No, a goose in snow; a Toulouse, in fact. We have had geese on the farm for some time (see an earlier post about our pastured geese). In comparison to most other animals, geese (and chickens) are very difficult to photograph. Perhaps their wariness has much to do with an entire lack of defenses; their only means of avoiding predators is to avoid predators. When we first butchered geese we were surprised to learn just how little meat they carry. While sitting around the kitchen table this afternoon we made some yield estimates for our pastured chickens, turkeys, and geese (pounds of meat as a fraction of pounds animal live weight). Our conclusion was that turkey provided the greatest yield, at 0.50, while chicken and geese tied at just 0.25. Keep two things in mind however; first, geese rely heavily on what they may glean from pastures and don’t have to be fed all that much and second, goose is quite tasty. Furthermore, the growing of a goose or two gives one an excellent excuse to produce goose stuffing (see below) and goose soup.
Roast Goose Stuffing. This stuffing is best prepared the day before, to give the flavors a chance to blend.
- 1 pound loose sausage
- 4-6 cups toasted breadcubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- ½ cup dried apricots, ½ cup prunes, soaked in wine and cut up
- 1 cup nuts, chestnuts or pecans, cut up (we use chestnuts from a tree just outside the kitchen door)
- 3 apples, cored, peeled, and diced
- Seasoning to taste; salt, pepper, sage, bay leaf (crumbled), chopped parsley (a generous amount)
Cook the sausage until lightly browned, remove to a large bowl; cook the onion and celery lightly in the fat. Add to the sausage meat the breadcubes, chopped fruits and nuts, and the seasoning. Store in a cool place overnight. Check the stuffing in the morning for taste, and add seasoning if necessary, or a little cider or wine if it is too dry. Stuff lightly in the bird and roast. [Modified from Yankee Magazine’s Favorite New England Recipes. Compiled by Sara B. B. Stamm and the Lady Editors of Yankee Magazine. Third Edition. 1982. Yankee, Inc., Dublin, New Hampshire.] Enjoy.