21 February 2009 BBQ Redux

Today I am making a BBQ for Perpetua and her family but I have spent the last 5 days preparing. Wednesday I asked Perpetua if I could have a BBQ at her place. She agreed “Sure! What’s a BarBQ?” I love her spirit of adventure we decided Sunday would be a good day.

On Wednesday evening I made the menu.

Honey BBQ Chicken
Teriaki Beef Kabobs
Macaroni Salad
Cabbage Salad
Cold Spiced Milo
Fruit Punch
Brownies and Ice Cream

Thursday I went to market with my list. I started at my friend’s plastic store. I needed a small basin for macaroni salad, some kabob skewers, and a funnel. She had the basin but not the other two. I saw a cute Ghana Gucci bag, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. I knew I would need another bag before the shopping expedition was over. I put the basin and the bag in my green LL Bean bag.

Then I went on to Good Family Supermarket. They had mayo, tuna, margarine and Milo but no catchup and they were OUT OF ICE CREAM! There goes the brownies and ice cream for dessert. I added my purchases to the LL Bean bag.

I went to look for my orange seller but she was not there. Instead a woman was selling pineapples. OK pineapple, orange ginger teriake! Into the Bean bag went the pineapple. Then I found oranges on the way to Mercy’s, my vegetable seller. Now I pulled out the Winnie the Pooh bag. Into it went 5 green peppers or filicka mazung (stranger peppers), spring onions, tomatoes, a cucumber and ginger. I asked her where I might find some kabob skewers. She said to ask the meat sellers.

Off I went to the meat sellers. I asked for 5 GH Cedis of beef. He dashed me some liver as well. While I paid I asked about kabob sticks. He talked to another person in Buili. The man went off. The meat seller said “Wait small small”. He offered me a bench in the shade and I settled in to wait.

Ten minutes later the man returned with some sticks in his hands. The meat seller said “Wait now while he makes them for you.” As I waited I debated whether I should buy the chickens now or on Sunday. I was hoping I could get Carl to purchase chickens for me on Sunday. Although I had witnessed a purchase of chickens had never bought them myself . I already had two bags full of stuff, how was I going to handle tw o live chickens as well. So I decided on the easy way out . I would ask Carl to buy them for me on Sunday. Another 10 minutes and I had some meat skewers.

I crammed the meat and the skewers into my LL Bean bag and headed off to the bus station. The bus was there. Yea!!!! As I got closer I could see it was the bus to Kumasi. Drats. No local riders on this bus. When the bus finished loading the conductor asked where I was going and I said to San Tech with these girls, pointing to two students who were also waiting. He let us get on and stand.

When I got home I put away my purchases. I was finished with BBQ for the day.

On Friday I went to Bolga. I needed a funnel and some catchup. The catchup was easy. The first grocery store I saw when I got off the bus had it. The funnel not so easy. I walked three blocks to the nearest plastic store. I asked for a funnel. No clue at all what I was talking about. I tried to but I don’t know ANY fra fra and merchant knew enough English to make a sale. She sent me to another shop about 5 blocks away. Same problem. Again I tried to explain I wanted something to help me pour liquid into a rubber bag. This woman sent me to the local Malcom’s distributor. I asked for a funnel and got the same blank look. Then I
Friday I tested two recipes, the marinade and the spiced Milo.
said what I wanted do to with it. Then EUREEKA the salesman asked me to describe how it looks! I told him it has a narrow tube at the bottom and a wide top. OH a FINDLE you want a findle. we are all out but the woman on the corner right here sells them. And she had a whole garbage pail full of funnels – findles of all shapes and sizes. YEAH!

I came home with my necessary purchases and some impulse buys as well. I found some petit fours at the biggest grocery store in Bolga, bought myself some Pringles, two lunch plates and some pineapple coconut juice. Going to Bolga is as dangerous as going to Wal-mart! I always get more than I need.

I got the 11 am bus out of Bolga and was happily home by 1:00.

I made a small amount of Marinade and put two pieces of beef in it, I would marinade it over night and then cook it on Saturday to test it. I also made a small amount of spiced Milo to try in the evening.

The spiced Milo passed the test with me, Tenni and Thomas.


Soy sauce
Orange Juice

Spiced Milo

30 tbs Milo
2 inches Ginger root
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Salt
8 tablespoons of Sugar

Makes about 10 cups

BBQ preparations for Friday finished.

Saturday I prepared the drinks, spiced Milo and Fruit punch and the marinade. To make the spiced Milo I started boiling about 2 cups of water. While the water got to temp I ground two inches of ginger root in my grinding bowl. I put the ground ginger in the water. I put 1/4 cup water in the grinding bowl to rinse out the rest of the ginger. I put that in the heating water as well.

I got my dish washing basin. Scrubbed it with dish soap and rinsed it out. I put 20 tablespoons of Milo into it. I added 10 tablespoons of sugar, two teaspoons of sugar and one teaspoon of salt. I mixed the dry ingredients. I added t he boiling water and ginger. Mixed until the dry ingredients dissolved. Then I added 8 more cups of water. I mixed until everything was blended.

Now for the fun part. I got out my findle. Took out the plastic bags. The bags are 3 inches wide and 6 inches long. I got a cup as well. I put the bag in my left hand, put the findle in the opening and closed my hand around the spout of the findle and the top of the bag. I dipped the cup into the spiced Milo and poured it into the findle. Then I tied the bag and placed it in a basin. After the third bag I realized why the people here twist the bag so much. My Milo was leaking out of the bag. So I struggled to untie the knots in the filled bags, the battle was hard won. I spun the bag around about 7 times and then made the knot. I made 12 bags of spiced milo.

I put 5 in my fridge and left the others in the basin. I would put the drinks in Perpetua’s fridge.

