A Christmas Goose

…could be the title of a very adorable story about a lonely goose on Christmas.

But instead it is the title of this post, about our Christmas dinner—which was home-raised goose. (So maybe I need to order this book.)

This fall we butchered one of our geese, which had turned out to be a different breed than ordered. A much, much, noisier breed.

We offered it up for Christmas dinner at my grandmothers, and everyone seemed happily on board. My grandmother pulled out some books on traditional Christmas fixings and we pieced together a traditional, seasonal, menu.

In the end, we decided on:

  • Roast goose
  • Twice-baked potatoes
  • Shaved brussel sprout salad
  • Wild rice dressing
  • Butternut squash crumble
  • and figgy pudding (!) for dessert.

It was all delicious.

The mister brined it with oranges, cardamom, brown sugar and salt overnight. Christmas day he stuffed it with an oranges and parsley, and squeezed another orange over the skin. Then we roasted it at 400° for an hour covered and then another 40 minutes or so uncovered to brown the skin.

IMG_7797

Looks amazing, right?

The Brussels sprout salad was my grandmother’s devise and was delicious. Shredded sprouts, grapes, apples, walnuts and a nice light dressing.
Almost Waldorf-esque.

The butternut crumble I made based on the recipe at White On Rice Couple. But, when gifting ran into overtime, I fashioned a quick crumble topping from italian bread crumbs, butter and pan-toasted walnuts.

And the wild rice dressing I created as a mash-up of two recipes, with some last minute edits when my chestnuts resembled wrinkly rocks. So, in essence I used this recipe from Saveur with pecans instead of chestnuts, and half the onions replaced by 2 leeks.

And the figgy pudding…have you ever looked it up?
It is, in essence, a cake—a spice cake or apple cake like dessert. I don’t know the recipe my grandmother used, but with caramel sauce and homemade whipped cream it was seriously, seriously, delicious.

It was a great meal and I was happy to play a role in it—and glad that my first taste of goose was delicious (not that I doubted the mister whatsoever).

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Experiments in Feed. Pt. 1

We have a lot of critters these days.

I’ve spend a good amount of time thinking about how we can the feed more affordable, more efficient. We live in an farm community, it has to be possible.

There are all sorts of websites about making your own chicken/duck feed. Most of them were way too complicated for me. All 1, 2, 3, of these websites have recipes with no fewer than 10 ingredients. I’m sorry, I am not buying quinoa or kelp for my birds. The closest I got to simple was this page. It’s something.

When we picked up the baby buns, the girl gave me a small bag of oats and tricale to feed them. What? It turns out, that before rabbit pellets existed—the majority of rabbit feed was oats. If the bunnies could eat the same mix as the birds, it felt a little more possible to feed more efficiently. The best example I found about feeding rabbits, was this rabbitry.

So with all that in mind, I went and talked to my local feed store.

In the end, we started out with a mix of 50# whole oats + 50# wheat + 10# sunflower seeds. And 50# whole corn, for the dinner-ducks only.

I mixed the above mixture in with the alfalfa pellets we still had for the rabbits. We may continue this mix, or switch to hay. We can buy a bale of something (clover, other) from the feed store. We’ll see.

And for the birds, we soak a large scoop of the mix for each set of birds (chicken+ducks, and dinner ducks). Dinner ducks we add a small scoop of corn. This all soaks overnight in two buckets—then we drain and feed them.

And with the garden going, everyone is getting lots of weeds and bolted greens.

Everyone seems happy.

I have some research to do, to cut costs further. And to source some lentils or field peas. Just calls to make, figures to sort. (Can we store a literal ton of wheat?)