Fasten your seat belt. It’s another adventure for @Kerry Beal and me.
Today Kerry had some business to conduct in Brampton so last night I researched restaurants in and around Brampton. They largely fall into two categories— Indian and Italian.
But here’s the thing – – both of us have a penchant for considering Indian food appropriate only in winter and Italian food only when it’s exceptionally good.
As we searched for the address where Kerry was to conduct her business we caught a glimpse of a restaurant called Ann’s Grove. I did a quick Google search and learned that It was a small family-run Caribbean place.
It looked far more interesting than any of the places I had unearthed.
Ann’s Grove was compact but not crammed. It’s bar however was both compact and crammed, mostly with rums, as Kerry noted. But then what should one expect in a Caribbean restaurant? I tell you this just for a little atmosphere.
We had barely sat down when Ann herself came over to welcome us and proudly told us that she was the chef and owner and pretty much general factotum. A slight man, who seemed as if he wished to disappear inside of himself, whom we later learned was Ann’s husband, was bussing and waiting tables.
There were no menus but Ann was asking us if we fancied chicken or goat or …. This was a little bit disconcerting. Without a good grasp of what a Caribbean restaurant might offer, we found ourselves hard-pressed to make any decisions. But Kerry could read the offerings on the wall above the counter and we settled on oxtails with rice and peas (I forgot that peas really means beans!) and a chicken roti. We would share both dishes.
Another restaurant offering a box of tissues rather than napkins/serviettes.
Oxtails with rice and beans. Honesty is the best policy. Peas are green.
Ann also suggested drinks. Kerry ordered a guava soda and I had a mauby soda.
I had no idea what mauby was but I was feeling adventuresome. Not until I got home and was able to do some research did I learn that it is made from the bark of the mauby tree. Claimed by some to have diuretic properties and by others to cause diarrhoea the first time one ingests it, I was no longer feeling quite so blasé about my drink choice.
So far, so good. Thanks for asking.
Towards the end of our meal, the phone in the restaurant rang followed immediately by loud wails of anguish from Ann.
When she had more or less regained her composure Ann came over to our table to apologize for the commotion. Between her accent and her obvious distress, piecing the story together proved challenging.
Someone had died. We got that part. That the said someone lived in Barbados and had recently been put into a home, we got. Beyond that, it was anybody’s guess.
As near as we were able to interpret, Ann’s father-in-law had died. And she was the target of some feuding family because she had opposed putting a 79-year-old Jesuit priest into a home. And now see what had happened. If he hadn’t been put in the home he wouldn’t have died. At least that was the way Ann seemed to see the situation.
Do you see our difficulty in untangling this version of the story?
Either they do things VERY differently on the Islands or he wasn’t a priest, or he wasn’t a Jesuit, or he wasn’t a father. Or he was a father but the spiritual kind. That explanation could not account for the claim that he was her husband‘s father and her father-in-law.
I am quite sure a logical explanation exists that could dispel our confusion. But interrogating one who is grieving and so recently bereaved is not considered polite anywhere. So we offered Ann our sympathy, reassured her once again that we were not in the least upset, and left in possession of a riddle we may never solve and a doggy bag of delicious Caribbean food.