Special Memories: A Jamaican Christmas

| December 7, 2011

Yuletide Yearnings of Merry Memories

Christmas is the season to be jolly! Yes, it is that time of the year to celebrate Christmas, lights and decorations, great food, family gatherings and gifts that everyone looks forward to getting. The offices are abuzz with Pixie or also known as Secret Santa where you exchange gifts without knowing which person got your name and you pray it will not be the only person in the office that you don’t like.

Also God forbid you should get your boss’s name as it may be difficult getting something within budget that he or she will like. The stores are all decorated, carols all over the airwaves and background music for stores and supermarkets. The best thing about the Holidays is the food as it is what is most memorable as families gather to celebrate.

I get nostalgic thinking of how excited I get this time of the year. I look forward to being at home with family and friends to give thanks for another Christmas and above all, my mothers’ home cooking. Her skills honed from years of experience, pure love and the joy of cooking for her family. My mouth salivates from mere memories as I recall her traditional Christmas meal.

Born and bred in the rural area of Warsop, Trelawny, my mom is old school, where raisins, currants, and mixed spices used for the traditional fruit cake have been simmering for almost a year in potent Jamaican white rum. She would stay up all night, working in the kitchen while we children stayed beside her, not so much for helping and moral support but rather to secure which one of us would rightfully get the basin and wooden spoon to lick clean after she had beaten, stirred and mixed her fruit cake batter.

Traditional Jamaican Christmas Delicacy

Her succulent roasted chicken with her secret recipe stuffing, foregoing the red peas for gungo peas with rice, delectable potato salad, toss salad and red sorrel made aromatic with ginger, red label wine and the white over proof rum to give it that little kick which was always reserved for the adults, while another batch minus the alcohol was for the under aged.

How I yearned to be all grown up so I could take a sip of that special reserved batch! However, no meal is complete without the roast pork and of course the piece de résistance which everyone anticipates, the juicy Christmas ham. Lovingly baked and glazed in pineapple and ginger which coaxes the natural flavor of the meat, skillfully decorated with slices of pineapple and the traditional maraschino cherries for eye catching colour to whet one’s appetite.

The Christmas cheer is all around and friends and family gather in one place, bonding over a special meal that took hours to carefully prep and present.  Here’s to all the mothers who made and make it happen every year and seemingly effortless, to you I raise my glass filled with that special, reserved sorrel. I salute you all.

Check out and LIKE our Jamaica Facebook page here

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Culture & Society

About the Author (Author Profile)

We provide news and information for anyone interested in the Caribbean whether you’re UK based, European based or located in the Caribbean. New fresh ideas are always welcome with opportunities for bright writers.

Comments are closed.