I’ve been in England for over a month now, and I’ve ACTUALLY been cooking at a rate of about once per week. I emphasize ‘actually’ because it is a pleasantly surprising happening. I barely cooked whilst I was here for my MPhil, despite planning and intending to do so when I left Trinidad then. When I was in England previously, I planned on cooking as a money-saving measure, and whilst I certainly didn’t feel very ‘well-monied’ back then, I guess that I felt, and was, wealthy enough to eat out often/cook for myself very little.
Things are different now that I’m doing the PhD though… I have to scrunt (cut back on spending, live cheaply) more, and scrunting leads to ‘Eating out less’, and ‘Eating out less’ leads to ‘Eating in more’, and ‘Eating in more’ pushes me to want to cook so that I can enjoy ‘nice food’, as opposed to bread and egg, cheese or franks everyday. So, during the weeks gone by, I’ve made myself Potato pie(casserole) with mushroom &/corn, Shepherd’s pie, Lasagna, lentil peas and rice, and sawine. I got a bit tired of all the cheese every week, and so today I made myself curry and geera baigan (melongene/eggplant) with tomatoes and potato (aloo), alongside sada roti. (The pictures are of meals I’ve prepared.) I enjoyed eating it, and it reminded me of home.
I grew up on sada roti, and it feels weird calling it ‘sada roti’, because in my house we actually called it ‘bake’. It was only in my later years that I realized that when other Trinis say ‘bake’ they usually mean either ‘fry bake’ or ‘coconut bake’, and that what I called ‘bake’ was what most folks called ‘sada roti’. Either way, daddy would make bake/sada roti on the baking stone (tawa) in the morning, and we’d usually eat that with whatever was in the fridge; usually butter, peanut butter or cheese. Sometimes we’d eat it with the left over food, like the peas, beans, pumpkin or bhagi that we’d have eaten with rice the day before. I can’t say that whilst in Trinidad I was a huge fan or eating those typical meals, but I knew that I’d miss it when I left.
Therefore, one of the first things I did when I got to England in September was to look for a rolling pin (bailna) and a baking stone (tawa). I couldn’t find a baking stone; the closest I got to one was a ‘chappatti pan’. So, I cooked my bake/sada roti today in a frying pan. It turned out alright, though crumpled up on the edges. At some point in the future I have to attempt callallo, and something with eddoes… I saw eddoes in Tesco yesterday.