Caribbean Thanksgiving Dumplin’

Thanksgiving Menu

Caribbean Thanksgiving Dumplin’
Written | Photographed | Food by NZINGHA for ZLounge Nouvelle Caribbean Cuisine

Thanksgiving Dumplin’ Welcome! I love the Holidays and all the simple joys it brings with it. I’m so much like my Mum in that way. She loved to decorate the Christmas tree and the whole house. We also would decorate for Thanksgiving putting us all in the Holiday spirit season. All those times I am truly grateful for. The traditions we shared and the now traditions I started now that both my Mum and Nan are my Guardian Angels I know by name.

I just want to share a bit of my Thanksgiving joy with you and your family. I’m sure Mama & Jean Mama Edith would be proud at my now elevated culinary gifts. I can hear my Mum’s voice now…”Zing are you gonna make the String Beans, you have to make the String Beans Luv, are you making your Mama those String Beans you know I love them.” My forever reply during this season is often met with tears now that she’s gone but I always “Yes Mummy, I’m making the beans.” and give her a kiss on the cheek.

My Thanksgiving Menu 2012:

Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Soup

Thanksgiving Dumplin’

Oxtail w Butter Beans * Black Pumpkin Rice * Roasted Brussel Sprouts w Bacon & Cranberry

Coca Cola Pineapple Glazed Ham * #5 Cheese Macaroni Pie * Mama Jean’s Collard Greens

Featured Beverage
Punkin’ Spice Chilla

Banana Pudding Torte’
NZINGHA’s Sweet Potato Pie
Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Soup


How To: Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Soup

Are you an Oxtail lover? Well if you know anything about Oxtails you’ll know they take as long to cook as a whole Turkey. The love and effort put into a beautiful pot of Stewed Oxtails takes time to get it just right. And as usual every household makes it differently. Some a little more flavourful than others, some a little browner than others, some a little sweeter than others yet the base recipe remains the same.

So no there was no Turkey this year but a strong show of my beloved Oxtails w Butta Beans. Yummmmmm!

Oxtail w Butta Beans * Black Pumpkin Rice* Brussels Sprouts w Bacon Cranberry Butter

I love a good Beverage. Especially ones that are unusually flavourful and sometimes traditional. I’ve even started my own traditional Beverage here with my Thanksgiving Punkin’ Spice Chilla! But normally at a Caribbean Thanksgiving you will always see Rum Punch (shoot that’s for every occasion), Ginger Beer, Mauby (I’m not a fan), and Sorrel (absolutely love!! although I’ve had some who went too hard on the ginger and clove). Love all these chilled drinks. Sometimes they’d all be served in huge vats with a spout and trust every last drop is GONE!!!

How To : Punkin’ Spice Chilla

Punkin’ Spice Chilla

Caribbean Ginga Beer

Island Rum Punch

Sorrel (My Personal Fave)

Though my Mum was Caribbean all day everyday she most definitely liked no, LOVED Southern food!! I think she loved Southern food more than she loved Caribbean food (I think it may have been a spice issue, she liked spice but not HOT).

Mum always had me make her either String Beans or Collard Greens. My Aunt (my Mum’s Sister In Law) is from the South, I think North Carolina. She would make Thanksgiving at her house, of course Southern Style. The Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas, Macaroni and Cheese (Caribbean’s call this Macaroni Pie), Sweet Potatoes w Marshmallow tops, Potato Salad (my Mum made a mean Potato Salad that I can’t quite duplicate yet after all these years).

Well, growing up and being a child that was influenced by many cultures in my own family I learned how to cook in each genre of cuisine. Here’s my spin on my Southern Aunt’s Collard Greens with my Mum in mind!! I call it Mama’s Jean’s Collard Greens (but its usually String Beans).
Mama Jean’s Collard Greens


Coca Cola Pineapple Glazed Ham

Another Southern American and Caribbean mix out of my kitchen is my Coca Cola Pineapple Glazed Ham. My Aunt would sometimes use 7UP! in the cooking process either way the Holiday Ham was always a winner! Then in true Caribbean style you add your Pineapple Juice and Pineapple Rings with the Marischino Cherries and Cloves all over…whoooo weeeee!! Yeah I ate the pork…stop judging! Anyway here she is in the oven below along side my #5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese along with Carmel Pecan Toffee Sweet Potato Soufflé. Uhhh just amazing!! Lets see what leftovers look like this year. Can’t wait to Thanksgiving dinner.

How To: Coca Cola Pineapple Glazed Ham

You know there are so many things on the Dessert Menu when you’re having your dinner parties because trust all of your guests will be coming with Desserts or Wine. I absolutely love Dessert Wines! A Sweet White, a Bubbly Shiraz or Ice Wine, and a Muscato pared with one of those great desserts are sure to bring about memorable conversations for years to come!

One of my favourite Desserts that my Sister Twanna makes, is her famous Banana Pudding!! Here I’ve got my little spin on her famous Pudding Dessert. I created individual sized Banana Pudding Torte’.

My Banana Pudding Torte’ are for the adults only rated “R”: NO KIDS ALLOWED!! Or if they do “PARENTAL DISCRETION IS ADVISED”. It’s truly a Caribbean thing to have a Rum Punch or a Rum Cake. Here in true Caribbean fashion I’ve spiked the Torte’!! Lololol ! Trust me you will have some very “happy” people after this dessert.
Banana Pudding Torte’


How To: Banana Pudding Torte


NZINGHA’s Banana Pudding Torte’ Recipe:
For this recipe it’s all about layering which is why I call it a Torte’. This one is simple easy preparation and no fuss but looks like you put in overtime hours!

1 bunch of Baby Bananas
1 pack of Banana Pudding Cups Snack Packs
2 bags of Butter Crunch Cookies
Baileys Irish Cream
Nestlé La Lechera (squeeze Bottle)
Mini Brandy Snifter Glasses
Multi Colored Sprinkles (for garnish)

First layer, bottom layer, crumble your Butter Cookies leaving chunks of cookie. Then line the bottom of all your glasses with the cookie crumble.

Second layer, then add some of your Banana Pudding over the top of the bottom layer of cookie crumble.

Third layer, add slices of the Baby Bananas in a circle. Then add a squeeze of Lachera and a shot of Bailey’s.

Fourth layer add more Banana Pudding. Then more sliced Banana, then Lechera, then Bailey’s.

Final layer add remaining Pudding add sprinkles and a slice of Banana to top your glass.
NZINGHA’s Sweet Potato Pie

I know a lot of people serve traditionally Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving but you know I just have to tell the truth. Most Pumpkin Pies I’ve had have had way too muchNutmeg in them! And frankly I don’t usually enjoy them so I always opt for the slice of Sweet Potato Pie. My Southern American Aunt used to make lovely flavourful ones. In fact I believe she used to sell them at her church.

Well, I too make Sweet Potato Pie but of course with just a lil’ spin on it as usual. Lololol!! Hint ingredients…Sweetened Condensed Milk, a touch of Coconut Cream and Lemon…Lawdamercy’!!!!

Oh my Dear Friends, just a word…remember all you’re grateful for this season and everyday. Wishing you much love and gratitude from my house to yours! Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace Be Your Journey,


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