Written on paper.
Drifting in the atmosphere.
At one’s finger tips.
One step made
And then another.
One love lost,
Another waiting to be found.
One life to live
Never to be squandered.
Written on paper.
COLOURS OF MY WORDS
This page is like
An empty canvas,
Awaiting to be
Splashed by the colour
Words can give it.
It doesn’t matter
If the pen is
Black, red or blue inked,
The fact is the words
Is a work of art.
With the colours
Of my words.
Sweet, sweet dumplings. One of the world’s most comforting and beloved dishes. Ducana is one of Antigua and Barbuda’s national dishes. It is a warm, soft, comforting pillow of sweetness.
Nearly every country has a special dumpling. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we resolved our world conflicts by sharing food and celebrating all we have in common and all that makes us unique?
Ducana is a pretty simple dish to make. Add raisins or a dollop of butter, if you like. Serve with a little pineapple vinegar or hot sauce. I love the combination of sweet and savory.
Makes about 16
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh coconut milk (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
freshly ground pepper
Place a large pot of water on to boil.
Add the grated sweet potato and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Combine and allow the mixture to rest for about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg , and coconut milk. Work the ducana mixture gently with your hands.
Form the mixture into individual dumplings about the size of a large, fat ravioli. Wrap each ducana securely in aluminum foil. Be sure all the sides and ends are closed. Place the ducana packets in the pot and gently boil for 15 minutes.
Remove from the water, unwrap,dust with cinnamon, and serve.
One of the important lessons you take away from a study of cuisines around the world is just how much we all have in common. Pineapple vinegar is one of these commonalities. So many countries have a version of this marvelous condiment.
You can really personalize pineapple vinegar according to your taste and tradition. Some people like to make it with sugar and allow it to ferment for a few days. Some make it with a lot of chiles. Use any type of chile you like, as hot as you like. I like to bring the warmth not the fire with my pineapple vinegar, so I use just one jalapeno chile. My recipe tastes great the minute I mix it up. It continues to improve in flavor as all the ingredients mingle in a glass jar for a couple of days.
For this recipe, I used the pineapple rind left over from yesterday’s fruit salad. I always use organic produce, when I can find it.
Rind of 1 large pineapple
1/2 cup apple cider
12 garlic cloves, smashed and sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped ( I love curly!)
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
Place the pineapple rinds in a pot, cover with water and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the rinds and pour the pineapple water into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and adjust the seasonings to your taste. Pour into a large glass container with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
You can use pineapple vinegar on so many dishes including meat, vegetables, salads, and fruit. Try it on the fruit salad in place of the rum.
Antiguan Pineapple Salad is the perfect fruit salad. It’s simple to make and amazingly bright and delicious. The rum makes it taste a bit like a tropical cocktail and the addition of chili powder gives it a subtle warmth. You can riff on this salad with any of your favorite tropical fruits. Just be sure and make pineapple the main ingredient.
1 medium pineapple (Use canned if you can’t find fresh but be sure the juice has no added sugar.)
1 tablespoon rum
1 tablespoon freshly grated coconut (optional)
dusting of cayenne pepper
The look of this salad is very rustic, so don’t worry about precision when cutting the fruit. Unless precision is your thing! Slice the pineapple in half and cut or scoop out bite-sized pieces into a mixing bowl. Pour the pineapple juice into the bowl as well. Save the two pineapple halves. We’re going to make pineapple vinegar, as well, this week. Slice the papaya, remove seeds and scoop out pieces with a teaspoon. Add to the mixing bowl. Pour 1 tablespoon of rum into the fruit mixture and combine. Cover and refrigerate for, at least, 30 minutes. Dust the top of the salad with freshly grated coconut and cayenne pepper. Serve. To make this a sweet and savory treat, add thinly sliced red onion. You can also add dashes of Tabasco sauce or some fresh lime juice, according to taste.
If you do buy a fresh coconut to use, reserve the remaining coconut and milk for dulcana. Dulcana is one of the national dishes of Antigua and Barbuda. It uses one of my favorite ingredients in the world – sweet potatoes. I’m making it tomorrow.
Heading to the islands! A perfect way to begin my summer cooking. Antigua and Barbuda are part of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Neighbors to St. Barts, Nevis, St. Kitts, and St. Martin. Very nice neighborhood!
I think one of the main culinary reasons I’d like to travel to these islands is to taste the black pineapple which grows there. Despite all my efforts to find black pineapple in America, I’ve come up empty-handed. Apparently, the fruit is not exported to us. The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda describes the black pineapple on their Web site:
“The Antigua variety of pineapple is known as the ‘Black’ as it has a dark green colour when it is most delicious, but is smaller than other commercial types. The variety is full of flavour, juicy and sweet; it ripens to a golden glow.
The Pineapple was first introduced into Antigua and Barbuda by the Arawak Indians from South America about the time of the first Christmas and was called Boniama or Yayama by them and was believed to be food for the Gods.
As early as 1640, settlers in Antigua cultivated the Black Pineapple near English Harbour, and they have been cultivated ever since on the south side of Antigua, particularly near Cades Bay and at Claremont.”
Seems very clear that I should start with a pineapple recipe!
Been so long since I’ve written on I Cook the World or Middle Crescent Kitchen. I needed to focus all my attention on a health issue. I’m healing well and feeling my strength and stamina increase every day.
So, I will be posting recipes again on both sites. I hoped very much for this day to come. It has!