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A Brighter Future for Fenceside

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A year ago, she struggled under the dim light of a kerosene lamp, reading and completing her studies for promotion to grade eight at the Crofts Hill Primary and Junior High School in northern Clarendon.

Today, Kadine Brown reads her books and studies under the rays of a light bulb without any strain.

The 13-year-old eighth-grade student was among scores of residents of Fenceside in Jericho, Clarendon, who got electricity for the first time last July.

The teenager is looking forward to her Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations in another three years.

“I like to study more now because I don’t have to strain my eye with the lamp,” said Brown.

Life before electricity was miserable for the children of Fenceside. Their parents had to accompany them outside of the district in the evenings for them to play.

Today, they are especially thrilled because they are given the chance to play at home with their friends.

Despite the ‘good fortune’ for the residents of Fenceside, most people in the neighbouring community of Woodpass are still in the dark.

Only a few people who can afford it have undertaken to have electricity run privately into their homes.

In the meantime, others who cannot afford it plead for their day.

“I think it’s time we get our light now,” said Wilbert Blackwood, a pastor and resident of Woodpass.

Quick Meal Tips


“Doing things ahead of time is always best,” says Shereen Codner, consumer service officer at Grace Kitchens.

“If you are going to cook callaloo and salt fish for breakfast, then cut up and season the callaloo the night before and boil and flake the salt fish, then just put it in the refrigerator,” she said.

She stated that parents preparing porridge for schoolchildren should bring it to a boil at low flame. Then they can simply go about getting their children ready for school in the meantime – “instead of standing over the porridge and constantly stirring it.”

The following are eight additional tips for quick meal preparations

Getting Organised

Tip 1

Arrange foods, utensils, and equipment for fast-paced work.

Example: Put items that you use together in a similar location. You might store measuring spoons and cups near dry ingredients that need measuring.

Tip 2

Stock your kitchen with quick-to-fix ingredients that can be used in a variety of ways.

Example: Frozen peas can be served alone as a vegetable, thawed for use in a cold salad, or mixed in with soup.

Tip 3

Plan some meals in advance so there is less work at the last minute.

Example: Make a mental note of what you will have for dinner tomorrow. If meat needs to be thawed, you can let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Tip 4

Write down food items as you need them.

Example: Keep a piece of paper near the cupboard or refrigerator to write down out-of-stock items to buy on your next trip to the grocery store. Read recipes ahead of time to make sure you have all the needed ingredients on hand.

Time-Saving Strategies

Tip 5

Complete some preparation steps from an earlier time.

Example: Season bulks of meat, freeze them and take out required portions.

Tip 6

Use time-saving food preparation methods.

Example: To save total preparation time, try quick microwave or stove-top versions of dishes you usually cook in the oven.

Tip 7

Collect quick and easy menu ideas.

Example: Start a collection of easy-to-prepare recipes that contain just a few ingredients and a few steps.

Tip 8

Make extra food when you have time to cook.

Example: Anytime you make food such as soups, stews, or spaghetti sauce – make extra and freeze in meal-size portions.


To keep bread fresh for a longer duration, Codner suggested cutting the bread up into portions and keeping it in the freezer – then the night before, take it out and put it on the counter overnight for use in the morning. This, she pointed out, will keep the bread very fresh and prevent it from going stale. Don’t worry, there will not be any sogginess.


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