I am “likkle but tallawah,” as my Caribbean brethren from Jamaica say.

I’m a 4'9, 90 lb storyteller whose stories and experiences are taller, heavier, and more far reaching than I might have ever imagined.

As a teenager growing up in Brooklyn NY, I thought I’d die at twenty-one. I had a dream in which I watched myself die. I lived with reckless abandon. By the time I was twenty-five , I’d accomplished every goal I’d written down from zero to sixteen. I got a degree in painting, opened an arts nonprofit, exhibited internationally, wrote stories, and sold my art.

I spent my late twenties trying to figure out what a life…

The fear of all of things she’ll never tell me.

I’d managed to unlock the passenger side door and untangle his old decrepit fingers from my thigh as he crashed head on into the car in the intersection.

I am 36 years old. Over the past decade, I have watched, listened to and internalized a wave of women’s empowerment rhetoric. I even run a girl’s empowerment program and we’ve made strides, but often much of it is reduced to just that — just words (rhetoric). …

A note from a passerby at the intersection of grief and guilt.

Sunken cheeks, frail limbs, a slow and a more deliberate process of moving thought to words — emaciated is what he is. It’s the cheeks that catapult me into utter shock and a slow-creeping despair. His cheeks used to be a round brown and almost buoyant like my mothers. Standing side by side, you’d easily mistake her for his mother. Her features have a way of showing up in her sibling’s off-spring. I have a woman cousin that also looks as if my mother cloned herself . Nevertheless, these cheeks — his — were always full. So full when he’d…

A quick-ish veganized approach to a classic Guyanese holiday dish.

Today, we’re making Guyanese pepperpot. When I was a child, my family had a Guyanese landlord that we were quite close to. She prepared this dish every single Christmas and made sure me and my twin sister had our fill. This classic Guyanese holiday — usually a days/weeks-long marinated beef/pork stew flavored with cassava extract, cassareep and warm spices — dish remains a favorite of mine. One bite transports me to my childhood. Veganizing it was a challenge that I enjoyed.

The most time-consuming part of this recipe is the preparation of your tofu. I’d suggest pressing and baking your…

A personal struggle to claim personal responsibility in the midst of sadness or overwhelm.

I’m tired and some days, I’m sad.

I’m sad on days that my mind is so jumbled that words won’t form and I don’t have the energy to go in search of them.

I’m tired of being sad. It’s a nagging ache that casts a blue shadow over everything. It’s a cobalt blue — almost opaque — coating every feeling, every thought, every moment and movement. It’s the voice in my head that says “I hate it here,” but won’t tell me exactly where here is.

I wrote those words a few weeks ago in an attempt to clear a…

Try my less expensive vegan hack instead. All of the flavor, none of the seafood.

When I was growing up, shrimp was a treat. My mom would buy large shrimp for holidays or to celebrate milestones. One of our favorite dishes that she made with it was a classic Trinidadian pepper shrimp. Pepper shrimp is an indulgent and elevated stir fry dish that usually has a lot of shrimp and a lot of pepper, hence the name LOL. I was craving those flavors, but if you’ve been reading my recipes for awhile, you know that I’m plant-based now. …

This simple meal of pantry Red Thai Curry-tofu and vegetable sides will leave your taste buds dancing.

This past week was my birthday and I have made a habit of celebrating the little things in life. In the lead up to and following the start of my 36th revolution around the sun, this meal felt like a party in my mouth.

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, food was an absolutely essential part of our birthday celebrations. My mom and granny didn’t do elaborate birthday parties or presents. Instead, each year, they’d pick the fanciest restaurant they could afford, we’d all get dressed up and go out to eat for me and…

This Tandoori cauliflower and eggplant dish will turn your main dish into a side dish.

Ash Wednesday is normally a day of rest and recovery for me after weeks of partying and two days on the road for Trinidad Carnival. This year, carnival was canceled due to the pandemic. Thus, this Ash Wednesday, for me, is a reminder that everyday we choose how we want to celebrate life and show up in the world.

All throughout this carnival season, I have leapt into my cooking as a celebration of my culture and the food traditions that we indulge in most during this jubilant time of year. …

Parenting can be a losing game.

We changed the rules last week because she was becoming mired in — obsessed with — the utter bullshit that permeates kid’s YouTube. Two videos a day and no more is what we’d agreed upon.

This morning, I felt compelled to remind her as I combed her hair for online school.

“You only get two videos, today,” I made sure to use my stern, mom-means-business voice. It’s the one I use when I have to say “no” for the fortieth time. The one that is the warning signal that our communication is on the brink of destruction. One more “but”…

This veganized version of a classic Caribbean saltfish dish is finger licking good.

Stewed saltfish (salted cod) is one of those dishes that is pretty universal across the Caribbean. Boiling out a bit of the intense saltiness of, re-hydrating the dried salted fish and sauteing the soft flaky results with tomatoes, onions, pimentos and other seasonings is a regional staple. It can easily be paired with any number of sides and was at one point a very economical choice. These days, saltfish is — as my granny would say when things were too expensive — “Mr. Saltfish.” Prices have skyrocketed on the popular item in recent decades.

Nevertheless, it is a beloved dish…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store