October 10th marks independence day for Curacao. For the last 5 years this island has been autonomous from the Dutch Kingdom, reason enough for a celebration!
(Read the Dutch version in Jamie Magazine.)
Throughout the island there are different festivities, we choose to celebrate it in Muriel’s Kitchen style: with a farm-to-table workshop for kids, at a local hopi, learning about local foods. Siman di kultura started early for me this year. At school they asked me to do short workshop with the little ones, all in the Curacao theme. So we baked some arepa di pampuna from scratch and squeezed a lot of limes to make awa lamunchi.
During the after-school cooking workshops we made some awesome goat sliders (half goat half beef mince) and long-bean fries.
All the schools on the island had a break last week, a great moment for a half day farm-to-table programme fro kids at Hofi Cas Cora. This time we got the Curacao Zoo involved too, as they are becoming experts on organic farming in the tropics. They held a lovely talk for the kids on composting and growing you own fruits and vegetables in an eco-friendly way by using only organic compost and seeds.
The zoo is in fact re-activating the original vegetable garden, built in the 1940’s when the zoo opened its door for the first time. After that not much happend in the veggie garden, but now they’re bringing it back to life. The garden will eventually provide fresh vegetables for the zoo animals and will become a source of ingredients for the restaurant which will open in a while at the zoo, offering local dishes.
After a fascinating chat and soiled hands the kids were handed a map for the ingredient-treasure hunt. At each stop they had to either play a game or solve a riddle in order to find the next clue. Along the way the came across an age old tamarind tree where they had a refreshing tamarind ice cream, the water reservoir where they had to remove the plastic bottle and a coconut bowling court. They were shown how sugarcane grows and got to taste it of course.
Along they way they also collected ingredients to make lunch with, some avocados and mango’s for lovely salsas to accompany the quesadillas, and plenty of watermelon.
An island like this, with only 5 years of autonomous status, might not be running as smoothly as some other islands, but one thing is for sure : There are so many great things happening here! I hope you celebrated Dia di pais Korsou with pride and love for this sunny rock and were able to put the political issues aside for a day.