Archive | February, 2014

I’m in Love with a Jamaican Bammy!

22 Feb

I’m just returning from a wonderful vacation in Jamaica W.I., where I discovered and absolutely fell in love with and tried all types of dishes – all true authentic Jamaican cuisine!

The most important part of the day is always breakfast! This is where one staple item became my recent love …,,,they are called bammies.

A bammy or bami is a traditional Jamaican cassava flatbread descended from the simple flatbread eaten by the Arawaks, Jamaica’s original inhabitants. Today, it is produced in many rural communities and sold in stores and by street vendors in Jamaica and abroad.

Bammies have been consumed since pre-Columbian times and is believed to have originated with the native Arawak people. For centuries, it was the bread staple for rural Jamaicans until the cheaper, imported wheat flour breads became popular in the post-World War II era.

Researching the facts while sipping my rum punch by the pool, I found out in the 1990s, the United Nations and the Jamaican government established a program to revive bammy production and to market it as a modern, convenient food product!  So bammies are very, very important!

So what is a bammy made of? So I had my Aunt Vadney with me to tell me all about it in her British accent…. which was so special!

Bammy is made from bitter cassava (also called yuca and manioc in other American cultures). Traditionally, the cassava is grated and placed in a press bag (woven with thatch leaves) and placed in an outdoor press where heavy stones are loaded on.

Once completely drained, but still a bit moist, the cassave is beaten in a mortar then sieved to a fine flour texture. Salt is then added to taste.  The actual baking of bammies varies across Jamaica!

Spreading a handful of the flour evenly in a baking ring on a flat iron or griddle on the open fire. While baking, the top of the bammy is patted with a flat board and then turned over.”

The baking process takes about 3 minutes and the final product is a thin, foldable bread about 10″ in diameter. This is similar to traditional tortillas of Native American cultures. It can then be eaten with whatever fillings are desired.

For a more modern (and popular) approach is to bake thicker bammies about 6″ in diameter, mass-produced in factories. When home-baked, the flour may be store-bought or made by hand-pressing.

The bammy can be baked on griddles or in baking pans on a stove top. Some choose to bake it inside an oven, add butter and other spices before baking.

Baking takes longer due to the thickness, and the final product is then cut into halves or wedges for freezing. When ready to eat, the wedges are soaked in coconut milk and then fried to a golden brown and served with meat, fish, avocado or other side dishes.  Aunt Vadney mentioned a little honey with a spot of tea is quite nice!

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Bammies, like wheat bread and tortillas, are served at any meal or consumed as a snack.   I fell in love with them and had it with my breakfast! Here’s the simple recipe!

Ingredients

1 pound Sweet cassava
A pinch of salt
1 tin of coconut milk
Preparation
Peel the cassava
Grate it
Wring out as much of the toxic juice as you can and discard the juice.
Add salt
Divide the mixture up in to one-cup sized portions.
Flatten each portion in to a thick disc shape.

Cooking
Add to a greased frying pan.
Fry each side of the Bammies over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes on each side.
Take out of the frying pan and soak in coconut milk for 5 minutes.
Place the Bammies back in the pan and fry until they are a light brown colour.

Then came the roasted yam with salt fish !!!! All I can say is HEAVEN!  Hope you are now hungry!

Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & DesignLetia 🙂

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A Game Changer…Michael Sam!

11 Feb

It appears a new era in football is on the horizon with the explosive “coming out” of University of Missouri and Defensive Player Of the Year, Michael Sam this week.

The 24 year old, 6 feet 2 inches and 260lbs defensive lineman officially announced that he is gay to the world. A courageous decision to make, while in the spotlight as potential NFL hopeful. So why would he come out?

Michael’s story begins in the small college town of Columbia Missouri, a young college football player who admitted his homosexuality to his team mates a long time ago and it was common knowledge from everyone who knew him personally, On Sunday night as a featured guest on ESPN Michael made his announcement to millions! By making that announcement Michael Sam set the course to become the first openly gay player in the National Football League.

