Archives for category: Drink

The first time my beloved made me Lucian style cornmeal porridge was a night when I had a migraine coming on and felt too nauseous to eat. She decided to cook up a quick bowl of porridge for herself.

As I walked past the kitchen I smelt the spices and looked over her shoulder as she stirred the pot full of glossy yellow cornmeal. To both of our surprise I asked to try some and found it delicious.

I ended up eating a big bowl which completely fixed my nauseousness and poor hungry Joyous had half the portion she had anticipated. (Not an unknown event around here!)

I’ve loved it ever since and we often have it for breakfast.

You can make it dairy and sugar free and it is gluten free already, so it’s a great detox option.

Lucian style cornmeal porridge with stewed rhubarb and apple…& ginger tea.

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Ingredients:

2 C liquid (we usually do half water and half milk, soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk)
Cinnamon bark (or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon)
1-2 fresh bay leaves
Sultanas or raisins (optional)
1/2 C fine cornmeal (polenta)

Rhubarb and apple and a little water (or ginger tea) to stew it in.

Method:

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Half fill a cup with cornmeal and cover with milk. Leave to sit for a few minutes.

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Pour approx 1C water into a pot and add the raisins, bay leaves and cinnamon. Cover and simmer for approximately 5-10 mins (longer is better for the flavor).

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After 10 mins or after you can see some good colour in the water remove the cinnamon bark (and dry to reuse).

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Add the cornmeal, stirring or whisking all the time as you add it to avoid lumps forming.

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Bring it back up to boiling, then turn it down low to simmer for 5-7 minutes. Assess the consistency and add more milk to thin it if it needs. I prefer it more porridgy and thick, Joyous likes it thin enough to drink like a thick soup.

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Stir in a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of butter (or butter substitute).

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Serve with the stewed fruit and or brown sugar/coconut sugar/cream etc.

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Babies and small children love this too.

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For a real Lucian style breakfast serve it with ginger tea.

Make simple ginger tea by bashing a chunk of ginger root, bringing to the boil then simmering till the liquid changes colour. Stir in raw sugar (or don’t) and enjoy. (In this picture some of the ginger root was already used so we just added more, you’d usually use just one chunk.)

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NB: If you live in NZ then try Fruit World for the cheapest cornmeal around. Way better than buying it as ‘polenta’ from the supermarket or a gourmet food store.

Op-shopped vintage kitchenalia:

Pic 1- silver floral teaspoon & 1950’s era pastel striped linen tea towel. Both purchased from the Matakana church op shop in 2013.

My love, on the occasion of her 34th birthday. At Rarawa in the Far North. Reading and drinking our special St Lucian style cocoa tea. The way any good birthday begins.

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I’m downloading photos and will do a ‘birthday road trip & camping dinner’ post once I get sorted.

Back in the winter of 2008, my (now) wife and I were just new. It was a wet, cold winter and we spent many hours snuggled up in each others arms reading and talking etc (ahem).

One stormy evening she (Joyous) arrived with some mysterious ingredients and set about concocting me a treat in the kitchen, while I lazed around on the sofa. Soon delicious chocolatey spicy smells permeated the house and she presented me with a steaming cup of Lucian Cocoa Tea.

It was hot so I blew on it, then took a small sip. Down my throat slipped a thick velvety creamy chocolate spiced drink, that was followed immediately afterwards with a hit of chilli. It was unbelievably delicious – seriously unbelievably delicious. Almost magical. Every sip made me feel like I was being enchanted, as it warmed my throat and lined my belly I felt I was swallowing a little part of her gorgeous chocolatey spiciness, and I was quickly becoming addicted.

We’ve had it a million times since, and I love it every time, but none so much as that first bewitching falling-in-love occasion.

It’s our celebration drink, our impressing visitors drink, our ‘remember the days’ drink, our special occasion drink, our comfort-in-hard-times drink… We took a thermos camping on a deserted beach and drank it at sunrise on New Year’s Morning 2009. We once took it in small plastic bottles to see the All Blacks win a rugby match (the bottles went in our pockets to keep our hands warm, before warming our bellies). NYE 2009 we took it for a picnic on a wild West Coast beach at sunset then when it got too windy we drove home and sat under an old walnut tree in our back garden finishing off the thermos of it and listening to the sound of parties going on around us in the neighbourhood. We have it every Christmas morning, at Easter, on birthdays. Some lazy Sundays I wake to the sound of the cocoa stick being grated, or the wafts of chocolate filling the house…

I recommend you make it for someone you love, (or would like to love), soon.

