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Levi Roots: 'I become like Superman in the summer'

LIFE’S A BEACH: Levi enjoying sunny climes

YES, SUMMER is here, lowdahmercy! Whenever the summer season rolls around, I’m always in peak condition – my skin glows and my dreadlocks flourish and grow longer!

The creative juices flow and sensations are heightened too during this most blessed of times – I become like Superman.
Mind you, if you live or have lived in the Caribbean or some place else where sunshine is a constant, then when it comes to English summer, you’d be forgiven for thinking, ‘what is all the fuss about?’ Well, in the UK, this phenomenon only passes through occasionally and when it does, it often feels like a punishment; as if we’re only being teased with the rays for a brief amount of time.

It is said that as soon Brits experience the beginning of our elusive British summer – even if it is the tiniest emergence of sunshine – the clothes come off and the seeking of sun becomes the number one priority.

I have seen these folks in local parks, especially Clapham Common, where it is almost impossible to catch a glimpse of green grass among the bodies of cold flesh regenerating – a bit like how reptiles have to warm up basking in sun before being able to hunt for food.

The hot UK experience is all too short but you won’t catch me lapping up the rays. If you’re looking for me, you’ll usually find me somewhere in the shade!

One of the most bizarre things is, it actually takes a huge amount of strength to rid myself of the winter protection of vests, jumpers, scarves, and hats (not forgetting the thermal underwear that weighs a ton!) No wonder some of us are always hunched under all that material. But as the weather gets warmer, getting dressed to take my three-year-old son to the park is so quick and simple – shorts, t-shirt, sandals and go. Easy!


HERE COMES THE SUMMER: Sun seekers in south London’s Clapham Common

Still, this year I decided to ‘runweh’ and seek the niceness elsewhere, before the UK’s summer arrived. So I recently visited Dubai, where it’s an average of 40 degrees all year round and an enormous bottle of sun cream is in everyone’s shopping basket.

It’s so hot that even I, as a Jamaican used to sunshine, found it a challenge. I sporadically even thought about acquiring a bottle of sun cream, rather than depending on my inherent natural melanin sun block!

Still, I timed my trip just right, enabling myself to return to England as summer begins on our shores. I’m ready for it! And as such, here’s a recipe perfect for the season. Enjoy!

More love, LR

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COCONUT BAKED FISH PARCELS

Ingredients

1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 red pepper and 1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
2 red chillies, seeded and finely sliced
1.5cm cube of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
2 x 160ml tins coconut cream
juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
4 fish fillets, about 180g each, such as salmon, sea bass, haddock or cod
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
salt and pepper

Method

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion and peppers until just softening. Add the chilli and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut cream and heat until warmed through, but don’t boil. Stir in the lime juice, sugar and salt and pepper. Taste – there should be a nice balance of sweet and tart.

2. Make 4 double-layer foil packages by cutting out 8 squares of foil big enough to hold 1 fish fillet. Pull the sides of each square up so you are half way to making a parcel and divide the coconut cream mixture between the packages. Set a fish fillet on top and season well. Scrunch the edges of the foil together to make a well-sealed parcel but don’t wrap too lightly – the fish needs room to steam.

3. Set the parcels on the barbecue and cook for about 12 minutes, depending on the type and thickness of the fish. Check for doneness by carefully unwrapping one of the parcels – the fish should be cooked through and no longer ‘glassy’.
Serve the fish in their parcels, opening them up to reveal the contents. Sprinkle over the coriander and serve immediately with lime wedges. Rice is particularly good with this dish too :)

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