~A Little Bit About
I have always lived on the island of Trinidad, home of the steel pan
(or steel drum as many call it) calypso and limbo as they say. For those of you who may not be familiar with what a steel
pan/drum looks like you can try this link for a picture http://www.mannettesteeldrums.com/MSDinstruments.htm
The music that you are hearing in the background here is steel pan music. Sweet isn't it.
Trinidad is the most southernly island of the Caribbean. We are pretty
close to Venezuela actually, located off the east coast of Venezuela with a channel no more than seven miles wide separating
us. We are a twin island republic, the other half of the twin being Tobago. The people here are warm (like our weather usually
is ) and friendly.
I live about 35 minutes
from the capital of the island. Not near enough to the beaches . You can find most anything here to keep one comfy (and for me that means a good pizza hut or subway) . We do have malls etc (mentioned that cause some don't realize that we do and have inquired). We do have a nice
mix of cultures and nationalities here in Trinidad. You may come across East Indians, people of African decent, Europeans,
Americans, Chinese, Middle Easterners etc. The people native to this land were the Caribs and the Amerindians. There was a
pretty strong French, Spanish and finally English influence here in Trinidad in our past. Many of our streets and major
areas are called by Spanish and French names telling a bit about our history.
This is an interesting link that anyone
wanting to know more about Trinidad can visit: http://www.visittnt.com/While Trinidad is know for it's petroleum and natural gas production and processing,
Tobago is know for it's tourism....LOVELY beaches, flora and fauna etc there.
While I was posting what I did above, I was trying to remember a link
that has really nice pics of T&T but I just can't remember it or find it in my searches. I did though find a couple of
interesting links with pictures.
1) http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Lagoon/3047/2) http://users.rcn.com/alana.interport/trinipics.html3) Now I'll put this link here. You'll find a few pics from
the island to view but please pay no attention to the revelers to the left. They came with the package .
4) Trinidad was called by the native Carib people IERE or 'The Land of the
Hummingbird.' We were called the land of the hummingbird by the Caribs with
good reason....The link below will provide you with an example of why that is so.
(now isn't that bird a most beautiful thing. ) It's location also gives Trinidad the unique advantage, of harbouring over 400 species of birds, making
it one of the richest birding countries per square mile in the world.
Local sayings of Trinidad and Tobago:*
Here are just a few sayings that are used locally in Trinidad. These will come
in handy for anyone visiting T&T...hehe. This way you don't have to be totally confused as to what we Trinis are saying.
Never see come see - someone who is unaccustomed
to certain things.
"I dey" - I'm fine
Same khaki pants - things never change
"He/she doh eat nice" -
to say a person is arrogant or formidable
To take basket - to be manipulated into doing something
hold water - all threats are idle
Take chain up - to be manipulated into doing something
"You can't play sailor
and 'fraid powder" - you must face the consequences of your actions.
To get horrors - to become upset over something
your belly - to prepare for hard times
Playing dead to catch Corbeau alive - to act stealthily to achieve something
de wuk - to quit a job
Moon does run until daylight catch up with him - people who do wrong will eventually meet justice
fall in your garden - to be guilty about something
Monkey know what tree to climb - people who are up to no good know
who to interfere with
"He/she ain't right here" - to say a person is crazy
skin teeth eh laugh - do not be deceived by friendly appearances
Behind back is 'Dog', before face is "Mr Dog" - people
will say bad things when your back is turned
Monkey say "cool breeze" - to act unaffected by something
yuh go see am - wait and see
"He/She does touch" - to say someone is a thief
"I Payap!" - an exclamation
of wonder or disbelief
Yuh fadder is ah glassmaker? - to tell someone they are blocking your view
Loll off -
to relax when there is work to be done
Conk out - for something
to stop working, e.g an appliance
Skin teet - to grin
Jus' come - a person who is naive
- to be late e.g: if you have an appointment for 9am and you arrive at 9:30am, someone would say you arrived in "Trinidad
Santimanitay - to have no mercy
|Bachanal- minding another's business and adding to, thereby causing
Cook - Up
the act of throwin' somethings in a
pot for the purpose of enhancing a 'lime', best down at the riverside !
