Midsummer

July 16, 2010 § 8 Comments

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What I love so much about summertime is all the cool poultry we get to raise, and while chickens hold a special place in my heart and freezer, I am especially fond of geese. Geese are great because they are bold, aggressive, make a lot of noise, and keep visitors at bay. Which, if you know me at all, mirrors my personality with the uncanny precision. Geese and I are a match made in heaven.

I also love them because they are my favorite fowl to eat – I love the rich, dark meat, and, with a bit of brining, they are a no-brainer to roast. They are, however, a bitch to pluck because of the down – the inner layer of fine feathers that keeps the birds nice and warm, and also because of the oil on their skin, which is there to keep water from getting to their body as they go around doing their waterbird thing. To cut through the oil, you are supposed to add a bit of dishwashing liquid to the water you use for scalding (a step necessary to loosen the feathers and facilitate plucking – I’ve dry-plucked a pheasant before, and that was no problem, but you wouldn’t want to dry-pluck a chicken, let alone a goose). You still end up with a bit of down on the finished bird, but that matters little, because it all burns off during roasting (I always start my birds at 450, which will singe pretty much everything off).

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Gosh, I love geese. They are my one true love. They and the Winchester ’94.

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I love other poultry, too. I look at them as food, to be sure, but I also love having them around.

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These sunflowers are volunteers. I love sunflowers. To me they are the essence of the countryside.

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I also love that, in the fall, wild birds come to feast on them.

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Apparently, bugs are no strangers, either.

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Zinnias – my sister’s-in-law garden must-haves.

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“You gotta have a few flowers around,” she tells me.

§ 8 Responses to Midsummer

  • Tes says:

    Wwww these pictures look so amazing. They make summer look fresh and fun 🙂

  • Brian says:

    I’ve never eaten geese before but it sounds like they taste wonderful. Can’t imagine I’d enjoy raising them. All that noise!

    • Sofya says:

      Well, this is the second time we are raising them – the first time we had 11, and this time we only have 2. The biggest issue was actually the fact that they would poop everywhere, but with only 2 it’s not a problem. We also have 2 ducks and 45 meat chickens growing right now, and I think 2 ducks and 2 geese is enough for us to eat.

  • nelle says:

    Have you ever tried skinning them? I have never done this, but I that’s how my mom dealt with birds that were difficult to pluck. I know you’d miss the skin – maybe you could wrap them in bacon?

  • SMITH BITES says:

    Such great pictures Sofya – I love summer too! And the goose reference is hilarious!

    • Sofya says:

      Thanks – Lumix Panasonic, the smaller version (not the professional-looking one, the tiny one). And only minimal editing. Which makes me doubt the need for an SLR. What do you shoot with, btw?

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