Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sapodilla (Naseberry) Dawn Dessert - Raw Food is Wow Too

sapodilla dessert

I'm slowly learning to come to terms with my altered body now that I have had children. But Wizzy you exclaim you’ve had 1 ½ years to get back in shape! As I was saying. It’s been slow going. Some days I cringe at my reflection and most days I honestly don’t recognize the woman in the mirror since I seem to be stuck in a mental time warp of my young adult self which is weird because that was a most awkward and self-concious time of my life. Are women ever truly happy with what we look like?

I want to lose weight but my attempts to exercise are constantly derailed. If it’s not playing nursemaid to children who get sick at inconvenient times then it’s the difficulty of getting someone to babysit so that I can go to my exercise class. If I am to be completely honest then I also must admit that my biggest hurdle is one of choice. Yes there are days that I choose to relax and not have to rush off to yet another activity even if it’s supposed to be something that is good for me..

Right now I’m a good candidate for a makeover. But before you rush off to sign me up for a beauty overhaul consider this, at the end of the day when my exhausted somewhat out of shape body falls into bed; I am content. I am happy with my life and my insanely hectic days. My unsophisticated look may not be for everyone but it’s honest. It’s where I am in life right now and why should I pretend otherwise. Now is wow too. Isn’t that a lovely refrain? I picked it up from Elspeth. I sincerely hope that she doesn’t mind me borrowing the name of her blog. It's an uplifting message.

While I’m not giving up entirely on the idea of exercising, I am easing up on the pressure I’ve been putting on myself to look a certain way. If you’re a woman then you know what I’m talking about. Our image of beauty is driven by unrealistic media hype. I will stop listening. I will shut up that ugly inner voice which tells me that I will be happier later on if/when I lose (insert number) pounds. I’m taking Elspeth’s beautiful message to heart. I am wow right now. What about you?

©All Rights Reserved

Sapodilla (Naseberry) Dawn Ricipe 
(adapted from Elspeth)
Serves 1

2 ripe sapodillas (naseberries)
1 large banana (crushed and frozen)
Two raisins
A smidge of freshly grated nutmeg
12 almond slices
2 walnut or pecan halves

Pulverize the banana in the blender and freeze for about 3 hours. Cut the tops off the sapodilla and scoop out the center seeds. Pile the frozen banana into the center of the sapodilla. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg and decorate with the remaining ingredients.

Sapodilla (naseberry) has always been one of my favourite fruit. For those of you who may not know it, sapodilla’s boring exterior belies the flavour party that is happening on the inside of this unassuming fruit which looks like a small potato. The predominant flavour is vanilla with a hint of creamy caramel. The soft pulp even has a slight granular texture which mimics the feel of sugar in your mouth. Cartwheels it’s so good. What I like about this dish was the little extra attention and effort that went into making it as visually appealing as it was delicious.

Elspeth follows a raw food diet. While such a rigid way of eating is not for everybody, I don't know anyone who doesn't appreciate the health benefits of including more raw fruits and vegetables into their diets.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Holy Cake and Ice-cream Batman!

Batman Cupcake
©2010 All Rights Reserved

Oh bless! Mr. Tomato Eyes is 5 years old. Wasn’t it only yesterday that I was baking this cake for his 4th birthday? Due to time constraints I reluctantly decided to have someone else make the cake. This was no easy decision since I was and am totally convinced that I am entirely qualified to make this cake myself.

What are my qualifications? To be honest I’ve never worked with fondant before. Does rolling marzipan and playing with of Plasticine help? Go on, doesn’t it look like modeling clay, albeit tasty modeling clay. How about boundless enthusiasm for trying new things in the kitchen?

Holy Cakes and Ice-Cream Batman

So anywhoooos, my entire mom universe depended on this cake being a success. Remember this is the child who thinks that I am omnipotent which is a good thing when getting him to bend to my will and pick up his toys and such. Not such a good thing when you try to suggest that your powers might be limited to a simpler cake.

Enter Twinkle Sprinkle. Sounds like a fairy is going to work some magic doesn’t it. Well that’s exactly what happened and the result was the lovely cake pictured above. The sprite responsible for this bit of cake magic is called Sarah. In the end I sure am glad that I left this sugared modeling clay project in her capable hands. Sarah’s marshmallow fondant was a hundred million times more delicious than the commercial stuff which I planned on using. Bleh! Here is a link to Sarah’s blog. Go give her some props and tell her how lovely you think her cake turned out. You can also leave a comment for her on her facebook page

Batman Cake
©2010 All Rights Reserved


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Help Wanted

Job Description
Must be willing to hold a relfector to exact specifications of photographer/creative director-no back talk! I can only afford payment in food at this point in time.
Tomato Eyes
This blog is currently experiencing some technical difficulties. It has become increasingly difficult to find workers who are willing to hold a reflector for long shoots while I photograph food  at different angles, ad nauseum . Insubordination is rampant on the set of the shoot and and employees have been observed  playing with food after it has been painstakingly placed and styled in a very precise manner. Here is an example of a ruined shoot. It was supposed to be part of a set of pictures on ratatouille. As you can see my assistant decided that making tomato eyes was predominantly more interesting than precision angling a tomato or the compositional relevance of wood grain. This is more along the lines of what the photographer was hoping for


Finally, for those of you who may be interested I have started a  project called one thousand faces. Click here for details.


