Thursday, 18 July 2019

Bakes

In Barbados, we have a variety of  well-loved island foods that Bajans enjoy eating.
Whether you are a true "born and bred" Bajan or just a visitor to the island you will end up enjoying a bake or two for a morning breakfast or a daytime snack. 
Whether you're far away from home or just kicking back on a Sunday morning and not sure what to eat to start the day, bakes will do the trick.
My friend Carl recently sent me a photo of his brunch plate.

Bakes - the Bajan way

Oh my gosh golly...Bakes...I had not eaten any of these delicious delicacies for so long.
My mum would make us bakes on rainy days or when we had run out of bread or even when we were ill and we didn't feel like eating....we always ate the bakes.
My taste buds started to water and I longed for them once more.
I decided there and then that I would make myself some bakes for lunch.
They're quite easy to make and every pantry should have the basic ingredients on hand.
I have no exact measurements...sorry....just eye ball it.

Bajan Bakes
The rough measurements for the ingredients are:
 2 cups of all purpose flour (I mixed a little spelt flour into the batter)
I tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
2 tablespoons (or less) of sugar
A little spice - a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)
Water to mix it all together into a pancake consistency.

In a pan with hot oil carefully place the batter in spoonfuls and fry till golden brown on both sides.

Good old Bajan Bakes
Only eight bakes?
Of course not..... I made two layers of them...couldn't help it.
Bakes can be eaten with fishcakes, (another Bajan favourite), any kind of frizzled fish (bul jol), cheese, porridge or even a heavy drizzle of pancake syrup....whatever you fancy.
Opened up a can of Tuna in Thai Chili sauce (VERY HOTT) to go along with the bakes.
A nice fresh salad and a glass of cold mango juice and it was all good.

As luck would have it, a friend popped by and he was happy to have some too. (see photo above)
A little later, daughter dear came by and she was overjoyed to find them and she loaded up a good portion to take home with her.

They were really good and I hope I won't take too long to make another batch.

It must be noted here that the other Caribbean islands also enjoy bakes too, but depending on which island you visit, the bakes will be different.
Sometimes they are small and dense and muffin like, or they may be  large and round or big and fluffy with an air  pocket on the inside that can be filled.
Any way they are served they are all good.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

A child's love

Being a mother is one of the purest joys in my life.
My daughter is an inspiration to my soul, my being,.....she is my "raison d'etre".
Despite her being an adult now I still cherish and protect her like a mother hen.
She is and will always be my only "chickee".

I remember way back when I found out I was pregnant  how excited I was.
I prayed for a safe delivery and I was blessed.
I prayed for a baby girl and I was blessed.
I prayed to love her unconditionally and I was blessed.
I prayed that our bond would be forever strong and I was blessed.

Today that little baby girl is now a woman and I am overjoyed whenever I see her.
She is caring, sensitive, funny, thoughtful,selfless, protective and very loving.
As I get older, somehow she realises that it is now her turn to look after me "the mother" who is now "the child".
Our conversations are filled with her curiosity on my whereabouts and my daily chores and if she can help me in any way.
I feel so blessed that she has grown up to be a good person, a good daughter, a good friend.

She seems to be following in my footsteps more and more...this makes me very happy.
She is now a REAL plant lover.
Her veggie garden puts mine to shame and her gorgeous flowers are like a small botanical garden.
I never thought I would live to see the day when she would be interested in digging around in the dirt.

On Friday afternoon after finishing for the day at bible school summer camp, she popped by to say hello and shower me with hugs and kisses.
In her hand she held a small bunch of freshly picked flowers..
"These are for you mum," she said happily.
"To the best mummy in the world!"
Immediately it brought back memories of me walking her to school in her blue overall uniform with  a freshly pressed white blouse, her pigtails neatly tied with blue ribbons, .....and how she would stop along the way and pick flowers from various hedges which she would then hand over to me just before saying goodbye for the day as she entered the school gate.
Memories do bring a smile and a tear to your eyes....yes they do.
A mother's love....now a child's love.


 The best floral bouquet from the best daughter in the world.



 "To the best mummy in the world!"


Thank you Nat!

Friday, 7 June 2019

Happy Happy Birthday to ME!!


Happy Birthday to ME!!
Happy Birthday to ME!!
Happy Birthday!!  Happy Birthday!!
Happy Birthday to ME!!
So this is 58!!
Come and get me next year 59!!!

I have been blessed with another year and I am very very thankful.
Daughter dear made it a very special day.
I promise to post on the day's activities soon....stay tuned.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Me and "El Chapo"

Betcha you didn't know that I knew "El Chapo".
I had no idea of his presence at first but then it became clear to me that he was definitely here.
Here in my garden....hanging out in my garden like nobody's business.

