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A couple of years ago before getting so busy making Mad Hungry, I spent a week teaching at a work shop called The Kiln and The Kitchen at Good Hope in Trelawny, Jamaica. My childhood friend David Pinto, a potter who works up there invited me to collaborate with him in teaching ceramists cooking. The focus was on functional ceramics. The idea was to really expore how ceramics functioned with every day cooking. Daily, the students worked in the pottery studio and in the kitchen where I taught recipes from Lucinda’s Authentic Jamaican Kitchen and we used only local ingredients and cooking methods. Good Hope is a truly magical location which through the grace of my dear friends, The Harts–I’ve been visiting for years. See, Mad Hungry for a look at the view from the kitchen. I dreamed of Good Hope last night and you can see why.

One day we had a barbecue and made Jerk Chicken old-school style (will post tomorrow) and one of my favorite JA dishes, Rice & Peas–a truly egalitarian dish found on every Jamaican table from the humblest to the most grand. Here we used a traditionally made (from local clay) Yabba pot, built our fire and cooked our Rice and Peas while the chicken slow smoked.

Here’s the recipe for our northern kitchens:
1/2 pound dried red beans (1 cup)
6-8 cups coconut milk (dilute the canned milk 1:1 with water)”
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 whole scallions
2 sprigs fresh thyme (1 1/2 dried)
2 cups long grain rice
2 teaspoons salt

Wash the beans and place in a pot with the coconut milk, black pepper, scallions and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 1-2 hours until the beans are just tender (adding water if needed to keep the beans covered). Cooking time depends on the age of the beans. Remove the thyme stalks and scallion. Add the rice and salt. If necessary, add more water so liquid is 1 inch above rice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

During our workshop –we learned about cooking fish, river shrimp, pepper sauces, pumpkin soups and fish teas, drinks from local spirits, herbs and fruits, tropical desserts etc etc. And, on the other side, I learned about creating ceramics from David, Doug and all their amazing students from far and wide.

Am presently making rice and peas, pumpkin soup with spinners and more than likely, later on, will have to mix up a batch of rum punch too. Too much tropical on the brain and The Mighty Diamonds http://www.themightydiamonds.com kick off a day of reggae music pulsing through the house. One love!

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  • Anonymous February 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    sorry if this comment is unrelated to your current post, but i just wanted to pass along some info. a few posts back i commented about coming to your site via a knit blog i follow written by susan b. anderson. and how she had spoken highly of your book and that you share the same publisher (i now have my own copy of your book and have thoroughly enjoyed every recipe i've tried so far, as have my boys!). anyhow, i mentioned in my previous post that her knit toys, baby hats etc would be perfect for a segment on Martha Stewart's show…. it turns out that susan is doing a tour for her book ITTY BITTY TOYS and is scheduled to be here:New York, NY! EVENT/BOOKSIGNING DATE: Saturday, March 13th 2010TIME: 1 PM LOCATION: Knitty City, 208 West 79th St., New York, NY 10024SPECIFICS: This will be a casual “meet & greet” book signing. just thought if you were in the area, you might want to check her (and her knitting!) out for yourself! thanks! christine m. (east of toronto)

  • Andrew Nadel November 29, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Thanks for that , very interesting. I get so bored of plain rice recipes but I’m not very skilled at cooking. There’s tonnes of good ideas at this rice recipe site I found that your readers might like too.

  • shirley McDaniel March 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I love your show, I have lost your recipe for salmon and peas. I’ve tried going onto your website but can’t find it. I need it by tonight. I already have my salmon defrosting. Thanks shirley

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