Archive | Jamaica RSS feed for this section

A Jamaican not-quite disaster

7 Aug

I’m not very good with dough, and frying has always been an issue.

So why am I always tempted by recipes that require frying dough?!

This week’s oily escapade involved Jamaican dumplings. In Jamaica, these dumplings are flaky cakes of fried dough often eaten with salty fish for breakfast. As I’m a sweet breakfast sort of girl (except for o-mmm-elets!), I tried a couple different sweet toppings on my dumplings and ate them with nary a fish in sight.

Powdered sugar, honey, chocolate syrup and cinnamon sugar dumplings

Aren’t they pretty? Yeah, those are the third batch. My first batch burnt instantly. Instantly! The instructions called for the oil to be on medium heat, which it was. But the moment I put the dough in, black burnt pieces started swimming around the pan. And smoke filled the room. And my family came running from all parts of the house (beckoned by the acrid smell, their burning eyes and prophetic intuition).

The next batch turned out hard because they sizzled too long in warm oil (I wasn’t about to burn them again!). The third batch was pretty tasty, though, so evidently I finally got the temperature of the oil right. Not that my family was eager to try them.

I hope I didn’t wound the spirit of Jamaica at my culinary incompetence, because I’d love to visit the happy island someday. The night of my dumpling escapade, I watched Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce¬†win gold in the 100-meter Olympic race. NBC showed a short background of her life, and then interviewed her after she earned the gold medal. I was inspired by her positivity and humility despite her difficult upbringing.

I’ll end with a Jamaican phrase that I believe represents Shelly-Ann as well as me: “One, one coco full basket.” In other words, “Do not expect to achieve success overnight, take it slowly.” Becoming a runner definitely takes time and effort, but it can be done. And with all my heart, I believe the same about making and frying dough!