Sunday, November 22, 2015

Taste of Trini Tour - T3

The T3 gang - BA pic

T to the Power of Three is what our group nicknamed this famous tour.  It all started from a brief discussion with T3 veteran Bruce (s/v Wild Matilda) on what to take along on our tour.  He agreed a bottle of water was a must and also suggested that he was going to take a towel or small washcloth since we would basically be eating in the van the whole day.  I laughed and said "Too bad we don't have any of those bibs you get a seafood restaurants in the US."  Later Tom and I were talking and decided that bibs would be a great idea and T3 was born.  A few days passed, and I was in Port of Spain where I found a package of brightly colored wash clothes and some purple ribbon - instant bibs, no sewing needed.  I used a big Sharpie to apply the T3 and we were set for the big day.

Jesse James (Member's Only) in his T3 bib - BA pic
T3 is a world famous tour.  Local maxi and tour operator Jesse James hosts this tour himself, sharing his love and passion for his country by driving a van full of guests around the island all day tasting various foods and drinks.  Yes, you heard right.....this tour is basically cruising around the island for 12 hours eating, drinking and learning about Trinidad.  AWESOME!
Local stand selling rough skin lemons (rare) and other fresh fruits and veg - BA pic

But seriously, it's a terrific way to learn about the rich and diverse cultures that make up a country and specifically in this case, Trinidad.
Doubles stand for the doubles virgins

Our group consisted of 8 cruisers plus Jesse.  Bill and Sharon (s/v Casa Blanca - fellow Caliber 40 owners, woot woot), Chris and Margret (s/v Storm Bay - as Aussies, the international contingent), Steve (s/v Slow Flight), Bruce (s/v Wild Matilda -and as I mentioned before, veteran T3 having gone 4 times before on the tour on previous visits to Trinidad) and of course us. 
My T3 bib - BA pic

Jesse picked us up promptly at 9am and we surprised him and the other participants with the official T3 bibs.  Jesse loved it.  Inside disclosure - Jesse keeps his van immaculate and the thought of being the one to spill inside the van worried me.  The bibs were a form of self protection for me and the poor van!
Bhagi, smoked herring, fried aloo and roast bake - BA pic

So off we went.  But actually we drove 25 yards down the side of the road to a food stall outside Powerboat Boatyard for our first sampling.  Even though it was right in our backyard so to speak, none of us had ever been to this food stall.
Fancy food stand.  Most are a tent and card table - BA pic

And so the day went.  Jesse would pull over, dash out of the van and then bring back a sampling of whatever food/drink/fruit/sweet/etc....then he or Bruce would divide it up, giving us all a little sample.  We tried many, many, many, many unusual and yummy things.
Saheena and kachouri

Bruce played official photographer.  Thank you Bruce for all the wonderful pics.  Tom was our official scribe keeping track of all the things we sampled.
Bruce cutting up a custard apple

Which brings up another important factor.  I told you this tour is world famous as is Jesse.  He does this trip many times during the year.  Each time the tour is slightly different depending on where he goes, what is open and in season.  For whatever reason, a "challenge" has developed to see if each group can break the record for number of things tasted.  The current record stands at 99.  We did not break that.  However, we did darn good at 86.  We were "full as ticks" when we waddled back to our boats 12 hours later.   
Mauby drink - popular but many versions and not all taste alike

I am not going to bore you with detailed description of all 86 items and pics of all.  However, I will list them all out and of course give you plenty of pics to make you drool.  Big thanks again to Bruce for sharing his pics.  I got a few good ones but the bulk of what you see are his - labeled BA for credit.
Chris and Margaret s/v Storm Bay

We had a spectacular day.  Our group was fun and interactive, trying everything and peppering Jesse with a wide variety of questions.  A few in the group were.....ahem....doubles virgins when we departed but returned that evening virgins no more!  Ha!  We all agreed that what we learned about Trinidad food on this tour will and has helped us expand our knowledge on what we order when eating out at a restaurant or food stand and also in what we buy at the fresh market.       
Doubles virgins no more - BA pic

If you ever come to Trinidad, you simply MUST to this tour.  Hands down, one of the best tours we've ever taken anywhere.
Green curry mango (on plate), plums (in sack at bottom), sour cherries (in sack on right) - BA pic


Summary for Taste of Trinidad 11-12-2015 with Jesse James

1.Pick up at 9:00 sharp.  First stop is roadside stand outside Powerboats
·         Roast Bake – flat bread, not fried
·         Bhaji – greens
·         Smoked Herring
          Aloo (potato) fried
A hoppin place -BA pic
2.)  Westside Cuisine at Caranage
·         Cheese Pie
·         Meat Pie
·         Fried Bake
·         Saltfish Buljol
·         Pommecythere Chutney (golden apple)
Yummies from Frankies - BA pic

3.Frankies on Aripita Avenue in Woodbrook
·         Sada Roti (without split peas)
·         Baigan Choka (smoked eggplant puree)
·         Tomato Choka
·         Fried Okra
·         Bitter Melon (actually a vegetable)
Just what it says - Cow Heel Soup Centre

4.)  Cow Heel Soup Center on Aripita Avenue, Woodbrook
·         Cow Heel Soup with potato and dumpling
BA pic

5.)  Tasty Pies, a roadside stand in downtown Port of Spain – three pies:
·         Vegetable
·         Macaroni
·         Fish
Portugals - BA pic

6.Fruit stand outside of downtown Port of Spain
·         Portugals – similar to Clementine Oranges
Tom goes for the HOT peppa double

