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There's no goat in this whole damned town - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
There's no goat in this whole damned town
When the weather turns hot for the first time, I start getting nostalgic for Jamaica. Well, not Jamaica per se, but for the adventures I had in the company of one of her children. Thanks to M-, I experienced the island in an entirely different way than would have been possible (or even likely) had I been there solely as a tourist. With the exception of a planned excursion to Port Royal and a brief stop for supplies in Negril, we avoided the standard tourist areas entirely.

We spent most of our time at a waterfront villa on the north coast, in an area most often used by vacationing residents of Kingston. Most of the food we ate came from roadside vendors selling fruit they had harvested moments before or chicken they were smoking in devices of their own design. The bars were little open shacks with a couple of coolers filled with Red Stripe on ice. When the beer was gone, the crowd moved en masse (often with the bartender) to the shanty bar next door... which had exactly the same setup.

On one particularly steamy day, we decided to sneak onto a private beach. It was fantastic being able to roll out of bed and head right into the ocean for a swim, but it's good to get a change of scenery every once in a while. The place was huge, unspoiled and beautifully free of resort guests. What it did have were lots of locals, and one sizable group was in the process of making a big pot of goat curry on an open fire when we arrived. M- initiated a coversation with the two gentleman who seemed in charge of the project, and before I knew it (I confess never having fully groked the patois in its full fury. It is pretty though), we had been invited back to dine with them.

At any rate, whenever the weather here starts feeling like the weather there, I start thinking about that trip and looking for ways to recreate bits of the experience. Predictably enough, this tends to take the form of food. Monday, I tried to make goat curry. I say "tried" because despite several stops on the north side of the river, I could not find goat meat. Hell, the butcher at the fabled Casa de Carnes of Union Square looked at me weird because I had ordered something that was not beef, pork, or chicken. I settled for some Whole Foods stew lamb and cooked it. I cooked it up good. It could have used more heat, but I've found that that's the case any time I try to template off of someone else's recipes. Three scotch bonnets were just not enough, and I'm pretty sure I could double those to good effect.

My jerk chicken still rocks, too.
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Comments
esmerel From: esmerel Date: June 22nd, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
When you come out this way again, we'll have to take you to Mango cafe. =) It's got a fabulous goat roti.
komos From: komos Date: June 22nd, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I failed to make roti this time out. Was still good, but part of the experience was missing.

You're on.
inahandbasket From: inahandbasket Date: June 22nd, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
My tastebuds just picked up torches and pitchforks at the very thought of 6 scotch bonnets in the same place at once.
komos From: komos Date: June 22nd, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Six in one place is the height of awesome (something I always try to use my powers for...) Besides, my jerk uses 5 and it still needs a bit more heat.

I'm just shooting for pain authenticity.
(Deleted comment)
komos From: komos Date: June 22nd, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool. Do I have to haggle with surly Italian men?
(Deleted comment)
frederic From: frederic Date: June 22nd, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Goat can be had in Inman Square at the Halal butcher shop. They come highly recommended by non-Arab meat eaters who chose them over other shops for quality.

Al-Hoda Market
304 Prospect St
Cambridge, MA
Tel: 617-441-7854

And I'm a bad vegetarian for passing that on to you. But there you go.

Also, a few blocks away on Cambridge St is Punjabi Daba which sells Indian goat curries.
komos From: komos Date: June 22nd, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't make it to Inman. It should have been my next logical choice after the Brazilians looked at me as if I suggested they'd lose the World Cup, but I was antsy to start.

Thanks!
bunnyroo From: bunnyroo Date: June 22nd, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
what does a girl have to do to get some jerk chicken?
[i swear, i don't mean for this to sound dirty!]
komos From: komos Date: June 22nd, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have to tell me you want it (heh) and plan on coming by either on a) a Monday evening for the standard grilling session or b) convince Drew that it would be a great idea to make a lot of jerk chicken in his smoker.
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: June 22nd, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love that the comments are all people rushing to tell you where you can get goat, and that so many of them have a ready source. :)

My jerk chicken still rocks, too.

Yes, that does sound dirty...but in a good way, since you're so proud of it.

(Really neat little imagination trip you just took us on, too)
komos From: komos Date: June 22nd, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
a) Yeah, that's just hurting my head. I blame the heat. That's it! The HEAT!

b) It's hard not to be pleased with jerk chicken... unless you're squeamish about spices. Or meat. Vegetarians don't like jerk chicken so much.

c) That trip was kind of a formative experience for me. In addition to foodie adventures, there was an encounter with a giant centipede (it was on my head), several encounters with the black market (it comes to you!), and adventurous sex with a able partner.
schizohedron From: schizohedron Date: June 23rd, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

M— rings a bell

M— did strike me as the adventurous type, back in the day (i.e., when the oceans drank Atlantis). I'm sure you could've done without the side order of arthropod!

Not to threadjack, but I believe we know each other. BC, '91. You mentioned me in an archived post about bowing before something's awesomeness in the manner of Ewoks worshipping Threepio. Remember?
komos From: komos Date: June 23rd, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Threadjacking is just conversation under a different name

The centipede proved to be less dangerous than the relationship was. I shoulda known better... :P

Good lord, man. I'd ask how you stumbled across this space, but it's not exactly like I've kept a low profile. How have you been? What's been happening over the past decade and a half?
xzqx From: xzqx Date: June 26th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
crazy story. I bleed wtih envy. I've always wanted to see jamaica that way, but never knew a real jamaican. I think the patois is beautiful and I'd love to learn it, but they don't exactly have text books or language software for it. :(
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