Shanti Ramsamooj, 54, a mother of four and grandmother of eight from La Brea Trace, Siparia, can be seen on her daughter's Facebook page bonjaying a large pot of curry crab on a chulha she made.
In this fast-paced, technological world of gas and electric stoves, microwaves and induction cookers that are a part of modern life and convenience, many people say that food cooked on the humble, traditional chulha or clay fireside stove is the most delicious and imparts that special taste and texture that present-day cooking appliances cannot duplicate.
Once commonplace in East Indian families' kitchens from our grandparents' time going back to Indentureship, the chulha can still be found in several people's backyards for sentimental and traditional reasons as well and also at river limes for the customary curry duck cook up.
The chulha is also emerging as an emergency backup stove and oven for when the electricity goes, natural disasters like storms and floods, when you run out of LPG, the supply is disrupted or you lost your job and can't buy fuel.
The fuel is "free" from mother nature, easy to find, safer to store and wouldn't break down like gas and liquid fuels. You can gather pieces of wood, tree branches, twigs, charcoal and dried coconut shells from outdoors, add lighter fuel and you can start the fire.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses, large and small, to collapse.
With no income coming in from her snack sales to school children since March 13 when schools were closed in an effort by the Government to contain the coronavirus, Ramsamooj had to innovate or evaporate. She had to find a way to pay her increasing bills and feed her family.
Her economic salvation came from something that she was familiar with growing up; the chulha.
She said she grew up in an earthen house and was accustomed cooking on the fireside.
Speaking to Guardian Media on Tuesday, Ramsamooj said "I just started making chulhas from July 18 because of the COVID-19 lockdown and the loss of my job.
"I used to sell pholourie and soft drinks by the Siparia Senior Secondary School, but since C0VID-19 forced schools to close down, with no school children, there's no business.
"I intend to make up for that, I told my children better we start making firesides regardless of COVID-19. After election things will get even harder than how things already are and we have to be prepared.
"My son Sham Ramsamooj, daughter Bindia Shyam and grandchildren all help me in making the chulhas. It's also a good way to use up old wood, as a backup cooker, and you can even barbeque on it."
Ramsamooj said she was getting good patronage from people in the area and outside as well. She said after they viewed her product on her daughter's Facebook page called Nandi Shyam, some people come from as far away as Toco, Port-of-Spain, Couva and Chaguanas.
Her chulhas go for a reasonable $100 and there are Trinidadians in the diaspora like the USA and Canada who ask online if she can ship overseas.
Ramsamooj said she can make a chulha to any size, or customise it for a customer and even make a do-aillah, a two-pot chulha.
Her chulhas are built a little more robust than the traditional fireside, besides the sapate clay, her earthen stoves also include wire mesh, needlegrass, sharp sand and a little cement, not too much to prevent cracking and she can make 15 in a day.
Ramsamooj believes in self-sufficiency, catching the crabs that went in her pot herself from the Los Iros mangrove. She works hard planting her own crops such as tomatoes, caraili, bodi, ochro, corn and rearing cattle, sheep, chickens and selling the eggs.
She said virtually everything can be cooked on a chulha from tomatoes, dahi, ghee, roti, prayers food, duck and ground provisions.
When asked if someone wanted to order a meal from her like what she cooked on her chulha for her family, Ramsamooj said they can call and place the orders and arrange for pick-up observing coronavirus safety protocols.
She said from the time she saw COVID-19 impacting T&T, perhaps the virus was a catalyst for a resurgence or new-found interest in home gardening.
Ramsamooj said with Government advocating for citizens to grow their own food and seeing Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley harvesting produce from his home garden, citizens should take heed and prepare themselves for any eventuality.