As I made my way to my ‘nest’, one major thing was on my mind. You see, when stormy weather is at my back door, my palate and I switch to a different mood. The forecasters call the present weather pattern “the El Nino effect” which is formed in the Pacific near South America. This is when cold and warm air collide and produce copious rainfalls during this period.

So, as buckets of precipitation came fiercely from the darkened skies, I rapidly made my way to my kitchen. I reached for my left-overs (pickled red herring, boiled dumplings (whole-wheat/cornmeal), Irish potato, and steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach) of the previous day. They were dutifully perched on the bottom shelf just waiting for me. I snatched them up with a huge grin on my face.

I made a quick dry with paper towel of my dumplings and potato and carefully cut them in halves. You see, I didn’t feel like consuming them in their present boiled form. I wanted a crusty exterior. Thus, I decided to pan fry them in hot canola oil. Can you imagine? I told you El Nino drove me to this.

This didn’t stop there; every Jamaican knows that when consuming pickled red herring, something sweet has to be added. As a result, I also fried a few pieces of plantain. Steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach) and of course left-over pickled red herring were placed on a plate and reheated. With a couple of slices of avocado, my dish was ready for consumption.

Thanks to the El Nino effect; my palate and I were satisfied. All I needed was some piping hot green tea. Salud!


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