Indian Spiced Potato Patties

[Photo Credit] This a a great recipe that is easy to make and to vary. Similar to latkes but with a different taste. Can be a snack by itself, served with chutney or even ketchup, a part of a brunch, or a side dish. The hot tip is soaking the potatoes first…

Dominican Essentials, part 2

Dominican Words or Phrase Worth Learning This is a list of words or phrases that are commonly used in the Dominican Republic. This is by no means a complete list nor meant to be a Spanish dictionary but just some that I have found useful living here. I will add to this…

The Blame Game

Above image from newsone.com Like most people, I have my political views which I share with my friends. I am normally low key about politics but this year has been an exception, with polarizing language used in this election pulling me into a more active involvement. But now it is all over…

Dominican Essentials, part 1

Decoding the Dominican Republic The Finger Wag This is one of the most valuable gestures I learned for dealing with Dominicans. If you are in public and a Dominican tries to shine your shoes or sell you something, just saying “no”, shaking your head, or walking away will not work. They will…

What Country Am I In?

My life in the States is like many others who are middle-income and raising children. I wake up early to get my kids on the school bus. I work hard when they are in school. After school I juggle their activities, my remaining work and dinnertime. Bedtime finally comes and after I…

Third World Perspective

Above: The Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo during a blackout (apagone). It is rather ironic for me to being here in the Dominican Republic, a country which has its share of hurricanes each year and see news of Hurricane Sandy devastating the Northeastern United States, the part of the world I grew…

Wet Night, Sunny Morn

Last night we went out to meet the Tamil/Dominican couple we first got to know on my last visit. The power went out yesterday about noon and as of 7:00 it still had not returned. So we had to get ready in the dark, using the flashlight from my cell phone to…

The Waterbed

Photo above: motorist navigating flooding streets in Santo Domingo. It has been raining since I have arrived in Santo Domingo, from the plane’s descent with the rain thundering down, streaking the windows, drenching the runway crew, to the writing of this post, the rain has been engaged in an ongoing assault of…

Flying Above A Storm

After five hours of killing time in San Juan Airport, a feat which was harder than expected, it was finally time to board the flight to Santo Domingo. The contrast was immediate as soon as I stepped on to the plane — whereas the flight from Jacksonville to San Juan was basically…

Butternut Tomato Bisque

Butternut Tomato Bisque   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 90 mins Total time 1 hour 40 mins   You have to use all fresh ingredients to get the right taste. Recipe type: Soup Cuisine: Vegetarian Serves: 8 Ingredients 4 medium tomatoes chopped (approximately 5 cups) 2 cups cubed butternut squash…

Fig Chutney

Fresh figs are now in season. This is a great way to take advantage of their flavor for time to come. This recipe was inspired by on in Bon Appetit by as usual, I add my own twist. I made a double batch with two different types of figs: Black Mission and…

Don’t Fence Me In

We are in the midst of a lovely (note sarcasm) election year. no matter what the outcome you may wish, an election year is not much fun. No one wants to see hours of ads for the opposing candidate or for either candidate depending on how you feel. An election only magnifies…

Always Time To Dance

One thing about Dominicans that endears me is their innate musical nature. They have an almost involuntary response to music — they simply must dance. But the musical culture is not contained merely within the Dominican Republic, it is indicative of the island as a whole, the island of Hispaniola, in which…

Beer & Avocados — Reflections on Santo Domingo

I have been away from the Dominican Republic for so long, eight months, that, in coming back I can experience it more as an outsider while still retaining my inside perspective. Heat The first thing I feel is the heat which is so intense, enveloping and relentless that one has no choice…

Jazz Under the Haitian Sun

I traveled to Haiti three times with my father — first in 1976 for 6 weeks and twice more in 1978 and 1980 for 3 months. The first trip I was overcome, starstruck, by this different land with dark faces and lots of white, smiling teeth; grabbing hands and hungry bellies. It…

Tamarind Chicken “Lolipops”

Tamarind Chicken “Lolipops”   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 15 mins Total time 25 mins   This is like an Asian barbeque sauce Recipe type: Appetizer or Main Serves: 3 Ingredients 6 chicken drumsticks 4 tbsp tamarind puree (available at Asian and Indian markets) juice of 1 lemon or lime…