Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fresh Food

For about a year, David and Lily have been selling eggs to our compound neighbors. Today I took them to buy eggs from a place that has about 500 chickens. We asked for 7 crates (30 eggs in a crate). The young man wasn't sure if he could fill our order because a buyer had come from Abuja the day before and taken nearly everything they had on hand. In the end, he did manage to get 210 eggs for us. He commented that the eggs were still warm because they had just been laid.

After we went to the chicken place, we headed to the meat market. Since this was my first time in the meat market this year, I greeted my usual seller with "Happy New Year!" That brought a laugh. I complimented him on his re-furbished stall. He shared that the whole place had been burned during the January crisis. Oh yeah, that's why I don't come to this market anymore. Strange that I had forgotten about that when I made my plans this morning.

I often send someone to buy my meat or I contact a man who will deliver it to my door, but today I just felt like buying it myself. I'm trying to buy the meat that I think we'll need for a month. I'm hoping this will help with menu planning and budgeting.

The seller asked which piece of meat I wanted. I said, "Show me the one that was slaughtered today." He pointed to one large piece, and said, "Can't you see it's still quivering?"

While we waited for him to cut the meat into pieces, David and Lily got a biology lesson from studying the dead goat on the next table. I was pleased that they could both look at it objectively without thinking it was gross. They saw a kidney, liver, lungs and stomach. I think the stomach is the most amazing organ with its thousands of surfaces for absorption.

Later in the car David commented, "That table was SO dirty." All of the meat is displayed and cut on wooden tables.

I responded, "Yes, David. That's why we wash it and cook it really well."

Then we went in search of the pork. I kept stopping, searching, and asking. One woman sent me back the direction I had come. After a few minutes I knew that wasn't right. She saw me coming back and asked if I found it and I said, "No, I'm still looking for the pork."

"Oh! I thought you said you wanted a pot!" Then she sent me off in another direction.

We saw some live pigs, but we never did find the fresh pork meat. Now I've decided just to ask someone to go and buy it for me on Monday.

Next week my helpers will mince, slice and chunk the meat the way we like it.

I really enjoyed my outing with the kids this morning. I wouldn't want to do it every Saturday morning, but once in awhile it's nice--and it's nice to find food that's really fresh!

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