Joyous’ St Lucian Cocoa Tea

Ingredients:

Approx 6 tablespoons of freshly grated Cocoa Stick*

2 fresh (preferably) Bay leaves

Freshly grated Nutmeg to taste (or ground nutmeg)

1 good sized Cinnamon Stick (or a few smaller pieces)

2 C Water

2 C Milk

Raw sugar to taste

Optional:

1-2 Tbsp Cornflour (to thicken)

1-2 whole dried Chillies (Not traditional but awesome!)

A few fennel seeds (Traditional in St Lucia)

Approx 45g best quality grated dark chocolate (eg 70% +)

2 C Coconut Milk or 2 C Evaporated Milk can be substituted for the regular milk, or use half milk and half cream

Main ingredients

Main ingredients

Method:

Grate the cocoa stick (using your finest grater or a microplane zester), into a heavy bottomed pan, add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick/s, and some finely grated nutmeg (we use a zester), for your first time try about 1/4 of a whole nutmeg. Add the chocolate, broken into pieces.

Dry ingredients

Dry ingredients

Pour in the water and bring it to the boil stirring the whole time, then turn down to simmer for as long as you can wait (10 mins minimum).

If you want to reuse the cinnamon stick, you can remove it now and wash and dry.

Add the milk (or 1 C milk and 1 C cream if you are really trying to impress), add the chilli/s now if you don’t want it too hot (if you like it with a kick you can add them earlier on in the cooking process).

Lastly, if you wish to thicken it, whisk 1-2 Tbsp of cornflour into the milk before you add it to the pot. Obviously, the more you use, the thicker it will be. If you do this step, then whisk the milk into the pot so it does not form any lumps.

Bubbling away - the cocoa stick has quite a lot of cocoa butter in it.

Bubbling away – the cocoa stick has quite a lot of cocoa butter in it.

Simmer for at least 5 more minutes then pour into mugs. You may need to strain it if you did not use a zester for the cocoa as it may be a little grainy. It’s a good idea to fish out the chilli and chuck it back in the pot or you or your loved one may get a big surprise.

Add sugar to taste, stir well and…make love!

PS – If you are using this recipe as a seduction technique…make sure you do not handle the chilli…or your love may get a very painful surprise later on…

All gone.

All gone.

A poem to read on a stormy night whilst falling in love and drinking Cocoa Tea:

Rain – Hone Tuwhare

I can hear you making
small holes in the silence
rain

If I were deaf
the pores of my skin
would open to you
and shut

And I should know you
by the lick of you
if I were blind:

the steady drum-roll
sound you make
when the wind drops

the something
special smell of you
when the sun cakes
the ground

But if I should not
hear
smell or feel or see you

You would still
define me
disperse me
wash over me
rain

Joyous greeting the sunrise on New Year's morning 2009 with a hot cup of Cocoa Tea

Joyous greeting the sunrise on New Year’s morning 2009 with a hot cup of Cocoa Tea

* Sourcing/Substituting Cocoa Stick:

The best kind of course is Lucian Cocoa Stick which can be brought there at the markets. In the UK you can most likely purchase it in Brixton, in the US try a West Indian stockist if you have one nearby. As a substitute you can use Cacao Powder or the best quality, strongest Cocoa Powder available (eg a Dutch Cocoa powder.) In NZ, use Koko Samoa, available at the Otara Markets and some supermarkets, or give Cacao a go.

Her velvety hot chilli chocolate seduced me, cornmeal porridge comforted me, hot peppers thrilled me, uses of bay, nutmeg and plantain intrigued me…
My obvious and enthusiastic appreciation for her cooking made her want to please me even more, I licked my fingers and she smiled…
I baked cakes and treats, showering her with sweet sugar loving…

I bake with precision, she creates with abandon…Together we make love with food.

When we first fell in love we quickly realized we were communicating that love through food.

That first flush of love was regularly fed and continued to grow. Now we are married and hoping to be feeding a baby sometime soon.

We’ve settled into an easy rhythm of nurturing each other, and feeding each other is still an intrinsic way of showing how we feel. As well as cooking for each other, we cook for friends and family and share recipes too. We’ll be posting about the delicious organic fruit and vegetables we grow or source locally too.

We hope you like our recipes and enjoy this insight into how we make love with food..

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