The Man With Two Wives

Sunday 16/5/2005


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Diary and Notes

About 15 years ago I used to share a house with a Jamaican guy called Wayne. Wayne, as far as I know, was the only person I have ever met who was married to two women at the same time. I don't think either new about the other and both would have chopped bits off him if they ever found out. He had an arrangement whereby one would visit and stay one weekend and the other would stay the next - (during the week he worked in Liverpool as a court reporter and had convinced both his wives that it was better if they lived elsewhere as he was very busy - plus the house we lived in was an absolute pigsty and wasn't fit for his two broods). Wayne's cunning strategy meant that for several years the two had never met. I doubt that he's managed to keep it up for all this time, but I almost wish he has.

Wayne lived on a diet of almost exclusively; Irish Moss drink, Jonny Cakes one of his wife would prepare in large batches and his home made hash (not the smoking sort, although this did play it's part in his routine).

Every time I came home Wayne would have a pot of his hash bubbling away. Sometimes it was flavoured with curry powder, sometimes he used some fried onion, every day was different, but the recipe always had rice, corned beef and tomato puree - these being the essentials. On special occasions (usually a visit by wife number 2) he would also make a roast chicken served with his rice hash instead of potatoes (Wayne hated potatoes), generally everything was served with hash.

This diet and stressful lifestyle seemed to have no adverse effect on either Wayne's health or his temperament and he seemed to get by just fine. (Possibly due to all the Irish Moss).

So in memory of my old chum I made some of Wayne's hash and some really excellent curry goat as well. Curry goat is Jamaica's most famous dish and is truly delicious. It takes a good long cooking but is well worth the time. This was really quite an excellent meal, simple but delicious. I only managed about three platefulls before my stomach was ready to burst and I had to have a sit down.

And I apologise to Wayne if either of your wives ever read this and have at you with a cleaver - but I did warn you.

Cake Blog

Betty Crocker Strawberry Sponge: I bought this packet mix thing from the American comfort food section in Selfridges. There's a whole counter of things for ex-pat Americans to remind them of home. This cake mix made a very odd coloured pink thing that everyone who tried it thought was excellent - except me. I don't like artificial strawberry flavoured anything and this was just too artificial. On the plus side the texture was perfect. If they have a chocolate version I would probably love it.


Curry Goat

Wayne's West Indian Hash

Fried Sweet Potato


Curry Goat
1 kg Diced Goat (on the bone - and mutton is just as good)
2 Onions
1 Bulb Garlic
6 cm Ginger
1 Tsp Vegetable Oil
3 Scotch Bonnet Chillis
2 Tbsp Curry Powder
2 tsb Thyme
1 tsp Allspice
1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper

Wayne's West Indian Hash
300g Rice
100g Red Kindey Beans
100g Corned beef
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1 Green Pepper - Chopped
2 Green Chillis - Chopped
Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper


Marinade the goat in the curry powder, allspice and lemon juice (overnight if possible). Gently fry the chopped onion and garlic in a little oil, add the goat and fry until browned. Add all the rest of the ingredients, pour over 1l of water and cook very slowly for 4 hours.

Hash: Part cook the rice until just turning soft then drain and rinse. Mix everything together in a saucepan with enough water to just cover and simmer gently until the rice is cooked and all the water absorbed.


*All quantities are very approximate and for three people