My husband and I recently returned from our vacation on the magical island of Barbados. The force in which we were shot back to reality came quick the morning after our arrival home as we woke to a blanket of snow frightening us along with all the buds and sprouts that could have sworn it was spring. But spring in Canada vs. spring in the Caribbean are a bit different I suppose. Where was the everyday “pure sun and 30 degrees” we had become so accustomed to in 1 short week? I know…spoiled rotten we were.But still, it was nice to get home to the kids, dog, friends and family. It would have also been nice to bring the sun, ocean, sand and island hospitality with us. I made sure to buy a Bajan cook book before I left so we could transport ourselves…if not in body, in mind…to the flavours of the island whenever the mood struck. The staple Bajan seasoning they used on fish and chicken was amazing and I don’t think a day went by without us scarfing down a few fish cakes dipped in pepper sauce. This is making me hungry.
We also visited St. Nicholas Abbey up on the northern side of the island which is a 350 year old plantation house surrounded by fields upon fields of sugarcane.
We had the opportunity to watch the process by which they extract the sugar cane juice from the stalks and even taste the cane in it’s raw form.
Today I think it would be fitting to reprise my recipe for the “Island Baby” puree I had posted once upon a time. Somehow the name brings with it so much more meaning to me now than it did before our trip to a real, true beautiful island. I was thinking the exact same thing this week when the island inspired song, “One Love” came on the radio. I’ve probably heard the song 5000 times before and each time, sure, it brings to mind fictitious island parties, bold hibiscus flowers on cotton button down shirts and sundresses and the sun, sand and surf, but now it seems to mean much more and I’m not sure how to describe it other than to say, a warm, good life.
· 1 ripe Papaya
· 2 ripe Mangos
· Mashed banana to add to puree just before serving
· Peel and seed mango and papaya, then chop into small pieces. For instructions on how to do this see earlier post “Sunny Side of Grey”.
· Add fruit to a food processor, blender or large bowl to use a hand blender to puree.
· Puree to a smooth thin consistency. Feel free to add a little bit of water to the mix if the puree isn’t thin enough.
· The mango and papaya puree can be transferred to freezing trays to be used within 3 months, or to a food storage container in the fridge to be used within 48 hours.
· When you’re ready to serve to baby, stir in a bit of freshly mashed banana to the puree for an over the top tropical experience…or maybe just a bit of added sweetness.
Makes - Approx. 11 Servings (1 serving = 2 tbsps.)
So now here we are back to reality. But what if with each trip we take we bring back little pieces of what we’ve learned, who we met and what we experienced and apply them to our everyday reality? All of a sudden would our reality become a vacation? Let’s try! Fish cakes anyone?