an orderly manner!

Whilst still at home I tried to think of all the equipment we could possibly need such as bowls, pizza pans, mini muffin pans, rolling pins etc. Not being sure where I could get these things I brought them with me. I got the first group of children mixing the dough and kneading it.

There was cheese to grate,

dough to kneed,

ham to chop

We made flat pizzas

and mini pizzas – the kids loved filling the little holes with the pizza dough

then filling them in.

The children had such a good time, there were smiles and laughter all around.

A very successful pizza making party if ever there was one and with plenty to go around!
I am planning to return to the school next year with more supplies for the library and a cooking class.  I haven’t decided what I will make but I am sure the children will have fun.
True Blue Bay Resort have written an interview with me about my trips to Grenada and my work with the Vendome RC School. Click here if you want to read it.
This was not a sponsored post in any way. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.  Photographs are either my own or Arthur Daniel Photography – no photos may be reproduced in any manner without my written permission.
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