I never forget my birthday! However, I don’t think of birthdays as especially special, so I never run to do something special. On the other hand, friends and relatives like to do celebratory things. It can be a bit awkward as I may come over as ungrateful, which is far from true. I’m just not into lots of personal celebrations. I make exceptions for winning things and scoring goals, when I was a regular track athlete and footballer, and since then, as a golfer—yes, I have won on the golf course. Then, I think the rarity of success is what is important to note.
All that said, my wife had an invitation from some friends (Bahamian wife and Jamaican husband—theme, there) for breakfast, on Saturday. I often play golf that morning, but put it off, in part to give space to watch the women’s singles final at the Australian Open. Anyway, watching done, we headed off for a 10 feed.
Funnily, the Jamaican husband had been put in charge of preparing the Bahamian dishes-chicken souse (a hot broth-like dish, not cold pickle, as in Barbados) and boiled fish. My wife had chipped in with her ‘Johnny cake’ (like a cornbread, not like Jamaican fried dumplings. Most of the guests were Bahamians.
We had a lively set of exchanges about culinary differences, which often comes up in ‘mixed’ Caribbean company, and how some of these are just too much for people to handle. For instance, Bahamians love grits; Jamaicans barely know it, except as an American dish. Bahamians live for conch, especially salad (not leaves involved), which is raw, cured with salt and lime. Jamaicans don’t go much for raw things that used to live. (I really was stunned that sushi took off in Jamaica.) I have to convince my wife that Jamaicans do eat conch-curried, garlic, soup, chowder, etc. We’re also a major conch exporter. A level on Jamaican conch exports was imposed in 2021.
Well, in good Caribbean fashion, breakfast ran on, and we weren’t home till 2pm!
We rested and had our eyes on lunch, which had been our main intention from last week, but we had to push back because of the added breakfast. We wanted to try a 2nd time a seafood restaurant, called Sea Krave, which we’d enjoyed last weekend. We like to share good finds with friends, so suggested 2 other couple join us. It was not a birthday event.
Ironically, last week, it poured with rain as we ended our lunch; this week, it pour with rain as we arrived. A theme?
We had a good chat with the owners, who interestingly were connecte to the family who’d invited us for breakfast-their recommendation had spurred us last week.
Well, we arrived just as a fresh supply of fish landed at the restaurant. We made good use of it, by getting a hog snapper to share (cooked with ginger and scallion), and others tried curried lobster and brown stewed fish. The restaurant is full of simple Jamaican vibes and has some pleasant staff cooking and serving. They offer some twists on traditional fare, especially steamed bammy cooked in coconut milk.
All of that was washed down with a little sorrel, beer, rum, ice and a lot of animated talk, especially about NIDS. Imagine!
My wife had sneaked in a cake and brought candles! All present decided to sing ‘Happy birthday’. Cake had to be cut, according to the instructions of a self-appointed cake cutting committee chairwoman 🙂 I did the sharing, though. One of my friends, whom I know loves cake, didn’t disappoint by holding his plate out for 2nds. 🙂
We hung from 5pm till 9, and the rain didn’t subside till after 7.
It was a great end to a nice day, spent mainly with friends, in what passed for near-normal in the COVID times. Thanks.