Hello everyone. As you may know I tend to eat all things natural or in other words I eat the food rather an artificial version of food.
At the same time, I like to buy local as much as possible because for one I’m supporting my fellowman as well as I can be more assured of the freshness of the product.
Buying local also tends to be cheaper… now I say “tends” because it is not always the case.
Today, I am reviewing two of the only natural nut butters I know that are produced locally.
If someone else does this locally and they would like me to review it then feel free to give me a shout out.
By the way, when I say “natural”, I am talking about nothing additional being added to it – just the nut whether it be peanut or almond is blended at high speeds to make a butter.
I will admit that I love any nut butter, but only when it is natural.
The regular peanut butter that you buy in the grocery will likely have sugar, emulsifiers, preservative and hydrogenated oils added to it and it does not taste the same.
This is just a review and neither company that produces these butters know that I am going to review it.
Sweet Beet Peanut Butter
So first let’s look at the Sweet Beet.
They serve their nut butters in glass bottles with plastic covers that are air tight.
These bottles come in handy for seasonings after you are done with the contents of the butter.
The size they have labeled as 12 oz which works out to be around 340 grams. This peanut butter costs TT$45 (around US$6.40)
The almond version costs TT$120 (around US$17).
Now my favourite thing about the Sweet Beet version of their nut butters is the taste and availability.
When they roast their peanuts you get that roasted earthy taste that is missed in the mass commercial nut butters.
Also, you can usually count on Sweet Beet to have it in stock at one of their locations.
The spread tends to be nice and thick and you can be assured that it has either been freshly made or not sitting around too long.
The nice thing is you also have a choice of different nut butters as opposed to just peanuts as they carry cashew as well although I have never tasted it.
Swiss Peanut Butter
Now, let’s look at the Swiss made natural peanut butter.
When they first brought it on the market they gave it a dark brown cover that distinguished it from their other peanut butters.
However, I noticed they went with the red for the natural peanut butter as well which makes it a little harder to distinguish so you will need to ensure you see the 100% natural label to the front.
The bottle is not as fancy as Sweet Beet but if you don’t care about cosmetics and just want the butter then it doesn’t matter.
The biggest benefit of buying this brand is the size and price. Here you get 500g for around TT$30 (around US$4.30).
The consistency is a bit more oily but do not be afraid, peanuts naturally produce oil.
The oil is also a good thing because as it sits on the shelf it will slowly solidify and that oil will be needed to make it soft again as you mix it.
The taste is really good.
My main hangup with Swiss 100% Natural Peanut Butter is the availability of the product. Sometimes you go to the supermarket and it is there and another time it may not be.
It seems that they produce it in batches so if a batch runs out you may have to wait for weeks before they have again.
The other thing is they only one type of nut butter which is just peanut.
Peanut Butter Ratings
So, I am going to rate these two brands out of 1-5 with 1 being it sucks bad and 5 being it is excellent
Now this will be based on:
Presentation, size, price, availability and taste.
First for Sweet Beet.
I’m rating their nut butters in general.
Presentation is a 5 for sure, the size is 3 its a bit small, the price 3 its a bit pricey, the availability a 5 for sure you can always count on them to have and the taste a 5 its the best.
Now for the Swiss 100% Natural
Presentation 3 you know putting it in a plastic bottle does not do much for cosmetics but I do not really care because I buy for size and price and content, so the size 5 for sure its a pretty good size, price 5, availability 2 simply because a lot of times I’m trying to get and I can’t get it and for the taste I’m going to give that a 4. I would have given it a 5 but I will give Sweet Beet the 5 because when you taste the Sweet Beet you get that earthy taste that you don’t get with Swiss.
In addition, to worries about the tactics used by the criminal element in Trinidad and Tobago we also have to consider that we could encounter fake police.
By fake police I am referring to persons who are disguised as or pretending to be police in order to gain control over unsuspecting victims.
This really isn’t anything new. There have been countless cases of regular citizens dressing in police-like garb so they could gain entry to homes or businesses and commit larceny or even murder.
Fake police was recently brought to the public’s attention once again when a fairly popular figure in certain circles of society was allegedly stopped by fake police and shot until dead.
Here is the thing… how is the public to know when a police officer is fake or not?
You may readily say, their uniform or their badge, but these things have been faked.
