A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Don't Try This at Home

I have read that one can make tamales using canola oil instead of lard or Crisco, so I bravely tried it. They tasted okay, but didn't have that lovely, rich, mealy texture. I tried this so you will never have to.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rocky Point Shrimp Cocktail

This was an excellent recipe--I picked it up at the fish counter at Sprouts. I bet it would make perfect tostadas, too.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pretty Salad

Look how pretty this lunch was! The salad is from City Roots, and contained nasturtium flowers and leaves, pea shoots and arugula shoots, I think.

I made blue cheese dressing, which I have been making lately because Lawson announced he is sick of vinaigrettes with greens. I'm using no particular recipe, just an ad hoc, sample-as-you-go mixture of a minced garlic clove, some blue cheese, black pepper, salt, mayo, yogurt and milk.

Old/New Thanksgiving Food

We had many of the usual dishes on Thanksgiving: Portuguese-style turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, applesauce, pumpkin pie, etc. I did manage to insert two new twists on cranberries and sweet potatoes, which we all enjoyed.

Sprouts sells these sweet potato chips, which are delicious. I often serve them with raw tomatillo salsa, but this time found a cranberry salsa recipe in the local paper. It was a satisfying and colorful appetizer.

Spicy Cranberry Salsa

1/2 small red onion
1 tablespoon canned jalapeno slices
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 ounces fresh cranberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon or more salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In food processor, pulse onion, jalapeno, and cilantro to chop finely. Add cranberries and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and mix lightly. Serve with chips.

Instead of the usual sweet potatoes, I made baked wedges with a yogurt dipping sauce, which we had at Zinburger recently. I got the recipe from the Bon Appetit website.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I'm in love again--this time with my new cookbook Tagine: Spicy Stews from Morocco, by Ghillie Basan. Dad noticed it in a cooking store in Tubac, and I've become very involved with it.

First I made a chicken and dried apricot tagine, quite delicious. Next I made one with lamb, prunes, apricots, and honey (top picture). With that meal I made sides from the cookbook, including an orange olive salad and a sort of Moroccan pico de gallo. And Moroccan bread.

Now I am turning to the vegetable tagines, and we loved this one made with carrots and chickpeas. It was very quick and flavorful.

Spicy Carrot and Chickpea Tagine with Turmeric and Cilantro

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped

Heat the oil in a tagine or heavy casserole and saute onion and garlic until soft.

2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 medium carrots, sliced on the diagonal

Add spices and carrots. Add water to barely cover. Cover and cook 10 or 15 minutes, until carrots are just tender.

1 one-pound can chickpeas, drained

Add chickpeas and simmer for 10 minutes until flavors are blended and liquid is somewhat reduced.

Cilantro, chopped
Lemon wedges

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with lemon wedges.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Greek Chicken with Sage

We have two varieties of sage in the herb garden at present. I don't know their names but I certainly admire the way they hung in there over our record-hot summer. I don't use sage very much except at Thanksgiving, so I was happy to find this vinegary, flavorful recipe in Susanna Hoffman's The Olive and the Caper. A bonus: it's very easy.

Chicken with Onions, Tomatoes, Capers and Sage

2-4 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved
1 sliced onion
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon or more fresh chopped sage leaves
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil and brown the chicken and onion for about 10 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Simmer, partially covered, until chicken is tender, perhaps about 45 minutes. Reduce the sauce at the end if it's too liquid.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I love mushrooms and would like to use them more. I bought these portobellos because they were beautiful, but with no plan in mind. Viana La Place and Evan Kleiman can usually be counted on to have a good idea for vegetables. This is their recipe from Cucina Fresca.

Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms

Large brown mushrooms or portobellos
Fresh thyme leaves
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil

Clean mushrooms with a damp towel--don't immerse. Trim off woody stems. Cut slits in the thickest part of the flesh so they will cook evenly. Brush with olive oil.

Mix chopped thyme leaves, garlic, and generous salt in a small bowl. Stuff this mixture into the gills and slits of the mushrooms.

