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Documentary on Queen Nanny, Jamaica’s National Hero, on Indiegogo

Following in the footsteps of acclaimed filmmakers like Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese, movie stuntman turned director, Roy T. Anderson has decided to go the crowdfunding route to help finance his latest project: a one-hour documentary film, Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess. Queen Nanny was the indomitable leader of the Jamaican Maroons, and Jamaica’s only female National Hero.

Jamaican $500 note with likeness of Nanny of the Maroons
Jamaican $500 note with likeness of Nanny of the Maroons

Anderson’s impressive début film Akwantu: the Journey, on the history of the Jamaican Maroons, a self-funded effort, has screened on three continents, winning several prestigious awards in the process. This has encouraged Anderson to start working on his second film, which will expand on the story of the New World’s first successful freedom fighters by shedding light on one of the leading figures in that struggle, Queen Nanny – and he is looking to for help.

Indiegogo, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform has a major appeal to budding filmmakers like Roy because of its flexible option that allow campaign owners to keep all the contributions they receive even if they don’t reach their goal. And so Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess launched on Monday, December 16, 2013 on Indiegogo, with a modest goal of $50,000.

Queen Nanny will begin shooting in 2014 in Jamaica and Ghana. As the producers continue to look for additional funding, they have taken to Indiegogo as a way to ‘spread the word’ and solicit contributions. In return they are offering contributors and supporters perks such as tickets to the première of the film, exclusive private screenings, autographed DVDs, and much more.

About Queen Nanny, the film

She was a queen, captured in her homeland, forcefully transported across the Atlantic Ocean in the belly of a slave ship. In the New

Queen Nanny director, Roy T. Anderson
Director Roy T. Anderson at Akwantu screening, NY

World, she would eventually rise up to become the leader of a new nation.

However, not many people outside of Jamaica know of the Legendary “Nanny,” warrior chieftainess of the Jamaican Maroons, one of the most celebrated, but least recognized heroines in the resistance history of the New World. Most of what we know about Queen Nanny comes through Maroon oral tales and folklore, and not much is written about her in historical texts. So who was this herbal healer, prophetess, and Asante Warrior Queen?

Conceived by Anderson and Georgia State University History Professor Harcourt T. Fuller, this landmark one-hour documentary film, will unearth and examine this mysterious figure that is Queen Nanny of the Maroons. Queen Nanny will document the struggle for freedom of the Jamaican Maroons, which was led by the indomitable military genius “Nana” Queen Nanny, a spiritual leader, skilled in the use of herbs and “guerilla tactics.” From her mountain stronghold at the source of the Stony River in the Blue Mountains, she directed the warfare that effectively neutralized the vaunted British firepower.

The film will be shot in Jamaica, Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States starting in 2014, and will feature interviews with scholars who are experts in Caribbean history and the study of slavery.

As we seek to uncover the history and legacy of Queen Nanny, her intriguing story will be told through songs, performances, poetry, and a series of reenactments. One of the highlights of the filming will be a three-day trek to the rugged hills of Old Nanny Town in the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica. Legend has it that only the bravest Maroons or those “free of bad deeds” can safely venture up to this sacred spot where Nanny’s powerful spirit still inhabits.

Nanny symbolizes the pride of today’s Caribbean woman. This film will also look at her legacy and impact on contemporary Maroon and Jamaican women in general, such its current Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, Olympic sprint champion Shelley Ann Fraser-Pryce, and many others. This documentary will also serve as a prelude to the dramatic telling of the epic story of this larger than life iconic figure.

For more information, visit Nanny, the Movie, and on Facebook, Twitter, and the campaign page on Indiegogo

About Queen Nanny Director | Roy T. Anderson

Roy T. Anderson is writer, director and producer of the award-winning film Akwantu: the Journey (Action 4 Reel Flimworks,

2012), on the history of the Jamaican Maroons. This film, which has screened on three continents to rave reviews, was one hundred percent self-funded.

Queen Nanny, Roy’s sophomore film, will expand on the story of the New World’s first successful freedom fighters by shedding light on one of the leading figures in that struggle.

