Rolling Pin

Relationship: Im/migrant
The Rolling Pin
The Rolling Pin

When my grandmother, Carmelita Jobes, migrated to Brooklyn, New York, from Trinidad and Tobago, she brought a rolling pin with her. The significance of the rolling pin is that its essential in making roti, an authentic Trinidadian dish. Roti is flattened bread filled with curry chicken, lentils, chickpeas, and potatoes. Roti is originally an East Indian dish that was brought over to Trinidad by East Indian immigrants. It was infused into the Trinidadian culture and became one of the main dishes associated with Trinidad. The rolling pin is a wooden pin with a roller in the middle used to flatten bread. My great-grandmother Olga taught my grandmother how to make roti, and she passed it down to her children. Making roti was my grandmother's specialty, and she served it to her children, friends, and co-workers. In America she made and sold roti to provide for her four children. Her children assisted her by cutting potatoes, grinding the lentil peas, and roasting the roti. My grandmother would let the dough rise and when it was ready, she would use the rolling pin to flatten the dough into a circle. Making roti became a tradition in the Jobes household. The rolling pin has been in our family since 1972. To this day, the rolling pin is still in our possession at my Aunt Camille’s house and is still being used to make roti. My Grandmother Carmelita always said, “roti is our ting.” My mother Gillian still carries on her legacy by having roti at every family gathering. 

Place(s): Trinidad and Tobago, Brooklyn New York
Year: 1972

– Ciara L

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant