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The Spice Necklace: My Adventures In Caribbean Cooking, Eating, And Island Life

While sailing around the Caribbean, Ann Vanderhoof  and her husband Steve track wild oregano-eating goats in the cactus-covered hills of the Dominican Republic, gather nutmegs on an old estate in Grenada, make searing-hot pepper sauce in a Trinidadian kitchen, cram for a chocolate-tasting test at the University of the West Indies, and sip moonshine straight out of hidden back-country stills. Along the way, they are befriended by a collection of unforgettable island characters: Dwight, the skin-diving fisherman who always brings them something from his catch and critiques her efforts to cook it; Greta, who harvests seamoss on St. Lucia and turns it into potent Island-Viagra; sweet-hand Pat, who dispenses hugs and impromptu dance lessons along with cooking tips in her Port of Spain kitchen. Back in her galley, Ann practices making curry like a Trini, dog sauce like a Martiniquais, and coo-coo like a Carriacouan. And for those who want to take these adventures into their own kitchens, she pulls 71 delicious recipes from the stories she tells, which she places at the end of the relevant chapters. The Spice Necklace is a wonderful escape into a life filled with sunshine (and hurricanes), delicious food, irreplaceable company, and island traditions.

Paperback: 480 pages

Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (February 7, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0547423160

ISBN-13: 978-0547423166

Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches

Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #143,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #18 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > Caribbean & West Indian #66 in Books > Travel > Caribbean > General #117 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking by Ingredient > Herbs, Spices & Condiments

The Spice necklace is a collection of spices known to distinct countries in the Caribbean. Each spice is interwoven between natural beads, such as nutmeg with its cover of mace. They are colorful and fragrant. You can hang them in your kitchen or whatever room or place that you define.Ann and her husband lived in Toronto as magazine editors. They had a 42 foot sailboat, The Cecheta, which means recipes in Spanish. They used the sailboats for weekend getaways and trips. One of their trips took them to the Caribbean for two years. Along the way they met many people and made friend boats. They were curious about the cultures and the food and asked questions. Their curiosity was rewarded with significant answers that made many new friends and many wonderful new recipes . But, alas they had to return home to make money to fund their next trip. At home they found they felt claustrophobic in their enclosed home and the Caribbean called them.After six long years the call to the Caribbean was answered. They shipped their sailboat to Florida, and then flew to Florida. They sailed to Grenada, the land of nutmeg. And, then on to the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Haiti, St Martin, St Kitts, Martinique, Tobago, St. Lucia, Guadalupe, and the Island of All Saints. Interspersed throughout each chapter are a collection of 71 recipes . Each recipe is pertinent to the country. The book is filled with wonderful spices and I could almost smell the aromas. At one point, they are invited to a oildown, which is a combination of vegetables, meats and spices mixed together into a very rich mix. The mixture of wonderful story -telling and recipes is not new, but this is one of the better combinations of this type of book.

This book is the result of a second journey to the Caribbean Isles of the author and her husband. They dock their ship the Receta in various ports along their way and live for a time on various islands. They meet up with friends they made on the previous trip as well as make new ones on the way. On their journey they sample the local food and spend time to learn how to cook it, to the satisfaction of the locals no less.The following table of contents chapters give you a sense of what the book is about: (Please note, since this is an advance reader's copy, it could change)Preface: The spell of the spice necklace1: The Nutmeg Gatherers2: Self-Spicing Goats3: The Egg Ladies4: The 151-Proof Spice5: Bay in the Mountains, Crabs in the Pot6: The Food Critics Visit the Easy Bake Boat7: Rolling Rice and Drinking Jack Iron Rum8: Curry Tablanca9: Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot10: Cramming for a Chocolate Tasting Test11: Snow on the Mountains, Christmas on the Way12: All Ah We is One13: In Search of Passion14: Barks That Bite15: Dog Sauce and Rhum16: Lunch with Moses18: Back to the Isle of SpiceYou get an idea that each chapter covers a particular spice or food item, person or a meal. Each chapter ends with a set of recipes in both English and Metric measures and considering typical North American ingredients (Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!). At least I can get close to creating some of the wonderful meals I have read about.

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