Broil or grill for 5 minutes, more or less, depending on their size, until the mushrooms soften slightly.

October Beans

We stopped last week to buy apples at a big farm stand near Hendersonville, and among all the lovely apples and beets and ornamental squashes and tough, late-season green beans were a few bags of dried, shelled beans marked "dried October shellies." They were available in pods, too, by the handful: half-dried, twisted pods, beautifully mottled with pink and creamy white swirls. The beans, too, were pink and white. I cannot resist beans, so I bought some.

I did some research at home. My cookbooks were little help; the only people writing about these beans (which go by the names October beans, shelly beans and -- get this -- horticultural beans) seem to have ties to Appalachia and heirloom seeds. These beans seem to be grown mostly in parts of the rural, mountainous South and Midwest. They can be eaten fresh or dried. The pods are edible, too -- people chop them up and put them in soups for flavor.

I cooked them very simply, Southern-style: a few hours of soaking, followed by cooking with two slices of chopped up, rendered bacon, a dried red chile, water and a drizzle of honey. They cooked more quickly than older dried beans.

Surprisingly, they taste very much like pinto beans. I expected a more crowder-pea-like, brassy flavor, or maybe something creamier and lighter like an Italian cannellini.

We ate them mostly plain with cornbread and sauteed spinach that night. We had them left over for lunch. And yesterday -- five days later -- I cooked the rest of them with some tomatoes, rosemary, dried red chiles and garlic and such and served them over linguine. I like Italian bean pastas a lot.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chotee Gobi (Brussels Sprouts from Eastern India)

This is one of my favorite ways to fancy up Brussels sprouts.

Chotee Gobi

1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
Olive or vegetable oil

Slice onion and garlic. Fry in 2 tablespoons oil until soft.
Stir in the following spices and fry for two more minutes.

1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sesame seeds


2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 to 1 cup yogurt
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon honey

Stir to combine and simmer for a few minutes.

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

Meanwhile, gently boil the sprouts in water to cover until barely tender. Drain and add to the sauce. Cook and stir for about five minutes until flavors blend.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Better Snapper Veracruz

We bought some gorgeous snapper from the Beaufort fish guy who sells up here on Saturdays. He said it was silk snapper. It had a big flavor-enhancing set of ribs in the middle of it, so we got a discount. (We also bought a little half-pound fillet of grouper that Lawson coated in flour and pan-fried for our lunch. I made tartar sauce and bought some nice buns and a tomato. We were very inspired by those flounder sandwiches at Whaley's in Edisto and have been thinking about them ever since, you see.)

I love fish Veracruz-style, but sometimes it seems too -- too cooked, I guess. Too stewed. Not fresh enough. I've always used Aida Gabilondo's recipe or similar variations, which call for pickled jalapenos and browned vegetables and such.

When I found Paul Johnson's recipe yesterday, I was really excited. It's more like a pico de gallo that you dump on the fish and cook all at once. No browning onions or garlic.

Here's my slight variation:

Marinate fish for 30 minutes in salt and juice of 1/2 lime.

Dice and mix:
  • small white onion
  • 1 T garlic
  • 1 pound tomatoes, fresh or canned or both (those Pomi tomatoes always taste less cooked to me. I like them.)
  • several fresh chiles, minced. I used two red Anaheims, a dedo di moca and a Tabasco. Any combo would work. If all you have are super-hot chiles, supplement with some bell pepper.
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 T capers
  • 12 or more green olives
  • the other 1/2 lime
  • salt to taste
Toast in a dry pan, crush in mortar and add to mixture:
  • 10-15 coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
Heat oven to 375. Heat pan in oven if it's a stoneware style Dutch oven. Put fish in pan. Dump mixture over fish. cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until slightly steaming and bubbling. Let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve over rice.

