A couple of years ago before getting so busy making Mad Hungry, I spent a week teaching at a work shop called The Kiln and The Kitchen at Good Hope in Trelawny, Jamaica. My childhood friend David Pinto, a potter who works up there invited me to collaborate with him in teaching ceramists cooking. The focus was on functional ceramics. The idea was to really expore how ceramics functioned with every day cooking. Daily, the students worked in the pottery studio and in the kitchen where I taught recipes from Lucinda's Authentic Jamaican Kitchen and we used only local ingredients and cooking methods. Good Hope is a truly magical location which through the grace of my dear friends, The Harts--I've been visiting for years. See, Mad Hungry for a look at the view from the kitchen. I dreamed of Good Hope last night and you can see why.
One day we had a barbecue and made Jerk Chicken old-school style (will post tomorrow) and one of my favorite JA dishes, Rice & Peas--a truly egalitarian dish found on every Jamaican table from the humblest to the most grand. Here we used a traditionally made (from local clay) Yabba pot, built our fire and cooked our Rice and Peas while the chicken slow smoked.
Here's the recipe for our northern kitchens:
1/2 pound dried red beans (1 cup)
6-8 cups coconut milk (dilute the canned milk 1:1 with water)"
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 whole scallions
2 sprigs fresh thyme (1 1/2 dried)
2 cups long grain rice
2 teaspoons salt
Wash the beans and place in a pot with the coconut milk, black pepper, scallions and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 1-2 hours until the beans are just tender (adding water if needed to keep the beans covered). Cooking time depends on the age of the beans. Remove the thyme stalks and scallion. Add the rice and salt. If necessary, add more water so liquid is 1 inch above rice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
During our workshop --we learned about cooking fish, river shrimp, pepper sauces, pumpkin soups and fish teas, drinks from local spirits, herbs and fruits, tropical desserts etc etc. And, on the other side, I learned about creating ceramics from David, Doug and all their amazing students from far and wide.
Am presently making rice and peas, pumpkin soup with spinners and more than likely, later on, will have to mix up a batch of rum punch too. Too much tropical on the brain and The Mighty Diamonds http://www.themightydiamonds.com kick off a day of reggae music pulsing through the house. One love!