Archive for the ‘New Year’s Traditions’ Category

And we’re off!

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Happy New Year!

I don’t know if it’s because Christmas and New Year’s landed on weekends, but for some reason I feel like 2012 snuck up on me. These pictures are the views I woke up to on January 1st after a quiet night in Merida. Our vacation is still in full effect, but I wanted to share this beautiful blue sky before I get sucked back into normal life.



By the way, I committed the ultimate photography mistake and forgot my camera charger, so these pictures are courtesy of my iPod.

Haitian Squash Soup

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

This post is a bit late considering that I wrote about it back in January. I am choosing to look at it as really early for next year :-).

For the New Year, I wrote about the Haitian tradition of eating soup joumou (pronounced joomoo)  on January 1st. New Year’s Day happens to also be Haitian Independence Day, thus making the celebration two-fold. Expat Mama had the great suggestion on posting the recipe for those of you who like to try new things.

In my family, as well as all the Haitian families I know, recipes are never written down. Up until a few years ago, I would still call my grandmother every time I was trying a more complicated Haitian dish and she would tell me from memory what to do. The good thing about many of the recipes is there is always room for improvisation. Over time, I have modified my grandmother’s recipes to make them more my own. However, soup joumou is not one of them. The recipe below is a mix of various family recipes that I have gathered which most closely resemble how I prefer to have soup joumou. It should feed four people. Feel free to ask any questions, and I’ll consult my grandmother for the answer.


1 lb. cubed beef stew meat2643_haitian_pumpkin_soup
2 boxes of frozen squash or one whole fresh one
1 malanga
2 onions-sliced
3 large carrots
6 medium potatoes
¼ lb spaghetti or noodles
2 limes cut in half
2 tsp. thyme
2 tsp parsley, 3 minced garlic cloves
½ cup scallions
salt, black pepper, and hot pepper to taste


1. Soak the meat in hot water and lemon and set aside in a bowl
2. Add seasoning (salt, black pepper, hot pepper, garlic, parsley) and let marinate for 2 hrs – this can be done the night before, as well
3. Boil meat in stockpot with 3 quarts of water until tender (about 1 ½- 2 hrs)
4. Add more water if necessary and remaining ingredients (malanga, potatoes, carrots, onions, scallions, thyme, squash) except noodles
5. Cook for 20 minutes and add noodles. Let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

And voila! The finished product should look something like the picture above.

Note: My mother has let this cook all night and it turned out fine. Traditionally, the spaghetti is not intended to be al dente, but you can cook it to your liking.

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods

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