Anderson is a veteran stuntman/stunt coordinator and world record holder. He’s doubled for such Hollywood stars as, Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx, accumulating more than 400 production credits in the process. He has worked on such hits as Men in Black 3, The Dark Knight Rises, Spiderman 2, Bourne Ultimatum, and American Gangster, and the highly anticipated, Wolf of Wall Street.

While continuing his stunt work, Anderson has flipped the script to direct his second film. During his storied career, Anderson has shown the ability to be very creative in his performance and coordination of difficult stunts, and brings this same imagination to the table as a young director who has observed some of the top filmmakers in the world.

Sorrel, a Popular Jamaican Christmas Drink

There’s no Christmas in Jamaica without sorrel, a drink that is infused with ginger, sweetened with sugar and spiked with white overproof rum. It is as ubiquitous at Christmas time as rum cake, curried goat, and rice with pigeon (gungo) peas.

A hibiscus variety, sorrel came to Jamaica from West Africa. According to the National Library of Jamaica website, references to Jamaican sorrel date to the 1700s.

How to Make Sorrel Drink
Sorrel plant

Sorrel is an excellent source of Vitamin C. It is also rich in copper, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. Researchers at Jamaica’s Northern Caribbean University have found that three varieties of sorrel that are grown on the island could be effective in fighting some forms of cancer.

Many Jamaicans have the plant in their backyard gardens and some use it not only to make the popular Christmas drink but also to cool fevers, cure colds and lower blood pressure.

Sorrel Drink
Sorrel sepals

Its popularity as a Christmas beverage likely stems from the fact that it is harvested around November/December – just in time for the festive season. For many years, sorrel was only available at that time but as the numbers of Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals living in North America and the UK swell, you will find several different brands of the dried sepals for sale in supermarkets and health food stores. You can also find the bottled beverage available in some Jamaican/Caribbean restaurants.

Sorrel is also popular in Latin America. A few years ago, my boss’ Mexican wife introduced me to flor de Jamaica. I was so fascinated by the name of the blood red tea she’d made, it took me a while to realize that the color and vaguely familiar aroma was really sorrel.

Unsweetened, sorrel has a sharp, tangy taste. Add a little sugar and it becomes a refreshingly delicious drink. Sorrel can be used to make jams, jellies and chutneys, the leaves can also be used in salads.

Sorrel Drink

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  1. 6 cups water
  2. 3 cups sorrel sepals
  3. 2 oz ginger
  4. 6 whole pimentos
  5. 1 cup granulated sugar
  1. Bring water to boil.
  2. Pour boiling water over sorrel and ginger. It should be enough to cover the sorrel
  3. Cover and let steep overnight.
  4. Strain and sweeten.
  5. Add rum, if desired.
  6. Add pimento berries and refrigerate.
  7. Serve with ice.

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Jamaica Travel News

The following is a round-up of travel news culled from the Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaican Observer newspapers.

Make the historic Cuba Cruise

Five days after the winter tourist season commences, Jamaica will be part of history when Louis Critsal Cruises sails out of Montego Freeport en route to Cuba.

This is the first time that a cruise line will operate ships between the two neighbouring countries.

During an interview on Monday, Cuba Cruise’s marketing and media coordinator, Melissa Medeiros, confirmed that the first ship from the tourism capital will depart on Friday, December 20, and operate every Friday until March 21, 2014. Read more here.


Jewel Paradise Cove Opens

The 225-room Jewel Paradise Cove hotel in Runaway Bay, St Ann, officially opened last weekend to become the third hotel in the Jewel brand owned by Sagicor Life Jamaica.

Jewel Paradise Cove joined the Jewel Runaway Bay, and the Jewel Dunn’s River in Mammee Bay, St Ann, as Sagicor extended its interest in Jamaica’s tourism product. Described by the company as its most contemporary spa resort, the redesigned adult-only property sparkles from its multimillion-dollar upgrade, offering services that are centred on its health, spa, and fitness theme.