Now for the fruit punch. I had strawberry Jolly Juice, my favorite. The pineapple, some oranges and the pineapple coconut juice. I boiled some water. Put 2 cups of sugar in to dissolve. Then I made the two packets of Jolly Juice with 3 ½ liters of water instead of 2. I cut the oranges in half and “squeezed them with a fork”. If you put a fork into the orange and squeeze the orange while twisting the fork the juice just pours out. However I had been pondering all morning how I was going to juice the pineapple. I decided on the grinding bowl. I cut up 1/3 of the pineapple and put it in the bowl. I took the pestle and pressed down on the individual pieces of the pineapple. Good there was some juice. I continued to juice the pineapple pieces this way until I had about ½ cup of juice. I poured the juice into the Jolly Juice. Next I cut the squished pieces of pineapple up into little bits and tossed them in too. Last I added the liter of pineapple coconut juice. I added the sugar water.

Making the juice bags was a repeat of making the Milo except i learned my lesson about tying the knots. Fifteen bags of Jolly Juice. 7 for my fridge and 8 into the basin for Perpetua’s house.

I carried the drinks to Perpetua’s. Visited for a while. When I returned the drinks were cold so I shared 4 with the assistant headmaster’s family.

Before I went to bed I put the beef in a big ziplock bag(thanks mom!) to marinate.

Preparations for Saturday done.

On Sunday I ‘rested’ by doing my wash, sweeping and some reading in the morning. the onlly BBQ preparation I did was to go to Perpetua’s and watch her son, Carl, butcher the chickens. I asked him to go into town on his moto to purchase the chickens. It would be faster and he would know the correct price for them. He returned with two chickens in hand and 2 more GH cedis than I expected. Job well done.

I decided I needed to watch my first butchering of chickens. If I could not eat the meat after then there would be so much more for my guests! He took the chickens to a spot in the garden. Dug a small hole. He cradled the chicken on his forearm the head in his palm. Then he slit the throat. He held the chicken, tipped it down and the blood drained into the hole. He lay the chicken down and repeated the process. The chickens did not run around wildly with blood spurting out of its severed neck. It lay on his arm and died peacefully.

We returned to the court yard where water was boiling. He dipped the chicken into the boiling water then proceeded to pluck the feathers off. I watched for a while to learn then started plucking the feathers off the other side. The feathers really do come off easily when you dip the bird in hot water.

When we had plucked both chickens to the best of our ability then Perpetua put the chicken on the coal pot to burn away the small small hairs left on it.

Carl then expertly gutted the chickens giving me a biology lesson as we went along. Interesting and not at all gross! The most interesting thing I learned are that inside the chickens are egg sacks that have not yet formed their shells. You can boil these and eat them. They taste just like egg yolk. One uninteresting thing I learned was that you could eat the chicken head.

I took the chicken home and steamed it.
Steamed Chicken
2 chickens cu
2 cubes of maggie

Put the chicken in a big pot. Crush the maggie and put it in the pot. Add salt, pepper and peppe to taste. Grind the onions and garlic put in the pot. Add ¼ or less cup of water, just enough to steam the meat. Put the gas on and let it steam for 1 hour.

Then, at about 1:30 pm I started the preparations for the BBQ. I made the macaroni salad at my house.
Macaroni Salad
2 bags of spiral pasta
2 cukes
5 tomatoes
2 onions
2 spring onions
2 cans of tuna fish

Cook the pasta. Drain. Cube the cukes and tomatoes add to the pasta. Chop the onions. Chop the spring onions and the tails. Add to pasta. Dump tuna fish oil and all into the pasta. Mix. Add vinegar, mayo, salt, and pepper to the salad to taste. Mix and refrigerate.

At 2:00 pm I brought all the stuff to Perpetua’s house. That took three trips plus one return in the middle of cooking.

Eunice was there as well so I had three sets of hands to help with the meal. I set Eunice to cooking the BBQ chicken. She put the sauce in a bowl and dipped each piece in the bowl. She put it on the coal pot grill top. She was tending and turning the chicken. Perpetua came by and said the chicken was burned. ‘That’s BBQ” she beamed. Eunice is a cook in the school kitchens and majored in the food side of Home Ec.

Perpetua and I skewered the meat with the onions and green peppers. Then put them on the grill of another coal pot. Eunice worked between the two coal pots. She turned the chicken. She basted the kabobs. She waved away the cat. She removed some chicken. She wiped her face with her hankie. Dipped chicken into the BBQ sauce. Shooed away two hens. Put the chicken on the grill. Switched the kabobs on the edge of the grill with ones from the center. Ordered Madua to get some trays. Flipped the chicken. Then sat down for 10 seconds, got up and started all over again.

Perpetua and I made the cabbage salad.

Cabbage Salad
1 head of cabbage
2 green peppers
1 onion
2 carrots
dried basil

Slice the cabbage. Wash in salt water. Put in a bowl. Cut the green peppers and onions into slivers. Grate the carrots. Mix oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and dried basil in a small container.
Pour over the salad and mix.

The meat was almost finished so Perpetua and I went to the front yard to prepare the tables. She had some nice table clothes and she set out dinner plates and wine glasses. Eunice came out front the meat was done. Eunice and Perpetua went to town to get wine. I went home to bathe.


Everyone has arrived. Perpetua and Eunice back with the wine. Bruce, Ieto and Gifty back from the debate. Joshua along with Ieto. Last Mr. and Dizzy hungry and eager to eat after watching the preparations all afternoon.

Robert, Mr. Kampusi, prayed. We toasted good friends and long life. Then we ate. BBQ is better when shared with friends.

(yes they liked it!)



1 Comment

  1. April 21, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    […] Read more here: 21 February 2009 BBQ Redux « 1person […]

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