Friday, November 23, 2012

This year 2012 has been an awesome year.The Commonwealth Writers of The Bahamas has been able to assist Student Writers in the Islands of the Bahamas to develop their creative skills. These young Writers have captured the beauty, history, and culture of the Bahamas so creatively in poetry and short stories that only the Master, William Shakespeare if he was alive, could judge their work. They are not only successful but talented Students and Adults from throughout the Islands of the Bahamas.The Seventh Annual Short Story/Poetry Competition 2012 has produced stories worthy of Screenplays,Documentaries, and Films. Here are the Winning entries. Ages 7 -9 - Short Stories Christa Petty New Providence -What Lies Beyond The Water Fall" Bessie Lowe Abaco-"My Father Bone Fish Dundee" Summer Aberle Abaco -"Some where Amazing" Ages 10-12 - Short Stories Samara Cole Abaco- "Memories Resurfaced" Caitlin Cash -New Providence -"Thank God For My Genius Rescue Dog Vega" Jaleena Ochoa Ragged Island -"Twins" Ages 13-15 Poetry Rhesa Boodram Ragged Island -"On Nights Like These" Ashley Thompson -New Providence -"Bahamian Mona Lisa" Stella Halvorson -Cat Island "Early In the Morning" Ages 16-18 & Adults Poetry Jere Cumberbatch New Providence "I Saw You First"-New Providence Tiffany Dixon New Providence "Give Me My Roses" New Providence Hilvonia Cash Grand Bahama "How Do I Seem to Escape" You are invited to join us on Saturday Evening, December 15th, 2012 at the Story Tellers Convention The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island when we will Honour these Writers.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Creative Art of "Bottling" Tomatoes on Cat Island

Dear Friends,
This form of preserving the delicate ripe tomatoes has been passed down from generations
on the beautiful island called 'Cat Island" in the Bahamas.
Imagine, acres of rich farm land with thousands of plants, with tomatoes ripening in the brilliant Bahamian sun light.There are no large markets on Cat Island to purchase these very perishable crops.They are juicy and sweet, sprinkled with salt, and a squeeze of lemon, they are a treat.

But the story of the huge crop of tomatoes on Cat Island is an interesting one and I observed how the people in Arthur's Town won't allow their hard farming labor to go to waste.The tomato crops had to be saved for future meals.

I sat inside my friend Meonie Webb's House away from the mosquitoes to observe the bottling tomatoes process.Stepping out side to get a closer look was a mistake because the mosquitoes were furious.But, this hard working crew, the mosquitoes did not bite.
The sterilization started as empty bottles (soda/beer)were washed clean
in hot soapy water, using a bottle brush. Crackling Fires were lit and the bottles placed in into huge 50 gallons drums which were placed over the fire to boil. Many persons in the neighborhood including the children participated, some by "feeding"the fire with more wood, and others peeling the skin from the'blanched' tomatoes.The tomatoes were then 'crushed' in a hand operated machine The sterilization took several hours.
After the bottles were "cooled", they were filled with tomatoes, 'Capped" with a hand operated bottle caper, then placed back into the barrels to boil again. This seemingly never ending 'bottling' took my waiting far into the night.
I never left my window seat where I observed in awe and respect for the faithful people of Arthur's Town, Cat Island who never let this Culture die. They either 'Bottle" tomatoes or give them away to friends and relatives.