Plate Tectonics – Antigua and Barbuda

Plate Tectonics – Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda are two islands that make up one country.
This irritates me. “Ancient” and “Bearded”??
Why don’t we just call it “Old Beard” and be done with it?

It’s right in the middle of the Leeward Islands, and part of the Lesser Antilles.
This statement irks me, too.
I *do* like that all of the parishes of Antigua are the names of saints.
(what? i’m allowed to like things.)
I suppose I could just be irritated by the literal lines humans draw in the sand to stake claim in something that isn’t theirs..
But..I’m getting ahead of myself.
I have a line around my house, too.
Where I keep all of my little thingsies.

The first settlers of Antigua were Amerindians.
Then the Arawaks. Who were the first to introduce agriculture..
They brought black pineapples, guava, corn, and chilis.
Then came the Brits, and the Portuguese, and Syrians.

Jessica and I talked about doing some pineapple/beef skewers, but how boring, right?
What is this, 1987? (pineapple beef skewers? backyard bbqs? anybody?)

Perusing the internet, as I have not found a cookbook for Antigua yet..
(in the past 3 minutes I found one, and ordered it. dang.)
(imma come back with another one from antigua. watch.)

Anyway, we found a couple of recipes that seemed worth doing.
Black Bean Cakes, and Beef Stew with Coconut Rice.
We didn’t steam pumpkin or green beans.
Though, that would have been a nice touch.

Making the stew was a little…
Jessica and I have differing opinions on meats in stews.
She thinks they will all turn out chewy and gross, and I disagree.
Slow and low. That’s the rule, right?

We browned the meat, and softened the carrots and celery.
Beef Base.
Then we just added all the other stuff, and set it to simmer.
J freaked me out, though.
I was worried the beef would get all chewy(resulting in the old stinkeye from J), so I insisted the top go on the pot.

The end result was good, but didn’t at all look like the picture from the recipe.
I really think it could have simmered for another hour to get the beef to really fall apart.

I was in charge of the bean cakes.
Bean paste.
This is a picture of the loudest food processor in existence.

You know.. I made this whole recipe the way they said.
And I even went back to look at other bean cake recipes, and they were all the same.
Nothing to hold them together.. i.e. flour, or egg..
Some recipes said to deep fry, while others wanted you to fry them flat in a pan with olive oil.

We used vegetable oil, about an inch in a frying pan.
I put about 5 of them in the pan before I noticed that the first had decreased in size by about half.
All of the beans were just dissipating into the oil.

I scrambled to remove all of them from the oil, and basically decided to heat the beans like they were refried, and leave it at that.

Maybe I’ll start making lists of all the things I have to try again.
I’d definitely like to try a crispy bean cake.

The salsa was one of my favorite lessons this time.
It’s going to come in handy when my tomatoes start tomatoeing in my garden.
If they do. I didn’t really do all that well last year, but it was my first try.

We roasted our tomatoes on a pan with onion and peppers.
I took those out, threw them in the food processor while they were still hot, then into a small saucepan..
I added about a cup of water, then let it reduce back down.
I added a bit of salt.
So easy and fresh tasting!!!

The combination of the beans, salsa, and the lemony cilantro yogurt was really excellent.
The whole meal was hearty, and flavorful.
One of my favorites so far.
Antigua and Barbuda.