Island Foodie

Type of Post: 
Beyond New England
Kingston, Jamaica
Best of Show: 
everything with old friends
Palm in the Rain

It was a dark and stormy night...

I went to Jamaica for a weekend to attend the wedding of an old friend's daughter. I had never been to Jamaica (or anywhere in the Caribbean) and I had not seen Fitzroy in 21 years so I was ready for an adventure of the unknown!

That's a good thing because there was a tropical depression in the neighborhood that built into a hurricane while I was there; fortunately for the bride and the rest of us it passed to the north leaving Jamaica with only much-needed rain. 

Kingston Harbour

When I arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Fitz picked me up and within minutes we were talking like we'd seen each other yesterday. As we made our way around the big harbor from the airport to the city, we got right back to the old business of solving the problems of the world.  

Boston Blonde Bread

Boston Blonde Bread
This is a lighter-flavored version of the famous old Boston Brown Bread, sweetened with honey and maple syrup instead of the traditional molasses.
This makes a great breakfast, especially toasted or warmed in a skillet with hot butter. The flavors suit modern tastes as well as those of our colonial forebears, and the three whole grains make is almost healthful (except for that bit about the hot butter in the skillet...)

Racei Cocktail

The Racei Cocktail

This is a change of pace from the sweet, juicy, tall coolers that I saw in Jamaican hotels. It it built on the classic cocktail model of 3:1 plus lime juice. A moment of relaxed contemplation reveals layers of tropical flavors against an authoritative rum backbone. I hope to try it at home with some Falernum syrup, but the Stone's is ubiquitous in its Jamaican home.  

It is named for my friend Hugo "Racei" Matthews of Kingston, Jamaica. I invented it while awaiting his wedding, during a savage downpour that cleared up just in time for the happy occasion. This one was mixed at the Knutsford Court hotel, where I stayed and which I recommend.

This is properly made with Appleton Genesis white Jamaica rum, because I made it with that fine product, I was in Jamaica at the time, and as far as I know Racei is still there and happily married.


Vacherin Shell

Vacherin Sheel, FilledThis festive dessert is spectacular, time-consuming, and short lived. It is best made for a celebration.

It is simply a shell made of meringue filled with whipped cream and fresh berries; the trick lies in making a good shell.

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler hot from the oven

This traditional American summer classic is best made with very fresh peaches when they are in season in August and early September. 

Be sure to buy them where they are grown! As with most fruit, the riper a peach gets, the softer it gets, so tree-ripe fruit is hard to pack and ship. Peaches shipped from Georgia or elsewhere are typically picked somewhat underripe, and then gassed with ethylene in a warehouse to "ripen" them artificially. 

Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

This handsome drink is complex and flavorful, suitable for hot nights or cold ones. 

Lucien Gaudin was a world-champion fencer in the early 20th Century, winning awards from 1905 to 1928, including four gold medals and two silver medals in the 1924 and 1928 Olympic games. In the 1920s and 1930s, new cocktails were invented for all sorts of pop-culture references. Most have long since failed the test of time, but this tasty gin-and-Campari concoction remains a winner!


Ekmek, aka Armenian Home KadaifThis heavy pastry is middle-eastern. I have been told it is Armenian, Greek, Lebanese, and Turkish. Whoever invented it deserves a prize!

This is sweet, but not super-sweet. It's great with tea or coffee after a light middle-eastern dinner in the summer.  

Apple Pie

Apple PieThe original fall classic!

I like this best early in the season with Yellow Transparents, and late in the season with Northern Spy, Golden Russet, and Baldwin apples.  

Actifio Potluck - Summer BBQ

Type of Post: 
Best of Show
Making Lunch

We did it again. The weather forecast was promising, so the VP Engineering surprised us with a shiny new gas grill!

The Software Developers and the QA crew had at it, with a little help from the Technical Writers, Marketing, and two industrious interns. Our CSA share came in that morning, so we had a lot of "raw material" to work with.

This was our biggest pot-luck lunch so far, maybe thanks to the creative energy unleashed by that grill. Some of it was competitive energy, and some was just the joy of sharing something delicious with our friends.

The savories side of the table

We had:

Pineapple Salsa

Brad's Pineapple Salsa, photo by Brad GoodnessThis is a fine accompaniment to Grilled Scallops.
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