The exciting conclusion!! Reading this recipe I was struck by how much kitchen stuff was probably just common knowledge a few decades ago. How to truss a whole bird, tie the legs, pin the wings in, things like that. These things were probably a lot more rudimentary for generations of women who spent most of their lives looking after a home. Those of us who have careers outside of the home, or whose mothers had careers outside of the home, might not have learned this stuff. We (and by we I mean me) might not even own twine to tie the drumsticks (I used a twist-tie) or a skewer to pin the wings in (I might have used a knitting needle, DO NOT TELL MY GRANDMA THIS).
Anyway. In the end, we were surprised how little meat there was on this giant, giant bird – but I’m told that’s just how it is with geese, they’re not giant meat machines like turkeys. It was a ton of work, it was incredibly delicious, it was very educational and rewarding. And I don’t think I need to make another goose for a very, very long time.
Originally this was going to be a single comic, but I filled up two entire pages with this recipe. It makes sense, since I was pretty much cooking this goose from noon until about 7:00 pm. It was an adventure, for sure! As far as whole birds go, I’ve only ever cooked a chicken before, and even that I’ve only tried once or twice. This was by far the largest and most complicated thing I’ve ever tried to make.
The hard work paid off – it was a delicious bird, for sure. Lots of fat, but this recipe actually uses three different stages of cooking to melt off as much fat as possible, so it wasn’t really bad. (And you can then reserve the goose fat, which is supposed to be phenomenal in pastries and things like that.)
Part 2 to come on Monday! If I ever try this again, I want to buy a proper roasting pan, with a proper rack, and a proper cover, and I will probably still be terribly paranoid and sit and watch it like a paranoid little hawk as it steams on the stovetop.
Ok obviously I’m not talking about eating those particular geese, because I am not a hunter and also because I don’t know that I’d trust anything taken out of the Chicago winter. But Niles said he’d never tried goose before, so we’re cooking a goose this year for Christmas! I’m nervous – I’ve only tried to roast a whole bird two or three times before, and never anything this big. I got the smallest one I could find at Whole Foods (which is still a pretty sizeable bird), and I’m using a Julia Child recipe from The Way to Cook, which is awesome, because I’ve been meaning to tackle something out of that book for a while.
Fingers crossed I don’t ruin this bird, thereby ruining Christmas itself!
My family never had any ironclad traditions for Christmas dinners, although it was usually a bird or a ham or something. Once we made pizzas! But I was just reading about the Feast of the Seven Fishes, which sounds amazingly delicious, and now I’m curious about other traditions. What are you guys eating?
Okay, I’m a little sick tonight, so I’m going to keep this short so I can go to bed early, but everyone, meet Snowball II! I got her from Boulevard Bikes. They’ve been tuning up Mr. Bikey for years, and they’re awesome, and they took a long time finding me the perfect bike and adjusting it for my size.
I loved Mr. Bikey, you guys. But I wasn’t in love with her, and I think I might be a little bit in love with Snowball II. She’s so pretty! The cream-colored frame, the matching brown handlebars and seat, the fenders… she rides beautifully. She also gets lugged up the stairs and locked inside my apartment every night, because I’m going to be paranoid about keeping her getting stolen for a little while.
ALSO: bikes are hard to draw, so this will be my last strip about bikes for a while. Phew!
So, if you didn’t see my rants and laments on Twitter and Facebook, some asshole stole my bike several days ago. It was locked, although only to itself, in the foyer of our building. Whoever it was pushed in, took it and two of my neighbors’ bikes. People are jerks.
Mr. Bikey was the best. I rode her everywhere, (despite the “Mr.”, she was a lady, although one unfettered by traditional gender roles) almost every day, in all weather, every season, for six years. I rode her, on average, 75-100 miles a week. I once rode her over 50 miles in a single afternoon. I had just gotten her tuned up last week and riding her the last few days was like a dream.
A bike is just a thing, but if you ride one everywhere, every day, it’s really easy to conflate this complicated metal object with all of your feelings of independence and freedom and mobility. I cried when I realized Mr. Bikey was stolen. I felt like I had all the wind knocked right out of me, and I grieved for a few days.
I’m fortunate in that I can afford another pretty easily, although it’ll take me a while to be able to replace everything, like the rack and panniers. I just bought a new bike today, and it’s gorgeous. Honestly, it’s really great, probably objectively better than Mr. Bikey. I really love it, but I don’t feel like we know each other that well yet. It doesn’t yet feel like the same extension of my body that Mr. Bikey was. I’m sure it will soon enough; I just have to put a few miles on her. See? I’m already calling it a her.
