Following my food dreams

So where to begin, even as I type this my mind wonders to a million places. I have been a lover of food from a very young age. Growing up in a Jamaican household food has always been a big thing, from breakfast to family gatherings food is at the heart of it all as with most families.

Both my parents and grandparents were born and grown up in Jamaica,  I was fortunate enough to have visited their home land at the tender age of 6.  My parent’s sister and I lived in Mandeville  for just under a year.

My paternal grandmother lived in St Elizabeth The Delightful District. She had chickens goats and a bountiful garden, it was filled with the most amazing fruit and vegetables many I had never seen or heard of before.  I would wake in the mornings and  help feed the  goats, chickens and even took a bull to market (yep just like Jack and the Beanstalk just with a bull lol )

Life in Jamaica was and still is quite relaxed and many people grow their own produce and raise their own cattle.I remember clearly butchering our own chickens, watching my Grandmother plucking them before dinner, picking Ackee from the trees and watching the Billy Goat that  I feed every day being hung by its legs as it was butchered (a traumatic event for a child, however, a good life lesson).

Having being born in England in a small town called Hanwell I had not been used to raising or killing animals, of course we had farms in Hanwell we just reared our animals differently. Most of our food was bought from the Butchers, Fishmongers and a few bits from the supermarket. I was lucky to have a mother who knew how to be frugal. Unlike most parents my mum didn’t just buy all of our food from a supermarket, one because many of the ingredients were unusual so would only be should by specialist stores and secondly she was used to getting produce from various suppliers as that was how she was brought up in Jamaica. They did not have large super stores like in England, most people had their own land where they would grow their produce. Local farmers and producers would sell their goods at the market.

We returned to England when I was 7yrs old. As a young girl, i would spend many a weekend at my Nana’s with my cousins baking fairy cakes and helping her to prepare Sunday dinner for us. As I grew older and created my own family I learned more about food, cooking, ingredients, produce, cuisines and I have never looked back.

For me food is life, it is an essential part of us staying alive yet some of us just do it without a second thought, we open the fridge or pop to the shops and buy something to fill our bellies, we do not think about its original nutritional value its effect on the Eco system or more importantly whats in it.

I am now a grown woman with my own two children, my daughter is soon to be 21 yrs old and my son is 7 yrs. Cooking for me is therapeutic, relaxing, creative and fun. I have been known to spend a whole day in the kitchen happily. I potter around listening to music and create many dishes.

I am presently studying my BA in Professional cookery at the University of West London. I still live in the Ealing Borough where I grew up and am happy and extremely proud to live in such a diverse community.

My intention is to get all my qualifications and pursue a career in the food industry my dream job would be as a food writer, I also have a great interest in teaching. I decided as I do this why not add a food blog to my already hectic life.

Please stick with me as I am new to this and I am sure will mess it up a few times but hey we all have to start somewhere. Please come with me on this culinary blog journey and let us have some fun.

 

lots of foodie luv Dan xx

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