Local goats, and tofu stirfry

goats in driveway

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.

goats for sale

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

To serve:
Splash of soy sauce
Sesame seeds

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.

Saturday morning stroll

This morning I popped over to Trastevere, another neighborhood. Very pretty, with cobblestone streets and little shops, and pleasant despite being a bit touristy. A friend was in Rome for the weekend, and we met for coffee, so I ambled around in the morning quiet first. Lovely sunny morning.
Walking through quiet side streets, still wet from the rain.
Waiting at the fountain in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. Despite living a few streets away for several years, I had never noticed the SPQR in the fountain. (See upper left corner.)

….. Though you do see SPQR on the water manholes all over town. Meeting outside the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere is usually a safe bet, but it turned out I was meant to be outside San Francesco, just down the road, so I just made it, dashing down the street with church bells pealing from both sides.
There is a demonstration or two most weekends here, usually peaceful, and I bumped into people gathering for this demonstration across from Bocca del Verita, while I was waiting for a bus home to Garbatella. (For “Roman Holiday” fans, this is just across from the building where Joe and Ann get taken in to the police after the Vespa ride. That is next to Santa Maria in Cosmedin, where he shows her the Mouth of Truth.)
Santa maria in cosmedin
The bell tower is Santa Maria in Cosmedin, and as you can see, the rain was rolling in again. I hopped on my bus and was soon home, but it was really nice to have had those sunny morning hours ambling past such beautiful sights. Hope you are all having a lovely weekend too!

Even Spiderman has to do laundry

Spiderman laundry

The building is the Albergo Bianco, here in Garbatella, a suburb of Rome. Under the auspices of the Istituto per le Case Popolari (ICP), a national building society dedicated to public low-cost housing, Innocenzo Sabbatini had a series of four “suburban hotels”–Lots 41, 42, 43, and 44 constructed. Initially designed as short-term accommodation for new arrivals waiting for more permanent lodgings, the albergi also included public services like day care, police offices, and health services. The buildings were converted to apartment blocks in the mid 1930s.

For an excellent introduction to Garbatella, with a recommended walking itinerary, I highly recommend Rome the Second Time: RST Top 40. #16: Garbatella