Old-time Jamaican kitchens had a three-legged iron stock pot that was always ready to boil precious scraps and left-over daily. Without refrigeration this ensured the making of “tomorrow soup”.
The stock pot was stored above the fireplace with iron hooks called “pot hook” and ‘hangers’ and children at school were taught to write by using these symbols.
Pot hooks and hangers were not the only things that rested on the two parallel iron bars over the fireplace but there were also the ‘Kreng Kreng’ basket used to smoke and preserve corned pork, smoked tripe, smoked tongue, and other parts of the ‘fifth quarter’.
Don’t dis’ soup, however, because of its humble origins. It has graduated with dignity into modern Jamaica and is enjoyed in precious china or sawn-off bamboo joints, served at banquets or feeds. As popular as Jamaican rum is, soup is its rival beside the glass at dominoes or poker games, lunch or dinner.
The Christmas ham bone can end up in any of Jamaican soups with the exception of fish tea. It is especially good in red peas (kidney beans), pumpkin, and pepperpot soup made with callaloo.
Although Jamaica is a hot island, Jamaicans do not like cold soups.
Remember also that a soup should smile, chuckle but never laugh in a full rollicking boil!