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A spiced Caribbean black cake for Christmas, aged in rum & memory

My mother’s chide wasn’t so much an “I told you so,” but more of a “you know better.” She was right. I knew better. After all, I’d spent the better part of my childhood in Trinidad and Tobago watching her prepare this cake the moment hurricane season ended, usually around early October.

It was already December. But I was a heady newlywed and wanted my first Christmas with my husband to be memorable. I reasoned, what better way to mark the year than to give my Jamaican husband, Joseph, a baked gesture symbolic of our shared history as West Indian immigrants? Black cake was the clear choice; however, the process of making it was a little more daunting.

In the Caribbean, there is nothing else quite akin to black cake. It’s a cake that beats with a rhythm that only the islands could produce. All the elements that the process of baking has ever prized — patience, decadence, and intrigue — are set within black cake’s dark, rich, and historic interior.

Inventory Climbs for Third Straight Month, But Don't Call It a Comeback (November 2018 Market Report)

The number of homes on the market in November rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier, the third consecutive month of modest gains following nearly four years of inventory declines. In November, there were 1.6 million homes on the market – well below the 1.96 million homes for sale in December 2014, just before inventory started its multi-year plunge. Pricey metros that until recently clocked some of the fastest rising home values are now experiencing slower growth.

Low housing inventory, a major contributor to a runup in home prices in recent years, has risen for three consecutive months – but it is climbing at a slow rate, more akin to bumping along the bottom than growing in any meaningful way.

The number of homes on the market in November rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier, a small increase that follows a 2 percent year-over-year bump in October and a tiny 0.1 percent boost in September. The gains follow nearly four years of inventory declines that were far larger, including a nearly double-digit drop as recently as March 2018.

Considering the hordes of Christmas shoppers, is it fair to say that SOME people have never had it so good?

I decided to visit 3 shopping centres over the weekend - Westfield, Brent Cross and Blue Water, all in London.


Oddly enough, I answered another question in pretty much a similar way to how you put your questions, and I was tarred and feathered for "not knowing what it is like for real people out there" (am I a figment of someone's imagination?