Every year 70 days after Ramadan people celebrate the day of sacrifice to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to slaughter his son for the sake of God. God when he saw that they were willing to sacrifice everything said they could use a ram instead. So a few days ago my suburb was inundated with Baaahhhh! Baaaaahhhh! Everyone no matter the cost purchases a ram at prices that skyrocket to about 4-5 thousand dalasi ($150-$200) this sum normally 1-2 thousand dalasi will get you one male sheep.
This is rather intense so beware...
Steps in Tabaski
1.Buy a male sheep. The bigger the sheep is… the more you can show it off. Sheep picking is an art and a large ram is like a BMW it says I have money and look at what I bought with it. a water guzzler that can mow down a strip of grass in 5.5 minutes, complete enhanced features of large horns and a loud baaahhhh costs extra but is as worth it as a sun roof would be on your BMW.
2.Wash your sheep. Riding in the trunk of a taxi or on top of a bumpy van can be dirty. Your ram must be clean. Small boys can be contracted for approx. one piece of candy per child so scrub your ram with laundry soap (at least in this case).
3. On the day of Tabaski the men go out and pray in the morning, women prepare the onion sauce.
4. 4. Grab a sharp knife. I have to say that I was dreading this. I wanted to see it for the culture of it all and because I feel in America we don’t have a good grasp of what we are eating. It is much different to look at the glassy eyes of something that is munching quietly in the yard… and then they serve you its liver in a mustard sauce in one hour flat. It was intense!
5. WARNING GRAPHIC PICTURES!!!! Then you hold it down say a small prayer and start sawing. I witnessed a few of these and helped hold down the big one in the picture. I looked away about the time he hit the jugular and the blood began to spray. My neighbor explained calmly as he finished sawing through “don’t be sad. All sheep dream of this day. He is a sacrifice for allah and today he will be in paradise” I didn’t say it but my thoughts were “No he is not really happy with your decision to end its life and the only place he is going is into the onion sauce.
Sorry about that
6. Separate ever part of the ram into consumable quantities
7. Less than an hour the ram is cooked and served. One bowl for maybe 8 people. You eat with your hand navigating small children’s dirty hands, pieces of unknown organ, chips of bone, and all the while you try not to think about how you were just petting it a few hours ago.
|In memory of the thousands slaughtered. I tried to add some humor to lighten this post up|
but honestly I am going back to being a vegetarian here soon I do not have the stomach for this.