Private balconies and patios have been added to the rooms, another evidence of the physical enhancement that has been made to the property. Of the 225 rooms, 15 are junior suites that have been totally refurbished to offer more luxurious accommodation for the guests. For more.


Jamaica on Target to Make Stopover History

THIS year is shaping up to be the best in the history of stopover arrivals, with preliminary figures suggesting that Jamaica could welcome more than two million visitors to the island by the end of the year, according to Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill.

“The 15th (today) is the start of the season but if we continue tracking at that pace, as we are doing now, we will have a landmark year as for the first time in history we would surpass two million stopover visitors for 2013,” McNeill told editors and reporters at the Jamaica Observer Press Club held at the newspaper’s head offices in St Andrew on Thursday. Read more here.


$20-billion Boost For Tourism Sector

Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill has said that over $20 billion in investments have been earmarked for Jamaica’s tourism sector.

“What we have on the books in terms of investment is about 20 billion in the tourism sector and it brings about 840 rooms on stream which are either new rooms or old rooms that have been completely refurbished,” McNeill said. Read more here.


Shorter Wait Expected at Airports

With thousands of visitors expected to travel to Jamaica during the 2013/2014 winter tourist season which begins today, efforts are underway to lesson the lengthy wait in long lines at the island’s two international airports.

According to Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill, the process has already begun with the removal of the outgoing immigration service, which had contributed to the bottleneck, from both the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Read more here.

Nelson Mandela Walks with the Angels Now

Nelson Mandela was laid to rest today in Qunu, the village in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province where he was born 95 years ago.

Even though he’d been ailing for several months and we knew it was a matter of time, the news of his death knocked me back unexpectedly.

I thought I was ready when I wrote earlier that it was time to let him go but I feel his loss as acutely as if he were a family member, which, in the grand scheme of things, he was.

Nelson Mandela was a towering figure, a fearless advocate for his people and, by extension, the international black community. He was our hero, too.

My tears flowed silently and freely, leaving streaks in my makeup, but I didn’t care. I was sad, sad and felt forlorn. I had never met Nelson Mandela or Madiba as he was called or been part of the crowds that heard to him speak. I had ‘walked’ in his footsteps at Robben Island Maximum Security Prison and Victor Vertser Prison, from which he resumed his life as a free man, but I wished now that I had a glimpse of him. And as I reflect on Madiba’s life, his struggles and sacrifices, I take comfort in his words.

5 Inspiring Quotes from Nelson Mandela

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

Honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, pure generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to  serve others – qualities which are within easy reach of every soul – are the foundation of one’s spiritual life.

Our human compassion binds us to one another – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.

Farewell, Mr. Mandela.

Carrying on a Tradition of Making Jamaican Christmas Cake

Just before Christmas 2000, I walked into the Korean grocery store in my neighborhood, like I’d done many times before. But seeing the packages of raisins, currants, mixed fruits, cherries and brown sugar stacked in neat piles in the store that day, momentarily transported me back to the days when I used to help my mother bake. Before I knew it, I was walking home with a bag full of baking ingredients.

In the years after I left home, I never once thought of baking. I had no reason to. I don’t like rum cake – too many fruits. When I was younger, I hated raisins, and wouldn’t so much as look at currants or prunes, which is exactly why I made the perfect assistant. We did almost everything by hand then so Mama had me grind the fruits with a little handheld meat grinder while she chopped nuts and cherries. She knew I loved cherries and nuts, so she never trusted me not to sneak some while she wasn’t looking.

Mama, the last time she visited me
Mama, the last time she visited me

When we spoke the following day, I told Mama about my purchase. I told her proudly I’d do the baking that year since I’d be home for Christmas with her and my grandmother. Mama burst out laughing.

“But you don’t bake!” she said as if she was telling me something I didn’t already know.

I had to agree: I didn’t bake even after all the times I had helped her. Even after she’d given me her favorite Christmas cake recipe. Written in her own firm handwriting, each time I looked at it, I felt as if I were girl again back in our kitchen.

