Sunday, January 22, 2012

Holiday Ham and Eggs

It's official. The last of the Christmas ham is gone forever...

Last year, as we always do, the Christmas ham was bought and baked on Christmas Eve. The difference was that it was probably the smallest ham we ever brought into the house. Why? I'm the only one in the house that still eats pork, and for that reason alone, it took a little longer to finish. That’s okay. It’s the “other white meat”, right? 

And much as I still love the smell of a baked ham studded with cloves (or just on its own) on Christmas day, I also love having it with my scrambled eggs, which is a tradition that my late grandmother started long before I was born. She also loved making stewed pork and sometimes she even cured her own ham and beef. I'm glad  that she left me her stewed pork recipe (which I hope to share on this forum someday), but for now, I’m even happier to be able to share this simple treatment of Holiday Ham and Eggs

Started with the ham by cutting off the remaining meat and I chopped up about a ¼ cupful.
Then I got ½ a shallot (ran out of onions), 1 blade of chive and half a chadon beni (culantro) leaf.  I also cut a sliver of red hot pepper (cuz I like it hot).

After cracking and lightly beating 2 eggs I heated a little table margarine in the frying pan, then added all the shallot, half the chive and the piece of hot pepper. In went the ham, then I poured on the beaten eggs.

Started stirring it, then I sprinkled on the chopped chadon beni and the remainder of the chive, plus a little black pepper.

All done. I’m not the type that likes runny eggs at all, so if it looks brown in places, that’s definitely on purpose.

Put it in my favourite dish to cool a bit and worked on heating up some hops bread… yup… gotta eat a breakfast like this with hops!

Voila! Holiday Ham and Eggs on a toasted hops bread with some tomato... perfect!  (Don't forget those extra pieces of ham - just for nibbling!)
Bite in… you know you want to!

As you can see, I had to put a little bit on a teeny piece of bread and take a quick taste… Those eggs were so delicious to me, just the right texture, firm yet giving, and the combination of the herby, salty and peppery goodness was just the perfect breakfast taste.

Here’s to great beginnings, my friends. Until next time, like I always say…

Don’t forget to mind the pot!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

An Apology, Gratitude and a Promise

This morning I was about to write a post on Facebook saying that I had so many work based writing assignments to do today. Wistfully, I thought of this little cooking blog of mine that I began in 2011 and how it has given others so many smiles and literal food for thought, and it hit me that it was suffering for some attention. 

Beef and Spincah Lasagna with garlic peas and tomato salad.

Imagine, my blog’s anniversary was January 2nd. What did I do to honour that?
Nothing. *sniff-sniff*
Yes, folks, I have broken one of the many rules of blogging, which is, ‘be consistent, and post regularly’, but not without good reason.

I have been working harder than the Energizer bunny at my 10 to 6 (and sometimes 9 and 10), doing everything that is asked of me; when the weekends come I am too tired to even post. Since starting my new job at the paper, “me time” is being slowly eaten away as I fulfil my duties. Even now, as I have a ton of stories to write and copy to edit, I can’t help but think about the scads of food photos I’ve taken that are waiting to be sorted and edited, but my eyes and brain are needed elsewhere, especially with the upcoming Carnival season on our heels and those special publications continuing to call. 

My take on Greek Salad

I will tell you all that it has been a good year for this toddler of a food blogger, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I met and made friends some wonderful people including Cynthia Nelson of Tastes Like Home fame and become food buddies with the writers of Chennete, Trini Gourmet, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Punch, Simply TriniCooking and Caribbean Pot. I follow the exploits of BITTT (Bring it To The Table) with Baidawi and Quincy and I am thankful and happy for their dedication to showing what's happening out there locally with food competitions and expos. My buddy Marc Muneal, an Assistant Professor at Gordon GA University even included a little excerpt from my posting on callaloo in his guest post Caribbean Creole meets Sub Continental Indian on his friend Roopsi Risam’s Gourmet PhD blog recently. (Thanks again Marc!) 

Sharing a smile as I get my autographed copy of Tastes Like Home from fellow food blogger and writer, Cynthia Nelson.

In between, good friends and strangers have written me to ask questions and leave wonderful comments. Some have asked me to do certain dishes for them on this forum and I have promised them that I would, but yet, the time is not there. (I ask that you please forgive me, I have not forgotten you. They will come.) 

Preparing dough for my fried fish pies...

The daily grind has turned me into powder. Some days it is coarse. Other times it is fine. But in all this mess, I need to stay whole, and keep my love of cooking at the head of my table. It is funny how the brain works sometimes, because in the middle of all this, I have been brainstorming a couple of new blog ideas. Soon, my dears… I will release them soon.

Marble Bundt Cake

The best thing that has happened in this truly eventful year of food blogging is that my cookbook, my how-many-years-long labour of love, is finally done. The writing part is over and the next phase is soon to begin and I’ll be working on a few drawings now to accompany my treasure.
Chicken Meatballs with Tomato sauce, served on Spaghetti

So, I shall end this, my first unofficial post for 2012 by saying “thank you” to everyone that has come to this spot by way of searching for a solution or are curious about Trini cooking, because I just can’t do this without you – you do know that, right?
I’ll now leave you with the promise that “Come Taste This!” will get going again (very) soon. When, you ask? Well, it could be tomorrow.... 


Until then, take good care of yourselves, and like I always say… don’t forget to mind the pot.