My mom, grandma, and aunts were all wonderful chefs. I grew up in Guyana, South America where daily cooking was the norm and eating out was a rare family outing. My mom baked bread and other treats every Sunday and made legendary roti, bakes, and plantain chips. All of this was done with tools that did not use electricity. Sponge cakes at Christmas or on birthdays involved creaming butter and sugar for hours with a wooden spoon to get the delicate, fluffy batter; Green plantains were sliced paper-thin by hand, then fried into delicious chips for snacking.
I was engaged as a kitchen helper to my mom from an early age. I remember hand grinding beef into “mince” (ground beef) with a metal hand grinder to cook various dishes including “bora and mince.” I would pound boiled green plantains in a wooden mortar and pestle to make “foo foo” for Sunday soup. Freshly grated coconut is used in a variety of meals at home. We made coconut milk for curries and “cook-up rice” and used the shredded coconut in baked goods. I was on call to grate coconuts on a hand grater called a “cruckney” for whatever delicacy was on the menu.
I’m launching this blog in the midst of a global pandemic. Cooking daily gives structure to my day figuring out our daily menu gives me a creative outlet. Sometimes baking is a tool I use to procrastinate when I’m trying to avoid some unpleasant task like filing taxes or applying for financial aid.
At dinner, we always sit down together to eat and talk. As we eat and talk I find myself taking trips down memory lane. This blog is a tribute to my Guyanese ancestry and an embrace of culinary delights around the world.
Come on a cooking adventure with me. These are the musings of a simple country girl in her home kitchen in Brooklyn. My motto is “Ecstasy in Every Bite”
Guest Bloggers: I’m lucky enough to live in an actual and virtual community of foodies. We will have guest bloggers share their specialities and what’s exciting their palettes right now.
Your Twist: Share your ideas on how to put a spin on dishes you find here.
My Favorites: Cooking websites, cookbooks, gardens, places to eat.