Quite an accomplished athlete, Michael is a senior at University of Missouri with a stellar season under his belt, finishing 12-2 and won the Cotton Bowl. He is a first team All American and was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference and was voted Missouri’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Was making this public announcement before “draft picks” begin for the NFL the right thing to do ? Did he possibly ruin his chances for an NFL career?

Michael believed it was the right thing to do indicating that rumors and whispers were starting to circulate. “I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it, I just want to own my truth” Michael said when speaking with ESPN.

Michael has displayed honor, honesty and courage to himself and has become an inspiration to young gay youths in America. Unlike past NFL players who “came out” during their retirement,

Michael has changed the game, and stared the league in it’s face to live in his personal truth.

At the end of the day can he play ball? Yes. Does he have the potential to become a dynamic player for the National Football League? Yes.

Can he be considered an inspirational pioneer for gay rights in America? Yes.

Will he be drafted and accepted this May 2014 into the NFL? That remains to be seen. But one thing is for certain, Michael Sam has changed the game and opened dialog in America about equality in the macho dominating world of professional sports.

Kudos Michael for proclaiming your Truth!

linkedin photo RogerRaj 🙂

Roger Anthony Ford, Executive Creative Design Asst.  Photos Courtesy of Yahoo/Sports. 

Quote

“But I’ve also always read — that’s my first love. I like short fiction because you have to tell a story in a condensed format. You can’t screw around with what you’re saying. Everything has to count. Everything has to matter. And that’s what I like about songwriting: You don’t have time for filler. Potency is important in that setting.”

8 Feb

Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, known by her stage name Lorde, is a 17 year old New Zealand singer-songwriter. Born and raised in Devonport, Auckland.   For a young woman, she has won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year, Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance and MTV Europe Music Award for Best New Zealand Act!  

A beautiful young woman who has a voice and people are listening! Her latest song has a poignant message to young adults is  WE’RE ON EACH OTHER’S TEAM!  Sending the voice on tests that didn’t need to be passed in order to be allowed in: sometimes the person who loses is stronger.  

Photo Courtesy of birdiemag.com

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2014 NYC

5 Feb

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Starting today, don’t forget to tune in via Live Stream! Let me know your favorite runways! Enjoy!!!

http://newyorkfashionweeklive.com/LIVE

February 6 to the 13th!

Letia 😊

Courtesy of New York Fashion Week Live, Indue Fashion Media!

Lucille Ball, I Love Lucy on a Snowy Day!

3 Feb

lucille tumblerAnyone who knows me, knows that I love Lucille Ball!   She was such an intricate part of my life.   See Lucille and I became acquainted when I was a little girl, where she actually babysitted me!  LOL!!  Really, I was totally fascinated with her! My mother Gilda, would turn on the TV to watch the  reruns of the “I Love Lucy” show; where I was able to be entertained and laugh for 1/2 hr.

Of course the cast was adults, but the things that would get themselves into was absolutely crazy. Pure comedy and tear jerking fun!  Did you know, that “I Love Lucy” aired from 1951-57, and featured Ball and Arnaz as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo; the couple were married for 20 years and owned a production company, Desilu Productions, together. The series currently shows in reruns on TV Land and brings in 20 million dollars annually to CBS Studios. SYNDICATION at it’s best!

Since I grew up with her, it didn’t stop there, in the 70’s she would have her own shows “Here’s Lucy” and “The Lucy Show” and do cameo appearances in movies.  Until this day, I simply love her in the musical movie called Mame; where she starred effortlessly!  I still sing the chorus line from time to time!

Lucille Ball was a beautiful woman and very smart.  I was always memorized by her fashion sense and looking back today on her style; well it was extraordinary.

There are many books on her life, contributions and accomplishments.

So, I was thinking, I’m here on a snowy day….why don’t I watch some of the I Love Lucy shows and one my favorites plays!

I’d played it 4 x already (clip below)!  Not thinking about snow anymore! 🙂

I love you Lucille Esmeralda McGillicuddy!!!!!  Now next episode!

Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design Letia 🙂

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