It was amazing.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Feeling Ready for South Carolina

In anticipation of our trip to South Carolina, tonight we had stewed okra and tomatoes, sausage gravy, and grits. Dad is picking about 15 okra pods per day right now, the best crop we've had. (I think sausage gravy is supposed to be served with biscuits for breakfast, but we do the best we can over here in the Southwest.)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mediterranean Tomato-Saffron Tilefish

There's a Beaufort-based seafood guy now coming to the All-Local Farmers Market every Saturday, and his fish is amazingly, absurdly fresh. Yesterday we bought grey tilefish, which I've never bought before. It was lovely -- bright spotted skin, big easy-to-find bones, grouper-like color and grain. You could put your nose right down on it and smell nothing except a faint, fresh sweetness.

I poked through some more complicated recipes and came up with this simple Mediterranean preparation, which has some of the flavor of bouillabaisse but is more straightforward. Any blend of garden and canned tomatoes would work; I used a little of both. It's not a super tomato-ey dish.

I'm out of the food-photographing habit, so here's Patty demonstrating how hot it is here lately.

Mediterranean Tomato-Saffron Fish

Preheat oven to 400.

In Dutch oven, saute in olive oil until onions are softened and smaller:
- 3 small Vidalia onions, sliced
- 8-10 saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

Add and let some of the booziness cook off:
- 3/4 c dry vermouth

Add and cook for just a few minutes:
- 1 ripe tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes
- salt
- pepper

Add, cover, put in oven and cook 8-15 minutes, depending on fish size:
- 1 lb. fish

I left the fillet whole, and it took exactly 15 minutes. The bones and skin thickened the broth just a little.

I served it over farro, with which Lawson and I are in love. He says it tastes like he wishes brown rice tasted.

Crusty bread would also be good with this. On the side we ate sliced cucumbers in rice vinegar, and baba ghanoush made with our own eggplant, which are the only plants really doing well this year in our yard. I drank vinho verde. Lawson drank Pabst Blue Ribbon. It was a good summer dinner.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tomatillo Time

Here’s a fresh, easy raw tomatillo salsa. It’s from Aida Gabilondo’s Mexican Family Cooking, still my favorite Mexican cookbook.

Green Green Sauce

1 pound tomatillos

2 fresh jalapenos

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 cup cilantro leaves


1 teaspoon sugar

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse. Pulse all ingredients together in food processor or blender, leaving a little chunkiness in the texture if desired. You may add a clove of garlic if you want.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Salade Nicoise

I was so happy to discover I had the ingredients to make this the other day.

Green beans, blanched
New red potatoes, boiled
Anchovy filets
Hard boiled eggs
Mustard sprouts (from City Roots -- so tasty)

The dressing is a simple vinaigrette: just mustard, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar. You toss some of it with the potatoes and green beans while they're still warm. Then you serve everything at room temperature and drizzle dressing over it.

We ate it with bread and butter on the side.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chocolate Icebox Cookies

I had a vague image of this recipe from my childhood--Grandma Oty used to make them--and managed to find the right recipe on About.com. It was in the Southern food section, though I think of them as quintessentially mid-Western. They are so easy! I love the mildness of the chocolate, because you can taste everything else: the butter, the brown sugar, the walnuts.

Cocoa Icebox Cookies

· 1/2 cup butter

· 1 cup brown sugar

· 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

· 1 egg

· 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

· 1/4 teaspoon salt

· 2 tablespoons cocoa

· 1/2 cup finely copped walnuts

In mixing bowl with electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, blending well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa; stir into creamed mixture, blending thoroughly. Stir in walnuts. Shape into a roll about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap roll in waxed paper and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Slice roll into 1/8-inch slices. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Note: I increased the cocoa by 1 tablespoon and reduced the flour the same amount.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Basic Beans

I had to post this because for a while we couldn't find the recipe card--we worried that it might be lost to posterity. Dad makes these.

And I have to tout Anasazi beans again: they are less gassy than pinto beans, and they cook in about half the time without pre-soaking. This is a slow crockpot recipe, but on the stove top they become tender in a little over an hour.

