The weather in New Jersey today is cold, damp and gloomy but, my grill is hot, and the ale is flowing. Today is the last Sunday in October which, according to the USA National Day Archives, is National Jamaican Jerk Day.

National Jamaican Jerk Day celebrates the unique way of seasoning and grilling foods, originated by the Maroons in Jamaica. Jerk cuisine has evolved from simple street food to being served in top-class restaurants worldwide and celebrated through numerous Jerk Festivals around the globe. National Jamaican Jerk Day

I grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Cilantro Aioli with a plant of cedar to add a smokey flavour. A real treat as neither Bhavna nor myself know how to cook West Indian food and my mom is in the West Indies right now. I found a recipe for one of the simplest West Indian dishes I could make. This recipe was not as spicy as I had expected. In fact, it was too mild to be authentic jerk chicken. Still, the chicken was delicious.

I grew up eating fresh lobster and crab caught in the mangrove lagoons in the early morning by my uncles and spiced and cooked by my grandmother and my mom. So delicious. I would always eat too much.

During my semester at the College of Liberal Arts at Drew University, my friends and I would pile into a car and drive up to Boston, Massachusetts for a weekend. Faneuil Hall Marketplace was filled with seafood merchants and I fell in love with New England clam chowder and Maine Lobster Rolls. For several weeks I have visited the Cousins Maine Lobster truck wherever they were in the area; Trenton, Ewing, Lawrenceville, Somerset. The lobster rolls, New England clam chowder, lobster tacos, lobster bisque, and lobster grilled cheese are my weekly treat.

Thursday 22 October, 2020 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | f/10 | ISO 200

What started as nostalgia for eating one of Dad's favourite treats, fried black pudding from one of Kingstown's street merchants, I ended up paying homage to the British and Scottish side of our Caribbean culture. I had no plantains or breadfruit to complete the meal but I had rashers, blood sausage, toast, tomatoes, mushrooms, and baked beans. Blood sausages are very difficult to find in the USA. I ordered my black pudding and rashers from an Irish American grocer, Tommy Moloney's, in Woodbridge.