Blessed Food

Just ate macaroni pie for dinner. This is after we went to Massy’s by West Mall and did a sizeable Questie shop. We’d gone down to empty cupboards on food. Crackers with pepper jelly for breakfast. I wasn’t complaining but some other people (cough, Lulu) were. Jack ate the last two boiled eggs with tomato and mayonnaise. Then, when we discovered there was really nothing left to eat for lunch, it was time to drive to the supermarket in our fantastically shitty rental car. We love that car. Just cross your fingers we don’t lose a wheel or two.

Trinidadian food prices work out for us about the same in the UK, though we buy much less ‘luxury’ based stuff here. They do sell fresh macaroni pie, and man that stuff is delicious. Simple, cheesy, a little spicy, nothing weird to fish out of it. I wish I could make it as good. Plus we bought guava jam to go with our peanut butter, more pepper jelly (spicy sweet heaven), cumin and tahini to make homemade hummus and bags of plantain chips. I do like the slightly salted ones, though you can get them naturally sweet.

Trini is blessed with food. You can go crazy on it. Coconut chutneys, fresh mango-curried sauces, a deeper cucumber-like vegetable called christophene. I feel like more people should be called Christophene. They sell fresh packs of mixed herbs to put into stews and salted fish by the bacon. It’s an experience just to walk down the supermarket aisles and gawp. And this is the normal supermarket… I can only imagine how it is to go to the markets in Port of Spain on the weekends. We should really do that – if we weren’t such terribly lazy travellers. There’s no way I’m going to surpass Bill Bryson just by hanging out in this boatyard. But it’s so comfy here. I’ll imagine it instead.

We used to be much more greedy and adventurous in the Caribbean with our food. I guess at the time we weren’t sure how long we’d be here, so comfort eating was strong on Quest. Trying to emulate life back home. Today we see things in the supermarket we’re not interested in buying anymore. Mostly fancy stuff. And some of it is so expensive compared to the UK. Real butter for example is about four quid – four quid! Everyone ends up just eating margarine – which is still not that much cheaper than the butter. Real dairy is so expensive here though- we’ve long given up drinking fresh milk. It’s UHT milk throughout the islands unless you’re proper swanky. Who thought you’d be making economic status markers with buying fresh milk! These weird calls are my favourite part of travelling – where the world turns on its head in a supermarket.

Some stuff I can’t give up though. Like Swiss Miss hot chocolate with marshmallows in it. I used to drink it as a kid in America on snowy days. Just the smell of it brings back memories I forgot I had. Now I make it for Lulu when she wakes up for her early classes. I sip on it a little before I give it to her. Don’t tell her though, since she won’t want to drink it now. Doh. Sometimes she reads this blog.



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