Crockpot Anasazi Beans

1 pound Anasazi beans

Water to cover by about 1 ½ inches

Place in crockpot in the morning and cook on High for half a day.

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 small dried red chile

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

Add the remaining ingredients and cook on Low until dinnertime.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sweet and Sour Eggplant Salad

This is from Claudia Roden. It's simple enough to let the flavor of the eggplant come through.

Sweet and Sour Eggplant

Olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound eggplant, partially peeled and cut in 3/4-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-pound can diced tomatoes
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground red chili

Cover bottom of a large skillet with oil and heat. Saute onion until soft and golden. Add eggplant and cook, stirring, for about five minutes. Then add garlic and cook until colored.

Add remaining ingredients and cook over very low heat for 20 minutes. Serve cold (we had it warm last night and cold today--delicious).

And here's the Sidecar recipe. Russell made these for us.


1 part lemon juice
1 part Cointreau
2 parts cognac

Shake with ice.

And our version:

Poor Man's Sidecar

1 part lemon juice
1 part Triple Sec
2 parts bourbon

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spinach Enchiladas

I finally figured out a good spinach enchilada recipe. For the filling I used 2 cups cooked fresh spinach, chopped and combined with shredded Monterey jack and cotija cheeses. I briefly fried corn tortillas, filled them, topped them with sauce and more shredded cheese. Then I baked them for about 10 minutes.

I made this sauce from Aida Gabilondo's Mexican Family Cooking.

Tomatillo Cilantro Sauce

1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked
1 cup cold water
4 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, seeds and all
1/2 medium white onion
2 cups cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

First put the tomatillos in a saucepan with water to cover, bring to a boil, and simmer 20 minutes. Drain.

Put tomatillos in a blender with water, garlic, jalapeno, onion, and cilantro. Blend until nearly liquid.

Heat oil in a pan and pour the sauce directly into it. Season with salt and sugar and simmer for five minutes.

Monday, February 15, 2010


We had a progressive dinner with Mary Ellen and friends last night. Appetizers and wine were at our place, then we progressed over to her house for the main course.

My repertoire was limited to foods I had on hand--I did NOT want to go to the store on Valentine's Day while people were scrambling for flowers and chocolate at the last minute. I ended up with marinated carrots; empanadas with a filling of spinach, currants, pine nuts, and a little goat cheese to bind; and a frittata with green chiles.

I boiled the carrots in salted water until barely tender, then marinated them for a few hours in olive oil, wine vinegar, fresh thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. They were a nice change from richer things, and colorful as well.

Elaine made a fabulous lamb-meatball-and-spaghetti dish with Middle Eastern seasonings. She was on a TV cooking show and won a prize for it. Maybe she'll share the recipe here!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Indian Lamb and Garbanzos

I've really missed cooking these last few months. I've had a lot of evening work -- mayoral debates, late nights in the office -- and haven't had time for the kind of messy, unfocused cooking I like to do. We've had a lot more pasta dishes and tuna melts for dinner. I've made good stuff, and so has Lawson, but it's been different. It'll get better after the April city election.

Anyway, last night was a completely sprawling, right-brain, organic (in the procedural sense) night of cooking, and it was wonderful.

We were going to have grilled wings, naan and salad, but it started raining. Bad weather for an outdoor fire.

I'd already made the naan dough, so I decided to build a meal around that instead. I started cutting up some lamb we needed to use, leafing through Indian cookbooks, seeing what we had and what would taste good.

Here's what we ended up with, clockwise from left:

- Swiss chard sauteed with garlic and chiltepins, finished with a big squeeze of Meyer lemon juice
- lamb with garbanzos
- Boddingtons Pub Ale
- naan
- yellow lentils with spices (cinnamon, ginger, garlic and coriander, mostly)
- pickled okra

Lawson made the spice blend for the lentils. I made the rest.