Additionally, there are a lot of unmarked cars driving around with blue lights and dark tint. No one can know if they are the police or not.
Anyone could install a couple of flashing blue lights in their car with a siren and citizens on the road will feel obligated to pull over.
Here is another issue… police may advise that you can call the local station first to find out if certain officers are in deed who they say they are, but let’s be realistic.
Can you imagine any legit police officer who shows up to your home, office or on the road is going to wait on you when you say,
“Sorry, I do not know who you are I need to call the station first.”
Many of them may get pissed, feel you are disrespectful, etc.
They may even want to force entry and later charge you with an offense because of your unwillingness to follow instructions.
Sad thing is there are Trinis who genuinely know they are the police but just to make things difficult, or avoid capture will make up stories like that to make good their escape or frustrate the police.
So herein is the conundrum… how can the public tell fake police from real police?
Here is my personal take from the little I know, and what I have read and observed… there is little you can do from a distance.
However, if you are being flagged down by an unmarked vehicle and your gut is telling you something isn’t right then I would carefully drive to the nearest police station or flag down a marked police vehicle if you see one.
If there is someone in the vehicle with you let them start calling the police and relay the info of the car that is attempting to stop you.
If this is happening in your home, I would do the same… call the area station and find out if ‘x’ police are legit.
Again, another issue arises because some officers may act outside of their locality without informing the area’s police.
I wrote to the police commissioner a couple of months ago so as to cover this and other specific questions I know the public has that in my opinion isn’t being clearly addressed as step 1, step 2, etc.
However, I never got any response.
So tell me, what would you do if you were being stopped by an unmarked vehicle with flashing lights?
Are Trinis a grateful people? Terms like “you should be grateful” or “you’re too ungrateful” has been banged about for years by people.
Before you rush off to conclusions or assume something it is very important that you watch the WHOLE of this video to understand what I am about to share with you.
By the way, you should know I am grateful that you are here, please do not forget to Subscribe to my Channel for more.
I will also like to mention I am not of any political persuasion nor have any desire for such as a few wrongfully believe.
I just like to deal with a little logic here and there according to my unique missionary experiences from the school of hard knocks.
First, let’s define what it means to be “grateful”. According to Oxford the word “grateful” means
“feeling or showing an appreciation for something done or received.” For example: “I’m grateful to you for all your help.”
Now, sometimes as Trinis we like to give a word a double meaning or should I say either remove or add to the meaning of a word.
Let me give you an example. If I had three hungry children and someone gave me only enough food for one of them should I be grateful?
Yes, of course… I would say “Thank you very much, I appreciate this food.”
However, here is the catch and the misinterpretation by some… if I turn around and say to the person.
“Thank you very much, I appreciate this food. I have two other children who are hungry do you by chance have more please?”
Does that mean I am not grateful? No, according to the definition of the word I was appreciative of what I got, however that does not mean I have to be satisfied with it.
Does that make sense? I am grateful, but it does not meet my needs so I still need to seek more.
I have noticed that some Trini public givers have as a premise that if you get something you should not ask again or say anything further as though we are statues and not evolving living beings with continued needs.
How silly it would be to say “Well I got food for one child already so I won’t bother with the other two children, I should just be grateful.”
Now, it may be that I have to seek food for my other two children elsewhere or by my own means but that does not mean I was not grateful.
I notice there is an unwritten belief in most Trini hierarchy that if you get something, no matter what it is you should never want more even if it is not asked for or does not fulfill your needs.
Asking questions or inquiring also seems to be a big red flag for many in the Trini hierarchy.
Here is another example. Some Trinis love to put ketchup on their food. If you bought some food and asked for some ketchup but were given mustard would you be happy with that?
Imagine if you responded by saying, “I do not want mustard, I want ketchup please”
To which the food seller said, “I gave you mustard you should be grateful.”
How would you react to that? If a need is not being met then are you ungrateful for not being satisfied with what is given especially when you are paying for it?
Now, let’s look at another angle.
I need to mention the word “gentle” which by definition is,
“…having or showing a mild, kind, or tender temperament or character.”
When you are really grateful you show that gratitude through a “gentle” demeanor.
Let me give you an example…
Imagine if you were part of a group where people gave stuff away for free to people who needed it.
Now imagine if I were giving away a fridge and someone said they needed it because they had none but additionally wanted me to bring it for them because they were too poor to get transport… would that mean they were ungrateful?