Friday, May 7, 2010

A boy, a dog and Toasted Sesame Cookies - Happy Mother's Day

My first son believes that I am God. I am his sun, his moon, his All. My second son is an atheist. Baby S was all of 19 months when he FINALLY started saying Mama!  I ask you what child learns to call the neighbourhood pothound (stray dog) by name before his own mother? All other dogs are doggie but this one he calls by name, “Fowl” he says, or rather, “Fow.”

                                         Exhibit A  D odder woman aka my competition

Sorry, in all jealousy ah hadda leggo de creole.  Tell me dat jagabat (Jezebel) isn’t ginning at me?

I guess I would not have minded so much if baby S had been a late talker. Then I could excuse his disinterest as just your average toddler’s limited vocabulary. Listen here, the child can ask for water, juice, an apple; and a whole manner of other foods. If he wishes to play outside he says, “go outsigh.” He can even sing, “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands"! But for whatever reason, for the longest while there was a stubborn resistance to calling his mummy. My one consolation was that he wasn’t saying daddy either.

Still my own son wasn’t going to favour some bitch over me was he? I declared war. Like all jealous and scorned women I went for the gut. Isn’t it said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?

sesame seed sugar cookie

Yep. I baked these lovely toasted-sesame seed cookies (gluten free of course) for his sensitive stomach. Did I manage to tempt him away from that brazen pothound? Sadly it seems like the bond between a man and his stomach is no match for that of a boy and his dog.

                                                        Exhibit B Her wide hips!

Yes, having failed to win his affection with cookies. I’m resorting now to low blows. Fatty bum. No she isn’t pregnant just FAT.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rumberry Pie (Chasing Guavaberries in Tortola)

True story:

By own admission, my curiosity about food is at times an embarrassment to my loved ones. On this occasion they were encapsulated in a rental jeep at the bottom of a hill, looking for all the world like they were ordinary tourists with their cameras trained on the beautiful vista ahead. Their goal was to casually disassociate themselves from the crazy, inappropriately attired lady, hiking up a small hill behind them.


It was Christmas and I was vacationing with my sister in Tortola. One taste of an intoxicating, local, drink and I had become a woman on a mission. What was this magic elixir? The homebrew I had tasted was called guavaberry wine and it was made with a fruit that I hadn’t heard of before. Later on I learned that a delicious pie and a liqueur (pictured above) were also made from the same berries.

What are guavaberries? First off, they don’t taste anything like a guava. The berry itself is yellowish-orange or a very dark red to a blackish purple. They are also known as rumberries in some parts. My apologies for the crappy, blurred photo it was dark in the freezer and I couldn't get my old point and shoot to focus. I had already weirded out my hostess enough. I didn’t reckon she would have taken too kindly to my hauling out her berries and attempting to style the shot.Click here for a picture of the tree and clearer image of the fruit.


I am thinking that this might be something that grows in Trinidad but we may have a different name for it. So many of our local fruits have been forgotten in our pursuit of foreign imports. Have you seen this fruit? Do you know it by some other name? Please let me know in the comments.

The time that I was in Tortola, I drove my sister crazy looking for this darn tree. Guavaberry pie and wine evokes such a sense of nostalgia in Virgin Islanders that you would think there would be a guavaberry tree on display in the botanical gardens, but no. We climbed the highest peak in the Virgin Islands to get to Sage Mountain National Park – don’t bother.

We asked every tour operator we encountered to help us locate a guavaberry tree. Most didn't know or so they pretended:-) FINALLY on the last day of our stay, as we were leaving the beach, I struck up a conversation with some taxi drivers who were setting up for a barbecue. They didn't know where I could find a guavaberry tree but they knew a woman who made guavaberry pies - just up the hill.

Before I knew it I was standing, slightly embarrassed, trailing sand and dripping salt water into this woman’s immaculate kitchen. My sense of shame was heightened by the fact once I opened my mouth, I knew that my Caribbean accent would expose me as an imposter, not a tourist – well not really.

Sure enough, when I started speaking they realized right way that I was myself an islander. Now the strange looks. How could I be West Indian and not know about guavaberry? I know isn’t it shameful. That’s exactly why I am here peering into the depths of your freezer. Nervous laughter. Not only did this kind lady open up her freezer for me to take pictures, she also cut me a generous slice of her pie. Score! You gotta love Caribbean hospitality!

Upon my return, my sister and husband were annoyed because my diversion had made us late to catch our flight home - no matter I had pie!

Here is a picture of a guavaberry pie that my sister was supposed to bring for me this Christmas. Sigh, all I got for Christmas was my sister. She forgot the pie but so thoughtfully took this picture before she and her roommate ate it all.

Guavaberry Pie

There is a lesson here. The lesson is that fancy ingredients do not necessarily come from far flung corners of the earth. You can bring something exciting to your table wherever you are in the world with local ingredients. You just have to ask questions. Oh yeah,  and NEVAH trust your sister with pie!