Along with wrapping and unwrapping gifts, singing and listening Christmas carols and the cool weather, Christmas also grants us the opportunity to bond with family members. What better way to bond than with laughter around a table filled with food. Like Virginia Wolf said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” So here a few goodies that you can add to your recipe this Christmas.
- Honey Glazed Ham – Adding ham to the menu has been a Christmas tradition all over the world for years. It is great for slicing and serving to a large crowd. The meat is glazed with thick caramel and spiced with seasons of choice.
- Gungo Rice and Peas – This Jamaican tradition Christmas gift is one that just have to be added to the table. It is similar to the Sunday favourite, rice and red peas but in this case the red peas is substituted for the gungo peas. Its flavour is enriched with rich coconut milk, scallion and thyme, salt and sometimes includes a “tups” of sugar.
- Stewed Oxtail and Beans – This is a slow cooked thick and savoury meal with bean, potatoes to add heart to it. It is seasoned with onions, pepper, garlic, scallion, thyme, pepper and Jamaican powder seasonings such as paprika, all-purpose, etc. It is cooked over medium heat in vegetable oil and combined ingredients.
- Chicken – Chicken is Jamaicans favourite poultry. You can bake it, fry it, sautee it, stir-fry it, jerk it, barbecue it, barbi-fry it, Stroganoff it, Parmesan it…and the list could go on.
- Christmas Cake – The Jamaica Christmas celebration is not complete without its Christmas fruit cake. Jamaica Fruit Cake or Jamaica Black Cake is a spiced fruit cake. Traditionally the fruit in Jamaica Fruit Cake is soaked in Red Wine and Rum 6 months or earlier depends on the baker. It is usually served with Sorrel Drink.
- Sorrel Drink – Sorrel is the most popular Jamaican holiday drink during the Christmas and New Year season. The hibiscus sabdariffa flowers, known as sorrel in Jamaica, are harvested in late November to early December. The dried flowers are used to make the drink. The drink has many health benefits including, controlling high cholesterol levels, managing high blood pressure, enhancing the functions of the liver and a high source of Vitamin C. It has now become a year-round drink in Jamaica and the Caribbean.