Merry Christmas: A Taste of Joseph!

Thu, 26 Dec 2013 Source: Mensah, Solomon

By Solomon Mensah

Christmas? What do you remember of it during your childhood days? I had asked this question on Facebook and some of my friends shared their fond memories with me.

Pardon me share some of the comments with you. DaakyeHene Nana-Fiifi Adarkwah wrote, “When I held hands with my younger siblings and roam from house to house asking for our "bronya ade3". When our palms are greased, I will take all the money in the name of keeping it for my younger siblings and later when they ask me I will cry and tell them it’s missing meanwhile, I had spent it on my favorite fairborne biscuit and sometimes on "aman ball" lol”

For Dzifa Ofori, she remembers the time she wore plastic spectacle and toy watch and Quophy Awuah, brandishing his toy gun in the air. Mavis Boamah laughed off her head remembering a hair style that was popularly christened ‘Jerry Nkokodwie.’ Alice Achiaa, the moments she used to sit by a log of fire while food was being prepared and Selina Nana Celine, her shivering in the cold at 31st night. These are just a sample of the comments I received. Do you wish to tell me yours?

Such memories from generation to generation keep changing. Perhaps, today’s child would be talking of playing games with a laptop when remembering his/her Christmas of old. But amazing enough, the food we have been preparing for Christmas seems to be the same fufu or rice with chicken. It is in light of this that I am coming your way with a different food for this buronya. Ready? Follow me.

Cat soup

In the movie Kunfu Panda, Igwe told Master Shifu “There are no accidents” three times on different occasions. Indeed, there are no accidents. Do you think the popular adage; “there are so many ways of killing a cat” came out of the blues? Certainly NO!

The meat of the cat is so special that bachelors, spinsters and married couples have different stories to tell. To my colleague bachelors, it quenches their libido while couples (especially men) don’t mind how it could affect their marital life. To these men, fighting with their wives over cooking utensils strengthens their marriages. Kw3 you won’t believe.

Killing the cat

One could decide fetching a pan of water and popping into the water, a tin of sardine. All he needs to do afterwards is to find himself a place to relax. Slowly as the moon moves but by day break it crosses the sky, the curious cat gets to the aromatic water. It would gradually lick the water to fill its belly. In some few minutes, it lies helplessly on the ground at the mercy of his eater.

On the other hand, another person could adopt the sack method. This, a bold man forces the cat into the hole-free sack and dips it into water or smashes it on the ground. You get the tricks? However, there is one method I have to alert you on its possible dangers. If you don’t want to be ‘Kata one- lost of an eye’ never try. That is the pipeline method. Two people stand side by side of a huge pipeline. By this time, the cat is chased into it. One disturbs one end of the pipeline while the other waits to hit it with a stick when it tries getting out. Never mind the cruel method employed. I once read in a newspaper of a man who became kata one on attempting this. Be careful here!

Preparing the soup

It might seem difficult killing the animal in question but making it taste palatable in soups takes good chefs. Condiments such as pepper, ginger, onion, p3pr3, hwentea etc would make a passerby buy a morsel of kenkey.

Steam the well chopped meat with your sliced onions in a silver bowl. Add a bit of salt (if you are not a salt free person) and tomatoes and cover the bowl with a lid to simmer. As the vapour finds it way at the edges of the bowl, you add your grinded ginger, p3pr3 and hwentea etc to give it a flavour.

You see why we say the African is a mathematician by nature? Adding of salt, quantity of tomatoes and onion are all but calculations. Check your tomatoes if it is well boiled. Let the separately grinded pepper and tomatoes go into the pot.


If the mouth watery soup is being prepared by boyz boyz, you’ll see them gathered around the cooking pot. There they form a watch dog committee of themselves. Nevertheless, wives become watch dogs over their utensils used by their darlings to have them immediately washed. All these sceneries create a nostalgic feeling.

Still on the soup

As our soup gets ready, fresh morsels of kenkey are massaged by macho men to commence chop time. Remember, there are some parts of the meat that you dare not touch. A special part such as the head has some spiritual connotation. I hear people say you will die in your hometown if you take delight in consuming the head. For this, it is normally given to the aged who we believe are near death. “Hw3, obiara suro wuo w’ate!” I have also heard that bad dreams and misfortunes befell the one who eats only one of its legs. But regardless of these scary facts, Joseph last long in the mouth of its worshippers.

Food is ready!

The softened kenkey is stripped naked of its cloth and made to sit on the cloth. By then, Joseph- botanical name for cat- served in a nice bowl sits just by the naked kenkey. From here, no one tickles the testicle of the bell telling you to start eating. Eating begins at once.

Obrafour, the rap Sofour, once said in a song that there are only two reason of a man blowing his noise. It is either he has been slapped or of a good soup.

I pray for the day our restaurants would serve their customers the meat of Joseph as escargot (common snail) is put on tables in France’s restaurants. To those who strictly abhor the delicious delicacy, better give it a try. Joseph, you are best among the rest.

Greeting; Merry Christmas oo

Response: A taste of Joseph

This piece is dedicated to Lawyer Kwamena Mensah, a friend and a chief ‘Josephine.’

The writer is a Sunyani-based Freelance Journalist.

Email: nehusthan4@yahoo.com

Twitter: @Aniwaba

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Columnist: Mensah, Solomon