Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blue Drawers

Blue Drawers, Cooking in Pot
Blue Drawers, Ready to Eat.
 Blue drawers, or blue panties as my host mom likes to call them, are only the most delicious breakfast food in Jamaica.  Also called tie-a leaf, duckoono, and boyo, this yummy dish is made from coconut, sweet potatoes, green bananas, sugar, vanilla, spices and raisins.  The mixture is wrapped inside a banana leaf and tied with a string. The wrapped parcel reminds me of a gift (see top pic).  The parcel is then placed in a pot and cooked in boiling water.

Why is it called blue drawers, I wondered? It's because the banana leaf gives the water a bluish tint and the shape of the fold resembles drawers.

Blue drawers is eaten cold and for breakfast, per my experience .  I'm not sure what I can compare the taste to. It is moist like a pudding but firm, coconut-ty, sweet and the raisins give it a tangy pop.  I enjoyed it with coffee and felt like I was having dessert for breakfast.

I appreciate that the ingredients were so fresh and so close to home. The bananas and  leaves were gathered from our back yard, the coconut and sweet potato were freshly grated and bought at the outdoor market.

The appearance of blue drawers reminded me of a dish in the Dominican Republic called "pastelito en hoja".  Pastelito en hoja is also wrapped in a banana leaf but it's not sweet and is has a meat filling.  In the DR, making the dish was a very social experience as a group of us gathered together under the tutelage of an experienced Dona to make our first batch..  See my posts from April 2006 for pics.

All this writing about food is making me hungry!