Adventure Vacation: Cooking In The Caribbean

In this installment of the Summer Adventure Series, Host Liane Hansen speaks with Annelise Kelly of Portland, Ore., about her trip to the island of Martinique, where she's cooking for a group of archeology students.

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

As part of our summer adventure series, we've been following some of you around on your vacations.

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Ms. CATHY FELDON(ph) (Caller): This is Cathy Feldon. I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming. My granddaughter and I are going to a fish camp 20 miles north of the Arctic Circle where we'll be hunting for mammoth bones and living with the Inupiat Eskimos.

Mr. BRIAN FRANCO(ph) (Caller): My name is Brian Franco. I am from Logan, Utah. And this summer I am going to walk the length of Idaho. And 900 miles and 50 days later, my dog and I will arrive in Nevada.

Mr. NANCY ATRAMENDI(ph) (Caller): Hi, I am Nancy Atramendi, and I'm from Menlo Park, California. I am spending the month on an icebreaker in Antarctica. And I'm there as we speak.

HANSEN: This week, we're talking to Annelise Kelly of Portland, Oregon. She's cooking for a group of archaeological students at a dig on the island of Martinique in the French Antilles. Welcome to the program.

Ms. ANNELISE KELLY (Summer Cook for Archaeological Dig): Thank you, Liane.

HANSEN: What prompted this summer adventure of yours?

Ms. KELLY: Well, my brother is the professor who organizes this project, and he needed someone to come along and do the cooking. And I joined him, like I did three years ago on a similar project.

HANSEN: So you must have had a good time the first time for you to go back.

Ms. KELLY: I did. It's really spectacular in the Caribbean. I love it.

HANSEN: Yeah. Are you a professional chef?

Ms. KELLY: I have done a lot of cooking. I don't know if I would quite say that I'm a professional chef. But I've done a lot of cooking for a living. Yes, I never get tired of cooking.

HANSEN: So what specialties do you prepare for these students?

Ms. KELLY: Well, I do try to make some sort of local cuisine. And one of the biggies here is poulet colombo. That's chicken curry in a Creole fashion. And that would be served usually with rice. They also make here a coconut chicken that's delicious. And grilled fish, I might do sometimes a little bit of French food, and some American food too, just to mix it up a bit.

HANSEN: What are the students looking for on this archaeological dig?

Ms. KELLY: Well, they are investigating what the conditions were of the enslaved people on the island during the plantation times. And there have been studies here studying the, you know, the owners before. But this is the first one studying the conditions of slavery. And so they are looking for, you know, very unglamorous artifacts: broken pottery, a coin is a huge find, a button is very good. You know, it's not big things but a lot of small things that add up to information about their lifestyle.

HANSEN: Conversations must be great at dinner.

Ms. KELLY: Yes. And there's French students, and there's Dutch students, and there's American students. So they are very interesting.

HANSEN: Annelise Kelly of Portland, Oregon, is on the island of Martinique where this summer she's cooking for a group of archaeological students. Thanks a lot. I'm so hungry after talking to you.

Ms. KELLY: Well, thank you, Liane. I appreciate being involved.

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