Commess- similar to 'bachanal'
what trinis sometimes do best ! Closely resembles "Hanging Out"
to falsely praise
term used loosely which refers to a person either born into, or adopted by Trinidad and Tobago
Recipes over to your right!-->
scroll to the far right and then up a bit.
Below here you'll find some funny stuff about Trinidadians
(well, many of us anyway). Gotta Luv Them! :o)
~Some Funny Stuff~
~You know You're A Trini If...~
You refer to all salt crackers as "Crix".
You know the meaning of the word "obzokie".
go to parties for the food... and the word free never quite had the same meaning.
Your recipe for making orange juice is
plenty water, plenty sugar, plenty ice and only 2 orange... and ah pak ah red kool-aid tuh stretch it...
You say "boy"
at the beginning of a sentence and "man" at the end of it...
and the words "yes we" doesn't refer to any people.
doesn't have anything to do with what you have to do right away.
You put ketchup and peppersauce on your pizza. Anchovies?
Yuh losin' it or what?
Your cupboards are full of canned corned beef, pepper sauce and red beans and baked beans ...and
a dry coconut for the pelau.
You think steak is a waste of good meat. You rather cut it up and stew it with some potatoes
instead ... or curry it and make roti.
You use your finger to measure the water when cooking rice.
You bring home
food from a party.
"Dis August holidays" actually start in July.
You show disappointment by sucking on your teeth
(steupsing) ...and You can conjugate "ah steupse" by age four (three if yuh smart)
You still call a soda a "sweet drink"
and an avocado, a "zaboca". and you go to the shoprite clerk and ask them "whe allyuh have de breez?" meaning "where is the
You say "whappenin" even at a funeral.
You tell the host "Good Night" when you arrive at someone's
home in the evening.
When someone pays you a compliment, you say "Doh mamaguy meh". When someone sympathises with you,
you comment "Yuh think it easy?".
You refer to all sweet coloured juice as "Kool-Aid".
You call a quarter a "schilling"
when this really means 24 cents.
You know that using "blue" makes white clothes whiter.
Just because something is
called a "bake" you don't assume that it indicates the way it was cooked.
You have at least one relative living in either
England, Canada, or the US.
You know that a washy-kong bears no relationship to King Kong.
You know about straightening,
pressing, S-curls and Gherri curls regardless of your ethnic background.
You have cancelled plans because of rain even
when you're going to be indoors
Rain is also a legitimate reason to miss work.
All vaccinations are called injections.
dish washing detergents are called "Squezy".
You know of at least one person who wakes up at 4am to LISTEN to cricket
from Australia / New Zealand on the RADIO.
On at least one occasion you have: been told that you have a cold in some part
of your anatomy other than your head or chest and/or had a virus named after something popular with the times eg. Bionic,
Ninja, the hijab and the sting.
Despite lack of interest, someone has tried to convince you of the benefits of taking
a purge, or becoming a born again.
You can feel cold when it's 25° C.
You pronounce words in plural, even though
it's meant to be singular, eg."gimme ah COKES" or "ah GRAPES".
You say "FLIM" (film), "AXE" (ask) or "PITIAH"(picture),
"STATELLITE" (satellite), "CUTLASH" (cutlass).
You know what "Wukking a 10-days" is, and know darn well it's going
to take much longer than 10 days.
You know the meaning of several indian words, eg. "dahl", "bahgee", "channa", "bharra",
"chunkae", "bowgee" and use them in every language and actually believe them to be the correct English terms. .
know that a lime is not necessarily a fruit.
You call any 'older' woman "Tantie" and any 'older' man "Uncle", regardless
of whether or not they are related to you or even know you.
You could sing an entire Parang song in Spanish word for
word, but don't speak or understand a word of Spanish.
