Yesterday I got slightly lost, coming back to North Ridge from Osu. I’d walked over along the Ring Road on side footpaths to The Great Wall supermarket, a small but well-stocked Chinese store that has good fresh tofu, and a good selection of greens: bok choi, water spinach, plain spinach. 1.30 cedi per square of tofu, about 33 US cents. Optimistically, I thought I’d walk back as well, it’s only 20-25 minutes – unless you get lost, which I did, not good in heat and 85% humidity. I called my husband, and we worked out I was (not easy when street signs and maps do not match, but we went by landmarks). I was just two streets from home, which helped. That is when I spotted these two goats in this driveway. Happy goats, by the look of it, nibbling on the hedge – fortunately not the other hedge, which had laundry drying on it, quite usual. This is a nice area, with offices and embassies, but I was rather cheered up by these goats. Chickens are everywhere: underfoot, scratching in the dust, small chicks training the mother hen, but goats I have not seen so many of here in North Ridge. Accra is not an easy place to take street photos, but there are often wonderful moments of people and life happening, which I enjoy in the moment. Or in this case, two goats.
Here are goats in less green surroundings: these are in Kaneshie, snapped from a taxi window. Apologies for the blurriness. I keep seeing goats when I go to Melcom Plus in the North Industrial Area (electrical goods, furniture, household goods, and a surprisingly good selection of fresh Indian vegetables and Indian snacks.) Anyway, the goats are tethered by the roadside, with some hay but nothing much to graze on, so I think they are for sale. I’ve had some nice goat pepper soup here, but have not yet seen goat meat in the shops. I am told that Lara Mart in Osu has a good local butcher, possible goat meat source, to be explored. In the interim, I look at these goats, and wonder about the logistics of buying a live goat here. Growing up on a sheep farm, I am not squeamish about slaughter logistics, as long as it is done humanely and hygienically. Still, not something we will be trying, I am sure. Tofu and cabbage stir fry it is, then, not so Instagram-worthy but a nice change from chicken and rice.
Tofu and cabbage stir fry
Wedge of cabbage
A few lengths of scallions
One onion, peeled
Three cloves of garlic, peeled
3 blocks of firm tofu
A little sunflower oil for frying
Splash of soy sauce
Wash the cabbage, onion and scallions well, and shake off excess water. Chop roughly. Cube the tofu, and slightly fry the tofu in a pan with hot oil, until crisp and slightly browned. Remove tofu from pan. Add cabbage, onion and scallions to hot pan with garlic, and sauté with a lid on top until the veg wilts and is slightly cooked. Dish up cooked veg on plates, top with warm tofu cubes, and add a splash of soy sauce. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds, if you like those.
Notes: I made this again with bok choi and soy sauce-marinated tofu, very nice. I was thrilled when I found the Chinese store with good supplies of local greens, I really missed that after Rome’s piles of mystery greens (spinach, cicoria, bieta ..) I was equally horrified to later read about the prevalence of intestinal parasite eggs on vegetables in Accra (especially greens), due to watering with sewage-contaminated water. Oh well. The greens look good and taste great so far, so I continue to enjoy them. We wash them well, with food sterilising liquid, and never eat then raw, and I have bought de-worming tablets to take every three months, just in case, as recommended by a nurse.
Oh, and see a recent post on “An African City” by That Gh Girl: “An African City: S2 E5- Got Goat Meat?” – according to that, Shoprite should have goat meat, but Makola Market might be the correct place to get it, though daunting. Series 1 of “An African City” is on YouTube, set in Accra, very entertaining, series 2 is pay access.