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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Drink ah Rum and ah Puncha Creama....

So after sorrel, a trini Christmas must have Ponche de Creme (pronounced punch ah crem or puncha creama) which literally means punch with cream. I am very proud that I made my first batch of ponche de creme tonight though I'm not sure who will drink it. The recipe is pretty easy and it's a nice drink to offer guests (let's hope I have guests) especially since I'm in Jamaica. But I will not be going into details with them as to how it's made. You see Jamaicans are very conservative in their eating and drinking habits and it may scare them if you divulge that the drink is made from raw eggs...just simply say that it's a sweet milky drink with rum...they just need to hear the "rum" part...This is the recipe I used from the Naparima Girls' Cookbook (The best thing to come out of Naparima Girls' High School btw):

  • 6 eggs
  • the peel from 1 lime

  • 15 oz evaporated milk

  • 15 oz condensed milk ( I used a little more condensed milk than the book suggests)

  • 1 tsp angostura bitters

  • grated nutmeg

  • nuff angostura white oak white rum (the white oak rum has a "sweeter" taste than the wray and nephew)

After beating the eggs with the lime peel, just add everything else and mix...The amount of rum depends on how much you could handle especially since white rum hits you immediately; it's not a creeper. Let me know if you have any suggestions...

On another note, I brought up my pastelles from Tdad so I won't be making that as well as a nice black cake courtesy of Mummy. A second batch of sorrel will be sweetened tomorrow. I will also be experimenting with baking a ham with pineapple glaze and homemade bread....I will try to post the results as soon as possible.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Live and Let Live...

Wednesday was World AIDS Day and the bandwagonists were out in their numbers...and all of a sudden everybody has something to say about "get tested" or "know your status". Of course these are important messages since one of the major probems in addressing HIV is that a lot of persons don't know their status. And then there were the red ribbons...the wagonists all ensured that they wore their ribbons. But where are the ribbons today or tomorrow? My point is that if HIV/AIDS does not affect someone directly, awareness is only generated on World AIDS Day.

Last month I went to Carib cinema to watch Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls...Now, usually I don't like going to Carib. For my trinis...going to Carib is like going to Globe cinema in Chaguanas...minus the balcony. There weren't much persons there but of course it attracted mostly women. In the film (spoiler alert), there's a story line where Janet Jackson's character found out that she got HIV from her husband who has sex with men but doesn't consider himself gay. Once it was revealed that the man was sexually attracted to men, the persons in the cinema began shouting at the screen...calling the character a "batty bwoy", indicating that "batty bwoy fi dead" and continued this bashing every time the character was featured. I have never witnessed anything like that...I couldn't understand this reaction. Isn't this the attitude that Perry was trying to bring awareness to? The "down low" phenomenon is real whether we want to accept it or not and contributes to the prevalence of HIV. Why do men feel the need to be on the "down low"? Because of the attitude displayed by the women in Carib cinema. Masculinity continues to be defined as "not gay" and "gay" is associated with femininity so men who do not display any girlish characteristics are not "gay" but could have sex with men and in some cases, unprotected sex. The other point here is that femininity itself is being devalued because it's associated with being "gay" so these women who bash a man because he's gay are not helping their own devalued position.

The bigger message in Perry's film is that marriage does not protect one from HIV so again women need to check themselves...But I am concerned about how can we move forward in addressing HIV/AIDS when homophobia and gender inequality are ignored? The red ribbon symbolizes solidarity of people living with HIV/AIDS but we are afraid to deal with all of the issues that come with this solidarity....