_ I am certain that no one cares what I had for lunch. Despite this apathy, I will write about my meal.
I had goose for lunch. I like goose, which is a seasonal favorite in Germany (and, perhaps, much of Europe). It is a traditional meal of St. Martin’s Day (which means nothing in the United States), but is celebrated by kindergarten children with a lantern procession and by goose lovers (dead and cooked, not live). My only memory of goose as a child is in stories, which were written in England in past centuries.
I know of St. Martin, because he was the patron saint of my private school. A large painting of him slicing his cloak with his sword, to be able to share it with a beggar, graced the dining room. We were urged to believe this myth and associated mythical motto about serving, rather than being served. We were never fed goose, and I do not recall ever seeing it on a menu until reaching Europe. I do not recall my first time (like many key milestones in my life), but do recall enjoying roast goose in winter months on Lufthansa flights to various points around the world (last time was last year on a flight to Dubai). The best I ever had was at a gasthaus (stealth German Word of the Day, meaning “village inn”) near Nuremberg, where I would make a pilgrimage each year during the 1990s.
Goose is best enjoyed at a restaurant or someone else’s house, because it destroys the oven. Roasting releases so much fat, which coats the inside of the oven. I ruined our Weber grill, but saved our oven from a life of irremovable stains. I have no qualms about enjoying goose at the expense of another’s oven.
Goose is best served with cooked red cabbage, Klöse (ditto stealth, meaning “dumplings” but not really), baked apples, chestnuts, and gravy. The skin must be crispy and the meat tender. It tastes best on a cold day.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.