I made two cakes that year before I left New York, which I gave as gifts, but Mama was still skeptical about my baking ability. On Christmas morning, I woke at 5 a.m. just like we did years before. Unlike the times we baked together, this time, I had a food processor to mix the batter.

Mama was in her room. I didn’t realize she was awake and listening until she called out to tell me that the sugar and butter were creamed sufficiently. She knew I was using a food processor for the first time and was helping me out even though she wasn’t in the kitchen.  I scooped some batter into a spoon and asked her to check. She agreed that it was ready. By the time we had breakfast, my cakes were done and cooling.

Between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, we go from home to home to visit relatives and friends. The Christmas cake takes center stage as gifts and we also serve slices of cake with glasses of sorrel or homemade ginger drink when guests arrive. Everyone said my cake was light, moist and rummy and Mama proudly announced that “Marcia did the baking.”

I’ve always admired my mother, a multi-talented woman who excelled at everything she did. Her approval sent me over the moon. Unlike prior Christmases when she’d bake early in December and take every opportunity to snack on a slice of cake, Mama didn’t eat after the small piece she had on Christmas Day. 

I didn’t know it then but that Christmas, Mama passed her spatula to me. Four months later, she left suddenly followed seven months after by my grandmother. Their passing almost took the joy out of Christmas for me that year. I had no desire to bake. But when December came, I knew I had to. I gathered the fruits that I had left soaking in rum since the previous December and the other ingredients and baked. It gave me strength and flooded my heart with warm memories.

I revived an old tradition that year and started a new one in my home. And even though I don’t have a daughter to share it with or eat any of the cakes I make, I still make them in honor of her. Every time I bake a Christmas cake, it’s like we’re baking together.

Rum Cake

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  1. 6 oz flour
  2. 8 oz butter
  3. 8 oz brown sugar
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1/2 lb raisins
  6. ½ lb currants
  7. 4 oz prunes
  8. 4 oz cherries
  9. 1 tsp cinnamon
  10. 1 tsp baking powder
  11. ½ tsp salt
  12. 1 tsp vanilla
  13. 1 tsp almond essence
  14. 1 tsp Rosewater (optional)
  15. I tsp lime zest (finely grated lime peel)
  16. 4 oz almonds, chopped (optional)
  17. Browning (optional, as the brown sugar and fruits will give the cake a rich, brown color)
  1. Remove any pits or stems from raisins and currants, wash, place in a glass container and cover with white rum. Or, bring fruits and rum mixture to a boil. Turn off and let cool. Set a few whole fruits aside then grind the rest.
  2. Grind prunes and chop the cherries. Add to the fruit mixture.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9” baking pan with butter and dust with flour or line bottom and sides with grease paper.
  4. Sieve flour, add dry ingredients - cinnamon, salt, baking powder
  5. Beat eggs, add wet ingredients – vanilla, almond, rosewater, lime zest
  6. Bring butter to room temperature and cream with sugar (and browning, if used) until soft. Alternate adding flour and fruits to butter and sugar. Fold in chopped almonds. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Pour into baking tin and bake at 350 degrees for 1½ hours.

Apologies: I haven’t been able find any of my cake photos.

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Our 3rd Blogiversary – in 3 Takes, Take III and a Giveaway

My visit to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho starting me blogging, but Jamaica was my inspiration to get in to travel. Though I was born in Jamaica, I don’t know it as well as I think I should.

When I got laid off from my job in November 2003, I was excited. For several months prior, two friends and I had been planning our next professional moves. Mine was to start a tour company that would showcase Jamaica the way I see it, not the sand, sun, reggae and rum tour that many people associate it with.

At less than 4,500 square miles, Jamaica is slightly smaller than the Connecticut yet it is as diverse as many countries twice its size. Part of the island’s beauty is its lushness. Jamaica is a garden full of a variety of flowers, including orchids – about 200 species, nearly half of them endemic to the island, several hundred types of ferns and trees which bathes this little piece of rock in a riot of color year round.

