This year was my first year in Turks and Caicos during Christmas. And every Christmas I make “sort of” homemade lasagna. I also make a yummy zucchini/truffle salad to go with it. This year was different. We were now in Turks and Caicos away from the friends we usually celebrate with.

I invited six of our great new friends we met here for Christmas dinner. Unbeknownst to me I was going to have a little issue, ok, two.

Basil and Zucchini.

I never thought that two of my key ingredients would be an issue for me to get at the store. In my nubile island mind, I gave enough time to start shopping for ingredients when I’d gone to the store a whole four days before the big dinner. To my chagrin there was no basil, no zucchini. The lovely gentleman who works at the store told me to try the other stores. We did, no luck.

Three days and counting. We go back to the stores, still no luck, no boat. Two days and counting we go back to the stores, my veggie boat still has not come in. Now I’m getting a bit antsy. Never did I think these two small ingredients plentiful in the States would not get to our island.

Basil plant in Turks and Caicos.

My never-ending pesto-maker 🙂

The day before we make one more visit to the store. YES, zucchini! No basil. One for two. Not being able to even find dried basil and feeling slightly deflated we make our way back to the house. The lasagne would have to go basil-less. Whattayagonnado? We stop by our local restaurant to get one of our fave bartender, Rolly’s, margaritas.

After he places his deliciousness down on the bar he says to me “Can I get you anything else?”

I said “Yes, can you get me basil?”

He replies “Sure, how much you need?”

I FREAKED out (yeah, ok, little things make me happy these days!) I put out two hands and said “This much.” He sent our waiter over to THE SIDE OF THE ROAD where he picked basil from what looked like a basil bush, just growing like a weed! Apparently the restaurant never buys basil, they just pick the weed when they need it.

Then one of the waiters just went over and pulled the weed out of the ground and said “Here ma’am, go and plant your own.”

I’ll never be without basil again! Man I love these people.

Written By:

Current Rock of Residence:

Turks and Caicos

Island Girl Since:


Originally Hails From:

San Francisco

Janine, along with her husband John, first travelled to Turks and Caicos in 2014 to celebrate life with longtime friends and lots of yummy island drinks. It was there they fell in love with the amazing people and the impossible turquoise waters. So much so that the following year they came back only to purchase a lovely home they rent as much as they possibly can. The couple were immersed in the tech world in San Francisco, each co-founding and running their own companies. Any time the house wasn’t rented, they got on a plane to get to TCI as fast as they could.

But they fondly remember that one incredible day in 2017 while they were enjoying bubbly in the pool when hubby John said, “I wish we didn’t have to go back,” to which Janine replied, “Let’s not!” and they made it happen. Now she lives on one of the best beaches in the world, Grace Bay Beach, and enjoys island life to the fullest with her husband and doggie, Dwight!

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