The Short-Lived Night-Blooming Cactus

I thought it quite an achievement when I caught the once yearly flowering of the night-blooming cereus last year. I had experienced a phenomenon many flower lovers would probably give a vital body part to see.

Visiting a family friend over the weekend, I noticed several unopened buds on a cactus on the periphery of their property. How unusual, I thought to myself. You should get a photo. But I returned my attention to the people with whom I was speaking, people I hadn’t seen in a while.

During a lull in the evening’s activities, I looked over and saw that flowers had replaced the buds I had seen earlier. I didn’t have my camera so I grabbed my phone and practically dragged my cousin, an award-winning flower lover, over to where the night-blooming cactus was. She had seen it too and told me after that she planned to ask our family friend for a cutting.

The Short-Lived Night-Blooming Cactus
Cactus

(Jamaican women are passionate about their gardens and will willingly trade cuttings with friends and other flower lovers. So you’ll see the same flowers in the gardens of women who are friends.)

The flowers looked similar to the cereus I had seen last year. It was surprising to me then I remembered that the cereus is from the flowering cactus family.

Here’s a photo of the night-blooming cereus for comparison.

Night Blooming Cereus
Night-Blooming Cereus

While the night-blooming cereus lasts only one night, this genus of the night-blooming cactus lasts two. Both attract a special moth that causes them to pollinate.

As I write this I realize that one thing was different — the cactus didn’t have the subtle fragrance that accompanied the cereus. But it had rained, no poured, that evening so the rain could have washed away the scent.

Have you seen a night-blooming cactus?

This week, I’m linking this post to Budget Traveler’s Sandbox and  Travel Photo Monday. Be sure to check out the other photos that are posted there.

Mannish Water Soup, An Aphrodiasic?

Though it seems simple enough, I’ve never made mannish water soup. I’ve never even tried to. Perhaps because it’s one of those Jamaican dishes that is best to cook outdoors over a wooden fire – sweat pouring down the face, arms and back, smoke stinging the eyes.

Or, perhaps as the name suggests, it should be prepared by men, which it is. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of or seen a woman making mannish water soup. (Maybe with Jamaicans who live abroad, roles might have changed. Ditto the preparation. It’d be difficult to build a fire and cook outside.)

Considered an aphrodisiac, mannish water soup, is made from goat’s offal – the intestines, head, feet and testicles – which are scrupulously cleaned then washed (now, that I’ve seen women do), the head and feet roasted over an open fire then scraped to remove hair (I’ve seen boys no more than 10 do this part).

The meat is then cut into small pieces, mixed with green bananas, coco, yam, carrots, spinners (dumplings), seasoned with Scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, etc., and left to reduce to a delicious soup.

Mannish water soup gets its distinct flavor from the bananas with a light smoky taste from the goat.

Mannish water soup is served hot as an appetizer, in paper cups at large gatherings, like the weddings, parties. For less casual dining, like the event I attended this week, it is served in soup plates. You can even add white rum to kick the flavor up.

Admittedly, mannish water soup isn’t for everyone so I was surprised to see a recipe on the Food Network, even more surprised that it suggested that lamb could be substituted. Wonder what the purists would think.

So is mannish water soup an aphrodiasic? Well…it probably depends on how much you end up drinking.

Mannish Water Soup


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Ingredients
  1. 4 lb. goat’s head, tripe and feet (get butcher to cut in small pieces)
  2. 12 green bananas
  3. 1 lb. flour for spinners
  4. 3-4 hot peppers
  5. 1 lb. coco
  6. ½ lb. carrots
  7. ½ lb turnips
  8. 3 chochos
  9. 3 gallons water
  10. ½ lb scallion
  11. 4 sprigs thyme
  12. 2 lb. yam
  13. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop meat into small pieces (if not already chopped)
  2. Wash and place in a 5-gallon container with 3 gallons of hot water.
  3. When the water returns to a boil, simmer until meat is cooked soft (about 2 ½ -3 hours).
  4. Peel green bananas and add all other ingredients, except for flour, i.e. vegetables, seasonings etc. cook uncovered for one hour more.
  5. Use flour to make spinners. Add to stock.
  6. Correct seasoning and remove hot peppers. Add more water if necessary.
  7. Serve hot.
Adapted from The Real Taste of Jamaica
Adapted from The Real Taste of Jamaica
InsideJourneys https://insidejourneys.com/

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Curried Goat

I’ve been making curried goat about three to four times a month since January, more than I usually do, after my nutritionist suggested that I add some animal protein to my diet. I’m not complaining – I love curried goat. I could eat it every week.

