Celebrating Black History Month

We celebrated Black History month in the UK Team this month. We had Museumand join us for an online event to educate us with inspirational stories and amazing people of the past. I wanted to share with you all just who Museumand are, their presentation they shared with us on the day and suggested TV shows, Music and Recipes.

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About us 

We are a museum and more. As a social history and community museum we celebrate and commemorate the Caribbean contribution to the UK. As a museum without walls we connect with communities across the UK through art, music, performance and more. Dedicated to preserving Caribbean history, tangible and intangible heritage and culture in unusual ways, we are known for our compelling, original, and innovative exhibition-events.

We partner with a whole range of organisations, from national institutions like The V&A, The National Trust, Museum of London (Docklands), The Whitworth Gallery and Museum, Pitts Rivers Museum, Manchester Museums, The Parliamentary Archives and The British Library, to universities across the UK including Oxford, Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Hull, Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, London and Hertfordshire, to grassroots organisations and churches – to ensure the Caribbean contribution to life in Britain is understood, shared and celebrated.

        5 UPLIFTING WAYS TO CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2020

       & SUPPORT BLACK CULTURE & FUTURES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

     Wah gwaan!

     Hope you are keeping safe and well.

Black History Month has never felt so important. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, people around the world have come together to fight against racism and police brutality with the #BlackLivesMatter movement inspiring individuals and organisations to learn, reflect and act against racism in all its forms.

We, Catherine and myself Lynda, of Museumand – The National Caribbean Heritage Museum are planning an uplifting packed programme of activities throughout the month so everyone can get involved – online, on social media, and on TV. From shining a light on Caribbean history in the UK, to giving people a way of supporting Black culture and futures throughout the year. 

Enjoy!

Catherine and Lynda 

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MUSEUMAND’S MUST SEE TV GUIDE

During Lockdown we have watched more television than usual, documentaries, films and drama series from South African, Nigerian, American and the UK. Here is our must watch Top 6 list for amazing Black cinematography. Enjoy!:

1.      Becoming Michelle Obama – Netflix

2.      The Black Godfather – Netflix 

3.      I May Destroy You by Michaela Coel –  BBC iplayer

4.      Slim & Queen Amazon Prime

5.      The Murder Of Anthony Walker by Jimmy McGovern – BBC iplayer

6.     Sitting In Limbo (Windrush scandal) – BBC iplayer

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LIME (Jamaican Patois for relax) & LISTEN

We have created a great playlist for Black History month, 31 songs for 31 days of the month. These songs are iconic and poignant to the Black Community for reasons such as they made it into the UK charts at a time when black music was underrepresented, or because the lyrics had a strong message about aspects of black culture or world events that affected black people.

Take a listen while you’re doing your next run/work out/drive/commute to and from work/hanging at home. Join in the celebration which is Black History Month!

https://open.spotify.com/user/s3jcws2tdz9ebzzg8xuuptgwf?si=C5jkiL2gQryzJUpDA8x0bw

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Caribbean Bikkles(patois for the old English word Victuals meaning food)

Gizzada

Gizzada is a Caribbean coconut dessert favourite.

It was introduced to the Caribbean by the Portugese (Guizada in Portugese) who made the islands their home.

In Jamaica Gizzada is also known as a Pinch Me Round because of the method of creating the pastry casing.

Ingredients for filling:

1 cup Water

1 ½ cups Grated Coconut

1 ½ cups Brown Sugar

¼ tsp. Grated Nutmeg

1 oz. Butter or Margarine

Method:

1.   Boil water and sugar together on a low heat to make the syrup.

2.   Add the grated coconut and nutmeg to the syrup.

3.   Stir the ingredients slowly so they blend together.

4.   Boil for 15 minutes.

5.   Add the butter.

6.   Stir the ingredients for another 6 minutes until all the butter is blended in.

7.   Allow the filling to cool.

Ingredients for pastry:

2 cups Flour

Cold Water

1 tsp. Lard or solid Vegetable oil

1 tbsp. Butter or Margarine

½ tsp. Salt

Method:

1.   Sift flour and salt together.

2.   Cut the butter or margarine and lard or vegetable oil in to small pieces, add to the flour along with the cold water.

3.   Make into a ball of pastry dough.

4.   Place the pastry dough into a plastic wrapping or foil wrap.

5.   Put the pastry in the fridge for ½ an hour.

6.   Remove the pastry from the fridge.

7.   Sprinkle flour on a chopping board

8.   Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry on a cutting board to a ¼ inch thickness.

9.   Cut circles in the pastry using a cookie cutter, or an 8-oz cup/glass.

10.Cut as many circles as you can from it using the cutter.

11.Pinch each of the pastry circles using your thumb and index finger to form a decorated case which will hold the filling.

