Dominica Part 5 of 5 Thanking Dominica…
When I got back to the hotel I rested for an hour and decided to have some non alcoholic cocktails and thinking about my day at JTAS. It was not what I had imagined in my mind but people left happy, full and with a new respect for vegan food.
Time seemed to fly fast in Dominica when I had things to do and I knew I had to make a cupcake display and also make some of my Caribbean Quiche for sampling at the expo on Sunday.
When I arrived in the kitchen Bernadine, Devon and George were in the kitchen and Bernadine was getting restless waiting on me to start the cupcakes. She told me she was ready at 730 so I rushed downstairs to change into my kitchen gear and we started to make cupcakes. The first batch of cupcakes were chocolate which I went with because many like chocolate. I did a vanilla chocolate ganache and Bernadine grilled some coconut with sugar for me to decorate the top.
Trust me cupcakes go fast and this was not the prettiest of the bunch but you get the idea. I will tell you later about the transport. When people came into the kitchen and looked at the chocolate cupcakes making they were overwhelmed by the richness of the cake and I sent out a few as samples and it brought more faces by the kitchen door. ” There is no egg?” “It is so light and pillowy” No egg…. sorry to disappoint. Finally people started to get rid of the myth that a cake is nice with egg…thank you cupcake.
I then wanted to make a cupcake with the fresh oranges that Terri had dropped off the day before. Now take the image of perfect orange coloured oranges out of your mind. In Dominica the oranges are imperfect some have a bumpy exterior and the skins are usually greenish yellow. The flavour and juice it gives is superior to the oranges most of us know. I wanted the cupcakes to be orange so I used turmeric in the formula and hoped for the best and a few other secret ingredients to really capture the taste of Dominica and the Caribbean. We made a batch of 50 at first and then tasted one hot. Even hot I just heard moans of approval and Bernadine looked at me and said “We making 50 more”. Looking at the time I wanted to get to bed and I still did not start on the crust or filling for my quiches so I left her with the recipe and went on to work on my pastry for the quiche.
Oh before I forget here is now the orange cupcakes worked out. Sorry I did not get an inside shot to show that lightness.
Here is the same one again with some more edible flowers.
For the actual samples I gave one dot of icing as I do not promote eating mounds of fat and sugar. It was a health Expo anyways not a bakesale but as someone who cooks I think I have a responsibility to cook food that taste good but is not bad for you at the same time. Look out for those later in the post.
I got started on my quiche later in the night and Devon had already chopped all my ingredients including the seasoning peppers/ vegetarian peppers that grow in many islands. I did not even use my recipe scaled up and it still worked out well. I made a short crust that day and made rustic cups in a cupcake mould and baked the pastry blind. The process was quick and painless and I let the staff watch the quiche bake as I got 10 minutes of sit down time. Did I mention there was a party going on at the hotel..the music was great and I never saw people dance so much and have a good time in a fete. I went to watch it for a few minutes and quickly retreated to the kitchen.
Here is how the quiche turned out. I usually seal the cracks with some soy creamer mixed with a little black salt but as I was rebaking them in the morning I did that afterwards.
When you are sealing with soy creamer you can carefully colour it yellow the exact shade to hide any cracking. I did not this time around and left the soy creamer as it was. I topped my quiche with one of my favourite herbs for topping quiche, tarragon and stored them. Twice baked quiche is the only way I serve quiche.
Here is how it looked on the day
My Saturday night was over, cupcakes made and in a safe place and quiche in the fridge. I went to bed thinking about my final day in Dominica…I didn’t get to see this island that I had fell in love with. My partner still awake the in room decided we could go to the hot springs as everyone was telling me I had to go to feel rejuvenated. I had to get to the expo for noon so I had enough time to get a taxi to spend an hour at the springs and still get back to frost and dress my cupcakes…as I drove to the hot springs I had a guilt within me worrying about the time but as the driver took me up the winding road and I saw some of the most breathtaking vegetation inclusive of flowers I never saw before I quickly began to relax.
I never been to a hot springs before…I did not know what one looked like what to expect so I decided to leave my camera at the hotel. When I go to Tia’s Bamboo Cottage we paid and I purchased some sulphur mud as advised and I walked down the steps and I was face to face with a hot springs for the first time. Click here to see how it looked but unfortunately the pictures on the site are old and do not do this place any justice. It was so beautiful with fruit trees all around the pools and then a cold river under the pools so you could do hot pool to river. I could not believe there was a place in the Caribbean that was offering all of this and I felt like if I was like the last to know…..
As the hot but relaxing water streamed onto my back I felt like if I was having a guilty pleasure….
Why didn’t someone warn me the springs make you sleeeeepy. We rushed out after 45 minutes and I washed off my mud and headed back to the hotel…those springs….
Oh chop chop…cupcakes to package for transport, quiche to reheat and I had to tell someone to decorate the tray…Oh no…I didnt write my speech!!!
