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Thursday, November 29, 2007

A sweet sort of goose

A photo on Flickrfrom risa

We have three geese, and of these , one is a gander (Sylvester), one an ornery goose (Sylvia), and one is a rather sweet sort of goose, who likes to lay her head on Beloved's hand and gaze soulfully into her eyes. This one we call Susannah, and she has taken command of the clutch. Both of the females lay eggs there (along with some of the ducks, and maybe a chicken or two, but it is Susannah that does the hard work, and we have to keep an eye out for when she's foraging in order to gather.

We sell chicken and duck eggs by the dozen as our farm product, but gather the goose eggs and store them separately until there are enough to blow out and rinse, which is a good deal of effort unless one takes some forethought. To quote a much earlier blog post regarding the eggs of a flock we had back in the mid-90s:
I tried the technique as described, and after about five minutes of blowing, had one egg in the cup and a severe headache.

A hundred and thirty-nine more eggs waited quietly on the table. I sat and thought for a bit, then went to get my high-speed mini-drill, and stopped by the sixteen-year-old's room.

"Got a pump and a basketball needle?"

"Uh, yeah, but what do you want 'em for?"

"Trust me, you don't want to know."

I selected an egg, and, using a cone-shaped grinder bit, opened one end and softened the other (the skinny end). I punched the needle in ever so gently, then pushed down the plunger, slowly, so as to avert an explosion, while holding the needle-inserted egg in the other hand above the cup.

The egg emptied itself in about three seconds.

Visions of a cottage industry danced in my head. I made quick work of the pile of eggs, emptying the cup after each one into a mixing bowl (this is in case you find a bad egg), in which the eggs would be later blended and moved into freezer bags -- when thawed, the batches are good in baking recipes that call for eggs.
A little more detail: find a bit of foam rubber, about 1/2 inch thick, and stick the basketball needle through it. This will serve as a gasket and help keep the upper end of the egg from cracking. Experience will tell you how much pressure, applied for how long, will empty the egg without compromising its structure, so to speak.

You may have some "approved" freezer containers for saving the egg in suitable quantities for however you use them; we reuse very small size sealable plastic bags which we then double-bag into a larger bag and just grab one to make breakfast from time to time, or to use in baking.

We haven't discussed any of this with Susannah.



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