I sit in darkness; writing by lamplight. A storm has just passed; I have no idea when electric power will be restored. I can’t help but think about what life was like when my ancestors worked from sun up to sundown and lived their “real” lives without benefit of light. This interlude begs me to consider the arduous past as well as what the future might hold after humans greedily exhaust the gift of luminosity.

Although I don’t know life before electricity, in my lifetime I have endured many hours of darkness, both real and in my mind.

One vibrant memory is when my grandmother — in regard to an approaching storm — would gather us children in the windowless hallway of our apartment. She would seat us on the floor and light a candle in our midst. Wrapped in blankets (in winter) and cuddled in pillows (year round), we would wait out the storm. We passed our time listening to the scary stories she told that made us unafraid.

I can make a fire with sticks. I can cook on a coal pot. I can capture drinking water from rain. I can read by oil lamp. I can entertain myself with things other than TV. I now know that — whatever happens – when the lights go out, my life goes on….

Let’s grill some jerk chicken and have a party!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken


4 large chickens (cut in half lengthwise)


1 large onion (chopped fine)
6 cloves garlic (crushed)
4 stalks escallion (chopped fine)
2 chilis (chopped fine)
4 bay leaves (crumbled)
4 tbs allspice (coarse ground)
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs nutmeg
3 tbs salt
1 tbs sugar (brown)
2 tbs thyme
2 tbs pepper (black)
4 tbs dark rum
½ cup oil (vegetable)


WASH chickens
BLEND together all marinade ingredients
RUB marinade on both sides of chicken and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best)
DO NOT scrape off marinade
GRILL chickens on open grill
COOK slowly and turn frequently until dark brown and crispy
CHOP into small pieces and serve with pepper sauce


1 Comment

  1. LindaRe said,

    30 July 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Looks like something I will try since I am including more chicken, less red meat, into my diet.

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