It was not surprising then that my first post was about flowers, the kinds of flowers that my mother, grandmother and countless Jamaicans grow, the flowers that make my heart smile. Since then, I’ve blogged about flowers several times.

Our fruits…

Me no drink cawfee tea, mango time. Care how nice it may be, mango time. Mango Time, Jamaican folk song

We’re passionate about fruits but especially mangoes, which is celebrated by its own folk song. Yes, when it’s mango time in Jamaica we eat it at every meal. Almost.

Our food…

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes
Little Ochie’s Jerk Lobster

Jamaica has more than 300 species of birds, more than two dozen of which are endemic to the island. The doctor bird, a swallowtail hummingbird is our national bird.

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Doctor Bird, Roaring River, Westmoreland

Domestic animals are also quite common. You’ll notice goats, cows, as well as donkeys, especially in the rural areas. 

3rd Blogiversary
Holy Goat, Trelawny
Sometimes, it's the Characters that Make Travel Memorable
Dunns River Falls Donkey, St. Ann

From large great houses, opulent castles such as Trident to small board houses, we have them all. Take a look.

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes
Trident Castle, Portland, Jamaica

 Our churches….

Our landscape

Blue Mountain sunrise
Blue Mountain sunrise


Our beaches…

Twenty or 30 years from now, I’m going to be on a beach in Jamaica. – Idris Elba

Mobay Beach
Montego Bay Beach

Our people

3rd Blogiversary Giveaway

In celebration of our 3rd Blogiversary, we’re giving away three prizes – two (2) copies of the Lonely Planet travel guide to Jamaica, and a copy of The Real Taste of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson to three lucky winners. Enter by December 22nd by leaving a comment, tweeting about the giveaway #3Years3Prizes or liking us on Facebook. It’s that easy. The giveaway is open only to addresses in the United States and Canada. Good luck!


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Linking up this week with Travel Photo Thursday, which Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox organizes. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.

Our 3rd Blogiversary – in 3 Takes, Take II

In the Take I on InsideJourneys’ 3rd blogiversary, we looked back at the trip to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, that inspired me to start blogging. The year following that momentous trip, I visited London, Paris and Toronto.

Here are some of the photos I took:

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
London Eye

Usually, I stay clear of tourist traps but on this, my third trip to London, I decided to do some touristy things, like stand on line to see the London Eye. It had been calling out to me all during the week and that first weekend, I stopped ignoring its pull.

The lines were long but moved pretty quickly – about 45 minutes from the time I joined to the time I climbed aboard one of the pods. The ride took less time, about 30 minutes, but unparalleled views like this makes the wait definitely worthwhile.

3rd Blogiversary
Parliament from the London Eye

The other touristy thing I did in London  during this visit was seek out fish and chips. Okay, so it wasn’t wrapped in newspaper but it still counts. My opinion: do it once and you’re done.

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Fish and Chips
3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
The Circus

As soon as I booked my ticket to London, I bought a ticket to visit Stonehenge. Besides meeting my new nephew, it was to be the highlight of my trip — and all I could think about for weeks before I left.

Bath Houses, Bath
Houses, Bath

I wanted to have a good view of the English countryside so I was one of the first to get on the bus when it arrived and took the seat behind the driver. Our first stop was the historic town of Bath where I got these photos.

The Circus as well as these apartments in the second photo were designed by John Wood, the Elder (to distinguish him from his son). The Circus is actually three buildings, which all together form a circle.

For anyone interested in architecture, especially Georgian architecture, a trip to Bath is a must.

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes
Avon River, Bath

After leaving Bath, we had time to walk around the town. I was taking photos one after the other without really looking to see how well they turned out. I was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded them and saw how beautiful this shot is.

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes
King Johns Hunting Lodge

We stopped for steak and kidney at the George Inn in Lacock where this bicycle caught my eye.

I must admit, I was a little disappointed when I saw Stonehenge. Over the years, I’d built up such a huge mythology from my readings and the documentaries I had watched on television that I felt a bit let down when I got there. I mean, it’s just a bunch of stones, right? And at first, they looked smaller than I had imagined. But if you look at the second photo, you’ll see that they’re not.

