Sunday, December 18, 2011

Me Vs Nature.

Pastelles are a Christmas tradition here in T&T. For those of you who don't know, they're these steamed, meat-filled, cornmeal pies. The traditional way is to cook them wrapped in banana leaves. They're awesome!

Mrs. C makes kick-ass pastelles. She actually used to make extra money at Christmastime selling them. She doesn't make them for sale any more. Too much work. We would often lose an entire night's sleep to make them. She still makes more than enough for us and to give out to a few friends and relatives, though.

But as I was saying, banana leaves are required. They're not a must. You can wrap them in foil, but my wife's adamant about doing it the old fashioned way. She says it enhances the flavor. All I know is they taste great. Who am I to argue?

When I wrote about where I'm from I said it wasn't uncommon to have banana trees in the average Trini's yard. But there are exceptions and most of the places we've lived in the past didn't. This meant me having to go around to neighbors to get leaves.

But this year I got lucky. There isn't just one banana tree in the yard of our new apartment, there are two. So this time I don't have to go around to the neighbors to get leaves. Plus, free bananas! Win-win, right?

Well, it looks like someone has other plans. The other day I went to the back yard to check on the condition of the trees I'd soon be pillaging for leaves. I also wanted to check on the three bunches of bananas that were growing too. That's when I noticed a slight hitch in the plans.

It seems a small Ground Dove has set up a nest in one of the banana bunches. Needless to say, I wanted to share this so I decided to get a picture. I went back yesterday morning to get one and the mom flew off in fear and abandoned her babies.

I question her parenting skills.

This did, however, give me a change to scope out the nest. And I took pics.

For some reason I feel like saying, "Crikey! Those are beauts!"
Um... Occupied.
I checked this morning and the did mom come back. Apparently she was in a calmer mood because she didn't fly off this time.
What the..! You again?!
Awwww... So cute, right?

Well cuteness aside, this poses two problems:

  1. I need leaves later this week. I don't want to disrupt their home but there's no way I'm missing out on my wife's pastelles or going around the neighborhood for leaves for this.
  2. I kinda had my eye on those bananas. They're the ones most likely to be ripe first.

I need to figure this out.

Birds! Why id it always birds?!


  1. You had me at "steamed, meat-filled, cornmeal pies."

  2. The reasons why I should visit T&T are beginning to look better and better. Pies, Banana's and bird watching.

  3. @ Dr Cynicism: I think that’s when my wife had me too.

    @ Nubian: And just what we do from the comfort of our backyards.

  4. Aww, they're so cute. But they're no meat-filled pies!

  5. I am surprised you didn't find a large snake in there...

    ...or a drop bear...

  6. @ Tumbleweed: Right? I'm sorry, but it's just a case of "wrong place, wrong time" for them.

    @ Sprite: If that was the case, We'd probably be too busy packing to move to worry about making pastelles.

  7. Those sound really good, except for the whole destroying a bird's home while it's trying to raise its family.

    On the other hand, those sound really good...

  8. Nature can be so inconvenient!

  9. THIS is so cool! Most times when i read your blog and your obvious geekyness for all things techy I totally forget where you live! And now all this exotic stuff! So cool.

    We french canadians make meat pie. But they look like a normal pie, like apple pie but its loaded with ground pork. Fatty-fatty ground pork. With nutmeg and gloves. So yummy. Oh and the dough has to be made with lard.

    I'm glad Mrc C doesn't wrap her pie in foil. Foil has such an icky taste, but I can't even imagine what a pie wrapped in banana leaves can taste like. Or look like!

    So exotic...

  10. "I question her parenting skills."



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