The lamb-garbanzo dish grew out of a lamb recipe in an old cookbook called "Classics of Indian Cooking." It was called Cumin Lamb but I left out the cumin, added garbanzos, left out the bell peppers, and more, so it really is a completely different dish. You could use a teaspoon or two of cumin seeds in the spice paste; I didn't use them because there was a lot of cumin in the yellow lentils.

Lamb and Garbanzos
Blend in blender until smooth:
  • 1" piece of ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • cardamom seeds from 10 pods
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 20 almonds
  • 1 t chile powder or cayenne
  • 1 t brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • stock as needed to moisten (I used lamb cut from the shoulder, so I simmered the scraps and bones for an hour or so beforehand and used that. Chicken stock would work, too. Leftover lamb stock goes to the dog.)
Heat in casserole or Dutch oven with lid:
  • 3 T butter
Saute until golden brown:
  • 1 onion, diced
Add and brown:
  • 1/2 lb or more lean lamb, cubed
Add the spice mixture and fry it for a while, making sure it doesn't burn on the bottom. Add:
  • pinch of saffron (10 threads?)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • Stock to moisten but not make soupy
Cover and cook on low until lamb is very tender, 75 minutes or more, adding stock or yogurt as needed.

The beans keep this from being too rich, but it stills needs to be paired with some bright flavors and green foods to balance it out.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tofu with Peppers and Pecans

Hey, this is a really delicious tofu recipe. I can't remember where I modified it from, but we had it last week and really enjoyed it. Dad served one of his home-grown salads with it.

Tofu with Peppers and Pecans

1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vermouth or sherry
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice or rice vinegar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Red pepper flakes to taste
¾ cup vegetable broth

Mix above ingredients for seasoning sauce and set aside.

Prepare 1 tub firm tofu and set aside (cut into slices, drain, pat dry, brush lightly with oil, and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes per side.) Cut into strips or cubes.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 red, green, or yellow bell peppers, cut in strips
4 green onions, cut in 1-inch diagonals
¾ cup pecan halves

Sauté peppers and green onions in oil for 2 minutes. Add pecans and sauté 2 minutes more. Add seasoning sauce and stir until boiling and thickened. Stir in tofu and heat. Serve with rice.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lemon-Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I had an idea this morning. I looked up recipes for chocolate chip pancakes and lemon pancakes and made up this combination of the two.

Lawson put syrup on his, but I think all they need is plain yogurt. Sliced bananas would also be good.

Bowl 1:
1 1/2 c self-rising flour (or all purpose flour + 1 t salt and 1 T baking powder)
2 T sugar
zest of one lemon

Bowl 2:
3 T melted butter
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 t or more lemon juice

Mix well separately, then briefly together.

Sprinkle 4-10 semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips on each pancake as soon as you pour the batter.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Birthday Dinner

Dad and I collaborated on my birthday dinner last night. We had Crab Louis, Stromboli Bread, Golden Mushroom Soup, and two cute little desserts Dad picked up at AJ's. And Dad stayed up late and did all the dishes!

I saw this Stromboli Bread in a bread cookbook. I made my regular French bread dough (3 cups white flour) with the addition of 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let it rise; rolled it out to about 8 by 14 inches; sprinkled it with a mixture of Swiss cheese cubes, shredded parmesan, chopped ham, 2 cloves garlic, and a handful of chopped basil; rolled it up starting at the short end and brushed it with olive oil, then sprinkled on salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary; then poked holes in it before baking it without a second rising at 400 degrees for an hour. It was good-looking and delicious.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Cookbook

One of the best things about Christmas is getting new cookbooks: I received a check from Bob and with it I bought The Book of Latin American Cooking by the famous Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz.

Much of the book is taken up with Mexican cooking, about which I already know a lot--I was looking for Central and South American stuff. The Mexican things in this book, though, tend to be more exotic, very far away from Tucson-Sonoran and Tex-Mex.

Tonight I cooked a halibut steak which Russell and Brittany sent from Alaska for Christmas. I loved the simplicity and flavor of this dish. Here is the recipe.