Carrying 100 plus cupcakes in a taxi which is a big van plus drinks and quiche is not an easy task. When I watch Food Network I sometimes roll my eyes with the extra drama they potray but it was a little tricky with the food. When I got to UWI Open Campus Terri greeted me and cupcakes were taken from me and I went into a corner to write my speech. I had no time even before coming there to write it and I hated doing it under pressure but when I saw only 6 people waiting for my speech the pressure came off. Little did I know that when I lifted up my head again my lecture was jam-packed with people standing outside the door….did they hear about the cupakes?:) My speech started off very shaky as I sudden got a spell of nerves but, I put down my paper and spoke from my heart. With my hair wet in a mess and my skin purified from the springs and mud I felt whole and free and even my imperfections on that day did not phase me.
Afterwards, I invited the large crowd that had grown and grown as I got deeper in my speech to eat cupcakes and quiche. I remember having a gentleman come up to me who was allergic to egg asking me for reassurance to have my quiche and cupcake…I told him go on you wont die today:) He smile and went off with his wife enjoying the eggless vegan quiche 🙂
See one blob of icing…not an ice cream cones worth!
I then signed a bunch of books and then stripped off my clothes and changed into my yoga attire but before that I had to go buy some food..Guess what? Deschamps was there serving all things Ital. I think he really went to he highest level that day because all of my food items were green but I loved them all..my favourite was the green banana pie and my husband loved his green celery juice. Deschamps made that lovely coconut slaw again and he made his coconut dal..green I tell you but I was happy I ate and I was content and full.
So that is it folks, now I am going to share some pictures from the event itself. I was happy my part was over and I could enjoy yoga and lectures and even a Thai Massage that put me to sleep. I also listened to live drums in a room and the passion power emitted from the beating went into my soul and I felt transformed.
Oh there is my abandoned book signing table..people came to find me wherever I was anyways.
When you are in Dominica find her fax her whatever..I pay a lot for massages in St. Martin but this woman is fantastic! I am not even going to get into what she did to me but I got in the plane still feeling the effects the next day. Check out Charity Joy Movement here.
We did this class and it was really good. I did not get a lot of time to talk to this self-confessed foodie Trudy Prevost but she attended my workshop at the Anchorage Hotel and I will be back again to do more yoga with her in the beach and in the forest. Click here to go on her site.
Remember those beautiful mushrooms I got?
So that is it folks I would like to take the time to thank the below listed sponsors and let me say something…they did not have to sponsor this event but they did and growing up in the Caribbean I have always heard cries from people doing positive things not getting any support from government or the private sector. I was amazed of the amount of sponsorship that came through as I myself always wished to go home to Barbados to do a similar event… I do want the region to look at Dominica and see that they are utilizing what they have and marketing it and they support people from the region and what that did was form a tie within me that would never be broken.
Many things went through my mind that I would not speak about here but THANK YOU DOMINICA FOR BELIVEING IN ME AND SUPPORTING MY WORK.
I have gotten more opportunities to train in Dominica and I will be taking up everyone on their offers slowly:) as I want to help to make this island the best vegan destination in the Caribbean…where you can have your ital food, to raw foods to vegan Caribbean food. You stole my heart Dominica.
I have decided to write a new cookbook and it will be published in the Caribbean but it will be available internationally..it is about a topic that never has been covered before and I hope to go back to Dominica to do some of the writing and testing of recipes. This time I can write in my voice to the Caribbean for the Caribbean. I am carefully seeking a publisher who can respect and understand my work.
I want to finally thank Terri Henry who snagged me 5 months ago for this show and who made sure everything was in place for me. The staff at the Anchorage Hotel…I miss you and we will meet again:), Khatts tours for their safe rides, Martha Cuffy for showing me my inner peace, Celia Sorhaindo for being there for me and donating these beautiful photos on this blog for the past 3 post.The Discover Dominica Authority for sponsoring this event.
My regrets were that I did not stay 10 days, and that I did not get to show off my refined dishes but since the workshops were introductory I would save my refined dishes for a tasting event somewhere else or in Dominica:)
I hope everyone reading this who loves nature and loves peace visit Dominica soon. You will get your vegan food, taste fruits and veg you only read about and experience a different side of the Caribbean. I will try to add a mini guide to my Vegan Guides of the Caribbean and write up one for Dominica. One exist for Barbados.
Discover Dominica http://www.dominica.dm
Anchorage Hotel, Whale Watch and Dive Centre http://www.anchoragehotel.dm
Picard Beach Cottages http://www.picardbeachcottages.com/
Events and Things http://www.miambs.com/
Loubiere Spring water
Ardens Sounds and Lights http://www.ardensounds.com/index.html
Remember there are more photos and also information and sometimes recipes you won’t get here on my facebook fan page. Click here to connect with me instantly!