Until maybe 10 years ago, you’d find curried goat on the menu only on special occasions and large gatherings where lots of food is needed like weddings, parties and funeral. Typically, the host would buy a goat and have it butchered.

He would then hire a chef or someone from the community, usually male, who’s skilled at making curried goat. There’s nothing more disappointing and potentially embarrassing than unpalatable curried goat.

The chef would clean the goat and cook it out in the open. Every part of the animal would be used: the intestines (sometimes with the head and feet) to make a soup (called goat head or mannish water).

The flesh slow cooked in curry, Scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, scallions, garlic, ginger, and pimento berries. Some chefs add lime juice and white rum. Chunks of carrots and potatoes would also be added to make it a hearty stew, which typically, is served with white rice, sometimes roti.

Following the abolition of slavery, the government looked abroad for workers. They went as far as India where potential workers were lured by the promise of making a fortune working on sugar plantations. The Indians brought with them their curry and curried goat, roti, and callaloo.

These days, you can find curried goat on the menu of almost every restaurant that sells local foods. It’s still the go-to meal for any occasion where large groups gather.

Curried Goat


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Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons Jamaican curry powder
  2. 2 fresh Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and minced
  3. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 large onion, diced
  5. 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  6. 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  7. Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  8. 3 pounds bone-in goat meat (from leg) cut into 1-inch cubes
  9. 2 tablespoons butter
  10. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. 4 boiling potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  13. 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
  14. Juice of one lime (optional)
  15. White rum (optional)
  16. Water to cover the meat
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, mix curry, peppers, garlic, onion, scallions, thyme, salt and pepper. Add to meat and mix to coat. Refrigerate and marinate at least 1 hour and up to 12.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add remaining curry, stirring constantly, until it colors the oil. (To make it peppery, fry the pepper in the oil before adding the meat.)
  3. Add meat in batches, brown on all sides. When all the meat is browned, add water, remaining marinade, bay leaf, and optional limejuice and rum. Bring to a simmer, cover and slow cook 1 hour.
  4. Add potatoes and cook until sauce thickens, meat is fork tender and potatoes are cooked, 30 to 40 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  5. Serve with white rice.
InsideJourneys https://insidejourneys.com/

 

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Cassava, Rich in History and Carbs

Continuing the theme of potentially dangerous foods, this week, we’ll take a look at cassava, a staple of the Jamaican diet since before Columbus landed on the island in 1494. Cassava was the main source of food for the Tainos, the island’s indigenous people who ate it with a variety of fish and meats.

Cassava, also called yuca or manioc, is a carbohydrate-packed root that needs little water, fertilizer or pesticides to grow, and can be harvested anytime from 8 to 24 months after planting. There are two varieties – bitter and sweet.

Cassava
Cassava at a supermarket in NJ

Perhaps because it is so simple to cultivate and so rich in carbohydrates (it provides the third largest source of carbs after rice and corn), calcium and vitamin C, cassava feeds about half a billion people, according to Wikipedia.

But cassava also contains cyanide so preparing it isn’t for the inexperienced. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could leave trace amounts of the toxin that could cause illnesses as severe as partial paralysis.

Cassava
Depiction of Taino woman pounding cassava, Outameni Experience, 2011

In Jamaica, we typically dig the cassava from the ground, scrape it and cut into small pieces or grate it and press it through a cloth to remove the juice, which contains the toxin.

But that juice isn’t discarded. We use it to make starch, though I haven’t seen it done recently, and the residue (the trashy part of the cassava) to make flour or formed into a flat, round bread (like Pita and about the same size), that we call bammie. After we make the bammie, we steam or fry it on a griddle.

