By Marissa Armoogam. This year at the start of August vacation my children made what sounded like a mandatory list of places they would like to go, things they’d like to get and numerous daily request for snacks and junk food. So in my attempt to try to fulfill these very demanding and expensive requests my mind took me back to the days of when I was a child on August vacation. Somehow my mother always managed to have the house stocked with countless interesting and very delicious snacks.
The kitchen counters were always lined with bottles of homemade salted nuts, fried pepper channa, containers of sugar cake… I remember helping my mother make the sugar cake, she always used fresh coconut and I would sit and grate the pieces until there was a full bowl, I don’t know what she did next, but I remember going in the back yard to cut a nice long fig leaf for her to heap spoonfuls of the sugar cake mixture onto for cooling (no baking trays needed), and in about twenty minutes my siblings and I had crunchy sugar cake to eat.
Non-stop supply of snacks
Throughout the yard were planted many fruit trees – plums, mangoes, pommecythere and much more and my mother always made sure there was a non-stop supply of soaked pommecythere and jars of chow.
In the refrigerator were containers of preserves (red mango)… you know the nice saucy one that you had to lick all your fingers and the back of your hand for. In between she would make a sponge cake, now long time sponge cake is a totally different kind of cake from the cakes we get today. Before we realised, it was work, my brother and I would fight to mix the cake beating the butter and sugar for what seemed like hours just for the honours of getting the bowl and spoon to eat the cake batter. Let me tell you when you ate that cake, you tasted every ingredient, the vanilla essence, the freshness of the orange zest or peel added to the cake, I swear cake then and now, they are not even related.
Homemade ice cream
Anyone remember turning the ice-cream pale for hours and usually that was a family or neighbourhood event and ending up with the most delicious homemade coconut, custard, barbadine or soursop ice cream? Now that was ice cream!
So I think I need to look into reviving some of these August holiday traditions and make long time “now time”.
October 2013 – Issue 6 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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