Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Is there a certain food or meal that takes you back to your childhood? Perhaps there is a meal that evokes a story in your family? The dish comes to the table and someone invariably says, "Remember the time when....."
Our favourite dishes may not be gourmet, nor are they cooked up by a Michelin chef, although those are nice too. Our best meals are often those that have been lovingly prepared by family or friends. Such food is unpretentious and honest and forever, fondly remembered, no matter where life takes us.
Some weeks ago we received a bag of fresh corn. My father was immediately transported to his youth in Canouan and spoke excitedly about making Green Corn Dumplings. 'Green' meaning raw corn, straight off the cob.
All told it was a fun project and a look back in time to when Caribbean islanders were more directly involved with the food that they ate, from it's cultivation, to processing and cooking.
My four year old enthusiastically helped with the grinding of the corn, hopefully creating his own nostalgic ties to this traditional food. For my part, I remembered my part Carib grandmother who grew corn and milled her own cornflour. My brother remembered the time when... "all the corn had to be harvested early because of Hurricane David and we glutted ourselves on roasted corn".
Once the dumplings were cooked, we added some well seasoned dolphin (Mahi- Mahi) fish steaks on top of the dumplings and simmered until they were cooked.
Many of my parent's generation are of the opinion that the convenience of processed foods means that we sacrifice taste and nutrition for ease of preparation. What do you think? In this instance I am inclined to agree. These dumplings were a treat and so full of flavour that it was akin to eating actual boiled corn. Simply put, they taste like corn. You will be amazed after eating them to discover that in comparison, commercially processed cornmeal, doesn't actually taste like corn at all.
Green Corn Dumplings
8 cups Green Corn
1 1/2 tbs white flour
1/4 cup warm water, slightly brackish ( translation: slightly salted- don't you just love the Vincy turn of phrase?)
1 1/2 tablespoons of flour
Use a mill and grind the corn. Mix together flour and corn. Make a well in the center of the corn and slowly add 1/4 cup or less, warm, salted water stirring until it comes together - enough that you can shape it with your hand. Make your dumplings in the shape that you prefer and place in coconut milk which has come to a rolling boil. Cook for 15 minutes. Traditionally in St Vincent and the Grenadines these dumplings are served in a soup that is called Boilin. I am pleased to enter this soup in Deb in Hawaii's Souper Sundays lineup.
Posted by Wizzy John at 6:28 PM