Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day and Key Lime Pie

Stovetop Key Lime Pie
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  It was a Sunday. We decided to take a bus to the Carenage and treat ourselves at the Grenada Chocolate Company Shop.  We got off early when we saw the gates to the Botanical Garden were open and we’d not been there yet.  We’ve seen some great botanical gardens over the years but this one we would not recommend for any reason. It didn’t even have much in the line of picnic benches to sit in the shade under while escaping the sun’s rays.  It had no labelled specimens, nor collection of native trees.  It essentially was the groomed front yard to a number of government buildings.

We left there and walked through the Marryshow area to the shore, a two or three block stretch which was the site of the riots and rebellions of the youth groups and nurses during the 1960’s led by Maurice Bishop.  Like current day Tunisia and other countries of the Spring Revolution, the revolt is usually led by the young idealistic and then co opted by the extremists who corrupt and threaten the original impulse.  

We made it to the port and the Carenage, which is simply a strip of buildings that encircle the harbor. In the past they were bars and brothels to serve the sailors and now it is an assortment of things such as an eyeglass store, a casino, bars and deserted buildings.  It holds a certain charm in that you can still see the ‘bones’ of it’s past.  
The Carenage
There is a ten foot bronze sculpture of Christ called, Christ of the Deep which was a gift from the people of Genoa Italy in gratitude for assistance by the Grenadians when a Genoese boat sunk due to an on board fire.  Normally the Carenage and the associated Young Street where all the art galleries, boutiques and chocolate shops are, is bustling with tourists but today we had the advantage of having it to ourselves since it was Sunday and there were no cruise ships in port.  The disadvantage was that all the shops were closed. So we grabbed a number one bus back to Wall Street.

Wall Street is an area on the main road, behind Grand Anse Beach which is a retail and office center.  There are a number of banks, restaurants, a mall with an IGA, a hardware store and street vendors.  We walked then to Umbrellas, the famous beach restaurant.  This was our third time there.  The first time was great. Although we only had drinks, since we went to watch a football game, it ran like a well oiled machine.  Staff seemed so efficient. The second time we went with four other friends. It was a Saturday night and it was busy.  It was a complete disaster.  Music so loud it literally hurt, staff in a complete kerfuffle about who was serving who.  Orders mixed up, bills inaccurate.  You wonder why we’d try it again?  Well it was Valentine's Day and they have live music on the beach.  So we sat and waited for service and waited some more.  It wasn’t especially busy with customers, the music hadn’t started yet, maybe too few waiters.  But we waited about twenty five minutes and never even got the eye of a waiter.  So we left and walked down the beach where we got a drink at the Radisson Bar so we could use their beach chairs.  This was a lovely location, relaxing under a sea grape tree our fingers sifting the silky soft sand listening to a damn East Coast American loudly bargaining for a tour of the island with a local tour guide, for a good half hour, repeating himself over and over; did I say loudly?  

Off we went up the beach to the end of Grand Anse, where we live.  We were getting hungry and so we stopped at the Clam Bar, a local little street restaurant which serves great cheap food.  Randy and Dixon are brothers and they recently leased the place from Captain Harris in hopes of making a go of it. Captain Harris’ is a rather large complex of Cottages on the shore owned by a real retired Captain, of what, I’m not sure.  He rents mostly to younger couples from Venezuela, the Spanish, as Randy calls them.  Randy and Dixon make local fare such as the Oildown which we as yet have not managed to get.  On Valentine’s they had no special romantic offerings, just burgers and fries. But the burgers were amazing!  Huge for one thing.  We each only ate half.  They dress the half pound burger with cabbage slaw, lettuce and a sauce and then put it in a panini or cubano grill to toast the bun.  They also finish their wraps in the grill. Nice touch.  We discovered that there was a back deck overlooking the sea so both times we’ve had our meal there; the million dollar view of Grand Anse Beach, balancing our clamshells on our laps.  Although we told Randy that they should fix this up as an eating area he agreed and said they are ‘working on it’.  This time he brought us a table made from an old sign board (something about For Sale by Owner) but it was an improvement.  Nice guys, good cooks; I hope they make it.

Sunset from Fall Edge (our digs)
We made it home in time to take a swim at sunset, shower, watch the moon set over the water and watch a good movie ‘Chef’ before tucking in.  

This morning the water taxis plow through the water taking the cruise ship clients to Grand Anse Beach where they can ‘relax’ for the day under their rented umbrellas with over-priced drinks.  

Actually the two drinks on the beach cost us more than the whole dinner and drinks at Randy and Dixons, yesterday.  

Oh I forgot to mention that I made Key Lime Pie for us for a Valentine treat.  It turned out great! I don’t have an oven so I had to google ‘stove top’ recipes.  And I had no pie plate so I had to rig up a stainless steel bowl instead.

Key Lime Pie

crust: Crumble enough cookies or graham crackers ( I used Digestifs) to make about two cups or more of crumbs.  Melt nearly two sticks of butter.  Pour into crumbles. Mix until all are moistened and press the mixture into the pie plate.  Refrigerate to harden.

½ cup (or slightly more) fresh squeezed lime juice with zest of lime
1 can (14 oz. ) sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks

Combine egg and milk until smooth.  Add lime juice until smooth. Pour into crust.  Place in refrigerator for a minimum of four hours.  I did it overnight.

Topping: whipping cream
¼ tsp vanilla
Whip cream to soft peaks, add vanilla whipping a bit more.

To loosen pie if it’s stuck to pan, set it in a some warm water for a minute or less making sure to not spill any water on the pie. Cut piece, remove and top with whipped cream. Serve.

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