Wednesday 31 October 2012

Murder in the byre

Jon Haylett (Ed. of Kilchoan Diary)  is responsible for the title.  He called in at lunchtime just as the last of the geese was being finished off by two teenage helpers Arthur and Isaac from Sheffield. The geese were eating two bags of feed a month because the grass has stopped growing and they should have been in the freezer a month ago.

 If you are thinking of keeping geese beware. Each morning for the last month or two they have emerged into the grass park goose stepping and screaming, "Sieg heil".... at least that's what it sounds like. They bully the ducks, refuse to go inside at night and have to be driven and they pull pieces off the hen houses. Enough....they had to go...into the freezer for Christmas.

If you do want to keep some geese you might like to know how to pluck them so here goes. Find a barn, garage, workshop or byre, there'll be feathers everywhere. Fix a strong chain to a beam. Kill the goose humanely and hang it at chest level from the chain. Wear a pair of soft grip industrial gloves and start on the back. Grasp a small bunch of feathers between thumb and forefinger and pull upwards in the direction that the feathers lie. Pull them against the grain and there's a good chance you'll tear the skin. It takes ten minutes to do the section from the base of the neck to the tail.                                                 

 Start on the breast being very careful not to tear the skin especially along the sides where there are deposits of  fat.  Carry non round to the back, up to the tail and down towards the head. I don't bother to pluck the wings, its too hard. Cut them off at the first joint, you don't lose much meat and the bird sits well in the roasting pan.

There's always a cover of small downy feathers left that are impossible to pick; you can singe them off with a spirit lamp or blowtorch if you are careful. Now take them into the kitchen, eviscerate them, put them in the freezer and pour yourself a gin and tonic.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Hi Tom,

Arthur and Isaac said plucking the goose was one of the highlights of their holiday! Thanks again,