Category Archives: Barbados

Not so Wordless Wednesday: Bajan Treats

When my mother comes to visit, my stomach flips…with joy!

Why?

Because I get a taste of home…check it out…

Bajan turnover

Coconut goodness inside the turnover

currant slice

Our national dish - cou-cou and flying fish

Say it with me, “Yum!”

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There’s No Food Like Home’s

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let’s Talk About Food

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their struggles and successes with healthy eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I cannot think of my culture without thinking of food. Food is a necessary part of my memories of home and what it means to be a Bajan.

There is no November without conkies.

There is no Christmas without baking.

There is no “town” without snow-cones.

There are no Sunday lunches without rice and peas.

There are no weddings without rum cake.

There are no mornings without “tea.”

Whenever my mother comes to visit she brings a suitcase full of goodies that include tamarind balls, sugar cakes, Shirley biscuits, Ju-C, mauby, and Eclipse biscuits. I relish these goodies like the rare treasures they are. C politely declines to eat most of them because his palate is decidedly content with its Midwestern tastes.

Yet, despite food being such a big part of my Bajan identity, I don’t usually cook Bajan food at home. When I moved to the US as a teenager, my daily meals became more American and once I left for college I was thoroughly immersed in American culture.

Now I cook things like turkey chilli, turkey meatloaf, spaghetti and ground turkey with spaghetti sauce, and stirfry. However, my dishes hint at my Caribbean upbringing because I’m certainly not afraid to use spices (Sidenote: Beware of restaurants that use mangoes and pineapples in a dish and call it “Caribbean.” Real Caribbean food is savory and spicy more so than fruity and sweet). Plus, I can’t seem to bake chicken without putting ketchup on it.

I wonder about what this will mean to Baby E as he grows up. I want his home to be reflective of his various heritages but I know my culture will be in the minority. He may not have memories of my grandmother in her kitchen stirring cornmeal with a cou-cou stick but I’ll make sure he knows what cou-cou is. When he asks for sweet tea on a hot summer’s day, I’ll make sure he knows mauby is an option. And when I take him home to Barbados for visits he’ll learn that “sea grapes” aren’t really grapes, “golden apples” aren’t really apples, “fat porks” don’t come from pigs, and you can’t really hurt anyone with a “lead pipe.”

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated July 13 with all the carnival links.)

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