Happy… Martinmas?

Today Christians not only celebrate Veterans Day here in the US, but also the Feast of St. Martin or Martinmas.

Huh?

martinmas

You may learn more about this celebrated St. Martin\’s Feast but in a nutshell, Martinmas is among other things the following:

1.) Commemoration of the death and burial of St. Martin of Tours (supposedly Martin Luther was baptized and named after him)

2.) The mark of the first day of winter

3.) The end of the Octave of All Souls

4.) The time when new wine is ready for consumption and animals ready for winter butchering

5.) The last feast of the Christian year

Perhaps more importantly, it signifies the beginning of “Quadragesima Sancti Martini” which was ultimately renamed Advent.

Call it the European version of the American Thanksgiving where Christians celebrate Earth’s good bounty with feasting and bonfires. Celebrations officially begin on the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

So what is served during Martinmas (cause I’m hungry)? Well traditionally the British enjoy eating roast beef on this day, but honestly considering just how wretched British food is, I think it may be more fitting to look to the German tradition… which means the following will be on the table for the carving:

2428_MEDIUM

Goose with Apple Stuffing
(Martinsgans mit Apfelfüllung) (Serves 6 to 8).

1 ready-to-cook goose (8 to 10 pounds)
2 cups water
1 small onion, sliced
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups soft bread crumbs
3 tart apples, chopped
2 stalks celery (with leaves), chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Trim excess fat from goose. Heat giblets, water, sliced onion and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until giblets are done, about 1 hour. Strain broth; cover and refrigerate. Chop giblets; toss with remaining ingredients except 1 teaspoon salt and the flour. Rub cavity of goose with 1 teaspoon salt. Fold wings across back with tips touching. Fill neck and body cavities of goose lightly with stuffing. Fasten neck skin of goose to back with skewers. Fasten opening with skewers; lace with string. Tie drumsticks to tail. Prick skin all over with fork. Place goose breast side up on rack in shallow roasting pan. Roast uncovered in 350° oven until done, 3 to 3 1/2 hours, removing excess fat from pan occasionally. Place a tent of aluminium foil loosely over goose during last hour to prevent excessive browning. Goose is done when drumstick meat feels very soft. Place goose on heated platter. Let stand 15 minutes for easier carving. Meanwhile, pour drippings from pan into bowl. Return 1/4 cup drippings to pan. Stir in flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. If necessary, add enough water to reserved broth to measure 2 cups. Stir into flour mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Serve goose with apple stuffing and gravy. Guten Appetit! (Recipe from the German Embassy)

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