Christmas Dinner ... cooking my goose !

Westray Carrots

Because of going to the Ba' we had no idea what time we would get back  ... throw in was 1pm so dinner was obviously going to have to be in the evening (definitely the evening after I slept until 10.20 on Christmas morning!). But we had been warned that the Ba' could go on for five or six hours. Which would give little time in which to cook a goose and eat before midnight! So there was a fall-back plan of hot smoked salmon kedgeree with the goose on Boxing Day.
However, as the light decreased and the cold increased and as Mark has a cold anyway, we decided to wimp out about 3.30 and head home. On went the oven to its hottest setting and out came the grinder to grind the spices to coat said bird. And it went into the oven in good time for an 8.00/8.30 dinner. Result.
It seems very extravagant to have a goose just for two, but I have never cooked a goose before so that’s my excuse and I am sticking with it. Anyway there will be left-overs to have cold with pickles or maybe stir fried with some hoi-sin sauce. So goose it was.
When we went to collect it, the butcher had also thoughtfully provided plenty of lovely local vegetables – orange and yellow carrots from Westray (one of the Northern Isles for those of you who don’t know Orkney very well), local tatties and parsnips and sprouts from “round the corner”. In fact the only non-local part of our Christmas meal was the goose itself, which came from Norfolk !
The odd bit was when I came to prepare the vegetables – normally I peel a small mountain of potatoes and other root vegetables, and prepare pounds of sprouts etc. This time it was two medium sized potatoes, ¾ of an orange carrot and ¾ of a yellow carrot and a parsnip together with about 15 sprouts. And we didn’t eat it all either. Apple sauce made with a single apple – and there is lots of that left over as well !
We kicked off with some amazing locally made Gravadlax with the smokey flavour of Applewood, sold by the Harray Potter, Andrew Appleby. With locally made brown bread and butter of course!
The goose lived up to expectations, though I confess I had overcooked it slightly, but this was mitigated by some rather excellent gravy though I sez it myself, and the apple sauce. The veggies were excellent and we decided that the Clootie Dumpling wasn’t needed but would keep for Boxing Day. And retired to the sitting room to watch Shrek 3 and relax.
A really nice day altogether. Very different. But good. Merry Christmas one and all !