Goose for the Holidays

Last Holiday after watching “A Christmas Carol” I decided to take on a new cooking challenge. I was going to cook a goose for the Holidays. After so many years of only hearing about geese through fictional references, I began to wonder why the goose had lost it’s place on the holiday table.

Know thy Goose
Geese, much like ducks, rely on a fatty layer  which allows them float effortlessly on top of the waters surface. This makes the meat rich, flavorful and  succulent, but it also means that a little more preparation and technique are required to ensure the bird is best prepared. A fully grown goose will turn out too tough and stringy, so it’s better to cook a young goose that is somewhere between 8-12lbs. Keep in mind, a goose this size is probably suited to feed about 4 people.

Procuring the Goose
The first step in cooking a goose is actually finding one, this can be pretty tricky. I called all the groceries stores and all the butchers to no avail. I looked online to find out that a single 10 lb goose would cost about 70 dollars to buy, and 50 dollars to have shipped to me. That was too rich for my blood and it was beginning to seem that my holiday would have to move on with a more common form of fowl.  Finally, one of my friend had randomly spotted one in the freezer section at a specialty market which wasn’t on my radar. In the end, the goose cost me about 60 dollars. This was kind of pricey but it had to be done.

Preparing the Bird
If the bird is frozen, it will take a couple days in the refrigerator  to thaw it out. If the goose is still frozen at this point, you can always run it under to cold water to finish the job. Once the bird is fully thawed you can remove the giblets and rinse out the inside of the bird.
Examine the bird and discover the all the fatty areas. You’ll want to score the the goose so that the fat can easily escape as the bird is cooking. Each cut should be tiny on the surface, yet deep enough to reach the meat tissue without cutting into the meat. If you don’t feel like being so precise you can simple poke the goose with a sharps fork to cover these areas with hole.

It’s also a good idea to de-joint and  remove the wing tips, as they will dry out and may catch fire in the process of cooking. Pat the bird dry with a paper towel or clean cloth and season with salt. Stuff the bird, but steer clear of anything that may absorb the birds fat as it’s cooking, (i.e. bread stuffing).   I used cranberries, walnuts, onions, celery,  and a couple lemon wedges. Once stuffing is complete, tie the bird front and rear openings shut with butcher twine.

Rendering out the Fat
Before putting the bird in the oven, you’re going to want to get rid of some of that excess fat. To do this, you’ll sear each side of the bird. You can use your roasting pan, but I prefer to do it in a big cast iron pan. Either way you’ll want to use your stove top to get your cooking surface hot, then you’ll press the gooses fat pads against the hot surface so as to melt the fat and sear the skin. To avoid starting a fire, you’ll want to remove  excess fat from the pan as it begins to accumulate. Goose fat is considered the tastiest fat, so recommend saving the fat and keeping it in the freezer. Try getting as much fat out of the goose  without browning it too much.

Apple’s iPhone’s -vs- Adobe Flash

While Steve Jobs says that Apple won’t support flash entirely because of stability issues causing their portable devices to crash when running flash, there may be more to their reasoning than simple performance issues. By now, Adobe and Apple could have collaborated to produce a lighter version of flash that would be stable to run on all version’s of the iPhone and accessible to the masses. As an interactive designer,  nothing would make me happier to see a lighter version of flash come out for mobile devices.

The iPhone is a completely unique experience which transcends the mouse and keyboard. It would be delightful to build websites that could interact by tilting them, shaking them, or touching them. For Apple however, this would be like opening Pandora’s box and throwing their app market out the window.   Any website could then essentially be it’s own dedicated app and developers could release their apps online without having to meet Apple’s requirements. Now who would buy want to buy an app through iTune’s when they could go to a website which featured an app for free? To this I say, let Apple have their day in the sun and may it be short lived. As soon as one of their competitor’s comes out with a device that runs flash, then Apple will need to adopt the Flash plug-in order to keep up with the competition.

For years now Apple’s quicktime has been competing with online video players such as real player, windows media player and Flash. Most video websites are using flash player instead of quicktime because it can display high quality video at a much faster rate than quicktime, it has far greater interactive possibilities, and more people have the flash plug-in installed on their web browser instead of quicktime. Therefore, Apple has even more reasons to blacklist the flash plug-in from their new line of web-enabled devices. If web developers want to have media content on their site available for iPhone users they’ll have to have create a quicktime alternate version.

With all this buzz growing about HTML 5 being able to play video, one begins to wonder about the future of Flash and whether or not it will still have a key role in the future of web design. It’s important to remember a few key things about the history of flash. For starters, the flash plug-in was originally created as a lightweight alternative to Director’s shock-wave, it’s main purpose was to make web animation/presentations that could be quickly downloaded on dial-up connections. It became the most popular web browser plug-in, before it was able to play video and before people were using it to build entire website. Aside from making web surfing more fun it also made web development more fun. Flash’s interface provides a great way for creative minds to put an interesting spin on any web presentation with out having to spend a lot time programming. Yes it’s true; HTML 5 will soon be catching up to the point where flash was back in 2004. However the Flash development community will continue to produce the most impressive websites, while others continue to imitate and catch up.

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