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Aug 18, 1970

The Cow Foot Story


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The following story reflects an article that was written in the summer of 2007, which can also be read in the "Recipe" section as well as the Mr. Goudas Biography.

Since this story reflects this time period (we don't know the exact timeframe that this story happened), we randomly chose this particular date. 

The circumstances under which this article was written were very spontaneous.

One day Mr. Goudas was in a very talkative mood, and during the general break of the employees, he gathered everyone and started to narrate an event that had happened to him a long time ago.

His secretary Bernadette Scott immediately captured this story in shorthand, as told by Mr. Goudas himself, and created this article. 

Obviously the ones who heard this story facing the narrator in person, had the privilege of seeing his facial expressions and hearing his laughter. However, we are sure that even the ones that read it on paper will enjoy the humor, pain, and surprises this story reveals. 

On a final note, this story will give you a taste of the very beginning of Mr. Goudas' journey towards understanding the multicultural society of Canada, which he was determined to capture. 

THE COW FOOT STORY - Summer 2007 

Including recipe for: COW FOOT and Rice (Jamaican) 

In the Caribbean, Cow Foot is referred to as The poor man's food. 
By Spyros Peter Goudas & Bernadette Scott. 

1 Cows Foot (cut into pieces) 
1 can of Mr. Goudas Lima Beans (Butter Beans) 
2 to 3 cloves of garlic 
2 large onions 
1 to 2 pieces of fresh thyme (1 tsp thyme flakes) 
1 green onion or scallion 
2 tbsp Mr. Goudas Seasoning Sauce 
Salt and Black Pepper to taste 
1 tbsp Mr. Goudas Trinidad Hot Sauce or Scotch Bonnet Sauce 

Cow foot may be purchased from your butcher or local Caribbean food outlet, which also sells meat.
This will ensure that the cow foot is clean (hooves removed), and cut into serving size pieces. 

Wash the cow foot, exactly as you would wash any other meat (chicken, beef and pork, for example). Drain water. Chop the onions, garlic, scallion and thyme into pieces, and add to cow foot.

Add seasoning sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Cover bowl and shake vigorously to allow ingredients to penetrate the meat.

Let it sit for approximately 1 hour, or overnight if time permits.
(This marinating of the meat is very important.)
Place the cow foot in 6-7 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and cook until tender.
Approximately 2 to 3 hours. Add butter beans in the last 5 minutes.
Add hot sauce and additional salt and pepper, if necessary. (If you want your Cow Foot Dish to taste not only good, but SUPERB, add 2 tablespoons of Mr. Goudas Tamarind Sauce!) Serve over a bed of rice. 

THE COW FOOT STORY

Now we know that the COWS FOOT is not a strange phenomenon.
It is actually just another type of meat that has been enjoyed for centuries by Caribbean and other nationalities, and is actually considered a poor mans food. 
However, back in the 1960s and 70s this item was prohibited for sale in Canada.
So then, let us go back to that time and imagine Peter Spyros Goudas, who had just entered the ethnic business, and had a little store in Jewtown, as it was called back then. 
It is currently called Kensington Market.

Imagine further that he is trying to cope with the needs of the different nationalities entering the store. 

If you visualize that time, then you can image Mr. Peter Goudas, who was the owner of that store, with his broken Greek-accented English, trying to communicate with a Jamaican who speaks only Jamaican patois and asks for Cow Foot and Cow Cod.
(In Jamaican circles, it is rumoured that this soup enhances the mans physical ability). Jah man! 

So Peter did not understand what exactly these two items were.
All the while during the conversation, the Jamaican man eagerly tried to explain what Cow Cod is, by pulling his zipper down and explaining to him that it was the same thing but quite bigger because it was from the bull! 

Now that we put you in the comedy mood, let us explain the pain and the effects after Mr. Goudas decided to fulfill the obligation and obtain these two items from the slaughter house.
The following week, he was quite happy to present to the gentleman with the Cow Foot and the Cow Cod.
The gentleman was pleased to receive the cow cod the way it was.
But when it came to the cows foot, he told Peter that it was dirty, hairy, ugly and smelly. He said that it had to be clean, smooth, with its hooves removed, odourless, and also cut into cubes for cooking.
He also told Peter that back home in Jamaica, the hair was burnt off, but he would prefer if it were removed altogether. 

Peter told the customer not to worry and that in the following week he would have it ready for him, only if he were to teach him some Jamaican words.
Peter was promptly taught Rass cloth, which he thought meant Good Morning.
Peter used this word as a welcome greeting to each customer for many years...
(If you have not laughed for the day, take this article to your Jamaican friend for an explanation, which you will get for sure!). The customer left with the intention of returning the following week.

He left Peter behind still looking at the hairy cow's foot. 

