For those of you familiar with the blog know that the only time I stray from posting actual recipes is when I feel it necessary to acknowledge the work others are doing to promote the rich and diverse culinary heritage which comes out of the Caribbean. Though today’s featured work is not necessarily a cook book as I’ve done in t he past, the author is not only a published author, she’s a best seller on Amazon.com as well. You may best know Ramin Ganeshram from her hugely successful ‘“Sweet Hands – Island Cooking From Trinidad And Tobago”” which I gave away on the post I did on making dhalpuri roti (see the bottom of the page) a few weeks back.
Ramin sent me a copy of her latest work “Stir It Up” back in late spring of this year and if you look closely at the image above you’ll notice that I got one of the copies before the final editing (says not for sale). Besides getting free stuff in the mail, I also appreciate it when others acknowledge my passion for food and everything Caribbean with small tokens like this. I finally got around to reading it about a month ago and I thought it should be something I should share with you guys. And though “Stir It Up” is a novel with teenage readers in mind, I found it to be inspiring, especially since it dealt with the struggles of immigrant families when their traditions and values are threatened by those of their new homeland.
“Stir It Up” is the inspirational story of Anjali, the teenage daughter of a hard-working immigrant family from Trinidad and Tobago who lives in Queens NY, who’s dream is to one day have her own television show on the Food Network. Her real struggle begins when she gets accepted as a challenger on a reality show on the Food Network to determine their next teen star, but the main audition is the same day as the entrance exam to one of the most prestigious academic schools in NY. Without giving away too much… the story shows the inner struggle not to disappoint her parents, but at the same time follow her dreams.
Though “Stir It Up” was meant for teenage readers I found it quite captivating, since I could identify with the characters in the book. Ramin portrays the true mentality of the average immigrant from the Caribbean who sees everything other than academics as hobbies and our hardworking nature which we use to make a “life” in the new country we call home. I especially like the way actual recipes are blended seamlessly into a novel as I’ve never seen it done before. Recipes you can easily duplicate in your kitchen with the step by step instructions.
You can certainly tell that you’re reading the work of someone from the Caribbean, but when you come across words like “hockey puck” and “softball” in describing situations, you can tell that the author is also trying to accommodate all readers with words they can identify with. Tracing the route Anjali would take from school to her dad’s roti shop in Queens, was like listening to my mom and dad speak after they go visit my brother who live sin New York. The street names, the buses and subway… it’s as if I’ve been there before.
A wonderful piece of literature which could easily double as a mini recipe book with it’s inclusion of tasty recipes. Hard work, determination and creativity is certainly the recipe for success and the story of Anjali highlights this.
It’s that time again – with the kind consideration of Ramin Ganeshram we’re giving away two copies of “Stir It Up” That’s right, two lucky readers will have a chance to win a copy of this fantastic novel.A ll you have to do is leave a comment below saying what part food played during your childhood. Maybe it can be a favorite memory or a dish you’d look froward to.
There are two bonus ways you can have your name entered in the contest, giving you 3 chances at winning. Along with leaving a comment below, go to the Facebook fan page and/or the Youtube cooking channel and leave a comment there. I don’t care what your comment is, but it would be nice if you could tell me what you like about Caribbean food and if the recipes I share are helpful.
Here are the rules pertaining to winning the copy of “Stir It Up”…
– contest is open to everyone globally
– there are 3 ways to enter your name (see above)
– 2 winners will be chosen at random (if you left 3 comments, your name will be entered 3 times)
– contest is open from October 28 – to midnight November 15.
– winners will be announced within 1 week of the official close date.
– the winners will have 1 week to contact us with mailing address
– we will cover all shipping expenses (standard mail)
I hope you take a moment to enter your name as I’d really like to mail this book out to you. It’s simple, free and would make for a great Christmas gift to a teenager in your house or someone you may know. If you’re like me, you’ll even find it interesting.