Bajan Cooking, Philly Style
I'm in the process of making my grilled fish in the manner I learned in Barbados two weeks ago. Actually, it won't be grilled but cooked in the oven since the skies decided to open up earlier and I twiddled away the day playing on the computer and in the kitchen.
Damn, when I think of Barbados, when I look at those pictures of Payne's Bay or those on my camera I think, "I should be there." Have you ever been somewhere you felt you really belonged? Have you ever felt a oneness with a piece of land, a mountain, an island. I should be on an island. I should be able to come home from work, change, walk with my dog two blocks away and swim in an ocean or a sea. I should be able to keep a kayak on the beach and take off whenever I want. I should be able to snorkel with fish or turtles on a regular basis. I am a Pisces, after all, and smack-dab in the middle of the sign. There's nothing of the cusp about me, oh no. Here's what Astrology.com had to say about me, based on my birth date, place and time:
Birth Data for Cheryl:Yep. Yep. It's all true.
Birth Date and Time..... March 6, 1957 ______PM
Birth Location............. __________, New Jersey
Sun Sign.................... Pisces
Your Sample Reading:
Section 1: How You Approach Life and How You Appear To Others
Ferociously proud and somewhat vain, you like to be impressive and to be seen as Somebody Special. You are not timid, meek, or self-effacing, and are rarely content being in the background or in the subordinate position. You are a natural leader, and do not take orders from others very well. You must have something of your own, something creative - be it a business, a project, a home or whatever - that you can develop and manage according to your own will and vision. Whatever you do, you do it in a unique, dramatic, individual way. You like to put your own personal stamp on it. Find out more with your full-length reading...
Section 2: The Inner You: Your Real Motivation
At heart you are very gentle, impressionable, and receptive -a dreamer. The world of your imagination, feelings, and intuition is as real to you as anything in the outer world, though you may have trouble verbalizing or interpreting your inner experiences in a way others can understand. Mystical, artistic, musical, emotional and imaginative, you have a rich inner life, though you may seem rather unobtrusive and quiet outwardly. You usually keep to yourself. Find out more with your full-length reading...
The Caribbean was the first body of water in which I felt completely at ease...no fear at all...no familiar panic when the water was over my head. Peace. Serenity. Home. Safe. I wish I was there again, now.
But here I am, stuck in the Philly 'burbs for a while, unless I decide to not renew my lease and to take a travel assignment to Hawaii instead. One never knows. "All options are on the table" as the White House and State Department like to say. But I'm celebrating my Indepencence Day by cooking Bajan style. I'm cooking the Bajan fish a certain young Bajan man cooked especially for me almost two weeks ago, the evening I invited him onto my body and into my bed.
Since I had bought the limes and found some mint and happened to stop by the liquor store for white rum, and since the cutting board already had lime juice on it from salting and marinating my fish (cod and talapia, no butterfish or "dolphin," like I had in Barbados...see marinating fish at right), it seemed perfectly appropriate to mix a mojito for the cooking experience (see finished product at left, complete with Bajan sugar-dipped lime slice and mint leaf).
I only had a few mojitos on the island, having a very hard time finding mint for some reason. I did manage to find condoms aplenty, however. I haven't bought condoms since I purchased them for my son when he was going to the Jersey shore with his prom date (now his wife and mother of his child) in his senior year of high school. Hope he's forgiven me. I still don't regret it...my point was made. Quite a selection they have down there. It's good to know. There are signs all over the place promoting AIDS awareness. Nice to see a government address real issues rather than craft an Abstinence-Only Fairyland. Condoms. What a concept.
My garlic-herb butter is all mixed and ready to stuff into the fillets. All that's left to do is chop the sweet peppers, red onions, potatoes and squash and create my masterpiece. It's nearly 8 PM but I don't care. I can reasonably stay up until 1-ish and get plenty of sleep for work in the morning. Here is the prepared product, ready for foil covering and the oven. I made two. One for me (and I'm sharing some with a couple of young girls across the parking lot I like) and one for a young couple in the complex who just had their first baby. God knows, they could probably use a nice, healthy, home-cooked meal. I wish I lived close enough to Mike, Jen and Brendan that I'd been able to do this after Brendan was born. I really would have just dropped off a casserole (vegetarian, of course), peeked and played just a bit then left. If only. Maybe with the next one.
Want my Bajan Fish recipe? Here it is:
What? You want the mojito recipe, too? Sheesh. Some people...
The kitchen is all cleaned up. I noticed an interesting visual as I was emptying the dishwasher.
Yep. Life is good.
I hope you have as much fun with these recipes as I've had making them and eating/drinking them, today and in the past. As for the young Bajan man...well, you know more's to come about that, don't you? "But...you were a lesbian," you scream!
Yep...still am, too.
Thanks for dinner, Sean, and for everything else. You were a consummate, sexy, Energizer Rabbit gentleman, you Bad Boy. Best man I ever fucked.
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