Today’s assignment: Tell a story that centers around a recipe.
Instead of going to a public school my daughters went to a private school when they were 6 till 16 years old.
It was a small school that focused on modern arts and especially on music. No class had more than 18 kids and there were only 10 classes; from preschool till 9th grade, so everyone new everyone.
You could only have children at the school if you were willing to get involved, which meant that you had to participate in several working week-ends at the school per year per child and participate in school meetings several times a year plus, if in any way possible, jump in and act as a teacher in case one of the teachers wasn’t able to come to work plus a lot of other things.
As a result all parents and teachers knew each other.
I spend 11 years as a parent at the school and during that time I worked as a substitute teacher several times and some of those times I helped take care of the youngest children in the afternoon after their lessons ended and before they had to go home.
One of the other people who worked taking care of the kids in the afternoon was a guy called Sigurd. He had dreadlocks, and I guess he was in his late 20’es, and because he was born in Jamaica he had both a Jamaican and a Danish passport even so both his parents were Danish.
Sigurd was one of the guys who always played outside with the boys and build huts and made campfires and played football. He really loved doing those things, and I remember that he and another teacher at the school once borrowed some go-cards from the school during a weekend and went to one of the highest hills in Denmark. They pulled the go-cards all the way up the hill and then competed about who could come down again fastest. He was that kind of guy.
Because I worked more than usual at the school one year the teachers invited me to their own Christmas party, where everyone was supposed to bring his or her favorite food and enough of it for 15 or 20 people.
I don’t remember what food I brought, but I remember that Sigurd brought a soup he had learned to cook during one of his trips to Jamaica. The soup was unusual, very easy to cook and extremely delicious.
This is the recipe: Jamaican soup with shrimps
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons curry
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 can of peaches in their own juice, also diced + the juice
1 can diced tomatoes
1 soup cube
1/4 liter cream
300 g uncooked or frozen peeled shrimps
Melt the butter in a skillet, add the curry. Let it bubble up, then add the onion and let it cook for a while.
Dice the peaches and add them to the skillet. Also add the juice and the diced tomatoes.
Add a little bit of water, not more than what can be in one of the now empty cans, and the soup cube.
Let it cook for a while before you add the cream. Continue heating it up but don’t let it cook. Switch off the heat and add the shrimps. Don’t let them cook, because cooking makes them shrink and gives them the consistency of rubber.
Maybe you think this combination sounds strange, but trust me, it is delicious. I’ve cooked it many, many times and I haven’t yet met anyone who did not like it.
Not that long after this Christmas party Sigurd participated in the bachelor party for one of his friends, and at some time during the evening they passed a construction site and Sigurd discovered a rope hanging somewhere. I don’t know if they were drunk, but Sigurd and the groom decided that it was a good idea for Sigurd to pull the groom up, so he could have a look over the area.
The groom got pulled up and when he was up there, whatever was holding the rope broke and he fell down and broke his back, and Sigurd got hit in his head by something that fell down and died.
It was a stupid prank that got fatal consequences.
I don’t know what happened to the groom but everyone was in shock about what had happened and because Sigurd was dead, and he was dearly missed by many, many people.
Since that day I always think of Sigurd, when I cook the shrimp soup and I think it’s a nice way to remember him.