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes

There’s certainly nothing small about moving these gigantic rocks and setting them into place. And I’m still awed by them. Now that I’ve been, I’d like to go back for one of the solstice festivals. I’d also like to visit Avebury, which our tour guide recommended, but I didn’t have time because I was heading home the following day.

The lines at the Louvre almost made me turn around. But I’m an art lover and any art lover worth their salt cannot pass up an opportunity to visit the Mecca of art in Paris. I could visit this museum everyday for a year and still not see it all.

3rd Blogiversary
The Pyramid at the entrance to the Louvre
The Louvre escalator
The escalator to the underground lobby

I did the usual touristy things in Paris, including climbing the Eiffel Tower. Now, that’s an amazing piece of architecture and huge! Definitely larger than I expected. I was impressed.

Eiffel Tower from bus
Eiffel Tower


3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Eiffel Tower
3rd Blogiversary
View from the Eiffel Tower

I don’t visit Toronto nearly as often as I should and maybe because of that, I’m continually surprised by how rich and diverse the city is.

Toronto building
Toronto building

On this particular visit, I remembered what I love – the public art – on buildings, on sidewalks, in unexpected places. It was like visiting a museum, I felt soothed.

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes
Public art from Toronto’s streets
3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Toronto street art
3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes
Toronto Street art

That’s it for Take II of my 3rd Blogiversary. Hope you’ll stop by for Take III, which will be all about Jamaica.







Our 3rd Blogiversary – in 3 Takes

The date of my 3rd blogiversary hit me by surprise this year. (Honestly, I’d totally forgotten about it!) I was doing a little site maintenance last week and noticed the date of my first post – November 29th. Right away, I knew what I wanted to do – show some of my favorite photos of the last three years but there was no way to weed through more than 2,500 images in two days and decide which ones to use.

I registered my blog about 3 years before I started blogging. Even though I was traveling, I couldn’t seem to get the writing part going. That is, until two of my friends and I made it to southern Africa. Three weeks in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Lesotho and I returned with so many wonderful and memorable experiences, I could hear myself telling the same stories over and over. I needed a medium that would allow me to share my stories and photos – my usual travel journal wouldn’t do. Then I remembered the blog I registered and never used.

Shortly after I returned home, I looked up my blog, downloaded my photos – almost 1000 images – and began writing. Surprisingly, the words flowed and even more surprisingly, they haven’t stopped.

My blog and I have grown considerably since those first tentative moments three years ago. I’ve met and befriended readers and bloggers and can proudly say there’s no group more supportive. It is because of you that this 3rd blogiversary is possible.

In Take One, I’ll go back to where it started – that trip to southern Africa. We visited Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, and Sani Pass, Lesotho.

If you can only visit two continents in your lifetime, visit Africa. TWICE! – R. Elliott

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Entrance to Victoria Falls
3rd Blogiversary, Vic Falls
Victoria Falls Rainbow
3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Victoria Falls
Lunchtime at Makalolo Plains
Lunchtime at Makalolo Plains, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes
Lone bull elephant at Mbisa, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Mandela House, Soweto
3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Iconic Soweto Watertowers
Looking down, Table Mountain
View from Table Mountain, Cape Town
3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Table Mountain Tablecloth
3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Jackass Penguins at Boulders Beach, Cape Town
Vineyard in Stellenbosch, South Africa
Vineyard, Stellenbosch, Cape Town
3rd Blogiversry in 3 Takes
M’hudi Wines’ Oupa Rangaka
3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Durban trees
3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Sani Pass Hotel
3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes
Durban Rickshaw
Morning on the Golden Mile, Durban
Morning on the Golden Mile, Durban

 Some of the people we met…

It’s been a while since I saw some of these photos so that made it even more difficult to decide what to include. But it was great looking back at the wonderful time we had.

I still keep in touch with several of the people we met in South Africa and Zimbabwe. The first time I visited Africa, a friend told me it would change my life. It took the second visit for it to happen.

