There is a political tie in in this post, 'tis the election season, but I have two larger points to make. So bear with the introduction...
From the inmitable (no thinking man can read that much NRO without their double-helii straightening out and making a break for it) Roy Edroso, Mona Charon, alleged pundit and Trump groupie, slips the surly bonds of reality and spells things:
I had pictured my Christian friends and neighbors at home, gathered around the table Norman Rockwell–style, eating goose or ham or whatever gentiles eat bathed in the twinkling lights of decorated trees. In fact, I liked to think of them that way, and finding crowds treating Christmas Eve as just another night was almost a sacrilege.Ooof.
I have an enormous issue with conservative trying to appropriate Norman Rockwell. Rockwell, especially on his Saturday Evening Post covers and Boy Scouts/Boy's Life works, defined a great deal of mid 20th century Americana. An idealistic portrait accepted, and, importantly, acceptable, to a nation that had not yet even begun to realize that the American dream was not allowed for too many.
Even then, he hit deeper themes. In his Four Freedoms series, taken from the FDR 'Four Freedoms' speech, he tried to envision FDR's words:
The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.There is not a single one of these clauses applauded, or even spoken of, by any modern American conservative.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.
He later on made more explicitly humanistic, frequently civil right-based, artwork, including one of the most amazing and powerful, god, so very powerful, paintings of that era, 'The Problem We All Live With'
I'm not particularly into art, and so cannot comment on his art in any sort of analytical manner, or on artistic merit, I mean, they are well done in my opinion, but, I am convinced he was a very, very, good man. Any right-wing lunatic who tries to claim him as one of their's is invited to swim in a bucket of hemorrhoids.
Now, gustatory goodness. Note, I did not gustatory gooseness.
We'll use the modern UK as an example. (Goose is still somewhat more prevalent in continental Europe.) Do you know why Britons of Dickens' time ate goose? Because they did not have turkey. With the availability of turkey in the UK now, why do some still eat goose? My best goose, errr, guess, is sheer bloody-mindedness.
I have hunted and eaten gooses. Other than stewing or wrapping in bacon and bread dough, thereby successfully taking the goositude out of the damnable birds, this is what those, who willingly seek out the murderous avians, do with the winged viciousness.
The most prevalent stuffing are apples, sweet chestnuts, prunes and onions. Typical seasonings include salt and pepper,mugwort, or marjoram. Also used are red cabbage, Klöße, and gravy, which are used to garnish the goose. Another version of roast goose is the Alsatian-style with Bratwurst-stuffing and sauerkraut as garnish. (h/t)(Admittedly, the brat-and-kraut stuffed feathered chopsaw recipe sounds awesome.)
The issue with roasting a goose is that the temperature and time, not to mention basting, need very tight observation and concern. There is a 13 second window for cooking a goose between food-poisoning and poultry leather, where the beaked menace is merely inedible.
Now, why do we not eat goose? We have turkey. Full stop. A good turkey done right is a thing of beauty. Admittedly, turkey doesn't keep at all unless you casserole what's left of the son-of-a-bitch, but on Roasting Day it is absolutely tummy magic.
There are those of us who wish to be especially nice to others in this season. Its the right thing to do year round, but the seasonal focus has it's own attraction. I want to, we should all want to, celebrate humanity at the winter solstice, when days are short, and, unless you are in Minnesota, cold.
Happy Solstice, all y'all!!