by MW Cook
For a more tasteful and serious post, please visit Psalm 119
How to have a Pakistani Christmas feast.
First, plan far in advance. Around September, sit down with your father-in-law and present the idea of buying a young goat together. If your father-in-law is anything like mine, his eyes will light up like a child’s on Christmas morning and he’ll be off to the meat market before you can get another word out. Don’t go with him to the meat market, your white face will likely drive prices higher than you want to go. Don’t be confused if your father-in-law brings home more than one goat. It seems that goats strongly desire company, so it’s always a good idea to buy at least two at a time, otherwise you’ll be up all night until the Christmas celebration. Also, don’t be surprised if your father-in-law brings home three goats. Because, hey, if you’ve gotta get two, you might as well get three.
Most people shy away from naming an animal doomed to slaughter. I think otherwise. I think that if an animal on its way to the chopping block has a fun name, it won’t think too much about its impending doom. I chose the name Shane for our particular goat, he seemed to like it. Be sure you talk to your new Shane at every chance you get, if you accidentally mention that the goat will soon be dead and dismembered, try to make light of it, and add some levity by cracking a tasteful joke or two. You’ll need to also distract the goat with food, lots of it. Not only does it ease dear Shane’s passing, but also it makes him fatter and o-so yummier. About 20Rs of ghaas a day should be enough to make his legs nice and thick.
One thing that should be done as soon as possible is the dreaded act of castration. It’s not fun, but if you don’t do it dear Shane finds himself rather confused and drinking his own urine. Don’t ask why, that’s just what goes down. I won’t comment on this much, but I will say you have two choices. Take him to the goat guy and get it professionally done, or grab a razor from the house and hold the goat tight. My father-in-law doesn’t like spending extra money, so with a razor in hand he called his brother-in-law and the goat was never the same since.
The day will eventually come when the goat’s hours are up. Give him a few encouraging words, crack another joke to lighten the situation and bring him around to the back of the house. You’ll need a few extra hands for this part. Hold dear Shane on the ground as tight as you can and get a big, sharp knife. It’s usually best to let trained professionals do this part, but we didn’t know any, so we kinda just winged it. As quick as you can chop Shane’s cute little head off and watch out for the fountain works. Tie him up in a tree and proceed to skin, gut and chop him up. Apparently the professionals are done the whole process in five minutes. I think we were done after half an hour.
Now one brief note on cooking. I found that the best way to do it was to make a marinade and soak some Shane overnight. The next day roast him over some hot coals for a while. Finger-linkin’ good!