Thursday, December 21, 2006

What's in Store for Christmas in Belize

Contrary to many local businesses in Belize and on Caye Caulker, we WILL be open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I'm not sure when we're opening presents yet, its kinda hectic Christmas morning because we're up early and getting ready to open the cafe at 7 a.m., Supergirl and I have already exchanged, each of our presents wrapped lavishly in the black plastic shopping bag it came in, but I'll get to that later.

We're playing the James Taylor Christmas CD, Jessica Simpson's Christmas, Smokey Robinson's Christmas and my favorite, the Jackson 5 Christmas, to remind ourselves that it is indeed Christmas time again. No snow here, not even any rain, the weather has cleared up and its balmy and warm with a gentle breeze. A couple of days ago people started putting up lights and decorations, its strange to see them. We put up UNBaby's decorations she made in Miss Sue's Preschool and they look just nice.

For UNBaby, this year Santa (Bigness) is bringing Uncle Ivan all the way from Canada coming via Miami. She's enraaaaaaaaaaaaptured and has been chattering away for the past few weeks about Ivan this and Ivan that. I have to admit that sometimes I use it as leverage. Santa's coming with Uncle Ivan, be a good girl and don't scream and hollar. Santa's coming with Uncle Ivan so pick up your clothes and toys off the floor. Santa's coming with Uncle Ivan so eat all your dinner, and so on, you get the picture. Bad grandparenting? Who cares, its working. Last year she and Supergirl had just arrived and all her gifts had been stolen along with their luggage (and the car) just prior to leaving for the airport, so it was a sparse Christmas. This year we have been pecking away at getting little things here and there for a while and puting them up. Actually, they are wrapped up already with paper and ribbons and distributed around the store as decorations and camoflauged to keep her from finding them. Bigness said he was going to get her a peice of PVC pipe, a length of rebar, a block of wood and an empty cardboard box to have since that's what she plays with anyways. Mom and Gma have other ideas, we think that she would like a new barbie, some slippers, some new school shoes to go with her uniform, a unicorn head on a stick to ride around on (instead of the peice of PVC pipe and rebar) and the Shoots & Ladders game and Candyland game we found at the Hofius Hardware store in Belize City.

Bigness and I don't really exchange, because Christmas is every day since we love each other so much (O.K. you can barf now) Supergirl and I don't really exchange either, so we put a $15 limit and our gifts tend to be jokey and unwrapped anyway. I got her a bath gel and spritzer set and her response was typical "Are you trying to tell me something?" Her gift to me was a giant $5 bottle of the generic version of "White Diamonds" called "Odelia" which is what all the whores on Caye Caulker wear. I asked her if she was trying to tell ME something. I decided to regift the cologne spray to Bigness, maybe he'll be able to regift it to someone who really needs it.

We have the turkey and ham, and someone besides me will be cooking them because I'm working from early to late that day. Other than a few mystery cans which may or may not be pumpkin pie, we're going to have pecan pie made with walnuts, so I guess that would make it walnut pie, and other seasonal goodies like Rum PoPo which is the Belizean version of Egg Nog and eating Black Cake.

Recipe for Rum PoPo
9 eggs
1 pint strong rum
1 oz cinnamon stick
5 large tins evaporated milk
1/4 lb raisins
4 nutmeg grated
3 tins sweetened condensed milk

Wash dem eggs!
Soak cinnamon stick and raisins in rum for 2 days.
Beat eggs well for 15-20 minutes removing the beater and rinsing in clean water several times to remove stringsand eye of the egg. (Yummy, doesn't that sound appetizing and make your stomach jump flip flops of joy?)
Add evaporated milk and beat again
Add condensed milk and check for sweetness. I don't know what you would do if it was too sweet, but if its not sweet enough, obviously add sugar.
Add grated nutmeg and the rum used for soaking the cinnamon and raisins, strain out the raisins and cinnamon sticks
Mix again and store in clean bottles in the refridge.

I guess the rum will kill off any stray salmonilla germs that might be floating around from the eggs, but we don't try and think about such things, tut tut.

Recipe for Belizean Christmas Black Cake
This recipe will make 2 9" layers and is a very dense and heavy cake that will last years and years and years.
2 lbs of flour (900g)
2 cups of stout beer
2 cups of strong rum
2 peices of cinnamon stick pound in a strong clean cloth
3 tsp. allspice
1 cup of flour for the fruits
1-1/2 lbs brown sugar
1 pt blackening for cake to get desired color
1 tsp baking powder
8-10 eggs
1 lb margarine
1/2 to 1 lb. each of raisins, prumes, dates, pecans, cherries and mixed fruit
1 nutmeg grated
1 cup syrup or brown sugar for stewing fruits.

Stew fruits the night before baking. Use 1/4-1/2 lb brown sugar for stewing fruits. (Let fruits simmer for 5-10 minutes) then let set and cool.

Next day, prepare cake tins. Grease with shortening and line with brown paper bag. (Set aside)

Cream margarine or butter with sugar.

Add eggs, one at a time. Mix well.

Add flour alternately with black coloring. Mix well each addition

Add stout beer. (about 3/4 of a pint). Mix well. (notice we only used 3/4 of a pint, the other 1/4 is for the cook to sip on to bring Christmas cheer)

Cover fruits with 1 cup flour. Add to mixture. Fold in fruits.

Bake for 2-3 hours in oven at 250-300 F/145 C , place cake pan in a pan of water. Cake is done when knife inserted into center of cake comes clean and dry.

You can make this cake at least a month in advance of Christmas and "Feed" it a little rum each day to make it real nice and toxic.

So what are you doing this year for Christmas?


Cream said...

I'll definitely try and make that Rum Po Po. I've just realised! One pint of Rum!!! That's potent! Definitely will kill Sam & Ella!

Caribbean Colors said...

Well Blogger realy bites the big one today... anyone else having problems logging in for comments?
Cream, Rum is the new water here. Want me to send you some?

Hayden said...

actually I've found blogger miserable lately, but not today. So here I am.

Christmas will be quiet and ascetic this year - I think a long walk (if the rain leaves us alone) will be the thing to do.

I don't much like the frenzy and since I don't have to do it - I mostly don't.

guyana-gyal said...

Hm, well, I don't really celebrate Christmas, but I'll be hanging out with my cuz on Monday. And on Sunday night, with her and some friends.

I just love the activity around your home. You sound so happy and it makes me feel good reading all this.

Heh, I think that's great, using Uncle Ivan to get UN Baby to behave, hehayyy.

Enjoyyyy, Lee.

DCveR said...

Hi! Just dropped by to wish you and your loved ones a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!
Although I'll probably be back for the cocktail recipes in a couple of days!!! ;) Take care