The first thing he thought of was to give it a bath, to make it look pretty, and dry it off with a blow dryer. After that, at least it appeared to look better!

He then wrapped it up in a few sheets of newspaper, placed it beneath his arm, and went around the block to the nearest barbershop. He waited until all the customers had left and then asked the barber to close the door and pull the curtains down so that no one could see inside, since he had to do a special assignment.

When the barber looked at it, he told Peter he only had a license to cut human hair.
So Peter then told him that he would give him a certificate if he passed the exam and shaved this cow's foot! Needless to say, Peter and the barber tried for the next two hours with very little success, leaving spots of hair all over the place. Even the razor broke a few times! 

Since the job was not complete, Peter thought it would be a good idea to take the next step and go to the pharmacy. He had heard of this new discovery in hair removal for the ladies called Neet.

When he asked the pharmacist where he stocked the Neet, the pharmacist asked who it was for. Peter did not want to say it was for the cow's foot, so he said it was for himself.
The pharmacist obviously thought that maybe Peter was some kind of a sissy.
He asked him what hair he wanted to remove and Peter said it was for his legs, and lifted his pants to show his hairy legs.

Once he presented him with a bottle of Neet, Peter realized that the Pharmacist was puzzled because he kept scratching and moving his head the whole time.
It was like he had doubts about the whole situation... 

Peter took the Neet and went straight to his apartment to experiment with the new hair removal item. It worked somewhat, but Peter determined that it was not designed to remove hair from cow feet. So the idea failed.
The Neet was much more expensive than the cows foot, and the barber had already cost him $20.
This was starting to become an expensive and time consuming venture! 

Peter then remembered that the customer told him that the hair was removed sometimes by burning it. So the other solution was to go to Home Hardware and purchase a blow torch.

The salesman asked what he needed the torch for, and the response he received was that he needed it for welding. So he was outfitted with a propane welding torch.
With his new equipment he started working to burn off the hair, which finally resulted in success, and some burnt spots. 

The next assignment was to remove the hoof; so he took it to the nearest millwright shop.
After a few hours of using a vice grip, hand saw, hammer and a chisel, he eventually was able to remove the hoof.
Mission accomplished! Now he had to wait for the customer.

When the customer came into the store, Peter presented him with the cows foot.
The customer was very happy and taught Peter a new word, Bombacloth...Peter was ecstatic!
He now knew, not only how to say Good Morning, but also how to say Good Night! 

Nevertheless, the following week Peter was presented with a big bowl of Cow Foot Soup from the customer. After eating it, he felt the natural effects of the soup (In current terms he calls it a viagra-supplement). And by the way, it was simply delicious.

Well, we hope you had a great dose of laughter from this story, although it was difficult to put it down on paper. Mr. Goudas thinks we need a little laughter in our life!

With the complete satisfaction of this particular customer, and the endless possibilities for future customers, Peter Spyros Goudas felt it would be a good idea to apply to the Canadian Government, to make an exception of the ruling.
This would allow for the sale of the cows feet on the open market provided they had been cleaned. 

Finally, Mr. Goudas developed a technique to completely remove the hair without using the torch, scissors, hand saw, the barber and Neet. He opened a small additional business to clean approximately 300 cows feet per day.

The hair was successfully removed by inserting the leg into a specific temperature hot water, for a certain length of time (without the leg being cooked), and by scraping the leg with a knife.
The hoof was detached from the leg by heating it in boiling water and striking it forcefully against the ground. 

So now you know THE COW FOOT STORY, and who is the pioneer in the industry in Canada.
This former poor mans food, as it was initially referred to at the beginning of the article, we think will become a delicacy, since this article will be read by millions of people.
We think there might even be a shortage of cows feet, in which case butchers will begin to wish if only cows did not have just 4 feet, but 40 feet instead, like the centipede! 

As always, we hope you enjoy making this dish and reading the articles of the man, who, although he is not selling cows feet anymore, is hoping that you will purchase the additional ingredients such as: Lima Beans, Salt, Black Pepper, Hot Sauce, and of course Rice, under the Goudas label. And we all know they are the best.
We suggest you do not use the above mentioned Jamaican words without consulting a Jamaican friend!
Although they may or may not mean Good Morning and Good Night, we suggest that you do not, and we mean DO NOT USE THESES WORDS WITHOUT CONSULTING A JAMAICAN FRIEND!! 

This is a small note that we have to insert: Just a reminder that this article is not in any way a criticism of the Jamaican culture, but it is a real event that did happen. Please see it for its own inherent humour.

People from the Caribbean, and particularly from Jamaica have been long-standing, loyal customers and friends of Mr. Goudas. They love him and they drink to his health and happiness.

 

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