7.)  Doubles stand in corner parking lot outside of Port of Spain - Tom trying SUPER hot peppa sauce
·         Doubles
·         Saheena
·         Kachouri
·         Bighani Pie
Black and red sorrel
8.Roadside stand just past Doubles stand
·         Red and Black Sorrel
BBQ pigtail, macaroni pie and fried casava

9.)  Small cafe in town of Velencia
·         BBQ Pig Tail
·         Macaroni Pie
·         Fried Casava
·         Chicken Pelau Rice
·         Coleslaw
Chiki Toe banana

10.)  Small café in Sangre Grande
·         Callaloo Rice
·         Dahl Sauce
·         Green figs
·         Stewed Pork
·         Sweet Potato
·         Mauby drink
·         Bananas – Chiki Toe and Silk Fig
·         Soursop
·         Sugar Apple
Soursop fruit - BA pic
Me devouring the soursop

11.Roadside stand in Sangre Grande
·         Rambutan – small red spiky fruit
Rumbutan and peanut punch - BA pic

12.)  S and S Roti Shop in Sangre Grande
·         Potato and Chana Curry
·         Curry Pumpkin
·         Chicken Curry Gizzard
·         Fried Shark
·         Stewed Chicken
·         Roti Bread – Dahl Puri
·         Curry Mango
·         Sorrell Drink and Peanut Punch
All of the above from S and S minus the drinks - BA pic

Stopped at Manzanilla Beach for a picnic lunch where a stray dog ran off with a package of Dahl Puri.  The rain came and we ate in the van.
Hungry dahl puri theif

13.)  Watermelon stand on Manzanillo Beach Road
·         Watermelon 
I know they look like olives but they are Trinidad plums.  Similar texture to olives, different taste

14.Roadside stand just past Mayaro
·         Coconut candy – like a red sugar cake
·         Green Mango Candy
·         Plums (more like olives)
·         Sour Cherry
·         Tamarind Ball (brown sugar lump)
Tamarind balls, sour cherries, plums

15.)  Hoseins Bakery in Rio Claro
·         Coconut Ballerina – rolled red cake
·         Casava Pone (like a bread pudding)
·         Soursop Punch
·         Bread Pudding
·         Fruit Slice Bread
·         Coconut Turnover
·         Pommecythere Fruit
·         Coconut Drop
Pommecythere fruit - golden apple - BA pic

16.)  Bakery truck that passed by while we were stopped at a small lumberyard
·         Custard Pie
·         Red Cake
Coconut Ballerina - BA pic

17.Clieves Bar in Tabaquite
·         Roasted Port Cutters
·         Kurma (like cinnamon sticks)
·         Fruit Slice (heavy cake aka Bellyfull)
·         Coconut Bisquit
·         Phdouri (donut holes)
·         Tullum (Toolum – molasses and coconut balls)
Fence?  What fence?

18).  Stop to trespass on farmland to collect fruit (we later learn the land is owned by Jessie’s uncle)
·         Cocoa Beans
·         Grapefruit

19.)  An unknown café/bar on the way to Chaguanas
·         BBQ Chicken Cutters
·         Custard Apple
Busting open the "liberated" coco beans for a sample
20.El Pecos, Trinidadian fast food buffet on Aripita Avenue
·         Festive Rice
·         Baked Fish
·         Baked Lentils
·         BBQ Lamb
·         Macaroni Salad
·         Spicy Pickle Salad
·         Corn Pie
·         Jerk Pork
·         Portugal Juice
·         Passion Fruit Juice

$150 TT per 750 ml - $24 US
Total of 86 different items
Also purchased limes and honey (Seenath’s in Manzanilla (1084 Eastern Main Road)          

Sabrina's Sail Loft - Jerry Jug Covers

As long as I had Little Nellie (my sewing machine) and all the stuff out this week on the staysail conversion, I decided to do a few other projects.

I made covers to protect our jerry jugs from UV rays.  The sun beating down day after day on these jugs on the rail effects the petrol/water/diesel inside and breaks down the plastic jug over time. 

Thanks to Roberta off s/v Celilo and Sarah off s/v Cape for your pattern ideas.

Sabrina's Sail Loft - Mast Boot Cover

We got our mast boot repaired.  Actually, beefed up.  What is the mast boot?  Oh, sorry.  It's a wrap  around the bottom of the mast where it meets the deck.  This special "boot" helps keep water from running down along the mast into the cabin.  When Tom asked Gary our rigger about it and made mention of perhaps putting a new "mast boot kit on", Gary said "Nah.  Save the money.  We will just use an old inter tube."  Sure enough.  Gary showed up with an old inter tube off one of the boatyard travel lifts - think big farm machinery size tire and they fitted that over our existing mast boot, put on a new clamp, heat sealed it shut and boom - new mast boot.
Our new mast boot cover
I was sharing all that with dock neighbor Bruce, while sewing day 2 on the staysail conversion when he said "Of course being made of an old inter tube, you will want/need to make a cover to protect it from UV rays."  To which I said  "Shit Bruce.  Did you just create a new project for me to sew?"  He grinned, nodded and then dashed off to the laundry.

While a cover around the base of the mast might seem like an easy project to sew, I have found nothing on a boat is easy to sew.  There are usually no patterns and everything is irregular shaped.  Luckily, I was over on s/v Casa Blanca (Sister Caliber 40 ship) and they already had a mast boot cover.  Woo hoo - pattern.  I borrowed theirs, made adjustments in size for our new, beefy mast boot and sewed a new one up for us.  Thank you s/v Casa Blanca.