Coming up tomorrow, Take 2: London, Paris, Toronto, and New York.

Linking up this week with Travel Photo Thursday, which Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox organizes. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.












The Jamaican Cookbooks I Can’t Live Without

Many of us learn to cook while watching the women in our families – our mothers, grandmothers, and aunties. Many others learn from using cookbooks.

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen in my early days – but I was doing homework rather than actively watching my mother cook. Frankly, I wasn’t very interested, maybe because I was a picky eater, but she also wouldn’t let me near the stove.

So the kitchen wasn’t alien territory to me and as soon as I was old enough, I was helping her bake the rum cakes that are synonymous with Christmas in Jamaica and the Caribbean. I loved those days in the kitchen with her. It was a little game with us – me trying to sneak and eat some of the nuts she had to put in the cake, she trying to catch me with the evidence.

Maybe because of all those years in the kitchen, I wasn’t worried about not being able to cook when I moved away to attend school. Part of it was common sense – I knew, for example, that if I planned to cook rice and peas, I’d have to boil the peas before adding the rice. The most important part, I think, was memory — I knew how the food was supposed to taste.

I was confident. Fried chicken was one of the first meals I tried. It was a Sunday and I remember thinking that my kitchen smelled just like the one at home.

And as time passed, I perfected the meals I tried and added new ones to my repertoire. Each time I visited home, I brought one or two  Jamaican cookbooks back with me.

Jamaican Cookbooks on My Kitchen Counter

These Jamaican cookbooks come in handy,  when I’m baking, when I need to look up ingredients or recently, when I was researching the history of homemade peppermint candy.

Norma Benghiat’s, [simpleazon-link asin=”0140465987″ locale=”us”]Traditional Jamaican Cookery[/simpleazon-link], my first purchase, reminded me of a little cookbook my mother used. Benghiat’s book features all the traditional dishes and provides background information on many ingredients in the extensive glossary.

Enid Donaldson’s, [simpleazon-link asin=”1894020863″ locale=”us”]The Real Taste of Jamaica, Rev. Ed.[/simpleazon-link], is the book I refer to friends who want to learn more about Jamaican cooking. A larger than Benghiat’s book, it’s full of attractive color photos that make the foods jump off the page. I turned to Donaldson when I started to make Easter buns and use it frequently to check ingredients when I try something new.

[simpleazon-link asin=”1580088422″ locale=”us”]Jerk from Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style[/simpleazon-link], Helen Willinsky – As the name suggests, all the recipes are about jerk and were created in Walkerswood, a local company’s kitchens. My favorite recipe from Helen is the Stir Fry Vegetables and Jerk Tofu, which I wrote about recently.

A Collection of 19th Century Jamaica Cookery and Herbal Recipes – a lovely collection of old recipes, I check this cookbook out when I need herbal remedies.

Lucinda’s Authentic Jamaican Recipes, Lucinda Scala Quinn – I love Lucinda’s cookbook more for the photos than the recipes. I use for presentation ideas.

[simpleazon-link asin=”9625932283″ locale=”us”]Food of Jamaica: Authentic Recipes from the Jewel of the Caribbean (Food of the World Cookbooks)[/simpleazon-link], John DeMers and Eduardo Fuss – Again, another Jamaican cookbook I love for the color photos of the food. When I feel adventurous, I check for variations on recipes or presentation.

[simpleazon-link asin=”9768215801″ locale=”us”]Nyam Jamaica a Culinary Tour (Nyam Jamaica)[/simpleazon-link], Rosemary Parkinson, at coffee-table size and 425 pages, this isn’t just a cookbook, it’s a culinary tour de force through all fourteen of the parishes that make up Jamaica. Beautifully photographed, Nyam (an African word for eat) Jamaica looks at the history of the food, it features interviews with the cooks who make the foods, and offers unique recipes, like ackee cheesecake.

JamaicanEats, while not a Jamaican cookbook, this magazine features articles on cooking, stories, and reader recipes.

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