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Macaroni Pie Stars in Local Easter Menus


March 22, 2008 — There is a whole lot of macaroni pie happening on St. Thomas on Easter.
The humble staple is taking a starring role on many Easter dinner tables along with ham, stewed chicken, kallaloo, sweet potato dressing and ground provisions.
Jessica Sealey, a server at Tickle’s Bar and Restaurant, described her macaroni pie recipe in between waiting on tables.
First, she cooks elbow macaroni, but stresses that it should not get overcooked or it will be too soft. Next she grates cheese, and she recommends any type of cheese. She then mixes the cheese into milk, adds butter, and mixes that in with the cooked macaroni and puts in a pan.
Next she grates more cheese over the top of the mixture, and bakes at 350 degrees. Sealey says that when you see the cheese melt on top, then it’s ready and comes out like a pie.
Leon Nicholas, another server at Tickles in Crown Bay, is originally from Dominica and now makes his home in Lindbergh Bay. Nicholas smiled and said. "My mother makes a big dinner." Nicholas plans to down to a menu of stewed chicken, macaroni pie and ground provisions like boiled green bananas and tania, a local sweet potato.
Stewed chicken also shows up on menus of Trinidad natives. Steve Kalpee, originally from Port of Spain, explained that the chicken is seasoned and then tumbled in burnt sugar to create a unique glaze. The dish is served with macaroni pie and kallaloo.
Another waitress at Tickles, Semone Venzen, celebrates Easter with 16 relatives at her godmother’s house, and said, "Half the time we end up on the beach making a picnic."
Originally from Antigua, her menu includes saltfish with ducana (a dumpling of sweet potato and coconut with sugar, flour, salt, black pepper, corn flour and a little bit of essence. The mixture is boiled in a banana or grape leaf).
On Easter Sunday, Venzen’s family will also fly kites, and draw names and exchange Easter baskets of eggs, peeps and candies.
Viola King, who works in Crown Bay, has lived on St. Thomas for 44 years. She says that her Easter dinner menus always include ham, turkey, pigeon peas and rice, sweet potato stuffing, salads and other vegetables. She doesn’t cook as big a meal as she used to since her children moved away.
She smiled when asked what she made for a dessert. "Carrot cake," she said, and recited her recipe off the top of her head.
Viola King’s Carrot Cake
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour, not sifted
½ cup cooking oil (vegetable or can substitute applesauce)
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts
1 cup brown sugar
4 cups grated carrots
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 cup of pineapple juice or apple juice
Mix sugar and oil (or applesauce) together with the eggs, add the juice and then add all dry ingredients, put in a greased, non-stick pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.
Ice with a cream cheese frosting.
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