Jerk Chicken + House Updates

Friday, 17 June 2016

First off.... We are really building a home now!  The excavation is started and we are super thrilled.  We had a lovely walk around the property last evening and it's amazing what some excavators and chippers can do.  There is even hope that one day we can access the lake!

Emma was pumped about all the dirt piles and the rocks...typical fun sliding down dirt mounds etc. We had to stop her from jumping in the excavator.

Emma puttering around our water's edge

The septic system is going to be the next big step..whoot whoot!

I am sure for the amount we are paying for it, it will be a gorgeous septic system....where all our human waste will be laid to rest....
      
Trees at 12pm 
No trees at 5pm


On that note...let's talk about barbecue for the upcoming weekend! (cuz it's supposed to be sunny...and thank gawd, because we are going camping in a tent...)


Over ten years ago, I met once of the best people I have ever met, in my speech language pathology program.  She doesn't know that I am writing this, so I will call her A.

A. is of Jamaican and Grenadian descent.

This girl introduced me to food I had never had before...plantains....ackee....mango...(for realz...mango was not a popular fruit in Pasadena, Newfoundland....it does happen to be Emma's favourite fruit).

While I don't see A. or her family nearly often enough...as they live in Ontario...when we talk it's like we didn't miss a beat.

One of the best gifts A. has given me...ahem....besides her friendship...is an authentic Jamaican jerk chicken recipe.

I am sharing the recipe along with a few tips:

Tip 1: There are many variations on an authentic jerk chicken recipe.  Most have a few staples: allspice, vinegar, garlic and heat. Traditionally...it's the habenero pepper that brings the heat. Which...to me....is fairly inedible; it is so hot.  If you chose to use habenero...be careful!  Wear gloves, remove the seeds and mince finely...

I stick to cayenne pepper...you could also probably use other kinds of hot peppers...however, if you want authentic...it's habenero or bust.

Tip 2: Marinate over night if you can (in the fridge).

Given the number of spices, the longer you can take to marry them together the better.

Tip 3: Grill this chicken...Oven doesn't cut it. Perfect summer barbecue food.

Tip 4: This marinade works on other meats like pork, as well as, fish.

Tip 5: Use a grinder or mortar and pestle for as many of the spices below, as you can. Freshly ground spices are like freshly ground coffee....way more fragrant and potent.

Now to the nitty gritty....hope your spice rack is robust or you have a bulk barn nearby (which really is the way to go for buying spices)

My first time using whole nutmeg


A.'s Jamaican Jerk Chicken:

1 TBSP of ground allspice
1 TBSP of ground thyme or whole dried thyme
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (this makes a mildly spicy chicken...increase to up to 1 1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 tsp of ground pepper
1 tsp ground sage (I sometimes omit this cuz I am not a huge sage fan)
3/4 tsp of nutmeg
3/4 tsp of cinnamon
6-8 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp of sugar
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of soy sauce
3/4 cup of white vinegar
1/2 cup of orange juice
Juice from one lime
3 green onions-finely chopped
1 cup of onion, finely chopped
1 habenero (if you dare)
4-6 chicken breasts

Combine all the ingredients and pour over the top of the chicken. Place chicken in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Chicken in it's spice bath

Grill the chicken on a hot barbecue until juices run clear.  Take remaining marinade and bring to a boil for 10-15 mins in a pot on a stovetop. Use as a dipping sauce or spread over sliced chicken prior to serving.

Drink with plenty of beer.

Put your feet up and wish you were in the Caribbean....or at least hanging with your best Jamaican/Grenadian friend!!



K.


Windows

Monday, 13 June 2016

Windows. They are kinda important and kinda expensive!

Plus they are not the sort of thing you can easily change your mind on!

They are also a part of your house for the long haul. It's not like some of the other stuff that you can spend less on and then upgrade later.

On the other side of things....you can't just do floor to ceiling windows. Ya need to have some restraint.

So...if you haven't figured it out yet...we have been picking out our windows.. Our contractor had given us some homework last weekend: look over a very long list of windows that need to be purchased!

We had to make some changes, as it turns out some of the plans had very big windows in the shower stalls.  I didn't feel as though I wanted to put curtains in the shower...and I certainly didn't want us to have a display window for our neighbours....cuz ya know while I have some element of body confidence...we don't need to get that intimate.

We also added some windows in the vaulted section of our living room plans.  So exciting!

Most of the homes in the area (and Yarmouth in general) are fairly traditional.

We really wanted to make a statement with our house exterior, which of course, is largely affected by the aesthetic of the window.  As such, we went out on a pretty big limb and ordered windows with a black exterior and a white interior.  (i.e. On the outside, the window casings will appear black.  From the inside the window casings will appear white...more or less).

An example of windows without trim
The large windows and the sliding glass door to our small deck, are in groups of three, side by side, rectangular panels. No fancy pane work...contemporary design...super sleek.

We sourced a contemporary front door with three glass panels (oooh the possibilities of front door colors will be a convo for the future!) and of course, a basement door.

We have been having convos with our contractor re: interior window trim.  A lot of homes with contemporary design choose to forgo window trim....which I would prefer. We are still in the process of seeing if that is financially viable.  We have been warned by our contractor that the edges are not as durable as windows with trim...so that's a conversation to be had too.

Lots of decisions...but I am really enjoying the challenge so far.  I am sure decision-making-fatigue will be in my future...but until then...I will hold on to the excited feeling!

We are hoping to break ground this week!!  PUMPED.

K.