Tragedy brings out the best and the worst of us. And it was true to form this past weekend. After the attacks in Paris I, like millions of others, added the French flag to our profile pic on Facebook. But I also quickly, like many, realised the hypocrisy of not speaking out against the terror in Beirut and many other countries.
And that’s when it started getting ugly. When you combine fear with bigotry some seriously hateful things start getting posted. It saddens me no end we have a serious humanitarian situation and we have people running for president saying we should only accept Christians. Never mind that this isn’t a Christian nation as laid out in the Treaty of Tripoli which said this was a secular nation. And it was ratified by 100% of the senate of the time. That concept is being lost to the mists of time. The West has a lot of responsibility of the vacuum that keeps being created in the Middle East but yet a lot would wash their hands of the crisis. A situation where you have children so scared they put their hands up in fear because they think the journalist cameras are guns.
I am well aware there aren’t any easy solutions laying about. But I do wish the powers that be would start thinking of the ramifications before they keep repeating history. I mean how many times do we put people in power to only have to forcibly remove them. Or how many times do we change the governments or boundaries without fully understanding the region.
Because not only do I want peace and not have people living in fear, I would love to be able to not have to figure out how to explain to my kids how much humanity is still getting it wrong.
While all this was going on we were preparing for my husband’s birthday party. The theme? A pirate murder mystery night. There was a lot of planning for this as I had to assign characters for our guests and get the packets ready for each person so they knew what their objectives were for the murder and investigation.
One of our friends had great fun with doing themed food of cannon balls, shark teeth, etc. She also did a great Minecraft themed party for her son a few weeks ago. This is definitely up her alley.
One of the dishes I made was jerk chicken. A great time to try using our dried habaneros. I also used some dried cayenne. Sinuses would be cleared for miles around.
The recipe I used as a guide was from food.com and I followed it for the most part. I didn’t have bay leaves but I’m not a fan of that ingredient. I didn’t have any dried thyme either. But I have to say the ingredients weren’t missed.
In a spice grinder, finely grind 3 habaneros and 2 cayenne peppers that have been dried. Add that to a medium sized bowl. Then grind rosemary and allspice so you have about a tablespoon of each. Again add that to the bowl. Add a tablespoon of ground ginger and a tablespoon and a half of sea salt. Next you will need 1 1/2 teaspoons each of onion powder, black pepper, and ground cinnamon. Add 3/4 teaspoon of each of ground nutmeg and paprika. Finish with 1/3 cup sugar, a juice of a lime, and 1/3 cup of olive oil.
Mix well and add about a pound and a half of chicken that you have cubed. Make sure the chicken is well coated. Then remember not to touch your eyes. Ahem. Even after washing your hands.
Let this marinate for a couple of hours. I chose to grill this on the stove top. But given the potency of the hot peppers I should have done this outside. It was like I pepper sprayed the kitchen! What a way to welcome guests.
I did want to do a mango dipping sauce but the mango I bought refused to ripen so it was just the chicken.
This was a hit. Fortunately our friends could handle the heat. Because, while the flavours were balanced, this is not for the weak of heart.