It Just Isn't Cricket Old Bean

Sunday 20/2/2005

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Diary and Notes

One of the true joys about cooking your own food is that every time you do it, it is slightly different. I'm not talking about the 1950's baking philosophy of measuring everything out and looking at recipe books which tell you how to make a Victoria sponge that is perfect every time but interesting never, I'm talking about seat of the pants cooking, where you just add things and see how it goes.

Today I was flying by the seat of my pants and I nearly got burned, or to be more in keeping with today's dinner:

Imagine the scene: England vs West Indies at the Kensington Oval, Joel Garner is bowling from the Malcolm Marshall end and Malcolm Marshall is bowling from the Joel Garner end (this is a story ok, I know that the ends were named after them when they retired).

England are 30 runs behind and there's hours left to bat. Only Taylor and Borresen are left and it's looking like another sure fire Windies victory.

Marshall runs up, a frightening ball, 105 miles and hour shoots at Borresen. Out of sheer fear and with less skill than luck, Borresen swings and makes contact, the ball flies straight over extra cover and rolls out for a four. A small cheer goes up from the English supporters, though they know this is just a holding action, eeking out their agony for a few moments more.

Marshall bowls again, this time even faster and again, by sheer fluke, Borresen manages to whack the ball away, sending it rolling straight through square leg. Borresen and Taylor are away, sprinting for every run and managing to just squeeze in three before stoppping, breathless, in the baking Barbados sun.

End of the over and Borresen is now facing Garner. Garner runs up, the ball leaves his hands and flies clear at Borresen's head. He ducks, but by a sheer coincidence, his raised bat catches the ball as it goes over his head and sends it off over third man for six! The crowd go wild, could England snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?

Now this really is cooking!


What I mean to say is this: Today I just managed to survive a West Indian onslaught. The jerk pork stew was so hot that people walking into the kitchen had to leave just from the eye blistering aroma.

I don't know if jerk pork is actually that popular in Barbados, I think they go for more chicken and fish. Also, real jerk food should be barbecued, not grilled and then made into a stew, but this was pretty damned tasty.

A quick word on jerk seasoning. Never buy the dried stuff, it's crap. There are (as far as I know) three brands of jerk seasoning in jars you can buy in Britain; Dunnes River, Encona and Grace. Grace is usually a bit cheaper and is possibly the hottest, so this is what I normally use. The jerk pork stew I made was very tasty - though it is by far the hottest thing I've had this year, and that includes the shrimp in remoulade sauce from America week.

A can of Red Stripe might have helped, but I only had cool water.

Now where did I leave me stash?

Cake Blog

A cream horn. The pastry wasn't very good though, being more margarine than butter I fear. Traditional English baker of course, traditional English crap.


  • Jerk pork stew
  • Fried plantains
  • Rice


  • Pork leg, jerk seasoning, vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, onions, celery, tomato puree, green peppers, black pepper, salt.


  • Chop the pork into large chunks and spread a litte jerk seasoning over and leave to marinade for a few hours. Sweat some chopped onion, celery, garlic and ginger in a little oil. You now have two choices, 1) Scrape off the excess marinade (if you are a wimp) or 2) Don't and say 'bring it on to' Mapubana, the ancient Barbados chilli fire spirit. Skewer the pork and grill until slightly singed then add to the pan with the onions etc... Pour over some tomato puree add the peppers, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with pepper and salt.