We spent most of our time at a waterfront villa on the north coast, in an area most often used by vacationing residents of Kingston. Most of the food we ate came from roadside vendors selling fruit they had harvested moments before or chicken they were smoking in devices of their own design. The bars were little open shacks with a couple of coolers filled with Red Stripe on ice. When the beer was gone, the crowd moved en masse (often with the bartender) to the shanty bar next door... which had exactly the same setup.
On one particularly steamy day, we decided to sneak onto a private beach. It was fantastic being able to roll out of bed and head right into the ocean for a swim, but it's good to get a change of scenery every once in a while. The place was huge, unspoiled and beautifully free of resort guests. What it did have were lots of locals, and one sizable group was in the process of making a big pot of goat curry on an open fire when we arrived. M- initiated a coversation with the two gentleman who seemed in charge of the project, and before I knew it (I confess never having fully groked the patois in its full fury. It is pretty though), we had been invited back to dine with them.
At any rate, whenever the weather here starts feeling like the weather there, I start thinking about that trip and looking for ways to recreate bits of the experience. Predictably enough, this tends to take the form of food. Monday, I tried to make goat curry. I say "tried" because despite several stops on the north side of the river, I could not find goat meat. Hell, the butcher at the fabled Casa de Carnes of Union Square looked at me weird because I had ordered something that was not beef, pork, or chicken. I settled for some Whole Foods stew lamb and cooked it. I cooked it up good. It could have used more heat, but I've found that that's the case any time I try to template off of someone else's recipes. Three scotch bonnets were just not enough, and I'm pretty sure I could double those to good effect.
My jerk chicken still rocks, too.