“The true essentials of a feast are only fun and feed.”

Today is cloudy but it’s warm, in the 40’s. Last night was freezing.

In the dark last night Gracie went out and wandered down the hill by the side of my house. I went to check on her in the front yard and found her gone. I got my flashlight and looked but didn’t see her. I called my friends in panic, and despite the time of night and the cold, they came, one walking using his flashlight and the other driving. By then I had found Gracie at the bottom of the hill.Β She couldn’t get back up. I went down the hill to her and grabbed her, but I couldn’t get us back up the hill either. I kept sliding. Finally I found a route which got me and her to the front yard. We both went inside. She had a treat. I had an asthma attack.

Today I’m planning my cookies and the Christmas Day dinner. I have a method. I write down the name of the recipe, its source and the ingredients by aisle. I’m thinking 3 kinds of cookies. For dinner I’m leaning toward pork of some sort, but that’s just a maybe.

Yesterday’s Patriot’s game still has my heart atwitter. The last minute was amazing. My friends and I cheered, stood up, moaned and screamed. The final play was unbelievable. After a Steelers touchdown was called back as an incomplete pass, the Steelers decided to pass for the touchdown instead of spiking for a chance at a tie and overtime. The pass was batted away, it flew into the air and was caught by a Pat for an interception. End of game!

I saw a Facebook picture taken in the Tongo hills outside of Bolga. The caption mentioned the harmattan, the hot dry season with sand blowing in from the desert which is happening now. During my first harmattan, the back of the soles of my feet cracked from the dryness. I had to tip-toe. I started getting ballerina muscles. Finally the soles heeled (sorry-a written pun looks like a misspelling) into the ugliest thick callouses. I didn’t care. My feet felt fine.

I ate a lot of goat in Ghana. The first time I had no idea what I was eating. It was during Peace Corps training, and I was at my live-in, a three week span where we lived with a Ghanaian family. I was alone at dinner and was served soup with bony meat in one dish and in another dish, a glob of I had idea what. No fork or spoon mean I had to use my fingers. I grabbed some glob and ran it through the soup then ate it. The reddish soup was spicy hot, but I managed. I had to pick up the meat, also with my fingers, to chew around the bone. When next I saw my hostess, I asked why I was eating alone and what did I eat. She said she thought I’d prefer to be by myself. I didn’t. She said I ate t-zed with red soup and goat meat. Tuon-zafe, t-zed, is best described as a porridge of boiled corn meal, a glob. The goat meat was okay which is a good thing as I ate it often. I even found it once here in a Caribbean restaurant and ordered it as a bit of food nostalgia.

I don’t know how I got on to goat. I guess it was mentioning Christmas dinner as that’s what I had my first Christmas in Ghana. It was a feast.

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12 Comments on ““The true essentials of a feast are only fun and feed.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Between the NFLs convoluted rules and the misery of instant replay and official review, football is losing some of it’s appeal and it’s audience. I watched the end of the Pats/Steelers game and I think it was a touchdown. Later the Cowboys also won on a controversial call when the Raider quarterback let the ball slip out of his hands and cross the goal line resulting in a touchback. I think between the Raiders and the Cowboys there were about a dozen penalties, many of them reviewed which provided extra time for commercials. :-).

    I’ve had baby goat called ‘Cabrito’ in Spanish. It’s a northern Mexican treat. We in the US have so much food at such cheap prices we discard some of the best parts and throw away perfectly good food that has lost it’s pretty appearance. My grandmother’s chicken soup contained the feet and the neck. She fried up the other organ parts that we throw away today. I believe that people eat very spicy hot food in tropical environments to hide the spoiled taste because of lack of refrigeration in the past. Today the spoilage is reduced but the hot flavors continues. I work with a Sri Lanken engineer who orders Chinese food extra hot and then adds Chinese hot sauce. He must have a cast iron alimentary canal. I think he also has a wooden leg and can consume vast quantities of alcohol and remain upright. πŸ™

    Cloudy with some fog but high temperature of 60 degrees. Tonight the forecast calls for rain tonight through tomorrow.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I noticed the ball bobbling when he landed in the end zone. It wasn’t even in his hands but on the ground I even mentioned it right away so it wasn’t a surprise when it was called back.

      I doubt the goat was kid in Ghana. It probably had a long life. We had foot and head stew, more of a broth. I learned not to waste anything as well. I cook turkey organ parts for the animals but roast the neck for me.

      You’re probably right about lack of refrigeration though fridges are more common now. Only one store in my day had cold Cokes, now every store does. My father used so much Chinese hot mustard his nose ran and his eyes watered. I also use a lot.

