12 December 2009

To market, to market...

...to buy a fat goose. Well, maybe we won't buy it today, because Christmas is still two weeks away. But we've decided to cook a goose for our dinner on December 25, and we need to go find out if we have to order one or if geese for roasting will be available closer to the day.

The market I'm talking about is the open-air market in Saint-Aignan. These kinds of markets are called marchés volants — "flying markets" — which I guess we would call "roving" or "itinerant" markets. In cities, the vendors move from neighborhood to neighborhood — and out here in the country, from town to town — setting up their stalls on different days of the week.

The cheeses for yesterday's raclette. We melted both
fromage à raclette and Comté cheese.

The markets in different towns are ever exactly the same, because all the vendors have different circuits that they follow. In one market you might find some of the vendors you saw in a nearby town a few days ago, but not all of them. And you find others who do different towns. That keeps things varied and interesting, and gives each town's market its own character.

And the meats for eating with hot melted cheese: jambon cru (cured
ham) and saucisses sèches (skinny little dry salamis cut into pieces).

Both Montrichard and Contres have a nice market on Friday mornings; Selles-sur-Cher on Thursdays; Valençay on Tuesdays. A little farther away are the bigger Amboise, Loches, Romorantin, Blois, and Tours markets. So there are plenty of close-by food shopping choices. Some of the vendors are farmers selling their own produce, but most are not.

Cornichons (gherkins) and home-made cucumber
pickles go with melted Raclette cheese too.
Also, fresh pork belly, grilled.

There are two poultry vendors — volaillers, they are called — at the Saint-Aignan market on Saturday, and there is at least one at the market across the river in Noyers-sur-Cher on Sundays. We shouldn't have any trouble finding our Christmas goose.

Not much else to report this morning. It's cold and gray out. I think the snow watch for Saint-Aignan has been canceled.


  1. i just bought a goose yesterday (frozen was only choice here) ...have never cooked one before...have done ducks & chickens of course so assume it's like cooking them....anything special i should know about cooking a goose?

  2. Good luck with tracking down your goose !

  3. Well, now it really feels like the Christmas season... on the hunt for goose!

    You two made fresh pickled cucumber? Wow-- your Raclette meal must have been good with all of the fresh and tasty accoutrements.

  4. We once tried to cook a goose for Christmas in the middle of freezing China, in a city called Chung Chao. It was a gift to our friends, with whom we were sharing Christmas, from the school they were teaching English. After having to finish off plucking of its feathers, it took all day to cook and there was a huge mess with goose grease everywhere. Hope you have better luck with it than we did!

    In my opinion, the Raclette idea is a much better option. I recommend that for your Christmas dinner instead!

  5. I only cooked goose once, and I remember that it required a fair amount of time sitting (the goose I mean) in an oven set at a low heat. You need to put a large dripping dish under it, as the goose produces a lot a liquid fat. Once this is done, you can proceed with the actual roasting operation.

    As all this happenend more than 20 years ago, I can't quite remember what to do next, or how much time it took. It was very slow and rather messy indeed. Although well worth it if you like roasted goose :)

  6. Tried goose once at a German restaurant, it was very 'fatty'.

  7. I have only ever had goose once at Christmas. It was in Germany and our friends cooked it on their Weber barbecue. There was snow on the ground. It was superb.

  8. Do you have a good terrine recipe I can try? I had some many years ago in Paris at a friends house and it was delicious.

  9. Maybe you should consider asking your baker to cook it for you. That way, the mess will be his. Ha! Ha! Ha!. MDR

  10. I'm not afraid of grease and I will save all of it that the goose can give me, to use in flavoring beans, greens, potatoes, and other vegetables. It keeps for a long time in a sealed jar in the fridge.

  11. Leesa, look at this vegetable terrine Walt made and blogged about in 2007. You could use different vegetables in it. The principle is the same.

    Here are links:

    Veggie terrine, part 1

    Veggie terrine, part 2

  12. Melinda, more about goose cooking soon.

  13. Can't wait to see how your goose is cooked (sorry about the pun). We had a chicken dish last night from a Jewish Festival cookbook. It has a lovely fruit sauce and was intended to include goose rather than chicken. Our hosts had never cooked a goose (neither have I for that matter) and decided to play it safe with chicken instead. Very tasty. I'm sure yours will be as well.



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