Alphabet Dating | J is for… Jamaican Night

Jerk chicken, served with rice and peas, and three rum cocktails in the background

It was months ago that we completed three dates in less than a week. It was the week after we got married, which, would you believe, is now over 100 days ago?! Anyway, we had good intentions for J, but eventually – well after two days out – it ended up being more of a cop-out.

Ash decided we should have a Jamaican Night, and while I originally had planned on ordering some food from one of the local independents, I ended up just cooking… kinda. We made a whole evening of it though, with themed drinks, music and even a film. I drew the line at decorations and dressing up… maybe next time.

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The previous dates were both on the Wednesday, and we ended the week with a Friday feast – of sorts.

Jamaican banana fritters with ice cream, in a bowl

The Food & Drink

Of course, it just had to be jerk chicken, and I marinated some boneless thighs in seasoning for a few hours – leaving them in the fridge. I then cooked low and slow in the oven, so that the meat remained juicy and so flavoursome. I ended up cooking a pack of six thighs, so there was some leftover – and it tasted great, cold in a sandwich with some mayo and salad leaves!

I served the chicken with rice & peas – taking absolutely no credit for this, as it was one of those Tilda microwave bag jobbies. I was also hoping to serve some sides too – either some dumplings, plantain, or something else – to add a little extra, or a bit more authenticity. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything, anywhere. And so, it was just chicken and rice.

While I may have cheated on the main meal, I went all out with pudding. After a quick Google for “typical Jamaican desserts”, I came across a recipe for banana fritters. Now, these weren’t like your soggy, greasy ones down the local Chinese, they were almost like pancakes. I’ve gone on to make them three times – and each time they’ve been different in consistency. They’ve been a hit though – even with Alfie. I served them with a little vanilla ice cream and touch of maple syrup, or honey. I reckon Rum & Raisin ice cream would be incredible though, or even a boozy cream!

And talking of booze, I created a (Jamaican) rum pilot. We had some miniatures in the cupboard, so I created three different drinks, using ginger beer. I have to admit, they were pretty lethal, and not all of them were nice – but it was good fun, nonetheless. Again, my friend Google threw up some other drink ideas that I just want to try. Most of them were punches, and one of them was named “Guinness punch”, which doesn’t sound very Caribbean, if you ask me!

Read more: I is for… Indoor Shooting

The Music

While we ate, I just put on a random Spotify playlist. There were plenty to choose from and it added to the theme of the evening. In fact, I even started it early, and had it blaring out while I was cooking and prepping. Not too much more to say on that front!

The Film

Ash found The Harder They Come on Amazon Prime. It’s a 1972 Jamaican crime film, starring Jimmy Cliff. Like any other evening in our house, I fell asleep during the film – potentially, even twice – so can’t say too much about it. Ash didn’t think it was particularly good. IMDb gives it a score of 6.9/10, while Rotten Tomatoes rates it 89%... make of that, what you will!

The letter K is up next, and who knows when we will fulfil that – or what we will do! Any ideas?

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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