Sunday, January 25, 2009

goose: cook it like beef

i have been roasting a goose for christmas for the past several years. i always brine it first, for a tender juicy goose. otherwise, if not brined, i find that goose is usually dry and chewy. although usually good, my cooked goose has never been awesome until this year. what did i do different? i cooked it like a roast beef. our geese range on grass, just like the beef we eat. since our geese eat grass, their meat tastes very close to grass-fed beef. it tastes more like beef than poultry to us.

i brined my goose 18 hours in advance in a maple-brown sugar brine. i stuffed it with wild and white rice, currants, apples, celery, carrots, onions, almonds and fresh herbs. i roasted the goose. breast down, at 425 F for about one hour, drained the fat, turned the goose over and turned the heat down. i cooked our goose for another 1 1/2 hours aat 350 F until the internal temp was 140 F, just like i cook my beef. i let the goose rest for 20 minutes, carved it and ate it for christmas dinner. this was the best goose we've ever had! the meat was pink and almost melted in your mouth. the stuffing came out great too, the rice was soft and the vegetables and nuts crunchy.

goose leftovers were fought over. we love leftover goose sammiches with horseradish, just like we love it on roast beef sandwiches.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

local shrimps

in late september or early october, can't remember the exact day, a neighboring farm was emptying their shrimp ponds and selling fresh, fresh, fresh local pond-raised shrimps. last year was their first year for harvest and since we support local ag, we dutifully purchased a few pounds of the fresh shrimpies and brought them home. Again this year, we stopped by on the designated "shrimp sale day" and made another two pound purchase.

the scrimps are actually prawns. they are bred for pond rearing in this type of climate. a harvest is made each fall when the weather starts to turn cold and the water temperature drops. the shrimps are killed in cold water, sometimes right before you eyes if you get their early.

the scrimpies are sold whole at $9 lb. kinda pricy considering you get the whole shrimp. some shrimps are large, other small. you get "ungraded" sizes in each pound. both times we have gotten local whole shrimp i have cut myself on their sharp serated knife-like horns while cleaning them. both times i did not use the stock quick enough and had to feed it to the cats. other than that, they are very tasty. we made a scampie with them. delicious!

overall, i'd have to give the local shrimp experience a 6 out of 10. i love the fact that the shriimp are local. it's kinda neat to have the heads for stock, if i ever do anything with it. the drawbacks are that the shrimp was ungraded for size and there was extra prep time before eating. i will continue to buy a few pounds each year to show support, but make large shrimp purchases elsewhere.

Monday, January 12, 2009

wow, been a while

hey, happy new year to all! sorry for not updating this often enough. we have expanded our family recently with the addition of lisa ritter, an exchange student from miltenberg, germany. i also got caught up in facebook for a while. i'll try to be a more regular writer over the rest of the winter.

our meat csa is rockin'! we have 34 members through this winter season. we have had so much interest that we have decided to offer a summer meat csa as well as our vegetable csa. We still have lots of room at this writing, but shares are going fast.

we are planning the gardens...the seed orders are ready to go in. we have planted raspberry bushes and garlic this fall. we are going to expand the gardens some more, but you will have to ask cameron the details.

the election night lard turned out ok. i was waiting for the crispy parts, the cracklin's, to float in the lard, but not all peices floated, so i kept cooking. overdid it a bit, but the flavor is good for stews and soups.

we took our two hogs into the processor last night. they have been butchered and will be cut up wednesday. "big pig" was 299 lbs and "lil pig" was 240. perfect for what we have planned for processing. typically a market pig is 200-250 lbs. big pig is our sausage pig...hams, chops, bacon and the rest bratwurst. lil pig is the same, minus brats, add roasts.

we also took in our next beef yesterday. this "cow" is a 2 1/2 yr old holstein steer, grass fed, organically raised. we are letting this beef hang for 2 weeks instead of one week as we did for our previous beefs this year. i need feedback from shareholders on the taste difference and preference.

more later