“I love Trinidad and I love cooking, love is my secret ingredient!” says Wendy-ann Alexander, a member of the Church of the Anointed One at Old Road Junction, Saddle Road, San Juan. Wendy-ann cooks for members of her family, community, church, and anyone who asks her to make something for them. She says that they all say her food tastes really good, even her sister’s coworkers at the Hyatt can’t get enough of the dishes she prepares.
Leading up to Christmas Day, Wendy-ann is usually busy making chow chow for her family, friends, and neighbours. She says, “Everybody waits on it with their bottles and I give to whoever wants and whoever else I feel to give.” Then, at her church she assists with organising the Christmas dinner along with Suzette Antoine, Grace Singh, and Marissa Samaroo. Also, she helps her sister Cheryl Brumant with an annual children’s Christmas treat at La Canoe Road, Lower Santa Cruz.
On Christmas Day, Wendy-ann does not cook. She prepares her dishes on Boxing Day. This year she plans to make Shepherd’s pie, macaroni pie, baked chicken, turkey, ham, pastelle, rice, callaloo, potato salad, and green salad.
When Wendy-ann shares her recipes with others, they tell her that the food just does not taste like hers. She states, “It is an art. You need to be loving the food to make it right.
December 2015 – Issue 19 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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By Marissa Armoogam.
So the August vacation is long gone, everyone’s back to their usual routine and you, as well as I, know what’s on most if not all Trinbagonians minds… Christmas holidays… we really like our holiday times. For me the excitement to Christmas starts when I am flipping through the newspaper and I see any Christmas advertisement or sale, I become ecstatic.
The countdown begins and every Friday you are sure to find droves of Trinis looking for where the parang action is. The malls are all overdone, but in a good way, and almost everyone is anxiously awaiting all the last minute shopping to be done. But above all things Christmas, my most favourite part has to be the scents that go hand in hand with this most wonderful celebration. All the shops are busy unpacking boxes of newly received stocks of Christmas goodies. I love the smell of the plastic wrappings and toys, it reminds me of opening up my present on Christmas morning and seeing and smelling a brand new doll.
I am sure we all remember the weeks leading up to Christmas, our homes are abuzz with activities, painting over the house and sewing new curtains which in some households like mine was happening on Christmas Eve itself. The smell of fruits and citrus peels soaking in cherry brandy for use in the black cake.
The best night however, the night that takes your nose along with your stomach on a delightful aromatic journey has to be Christmas Eve night… just thinking about it gets me excited and hungry too!
The house is filled with the warm smell of bread being baked, I don’t know about you but I remember waiting anxiously for the bread to be finished so I could spread some butter on the hot bread and watch the butter just melt into the slice… Are you hungry yet? Then there’s the ham or turkey or maybe both in the oven now everyone knows it’s not Christmas if a ham doesn’t make it to the oven, slice it up a little chow chow and some homemade pepper sauce… seriously I’m sure your mouth “watering”. Usually cake batter was being mixed and in a really lucky house pastelle… tasty pastelle steaming in a big pot.
Of course all the rooms in the house have the familiar smell of brand new bed linens and curtains. A serving tray with drinks and glasses on the table and a couple bottle of nuts and channa staring too! I don’t know about you guys but I making sure I’m not naughty this year because I’m really looking forward to Christmas and the goodies it brings.
December 2013 – Issue 7 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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Secret ingredient, Secret ingredient, Secret ingredient, Secret ingredient