It’s a gorgeous 83 degrees today, Thursday, Jan. 26, and our ship arrives in St. Kitts at 5:45 a.m.
This is the day we learn West Indian cooking on a shore excursion called Caribbean Cooks.
Here are highlights from today.
Most of the eight people on this little jaunt skip breakfast, except me. We gather at the end of the pier for the Caribbean Cooks excursion at the historic Fairview Great House, a former sugar plantation.
A 15-minute bus ride takes us to the 18th century Great House which has been beautifully restored. From the upstairs master bedroom, we enjoy the view of the Caribbean Sea.
A short walk down a cobblestone courtyard takes us to the original kitchen building with its volcanic stone and brick oven. Our tour guide explains that what looks like a giant bathtub, but without a faucet or drain, is exactly that. It was where the slave owner and his entire family bathed, one by one, every Saturday. The slaves brought water from nearby to fill the tub. Pale by pale, they emptied it.
Seven of us hoist ourselves into the dry tub for photos.
It’s finally time to cook. Our chef, Cheviour Lake, starts preparing today’s menu: Jerk Pork, West Indian Steamed Fish, Red Beans & Rice, Vegetable Escovitch, Bread and Butter Pudding and a fresh ginger drink.
Grace Allison, one of our authors, leads the group in a calypso dance in the kitchen. She’s holding shak-shak, a type of Caribbean musical instrument typically made of hollow gourds with beans placed on the inside to make the shaking noise.
It’s finally time to eat. Here are three dishes we dove into: Jerk Pork, West Indian Steamed Fish, and Bread Pudding, shown here ready for the oven.
We visit the gift shop and I buy a lime green and turquoise shawl. After a drive back to the pier, we check out the local gift shops and return to the ship, in time for lunch. If I eat anything else, I’ll burst.
I have appointments with two authors for Rent My Brain sessions. They can consult with faculty members for free. Is this a great deal or what?
We get our seats early for the comedy show “Two Funny Guys” featuring Mexican brothers Mario and Daniel. Another great show!
Tomorrow: Our authors do a book signing on the Promenade on Deck 5. Captain Tony has promised he’ll visit. Do you think he really will? There are 4,000 people on this ship. All week, the staff has been asking us about the book signing because they’ve never done anything like this before. We haven’t either.