Someone once asked me, “If you could choose your last meal what would it be? “After thinking about it a minute, I said, “Ackee and saltfish with fried dumplings, fried plantains, hardough bread and chocolate tea.” I actually surprised myself because, for the first time, I realized that that was my comfort food. Considering I’m a foodie, I could’ve chosen one of the many unbelievable meals that I’ve had at one of the many amazing restaurants I’ve been to, but no, I chose the meal that I have every Christmas morning with my family … and usually cooked by my mother.
What I also realized was that I didn’t really know how to make that meal. Yes, I can fry plantains, but I had never cooked ackee and saltfish or fried dumplings! What a travesty! I’m sure I’m not unlike lots of North Americans whose parents came from elsewhere and who grew up on the food of their heritage, but never really learned how to make it themselves. In my case, I have three Jamaican restaurants a stone’s throw from my house, so I really didn’t have to learn. But I know none of that food is as good as my Mom’s home cooking. So, the time has come to learn to Cook Like a Jamaican!
This website was born out of the monthly cooking lessons hosted by my mother. From the start I thought it would be a good idea to videotape them too. Since then I’ve made my Mom’s Ackee and Salfish recipe and her Fried Dumpling recipe, and I’m looking forward to learning more. What I got to see is how really easy they are to make. When you have a great teacher it’s pretty simple to make delicious authentic Jamaican food.