Cassava
Bammie

I didn’t always like bammie, which like cassava, is quite bland but steamed or fried, it goes very well with fish. We always eat it with fish – fried crispy or escoveitch – I don’t remember eating it or seeing it eaten with anything else. In this respect, we’re carrying on a tradition of the Taino, our indigenous people.

According to an article I read, several years ago, we almost dropped cassava for wheat bread but an FAO project helped resucitate cassava cultivation and bammie production in Jamaica. Now bammie can be found in every supermarket on the island. There are even ‘cocktail’ bammies – smaller – about 2” in diameter, and some which look like breadsticks.

Steamed fish and vegetables
Steamed fish, vegetables and bammie from Little Ochie

But for freshly made bammie, I usually head to Scott’s Cove, a little spot just at the border of the parishes of Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth. There, vendors sell bammie, fried fish, soup, etc. I prefer to buy the steamed ones but they have a pretty short shelf life.

While I was researching this post, I found an article on a not so new use for cassava. The company that makes Red Stripe, the local beer, is looking to replace imported corn syrup, which accounts for up to 40% of the brewery’s raw material import, with locally grown cassava. This is really good news for Red Stripe and cassava.

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Ackee Under Renewed Scrutiny by the US

I was doing research online a few days ago when I saw something that had me almost jump out of my seat: ackee is banned in the US.

How could that be, I wondered. I saw several cans of ackee in the supermarket last weekend.

Ackee, Jamaica’s national fruit, was banned in the US for 27 years until 2000 because of the toxin, Hypoglycin A, which can cause symptoms as mild as vomiting to severe as coma and death.

When the US lifted the ban, only two of the island’s processing plants satisfied the FDA’s food safety requirements and could begin exporting the fruit to the lucrative US market.

Exports to the UK and Canada, estimated then at $10 million annually, were expected to double within two or three years making ackee Jamaica’s largest agricultural export.

According to the FDA’s newly released “guidance,” its district offices may detain, without physical examination, all ackee products offered for import.

Ackee likely came to Jamaica with enslaved people from West Africa. It is here that Captain Bligh (yes, the infamous Bligh of the Bounty) was introduced to the fruit. He took the tree to Kew Gardens in 1793, where it was named Blighia sapida in his honor.

Ackee grows three fruits to a pod. The fruit is yellow (like the color of scrambled eggs), has a hard, glossy black seed and a bright pink membrane. Both the seed and membrane are removed prior to cooking. There are two types of ackee, one that is firm (called cheese) and holds its shape after cooking and another that is softer (called butter) and will break apart if overcooked.

Ackee Under Renewed Scrutiny by the US
Ackee Dip with Fried Plantain from Miss Lily’s Restaurant, NYC

Although ackee is found in other Caribbean islands, it is more popular in Jamaica than anywhere else. Ours is the only country that grows, eats and exports ackee. Usually, it is paired with saltfish, onions, peppers, thyme, and tomatoes but it can also be curried. I’ve even seen a recipe for ackee cheesecake in Rosemary Parkinson’s, Nyam Jamaica.

One local winemaker, who I met a couple years ago, is now producing ackee wine. It wasn’t bad either. And just last night, I had an appetizer of plantain chips and pureed ackee (dip). 

The trunk of the ackee tree is also useful. Hard and immune to termites, it is great for making furniture. The green fruits can produce soap, and the flowers can be used in cosmetics.

According to the FDA, the guidance describes the agency’s current thinking and should be used as recommendation only. But it has created a ‘green list’ of companies that can export fruits to the US.

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Friday Focus: Marina Delfos

I met Marina Delfos about two years ago when I started volunteering with Falmouth Heritage Renewal (FHR). To say that Marina is passionate about heritage would be an understatement. As founder of Jamaica Heritage Walks, she conducts walking tours of Falmouth’s historic district, the town’s Jewish cemetery, and introduces visitors to local foods.

Last February, at its annual preservation seminar, FHR presented a session on historic metalwork and Marina took us on a tour of the 200-year old Jewish cemetery, which has some fine examples of metalwork. Following the session, I asked Marina if I could interview her about the work she’s doing to help preserve the historic town.

