Friday night I got to lime again. The friends I went to lime with on Wednesday came up to my place. Now, keep in mind I am really only close friends with one of the six people in this group. I knew 2 others by face and name, the rest I only just met on Wednesday. When my boy and I went to lime with them, my friend introduced me as being “Trini.” This is not something done lightly. Then the quiz began. Where did I live on the island? Had I seen this or that sight? Did I know how to cook various dishes? They threw dialect at me and I responded in kind. It was all good-natured and friendly and as I passed each test there was growing agreement that I was in fact a Trini.
When I let them know I could make my own roti (Indian flat bread) they were in awe. They've been away from home for the last 4 weeks and are missing certain foods, roti being among them. Some of them can make it but lacked the necessary baking stone or platin. When I told them I could make the light, flaky bus-up-shot variety and that there was a Trini grocery close to my house where they could get other hungered for goodies I needed to hand them napkins to wipe the drool. Plans for a Friday night lime at my house developed quickly.
They arrived at 2pm and we hit the grocery. They were like kids in a candy store, just like I was when the place first opened. We got back to my house and started the cooking. Three of us were in the kitchen while the rest had a little jam session with my two girls. Trumpet, clarinet, maracas, scrapers, tambourines all joined together as these professional musicians encouraged my two daughters by adding some calypso beat to the girls' music. My heart swelled with the music.
There is something about cooking together that opens people up and makes the time fly. Three of us spent 4 hours making roti, aloo (potato) pies, curried venison, curried chicken, channa and aloo (chick peas & potatoes). Never once did it feel like a chore, just pure pleasure. And at the end we all knew each other so much better. They were comfortable enough to root through my cabinets and drawers looking for the utensils needed and I was happy to have them do so. We stirred each other's pots, checked each other's various techniques, learned new ones from each other. I smiled pretty big when they said, “Eh eh! Girl, yuh rollin' an' fryin' roti like a proper Indian!” Laughter, music and spicy aromas poured out of the kitchen.
The others played the piano, played cards, played movies, relaxed, limed. When the food was ready we all gathered together and ate until we nearly burst. Many hands made short work of the clean-up. We had some quiet digesting and relaxed conversation, a few dozed off a bit. Then it was time for the next impromptu jam session. They pulled out my 2 guitars, got out the tambourines, scrapers, maracas, shakers and some wooden flutes I had gotten in Bolivia. A guitar case became a bongo. Calypso music and laughter filled my house. We danced. We sang. We laughed until our cheeks ached when my son, who can't play guitar at all grabbed one up and strummed it like a wild rocker while someone else who cannot play flute at all squeaked out some horrible though rhythmic notes in a ghastly duet.
We said our good-byes sometime before 1 am. They headed to their “home” for the next week or so. I went to bed thankful my heart had been home in Trinidad for the night.