Be safe this Christmas season!

“…’Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la…”

Those of you who know me or who have been following this column are aware that Christmas is my absolute favourite season or time of year. Despite being immersed in the work that comes as a result of the numerous parties and events being held which require catering services, I am always able to remain “jolly”.

Traditionally, Christmas is a time when not only several varieties, but large volumes of food as well, are constantly available and consumed, as friends and family gather in numbers to enjoy the festivities, eating and drinking to their hearts’ content.

It is also a period when sometimes caution can be thrown to the wind as we get caught up in these festivities. I am just issuing an early reminder for you to avoid that happening, when it comes to the safety of the food that we are serving or consuming this season. I am asking you to remember to pay attention to the time and temperature.

Hot food should be served hot and cold food, cold. Get familiar with that dreaded danger zone which lies between 40 and 140F. It is always useful here to have that trusted thermometer to ensure that these temperatures are achieved, as the time and cost of acquiring one of these is far less than the cost of reversing a case of food poisoning.

So enjoy your Christmas season, but just remember to be safe in everything that you do!

Meantime, here are few recipes that you can add to your Christmas selection, as well as a short clip on butchery, the first in a three part series which we will expand on in our upcoming articles.

DOVE PEAS

INGREDIENTS

2 cups Pigeon Peas

1 lg onion, diced

¼ cup of bacon or ham, diced

½ tsp marjoram, chopped

1 tbsp fat

Salt & Pepper to taste

METHOD

1.     Boil Peas in salted water

2.     When tender, drain

3.     Mix all ingredients together with peas and fry in hot fat

4.     Season with salt and pepper to taste

COCONUT BREAD

INGREDIENTS

1 lb flour

4 ozs fat

¾ cup milk

6 ozs sugar

1 small coconut, grated

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 tsp baking powder

6 ozs raisins (optional)

1 tsp salt

METHOD

1.     Mix dry ingredients together

2.     Add milk, melted fat and essence

3.     Blend ingredients well

4.     Knead slightly on a floured surface

5.     Shape into loaves and put in a greased loaf pan 2/3 full

6.     Dust with sugar

7.     Bake in an oven at 325 F

Source: (Peter Edey is a Worldchefs Certified Executive Chef; a Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation; a graduate of l’École Ritz Escoffier, Paris and a Certified Caribbean Hospitality Trainer. Email: peter@dcbarbados.com)

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