My most memorable holiday meal began as I answer the door to find my neighbour shoving a giant, freshly butchered goat’s hind leg into my arms.
“Fresh, Fresh!” he ensures with his minimal English. His words were redundant. The smell was enough to verify the raw state of death’s freshness. “Merry Christmas!” he laughs as he waltzes away like a Santa Claus out of PETA hell. You have goat to be kidding me...
So there I stand, a 12-year-old petrified with confusion, grasping the lower half of a local farm animal at my front door. The fact I’m clueless as to who had just made this delightful offering did not pop into my head. My sole thought was the simple desire to not be holding onto a severed limb.
The call to my dad is well received: “Oh, Great! We’ll have goat for Christmas! Just put it in the freezer and I’ll deal with it when I get home.”
The basement freezer is already overloaded; holiday baking sitting on top of forgotten food containers covered in decade-old layers of protective ice. It’s apparent that an appendage half the size of the freezer isn’t worth a frozen Tetris repack. I quickly default to the same decision-making rational every Canadian in the winter has relied on at one time or another. I throw the giant goat leg on top of the BBQ outside—nature’s freezer. Done.
A balmy, minus 20 outside…why do Canadians own freezers anyway? I say to myself with an invisible pat on the back as I return to the couch and my after school routine of watching Jonovision on CBC.
My dad arrives home eager to check out his new holiday gift. Instead, he pulls into the driveway of a horror movie. Streaks of blood cross the yard, chunks of flesh sparkle with the snow…and our red lipped dog smiles contently with the meaty limb thinking he got an early Christmas present.
I’m not sure if the following happened because my mom grew up on a farm in a family of eight, because my dad has backpacked Asia, India and Africa or if they just wanted to teach me a lesson; but we cleaned up the lesser handled leftovers and still had our Christmas Goat.
Our guests on Christmas Eve thought the meal was delicious…we just didn’t tell them that the dog thought the same.
Hey, if you like goats, check out my new book* HERE!
*(There may or may not be any goats in the book.)