The holidays is the time of year that I look forward to the most. My family that now lives all spread out around the United States, meets up in our home country, Jamaica. On Christmas Eve and Christmas morning my family and I prepare some of the most amazing dishes for our Christmas dinner that night.
The foods that they make are Ackee and Saltfish, which is Jamaica's national dish. You can find the recipe at http://www.jamaicans.com/cooking/traditional/ackee.htm. They also make jerk chicken (another Jamaican food), curry goat, corn beef, white rice, bread fruit, fresh pineapple, and fresh guinep fruit.
The preparation of these foods takes a pretty long time. On Christmas Eve morning my uncles go out to our chicken coop behind our house and find a chicken that will be cooked for supper on Christmas. A week before Christmas we also find the perfect goat and fatten up the goat the whole week then on Christmas morning my uncles get the goat ready for our dinner meal as well. My aunt goes to pick up the corn beef and white rice from a small market down the street from our house. Also on Christmas Eve, all of the grandchildren go out to our field behind our house and help my grandmother pick fresh bread fruit from our bread fruit tree, we also pick fresh pineapples and fresh guinep fruit from our trees as well. We get most of our foods on Christmas Eve, but the cooking happens on Christmas day. We begin cooking early in the morning, and everything is finished by 6 pm for dinner time.
This is really the only time of year that the whole family comes together. The fact that everyone in the family helps prepare a part of our traditional dinner, it really makes it much more special. This Christmas will be a especially special one for me, because I get to do more of a job in preparing the dinner by helping with the goat and chicken. This time of year brings so much happiness to my whole family, because we get to reminisce on old times and make new memories.