“ Oy Basil, di soup ready?” asked Trevor, sniffing at the enticing scent wafting from the large cooking pot, where Basil was busy stirring.
“Yes man, yuh want some?” Basil replied. He picked up a styrofoam cup, scooped up some of the steaming liquid, and handed it to Trevor.
“Den nuh muss. Ah my favourite dis!” exclaimed Trevor, accepting the cup and pursing his lips to blow a stream of air into the top of the cup.
“Yah man. Ah real food dis! Me jus cyan understan’ all dem crazy tings people seh dem a eat. All alligaytah dem a eat now.” Basil shook his head, gave the pot an additional stir and poured himself a cup. “Eh, Miss Latty?”
A large woman in a bright floral print swayed into the kitchen balancing a stack of plates on her hands. “Maxine jus bring di plate dem, an’ Junior jus come.” Miss Latty informed them. “Di food soon ready?” She unburdened herself of her load with a loud clatter, and peered into the pots clustered on the stove top.
“Yah man. Dinner going to nice, nice.” predicted Basil with a grin. “So what you seh? You woulda eat some alligayta meat?”
“Nah sah” Miss Latty replied, making a face. “Neither dawg nor puss nor horse. How people cyan nasty suh?”
“Mi hear seh ah snail dem eat inna France. An some people all eat frog leg an call it wah? Spring chicken.” added Trevor.
The others burst into laughter. “Me never know nuttin coulda guh suh.” Miss Latty uncovered a pot. “Wah dis? Oxtail? Ah dat me love.”
“Oh? My auntie mek de bes’ oxtail you ever taste, but is cow head an bean. Now dat is fi har specialty. Is not any an’ everybaddy cyan cook like she.” said Trevor downing the last of his soup.
“Mi nuh really eat dat, but me woulda eat some cow tongue deh now. Ah long time me noh get dat fi eat.” said Miss Latty, picking up a large serving dish. “Mek me gwaan spoon out di rice an’ peas. Mmm… a waan pigstail dis? Ah fi mi own dat!”
“But how you mean?” exclaimed Basil. “you cyaan mek rice an’ peas widout pigstail. Dat ah di spice fi mek it nice!” he chuckled. “Nah sah. Me nah eat no nastiness like dem foreign people at all. Ah good Jamaican cookin’ me want. So who want some more mannish wata?”
photo credit: Renée S. Suen via photopin cc