When in doubt of how to prepare something to eat ... CURRY is
the always the solution. You know Trinis will curry any and everything (not just meat) even mango, fish, conch, chataigne,
You can call your fellow "countryman" by an ethnic name and it would be ok,eg.chinee-man, creole, dougs, or pyol.
*MORE TO COME LATER!*
This poem will hopefull give non Trinidadians
an idea of what Trini talk (the way we speak) is like.
We have our own vocabulary...lol
By Miguel Browne
Trinidadians are a special people
of dat there is no doubt,
Doh care what odders say of how dey run dey mouth.
But of all de special talents dat
we Trinis possess,
Is de way we talk dat ranks us among de best.
At de street corners, in de shop or at work on any
Is to hear us speak and carry on in our own special way.
De colourful words, de antics and de accent all
To create a whole language dat has stood de test of time.
De way we express ourselves and de way we converse,
Is truly an art of which every Trini can boast.
Look at de many words
dat we Trinis create,
Just to make it easier for us to communicate.
Words like bobbol, skylark, commess and bobolee,
Are words dat yuh cah find in any English Dictionary.
Coskel, boobooloops, lahay and dingolay,
Mou Mou, bazodie, jagabat and tootoolbay.
So when yuh thin and frail, we say yuh maga or merasme.
when yuh fat or overweight, we say yuh obzokee.
And when something small, we say chinkey instead.
And we say tabanca
when a woman tie up a man head.
And a person who lazy, we call dem a locho.
And an inquisitive person is simply a
Is our colourful history,
yes our glorious past,
Dat give us a language dat very few could surpass,
And when we talking is
like to a special rhythm dat others doh know.
We have to move de whole body from we head to we toe.
Watch how de hands
does move as if we killing flies.
And when we vex is cuya mouth or roll up de eyes.
And sometimes is de mouth alone dat does
all de work.
Is to hear us laugh out loud when we hear a good joke.
And when we laughing de mouth does open wider
dan a carite.
And when it come out with "Oui Foute" or "Mama Yo" it does sound real sweet.
So doh laugh at we and think we antics
Is what we need and use to talk more effectively.
But watching us talking and moving from right to left,
swear is sign language to talk to de deaf.
So talk for we Trinis
is a way of life.
Is how we assume ourselves and deal wid strife. And every spectator does turn a coach at a cricket or
Shouting out advice for bad play or dropping a catch.
Man we know how to talk before we could creep.
We could out talk all odders in one clean sweep.
A Trini who cah talk will laugh instead.
And if he cah do dat,
he better off dead.
PS: (Just another saying
that Trinidadians use) :o)
~Trini Food Recipes~
Degree of difficulty: Low
450g chicken pieces with bones or 400g beef cut into large cubes
2 cups parboiled rice
3 cups diced carrots
cups cubed pumpkin
1 tin pigeon peas
1 tin coconut milk
West Indian spices to taste*
2Tblsp olive oil
*can be substituted with mix of Cajun spice, ground ginger, garlic salt, salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in large pot. Add raw sugar and stir until caramelised.
Add chicken or beef. Stir until glazed
Add 3 cups of water and coconut milk. Stir and cook for 15 minutes.
Add carrot and pumpkin. Cook
for a further 15 minutes or until carrot and pumpkin are soft.
Add rice and enough water to cover. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add pigeon peas and stir occasionally to prevent sticking for a further 10 minutes or until water is absorbed.
This recipe was featured by Annie Gastin
12 dasheen leaves
¼ lb. Salt beef or ham bone
¼ lb. Salt pork
2 cups coconut milk
1 green pepper
2 sprigs thyme
1 cup boiling water
- Strip the stalks and midrib from the dasheen leaves and wash well.
- Wash and cut up the ochroes and seasonings.
- Soak and cut up the meat.
- Scald and clean the crabs.
- Put all the ingredients except the butter, into a pot with the boiling water and simmer until everything is soft.
- Swizzle and add the butter.
