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October 11, 2009


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Preeva Tramiel

I've always wanted to have a pit barbecue! While the image of the collar and the sight of the goat's little face is heartbreaking, he had a happy life. Today's NY Times magazine is all about food, again, this time how one chef is trying to turn around a town's eating habits.

Since I have green tomatoes now, I'm very interested in the green-tomato relish. How does one cook the vegetables without a wood fire? Even my barbecue is propane, these days. Wood makes too much soot to burn in town (I think)

Rodney Fong

The things I always love about your writings are the contrasts in culture your eyes bring, first to the Japanese culture, and then to the more rural life of the farm. Most of us don't think first of all about the killing process, and secondly to the kind of animals consumed. The killing of the goat in this manner is still different from the slaughterhouses for commercial beef and such that prepare the meat for our consumption. Here in Hawaii, there is the open stigma of the types of meat eaten. We have "exotic meat markets" here for the cultures that eat meat not traditionally seen in markets here, like goat and rabbit and the like, and there are still taboo meats like dog and cat that are known to be consumed in some parts of the island. My own awareness came as a result of involvement with our local Junior Chamber of Commerce, where I traveled to the island of Kauai to visit with a chapter that had membership primarily of first or second generation Filipinos. Their big fundraiser was a "cow party" that I was invited to. Not knowing what a "cow party" was set me up for a surprise. To raise funds, the chapter selected a cow for purchase, then personally slaughtered and cut up the meat from the cow (and also a pig) and sold the meat to the community. Quite a difference for me, who usually gets meat already wrapped in the supermarket. Again, a fascinating read that makes me think about all the cultural differences you experience and relate to a wide, diverse readership.

Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Sorry for such a long delay and getting back to your comments. Things are crazy on the farm and with my writing. We did rice cropping this weekend (over two days) so it was a mad house. You'll read about it.

Preeva: We were talking about the goats last night because Harigaya-san's crew was there. They ate the boy goat that was the father of our boy. He was never quite popular with the SSU! kids when he stayed with out Mommy goat for several months and then got to be quite the trouble-maker after he grew big, curled horns. Tadaaki laughed and said our boy goat had the same personality (I never saw it). As for the green tomatoes, just do it over the gas burner, that's fine. There is another recipe that I made recently for a green tomato relish you can conserve. It's in Diana Kennedy's Nothing Fancy book. If you don't have that book, let me know and I can fax you the recipe.

Rodney. Thank you for giving us the Hawaii perspective. I look forward to your comments each post. I've heard that Kauai is the place to go for food in Hawaii...what do you think? In any case, the Filipiino "cow party" sounds amazing. I think we Americans have a lot to learn from immigrants and hope that there is a new climate of that instead of the old one pushing "assimilation." I read an article recently in Hyphen written by a half Japanese girl I correspond with a little. I guess you've read about the new truck garden craze. In this article she pointed out that immigrants have typically had truck gardens and still do. That's oversimplification, but you get the general point. I'll forward you the article.


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