First posted June 4, 2008
Just writing those words makes my mouth water. Ackee and saltfish is the national dish of Jamaica. Throw in the rice and peas and I can hardly stand it. Jerk chicken at the Pork Pit in Mo Bay. Buffet at the WW in Ochie. I’m craving some good home cooking like my mother never cooked. I’ve spent enough time working and playing in Jamaica and the West Indies that when I think of home cooking, that’s where my mind turns. Oh, and some proper carrot juice. Not the health food stuff! The good stuff that comes from the Caribbean. When I moved back to this area I was so looking forward to many visits to Cephas’ Hot Spot, a small Jamaican restaurant where my taste buds were never disappointed. But, alas, the irony of it all. The Hot Spot disappeared in a fire while I was out running around the Caribbean.
I made a short stay in Ormond Beach, FL before moving back home. I found a very good, authentic restaurant there where I could purchase a meal along with a few groceries. I was even able to buy hard dough bread. It was the same brand I used to buy from the grocery in Ocho Rios. Two things they didn’t have were Blue Mountain coffee or the carrot juice. They had tried selling the carrot juice when they first opened, but gave up on it as there just weren’t enough people trying it. There isn’t a very big West Indian community there, and as the owner/cook told me, “Not enough of the Americans know what’s good.” Oh, my. What they’re missing!
Times change and I’ve been gone from home too long. At least the butcher shop where I buy goat to curry is still there. I’m still looking and will not stop until I find the little grocery stores and restaurants that carry all the good things. Until then, I still have a bit of a supply on hand. I’m off to the kitchen to rustle up some ackee and saltfish. It’s usually a breakfast dish, but I could eat it three times a day and be ready for more the next day.