Mauby Bark & Drink

>> Friday, 26 January 2007

This is mauby bark that is brewed with other spices such as cinnamon, clove and nutmeg to make mauby drink. Some people also use as part of their spice mix, orange peel and star anise. This is the drink after it has been brewed and ripened (set) for 48 hours. Here is it presented chilled with ice. Depending on where you are from in the Caribbean, people have different ways of making mauby.

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Making Mauby

Here is the recipe for my mom's mauby that I rave about in my column this week.

For mauby concentrate:
1 & 1/2 cups water
5 - 6 large pieces of mauby bark
3 sticks of cinnamon
9 cloves
1/2 nutmeg, cracked

For mauby drink:
1 gallon water (16 cups)
1 stick of cinnamon
4 - 5 cloves
1/2 nutmeg, cracked
Sugar to taste

  1. Place all the ingredients for the concentrate in a saucepan and bring to a boil until the liquid is reduced to half (3/4 cup)
  2. Let cool
  3. Fill a large, clean bucket or container with the gallon of water
  4. Strain the cooled mauby concentrate into the water (do not throw away the boiled bark and spices!), add the fresh spices and sweeten to taste. (Bear in mind that you will add ice when serving so sweeten adequately)
  5. Brew (using a large cup, dip into the mixture, fill the cup and then pour it back into the container. Do this for at least 3 minutes.)
  6. Cover the container and set aside.
  7. Add 1 & 1/2 cups of water to the reserved bark and spices. Cover.
  8. The following day, a full 24 hours later, open the container with the mauby and strain the liquid from the reserved bark and spices into the mixture and brew - for 3 minutes. At this stage, you will start to smell the ripening of the mauby.
  9. Cover the container and set aside
  10. Add another 1 & 1/2 cups of water to the reserved bark and spices. Cover.
  11. The next day, 48 hours later, strain and pour the reserved bark and spice mixture into the mauby (you may now discard the bark and spices) and brew for 3 minutes.
  12. Cover the container and set aside.
  13. 3 hours later, taste the mauby for desired sweetness and strength. If you feel it is too strong, then add some water, adjusting to your taste.
  14. With the strength and sweetness to your desired taste, strain the mauby into bottles - plastic or glass and referigerate.
  15. Served chilled with ice.

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Coming back to live?

>> Friday, 19 January 2007

This week's column looks at the question: where is home and talks about living in 2 places. As I was writing, I recalled a question a friend of mine asked me recently: "So you're never coming back to live in Guyana?" It gave me reason to pause because it seemed to have been said in an accusatory tone. It was as if I was being chided for choosing to live in another country. I found myself having to defend my decision to live abroad.
I'm sure that many of you living abroad have been confronted by this situation at one time or another. My appeal to those asking the question is this: please do not be quick to judge our decisions and choices. We also cannot foretell the future, who knows? Maybe some of us will return to Guyana to live.

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Eating Hassar

>> Monday, 15 January 2007


This weekend I cooked hassar curry. As I ate my meal, I wondered about the fascination with the fish, after all, the most significant part of hassar-eating is sucking on the tough shell, the meat is of little consequence; oh, I love the eggs inside. So what is it that makes us desire this fish? And is it better cooked with coconut milk or water?

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Craving the Taste

>> Saturday, 13 January 2007

The subject of this post is the headline for this week's column, in which I discuss how other factors, apart from the food itself contribute to our sense of taste such as the atmosphere and the environment. I've noticed that although I use the same raw ingredients, spices and methods of cooking as that back home, the dish would still not taste the same as if I were having it at a table surrounded by friends or family.

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Married Man's Pork

>> Tuesday, 9 January 2007

How did this name come about for sweet basil?

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Roti/Dhal Puri Dough

Can anyone tell me if the dough that is made for roti (regular paratha or oil roti as we say) is the same dough that is kneaded for dhal puri? I'm asking because when I make dhall puri with the same mixture I use for roti, the finished product does not feel or look the same like the ones we would get from a snackette or other people who make it regularly - which is usually paper thin.

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An Altitude of Frustration

>> Sunday, 7 January 2007

It's one thing to struggle to get things into a suitcase, another thing to pay overweight but downright frustrating when your baggage does not arrive, especially with the perishables you so carefully packed!
That's what happend to me last week. Fortunately, thanks to my sister, the tightly, securely and well-encased goodies survived their overnight delay.
At the heart of this frustration lies sloppy service. The agent to whom I had to report my non-baggage arrival could not tell me why my baggage had not arrived the same time with me - he said he did not know and was not informed of any irregularity. Add to that his incompetence of putting the name of my travelling companion on the claim form instead of mine!
Wait, it's not over. The airline supervisor on duty wants me to return the next morning and explain my dilemma to the morning agent because she will not be on duty then (instead of her making a note and leaving it for the morning agent to follow-up). On top of that, she suggests that I write a letter to the Manager because "...my telling him that customers were complaining will not do anything." What is she doing there then?
I am sick of the incompetent and shabby way Caribbean travellers are treated, not just by our own but also by those fighting for market share and not delivering the altitude of service they boast.

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Welcome

>> Thursday, 4 January 2007

Welcome to the table. Please, make yourself comfortable. I'm glad that you can join me. There are those of us who are vocal and there are those who are content to just listen, that's okay - everyone is welcome. Whenever you're ready, please comment.

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