- Serve with rice.
2 cups Flour
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 oz margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
Sift flour, salt and baking powder into
- Rub in the fat, then stir in sugar and grated coconut.
- Add water, and mix into a firm dough.
- Turn out onto floured board, knead lightly, shape into a ball and leave covered for 15-20 minutes.
- Press into the center and using a rolling pin, roll into a circular shape about ¾" thick.
- Heat oven to 350°.
- Decorate the dough with fork or knife marks.
- Put onto a flat, greased baking sheet and bake till brown for about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
- Cut into desired shape 2-3 inches wide.
- Serve hot, attractively arranged on a flat dish.
Note: Baking may be done on a baking iron over a surface burner of the stove, but the bakes must be
turned over to get brown on both sides.
1 pack macaroni
salt, white pepper to taste
3 eggs, beaten
stock ( from bouillon cube, if fresh is not available)
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Bring a lage pot of salted water to the boil and add macaroni.
- Boil until al dente and strain with running cold water ( this will stop the macaroni from continuing to cook and
getting too soft )
- Grease an ovenproof baking dish
- Prepare a white sauce by melting about 2-3 tblsp butter in a saucepan, adding 2 tblsps. flour until the mixture forms
into a ball ( do not let it get brown).
- Quickly add alternatively, evaporated milk and prepared stock until it forms a smooth white sauce.
- Add a little salt and white pepper to taste and the grated cheese ( the amount of cheese varies to your taste)
- Put macaroni into the prepared baking dish,
- Pour white sauce over it and top with more grated cheese.
- Bake in pre-heated oven for about 40 mins, or until light brown on top.
PARATHA-ROTI (Affectionately known as Buss-Up-Shut)
1 lb. flour (4 cups)
4 tsb. baking powder
1 tsb. salt
1 ½ oz. ghee/marg. or butter
water(appox.1 & ¾ c)
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add enough water to form a smooth soft dough.
- Knead well and leave for ½ hour covered with a damp cloth.
- Knead for second time and divide into four balls (loyah).
- Flour board and roll out dough to size 8" or 9" as desired, then spread with ghee and sprinkle
- Cut dough from centre to edge, roll tightly into a cone shape, press peak of cone into centre and flatten.
- Leave again for 30 min. Sprinkle flour on board and roll out very thin with rolling pin.
- Bake on a moderately hot bake stone (tawah) coating dough with oil on both sides as it cooks.
- Turn on both sides and cook about ½ mins. each side.
- Remove from baking stone and hit with wooden pallette until flaky or wrap in clean cloth and mash up. Often called
2 cups of water
4 pieces of Mauby bark
1 piece star anise
1 piece cinnamon
- Put all ingredients in a pot and boil for 5 mins.
- Remove from heat and cool
- Strain liquid
- Add water to desired strength and sugar to taste.
- Serve with ice cubes and a dash of Angostura Bitters
1 oz. dried sorrel or roselle sepals
3 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 x 1 inch strip of
3 cloves, whole
1 ½ cups sugar
2 quarts boiling water
¼ cup medium-dark rum
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Place the sorrel sepals, cinnamon stick, orange peel, whole cloves and sugar in a large jar and pour a boiling
water over them.
- Cover with foil or plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.
- Strain the liquid through a fine strainer, return it to the jar, and stir in the rum, ground cinnamon and ground
- Let the liquid stand at room temperature for another 2 or 3 days.
- Strain through a fine strainer lined with cheesecloth and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
- Serve in chilled glasses with or without ice.
PONCHE DE CREME (Punch a Cream)
3 tins (14 oz) condensed milk
½ tin evaporated milk
(26 oz) rum
1 tablespoon Angostura Bitters
- Beat eggs with lime peel.
- Add condensed milk gradually; then evaporated milk.
- To the mixture add bitters and rum.
- Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.
- Serve over crushed ice.
Here is a link to a lot of the Trini/Caribbean Recipes you can desire. ~ENJOY~
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