Many weeks ago I received some flavour peppers from my friend Marcelle.  She was so generous as she gifted me a few bags of the lovely peppers.
I made delicious meals with them everyday and I also bottled some in oil and vinegar and stored in the fridge.
I also decided to try planting a few seeds...which I did.
They sprang up in about two days and before I knew it I had many baby seedlings growing beautifully.


I admired these darlings as they grew bigger and stronger every day.
Leaves growing bigger and greener and reaching for the sun. I transplanted them to the veggie garden where they took off like bullets.
A couple of days later I noticed that the leaves were being nibbled.......NO......actually the leaves were being MUNCHED into big chomps..
The leaves were being eaten during the night.  I searched and searched for the culprits but nothing.  No trails, no telltale marks...nothing.

My gardening buddies told me to check for slugs, snails, green chubby worms, black fuzzy caterpillars and a whole host of other critters.
I sprinkled a few slug pellets and some epsom salts at the base of the plants in my effort to catch the culprits.
I continued to search. Many nights I found myself outside with a torch just trying to find the bastards.
My beautiful pepper trees were suffering terribly.  I sprayed them with a mixture of peppermint oil and diluted  dish washing liquid but to no avail.
Every day I would trim the remaining leaves with  a straight cut from my scissors so I could monitor the damage and every morning the munches would be there again.
I couldn't figure it out at all....absolutely nothing....I was at a complete loss.....I was a sleuth with no clues at all....just plain evidence.
 I was almost on the verge of giving up completely.

One morning, I happened to be outside at the break of dawn when something caught my eye.  It wasn't much but it looked out of place in the dim light.  It looked like a stone. Crouching down I saw what looked like a small grey rock on the top of the soil near to the brickwork.
I rushed inside for my torch but it wasn't needed...the morning light was squashing the night away fast.
Lo and behold what did I see but the tail end of a fat slug....a BIGG fat slug.
It was quickly disappearing down its hidden underground tunnel faster than Speedy Gonsalez.
I had to act fast...I pierced the remaining end part of the slug with my garden knife (which I had thankfully forgotten in the veggie bed) and tried pulling it back up to the surface.
Shoulda been easy right?  No way!!....the tip of my knife was being pulled into the soil by the slug.
What the hell was going on?
Let me say that again....the knife which had thoroughly pierced the slug was being pulled forcibly out of my hand as the slug headed underground.
I kid you not...the next thing I knew I was tugging the knife back and the slug was pulling it back.
There I was playing tug of war with a slug.

Then it occurred to me....this was no ordinary slug...this was "El Chapo" the slug.
The slug of the underground network...the slug that knew how to hide out underground....I knew I had to fight back and fight back fast if not he would escape.
I dared not remove the knife to pierce it again for I feared he would disappear into thin air.
Then I looked to see where he was making his getaway path...there was a tunnel in the soil going straight down into the earth......a really sweet hideout....I would have never seen it. It seemed he would crawl out and then cover the hole back as he went about his business (of eating my pepper plants).
Crawling back to his underground tunnel just before dawn after a night of eating and belching and pooping I imagine.

It was time for action...big decision to make.
Swiftly I removed the knife and pierced that bugger again and YANKED hard pulling my hand back in a tactical arc with a loud shout...... HEYYYYYA!!!!
There it was dangling on the end of the knife.
I placed it defiantly into my bucket of weeds headed for the compost. For good measure I doused it with a hand full of salt and a few slug pellets thinking that would take care of him once and for all.
About half an hour later I passed by the bucket and noticed that that "criminal" was not where I had put him.
To my horror there he was sliming his way out of the bucket almost making a clean getaway.
What de heck!!!
I reached for the salt again and after "skinning" (turning) it over on its back I made sure I salted him liberally and then like Rachael Ray threw some over my shoulder for good luck and then I shouted "BAM!" just like Emeril Lagasse in total glee after preparing a lemony escargot special on his menu.
Fifteen minutes later it had curled into the death curl...darn it was about time.

How much time had I spent trying to kill that bugger....boy was he a fighter.
FINALLY it was all over.
So long ....Goodbye...Sayonara El Chapo!!
I will have to keep my eyes open for others like him but so far my peppers are going strong.
They have to recuperate and start producing fruit...I can't wait.


I did a little research and here is what I found out.
The slug was a pancake slug...(Veronicella sloanii)....very good at camouflage...that's why I could never see it hiding in plain sight.



Thursday, 25 April 2019

Happy Happy Birthday Mummy

Photo compliments pixabay.com
A Happy Happy Birthday to my Mummy who is no longer with us but will always be forever in our hearts.
We miss you dearly.
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