Thursday, February 4, 2010

Haiti - Needs Our Help

A friend of mine lived in Haiti in the 1970s. He lived in a hotel on a hillside overlooking Port-au-Prince and, later, on the south coast, in Jacmel. There, along sandy bays with tropical trees, local houses mixed with the colonial homes of a few wealthy Haitians. My friend reminded me that the whole island used to be called Santo Domingo and has a long history of slavery, oppression, poverty and civil strife.

I’ve never been to Haiti but it seems to be a place that can grab hold of you and linger in your heart and mind.

Haiti suffered from a terrible earthquake in January causing enormous damage to the country. It is the most improvised nation in the Caribbean and now thousands of people have died and millions are homeless. Many from around the world have come to its rescue and vowed to help the Haitians rebuild. I hope our determination to see this country back on its feet will not falter.

A list of organizations helping Haiti:

Canadian Red Cross
American Red Cross
Concern Worldwide
Save the Children
World Vision
Partners in Health

I read that a typical Haitian dish is brown rice with red kidney beans topped with red snapper, tomatoes and onions. So this is what I made and it turned out to be a nice meal.

Rice with Red Beans and Fish

2 cups of long grain rice
1 cup kidney beans (or one can)
1 oinon, chopped
Hot green pepper, chopped
A strip if bacon cut into cubes
1 TBSP butter
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 TBSP vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Red Snapper or other white fish
Tomatoes, sliced

Cook beans in 4 cups of water for 2 hours or until tender. Drain beans but keep the water which will be used to cook the rice. (I skipped this part and used 1 can of beans instead)

Fry bacon until crisp. Add onion, garlic, green pepper. Add beans along with salt and pepper to taste. Add the water used to cook the beans and bring to a boil. Add the rice and cook for 20 –25 minutes.

In the meantime, fry up the fish fillets in a bit of oil and slice a tomato. When the bean and rice mixture is done, top it with the fish and then a couple of sliced tomatoes.

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