Not necessarily, it really depends on if they initially showed appreciation and how they asked.
For instance, the person might say, “May I have the fridge please? I really need it as we have none but unfortunately I am unable to get transport, can you assist?”
This shows a gentle approach, one that is unassuming and understanding that they are getting the item for free and they know I am not obligated to drop it.
Conversely, imagine if the person said this, “Interested in fridge, you can drop it at my home call me first to see if I am available”
You may think no one would dare to say that to someone giving them something for free, however I have seen this more than once.
No gratitude was expressed in my example, in fact the proper word to use here is “impertinent”.
By definition, “impertinent” means “…not showing proper respect; rude.”
I actually believe that when Trini hierarchy gives something to other Trinis in the public domain the real words they want to use is “You all are too impertinent”
However, another example is needed.
During this pandemic people have not been able to work for months… this means they have lost literally tens of thousands of dollars even if they were a minimum wage worker.
Their inability to work is not by choice, it is by law, and guess what… their bills are tens of thousands of dollars.
Just look at the cost of renting, rising food prices, electricity and basic necessities.
So… if I were in the hierarchy and my solution of imposing the enforcement of law on to your loss of tens of thousands of dollars was to simply give you a basket of food that may last a couple of days or maybe a loan that would only cover 10% of your bills.
Should I express gratitude… be grateful?
I’m not finished yet, but I just wanted to point out another video I have called, “Walk the Talk” about temperance in leadership. I will put it at the end of this video please have a look.
Words such as “please”, “may I”, “I will be grateful if”, “I would appreciate if…”, and “thank you” are sometimes hard to come by these days.
I will admit that many times I have gone to buy items and said these words to the seller or staff and you can see the relative shock on the sales person’s face because they are often not treated with courtesy by the public.
How many times have you stopped your car to allow someone to cross or come out of their drive way and they just left without acknowledgment?
In those cases no gratitude was expressed. Sometimes this may also make you think twice about extending that courtesy again, but do not stop, because there are people out there who are grateful for such kindness.
So are Trinis grateful as a people?
I would say in general we are grateful as a people.
Yes, there are one or two out there who seem to lack the decorum or manners, but I often think maybe they were never shown any and so do not express what they do not know.
I also believe that when people are put into positions where they serve others they need to understand where gratitude ought to be targeted.
Does the servant expect that gratitude for the service he is paid for be rendered by those he serves if his services is not able to meet the needs of those he serves?
One of my biggest concerns about Trinidad and Tobago is the way we treat each other and communicate.
We need to treat each other in a more gentle, considerate, and compassionate manner and this should start with those at the top of the hierarchy if we expect to move forward.
Gentleness in our communication, gratitude in all that we receive and continued determination in addressing those things that are still needful.
In this Trinidad road trip I am driving from Petit Valley, through Mucurapo on to Woodbrook and into Port of Spain. From there I will go on Wrightson Rd. and to the highway all the way to Chaguanas bypassing the main busy streets for back roads. We will also make a stop at Valpark on the way back to Port of Spain.
The main difference in this video from others I’ve made is the way it was recorded. I used super wide screen mode so that you could get more of the surroundings as I drive by. This means you can see more of the houses and people as I pass them on the road.
I will be using some ambient music from Unicorn Heads titled “Drifting at 432 Hz” which is very relaxing. If you have a large high definition screen at home then it is best played there. Sit back and relax and drive along with me in Trinidad.
In Trinidad and Tobago, there is an active curfew established to prevent the movement of the citizenry between the hours of 9pm to 5am the next day.
However, what should be the most disciplined member of society, a soldier, decided that he was not going to abide by the curfew.
According to a police media release… it was Friday night on the 19th July, 2021 at 9:50pm and four police officers were on mobile patrol duty, when they stopped a private white car and our soldier was the driver.
The soldier was questioned about his reason for being outside during the curfew hours and he replied that he was going to pick up his cousin by the hairdresser.
The hairdresser at almost 10 at night during a curfew?
So we can establish that this was not related to a duty, essential or emergency services.
The officers then instructed the soldier to return home.
Normally, there is an arrest, charge and huge fine for breaking the curfew laws but in this case maybe the police felt this was a person attached to the defense force so they gave him some leeway.
