For some of us (unfortunately, not my husband), there is no better way to celebrate Christmas than with a roast goose. One of my favorite carols is the one that goes "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man's hat. If you haven't got a penny, a half-penny will do, and if you haven't got a half-penny then God bless you!" When I think of roasted goose, I think of the holidays of yore, magical village streets with snow falling, and days when the only light was from the fireplaces and candles, and we were all living in tune with the rhythms of nature because there was no other way to live. Good times!
Roasting a goose couldn't be easier, and what makes it so yummy is all the crispy skin and dark meat.
1 goose, cleaned and ready to cook
Salt to taste
2 apples (optional)
1. Put the goose in a giant, high-sided roasting pan (because there will be lots of fat!).
2. Put the two apples inside to absorb some of the fat (not to eat!).
3. Sprinkle the goose with salt, and put it into an oven preheated to 400 degrees.
4. After about a half hour, turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
5. Cook until done (about 10 to 15 minutes per pound).
If there is lots of grease, you can pour some out halfway through the roasting process, but be careful! It's hot! You can also save some of the fat for cooking other good things later; keep it in the fridge.
One of my most favorite memories from my childhood is running down to my grandmother's house when she had just made a soup of white beans cooked in goose broth. (Knowing Nana, the goose was probably from our farm.) I can still see the warm glow of her kitchen light shining down on a most perfect white china bowl (the formal, flat kind of soup bowl) filled with a pale, golden, rich broth with white beans floating in it. I think she used the good silver, too. It was so delicious!
So don't forget to turn the goose carcass into broth when you are done and make some soup!
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For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.