Ackee and Saltfish Recipe for cousin Debbie

ackee saltfish

Ackee and Saltfish served with boiled green bananas and fried dumplings

2 cans of Grace Ackee

1 lb of boneless salted codfish – not sure of the brand but it is wild caught

1 scotch bonnet or if not available 1 habanero pepper*

olive oil

1 sprig of fresh thyme

black pepper

1 large tomato chopped

1 onion chopped

3 or 4 scallions chopped

canola oil to fry dumplings

 

Disclaimer 1:

 I am not Jamaican. Therefore it may not be “authentic”, but this is how I make and serve Ackee and Saltfish for my JAmerican husband and my children.

Disclaimer 2:

I believe this will serve at least 6 people, but I don’t know because my husband and son do not stop eating until it is gone.

 

Lets get started….

First I soak the boneless salted codfish overnight. Needless to say, this is usually a weekend dish and not a very often weekend dish.

After soaking the codfish,  I boil the fish at least 30 minutes or until it becomes flaky. I don’t like it when it is too chewy, but I do like some of the salt to remain with the fish.

While the fish is boiling, I wash the green bananas with baking soda and scrub. Then I cut the tops and bottoms off the bananas and cut a small incision down the length.

I boil the bananas for 20 mins. Green bananas do not taste like yellow bananas, but have more of a starchy, potatoey (not really a word) taste.

While the bananas and the fish are cooking I make the dough for the dumplings.

2 cups of flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup warm milk

After combining ingredients, knead and let rest for 15 mins

Green bananas should be done, remove from heat and drain.

Back to the ackee and saltfish…..

Place the ackee in a colander and if you see any black or brown specs remove them.

Drain the fish by pouring the fish water over the ackee into the colander. Flake the pieces of fish and try not to handle the ackee too much to avoid it becoming mushy.

In a large enough pan with lid, heat at least 1/2 cup of olive oil, more if needed.

Add the onions and sauté until wilted. Add the fish and ackee and pepper to taste, the sprig of thyme, tomatoes and a small slice of the scotch bonnet or habanero pepper* stir just to combine. Reduce heat and cover.

Back to the dumplings…

Heat canola oil to fry the dumplings. Form a log with the dough and cut in pieces. Drop in hot oil and watch them expand. Cook until brown on all sides. Remove and place on paper towel to drain.

You should be able to handle the bananas. Peel them.

Serve your ackee and saltfish with the bananas and the dumplings.

*The last time I used the habanero pepper I rubbed my eye after handling it  and thought my eye would burn out of its socket. Cucumber was the only thing that removed the burning. Please be careful when handling the peppers.

 

Let me know how your ackee and saltfish turns out.

 

 

 

10 Reasons You Should NOT Attend Your Family Reunion

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10 reasons you should not attend your family reunion are ACTUALLY 10 reasons you SHOULD attend. I am the last person on earth to tell someone NOT to attend their family reunion. Family is so important to me and probably the one thing that I value the most. The reason I feel this way is because in my family every child is cherished and valued.  As we grow up, we do not stray very far from our family values because we do not want to disappoint people we love.

 

10 reasons you should NOT attend your family reunion:

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10 – You’ve tried every diet and exercise program to get rid of your big butt.”Its just so…… big” and you don’t want to accept the fact that it is genetic. Accept it, embrace the butt, all of your older aunts have embraced their butts and wear theirs with dignity. At least your butt is real.

 

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9 – No one seems to care that you are a Vegan and you care about eating healthy. Surprise! There are plenty of your relatives who also care about eating healthy and have voiced their menu selections for the family reunion menu. So Cuz, your whole family just may have moved on from everything fried. Now all things sweet may take a few more generations.

 

 

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8 – You still have a grudge against your Uncle for taking off his belt and beating your ass when you ran out in the street without looking. Hey, yours was not the only ass that was beaten. Ask your cousins and they will ALL have a similar story.

 

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7 – You were not able to attend the funeral of the last relative that passed away and you feel guilty. Guess what? You will be able to mourn with other family members at the family reunion memorial service. You can reminisce with everyone else who misses their loved one(s).

 

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6 – You still don’t think it is funny when your cousins have to always remind you about the second set of teeth you had and when you looked like the Alien character. Really? How else were they supposed to describe it at the time.  No one in your family had seen teeth like that before. Now that you’ve had your braces, you have the confidence to inform your cousins that your teeth came from your other side of the family.

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5 – Auntie’s peach cobbler reminds you of grandma’s peach cobbler. Lord knows you miss grandma’s absence. Think about it. Grandma left a legacy and Auntie was blessed with being able to make the peach cobbler that so many enjoy. Maybe she will pass the recipe onto you this year.

 

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4 – You are questioning your Christian beliefs and wondering whether or not there is a God. Families don’t care just as long as they can love you and you can love them back. You know there will be some praying going on and when large numbers of people pray together, many people receive the answers that they are seeking.  Just being surrounded by love in itself is a religious experience.

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3 – You just can’t take seeing your Aunt or Uncle in their failing health. When people don’t have much time to live, their relationships with the people they love is vital to them. Imagine seeing the sparkle in Auntie’s eyes or listening to Uncle’s chuckle when they see you and you remind them of a special time the two of you shared.

 

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2 – You should absolutely NOT attend your family reunion if it may be the last time you see a relative. That relative may share their wisdom with you which may be most helpful at this time in your life. You will  get to interact with the babies and young children of the family and really think about whether or not you are ready for children or grandchildren. Your children can meet and play with their cousins like you did when you were young. Playing with real cousins is Priceless.

 

thCARAB44R1 – The number 1 reason you should NOT attend your family reunion is if you think you are an island, living by yourself, not needing family. You are not an island. At some point in your life you will need someone. Let it be a family member who will give you unconditional love, support and give you the honest truth about who you are and where you come from.

 

*Disclaimer – If your family is not as described then most likely they will not have family reunions. It may be up to you to create a loving family and start the family reunion tradition.