A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Goose Down

I’d read numerous warnings about the arduous task that plucking the goose would be. Perhaps the dreadful anticipation contributed to my positive surprise.

Yes, it took at least two hours, maybe three with the final tweezing of the pinfeathers. But the work was pleasant, almost meditative. I sat out in the yard in a cloud of snow-white down, stacking the primary wing feathers and coaxing the airy fluff into a bag. The feathers were divinely soft and silky.

I found that they came out so easily, I declined to scald the bird even though I had a pot hot at standby. (I wonder if by chance the way we dispatched the goose inadvertently released the feathers, because the ease I experienced did not ring true to the descriptions I’d read about. I won’t be overly optimistic going into it next time.)

The roasted goose, prepared as usual a la Hank Shaw, was decadent and supremely delicious. The giblets were the finest I’ve cooked or eaten– so large and lovely that we reserved most for frying up as an hors d’oeuvre, rather than putting all in the stuffing.

As I pondered over the next day what to use the magnificent feathers for, a wind storm blew in along with a light rain, and before I knew it our yard was papered with wilted down.

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I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

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