December 10, 2023

I’m back … after 12 wonderful days in Jamaica! Even though I don’t live there anymore it’s still home to me. Now that we’re retired, my husband Eddie and I try to get there most winters to get out of the cold, but this year was extra special because we had company. Our old friends Tracy and Johnny flew all the way from England to join us on this trip. It was both their first time to JA (that what Jamaicans at home and abroad loving call Jamaica), so it was an extra special experience.

Don’t let that smile fool you. I tried to sweet talk him out of Scotchies’s secret jerk recipe … no such luck.

I know a lot of you love Jamaican jerk so I was also on mission to show you a place that does it right. We headed to Scotchies near Ocho Rios, which is renowned for its traditional cooking methods. A blend of special jerk seasonings is only half of the recipe. The other half is the way the meat is cooked, which is very slowly (around three hours) sitting on pimento wood that’s placed over hot coals. Pork, chicken or fish is placed over the wood and covered with corregated metal to seal in the smoky flavor. At Scotchies they also serve festival, roasted bread fruit, yam and sweet potato. They all have that unique smoky flavor you can only get with pimento wood. Any of them are perfect to pair with a piece of spicy jerk pork or chicken. Just thinking about it makes me want to head back to JA!

You can still make a pretty special jerk dish even if you don’t have pimento wood to cook it on. I especially like jerk chicken cooked on my barbecue at home. Check out my Secret Jerk Sauce recipe. Beats anything out of a bottle!


I’ve been cooking Jamaican food for my family for more than 50 years! Now I'm teaching my daughter Angela and you how to cook my treasured family recipes! I'm happy to be of service and love hearing from you so don't forget to leave a comment below.


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