On November 11th we celebrate the feast of St. Martin of Tours, also known as Martinmas!
In A Continual Feast, author Evelyn Berge Vitz tells us that "his feast, called Martinmas, became a major one in Europe, largely no doubt because it took on the character of an in-gathering festival: a thanksgiving celebration. On this day it has been traditional to eat young goose and to taste the new wine of the season. In Germany, they make a cake in a special mold, showing St. Martin on horseback. In Holland, they roast chestnuts and apples and give them to the children; In Italy, they make a Pizza di San Martino (actually a coffeecake), wit trinkets hidden inside."
The goose is actually a symbol for St. Martin himself since it is said that a honking goose revealed his hiding place, after he hid to avoid being made bishop of Tours!
If you are able to get your hands on a goose to celebrate this feast, here is a great recipe for Goose with Apple Stuffing from The German Embassy. Since I have no idea where I could find a goose, I think I may try this recipe with a chicken or turkey instead:
Goose with Apple Stuffing
(Martinsgans mit Apfelfüllung)1 ready-to-cook goose (8 to 10 pounds)2 cups water1 small onion, sliced1 1/4 teaspoon salt6 cups soft bread crumbs3 tart apples, chopped2 stalks celery (with leaves), chopped1 medium onion, chopped1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted2 teaspoons salt1 teaspoon ground sage1/2 teaspoon ground thyme1/4 teaspoon pepper1 teaspoon salt1/4 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 aluminum 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! Serves 6 to 8
And don't forget to pick up a bottle of new wine to go along with your goose! Happy Martinmas! Pin It