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Posts Tagged ‘St. Vincent and the Grenadines’

“The person you called is not available!”  How annoying.  Try again.

“You have reached the mailbox of…”  Oh, shut up!

It was the long Carnival weekend in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  The safest refuge from noise and the constant interruptions from callers, who perhaps believe that holidays are theirs alone, was to load up the tent, provisions and fishing gear and flee to an uninhabited island, where the birds, turtles and wild animals quickly spread the news of their newly arrived visitors. Four crazy fishing enthusiasts, later joined by a couple more seasoned ones, settled into their primitive escapade from civilization.  It wasn’t the total digital detox experience since it was necessary for them to have at least two cell phones for safety’s sake and to ease the minds of those of us left behind at home.  But of how much use was a phone that would not transmit or receive unless they went to the very top of the hill where just a slight turn to the left or right could cause the call to be dropped, and text messages remained undelivered?

By the evening of the second day the men did manage to receive notification of the impending Tropical Storm Chantal, so my hopes of having corned fish to last the balance of the year were condensed to the reality of a Greaves-sized plastic bag of a still-soggy, salted dolphin and some smaller bottom species.

Arriving back in the bay, the boat was quickly unpacked and hauled on to higher ground with the help of nearby fishermen.  Up the hill we trudged with the load in wet shoes that made it more challenging than the initial descent.  I had a good laugh at little Antoine who came to help and was given the task of carrying a rolled up sponge pillow.  He exclaimed, “Phew! That is load!” and you would have believed he was carrying the world on his shoulder.

There wasn’t sufficient sunshine for drying the fish as the day rolled on, while the next day was even less encouraging. It rained.  We stuck the partially dried fish into the freezer and it looked like we would have to use it like the Alaska Salted Pollock you normally find in the cooler at Greaves Supermarket in Kingstown.

We shuttered only two windows, just in case.  Chantal went looking for trouble elsewhere.  It was a relief.  With the sun back in all its glory, my husband had the bright idea of drying the fish in the Sun Oven.  I protested a bit, because every cornfish connoisseur knows that all-too-familiar smell.  I did not relish the thought of every subsequent dish embracing the leftover scent.  He insisted.  So side by side they sat.  Two Global Sun Ovens with wings outstretched, inanimately mirroring the passionate heat of a chef for his ingredients; inside, moisture escaping like a hot breath from a mouth in need of freshening.

The sun-dried fish experiment was successful.  It took a storm to introduce us to one more thing that can be done with this wonderful invention.  And here, ladies and gentlemen, I leave you today with a photograph or two of salted fish dried in the Global Sun Oven.

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You’ve heard it before. Actually, let me say it aloud for you–you’ve done it yourself.  “I’m not into any gift buying this year.  Well…only one or two for the neighbour’s kid and my friend’s kids who come to the office.”

But just before Christmas eve you start to feel guilty and begin the mad scramble to find a suitable gift for this person who had been so helpful to you earlier this year.  And then another face pops into your head, then another, and another.  By now your giftless Christmas has become a frenzied search among the store leftovers of stuff you would never buy on a normal day.  Overpriced baskets of bubble bath and scrub pads. Giant scented candles.  Ill-scented perfumes that sit on the dresser like paperweights.  Clothes you have no clue whether they will fit or suit their taste.

I came across this blog on funny and useful Christmas gifts under $20 and found the mug that said “I dreamed my whole house was clean”.   If someone gave me such a gift I would treasure it and give it a prominent place in my living room.
http://www.barefootfloor.com/blog/index.php/2010/12/funny-and-useful-gifts-under-20/

But seriously now, since it can be quite a headache trying to figure out what to give individually to mutual friends, one helpful suggestion would be to consider an unusual yet useful gift that can be owned and shared by all.  Tada!  A Global Sun Oven is uncommon in these parts. The GSO is owned by only a discerning few in St. Vincent and the Grenadines since its introduction in 2010.  It never ceases to amaze those who see it in operation, and further impress all who eat whatever is prepared in it.

How many friends lime at the beach together at a church event or an outdoor birthday bash?  How many times can Mom wish for a day away from the kitchen before you realize that cooking on pure sunshine is not fantasy?  If you never thought of it I think it makes a lot of sense to pool finances and make a group purchase.  The price of one of these ovens has not changed from the bargain of EC$850.  which includes 2 non-stick baking pans and one enamel cooking pot.  Solar products have an initial higher than usual cost but in the long run pay for themselves because the sun is free.  Take a look at the older blog entries below to see some of the finger-licking stuff you can cook with a GSO.

Also go to the Caribbean Neighbours website to learn a lot more about renewable energy:
http://www.caribbeanneighbours.com/global-sun-oven.php

Here are a few videos with Paul Munsen from Sun Ovens International:

Solar Cooking Essentials:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhFK-xy76U4

Television Interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef13j7MzZm4

Emergency Preparedness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coE6HGNf_P4

Dehydrating and drying food in GSO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm6iLWXczys

Hope you are convinced by now.  Do have an enjoyable Christmas.

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