A little fowl fun. Turkey or goose?
While the old birds shopped for Christmas presents, Felix and Mort made their annual Black Friday visit to the local tavern to plan Christmas dinner. They’d taken charge of the cooking years ago, and ever since the first year – when they’d admittedly ruffled a few feathers – the girls happily had left them to it.
They pored over recipes and shared reviews while Phil, the barkeep, kept the bourbon flowing. Felix spread out his clippings and arranged them into piles. “Time to talk turkey.”
Phil leaned on the bar. “Having turkey this year?”
“Goodness no!” Mort shook his head so hard his chin wobbled. “Goose! We always recommend goose.”
Phil raised an eyebrow. “What about Christmas traditions?”
“I’ll have you know, goose has a very long history.” Felix searched for the magazine article. “All the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Did you know that Marco Polo reported seeing geese in China? And Queen Elizabeth ordered that goose be served every Michaelmas in honor of her victory over the Spanish Armada.”
“But what about Ben Franklin?” the barkeep pointed out. “He was a big fan of turkey.”
“A turkey if there ever was one.” The two cooks laughed. “He should have stopped at electricity.”
“Nothing beats goose,” Mort said. “Goose fat has a far better flavor than peanut oil. Some people even save it for cooking. Did you know you can buy pure goose fat on Amazon?”
Phil shook his head. “My wife hates all the grease.”
“Aah…” Felix said, taking Phil under his wing. “But everything about roasted goose tops turkey. The skin is crispy. A goose is juicier than a turkey, and its dark, succulent flesh has a distinctively rich flavor all its own, with just the right amount of gaminess. Most importantly, the meat isn’t dry; it flakes off the bone.”
Mort’s beady eyes turned dreamy. “Alongside the golden goose, I’m thinking airy potato dumplings, red cabbage, and a baked apple with lingonberries. And apple sausage stuffing.”
“And liver paté,” Felix added, waving a recipe like a flag.
Mort sifted through the piles. “Shredded confit! Or we can pack the meat into pastries for deep-fried goose spring rolls.”
Phil replenished their bourbon and slid a recipe from the pile nearest him. “Goose crown pink with celeriac and cranberries. I don’t even know what that means, but it sounds good.”
Felix sighed. “We need to make a decision and get our ducks in a row. How about classic orange and thyme-scented goose? With all Mort’s fixings.”
“Sounds perfect.” Mort beamed. “We should slow-roast for 4-5 hours at 120C. We’ll still get crispy skin, but the breast will stay tender. Then for the last half hour, we’ll turn the temperature up to 220C.”
“You’ve convinced me,” Phil said, topping off their glasses. “I’m trying goose this year.”
“Your wife will love it.” Felix grinned and swayed on his perch. “Oh, my. I’m feeling loose as a goose!” He rested a wing on the bar, holding himself up.
Phil helped them gather up their recipes. “Time for you two turkeys to head home or your gals are going to cook your gooses.”
With a laugh, the two strutted from the bar, wattles wagging and tail feathers fanned. “We did it,” Felix chortled. “Another successful convert.”
“It was easy.” Mort danced a little turkey trot. “He was a sitting duck.”
Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate.
And to those who don’t, I wish you a week full of gratefulness, love, and laughter.