If you had to create a menu of delicious food for a street party, what would you make? That was the challenge Grace Foods set bloggers in the lead up to Caribbean Food Week.
Now, given that Guyana shares a lot of similarities with other Caribbean countries, you would think this wasn’t really a challenge. However there are some distinct differences between these countries, so deviating away from what I’ve always known my Mum to cook allowed for some incredible dishes. Watch my Instagram story below if you missed all the excitement in the kitchen.
So, what was in the hamper?
Jerk chicken is an absolute must but I wanted to do something away from the norm. So I chose to adapt a classic and try some pulled jerk chicken patties.
It’s super easy. Marinade your chicken breasts with the jerk marinade, a small amount of BBQ sauce and about a tablespoon of the econa pepper sauce (I love my food spicy)
Set aside either overnight or if you’re cooking on the day, then for a few hours. Place on to a tray, into the oven and bake.
For the dough, my mum and I didn’t actually measure out quantities which I know is so redundant in a food blog. We like to live on the edge like that.
Using plain flour, add a tablespoon of the curry powder and half a teaspoon of turmeric. Cut up some cold butter and mix everything together, crumbling the butter with your hands. Slowly add some cold water and mix until the dough comes together. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for about 30 mins.
Meanwhile, let the chicken slightly cool and then shred. Feel free to add more pepper sauce and/or BBQ sauce to enhance taste if you feel it requires it. (I naturally added more pepper sauce!)
Divide your dough roughly about the size of golf balls and roll them out into a circular shape. Spoon some of the shredded chicken on one side of the circle, leaving about 1 or 2 centimeters at the edge. Fold over the other end to make a semicircle shape and using a fork, press down along the edges to seal the dough. Pierce the top of the dough with your fork, add an egg wash and when they’re all done, bake until golden.
Not a bad experiment!
One thing is apparent after years of watching my Mum in the kitchen. She never abandons what already works. Mixing both old and new can have some incredible results, which we found out.
Cook-up rice is a true Guyanese staple. Rice is cooked in a coconut milk and water mixture, with peas and beans added for texture and flavor.
To mix things up a bit, we used the fried chicken mix to fry some prawns. Yes… unconventional, but with the amount of chicken and prawn combinations out there, this seemed like a logical step. One that thankfully, paid off.
We soon turned to drinks to quench our thirst. Ginger beer is a bit of a hit and miss with me. However, Mum concocted a lovely ginger beer lemonade mixture that I completely approve of. Simply mix lemon juice with sugar and add your ginger beer. (Thank us later.)
In the end, we created a delightful spread using most of the items sent my Grace Foods.
Caribbean Food Week is around the corner, so why not try some of these recipes or have a go at creating your own inspired menu with the array of ingredients Grace Foods have to offer.
Henry Miller said “Writing is its own reward” – something I’m sure the Women’s Writes Network agrees with.
What’s surprising however is the number of women of colour who possess this talent but haven’t tapped into it.
So to address this gap, myself and two friends, Hasina and Priya, decided to develop workshops to help these women. The BBC Asian Network were interested in the Women’s Writes Network and invited us on air to find out more.
You can listen to the full interview above (and listen to me blank out live on air… so embarrassing!)
It was Tuesday. Day four of Ramadan, day two of my period. My pelvic pain was unbearable and I was about to both cry because of the podcast I was listening to and shout at this guy whose rucksack kept touching me.
Commute aside, indoors with no one invading my personal space, I was asked how I’d been finding fasting.
“Oh I’m not fasting this week,” I said hesitantly, knowing what was about to happen.
My visit to Toronto has been a long time coming. The last time I ventured over to ‘the 6’ was over four years ago.
Home to Drake, The Weeknd, Lilly Singh and Rupi Kaur, I did secretly hope I would bump into one of the four during my week there but alas, it didn’t happen.
I did however have a lot of family time and even though I was struck down with a relentless cough, I still braved the elements and got to admire some of what Toronto had to offer.
Our ability to show empathy and kindness as a collective knows no bounds. Atrocities like 9/11, the refugee crisis and even the recent attacks in London united people. Yet, at the #IamYezidi exhibition earlier this week, I started questioning both my own and wider society’s morals.
The exhibition held at the Lacey Contemporary Gallery featured portraits, taken by photojournalist Benjamin Eagle, of female survivors who had endured what I can only describe as a stones throw away from hell.
I couldn’t think of a better theme for this year’s International Women’s Day. #BeBoldForChange. Talking about gender parity last year was a good way to get the conversation going and educating ourselves about the current landscape women face within the workplace, however 2017 is all about action and there’s plenty we all can do.
According to the World Economic Forum, it would take roughly 117 years for gender parity, which is absolutely ludicrous. However the vastness of the #BeBoldForChange theme allows us to take steps and actions that will have a big impact for women.
There are a number of ways to get involved today and beyond according to the official website.
A packed train is probably the worst place to start a blog about my self image woes considering the Brits’ habit of leaning over to read their neighbour’s newspapers, magazines… even text messages!
But The Children’s Society and Children’s Mental Health Week has revealed a lot of information I had no idea about, especially around the way girls feel about their appearance.
Self image has been a buzzword over the years with teenagers and young adults sometimes going to extreme lengths to exude society’s idea of body perfection.
For South Asians and even West Indians, there is a huge amount of pressure on our physical appearance as well as the need to be ‘successful.’
Can you imagine a world where a quarter of a million 10 – 15 year old girls aren’t happy with their lives overall? That’s one in seven of all girls in that age group.
Well that’s the reality according to the 2016 Good Childhood Report published by The Children’s Society.
The Children’s Society released this insightful and eye-opening report last year in August, which not only reveals attitudes young children have over really important aspects of their lives, but reinforces the need to have emotional and mental health support implemented in all schools.
Boys and girls aged 10 – 15 were asked to rate their happiness and satisfaction across a number of factors like family, friends, appearance, school and overall life. The Children’s Society found that among girls, there has been a notable decline over a five year period when it comes to how they feel about their appearance and friendships.