What does it mean when a mysterious stranger leaves a package hanging from your front door?
Containing the leg of a recently live goat?
Two questions come to mind: Who left this gift? How do you cook a goat? Our only previous experience with goat is the one we found dead on the beach and composted. That one now serves as fertilizer and a lawn ornament.
We do have some experience with Koha, a Maori custom of giving a contribution, often Kai, food. Our neighbor in Raglan gave us a bag of frozen white bait (Google it) over a year ago and we finally ate it last weekend as white bait fritters.
We have friends that we bartered garden design for smoked fish, preserved fruits and native plants, but they said the goat was not their doing. And so yesterday, when the young girls who climb our back fence to feed our ducks and chooks and get fed by us came by I asked them if they knew anything about the goat. One of them told me her uncle may have had something to do with it. I asked her how to cook it, and she said, “Everybody knows how to cook a goat.”
Shortly thereafter, she found our first duck egg. She was so proud of her find that she left a note for Dani.
So then, how do you cook a goat? On a sunny day, the answer is obvious.
With you own garlic from last season.
And some carrots and onions.
She was going great, but I also wanted to cook an apple crumble, so I fired up the pizza oven.
And finished the goat in there while the crumble took in the last rays of sunlight.
If anything, it was slightly overcooked in the end…
… but no one seemed to mind.
What goes around comes around. We have been working hard in our first 11 months here to build community while building a sustainable home and property from scratch. The latter is much easier than the former. If you have ever been new to a community you know how hard it can be to make friends. But we do believe that the good will we put out will come back to us as it did this week. The New York Times just ran an article on how the Greeks have taken up bartering with a passion lately. I believe the Argentineans did the same after they default a decade ago. It is clear that austerity measures are coming our way too, and the best way to prepare for them is cut your expenses and build your relationships. We have done both here on Arawa Place, and they are both paying us back.
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