Marina Delfos
Marina Delfos with a group of architects at Falmouth Jewish Cemetery

1. Tell us a little about yourself. For example, how long have you been leading the tour? Are you a native of Trelawny?

I started Falmouth Heritage Walks in February 2011 with a tour of the historic district of Falmouth.  Last year I expanded the tour to include a culinary walking tour – “Falmouth food tour” (a collaboration with Jamaica culinary tours) and a walking tour to the Jewish cemetery.

Officially I have been doing a tour of the Falmouth Jewish cemetery since December 2013.  I volunteered to take over the maintenance of the cemetery back in 2011 as there was really no one else to do it, and occasionally i would be asked to show persons around.

I was born in Kingston but I like to think that I am from Mandeville as that is where I spent most of my younger life.  I was drawn to Falmouth because of the history and with the master’s degree in heritage management that I obtained in London back in 2005, it was the perfect place to locate to.

2. Tell us about your family’s history in Jamaica. When did they arrive? What country did they come from? (I’m also interested in the Jewish story in Jamaica)

On my mother’s side, my grandfather’s (Vivian Mervyn Bromfield) family has been in Jamaica from the mid-1700s. He is descended from Andrew Bromfield and his coloured slave. These Bromfields originated from the border of England and Scotland.

My maternal grandmother was third generation Irish from Canada and met my grandfather in the mid-1930s when she came to Jamaica with her first husband, a Welshman suffering from tuberculosis. They had heard that the air of Malvern, St. Elizabeth was healing and stayed at my grandfather’s guesthouse near Malvern. Her husband died and somehow my grandfather got in the picture and she moved to Jamaica in 1939 with her two young sons. It was quite a thing to marry a “coloured” man in 1939. My grandfather was very successful in the apiary business at a young age and then went into the hardware business following in the footsteps of his uncle, Duncan Clacken.

My father is a Greek born in Alexandria, Egypt, and met my mother in London. They returned to Jamaica a couple of years after they got married, and he worked at Pan Am then the Jamaica Tourist Board, before leaving Jamaica in 1972 to go to Australia.

I am not sure if I have any Jewish connections but my father had family in Corfu, which had a very large Jewish population before World War II and sometimes I am told Bromfield is a Jewish name.

Grilled grave at Falmouth Jewish Cemetery
Examining the metal grill on a grave at Falmouth Jewish Cemetery

3. How old is the cemetery?

We estimate just over 200 years old.  The oldest readable grave is dated 1815 – Isaac Simon Esq.

Continue reading “Friday Focus: Marina Delfos”

Use Annatto for Color and Flavor

Some months ago, I noticed a tree with weird-looking pods in the backyard. Curious, I asked my landlord. It’s annatto, she said. I’d heard about annatto – it’s the coloring agent that gives patties their distinctive yellowish-red color – but had never seen it.

Annatto is a native of Central and South America. I’m not sure how it came to Jamaica but as early as the 1700s, the British found it growing in abundance in one of the towns in the eastern parish of St. Mary and renamed the town Annotto Bay.

Annatto, called natto or natta locally, was grown commercially mainly in St. Mary and was popular with my grandmother’s and even my mother’s generation. They used it to add a rich and distinctive red color to foods from fish and fritters.

At some point, annatto lost favor to the more convenient artificial dyes that flooded the market. But with consumers becoming savvy and concerned about their foods, annatto seems to be getting a fresh look.

With no sodium, fat or starches you can probably see why annatto would be a better alternative to artificial dye. It is also good for stomachaches, heartburn, fever, diabetes, and burns. Some even use it as an insect repellant, and it’s been used in cosmetics.

Annatto trees produce a cluster of pointy pods that are covered with long spikes. Each pod contains about 12-15 small, red seeds, which are hard and difficult to break. According to my landlord, the best way to use annatto is to fry the seeds or soak them in water. Once you get the color you want, remove them and use the oil or water to color and flavor your dish.

Commercially prepared annatto powder is available in specialty stores or in supermarkets that sell ethnic foods. Look for annatto or achiote in either power, paste or oil.

