I went to the vegetable market today and it is always a pleasant neighborhood event. It used t be that the vegetables were exclusively west Indian fare because St. Croix is the better half of the Virgin Islands. In the hands of a West Indian cook, provisions are those starchy ground crops that fill the belly and make a pound of pork or one small chicken feed eight. Sometimes I cook West Indian vegetables but am more inclined to do a Crucian-American fusion which includes Latin influences as Crucian foods are already a fusion of Puerto Rico and Eastern Caribbean Foods. I also cook Traditional Italian because of family influences.
Because the population of St. Croix is growing younger and more Americanized, there is a recently created interesting in growing traditional American vegetables. Today I brought cucumbers (American) bell peppers, basil and parsley (all cultures use them) and American tomatoes. These are the best tomatoes outside fresh picked summer tomatoes in the middle Atlantic states. I also brought arugula which I am not sure why it is grown here at all but it is part of the traditional Italian summer greens and the fresh local variety is fantastic. I also brought a bag of scotch bonnet peppers which is Caribe Indian from South America in origin
I have been dreaming of a no cook dinner all day with a tomato, arugula, basil and Mozzarella salad accompanied by a tuna fish sandwich with arugula and artichoke hearts and an olive paste spored on the bread.
For those who care, the menu would list:
Insalata di Pomodori E Mozzarella (salad)
Panini al Tonno e ai Carciofini Marinati (Tuna Sandwich)
Both of these are in the Five Brothers cookbook but in the case of the Mozzarella salad, Dolores served that almost from the time we were married and I remember Dolores’ Uncle Allie making a sandwich out of almost anything. He put a garlic or olive paste on the bread a hunk of meat and marinated artichoke hearts to top it off. So I am sort of being reminded of foods I have eaten over the past 45 years and adapting them to “Meals for One”
Since I have nothing better to do this afternoon, I plan on working on an artistic presentation and should have some pictures and recipes for tomorrow.
By the way the diet God’s are rooting for me as I was down to 216 today so I guess I’ll do my part and head back to the gym.