Late February and into March saw my annual holiday to the sunshine of the Caribbean, a trip to see Claire (fellow SuffolkFoodie) in Barbuda. For those that don't know, Barbuda was wiped out by Hurricane Irma on September 9th. The island was devasted and 6 months on still is. No electricty and running water makes life difficult enough, but for those still living in tents or without a roof over their head, life must be miserable. Food and general supplies are desperately short, so first stop after arriving in Antigua was shopping and buying supplies to send on the cargo boat. Three days in Antigua provided enough time for some sight seeing and to eat some street food which is available on nearly every corner. Also this fantastic island breakfast at our Airbnb. In Barbuda we cooked for ourselves using the supplies that we'd sent ahead. There is little else to buy unless you find a fisherman or hunter with a good catch. We found Bernie who had just been out in his boat and supplied a 10lb red snapper to cook over the fire. We also successfully dived for conchs which were so tough to remove from the shell that we had to take we them to Bernie to release. Limited ingredients, only a generator for power keeps you on your toes when deciding what to cook. But our conch escabeche would give any top restaurant a run for it's money.
- Bernie's was so happy to have caught some fish
- Antigua street food menu
- loading our cargo in Antigua for Barbuda
- Curry chicken patties from a food stall in Antigua
- Conch's out of the shell
- Conch escabeche
- Dumplings cooked to order in Antigua
- Barbuda red snapper grill
- Antigua kitchen
Inspired by last years road trip, Mr SuffolkFoodie and I returned to the U.S in February to catch the Daytona 500 and take a quick look at Miami (nice Empanada and Cuban coffee at the airport kiosk) before heading over to Barbuda, one of my favourite places in the world, where they weigh you, and your luggage before boarding the six seater Islander plane. Travel light if you want to fit in! My sister, founder of SuffolkFoodie spends most of her time in Barbuda, running the ArtCafe and cooking food for the few tourists that discover the beautiful, unspoilt, tiny island. It's modest in amenties but makes up for it a hundred times with the best beaches and friendly Barbudans who embrace visitors, happily sharing their limited resources. The extreme of Miami, where everything is massive, high cholesterol and hyped, except for the dogs.
- Daytona 500 crowd
- gator bites in the Everglades
- St Louis ribs at a car show
- Strong Cuban coffee and Empanada's at Miami airport
- Coopertown Cafe in the Everglades
- A Coopertown breakfast
- Lobster roll from a street food van Daytona 500
- funnel cake at the races
- island breakfast in Antigua
- weigh in at the airport
- sending supplies over to Barbuda
- quick side of the road snack in Antigua
- street food served with a smile in Antigua
- the flight from Antigua to Barbuda on an Islander plane
- limited supplies in the Barbuda shop
- our supplies arrive on the Lady Jen
- but there are always lobsters
- Byrons place
- barracuda on the beach
- charcoal making using Cinnamon wood and Jamaica wood
- sea urchins
- jelly coconuts
Always the best, authentic Caribbean food and in typical West Indian style not always the full menu available. But if you go on Nyammings Night (Thurs 5-10pm) you get all you can eat for about £20 which always includes delicious dishes like this curry goat, Johny Cakes and plantains.
Pouring with rain all day but the ackee and saltfish, curry goat and jerk chicken keeps on coming at Notting Hill Carnival.
Finally got round to trying to smoke some fish because here it's all we eat, nearly every day. And because I'm not in the cold miserable UK at the moment it had to be a Barracuda fillet. I didn't catch it myself but I did brine it and smoke it over a Logwood fire (you know, like the one in the Bob Marley song) and it was a bit like the most delicious smoked haddock.
From my next door neighbour...every Sunday, in return for a lift to church. Salt fish, chop-up, plantain, salad - I just have to make the toast.
So what does the fastest man in the world eat every day?
Usain Bolt's Breakfast - Yams and fried green bananas or maybe saltfish and ackee
Usain Bolt's Lunch - Rice with pork or beef
Usain Bolt's Dinner- Rice with beef or pork
Usain Bolt favourite food - KFC but especially their Chicken Nuggets (oh dear...) but you can go to our recipes for HOME-MADE chicken nuggets.
Byron is well known for his barbecues on the beach, and says the secret of good Caribbean food is in the seasoning. Everyone makes their own version and it usually includes thyme, plenty of salt, peppers such as scotch bonnet or the small local chilis, and a number of other spices. In the UK we can cheat - but make sure you do it the night before, it's all about the preparation. And use twice as much as you think you need - strong flavours are the thing. Even though summer seems to be over we will be eating this on Monday at Notting Hill and until it's too cold to go out in the garden. And then we might just have to cook it in the oven.
Barbecued chicken, pork or fish with rice and peas
Prepare your meat or fish the day before - cut slashes into them to ensure the spices get right in, it will help with cooking too.
Season with your preferred seasoning - curry powder will do but you can buy most of the Caribbean style seasonings now. Or make your own from a combination of salt, black pepper, turmeric, ground allspice, dried thyme, red pepper (cayenne or fresh scotch bonnet chili) and olive oil. Rub this into the meat or fish. The next day - cook on your coal pot in the garden!
Rice and Peas
Rinse your rice, long grain is best. Cook until nearly ready, add plenty of salt, a tin of black eye beans or kidney beans or if you can get them, pigeon peas complete with their liquid and finish cooking. If you like you can add a bit of coconut - but most people don't.
...and in spite of eating and drinking non-stop, have lost weight. Must be the heat. And no cakes. So here are the pictures of the kind of thing I have been eating, in order of appearance: a mediocre fried fish from a side of the road stall in Antigua, papaya and banana from the garden with local honey and yoghurt for breakfast, my neighbours breakfast - sent over in return for a lift to church - salt fish, chop-up and fried corn bread, a soursop, mangoes and a proper delicious fried fish served with soldier crab fungi.
I want to go back...