Lobster San Souci
Serves 8


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Ingredients
  1. 1 large carrot, chopped
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1 bay leaf
  4. 10 whole black peppercorns
  5. 4 cups water
  6. 1 ½ cups clarified butter
  7. 1 scallion, minced
  8. 2 tsps. finely chopped lemongrass
  9. ½ tsp. annatto seeds
  10. ½ tsp. minced garlic
  11. 1 eggplant, thinly sliced into rounds
  12. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  13. 8 Caribbean rock lobster tails
  14. 1 cup whole kernel corn
  15. 1 Scotch bonnet or jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  16. ¼ cup grated coconut
  17. 1 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Place the carrot, onion, bay leaf, peppercorn and water in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Strain the stock, discard the vegetables and bay leaf, and reserve the stock in the same pot.
  2. In a medium skillet, add the clarified butter along with the scallion, lemongrass, annatto, thyme and garlic. Heat until hot. Remove from the heat.
  3. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the eggplant rounds with a half cup of the clarified butter mixture. Add the eggplant to the skillet in batches, and cook until tender. Remove from the skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cover to keep warm.
  4. Bring the reserved stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lobster tails, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the meat is tender, 12-13 minutes. Remove the lobster from the stock and set aside.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter, and quickly sauté the corn and the hot pepper for about 1 minute. Add the grated coconut and the cream, and cook until the liquid has become quite thick, 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve the lobster tails with the remaining cup of butter on the side, along with the eggplant chips and the creamed corn.
Adapted from Food of Jamaica: Authentic Recipes from the Jewel of the Caribbean
Adapted from Food of Jamaica: Authentic Recipes from the Jewel of the Caribbean
InsideJourneys https://insidejourneys.com/

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The Versatile and Tasty Plantain

The plantain is the tenth most important staple in the world and a very popular ingredient in the Jamaican diet. We fry it, boil it, bake it and make it into porridge, tarts and potato chips.

From the same family as the banana, the plantain looks very much like a large banana. Like the banana, both the green and yellow plantain are eaten. The yellow plantain is sweeter and softer than the green. Unlike the banana, though, we don’t usually eat them uncooked. A plantain has about 200 calories and is a very good source of vitamins and minerals.

I’d always preferred the ripe, slightly sweet plantains to the green ones until several years ago at a family gathering when one of my aunts made fried green plantains.

She cut three or four plantains diagonally about a quarter of an inch thick and fried them for a minute or two on each side. Once they turned reddish-brown, she lifted them from the pan, mashed them flat then returned them and fried them for another two minutes until they were crisp. When she finished, she served them with bully beef.

I couldn’t believe the taste – the mild saltiness of the bully beef was a delightful balance to the crispy, semi-sweet plantain – or that I’d previously ignored this delicious food. I couldn’t wait to return home to try it out and made plantains and bully beef every chance I got.

When I’m too tired or don’t feel like frying plantains – the yellow one is preferable – I bake them in the microwave, or oven (wrapped in foil) like I would a potato. I usually cut the tips off and score the skin lengthwise to allow it to expand as it cooks. For variety, you can also stuff the plantain with ground beef, for example, and bake it.

As you can see, plantains are quite versatile. Hope you pick some up the next time you’re in the supermarket.

Plantain Tart
Serves 6


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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups sifted flour
  2. 1/2 tsp salt
  3. 1 cup vegetable shortening
  4. 2-4 tbsp iced water
Filling
  1. 1 cup ripe plantain, peeled and cut up
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  5. 1 tbsp raisins (optional)
  6. 1 tbsp butter
  7. 1 tbsp vanilla
  8. Red food colouring (optional)
  9. To make filling
  10. Pre-heat oven to 450ºF
  11. In saucepan combine plantain, sugar, and water
  12. Cook over low heat until plantain is cooked
  13. Remove from heat and add nutmeg, vanilla, raisins and butter; you may add a little red food colouring if desired
  14. Allow filling to cool before filling tart
  15. To make pastry
  16. Combine flour and salt with shortening and cut with pastry blender until flaky.
  17. Add ice water to bond together; form in a ball, wrap and refrigerate.
  18. Roll out dough about 1/8 inch thick, on lightly floured board.
  19. Cut into 4 inch rounds or larger.
  20. Spoon cooled filling in the centre of each 4 inch round, fold over and seal with crimper or the prongs of fork.
  21. Place on a baking sheet.
  22. Brush tops with a little milk and prick top with the fork.
  23. Bake at 450ºF for 10 minutes and reduce heat to 350ºF and bake for a further 25 to 30 minutes. Pastry should be a delicate brown.
InsideJourneys https://insidejourneys.com/

