In January 1971, my wife and I sold our house in a Detroit suburb and bought a place in the country. We moved to the Caro area of Michigan’s thumb. We wanted our kids to have a country upbringing.
We had found a place with lots of room and surrounded by state forests. So we moved during the New Year's holiday. That winter and summer were just great. My kids were all developing into country kids.
The wife and I decided to do something different for our Thanksgiving. This was our first in the country, so we decided to buy a live goose and bake him for the holiday.
Shortly after Labor Day we bought the goose. I think we only paid fifteen dollars for him. The plans were to fatten him up for Thanksgiving.
During the weeks that we had him, my kids kinda made a pet out of him. He made a lot of noise and was a pretty good watch bird, but he was dumb as a post. He would stand in his water bucket over night, and up here freeze comes early, and more then once he was frozen in the bucket until it warmed up a bit.
The day finally arrived to do the bird in. My first question is how do you decapitate a full grown live goose? I’m just a city boy and I had no clue. No goose is going to let you grab him and allow you to ring its neck.
I finally came up with a solution. I drove a ten-penny spike into a log and tied a cord to it. I then took the other end and tied it around the goose’s neck. I placed my left arm around him, and stretched him out on the log. Then with my right hand took the ax and did him in. What I didn’t know, my kids were all looking out the windows crying and watching the procedure. I found out later they were yelling, “Daddy don’t do it.”
Finally the deed was done and I took our dinner into the garage for the simple task of de-feathering the bird. I thought it would be as simple as doing a chicken, boy was I wrong. After I got the big feathers out, there were still thousands of pin-feathers and down. What I ended up doing was building a small fire and burning the feathers off. What a stink that made. I finally got the bird cleaned inside and out. I turned it over to Arlene to roast, and I cleaned up the mess.
For some reason my kids were not talking to me. After several hours of cooking our goose was ready for the table. It came out looking and smelling like it should have.
The table was set and the bird was placed in the middle of it. We sat down to dinner, and every one of the seven kids refused to even taste it. Arlene and I were not going to let a roasted goose be wasted. So we tried to eat it, you noticed I said try. The bird, although it looked and smelled good, was as tough as leather and dry as dust. We finally had hot dogs. The dogs had a great thanksgiving dinner. This was the first and last time we ever tried to fix goose.
© By Jack Long (Jacjenlong@aol.com)