Baking in Bequia 2

It’s been socked in and coolish, all morning. A big wave of rain just passed through, and it looks as though it will continue raining, on-and-off, for the rest of the day. I hope it’s not enough of a storm to delay flights from Barbados, because we have a visitor arriving in St. Vincent at 1:30 who will be taking the ferry over to land on Bequia at 5 this afternoon – just in time for drinks at the Tommy Cantina bar.

It’s Glenn Dixon, Calgary author, who is flying in. He landed in Barbados the same day I did, and is in this part of the Caribbean for their Crop Over (carnival) that begins on Sunday. How could he not come to visit me on Bequia when he is so close? Check out his website for more information about Glenn, his books, and his travels. (This really is the southern office of Alberta Books Canada – I’m still promoting Alberta authors, it seems, even though I’m not presently in the province. Old habits die hard…)

So, today’s baking will involve making something to serve Glenn at dinner tonight. And since I used the last of the yeast yesterday, it looks as though the recipe I will be baking is Cracker Bread, an old favourite that I have always served as an appetizer. I first had cracker bread, years ago, at an Italian restaurant here on Bequia that was run by a crazy Italian chef/free diver/disco DJ. At one point, an even crazier Italian friend of the chef was doing the baking. He made this fabulous cracker bread – nice and crispy, and delicious – so good that I had to try to duplicate it. I searched through my cookbooks and, again, this is another recipe I discovered in Baking With Julia, but I’ve adapted it a bit and have perfected my own method of rolling the dough out thin and long using the pasta machine. Yes, strange, I know, but I also use this machine to roll out perogy skins, and Dennis’ good Ukrainian mother would be shocked by that information, so please don’t tell her. The hand-cranked machine really does work best for more than just making pasta.

It was a no-brainer picking out the perfect music to accompany my baking today. I immediately grabbed the CD by Tom Phillips and the Men of Constant Sorrow, because Glenn and Tom played in a band together in Calgary oh so long ago. This will be almost like having Tom here with us as well – without the cigarette smoke and expense of providing too much tequila.

To serve with the cracker bread, I’m making a dip of some kind, and will add some roasted peppers Dennis had already prepared. For dinner, we’re going to go a bit local and make a Calaloo Soup, Lime and Thyme BBQ’d Fish, Peas and Rice, Coleslaw, and a local recipe for Lime Pie that is a favourite dessert for my Toronto-friend, Jim.

Here’s the finished Cracker Bread, ready to eat.

And there’s the boat, coming around the headland. Gotta go!

3 responses

  1. Mmmmmmmmm, your cracker bread delish!! Sue still raves about it 😉

  2. Funny you should ask – Pammy Cantina was looking for the exact same kind of sourdough starter, and I was planning to research that while I’m here. More later.

  3. Yum! I wanna write a travel book, or at least pretend I am, too.

    Hey, do you have a very sour, very European, preferably Dutch/German recipe for sourdough starter? A reader has asked on behalf of his Dutch wife, and the bakers in town are NOT inclined to give up any secrets. I have a good prospect in CRUST by Richard Bertinet, and can reference my Baking with Julia (Child) book. This lady far outstrips me as a baker, but I’m still hoping to come up with something amazing.

    Please please please have a recipe!

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