It’s about time! Time that I introduce Jamaican recipes to my spot here, at least the ones I do really well ;-).
I hear a lot of chatter these day (both positive and negative) online about people who identify with cultures other than where they grew up, they identify strongly with where their parents are from. In particular one such story that really grabbed my attention was about singer Justine Skye. In an article I read several weeks ago, Justine tried to explain why she identifies as Jamaican and not American and of course there was a huge backlash! I understand perfectly why Justine feels this way, being a first generation Canadian I get it, anyone who has parents who are immigrants gets it! My parents brought their culture with them, how could they not! They brought their cultural foods, beverages…we won’t even get into language, traditions and clothing! I was also influenced by my many relatives who either visit from Jamaica or whom I visit. This is my culture a big part of who I am.
Even though I admit that I identify strongly with all things Jamaican, I have to admit that I have slacked off in making traditional Jamaican foods, you know the saying “good things come to those who wait”, well I believe a Jamaican coined the phrase because most Jamaican meals take a lot of time…wonderful, delicious, tantalizing foods but time consuming! That being said Jamaican food is the best in the world! No bias :-D. My mother like any typical Grandma would make these wonderfully intricate and involved meals and then have us over to the house. My kids would be all… “Mom never makes this” or “Mom doesn’t make this like you Grandma!” My mother was a wonderful cook and I depended on her to make these recipes (mainly because I didn’t have the hours of time at my disposal like she did), even though I do know how to make most of them myself.
One of my favourites is Stew Peas and Rice, of course I have found a way to make it simpler and less time consuming, in the slow cooker…yay me! I love it, my kids love it and even my non West Indian and very Canadian husband enjoys it! As a disclaimer I know enough about Jamaicans to know that everyone makes it their own so this is my version of Stew Peas and Rice.
Jamaican Stew Peas & Rice
- 1 medium green pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cans of red kidney beans (540ml)
- 5-6 cups of chopped cooked ham
- 1 tsp of seasoned salt
- 2 tsp of pepper
- 2 tsp of garlic powder or 3 cloves of chopped garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh or dry thyme
- 4-6 pimento berries
- 1 cup of water
- 1 ½ cups of flour
- ½ tsp of salt
- 1/3 cup of warm water
- Chop green pepper, onion and garlic (if using), add to crock pot.
- Open up the cans of kidney beans, rinse and add to the slow cooker.
- Add salt, pepper, garlic powder (if using) and mix.
- Chop ham into bite size pieces and add to the crock pot.
- Add water, thyme, pimentos and bay leaves.
- Put crock pot on high for 4 hours or medium for 6 hours.
- Mix the flour and salt together with a fork.
- Add water to flour just enough to make a dough (not too sticky).
- Pinch off pieces of dough (approx. a tbsp. worth).
- Roll the dough between the palms of your hands, then drop in the stew.
- Add spinners to the crockpot an hour prior to mealtime.
This is one part to a two part recipe as stew peas is typically served on white rice. I have said it several times and I will eventually get around to posting my easy microwave rice recipe….soon…I promise✋. This is comfort food to me it’s warm, delicious and best of all it reminds me of my mother who wanted to make sure that she passed on the best part of her culture to her children and grandchildren. Thanks Mom ❤ <3.
Until next time.