Housekeeping in Haitian Creole – Part VI

by Rashmee

Posted on March 9, 2013



Haiti, vegetables, kreyol
Here in Haiti, we eat stir-fries and whole trays of roast vegetables (legime in kreyol) like peppers, carrots and the chayote squash were going out of fashion

Stir-fry cooks, they say, come from all woks of life. Especially, I would venture to suggest, freelance writers like moi. Too many stories to keep an eye on, though not necessarily destined to be written.

Anyway, here in Haiti, we eat stir-fries and whole trays of roast vegetables (legime in kreyol) like peppers, carrots and the chayote squash were going out of fashion.

Mme Josette keeps a beady, if wondering eye on my cooking and though she boasts that she’s an excellent cook, I haven’t yet done more than ask her to boil some rice. That was not a great success. To reprise Robert Frost, there’s one thing more exasperating than someone who can cook and won’t – someone who can’t and will.

The rice was starchy and overcooked and I puzzled long and hard about how to convey this in polite kreyol to Mme Josette. Google translator helped.

“Diri sa a te twò lou(this rice is too soft)” I told her confidently.

“Lou?” she responded, puzzled.

“Two soft,” I amended, with a squashing action to illustrate.

“Two soupe?” she asked.

“Wi, wi, two soupe,” I replied, not sure I’d been able to get the point across.

Perhaps we’ll stick to Mme Josette playing sou chef.

Jack Kerouac
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac

Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK

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