What’s Cooking

Remember when we got a grocery store here in Picard last April?  It was AMAZING!  I have to remind myself of this when I go to buy some groceries for dinner and well… I leave with a bag of crackers instead, because I can’t find what I have a hankering for or what I need for something I was hoping to make.

Case in point:

I went to the grocery store today and the produce section looked like this:

  • strange root vegetables covered in bark that look way too difficult to deal with (I know the names of them, but I’m just being dramatic)
  • brown-spotted bananas
  • basket of onions with fruit flies flying around in it
  • soft potatoes
  • tons of cucumbers (I bought 3)
  • 3 bags of local lettuce past its prime
  • 3 Vidalia onions (weird)
  • 1 package of broccoli that was yellow/brown
  • 15EC ($5) bags of month-old carrots

When IGA has just gotten a shipment in, it can be like Christmas it’s so wonderful in there, but when it’s bare in there, oh man, is it bare!  Anyways – you get the drift – the grocery store situation is unpredictable!

This results in Caribbean Hoarding Syndrome.  When the grocery store was fully stocked over Christmas, I bought 3 cans of enchilada sauce because, well, who knows when they’ll have it again?

Last week, like the Caribbean Hoarder that I am, I bought 2 packages of this bacon.  It made me laugh:

“Hotel Brand… Sliced in the Tradition of Fine Hotels.”

What. are. you. talking. about?  So funny.


If you’re a good baker, ignore this next sentence, you’ll be absolutely horrified, but if you’re lazy, can’t bake, and like sweets, read on: yesterday morning, I made this deliciousness for Charlie and I for breakfast and it was the bomb.  Coffee cake, in a mug, that takes less than 5 minutes to throw together, coffee cake that you microwave in a mug.  Oh yes.  My kind of baking!


Today I scavenged and found some chicken and a leek, so I’m planning on making this Chicken and Dumplings recipe from Bon Appetit (minus the homemade gnocchi ricotta – I’m just using some packaged gnocchi)… I’ll let you know the verdict!

In.Light.In Fridays

One of the highlights of my week is hanging out with some of my favorite kids at In.Light.In on Friday afternoons.  This is the fourth semester that I’ve been involved with In.Light.In, so I’ve known most of these kids for over a year now.  I love hanging out with them, coloring, playing Uno, and kicking the soccer ball with them.  I have a soft spot in my heart for these kids, especially the hilarious boys and sassy little girls.  They are just too cute!

{just hanging out. love him!}

{all smiles}

{sassy artiste}

{mesmerized by the toy airplane on the field that's gearing up to fly}

{so serious and proud of his penguin}

{back handspring - midair! so impressive!}

{sweet girls}

{sweet girls}

Bon weekend!

Wednesdays at CALLS

{One of my favorite afternoons at CALLS - we walked to Purple Turtle Beach to sketch and enjoy snacks. I love these kids, even though they are trying way to hard to look tough in this photo!}

For the past year, I have spent nearly ever Wednesday at CALLS, the local alternative high school.  For my first two semesters in Dominica, I tutored students and recent graduates, working with them on homework, reading, and math skills (aka maths), in addition to mentoring them and just chatting with them about life.

I have worked mainly with the boys, which is pretty rewarding and entertaining, but also, often frustrating, since many of them have a hard time in school and come from difficult backgrounds.  A few of the students I have tutored have left school and dropped out, which is  really disheartening.  I am always so impressed by the students who stick with CALLS and complete the two-year program.  CALLS provides job training and vocational skills, so even for students who don’t excel in a traditional classroom setting, CALLS can teach them a great deal.

Last semester, I joined my good friend Mary, a Peace Corps Volunteer here in Dominica, and helped her teach art classes at CALLS on Wednesday afternoons.  It is always interesting – some days good, some days bad – but overall, I love being part of the school and getting to know the students, even though they aren’t always thrilled about art class.  In a few minutes, I’ll head to Portsmouth for my first art class this semester.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we have a good afternoon!