Our Goose was Cooked…..

Saturday night I finally roasted the 10 pound goose that we’d picked up on “after Christmas clearance”.  I think it was intimidating me, but the last Saturday of Spring vacation seemed like a good time to try.  I rinsed it, patted it dry, pierced the skin and salted it it really well to help crisp up the skin during roasting.  I removed the ‘Pope’s nose’ and all of the extra fat, putting it on the roasting rack to render.

I started the goose at 450F for 15 minutes, then reduced the temperature to 350F.  I basted it and removed the goose fat drippings from the pan every half hour.  The total cooking time was about 2 hours (the temperature in the thigh was 175F.


I filtered the goose fat drippings through a coffee filter and now we have almost 500ml of lovely goose fat for cooking.


The carcass went into the instant pot over night on slow cook followed by another hour of pressure cooking.  The result was about three quarts of beautiful goose broth.  I’ve popped it into the refrigerator so I can de-fat it a bit before I use/freeze it.

The meat from the pressure cooker has also been picked and now we have enough for a lovely Goose Hash.  The offal meats (heart, liver, gizzard…) are chopped up and being use to entice the dogs to practice “come”.

~ thank you goose…..


Oregon Blue-Foot Bresse

Our new flock.The original stock, inspired by the Poulet de Bresse of France, was developed by Canadian chicken breeder, Peter Thiessen in the 1980’s.  Thiessen hybridized birds, selecting the best characteristics from seventeen different types of birds in a process that required  11 years. The result was a chicken with a bright red comb, white plumage and blue feet which Thiessen called the Mount Lehman Chicken.

In 2004, Thiessen sold breeding stock to a California poultryman, Bob Shipley, who bred the birds, renaming them the Blue-Footed. At the same time, Avian flu was discovered in Canada, killing huge numbers of birds and closing the US/Canada boarder to bird transport. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency ordered all of Thiessen’s bird to be euthanized.  When Thiessen and Shipley could not negotiate a deal to sell back some of the breeding stock Thiessen had to start over again, this time taking 7 years to re-engineer his beloved birds.

Back in California, Shipley had the only breeding stock for the Blue Footed apparently trying to further refine his chickens for increased growth rate or size. The birds’ famous flavor and texture was lost and because the original breeding stocks were not kept true, there was nothing to fall back to.

The California growers had been told to  euthanized all of the birds and the tale goes, that the birds had been euthanized, but that a couple of crates of fertile eggs had been given to someone in California. Brian, of Frasier Creek Farms outside of Corvallis eventually was able to purchase a breeding set of the Blue Foots from a friend in California and we got our birds from him.


Added 4/8/18 – – – Hen Names

  • orange = Marigold
  • yellow = Daisy
  • green = Fern
  • rooster = Ranunculus


Sourdough Starter

I purchased a packet of San Fransisco Sourdough starter from Cultures for Health and am working through their instructions on rehydrating and activating it……

  1. Combine the dehydrated starter with 1 T flour and 1 T water in a quart-size glass jar and stir thoroughly with a non-metal spoon.
  2. Cover the jar with a coffee filter and store in a warm place for 12-24 hours.
  3. After 12-24 hours, add 2 T of flour and 2 T water. Stir briskly. The starter should have the consistency of batter, add more flour or water if necessary.
  4. After 12-24 hours, add ¼ C of flour and ¼ C water. Stir briskly.
  5. After another 12-24 hours, add ½ C of flour and ½ C water. Stir briskly
  6. Every 12-24 hours for the next several days, keep ½ C of starter (discard the rest or use it in some pancakes) and add it to ½ C water and ½ C flour.
  7. Continue this schedule.  After 3 to 7 days, the starter should be bubbling within a couple hours after you  feed it.

It’s been a little slow, and I’m not always as good a sourdough parent as I should be, but we finally have bubbles.  IT’S ALIVE!

Getting Ready for the new Chickens….

We went down to the old red hen house yesterday to give it a good sweep-out and put up some fencing.  We’re traveling down to Corvallis on Friday to pick up a roo and two hens to add to our small flock of red, white and blue Poulet de Bresse.  The hope is to start breeding them and raising our own chocks for eggs and meat.

When we got down to the old coop we discovered that the roof has been leaking, the chipboard under the shingles has rotted and the place is a stinky mess.  The coop was a bit of a mess when we got it 20 years ago, but now it’s just tired and any repairs are going to take longer then we’ve got.

Plan 2 – – Find a coop that we cannot only afford, but also can carry to house our flock of six.  Several good leads but most were either a) too heavy  b) too expensive or c) too already gone.  We did find a really big dog house that we think we can put up on some legs and retrofit.

Here’s what we found…. today is retrofit day.

Herb Boxes on the Back Patio

This morning I planted the first of two wine barrel planters.  This one gets fairly full sun and is an easy walk from the kitchen so I put in culinary herbs.  It also has a sunken, unglazed pottery vessel which should help with water needs.  The Sweet Bay  and sage had wintered over so I added oregano, chives, Italian parsley and lemon thyme.  I also picked up a couple of lavender-pink seed geranium for some color.  I still need to top it off with a little composted manure.  I put the plants pretty close together, but I think it will look better if they’re a little crowded.

In the afternoon,  I started planting the other barrel.  This one gets is closer to the house, tucked under the shade from the kiwi on the pergola.   It’s right next to the back door so I’ll look for some more culinary herbs that grow well in the shade.  It also has a sunken, unglazed pottery vessel which should help with water needs.  The chives had wintered over and all I’d found on our morning trip out to add to it was a couple of pots of Sweet Woodruff a lovely, fast-spreading herb to add to my May wine.  I’l source some more shade-loving herbs to add later.

Chitting the Yukon Golds

Another vegetable gardening job for the weekend is to start to chit the Yukon Gold potatoes. Chitting means sprouting the potatoes in a light, cool, frost-free area. I put mine in the living room.  It that seems too warm, I’ll move them to the counter in the garage.

I put the potato tubers in a shallow, open box, cutting the big ones so that they can heal over well before they go into the ground.  They’ll hang out here until they sprout and green shoots appear.  Keep them in the light to form stout green and pink shoots rather than long spindly white ones. To increase the size of the potatoes,I’ll only keep three or four shoots at the top of the tuber to form leaves.

There varying opinions about the necessity of chitting so I thought I’d give it a try this year to see if we can get an earlier start.

Soda Bread for March

I made a batch of Soda Bread yesterday for St. Patrick’s Day supper.  I forgot to take a photo of the loaf, but I have one of the leftovers and the butter I made from fresh, raw cream to go along with it.


  • 1 pound white flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 3/4 buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Make a well and pour in the buttermilk.
  4. Stir to just combine and then pat into a round, about 1 inch thick.
  5. Slice the top with an X about 1/2 inch deep.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degree and bake an additional 30 minutes.
  8. Cool on a rack.