      Still and quiet, no winds, today. We may have a bit of rain later also.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I had goat at a tiny Dominican diner in Lawrence. It was very good. Spicy and cooked slowly for a very long time because “the meat fell off the bone” as they say. At the same time I also tried stewed pigs ears. They were interesting. Chewiness with red sauce. I would do the goat again but not the pigs ears.

    Piki Dog goes out to the front of the house for his frequent pee breaks but I keep a long line on him so he can’t wander out of my sight. The front of the house is the coyote’s customary route to and from his den.

    It’s been grey, damp and cold all day and now it is snowing.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I had a chance to try pigs’ ears and said no thank you. They are actually a delicacy. There used to be a Caribbean restaurant in Falmouth which served goat. I made the trip a few times then it closed. I was disappointed.

      Gracie goes to the backyard with me during the day but at night I just let her out front. I’m going to have to watch her. That was the first time she roamed.Usually she came right back to the front steps.

      No snow here but the sky does have a snow look about it.

      Have a great evening!

  3. Hedley Says:

    The Pats Game – my daughter and her husband sat in the pouring rain until the very end. In all the drama I told them to get their Pats stuff off before they left the stadium, they were still pushed by some stupid Steeler person(s) looking for trouble. Fortunately they kept walking and it did not develop. It was one heck of a game and once again the football Gods looked down kindly on the folks from New England and their University of Michigan Quarterback.

    I have never knowingly eaten goat. I was unaware that I was eating horse (in France) until the host told me. Did not care for alligator…enough I guess on stuff I have eaten but.

    Our British tradition was turkey on Christmas Day, and although it sits in the shadow of Thanksgiving, I still love turkey for dinner and Trifle for desert.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      We were amazed at how steadfast the crowd was in that freezing rain. We were glad for comfort and heat of home.

      Idiots have done the same after a Red Sox-Yankee game here and in New York. I’m glad they just walked away and were safe for doing that.

      I figure we must live right here in New England and who can say no to that adsorb quarterback.

      I haven’t ever eaten alligator or horse or dog.

      When I was young, we had turkey on Christmas, but when I got older, my mother had a variety of roasts. Roast beef is my favorite. I have no particular desert associated at Christmas.

      • Bob Says:

        Alligator tastes like chicken. I’ve only had it fried as an appetizer. I tasted horse in Italy but it was just like eating very lean beef. We went to a steakhouse in Northern Italy near Milan and my coworker ordered horse. I ordered filet of beef and he gave me a taste of his horse, I will go with beef any day.

        Even in southern China I never saw dog on the menu. Although the joke about the lack of stray cats around Chinese restaurants. Many years ago an article appeared in the travel section of the Dallas Morning News. An elderly couple took an around the world cruise with their small lapdog Poopsie. While in a restaurant in China they tried to communicate with the waiter using hand gestures to bring food for the dog. The waiter smiled and picked up the dog and left. When he returned Poopsie was returned stuffed and roasted perfectly on a plate. The couple left the cruise devastated and flew home. It was a good story even though the premiss is a bit dubious. πŸ™‚

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        Isn’t that the old joke? Everything tastes like chicken. I haven’t ever wanted to eat horse or dog. Both seem too close to us.

        I know they sell dogs for food in the Orient and they also sold them in Ghana. I try a lot of food when I travel but not dog.

        That’s a devastating story!

  4. Hedley Says:

    Adam Faith aka Budgie

    • katry Says:

      Poor lonely pup!

      Somehow I know this song, the title sounds familiar, but I don’t remember it at all.

      That dress is hideous.

      Weird, but the second partial song also sounds familiar, the “I remember it well,” part.

  5. olof1 Says:

    At least both of You got something out of it πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I’m glad that You managed to get You both up, it can be tricky enough in daylight and almost impossible when it is dark. Albin has so far still not understood that he easily can jump over the fence πŸ™‚ Otherwise I would have to follow him outside every time.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had goat, lamb and sheep but never goat. I think most people here have goat for the milk so they can make cheese from it so I think it would be hard to find as meat here but then again lots of immigrants here now and they have thankfully brought their food traditions with them so perhaps goat will be common soon?

    ‘Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Sure, but she definitely got the better of it. I coughed and had trouble for a long bit. She went to sleep.

      Gracie used to be able to jump high, even jumped a 6 foot fence in her heyday. She also used to take off on me, but now she stays close to home.

      Goat cheeses have gotten really popular here. Even the regular grocery stores carry it. I buy it often.

      Have a wonderful evening!


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