Christmas is that time of year where social media is alight with posts from yahdies near and far confirming that their tickets have been booked...one stop Jamaica...next stop the buffet. For the most part Christmas in Jamaica revolves around good food, good friends, good times & family! We enjoy going from house to house visiting old friends, making new ones... eating, drinking and relishing in the festivities - toasting old memories & creating new ones.
Christmas Mawnin' (morning) is generally reserved for a delicious spread of the usual suspects of ackee and saltfish, calalloo, liver, escovetich fish, corn pork, fried breadfruit, bammy, ground provisions and of course fried dumplings. Oh & let's not forget Grandma’s chocolate tea with a ‘likkle’ oil on the top!
Preparations for Christmas dinner begin from the night before with the ham being baked & the sorrel being 'drawn'; the roast beef is put in early Christmas morning to slow cook on low. Next into the oven is the whole roast chicken with yummy stuffing.
As family & friends roll in and the Christmas wrapping is being cleaned up, the stove top comes to life - the simmering down some , macaroni boils to make macaroni and cheese casserole, oxtail simmering, curried goat and pork stewing down. For us the Jamaican Christmas table is not complete without candied sweet potato, potato salad, fried plantain and vegetables.
With all that food you might think that Christmas is complete but no Jamaican Christmas is complete without traditional Christmas fruit cake. I don’t know what it is about that dark spongy rich labour of love that elicits such joy from us but serve me up a slice of that rum soaked goodness with a tall glass of that rich maroon ginger filled sorrel and its Christmas on a tray. The only thing that can make that moment more perfect is topping the cake with a scoop of Devon House ice cream.
© Pop Up Gourmet Jamaica 2019