12.Grease a baking tray with butter or margarine

13.Place the pastry cases on the greased tray and part-bake in the oven (at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes)

14.Remove the tray from the oven

15.Add the filling to the baked pastry cases.

16.Bake the gizzadas for another 20 minutes.

17.Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.

The Gizzadas are now ready to serve!

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Fried Dumplings, Johnny Cakes or Journey Cakes 

These fried delights are typically served with saltfish as part of a weekend breakfast feast. They can be served as a side to your favourite Caribbean meal, or just eaten whenever you fancy.

There is a lot of history attached to this snack treat.  Originally, they were called Journey Cakes as the enslaved carried them as their food as they travelled to work from plantation to plantation.  Over time the word journey was corrupted to become Johnny, but Jamaicans have named them Fried Dumplings and this is the name they are popularly known as in the UK.  People from the smaller Caribbean islands still call them Johnny Cakes.

Ingredients

·     2 cups plain flour

·     1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Salt

·     2 tablespoons of sugar (optional)

·     3 teaspoons  Baking powder

·     3 tablespoons Butter or margarine

·     3/4 cup  Cold water or (1/4 cup water and ½ cup milk optional)

·     Oil for cooking

Directions

1.   Take a large mixing bowl and combine the flour with some salt and baking powder (and sugar) and mix it well.

2.   Add some butter to the bowl and blend it well.

3.   Pour in some water at regular intervals to form dough. Do not make the dough too wet.

4.   Keep kneading the dough with both hands to make it softer and smoother.

5.   Leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes in the fridge.

6.   Remove from the fridge and roll out 6-8 small sized balls out of it.

7.   Heat some oil in a frying pan, or a Dutch Pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough to fry, put these dumplings in the oil and fry them. Turn them over to fry from both the sides. This may take about 10 minutes to make them golden brown.

8.     Place dumplings on a piece of kitchen roll so excess oil can be drained.

Yum yum, enjoy! 

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Jamaican Spiced Bun, or Jamaican Easter Bun

Despite its name this bun is eaten all year round. This sweet treat was introduced to the Caribbean by the English when they colonised the Caribbean.  The English introduced it into the region as Hot Cross Buns but over time Jamaicans have turned it into something uniquely their own.

Ingredients:

·       1lb Mixed Dried Fruits

·       1 small bottle Stout or Beer

·       2 cups Plain Flour

·       2 tsp. Baking Powder

·       7 ozs Brown Sugar

·       1 Egg

·       1 tsp Mixed Spice

·       1 tsp Grated Nutmeg

·       1 tsp Cinnamon

·       2 tsp Vanilla

·       Gravy Browning (optional if you want to make the bun even darker. But use only a small amount or the bun will be bitter)

Instructions:

1.     Put the mixed dried fruits in a large mixing bowl and pour the bottle of stout over the fruits, cover and soak overnight.

2.     Add all the other ingredients to the soaked fruits in the large mixing bowl.

3.     Mix well with a large spoon.

4.     Pour mixture into a greased loaf tin.

5.     Bake in preheated 350°F oven for about 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

6.     Leave it to cool completely and serve!

This is even more delicious if you give it 3 days after it’s baked before you eat it!

Serve the bun with the traditional accompaniments, cheese or fried fish.

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Curried Goat, or Curried Mutton

Some people nowadays prefer to make this dish with mutton rather than goat possibly for two reasons, one because of food-snobbery mutton sounds more expensive and better quality, and two, because goat meat comes with bone pieces.  Although this is the traditional way this dish is prepared with the bones, some people do not like picking out the bones as they eat!

This is a heritage dish.  Goat and cheaper cuts of meat from other animals were given to the enslaved when meat was offered as part of their diet. Goats were introduced by the Spanish to the Caribbean in the 1500s.

When East Indian indentured workers were brought to the Caribbean islands in the 17th century they brought curry with them! Now this dish travels wherever the Caribbean Diaspora goes!  

Ingredients:

  • 3lbs goat meat
  • 2 tablespoons White Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks spring onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon of pimento powder
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1/2 whole scotch bonnet pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced

Instructions:

1.   Trim the fat off the meat if there is any. Cut into bite-size pieces and wash in a mixture of water and vinegar.

2.   Add 1 tablespoon curry powder, chopped onion, spring onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, black pepper and salt; rub the seasonings into the meat, cover and put to marinate for two hours.

3.   Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan, or Dutch Pot over a medium heat and add the remaining one tablespoon curry powder. 

4.   Add the marinated meat and allow to sear or brown to seal in the juices of the meat. 

5.   Turn the meat over on the other side and add 4 cups of boiling water. 

6.   Cover the frying pan or Dutch Pot and allow to simmer for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until the meat is tender.

7.     Add the diced potato and cook for 5 minutes. 

8.     Fold in the sliced carrot and cook for five minutes.

Serve with plain rice, fried or boiled dumplings, vegetable salad, or root vegetables.

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