Some thoughts on shopping for food.

I came to live here in 1981. My first six months were a big lesson in adaptation. Things have changed so much since then. Let’s talk about grocery shopping. I was a teacher at the Convent School in those days, so most of my shopping was done at Barker and Kelly which was located at the eastern end of Central Street, on its southern side. The building is now part of the TDC complex. There was also Eskimo Foods at the corner of South and West Independence Streets, now Horsford’s Credit Division. Both were small places compared to Horsfords Value Mart and Rams at Birdrock. Of Course there was Rams on the Bay Front. It too was only half (or even less) of what it is now.

I grew up in the Mediterranean so pasta figures big in our cooking but it was something that I had to do without a lot. There was no such thing as penne, farfalle, rigatoni, rotini, vermicelli. Even lasagna was rare. There was pasta here. It consisted of packets of Mac and Cheese, spaghetti, small elbow macaroni, and long macaroni. I remember I hated the long macaroni with a passion. It broke badly whenever I wanted to use it in shorter lengths and used to mash away in the pot even when I tried to undercook it. Then there was the sauce to go with the pasta. I found the ingredients for making a basic tomato sauce but when it came to olives that was a problem; as for capers – they were non-existent on the island. Sometimes family members in St. Maarten sent them to me. Then I used them as though they were the rarest thing on earth. They also sent me tinned mushrooms occasionally. In those days when I mentioned mushrooms, people looked at me as though there was something wrong with me. They said they were jumbie umbrellas and could kill you. Now we have the fresh ones and not just the usual button mushrooms but the cremini and the shitake. I like Kittitian cuisine but it is fun to experiment with dishes from other parts of the world.