Pescado con Cilantro

1 pound fresh fish fillets (snapper, flounder, etc)
Salt, pepper
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Canned jalapenos, chopped

Sprinkle fish with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Heat olive oil and saute onions until tender and lightly browned.

Place the fish in a baking dish and cover with the onions. Top with chopped cilantro and jalapenos. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until just cooked through.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cooking A Goose

Yes, there were many jokes about our goose being cooked.

For Christmas I was going to roast a duck -- the perfect two-person holiday meal, with just enough delicious leftovers and rich stock. But the grocery store was out of ducks, so Lawson bought a goose instead. (A very expensive goose, as it turned out, so we felt extra-compelled to use every little bit of it.)

I proceeded to read everything I could about cooking geese. I decided to skip Joy's complicated two-day process for drying out the skin; decided to skip stuffing, too. I read about goose anatomy and goose grease. I'm glad for it, too, because it prepared me for some of the strangeness of goose.

The bird weighed 11 pounds. It was big, but just short enough to fit on a regular pan, unlike a turkey.

I took off the wing tips, rubbed the thing with salt, put it on a little folding metal poultry rack, set it in a deep pan and roasted it at 400 for 30 minutes, then 350 for a few hours. I flipped it from breast down to breast up halfway through the cooking time. I let the meat temp get pretty high since there was so much fat -- maybe 175 in the breast and somewhat more in the thigh.

Here were some of the strange things about goose:

An incredible amount of fat rendered off that goose. More than a quart and a half. It filled the deep roasting pan twice over, and there was still plenty left in the skin, not to mention the chunks I'd pulled from the cavity beforehand. Pre-cooking, the whole bird felt greasy and weird, like a hunk of sheep.

I have a lot of it left over in jars in the fridge.

It's great fat: snowy white and mild, really delicious. I roasted potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes and turnips in it to great effect. I intend to use it in tamale dough soon.

Goose Cracklins
The skin on the goose was still pretty blubbery, so I didn't serve it. Instead, I cut it into strips with scissors and put it in the roasting pan at about 290 degrees to render further, per Julia Child. Now I have a container of crispy goose cracklins. They are incredible.

Connective Tissue
Parts of the goose are clean and easy to eat. But parts -- particularly the back, wings and the part of the breast closest to the bone -- have a ton of connective tissue, almost like the muscle fibers are wrapped in casing. You know how you can sort of push meat off a chicken backwith your thuumbs? Not so with a goose. It meant some meat loss, as some of the bird wasn't good for regular plate eating. The dog got some gristly bits, and some went into stock.

Big Cavity
There's a lot of space inside a goose. I understand the desire to stuff it, but I think leaving it empty helped it cook better and render more fat.

Tight Joints
That's how Joy described them -- and they were right. I wish I had pictures of me grappling with that bird before roasting. It was bony, very bony, and I found out what "tight joints" meant when I tried to trim the enormous wing tips. Much twisting and crunching of bone ensued. The dog was impressed.

After roasting, the bird remained tight: prying a leg off was quite hard.

Good Stock
The carcass made lovely stock -- copious amounts of it, too. The enormous gizzards, the heart, and the two-foot neck helped, too.

Goose Liver is Not Foie Gras
The liver was just a regular liver, not fattened and yellow and mild like foie gras. It was tasty, though: I sauteed it and sliced it, then deglazed the pan with a few drops of Cointreau and poured that over it. It tasted like duck liver, fairly dark but not at all bitter and only faintly musky.

Amazing Gravy
I made a simple, classic gravy with pan drippings, red wine, black pepper and flour.

The Final Yield
Two big meals of roasted goose with root vegetables and gravy.
One goose liver appetizer.
Five quarts of stock.
One batch of goose tortilla soup (chicken tortilla soup with goose stock and goose meat).
One week of dog dinner supplementation with goose scraps.
One cup of goose cracklins.
Two pint jars of pure goose fat.