However, after that experience anyone of us would have rushed home and counted our luck, but not our soldier.
He went out again and was stopped around 10.30pm making it the second time he was caught by police on the same night.
Yet again, according to police he was warned about being outside during the curfew hours and instructed to return to his dwelling house.
Now, they say the third time is a charm so yes, our soldier goes out again and around 11:23pm the police officers stopped him and this time he was charged and arrested.
The soldier was fined $20,000 for Breach of Curfew. That is around US$3,000.
So what are your thoughts about this? Is it a reflection of how Trinis in general see laws and the enforcement of laws as something to be ignored?
Should the police have entertained him the first or second time or just immediately arrested him as they have done with other citizens in the past.
Please place your comments here on my JB Man Cave Youtube Channel.
When I used to live in the USA one of the first things I noticed was how easy an assailant could gain entry to a home through the windows or the doors.
That is because most of the windows or doors in North American homes are structured with large plain glass, hard plastic or wood.
In Trinidad and Tobago the typical houses and apartments have burglar proofing on it.
For those of you not familiar, burglar proofing is made of thick custom fabricated metal.
Burglar proofing stops unwanted persons from gaining easy access to your home via the windows or the doors.
Most of the time it makes your home look like a prison so people come up with fancy designs to make it look desirable.
However, I kid you not about the prison aspect.
Yesterday, a family found they were unable to save their three children from perishing in a fire in their own home because of what…
Burglar proofing. Sadly, the criminal element has made us invest thousands in trying to secure our home without consideration of how we get out of it in the advent of a fire.
The local chief fire officer seemed to indicate that it is not uncommon for fire officers to turn up to the scene of a fire only to either be barred from entry or the victim finding it hard to escape because of what…
Burglar proofing. We definitely will not get rid of burglar proofing in Trinidad and Tobago, however the consideration of design and function needs to change.
Burglar proofing needs to be designed with the ability for the person within the home to exit while keeping intruders out.
This can be done using a padlock or bolt system only accessible to the person within the home.
I implore you to check your home’s burglar proofing and ask your self if you or your children would be able to escape a fire if you could not use the exit doors.
Here are some designs to consider.
Feel free to comment in the comment section of my YouTube channel about what kind of fire escape plan your family has in the event of a fire.
Greets all. As you may know, I like to share some views on real life happenings from a perspective you may not have thought about.
Just recently, an inspector of police and a female doubles vendor appeared before a judge in Trinidad.
In case my foreign friends don’t know, “doubles” is a tasty fast food made from curried chick peas and fried flour that is sold locally.
According to the police media release it was Sunday, 11th April, 2021 when the inspector allegedly allowed his weapon, a gun, to be used and fired by the female doubles vendor.
Now all of this became public knowledge because it was recorded on video and uploaded to social media.
So the inspector was charged with transferring a firearm and ammunition.
While the woman was charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Now some questions remain of which you can comment.
What influenced this?
Were they drunken on doubles? Maybe she made some doubles earlier that day and it was either too hot or too spicy and affected their judgment?
Maybe it was the charm or beauty of the woman fogging up the mind of the inspector and he let his guard down?
Or maybe the inspector simply made a mistake and now he has to pay the price of having his picture publicly revealed by the same police service he represents.
I was reading some of the associated comments about this case and found the people dealing harsh judgment on them.
One would swear they had committed grad theft or even murder.
Yes, they broke the law, and made some unfortunate decisions, however does that discount all the good they may have done in life?
Besides this error of action was he a good inspector… keeping us safe from the criminal element?
Was she a good doubles vendor and probably worked hard to feed her family day to day?
All I am saying is before we judge we need to consider if all our actions in a day were recorded and placed on social media what do you think people would say about us?
I doubt we would be free from social, ethical or even the law books since, speeding, J-walking, disorderly conduct, larceny, no vehicle inspection, no insurance, drinking and driving, texting while driving and even eating while driving are also all against the law.
I could go on and on.
This is not to say that the inspector and the doubles vendor should not be held accountable for their actions.
It is actually good to know that no one is above the law and that the police were willing to charge one of their own.
However, what I am saying is that as a society we need to look beyond our own judgmental attitude towards others and check ourselves.
Because right now I am seeing a worrying direction Trinidad and Tobago is heading and the only change of course is us, society as a whole.