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Crown and Anchor, Jamaica

I was leaving the Accompong Maroon Festival last year when I saw a man standing proudly before his game board. He seemed to be daring everyone to try their luck. I wasn’t sure which game it was then but the colours caught my eye. I was curious. I also wanted to see how this game was played. I wondered if I could beat the dealer. But I didn’t have time to try, my ride was waiting.

I’ve looked at the photo from time to time, trying to figure out which game it was but always came up blank. It didn’t look like any of the ones I was familiar with. Finally, I asked my neighbor. She emails me back – crown and anchor. Of course!

Dealer
The Dealer

Crown and anchor is a dice game that’s been around since the 18th century. Apparently, it’s quite popular with British sailors who likely brought it to Jamaica though I’m not sure when. I’ve noticed that this and other games of chance are played at festivals and around holidays, like Christmas and New Year.

Crown and anchor is played with three six-sided dice, each having the following symbols – crown, anchor, spade, heart, diamond and club. The board also has the same symbols. A player bets on one or more symbols on the board then throws the three dice. The player wins if the symbol he bets on comes on one or more of the dice.

As with most games of chance, the crown and anchor banker has the edge but I’ll still be on the look out for an opportunity to try my hand. He can’t win all the time.

What game of chance would you play?

 

Linking up this week with Nancie’s Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to stop by and check out more photos and stories from around the world.

Memorial Plaques at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Falmouth

One of the first things you notice when you enter the Falmouth Parish Church of St. Peter the Apostle (St. Peter’s), is its colorful stained glass windows. The most eye-catching one sits over the altar and is flanked by the Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments.

St Peters interior
Interior of St. Peter the Apostle

The first church in the parish of Trelawny and one of the oldest on the island, St. Peter’s was built in 1796 on land that the wealthy planter, Edward Barrett, donated. It was constructed from local limestone and bricks that were imported from Liverpool, England.

In addition to its original pulpit, baptismal font, and furnishings made of Jamaican mahogany, it was difficult to ignore the plaques lining the wall. Most date to the 1800s, and were mounted in memory of prominent people who were likely members of St. Peter’s.

Reading the inscriptions, I smiled at the qualities that were considered commendable back then – cheerfulness, sincerity, generosity, benevolence, piety, usefulness, integrity even a mild disposition – and at some of the phrases that sound so cumbersome and out-of-place now.

Here are a few the ones I found interesting:

Samuel
Samuel Earnshaw

In Memory of Samuel Earnshaw Esquire, of Colchis Estate in this Parish. A man of unassuming manners and unimpeachable integrity who from a spirit delighting in acts of generosity and benevolence. Distributed the blessings of life bestowed upon by the Divine Power, with a cheerful and liberal hand.

He died at his residence on 19th of September 1824. Affectionately deplored by his afflicted Wife. Regretted by his numerous friends and not unlamented by those, who personally unacquainted with him, yet were sensible of reputed worth and sincerity.

Joseph Hodgson, Esq.
Joseph Hodgson, Esq.
thi
John Marnoch

Sacred to the memory of The Honorable James Stewart, Custos Rotulorum and Representative in Assembly of this Parish, Judge of the Supreme Court and Major General of the Militia who departed this life on the 4th day of August 1828 aged 66 years.

He devoted his life to the public service of this his native country as a legislator. He was no less distinguished for his eloquence than for the wise policy of his measures. As a judge he adorned the seat of justice by the dignity of his character and the integrity of his decisions.

As chief magistrate of this parish, he endeared himself to its inhabitants not alone as the watchful guardian of the public peace

But as the beneficent promoter of their private interests and individual happiness and in testimony of the grateful feelings with which they revere his name they have erected this monument to his memory.

Mary Aitken
Mary Aitken

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