Monthly Archives: March 2013

Tasty Reminder of Home

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Cooking for me is a place where anything is possible, especially with trial and error! But most importantly, it’s a place where my fondest memories of growing up on the island of St. Croix were created.
Weekends inside my island home without trying became about food. Daddy making home-made bread, Mom either deciding to make something or taking us down to our great Auntie Edna for blood pudding, rice pudding and so many other delicious delights.
One of the things I learned early on to do in the kitchen is the “fattening” up of dishes such as red herring and salt fish. Just the addition of green peppers, onion, garlic, tomato and tomato sauce or paste can make these fishes flavors dance on your tongue.
So, when I’m missing home, I turn to my kitchen to give me the reminder I need. Red herring and brown rice is not only tasty but nutritious. I did not know that growing up only the great smell that told me red herring was cooking.
Here’s the thing. Sometimes the herring doesn’t make it into a pot to cook because I love eating it raw. My mom would have to hide the herring from me if she hoped to have weekend breakfast on the table. That’s the other thing about red herring. My family and I would eat it, “fatten” of course with cucumber and bread for breakfast sometimes adding boiled eggs or even spinach.
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Now the trick to a great red herring dish is hot water. Yes, you read it right. Hot water. When you are ready to prepare your red herring. You need to put it in a bowl and add hot water over the fish. Wait awhile. Then take the fish and start removing the skin and the bones; the hot water will make those items easy to remove.
Put the red herring in another bowl with some more hot water to remove additional salt. Remove the red herring from the bowl into a deep-frying pan that already has diced pieces of onion, green pepper, garlic, and tomato sauteing with a bit of oil. Then add tomato sauce and hot water and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Here’s where you can add some salt and pepper to taste.
Place the “fatten” red herring over some rice and you have a simple but tasty dish.

Spring is for new Beginnings!

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ImageSpring is the time many of us start cleaning up our homes and set new goals, forget New Years since too many of us are having to good of a time to remember what we promised ourselves. In 2012 I was geared to do a lot of blogging about one of my favorite past time: cooking! However, nature had something else in store for me. Just days after posting my second blog page I was hit by my doctor that I had thyroid cancer. If you must get a cancer, the doctors told me, thyroid is the one to get since the cure rates are just about 99-percent. The bad news was this was my third cancer! Not many people have three cancers and beat them all back. So, not very good news. Then to round out my fun-filled year, I fell at work tearing my right knee and achilles tendon on my left foot. Talk about going out with a bang! I still shoulder on and found moments of spirit lifting cooking in the kitchen.

Throughout everything I went through in 2012, I think it was in preparation for my next steps in 2013. During the last months of 2012, I tried something I always said I was going to do and I wasn’t going to let a cancer, a wobble knee or pained ankle get in the way. I’ll tell everyone about that adventure in a later post.

Sometimes change comes about after you push through things that are scary and hard and even embarrassing. Cooking is like Spring. Awesome changes that move you out of your element, force you to try something new and yes even fall flat in embarrassment when it doesn’t work out. But, you know like Spring, it shines on those bright moments letting you know that you’re alive. Time to learn and grow and move on.

So, here’s to new posts about my cooking adventures and how 2012 helped shape me into a better cook! Happy eating!