Our company is organizing our annual event in November at St. John’s Island. We’ll all be going for a 3 days 2 nights “retreat”.
When I was young, from the age of 8-15, my family used to go to St. John’s Island to stay. There is absolutely nothing to do on the island. It is tiny. Just a mere 20 minutes gets you from one end to the other. There used to be a few bungalows that could be rented, not including the holiday camp. Then gradually the bungalows further away from the jetty were not maintained and eventually torn down. Our favorite was bungalow 53 which is the one nearest to the jetty and the only remaining bungalow.
I loved spending time there. Yes, there is nothing to do. But this was still a time where mobile phones were not carried around by almost every single person, and mostly with head bent downwards, earplugs on and eyes glued onto the screen. Entertainment was fishing, swimming at the beach, walking around poking about at everything, brushing the cats (there were many), picking mangoes, playing card games, BBQ and watching programs on the tiny 2o inches television (if you were lucky enough to get good reception).
At St. John’s Island, you have to do your own cooking. There is a reasonably equipped kitchen there but you have to bring all the stuff you need since there are no shops on the island. We usually end up bringing more as the thought that we’d run out of food is more scary than having leftovers. 🙂
I’m in charge of the kitchen for this company event. May God help us all! Thinking of the mountains of groceries to bring for 17 pax, I get a headache. Plus what food to cook? I have some ideas and I’m practicing. Sardine curry puffs are one of the snacks. My colleagues are already very interested in this snack. Oh well, I’m sure we will all pull through the logistics and the food somehow.
Sardine curry puffs
- 200 grams all-purpose flour
- 20 grams rice flour
- 20 grams corn flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 100 grams cold butter, cut into cubes
- 90-100 grams cold water
- Mix all the flour and salt together.
- Rub butter into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Gradually add in water until a soft pliable dough is formed.
- Knead for 2-3 minutes.
- Cover with cling wrap and rest the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- 1 can (425 grams) sardines in tomato sauce
- 1 large onion, diced into cubes
- Juice from 2 limes (reduce to 1 if you prefer not so sour)
- 1 1/2 tbsp soya sauce
- white ground pepper
- 2 small pinches of salt
- 4 chilli padi, sliced (optional)
- 2 tbsp oil
- Remove the bones from the sardines.
- Break up the sardines into smaller pieces.
- In a saucepan, heat up oil.
- Add onions and chilli, if using. Fry until onion caramelize slightly.
- Add in sardines, soya sauce, pepper and salt.
- Fry for 3 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add in lime juice. Stir well.
- Let it cool completely.
- Pinch off around 10-15 grams of dough.
- Either roll with a rolling pin or just use hands to stretch out the dough to palm size.
- Add in 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp of filling in the center.
- Pinch well to seal up the edges of the dough.
- Pleat the edges to make patterns.
- Heat about 2 cups of oil in a wok.
- When oil is smoking (or about 170 C if you have a thermometer), gently slide in the sardine puffs. Do not overcrowd.
- Fry for 2 minutes before gently turning over the sardine puff and fry for another 2 minutes, until golden brown.
- Place sardine puff on kitchen towel to drain. Serve warm.
Now, you can get to Lazarus Island via a connecting bridge from St. John’s Island. I have yet to visit Lazarus Island and am looking forward to seeing the changes on St. John’s Island.