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Edible South Shore
Winter 2010-11

South Shore Living
September 2011

About Us

Growing up in the Caribbean, when I was a youth, was as much about food as it was about pitching marbles or playing cricket.  My friends and I picked cockles from the sandy shorelines and steamed them in a delicious peppery broth.  We trapped crabs from the receding tide at dusk, netted sprats in the shallows and roasted them on an open coal fire sprinkled with salt and pepper.  We even roasted cashew nuts ignoring the fact that we would end up with burned lips and blistered hands from the oils emitted from the shells.  That was then, and today the island Nevis is known for its exclusive boutique hotels, five star four season resorts and thirty-eight square miles of lush rain forest and beautiful stretches of white sandy beaches.


Nevis’s further claim to fame has nothing to do with food but is related to its history. Alexander Hamilton was one of the founding fathers of the United States and one of the framers of the US constitution. Hamilton was the first secretary of the US treasury and was born on our little paradise on the 11th of January 1755. He immigrated to the US Virgin Islands and eventually to the mainland USA and the rest as we say is history.


I inherited my culinary skills from my mother. She was a terrific cook in every sense of the word. She was skilled in turning family meals into incredible experiences. Food was prepared in typical West Indian fashion, a little bit of this and a pinch of that, and never a written recipe as a guide. When she prepared a meal her hands were guided by instinct, insight, love together with lots of imagination. The results were pure magic.


As early as I can remember Saturday mornings meant going to the local market which was literally a stone’s throw from our house. There we would buy the ingredients for weekend meals. Our first stop usually was at Mr. Hendrickson’s butcher stall to pick up meat for Saturday’s soup (an incredibly hearty meal) along with a cut of beef for Sunday’s dinner.

I was usually able to convince the butcher to give me scraps of meat to take home for my dog Bowser. Occasionally I would bring a container to fill with fresh pig’s blood to make black pudding.

Our next stop on our visit to the market was a visit to the “turn hands”, who were the ladies selling fruit and vegetables – essential ingredients for our family’s meals. Our typical shopping list called for sweet potatoes, pumpkin, yams, dasheen, tania, carrots, Christophe along with herbs such as thyme, chives, onions some tomatoes and of course peppers – lots of peppers.

Bell peppers were used for seasoning and scotch peppers added flavor to soups and were the key ingredient for hot sauces. I still remember my mother cutting, grinding and seasoning fiery concoctions without gloves, goggles or the benefit of other protective gear wear that we use today. Without protective eyewear she would be nearly blinded by the pungent fiery aroma of the sauce – but it was all worth it because in the end there emerged wonderful, flavorful hot sauces filled with goodness and love. My present Caribbean hot sauces are a tribute to my mother and I know you’ll will love them as much as I do.


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Judy Randall

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