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Gooseberries, Goldenrod, and a Gaggle of Geese
Posted On 01/04/2016 17:35:33 by yourchoice

When it comes time for me to think about a topic for my next blog in this A to Z Challenge, I often get out old photograph albums for some ideas. I love to read blogs written by others who write about their experiences, both current and in times past. I'm hoping that Barb (kiwibarb) will write to tell us how they celebrate Christmas without snow, and what Santa wears and travels in when it is hot outside. I'd love to visit New Zealand, but so far, that destination is still on our 'bucket list'.

Now, to expand on my topic today. My mother was an avid gardener; a learned ability necessity when she was growing up in a large immigrant family. We all loved the jam that she made with the wild gooseberries that we picked in the valley behind our farm house. The berries could be quite tart, if we picked them too early, and she didn't add much sugar when preparing the jam because there were times when sugar was scarce and there was a shortage of money. She learned to work with what she had, not always following the recipe.

She also learned some tricks from my father because he also made do with what was available when he was a 'cattle driver'. He had learned to enjoy cooked goldenrod, which grew wild in abundance on the prairies. The flowers could also be eaten raw, and that now makes me think of broccoli. I had never eaten raw broccoli until the last few years (introduced by our daughter who is a great and adventurous cook), and I now much prefer it served in a salad instead of from a steamer.

Lastly, my parents always seemed to have a gaggle of geese; seems they enjoyed roasted goose meals on special occasions. All I remember is that it was a greasy meat, and for me the best part was the crispy skin. If my memory about that is correct, I wouldn't go near that kind of meat now. We are even told now that beef isn't good for us, but we would be run out of the neighborhood if we believed that nonsense. Even the avid bird hunters in Alberta who like to bag geese, but don't eat much now because it is too fatty and the ponds where the birds feed are becoming more and more polluted.

As for the gaggle of geese when I was a child, I was always told to carry a stick when I walked to the chicken coop to play, or to the corral to pet the horses. The gander was often cranky and would try to chase and nip me, and I would need to defend myself with the stick. A good whack would change his attitude quite quickly.

Tags: Memories Favorite Food Customs


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