Turkey, gobble… the sound the bird makes seems to describe how we eat each Thanksgiving. And yet, I have found myself disappointed of late with turkeys as a whole.
It’s not because of their source, necessarily–it’s been several years since I bought a supermarket bird. And last year, I went all out and procured a heritage breed bird from Maggie Henry. It was good, but it wasn’t the flavor experience I’d been hoping for (especially when viewed in terms of a cost:benefit analysis!)
So, this year, i’ve opted to return to the roots of the holiday, before Tom was a guest de rigeur at the table, when the foreign occupiers were beholden to the natives for saving their inexperienced selves from the harsh elements of a pre-industrial existence, and as the story goes, all came together to share a harvest feast.
The selection of meats at that table was varied, I hear tell, and while wild turkey was likely a course, other meats appeared too. So, this year, I’m roasting a goose.
This will be just the second time I’ve done it, but the first time yielded a meal featuring all the flavor I wished turkey had, so I’m glad that I wrote myself such careful instructions for how I went about the process. If you have the chance to choose this bird instead of the norm for your table, I recommend trying Jo-Mar meats in the Strip District if you’re a Pittsburgher—it’s been a couple of weeks since I purchased what had been their last goose, so they have likely restocked in the interim. They sell the birds frozen, so buy this weekend to give it a chance to thaw slowly in your refrigerator!
As a result of getting this goose, I’m more excited about this meal than I have been for the past several 4th Thursdays in November! I look forward to a rich, luscious gravy; goose fat for several cooking projects to follow; cherry pie from frozen sour cherries; brussels sprouts roasted with a maple syrup glaze; pan roasted turnips & sweet potatoes; and a corn bread stuffing my sister has been talking up for weeks.
Please share favorites from your menu—I’ve still got a few days before the meal that I could adopt some of your menu items for my house to enjoy!