Her name is Snowball II, by the way. I think we’re gonna be just fine.
Every time I do an extensively-researched comic, I am amazed at how everything is a microcosm. There’s not just coffee, there are countless of possible variations in the plant, how it’s grown, harvested, processed, roasted, ground, and of course brewed. We have a drip coffee machine at home, but we also have a moka pot and even chorreador that a friend brought me from Costa Rica. At work we use an espresso machine.
Now I wish we had a burr grinder, though.
So! This is the last of the collaborative coffee comics from JT at Feisty Goat Coffee! I had a few more coffee comics I wanted to make, though, and I haven’t decided yet if I’m putting them here on Sauceome, or if I’m just going to gather all these comics together in a little minicomic and add them there…. we’ll see.
In the meantime, a few announcements.
* I can’t believe I haven’t said this here on Sauceome!! This is how awful I am at self promotion. Have you seen Saveur’s Cookie Advent Calendar? I drew that! Go forth and gather all the cookie recipes, they all sound delicious.
* Remember how I have an online shop? There’s new prints up there now! Avocados, mushrooms, sausages, even Pokémon butcher charts, any of these would look really charming on your kitchen wall, you know. Or the kitchen wall of someone that you have to buy a Christmas present for! They’re even on sale!
Okay, we made it to roasting! Here’s another coffee comic from me and JT of Feisty Goat Coffee.
So, roasting is where coffee gets a lot of its distinctive characteristic flavors. This is kind of oversimplifying matters, but basically, as you roast coffee beans, the flavor will go from acidic to sweeter to spicy to smoky. The darker the roast is, the less bright and acidic the flavor will be, but you’ll also get more burned tones. Niles worked for Starbucks for a long while, and also for Argo Tea, and he had a lot to tell me about roasting periods and flavor profiles. The reason why a lot of people hate Starbucks, for instance, is because Northwest coffee roasters (the style Starbucks is based on) trend darker than other styles. So a medium roast from Starbucks will taste more burned than the medium roasts that you might be used to in other places. On the other side of things, your coffee from, say, Dunkin Donuts trends towards lighter roasts. It might taste smoother and less burned, but it’ll also be significantly more acidic.
None of these terms are completely universal, either, and a lot of places will select specific roasts particular to certain bean varietals, or blend different roasts together. Some places call Spanish Roast “Dark French Roast” and Vienna Roast “Light French Roast.” There’s conflicting information out there, and a lot of it is proprietary, so it can get kind of confusing. Most good coffee roasters seem to stop roasting somewhere between the first and second cracks, though.
OH HEY. Here’s a reminder that I added two new prints up in my online shop! And then I went and put all of the big prints on sale, because I love you. If you order by the 14th I can pretty much guarantee they will arrive by Christmas! Also a good idea for holiday presents: delicious coffee from Feisty Goat Coffee!
More coffee comic collaborations from me and JT from Feisty Goat Coffee!! Can you believe we haven’t even gotten to the roasting yet? Coffee is COMPLICATED, guys. So many steps, so many people, so many livelihoods lie between the plant and the hot cup on my desk every morning.
OH HEY. Are you looking for fun presents for your foodie friends? I just put two new prints up in my online shop! And then I went and put all of the big prints on sale because why not. If you order by the 14th I can pretty much guarantee they will arrive by Christmas!
Also a good idea for a Crimbo prezzie: delicious coffee from Feisty Goat Coffee! Just saying.
In other, much, much more horrible news, my beloved Mr. Bikey was stolen last night. I’ve filed a police report, but I harbor no illusions, I will likely never see her again. If you’d like to take a moment to remember Mr. Bikey (who was female, but who refused to be defined by traditional gender roles), here is a small, abridged selection of Sauceome comics that she appeared in:
Is there a grosser word than “mucilage”?
I think I have a relatively educated palate when it comes to beer. I couldn’t tell you where the hops came from, but I can tell hoppy from malty, I know my ales from my lagers, I can taste when a stout’s been aged in whiskey barrels or wine barrels, and I can pick out floral and spice notes. Wine, much less so, but I can still recognize certain fruit and floral notes, and I can definitely taste the difference between your main varietals.
Coffee, though – considering that I drink it every single day, I’m embarrassed that I’ve never really paid much attention to tasting notes. I’ve never really been able to distinguish between high or low acidity, sweetness, fruity or floral notes… Doing these comics definitely makes me want to learn more!