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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rum during our first week here

Cruzan Rum... made in the US Virgin Isles, We bought these two bottles 6 days ago. Best price I have seen is the $7.50 I paid for these.

Every night we enjoy a little cocktail on our deck.

Jackie likes the Pineapple in a little Pineapple Juice.

I like the Banana in some orange juice.

Look close for the two blue lines I marked the level we have drunk so far...

Not on purpose, but I guess I make mine stronger...

Good to be the bartender

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Island Wild Honey

Today is the morning of our first chance to enjoy island life together. Jackie is off work til Monday and we are staying at a beach resort. Come Monday, I will have lots to blog about. Till then, just a couple snippets...


Bees are everywhere on the island, and honey is around. Love the honey in a hip flask bottle. Bought this my first day on the island at the farmer's Market.

Makes a great sweetener for my coffee!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Our Usual Breakfast

Serendipity. This is more of a post of life builds to where you are.

2 years ago, I occasionally grilled burgers. I could follow a recipe, but cooking was hardly a priority and absolutely not a part of my life.

A year ago, I committed to my wife that I would start the three a day; 7 days a week duties as cook for our household.

8 months ago I started blogging as a lark.

I found you all (fellow food bloggers), and realized there was more to cooking than just following a recipe and grilling burgers (while swilling a beer). While I certainly do not waste money, living on a budget was never really a concern.

I read you all daily, I study what works, what doesn't and I feel like I learned a lot.

6 weeks ago, I stumbled across a post on "Julia Child Omelets". Same ingredients, but such a different style and taste... I was hooked. Now, I had read 10,000 posts before I saw the omelet post, but this happened at a time I needed to see it. It was before we got the go ahead for the move, but it hit me at just the right time, and I was able to add a skill (cooking Julia's omelets is not the same as cooking my old version... Does take a little skill)

One onion... lasted all week ... $1
Two Green Peppers... lasted all week ... $1
1/4 pound of chorizo sausage... lasted all week ... $2.50
18 eggs... lasted all week ... $4
2 sticks of butter... lasted all week ... $2
6 Beautiful Tomatoes...lasted all week ...$3
1/2 pound of coffee... lasted all week ...$5

Total cost for 5 days worth of breakfast... $18.50

Sure, it was repetitive, but I have a budget of $200. But, 1/3rd of our meals for less than 10% of the budget leaves money to splurge on.

We are living in town during the week, on weekends we are moving to a resort beach area. Whatever food we do not eat gets tossed in the trash or given away. Until we get a permanent location, and I can freeze and store long term... I have to use it up or lose it. But these omelets do taste special.

Well, the skills I "stumbled" upon during the last 8 months are serving me well.

Thanks guys

Very much, being a foodie on the island is about living on a budget, making your ingredients last and stretching to the best meal possible...

Serendipity (and you guys) brought me here. Wish I could give you all a rum punch

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Open Pit Bar-B-Que

Sorry, this is the only photo I have. Whenever I photograph close up, items and especially people, I always try to ask if they mind. The owner of this business did mind. Here's the story...

If you look close, behind the truck and wagon is the blue colored Pueblo grocery store that I blogged about earlier. I was walking to get my daily supplies for dinner when I spied the wagon. It had LARGE signs on the street advertising $5 BBQ sandwich. I assumed it would be a pulled pork, and I was willing. Seemed fair. BUT, up close, the sign read in small lettering, "chicken daily special".

Up close, his menu read $20 for a half rack of ribs, $12 for a pulled pork sandwich and $9 for a chicken sandwich. I got cheap, and lost my enthusiasm. I was going to eat in a couple hours, and I wanted to save the experience for when I was hungry, maybe a lunch sometime.

Now, this is near where the cruise ships let people out. I certainly do not look like a local, and I am sure he assumed he would never see me again.

He preferred not to be a story for the folks back home, and once he knew he was not making a sale, he preferred to not be disturbed.

Fair enough, I will probably be back, as I do love slow cooked pork. Maybe when I am a sale instead of a bothersome tourist I will get a better story.

Up close, he had a great set up for low and slow cooking. Smelled wonderful!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jackie Took Me Out to Lunch - The Green House

Still without a permanent kitchen, so every meal is an effort to cook and clean. So Jackie decided she wanted to see a bit of town (locals call Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the island, "town". I haven't heard anyone except Jackie and I call it a city. Today was a evry heavy day for cruise ships, so there was a lot of bustle walking the dozen or so blocks from her office to the GREEN HOUSE Restaurant.

