Nick and I took a family cruise over New Years the first year we were married.
It was our first time to ever take a cruise or see the Bahamas!
One of the best things about that trip was the lunch we bought on Nassau island.
We didn’t want more cruise ship food and we didn’t want anything from a chain restaurant – we all wanted to find real, authentic food that the locals ate. While walking around, we saw a couple of trucks parked in a random parking lot and a huge group of construction workers hovering around them.
As we walked closer, we could smell something delicious. We followed our noses and instincts and had the best meal of that trip. It just so happened that it came off the back of a truck.
I think we paid like $5 for lunch that day, and it was a HUGE tray full of food! The ladies running the truck made everything at home and brought the food in hot dishes like what is used for catering to keep it hot for the locals.
They had everything: fried plantains, spicy mac’n’cheese, jerk chicken, jerk pork, curried goat, oxtail, rice and peas…you name it.
As soon as we got back home, we scoured the internet and cookbooks for recipes that would make something close to what we had that day.
And while nothing we’ve tried is exactly right, we found a few things (and made some tweaks) to get as close as we can.
So every now and then, Nick and I just want a huge Caribbean feast to remind us of that lunch.
The first “feast” was a bit over the top – we made coconut shrimp, jerk pork, peas and rice, spicy mac and cheese, AND a coconut cake…just for the 2 of us. We were eating leftovers from that meal for almost a week!
We have scaled it back a bit, but it’s fun to taste those flavors again.
And there’s no set recipes for this – they’re ever changing and we still haven’t pinpointed them exactly. But every trial tastes better and better ;)
Tonight’s plate was jerk pork loin, peas and rice, and some broccoli.
I may not be sitting on the beach or a cruise ship, but this meal made it feel a bit less like a Thursday night.
I’ve got a long day tomorrow and I still have to finish packing!
Plus, The Office season finale is on tonight so I better hurry ;)