The Hold


This category contains 18 posts

Dandelion Salad

Growing up, I read about people eating dandelions, but whenever I tried one, they were bitter and inedible. As it turns out you need to pick young leaves before they flower. Rinsing well with water to remove some of the sap also helps. Dandelions were an important food source for Native Americans, and were known … Continue reading

Potato Dumplings

Every culture has some form of dumpling.. From African Fufu, German Spaetzle, or Chinese Jaioze. The cultivation of the potato in the sixteenth century found it moved to the center of western cooking. So naturally, one day somebody tried making potato dumplings. Dumplings are great because they are the ‘bland starch’ that goes with everything. … Continue reading


Sancocho is a very Caribbean stew, generally served as a main course. Once you have managed the basics, it quickly becomes a ‘anything at hand’ stew, as tasty with beef or goat as with chicken or lamb. This is a very basic stew found everywhere in the Caribbean, with every family having their own variation. … Continue reading

Salt Cod and Akees

The Akee is a tree found all over Jamaica. Brought from Africa by Captain Bligh (of Mutiny on the Bounty fame) in 1778, it has become not only the national tree of Jamaica, but the virtual national dish. You can find Akees in cans at many ethnic markets.   Serves: 4   Ingredients: 3 slices … Continue reading

Mashed Calabaza

Virtually unknown in European and American cooking, the Calabaza is a squash that was domesticated in prehistoric times in Central America, and still is a staple of their diet. The Spanish spread them through the Caribbean. This disk is quick and a nice side dish, good with poultry or pork. Serves: 3-5 Ingredients: 2 lb. … Continue reading

Fried Plantains

Plantains, like their cousin, the banana, are eaten when ripe and yellow. Unlike bananas, they don’t turn mushy when heated, so are great for cooking. When frying, it’s easier to think of them like potatoes, rather then bananas. A single plantain is about enough for one adult   Directions: In a skillet, heat just enough … Continue reading

Colombo de Calabaza

Colombo is a soup flavored with Colombo powder (a combination of cumin, coriander, mustard, black pepper, cloves, fenugreek, and turmeric), and is very common throughout the West Indies.   Serves: 6   Ingredients: 1/2 lb. salt pork, cubed 1 medium yellow onion, sliced 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1 garlic clove, pressed 1 … Continue reading

Caribbean Beans & Rice

Just about every culture has some version of this dish, from the lentils of the orient, black-eyed peas (or green peas) of Africa, to the more familiar Spanish version common in European and Mexican cuisine. This might be the original ‘one pot’ dish, as it is extremely simple to just pour in rice to already … Continue reading


Bartholomew Roberts is said to have been eating this dish when the British Navy attacked his ship in 1722. This is quite possible, as it was a popular dish in Britain and the colonies at the time. Like most pirate dishes, the actual recipe depended more on what was in the galley rather then what … Continue reading

Pea Soup

Ingredients: 4 c. dried English peas 4 quarts water 6 peppercorns 2 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 large onion, chopped 2 or 3 potatoes, chopped into small pieces salt as needed 1 T. sage (optional) 1 T. thyme (optional) 2 T. lovage (Optional) Maple Syrup (optional) Directions: Place the peas in the water and add … Continue reading