It was recommended as reasonably priced... OK, $10 for a burger and fries is about as reasonable as you were going to find.

I am still trying to soak up the idea of being around seafood (remember, Kansas does not get a lot of seafood). So I had the Mahi Mahi sandwich... supposedly blackened, but I don't think they have read my post on blackened spices versus true blackened cooking method (click HERE for that post). But, the spices were there, so it had lots of fresh fish flavor and spice flavors!

Served with two sides, I had a choice of a dozen, I chose garlic bread and cole slaw... Both excellent.

Jackie's burger and fries came with a generous amount of sweet onion.

Busy, very convenient and easy to find if you are coming in on a cruise ship, Lots of color and atmosphere and we both liked our food very much! They advertise evening specials, including a pound of Crab Legs for $25 that we will try to make one day soon.

They have a website (click HERE), as well as a sister location in St Maarten; well worth a look. Love the guy with the lobsters!

Big Thumbs up!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I went shopping at the "BIG" Grocery store

For the time being, we are staying near downtown Charlotte Amalie. It is the capital, but the shopping is geared more for the tourists that arrive on the cruise ships than for the locals... Prices are MUCH higher the closer you get to the ships.

The Pueblo is more of a locals grocery store.

This is the front of the Gourmet Gallery. This is the location for a taste of home for the tourists. Just about any stateside food is available here, but prices are easily double and often more for anything you want. An example would be CORN MEAL which I needed for a bread recipe I will be posting in a few days. I paid $4.25 for a 12 ounce bag.

OK, the rest of the post will be prices at Pueblo that had everything else I needed. I mentioned that rum is cheaper than orange juice... Well, here you are, $8.49 for a gallon of OJ. the Rum was $7.49 for a liter.

Some things just strike me as funny... This is a bottle of "MANLY" cooking wine.

Cassava... No idea, but they had a lot of it. Anyone have suggestions, let me know.

Malanga... Same thing, no idea???

These are directed at the sailors (lots of private yachts close by). Single servings of 6 spices you can combine for a single meal. Everything is humid, so spices are difficult to store. I guess smaller is better.

Sadly, I did not take a photo of an oddity, but... Corn (healthy and vegetables), $2.29

Next to it was a bag of Doritos... Snack food, empty calories, $3.49 (about the same as the states). What a world, what a world.

But, armed with my single bag of groceries (we are without a car for the time being, so I make a daily walk to the store to get a daily supply), I was ready to cook for the day. This does not deserve too much of a post, as I have already done a couple of posts on Julia Child Omelets, but this is Jackie's first breakfast right before she went to work for the first day...

A little chopped Chorizo sausage, diced onions, diced green pepper and some cut up sweet cherry tomatoes.

1 tablespoon butter, a clove of diced garlic, browned in teh butter, get the butter HOT, pour in 2 eggs, a little water, count to 20 slowly, add the mixings...

Start shaking Ala Julia and get it to roll up... serve with some sliced tomatoes.

And Bon Appetite

Monday, February 22, 2010

We Found a Farmer's Market

Our first full day on the island, and we stumbled across a farmer's market. This particular site is only a quick scenic walk from where we are staying. We have a small kitchen, so I was careful with what we bought, but it was indeed an experience...

Beautiful peppers... VERY hot
These were next to the ginger root. I can not remember what they are called, but you are supposed to cut a nub off and rub on skin abrasions, bug bites, etc.


Not for me yet, still not an islander I guess.

And ginger root

Lots of varieties of greens... Beautiful cabbage, collard greens, bok choy, Spinach (which we bought for a salad).

We also bought some cherry tomatoes, green peppers...

And something called "lemon Basil". We got a lesson in tea making. Later today, I will be making lemon basil tea. We also got a lesson in saving the seeds so we can grow our own.

I was in hog heaven! This particular market happens every other week, so we were fortunate to find it when we did.

It is an interesting island. At the market, we found many folks that used to live in the states and have moved here. Prices for everything is higher than in the states. About half the tables at the market were manned by statesiders selling items to help make ends meet. An example is bread... $6 for a "wonder" bread" type loaf, and $7 for a specialty bread... to much higher.

Maybe in a month, the master baker will be selling his wares

Here's some website links...
There is a website that lists Farmer's Market in the Islands...

We found a very nice lady from Ohio who has started a business selling RUM CAKES (she does mail order). Slices of her cake were our breakfast, we found a little coffee shop and ate Auntie's rum cake slices along the peer.
Auntie's Rum Cakes