Three months today since my last post. I am delighted to see that my blog haven’t crash in my absence and I still have people who visit regularly.
I officially completed my first year of grad school (yeah me!) and decided to go to Haiti for an internship and to be with my family. It is very difficult to do any of my craft here since I intern full-time and have a marvelous social life. Partying and travelling around Haiti have replaced crocheting and knitting.
Plus I get to enjoy the best season of all: mango and avocado season. Having a fruit in the Caribbean is nothing compared to the tired and overpriced ones from my supermarket in NY. A couple months ago, I was craving mangoes and stumble upon a pile at Whole Foods for $3/mango. I was shock and could not stop bragging that “in my country we have so many mangos, we have no idea what to do with them and pigs eat them”. I can bet you they got those mangoes at 25 cents in Haiti.
Also a week ago during a survey I was carrying in Leogane I came upon this field of mangoes. I have never seen such a vast organized mango plantation. In Haiti, mango trees are usually found in people’s yards or on the side of the roads in small groups of 3 to 5, never like this. This is what I love about Haiti when you least expect it, it amazes you. Everything has yet to be discovered in this land and it is sad that misery and fear is stopping the population from experiencing the world around them.
…According to one of my friends it is a legacy of slavery. This fear is supposedly inside every person of African origin because of the memories it brings back. Now I understand why my mother had a nervous breakdown when I forgot to tell her the place I was camping this weekend had a beach. Not fun in the moment but quite funny now I am thinking of it.
It is the second time we are returning to this area. The first time we found it by mistake but the nice coincidence is we met the land owner a few months after. It was a nice surprise to realize that we could now go whenever we wanted to on this little piece of paradise.
This trip would not have been complete without collecting some seashells for my jewelry. Priceless.
I could probably spend my life hosting dinner parties. People are often surprised when I tell them I can cook a mean lamb Korma or gyoza. I love every facets of food: gardening, cooking, culinary writing, I love it all. In NY it is very difficult to invite people over for dinner (no one wants to go to The Bronx! ). In Port-au-Prince everything is pretty straight forward. It is a small city compared to NY with very few things to do so people like their little diner party. This one was to say thanks to my friend Elsa for giving me a place to crash after my many nights out. I made lamb with a mixture with a yogurt and tomato based sauce and basmati rice with a little side of cucumber raita. We ate so much that night….miam!
I have been a tad miserable for the past months in NY, mainly because of the weather. So I decided to break free for Spring Break and go soak up some sun in my dear Haiti. It is so great being able to see friends…just priceless. I will be posting once in a while about the highlight of my days for the next two weeks. No knitting or crochet.
Nothing beats a nice cup of chocolate in winter. In Haiti, we use pure chocolate. Even though it can be bitter and very greasy I prefer it to the powdered 0% chocolate packs that are sold in supermarkets. But since it is less likely I will get cheap raw chocolate in NY I have to work with what’s available. So here’s my regular hot chocolate recipe.
*SPICED HOT CHOCOLATE*
You need for 2 people:
2 packets of instant chocolate
1-3 star anise
1 small cinnamon stick
small piece of lime peel
mixture of milk and water
Optional: a dash of heavy cream and cardamom
1) Instead of only water, use a mixture of milk and water. Add a piece of lime peel, star anise, and cinnamon stick
2) Bring to a boil (make sure the fire is low other wise you boiling milk will spill)
3) Then add your little packet of chocolate. Stir. let it boil for a minute then taste.
4) Adjust your hot chocolate to desired taste (more milk, more chocolate, it all depends on your taste)
On Saturday, I had a sudden urge to make something. I woke up with a massive headache from partying too much on Friday and I spent the entire day in bed coming up with what you see.
Eventually I would like my line Tifoli to be primarily handmade summer accessories and outfits. So I wanted to concentrate a little bit putting together some ideas with a free spirit flair. All the big beads I bought at a flea market in the south of France (except for the skull) but I was mainly inspired by the colors of India and happiness. I would usually crochet my way around the beads but I decided to tie groups together instead. Easier and just perfect for the look I was going for.
I hope my boyfriend reads this…
2. This set of interchangeable circular needles is just perfect and the price is great. Imagine having to buy every single one of these…lots of money.
3. A ball winder is THE best gift ever. Buy one and you’ll get laid everyday. About $50
4. The patterns in this book Pop Knitting are just so pleasing to look at and frankly you can never go wrong with a good knitting/crochet book (Amazon, $18)
5. A nice bag so she can continue to drag her projects with her everywhere she goes. These by KlassDsigns are just too cool and a steal at $30. (On Etsy)